'Seeing The Promised Land From Afar: The Perception of New Zealand by Overseas The Lord of the Rings Audiences

Ernest Mathijs, Martin Barker

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Following the release in 2001 of the first film of Peter Jackson's adapted trilogy of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings: the Fellowship of The Ring, a wave of 'Ring Fever' swamped the world, with reprints of the novel, guidebooks, Internet sites, memorabilia and toys, video and computer games, location tours and extended DVDs. Taking a Cultural Studies perspective, this collection of essays examines the cultural issues generated by Tolkien's novel and Jackson's films. In particular, by applying a variety of cultural, media and literary theories, the essays in this collection attempt to answer the question: How did we become Middle-earth? Topics covered range from fan culture in an age of IT, globalization, transnational capitalism and consumerism to the local socio-political implications of the Rings tale, and the formation of a Middle-earth in our real (or, as argued by the French philosopher Jean Beadrillard, our no-longer real but hyperreal) world. This book includes a total of twenty-four chapters, as well as foreword, index, filmography and photo illustrations. It is suitable for broad audience, and can be used for educational and academic purposes.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHow We Became Middle-earth
Subtitle of host publicationA Collection of Essays on The Lord of the Rings
PublisherWalking Tree Publishers
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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