De H. P. Lovecraft à J. R. R. Tolkien
In order to continue its vulgarization work on the science fiction role in our everyday life, the Maison d’Ailleurs decided to publish short essays – “Les Collections de la Maison d’Ailleurs” – that offer several perspectives on the exhibition’s main theme that one can see at a particular moment, and an exceptional iconographic selection.
Available from November 15, 2014, the fourth issue of this collection is composed of three essays dealing with two authors who began to write in the 1930s: H. P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) and J. R. R. Tolkien (1892-1973). Despite a lack of recognition during their lifetime, their fictional works have become real icons of occidental popular culture. Lovecraft has set the first elements of a modern mythology, the Cthulhu Mythos, then expanded by numerous writers – whereas the Middle-Earth novels by J. R. R. Tolkien underlie the popular rebirth of heroic fantasy. The first two essays reveal, on a factual basis, the literary and editorial history of these works – as well as their critical reception –, from their origin until nowadays. The third essay shows why these works are original and innovative, and questions their recent change of status as soon as the new medias (role-playing games, video games, digital cinema) gave them a new visibility.
Author: Francis Valéry (Associate Researcher at Maison d’Ailleurs)