A young woman next to me opens her laptop to watch THE HOBBIT, when I am just reading Houellebecq describing how his novel character, the artist Jed Martin, goes to visit the writer Houellebecq in Ireland. The contrast couldn’t be wider between the literature taking place in Ireland now and in which Houellebecq has Houellebecq complain about American writers (and Irish inability to prepare decent meals), and that American film adaptation of Irish literature.
I am surprised how long the introductory scene lasts in which the dwarfs – invited by the sorcerer – gather in the hobbit’s cave house, and I wonder, where they actually came from. They just appear there, and I remember that there isn’t much said about that in the book, either. It seems they haven’t seen too much of each other since the dragon drove them out of their kingdom and they had to flee. Here they make plans now – all ield-tested warriors – to reconquer their home, and they start off to do so, after having delivered (really as Irish, as much as I know) a few patriotic ballads.
Off of my head, I’m not very knowledgable about the role of the resistance movement agains British rule in Ireland 1937, when Tolkien sat over this novel, or how he was positioned towards the “Irish question” in general, but at least THE HOBBIT did appear in the same year that the Irish Republic gave itself a constitution and called itself Eire. Maybe this book – Tolkien, not Houellebecq – is something like an IRA fantasy novel?