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The Dyscatastrophe of Túrin Turambar

Luna's sixth Call for Papers, Not the Fellowship. Dragons Welcome! is now in pre-order and will be released on Tuesday 14th of June. Artwork, by Jay Johnstone. Here is a chance to discover the 11 brilliant papers you will find in the book, in reverse order of appearance.

Today, we would like to introduce you to Elise Caemasache McKenna, presenting the paper: "The Dyscatastrophe of Túrin Turambar"


J. R. R. Tolkien’s article, “On Fairy-stories,” identifies four key elements that he felt were necessary or at least evident in a true fairy-story to differentiate it from traveller’s tales, dream stories, beast fables, and nature-myths. The elements, Fantasy, Recovery, Escape, and Consolation, are discussed in detail as to what they are, how they work, and why they are sometimes looked with scorn. I propose that Tolkien’s story “Of Túrin Turambar” from The Silmarillion and its collected longer compilation, The Children of Húrin, demonstrates those key elements as the reader follows Turin through a series of tragic events, including chanced encounters, missed opportunities, and bittersweet loves. The Consolation thus ends in a dyscatastrophe instead of the expected eucatastrophe of a hero’s ending because of the actions and inactions of Túrin. Each element will be a lens through which the narrative will be examined. “Of Túrin Turambar” and The Children of Húrin present a way to see the author’s theory come to life. This will also validate the inner consistency that Tolkien felt was required of a successful fairy-story.

About Elise Caemasache McKenna:

Elise Caemasache McKenna is a Course Director in the Creative Writing Department at Full Sail University. She earned her Master’s at University of Central Florida and is pursuing a PhD in Tolkien studies. She has been studying Tolkien for over thirty years and has presented and guest lectured on the Professor and his Legendarium, Harry Potter, and H. P. Lovecraft at conferences all over the United States, England, Australia, and New Zealand. Her articles appear in How We Became Middle Earth, LEMBAS EXTRA, Mythlore, and Conference Proceedings for the Tolkien Society. She has been a recipient of local awards & grants to continue her research. She teaches fantasy, science fiction, horror fiction, story development, and creating new worlds. She is currently writing articles on Tolkien and Romanticism, Tolkien and The Silmarillion, and presenting at various conferences. She is working on a collaborative fantasy novel set in late 1800s Australia. Her publications on H.P. Lovecraft in Florida, Tolkien and gaming, and horror in Tolkien’s works are scheduled for 2022. Aside from Tolkien, her interests include making small furry animals from wool roving, living with small furry animals, and rescuing small furry animals. Her favorite book is The Silmarillion, but she allows ghost stories of M. R. James, Cynthia Asquith, and Neil Gaiman to creep in occasionally. She loves traveling and plans to live in New Zealand when she grows up.

Not the Fellowship. Dragons Welcome!

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