Light: the diegetic world-builder in J.R.R. Tolkien’s secondary world

Bulbul, Asli (2022) Light: the diegetic world-builder in J.R.R. Tolkien’s secondary world. MPhil(R) thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This project explores light imagery in J.R.R. Tolkien’s secondary world as the diegetic world-builder. While doing this, it uses the cosmogony narrative in The Silmarillion followed by the First and Second Age stories. This project also introduces specific ideas from The Lord of the Rings when relevant, and analyses specific stories and quotations from The History of Middle-earth series as the external chronology. The aim to introduce the external chronology has been to compare and contrast Tolkien’s ideas about his world-building throughout his authorship to show what has changed and what has remained the same regarding the light imagery in the secondary world.

While using these texts, this project engages in formalist and critical world-building approaches. The formalist framework as reanalysed by Caroline Levine (2017) enables a contemporary approach to the close-reading of the keyword light to reveal how light imagery as the diegetic world-builder is formed, ordered and patterned throughout the secondary world narrative. The critical world-building framework as introduced by Stefan Ekman and Audrey Isabel Taylor (2016) enables me to address Tolkien’s secondary world as a self-referential product and highlights the significance of my role as a critic in this project.

The main aim of this project is to assign the diegetic task of world-building to a single imagery, light. This aim confronts the overall assumption and discussion by the relevant previous scholarship that a task like world-building can only be associated with authors or their subcreated characters. Therefore, this aim makes this project unique in a sense that as the narrow aim, it also reveals the overall potential of fantasy as a genre in providing new insights into a subcreation, and thus inescapably, the primary world.

Item Type: Thesis (MPhil(R))
Qualification Level: Masters
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Literature
Supervisor's Name: Fimi, Dr. Dimitra and Martin, Dr. Laura
Date of Award: 2022
Depositing User: Theses Team
Unique ID: glathesis:2022-83198
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2022 13:33
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2022 15:27
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.83198

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