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    Particularly subtle insights .

    I've read quite a bit of all three of these subjects. The Great War was a catastrophe - and most of the writers that dealt with it seemed to have pyschic wounds about it (Jünger, Sasoon, Graves&etc.) but with Lewis & Tolkien it never comes out in their narration. Lewis is so involved with his stories that reading his stuff allows you to really know him as a person - his wit, intelligence, humour, sensibility, and Christianity. Tolkien is an utterly transparent writer. One knows Gandalf, Frodo, and Biblo quite well, but like Homer & Virgil, knows nothing of the character of the author. Loconte manages to shed a lot of light on Lewis' particular modes of thinking to his own age (progress, eugenics, cynicism) & why Jack writes about the things he does, which is namely a Christian signpost of guidance from conventional knowledge to spiritual wisdom. For Tolkien, Loconte places his Lord of the Rings on the somewhat surprising periphery of The Great War - particularly the Somme. The landscape of Mordor is the landscape of the battlefield. The depth of despair & feelings of helplessness occur with singular man struggling against the machinery of war occur in the trench & in Middle Earth. Progress leads to desolation when virtue is abandoned. Well worth a read for casual fans.

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