A picture of me at the place where J.R.R. Tolkien was born. Just to establish nerd credentials for all time. It did amaze us that this is not a tourist spot at all, that there is no J.R.R. Tolkien Museum in the town where he was born, or anything similar. If he had been born in the U.S. we felt the town he was born in would have long ago converted his name into tourist dollars. Nemo propheta acceptus est in sua patria.
It was very surprising to us that Tolkien could have been born anywhere but in England. And yet – somehow it makes sense, given his racial cosmology, that Tolkien was born in South Africa. I have written about the racial overtones of Lord of the Rings before; I think for Tolkien it is all summed up in the one word, fair, which means good, just, beautiful, equitable, desirable, and light-skinned.