“Fellowship” in Tolkien Studies

Over at Parmar-kenta, Troels writes in his precis of my post about Corey Olsen that scholars of Tolkien should maintain fellowship. Troels seems to ask how it might be best to use criticism without forsaking this supposed fellowship ‘we’ enjoy.

Well, I’m afraid I have to disagree with Troels here. I don’t want ‘fellowship’ in Tolkien studies. I want it to be like any other academic discipline. People should always be personally respectful, but people should never be afraid to criticize, even harshly. A manufactured sense of ‘fellowship’ creates groupthink and whittles away at free speech. We already have enough censorship on internet forums and other such places, and that is why, on this blog, I will absolutely write what I think about whatever I like. That will not change.


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