Nature, Methods and Purposes of the Tolkieniani Italiani Community

Tolkieniani Italiani refers to a community of groups, associations and people, who identify with certain values, methods and purposes inspired by the texts and the life of the English writer J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973). Their purpose is to network, gather and create dialogue between many Tolkien-themed realities sharing a project to promote Tolkien’s works within the Italian cultural outline. Such a project taps both into several valuable projects of the past – which have thus been restored – and into projects proposed by each member of the community during construction phase, where everyone has the right to prompt his/her idea and to get help to achieve it, provided that it reflects the requirements of the Tolkieniani Italiani community itself.

Joining a group and being part of a community is fundamental for many reasons:

  1. Mutual support aimed at expanding the audience of the community, with a greater number of live and online presences;
  2. The members set aside the competitive environment in the creation of an audience of their own, in order to achieve a shared audience;
  3. It allows to be significant at all levels and provides a wider diffusion of the content;
  4. A unified project is much more credible than many auto-referential little individual projects;
  5. One’s passion for Tolkien can be enhanced and fed through its sharing, living a much more fulfilling experience rather than an experience for its own sake.

Being part of Tolkieniani Italiani community means to adhere to a serious group project, because Tolkien is not only a literary author whose works are read just for fun, but also one who can speak to the hearts and nourish the spirit of his readers. Believing that Tolkien is a simple hobby does not mean to share the core concept of Tolkieniani Italiani community.

The Tolkieniani Italiani communityincludes:

  • associations (I cavalieri del Mark)
  • networks and websites (Tolkien Italia, Eldalië, Tolkieniana.net, Tolkien Reading Day),
  • pages and profiles on social media (the main ones are: Pedo Mellon a Minno, Le Migliori Frasi del Silmarillion, Il Signore degli Anelli: la traduzione di Vittoria Alliata),
  • web radio and podcasts (Radio la Voce di Arda, Cronache dalla Terra di Mezzo),
  • various scholars, both individually and in groups,
  • the collaboration and friendship with the oldest and most prestigious Tolkien association in Italy, that is the Società Tolkieniana Italiana.

Secondly, the Tolkieniani Italiani community distinguishes itself for its isolated position compared to Tolkienian pages, groups and associations which lack the interest and courage to take certain positions. Here are the exemplifications concerning nature, methods and purposes of the Tolkieniani Italiani community, also through the illustration of the stand we took regarding some thorny issue which have arisen over time:

  • Tolkien is not only entertainment, on the other hand he is primarily an author who feeds the spirit and enriches the culture of people;
  • The religious theme is as fundamental to understand Tolkien’s works as every other theme, in a perspective of synergetic cooperation between different points of view, which only together may to reconstruct the complex thinking of the author. In his works Tolkien includes clear explicit messages, which cannot be ignored both when studying the author and when building up the community, that is inspired by those core values existing in Tolkien’s works. All the perspectives thus enhanced, are likely to give back the author’s point of view;
  • All current socio-political issues stay out of the debate: the Tolkieniani Italiani communityis exclusively interested in studying the author’s ideas in conformity with their historical context. Our community is not interested in re-reading the Tolkienian texts on the basis of today’s mentality, language and definitions;
  • In the bosom of the Tolkieniani Italiani community, people of all creeds, political ideas and ethno-cultural groups are welcomed and, therefore, the utmost diversity is allowed as for ideas, opinions and belongings. Nonetheless, intellectual honesty, open-mindedness and tranquility adequate to talk about burning issues or themes of great concern, are necessary to join the community. What is really important is to have the manners and the sensibility to listen to those who have different ideas from one’s own and, above all, to focus on what matters: Tolkien’s texts and the way we decide to approach them;
  • Studies are not separate from the Tolkienian people: people’s opinions must be heard and not simply ignored. Everyone can take part in the debate with no fear of not being heard on every theme concerning Tolkien’s works at any level of study, because the Tolkieniani Italiani communityrepresents a popular reality respecting everyone’s ideas, trying to carry them out, providing all the support at their disposal;
  • The Tolkieniani Italiani community is opposed to a single line of thinking. Here all Tolkienian interpretations are considered valid, even those not adhering to Tolkien’s texts, as long as they remain private. Such interpretations are proposed as free applications of the texts themselves to one’s own personal experience and not as academic study, the latter being aimed at the comprehension of the author’s thinking. Whenever personal opinions are mistaken with the author’s thinking, misreading can arise, against which the Tolkieniani Italiani communitymust guard itself as well as preserve the users through good information, pursued with the broadest agreement, especially in relation to sensitive issues concerning the entire community. For this reason, the Tolkieniani Italiani communitywill never stand back before controversy, debates and burning issues, for its duty is to study and spread information at any cost in terms of image or involvement in editorial operations;
  • The Tolkieniani Italiani community deems that criticism is a fundamental part of any cultural debate: criticism’s utmost expression is detailed examination, rigorous evaluation and the application of a screening assessment which allows to understand all aspects of both text and context.
  • Anyone who does not respect the principles of the community is not part of it and does not participate in its activities, shall it be a simple enthusiast or the greatest of scholars. On the contrary, those who embrace those principles are already part of the community even if they do not have an active role in it, but they are free users of the contents.
  • The form of the Tolkieniani Italiani community is not an association. The community is not and never will be an association in order to prevent ending up in promoting only the association itself.

