Pope Francis quotes JRR Tolkien in an essay on storytelling – Catholic World Report
Vatican City, May 27, 2022 / 4:43 a.m. (CNA).
Pope Francis quoted JRR Tolkien in an essay on storytelling published this week.
“As Frodo, the main character of Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings,’ says, ‘Tales never end,'” Pope Francis wrote in an afterword to a book published May 26.
The pope may have been referring to an exchange between Frodo and Sam in the second book of the “Tales That Really Mattered” trilogy.
In the exchange, Sam says, “And why, sir, have I never thought of that before! We have… you have some of the light in that glass star that the Lady gave you! Why, come to think of it, we are still in the same story! It happens. Don’t the great tales end? »
“’No, they never end as tales,’ said Frodo. “But the people in them come and go when their role is over. Our game will end later – or sooner.
The pope referred to Tolkien in an afterword he wrote for the recently published Italian book “La Tessitura del Mondo” (“Weaving the World”).
According to its publisher, the book contains chapters written by “great cultural personalities” in Italy on “narrative as a way of salvation”.
In the pope’s afterword, published in full by Avvenire, the official journal of the Italian episcopal conference, the pope also quoted Donna Tartt, an American author who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2014 for her novel “The Goldfinch.”
The pope reflected on Tartt’s description of the stories human beings tell as unbreakable cords that connect the living and the dead and weave vast webs across centuries and cultures.
“The American novelist captures with acuity one of the points on which many authors of this book converge: the narration as a “fabric” made of “unbreakable cords” which connects everything and everyone, present and past, and allows to s open to the future with feelings of trust and hope,” the pope said.
Throughout his pontificate, Francis referenced books such as Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “The Brothers Karamazov” and Romano Guardini’s “The Meaning of the Church.”
Among his favorite books are the Italian novel “The Betrothed”, by Alessandro Manzoni, and “Lord of the World” by Robert Hugh Benson.
It wasn’t the first time Pope Francis had referred to the “Lord of the Rings” or the “Hobbit.”
In a 2008 Easter homily while Archbishop of Buenos Aires, he reportedly said, “Tolkien portrays in Bilbo and Frodo the image of the man who is called to walk, and his heroes know and play, precisely in walking, the drama… between good and evil.
“The man who walks has within him the dimension of hope: he enters into hope. Throughout mythology and history, the echo resounds of the fact that man is not a motionless and tired being, but that he is called to travel, and if he does not enter this dimension, he destroys himself as a person and corrupts himself.
Papal preacher Cardinal Raniero Cantalamessa also quoted Tolkien during the Good Friday liturgy at the Vatican this year. He reflects on a letter the author wrote to his son about people who denied the existence of Jesus.
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