Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Confront your dragons

From a lengthy and very interesting interview with Jordan Peterson:
COWEN: J.R.R. Tolkien — do his works interest you?

PETERSON: Yes, and so does his thinking. I just read his translation of Beowulf. I’m about two-thirds of the way through it. And I know that he was very influenced by that document when he wrote The Lord of the Rings. And The Lord of the Rings is obviously a quasi-religious document. Now Tolkien knew that perfectly well.

COWEN: Sure.

PETERSON: But it’s one of those quasi-religious documents that’s so interesting. It’s like the Harry Potter series. It’s like, “Well, people aren’t religious.” It’s like, “Yeah, well, that’s why how many tens of millions of copies of the Harry Potter series sold?” That woman could pack stadiums of young people to listen to a read, and it was an absolute... She went from welfare mother to richer than the Queen. You can’t ignore those sorts of things. And she has an unbelievably accurate mythological imagination.

COWEN: What should we learn from Tolkien?

PETERSON: Go out and confront your dragons.

COWEN: What should we learn from Harry Potter?

PETERSON: Voluntary death and rebirth redeems.

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