Who do you think is greater, J R R Tolkien or E R Eddison?

BAYLOR

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Which of the two? J R R Tolkien The man who gave us The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings , Farmer Giles and Ham , The Silmarillion and other assorted tales

Or

E R Eddison the man who gave us The Worm of Ouroboros, The Zimiamvia Trilogy and Styrbiorn the Strong


Both mens lives and career did overlap until 1945 when Eddison died . But which of them do you consider the better writer and why ?


And does anybody know if the two men ever meet each other face to face? :confused:
 
I'm curious to see if anyone for Eddison. I've only read The Worm Ouroboros of his, and it's work. Kinda deliberately, but it's very easy to see how Tolkien's sprightlier prose has made him live on. That and the world building.
 
Seriously, Baylor?

Yes, JRRT read and enjoyed ERE's books, and they did meet.

I read the works of [E.R.) Eddison, long after they appeared; and I once met him. I heard him in Mr. Lewis's room in Magdalen College read aloud some parts of his own works – from the Mistressof Mistresses, as far as I remember. He did it extremely well. I read his works with great enjoyment for their sheer literary merit.
My opinion of them is almost the same as that expressed by Mr. Lewis, except that I disliked his characters (always excepting the Lord Gro) and despised what he appeared to admire more intensely than Mr. Lewis at any rate saw fit to say of himself. Eddison thought what I admire 'soft' (his word: one of complete condemnation, I gathered); I thought that, corrupted by an evil and indeed silly 'philosophy', he was coming to admire, more and more, arrogance and cruelty. Incidentally, I thought his nomenclature slipshod and often inept. In spite of all of which, I still think of him as the greatest and most convincing writer of 'invented worlds' that I have read. But he was certainly not an 'influence'.
Letters, 199: From a letter to Caroline Everett. 24 June 1957
 
Seriously, Baylor?

Yes, JRRT read and enjoyed ERE's books, and they did meet.


Letters, 199: From a letter to Caroline Everett. 24 June 1957

Seriously pyan , I was trying to get a topic started . Oh well. :(

Thanks for the info on Tolkien and Eddison. Tolkien admired Eddsion's work with a few reservations . I get the impression that Eddison didn't care much for Tolkien's literature.
 
Its good you're looking to spark discussion, Baylor. Unfortunately I've never read any Eddison :eek:. But that perhaps is an answer in itself. I would be surprised if anyone votes against JRRT.
 
Eddison isn't showing well in this thread, however, notibles such as Robert Silverberg, Michael Moorcock and Clive Barker rate Eddison very highly. Often higher than Tolkien. That isn't to say that the average reader won't see Tolkien as the greater influence, but Edddison definately has had a huge influence on the fantasy genre.
 
Its good you're looking to spark discussion, Baylor. Unfortunately I've never read any Eddison :eek:. But that perhaps is an answer in itself. I would be surprised if anyone votes against JRRT.

Ive read The Worm of Ouroboros , it has it's flaws but there is much to admire in it.:)
 
I've read The Worm Ouroboros a few times. In my opinion, it's the most entertaining of Eddison's books. (There is my review of the book kicking around the forums somewhere.) I hate the main characters, mind you, because they are vainglorious and self-absorbed, but the world building is fascinating, his use of language is amazing, and it is more about plot and characters than Eddison's other books, which seem to be written as a vehicle for his personal philosophy, about heroism and the divine feminine, which I find rather distasteful. Also, he wrote the other books in reverse order, which makes them difficult.

I think Tolkien was immeasurably the better storyteller, but Eddison was a superior prose stylist, and I think they are about even on worldbuilding, except that it's really comparing apples and oranges because they had such different strengths in that area.
 
I've read The Worm Ouroboros a few times. In my opinion, it's the most entertaining of Eddison's books. (There is my review of the book kicking around the forums somewhere.) I hate the main characters, mind you, because they are vainglorious and self-absorbed, but the world building is fascinating, his use of language is amazing, and it is more about plot and characters than Eddison's other books, which seem to be written as a vehicle for his personal philosophy, about heroism and the divine feminine, which I find rather distasteful. Also, he wrote the other books in reverse order, which makes them difficult.

I think Tolkien was immeasurably the better storyteller, but Eddison was a superior prose stylist, and I think they are about even on worldbuilding, except that it's really comparing apples and oranges because they had such different strengths in that area.

I think Eddison would be a bit harder to adapt the film or television.
 
I think it might be worth the effort for somebody to adapt The Worm. Yes it would be expensive, but think of all the battles—which audiences seem to love—snd the melodrama and the larger than life characters.

His other books, not so much. Too expensive and not nearly the same appeal for television-viewers or movie-goers.
 
I think it might be worth the effort for somebody to adapt The Worm. Yes it would be expensive, but think of all the battles—which audiences seem to love—snd the melodrama and the larger than life characters.

His other books, not so much. Too expensive and not nearly the same appeal for television-viewers or movie-goers.

Id love to see it brought to life. It might lead more people to rediscover him. He's a writer who should not ever be forgotten . He deserves to be remembered , celebrated and loved for what he's created.
 
I read both when I was 15 or 16 years old.
I found them both to be difficult reads; and, honestly, I haven't reread ether of them since.
I Read the Hobbit and the LOTR.
I read the Worm Ouroboros.

I think I enjoyed Tolkien the most.
 
Guillermo Del Toro could do an adaptation of Worm of Ouroboros. :cool:
 
I have returned to Tolkein more than Eddison, but this discussion may mean Eddison is worth a re-read. I do remember seeking out the Eddison, but have not returned through the decades. But then I am afraid the films have blunted my interest in the Tolkein. But, incidentally, I do prize Tolkein's Tree and Leaf, and On Fairy Stories.
 
Hm, I wonder if Apple TV would do The Worm of Ouroboros as a film? :unsure:
 

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