Christopher Tolkien gave his first ever press interview with Le Monde, shedding light on his father’s vision and sharing his own deep dismay with Hobbit director Peter Jackson.
This commercial galaxy is now worth several billion dollars — most of which does not go to Tolkien’s heirs, and thus complicates the management of his heritage for his family, which is polarized not over the images or objects, but over the respect for Tolkien’s words. Through a curious coincidence, the situation recalls the plot of Lord of the Rings, where everything starts with an inherited problem: Frodo Baggins, the hero, receives from the aging hero Bilbo the famous magic ring, whose possession attracts envy from every quarter, and ultimately provokes evil.
Invited to meet Peter Jackson, the Tolkien family preferred not to. Why? “They eviscerated the book by making it an action movie for young people aged 15 to 25,” Christopher says regretfully. “And it seems that The Hobbit will be the same kind of film.”
This divorce has been systematically driven by the logic of Hollywood. “Tolkien has become a monster, devoured by his own popularity and absorbed into the absurdity of our time,” Christopher Tolkien observes sadly. “The chasm between the beauty and seriousness of the work, and what it has become, has overwhelmed me. The commercialization has reduced the aesthetic and philosophical impact of the creation to nothing. There is only one solution for me: to turn my head away.”
Original in French: Tolkien, l’anneau de la discorde
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