The Tolkieniani Italiani community aims to undermine the political standpoint of Tolkien and non-Tolkien associations, which only favour members and sympathizers of their own cultural line and setting, paying attention only to the association or group they belong to and not to the truth of Tolkien’s writings. By choosing not to be an association, the Tolkieniani Italiani community intends to remain consistent with the purposes of promoting the interests of all their ramifications, be it associations and others, and of all Tolkien fans in Italy, respecting the sole fact that such interests must have as one and the same purpose the diffusion of Tolkien’s culture as intended by Tolkien himself.

To sum up, the fundamental values that animate the Tolkieniani Italiani communityare:

  1. faithful adherence to Tolkien’s writings, which cannot be misrepresented or exploited,
  2. the primacy of the interests of the whole community over those of individuals,
  3. the certainty that the perspective of the community does not deny, but otherwise fulfills the perspectives of everyone, therefore the good of the individual is achieved precisely through the good of the community.

The studies carried out by Tolkieniani Italiani community aim to achieve a pastoral care of Tolkien fanbase and of all those people who, for various reasons, have no way to deepen the study of Tolkien autonomously. Knowledge is sought to be disseminated and gifted to improve people’s lives, not to gain personal prestige.

Any article, writing or audio recording concerning the nature, methods, and purposes of the Tolkieniani Italiani community must be interpreted based on this statement, which shall be subject to changes over time according to the needs of the moment and to very specific requests.

How to join the Tolkieniani Italiani Community

To join the Tolkieniani Italiani community it is enough to share its principles, therefore its nature, method and its ends. To enter actively, simply submit your proposal by writing an email to tolkienianiitaliani@gmail.com, whatever it may be – the study, publication of articles, technical consultancy for sites, diffusion via social networks, participation to Radio La Voce di Arda – and to integrate your project within the Tolkieniani Italiani community it is necessary to:

1. share sincerely and selflessly the core values and goals of the community.

2. accept and respect the Tolkieniani Italiani community hierarchy on top of which are the coordinators whose names are:

  • Giovanna Caruso
  • Gianluca Comastri
  • Linda Dallolio
  • Giovanni Lamonaca
  • Francesca Marini
  • Francesco Moretti
  • Giuseppe Scattolini
  • Enrico Spadaro
  • Sebastiano Tassinari
  • Michela Tonini
  • Edoardo Volpi Kellermann

The coordinators, who all have different backgrounds, sensitivities and preparation, always take decisions in dialogue and in harmony with each pillar of the Italian Tolkienian network and their decisions are never unquestionable. The coordinators have also the task of verifying and confirming the adherence of individuals to the core values and objectives of the community, as well as coordinating the activities of the network and supervising the activities and proposals submitted by other Tolkien groups, in Italy and abroad.

3. each individual commitment must be oriented in favour of the whole Tolkeniani Italiani community. Protagonist-like, divisive as well as preferential attitudes towards each individual realities which make up the Tolkieniani Italiani community must be absolutely avoided. You also need to be ready to work collaboratively with others and be willing to receive help from new volunteers.

“Tolkien over the world” Project

“Tolkien nel mondo” (Tolkien Over The World) is the provisional name of a project designed to propose the method of the Tolkieniani Italiani community all over the world in order to encourage the birth of a reality sharing the same nature, the same method and the same purposes but on a global scale.
The Italian Ambassadors of Tolkien Over The World are:

  • Enrico Spadaro
  • Myriam Nicolini
  • Virginia Cavalli
  • Alessandra Olivieri
  • Marta Tamborini
  • Paola Cartoceti

To build Tolkien over the world, we do not particularly need scholars but mostly enthusiasts. The invitation is open for anyone who appreciates the declaration on “Nature, methods and purposes of the Tolkieniani Italiani community” and wishes to join a similar project but on a global scale – i.e. the Tolkien Over the World project – by managing social pages and profiles, managing websites and participating to the building of a new international Webradio with a multilingual Tolkien program. If you wish to build a worldwide network of Tolkienians who share the same principles and wish to contribute to a different experience on Tolkien’s writings than what has been offered so far, please write to Enrico Spadaro at the email address henryspad7@icloud.com.

23 june 2021


Signatories in order of time

Giuseppe Scattolini
Gianluca Comastri
Enrico Spadaro
Giovanni Lamonaca
Michela Tonini
Giovanna Caruso
Simone Claudiani
Marta Tamborini
Eva Garavaglia
Linda Dallolio
Benedetta Lolli
Myriam Nicolini
Marco Respinti
Chiara Bertoglio
Alessandra Olivieri
Nicola Guglielmo Camerlengo
Riccardo Ruggero
Greta Bertani
Paola Cartoceti
Cecilia Drudi
Manuel Pezzali
Vincenzo Pasquarella
Paolo Romeo
Virginia Cavalli
Luisa Paglieri
Cristina Di Santo
Francesco Stefanelli
Claudio Guarnaccia
Felice Alasson Longo
Debora Casalini
Gianmario Benedizione
Flavia Costadoni
Mauro Toninelli