Document Type

Paper

Organization

Oklahoma City University Honors Program

Conference Title

Conference on the Inklings: Myth and Magic Across Time

City and State

Oklahoma City, OK

Conference Date

April 14

Publication Date

4-14-2018

Abstract

Good afternoon and thank you for sharing your interest in J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. The title of my talk, as specified in the program distributed via e-mail, is the question “Was Faramir Gandalf’s Intended Ring Bearer?” But there is also a further sub-title omitted from the program that hints at the larger problem of interpreting and appreciating literary works: the subtitle continues, “OR Is This the Germination of a Piece of Fan Fiction?” So I have a double purpose today: I wish to explain some puzzling aspects—puzzling to me at least—of Faramir’s construction as a character, adhering strictly to the letter of Tolkien’s text, but then I also want to explore some avenues of possibility that are implied by the text—or that in any case seem to me to be implied by the text—but that are not elaborated or specified by it. Thus I will begin in the tradition of the clearly legitimate realm of literary interpretation and textual exegesis, but as I proceed I will, at some point that may be hard to pin down with complete precision, cross over into an imaginary realm that is inspired by the text but not spelled out by it. In other words, interpretation will turn into fan fiction.

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