2024.05.07 Thesis Theatre: N. Trevor Brierly

Date & Time

Start: May 7, 2024, 2:00 pm

End: May 7, 2024, 3:00 pm

Address

on Zoom.

N. Trevor Brierly: Tolkien’s “Vision of Faërie” in “Smith of Wootton Major”

Abstract:
Tolkien’s story “Smith of Wootton Major”, written in 1965, and an accompanying essay written at the same time, provide a rich understanding of Tolkien’s “Vision of Faërie” that goes significantly beyond earlier critical works such “On Fairy-stories” and “Mythopoeia”. A close reading and analysis approach to “Smith” and the essay indicate that Tolkien saw Faërie as necessary, universal, beneficent and transformative to humanity. In order to fully appreciate what “Smith” has to say about Faërie, it must be understood that “Smith” is neither an allegory nor primarily autobiographical and should be seen as a “fairy-story”, a story about a human journeying in the Faërie realm. The essay adds to our understanding of Faërie as it tells a parallel story concerning Faërie intervening in Wootton Major, to restore contact with the enchantment of Faërie that is being lost. “Smith” and the essay together are important for understanding Tolkien’s increasingly sophisticated and elevated view of Faërie, which he claimed was “as necessary for the health and complete functioning of the Human as is sunlight for physical life.”

Register Here for the Zoom Tuesday, May 7th

 Bio: N. Trevor Brierly is a software engineer with more than 25 years of experience in the industry. He has a background in literature with an MLIS from the University of Texas at Austin and a BA in English from George Mason University. His research interests include worldbuilding in speculative fiction, Tolkien, Frank Herbert, Le Guin, Shakespeare, and the Renaissance. He has presented working papers on “Lord of the Rings”, “Dune”, “King Lear”, worldbuilding, and other topics. He has published an essay “Worldbuilding Design Patterns in the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien” in “Sub-creating Arda” (Walking Tree Publishers, 2019) and is co-editor of “Discovering Dune” from McFarland Books (2022). He lives in Northern Virginia and enjoys books, jazz, tea and cats.

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Trevor has such a warm smile! His brown goatee, slightly darkened glasses, and very short hair are the dark points in this outdoor photo of Trevor in a comfy grey hoodie.

N. Trevor Brierly: Tolkien’s “Vision of Faërie” in “Smith of Wootton Major” Abstract:Tolkien’s story “Smith of Wootton Major”, written in 1965, and an accompanying essay written at the same time, provide a rich understanding of Tolkien’s “Vision of Faërie” that goes significantly beyond earlier critical works such “On Fairy-stories” and “Mythopoeia”. A close reading and…