DEFENDING MIDDLE EARTH: TOLKIEN, MYTH AND MEMORY
by Patrick Curry, Floris Books, 208 pages, [pounds] 15.99, ISBN 0 86315 234 1
Contemporary literary analysis is dominated by a plethora of 'isms'. There is Leavisism, structuralism, deconstructionism, Marxism, post-modernism, and feminism. Conspicuously absent amidst all these wonders of wordplay is an ecological dimension, one that locates texts and their authors in something wider and deeper than the well-trodden turf of class and gender.
All cultural activity interacts with the broader ecological community in a rich variety of ways. The shallowness, aimlessness and frequent nihilism of much modern writing, for example, is an expression of a society dangerously adrift from its ecological roots. The failure of contemporary literary discourse to recognise the green dimension stems, in part, from its grounding in the dominant world-view. It looks at the world through spectacles inherited from the Enlightenment. These have been further distorted by heavy doses of the politically-correct but bankrupt 'everything-is-relative-and-as-good-as-anything-else' school of thought.
However, there have been writers, and many other artists, who have been able to take a leaf out of …