The Kalevala and Tolkien

The Kalevala, the 19th century Finnish mythological masterpiece, was one of J. R. R. Tolkien’s major sources of inspiration for both his Silmarillion and the Elvin linguistics he later created. He even took many of his own character names directly from the Kalevala, including the recent book “Kullervo” released by the Tolkien family. This was one of the main cultural heroes in this book of epic Scandinavian poems.

The Kalevala

I have a translation of this beautiful mythological book in my collection and I use it like Tolkien as inspiration in my own fantasy novels. All this mythological literature is just a tiny part of a much large swath of ancient texts and myths Tolkien and many artists have used over the years as inspiration.

It’s critical that we get beyond the shallow themes of our Modern storytelling age where we write about our physical and emotional needs and political and religious turmoil connected to the Modern age and instead explore the rich, deep stories of the Spiritual Self still stored in religious texts, myths, and fairy tales of our ancestors. They are there waiting to help us open up new doors to a richer imagination and the mythic stage contained in our unconscious Self.

Tolkien did it using Western philology….why can’t we do the same?

– the Author

Created Dec 3, 2016, 7:12 PM



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