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Friday, September 3 • 12:15pm - 12:45pm
Tolkien, the Eucatastrophe and fighting the Long Defeat in the face of tragedy

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The existence of grief underpins many key chapters in The Silmarillion. This paper examines the multifaceted way Tolkien includes grief, from its part within the creation story of the Ainulindale and the role of Nienna, through the lens of the eucatastrophe - 'the sudden happy turn in a story which pierces you with a joy', and the 'long defeat'. Grief is found to be part of creation, a healer, and punishment within The Silmarillion. Most importantly it is almost wholly synonymous with beauty and strength. Through the interweaving of Tolkien's fictional writing and his own neologism of the 'eucatastrophe' I examine the lessons of strength we can learn, especially during times of great upheaval such as now. To learn through Grief is to better yourself – as taught through Nienna. To not submit to it and to let beauty arise out of it is key, allowing us to combat the 'long defeat' in our daily lives. What can be learnt in grief and the eucatastrophe, we can translate to our own experience.

avatar for Gee Rennison

Gee Rennison

Gee (they/them) is a postgraduate student studying Fantasy Literature at the University of Glasgow. They received their BA in English Literature from Manchester Metropolitan University, having written their undergraduate dissertation on structures of grief and the eucatastrophe in... Read More →

Friday September 3, 2021 12:15pm - 12:45pm BST
1 - Mary Ogilvie Lecture Theatre & Online (Webinar Strand)