Plot[ edit ] Eskov bases his novel on the premise that the Tolkien account is a "history written by the victors". The tale begins by recapping the War of the Ring. Aragorn is portrayed as a puppet of the Elves who has been instructed to usurp the throne of Gondor by murdering Boromir whom he had discovered alone after Merry and Pippin were captured before Gandalf removes Denethor. Arwen , being years older, holds Aragorn in contempt but uses their marriage to cement Elvish rule over Gondor.
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In the last few years I have found it more interesting to deal with living children than with extinct arthropods — I teach electives in high school, summer and winter supplemental courses, etc.
I wrote a couple of textbooks, got involved in creating a new natural history school curriculum; if I had to state a preference, it is precisely those activities that I consider my most important. Do you get the picture?
On the other hand, I can somewhat understand the feelings of "professional" Tolkien fans who foolishly parted with their money to buy this… this… whatever. This is not unlike some teenager, besotted with pirate fiction, tricked by the "Corsair" title into buying a book by a certain G.
Byron, and then inveighing on the net: "Total baloney — loads of stupid love stories and not one decent boarding! Whether our own world is all that primary — whether Richard the IIIrd was an evil traitorous hunchback or Alexander of Neva a chevalier sans peur et sans reproche — is another question that is well beyond the scope of this essay. Advertisement: There are two ways of dealing with the foundation world.
First, one can mechanically expand it in time or space, making a sequel. A sequel is by definition secondary and competitive, and I know of no sequels that are a more or less notable as literature serial novels are another matter.
An apocryphal work — a different take on well-known events whether from the real or an imaginary world is irrelevant: who are we to judge which is derivative? Actually, upon contemplation, what difference does it make?
That is the field where all self-respecting authors have been playing ever since the aforementioned Dio, sometimes with quite decent results. Advertisement: Nor is this an idle question. It was time for me to feel serious, and I did. Looking for a place for "The Last Ring-bearer" in the long row of literary apocrypha, I dare place it next to my personal favorite "Rozenkrantz and Gildenstern Are Dead" the movie, not the play.
An exquisitely paradoxical post-modern game Tom Stoppard played against the Shakespearean backdrop is precisely the relationship with the source Text that I sought to accomplish. Whether I have succeeded is for readers to judge. This painstakingly detailed imaginary universe has no close literary equivalent emphasis mine. Well, noblesse oblige. This invites another comparison, however strange at first blush, between Tolkien and Yefremov.
Perhaps you remember "The Hour of the Bull" — a sociological dissection of totalitarianism plus intriguing albeit sometimes drawn-out philosophical digressions on various topics.
Advertisement: Tolkien was a practicing scientist, too, but a linguist rather than a natural scientist like Yefremov, so the foundation of professional knowledge he had used to erect Middle Earth was different. It is fairly obvious to me that the game the Oxford professor decided to play with nature began, in essence, with the creation of imaginary languages, with their own alphabets and grammar.
Then he created the epic tales to match those languages, then the peoples who wrote those tales, and only then the steppes, mountains, and forests for those people to pasture their herds, build citadels, and battle the "Dark from the East. Truly an excellent model of the Act of Creation! However, Tolkien the philologist had obviously had a very weak interest in this last, non-living component of Middle Earth — its physical geography — and created it only because he had to, with predictable results.
I believe that, but the problem is that he had overlooked some much more significant elements of the local natural history background. In his well-known essay "Must Fantasy Be Stupid? This had happened on Earth at least twice, in mid-Proterozoic and late Paleozoic, which is when two super-continents of Megagea and Pangea formed.
When subcontinents collide, they bunch up into folds e. This means that there ought to be a huge mountain plateau like Tibet smack in the center of Middle Earth; where is it? Pay attention, now — strictly speaking, such errors are trifles. So we can pardon the Professor — the infraction he had committed was not particularly dangerous to society; "The Lord of the Rings" can go free. This will acknowledge it to be a regular fantasy text — I mean, a real good one, easily in the top five… Do you like this option?
Me neither. Because "The Lord of the Rings" is not a good, or even the best, fantasy text. It is sui generis, the only one of its kind; therefore, we will not settle for anything less than a full exoneration. On the other hand, we will adhere scrupulously to the laws of nature. If Middle Earth is as real as our world, it must be as infinitely varied.
