Tolkien and the Mystery of Literary Creation

(A full version of this essay has been published in the Journal of Inklings Studies ) Who wrote The Lord of the Rings? And the Hobbit? And the Silmarillion? And in general, who is the author of the large corpus of texts, published or unpublished, which give life to Middle Earth’s imaginarium ? To answer ‘J.R.R. Tolkien’ would not only mean to miss a crucial literary feature of these books, but more importantly to overlook an important dimension of Tolkien’s poetics, grounded on his literary convictions, and ultimately rooted in his deep Christian faith. My aim is to try to give a more precise answer to the above questions, and thereby discuss some of the literary sophistication of Tolkien’s works, as well as delve into the depths of his Christian poetics. Before that, however, I need to make an apology to Tolkien himself, as he would not have approved the sort of exercise that I will be carrying out, to disclose what should remain veiled, as an atmosphere to be felt, rather than a