Monday, September 12, 2011

Steig Larsson and Tolkien

So, having now reached about the mid-point in the audiobook of Steig Larsson's fascinating if occasionally unpleasant novel THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (published posthumously in 2005, tr. 2008), I was surprised to find so far not one but two Tolkien references.

The first comes when the main character, disgraced reporter Mikael Blomkvist, takes time off from his latest assignment to go see a movie for a change of pace:

In the evening he went to the cinema to see The Lord of the Rings,
which he had never before had time to see. He thought that orcs,
unlike human beings, were simple and uncomplicated creatures.
--Chapter 11, page 169

This seems just part of the contemporary grounding of the novel, which is full of references to current events. However, the next goes a bit beyond that. At one point Blomkvist is suddenly confronted by one of his new neighbors, an unpleasant hermit, whose advent is described, apparently from Blomkvist's point of view, thusly:

Gollum had emerged from his cage.
--Chapter 17, page 247

That's the lot so far (I'll add an update at the bottom of this post if I come across any more): another indication of Tolkien's penetration not just into our (American/English/New Zealand/English-language) culture but indeed well beyond it.

--John R.

1 comment:

Magister said...

Larsson was no stranger to the fantastic: in 1980 he was chairman of Skandinavisk förening för science fiction [The Scandinavian Science Fiction Association].