It must have a myriad of aspects that Tolkien had not covered as not worthy of his attention. For example, any mention of economics is as missing from his romantic world as sex was supposedly missing in the USSR — but how likely is one to find any such mundane matters in the knightly romances of our world? It seems quite justified to me to assume that the Middle Earth population, aside from battling the Dark Lord and his minions, also plowed, reaped, traded, robbed, etc.
The heroic hobbits on their quest did not subsist only on herbs, rabbits, and Elvish breads — they also drank beer in taverns, and one has to pay for beer. Trick question: what coin did they use? Right — the Professor made no mention of that. This question regarding Middle Earth currency which I often used to stump Tolkien experts has served as the departure point for a whole series of conclusions. In general, how can there be a capital city smack in the middle of a desert?
Once the "Atlantic optimum" was over, Sahara began encroaching on the savannah, and that was the end of them. And if the world of Middle Earth is real, then so are its people. If all those Aragorns and Faramirs are not "dramatis personae" but real people who figure in the epochal tales of the North-western peoples which tales Professor Tolkien had then collected and adapted , then there can be a variety of opinions concerning their deeds.
I see fantasy as a genre with very strict rules only the classical "closed" detective story has stricter ones.
Among those rules such as medieval space-time structure of the world and medieval structure of the spiritual world, meaning a conflict of Absolute Good with Absolute Evil Pereslegin lists this one: "A consistent romantic ethic — a romantic attitude of the author, the characters, and the readers toward war, love, heroism, and death. In other words, the very canon of fantasy forbids moral relativism — sort of like having a classical tragedy in more than one place or having the detective be the murderer in a classic detective story.
Tolkien adheres to this rule perfectly, which is why for many readers, especially older ones, LOTR has forever remained a kind of an American action movie — a bunch of good guys goes to wipe out a bunch of bad guys, who are bad if only because they are on the other side. So when it was time to set up the pieces in LRB, I have decided that although I have to have "black" and "white" as per the canon , at least I would draw the boundary between them in a line somewhat more meandering than the Anduin — more like it usually lies in real life.
And another thing. The romantic tradition does not presuppose that every bad guy be a priori treated as a fiend from Hell, which is what Tolkien consistently practiced. Even if we kill each other at the walls of Dechaud, does it follow that Comte de Rochefort is any less noble than Athos? Not to mention that the Sheriff of Nottingham counts Richard at the Lee among his men, while there are future risaldars among the Afghan bandits of Kamal.
Tolkien clearly prefers the first two lines, while I go for the last two, even though both are unadulterated 24K romanticism… In conclusion, a few words about my personal take on the Professor. It is of a dual nature: I bow before Demiurge Tolkien who had created an amazing Universe, but am rather cool toward Tolkien the Storyteller, author of the tale of four Hobbits and their quest. In other words, to me the theatrical backdrop is way more majestic and interesting than the play itself.
He works as a financial reporting accountant in Boston. Kirill Yeskov.
The Last Ring Bearer
Free Kirill Yeskov! But be quick. But apparently the novel is a huge success in Russia and has done well everywhere it has appeared. Based on the premise that history is written by the victors, The Last Ring-Bearer views The Lord of the Rings as heroic propaganda and seeks to re-imagine what really happened. Mordor is a pluralistic society where men, orcs and trolls live in harmony.
Free Kirill Yeskov! LOTR fans deserve to see ‘The Last Ring-Bearer’ in English.
In he defended a dissertation for the Candidate of Biological Sciences at the A. He has worked at the institute since As of [update] he had 86 scientific publications. Eskov has discovered several new genera of spiders. Among seven discovered by him in is Kikimora palustris Eskov,  It belongs to the Linyphiidae family, and is found in Russia and Finland. The name translates from Latin as "marsh Kikimora".
The Last Ringbearer
In the last few years I have found it more interesting to deal with living children than with extinct arthropods — I teach electives in high school, summer and winter supplemental courses, etc. I wrote a couple of textbooks, got involved in creating a new natural history school curriculum; if I had to state a preference, it is precisely those activities that I consider my most important. Do you get the picture? On the other hand, I can somewhat understand the feelings of "professional" Tolkien fans who foolishly parted with their money to buy this… this… whatever.