New book on echoes of ancient Greek literature in Tolkien’s work translating previous scholarship into Modern Greek for the first time.
Despite a corpus of scholarship on Tolkien’s creative reuse of classical Greek texts and myths in his Middle-earth mythology, there is hardly any bibliography on this subject in the Greek language. This volume will fill this gap, aiming to open an academic debate on Tolkien’s Greek inter-texts, for the first time in the Greek language and academia. The essays were selected by Dr Dimitra Fimi, Lecturer in Fantasy and Children’s Literature at the University of Glasgow, and Dimitris Kolovos, historical linguist and vice-president of the Greek Tolkien Society “The Prancing Pony”, leading a large team of translators
The story behind the cover
It was early June 2019 when I received a phone call from the vice president of Prancing Pony and co-editor of the book Dimitris Kolovos, that I am in the group of selected artists who will frame the illustration of the book. My joy is great, maybe even more than when I learned that I will be exhibiting next to Dali. You see, I grew up with Tolkien's works, admiring the artists who occasionally framed the books, and I never imagined that one of my works would be in one of them one day.
Only left back then is for me to select some works to send to see which of them will be in the book.
After a few days, as my birthday was approaching, he called me again and told me that the plans had changed and that there would be no illustrations but that I had been chosen to create the cover! not something I had prepared, something from the beginning.
In those days I was preparing for the first art exhibition in Greece with a tribute to the Professor and Middle-earth. For those who know, I always run two projects at the same time. One was Middle-earth and the other had to do with the mythology of Corfu, where I come from and live in.
Something that I announced at the first opening of the exhibition, of course.
I asked what would be exactly the subject of the book and he told me that it had to do with the reference of ancient Greece to the work of the professor and I was immediately apprehended with the idea while we were talking on the phone. I have it, I said. I will draw a mix of Tolkien's world and the Homer's collide on the painting. He told me it sounds great like an idea, but we will need two more alternatives. I replied, there are no other suggestions, that is it, trust me.
Months after I prepared the cover and while I was constantly sending my progress, the result justified us all. I already had a dissertation on the characters of the Professor but also a question of enthusiasm for what it would be like to start the project with our own mythology.
The cover: Bilbo's Odyssey.
Bilbo is my favorite character and I have combined my course and purposes in life with the difficulties, the joys and my whole journey to get to where I am today, so there was no way he did not take the honorary place in the artwork. I considered it perhaps is the best opportunity in order to prepare the ground for the my next themes, before Marvel does it cool with the end scenes.
In my mind I had the two giant authors of Fantasy, talking about their works and Tolkien congratulating Homer on what he wrote and vice versa. So Bilbo is with Odysseus by the fire (the beacon is lit is the reference) and they are talking each other for their adventures (there and back again). As you can see, both of them are colored instead of all the surrounding which is painted on sepia so I can separate them from their stories.
There are also very well known creatures such as the Sirens, the Cyclop, the Gollum, the Beorn as well as the burning of Troy. My most interesting and favorite detail of mine in the painting is the spider that has passed its web between the axes where the Odysseus had to pass an arrow through their holes.