The literary work of J. R. R. Tolkien, especially his best-known book The Lord of the Rings, is widely loved and admired on the one hand, but on the other hand it was strongly rejected by critics even during Tolkien’s lifetime, who described it as poorly written and childish. J. R. R. Tolkien himself reacted to the criticism partly humorously (“The Lord of the Rings is one of those things: if you like you do: if you don’t, then you boo!”), partly quite biting, e.g. in the foreword to the second edition of The Lord of the Rings.
The sales figures of Tolkien’s books were annoying for his despisers, as were the results of reader surveys. After the turn of the millennium, the two film trilogies by Peter Jackson increased both admiration and rejection of Tolkien’s work. Not only Tolkien, his books and their film adaptations were attacked, but also his fans.
In this lecture at MagicCon 6, some of Tolkien’s contempters – from both the English and German-speaking countries – and their critiques will be presented as examples.