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How Two Famous Fantasy Authors Introduce Their Worlds

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With Writing Show host, Paula Berinstein


Entering a fantasy world can be both exhilarating and bewildering. The author who builds such a world may be familiar with it, but how does he introduce his readers to a place known only to him? This week we’ll look at how two famous fantasy authors, Lewis Carroll and J.R.R. Tolkien, approach this challenge.

Lewis Carroll, author of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, was actually named Charles Lutwidge Dodgson. In addition to being an author, he was also a mathematician, logician, clergyman, and photographer. Through the Looking Glass is the sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. In it, Alice passes through a mirror to find an alternate world, where she meets chess pieces that have come to life and other strange characters.

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, was an English philologist and university professor of Anglo-Saxon language and English language and literature. The Hobbit is an epic story of elves, dwarves, trolls, goblins, magic, and adventure. While it stands on its own, it is generally considered the prelude to The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

In this solo show, I’ll explore how each of these great writers initiates readers into his world without overwhelming them.

Paula B.

Interviewee: Paula Berinstein
Host: Paula B
Date: September 9, 2007
Running time: 28:15 minutes
File size: 14 megabytes
Rating: G

Purchase Through the Looking Glass and The Hobbit at