In my edition of The Hobbit
, cheap mass-market paperback, there is an introduction by Peter S Beagle from 1973 that contains not one but two passages that are amazingly political and powerful.
A Quote For Today, From 1973
The Sixties were no fouler a decade than the Fifties – they mere reaped the Fifties’ foul harvest – but they were the years when millions of people grew aware that industrial society had become paradoxically unlivable, incalculably immoral, and ultimately deadly.
Peter S Beagle
Ok. Now that sounds like a quote where we might put in “early 2000s” instead of Sixties and we’d all agree.
I’m not sure there’s any way for us today to understand the zeitgeist of the Sixties, but I have to say that if only enough
people had grown aware of the dangers of industrial society and stayed
aware, we might not be in the global-warming we are in today.
The Hero-Killing Quote
The next quote, however, packed a different punch.
Regarding Tolkien’s having discovered Middle Earth, more than having made it up, Mr. Beagle says the following.
We are raised to honor all the wrong explorers and discovers – thieves planting flags, murderers carrying crosses. Let us at last praise the colonizers of dreams.