The best way to sum up Tolkien's influence on fantasy literature as a whole was, of course, written by Terry Pratchett:
“J.R.R. Tolkien has become a sort of mountain, appearing in all subsequent fantasy in the way that Mt. Fuji appears so often in Japanese prints. Sometimes it’s big and up close. Sometimes it’s a shape on the horizon. Sometimes it’s not there at all, which means that the artist either has made a deliberate decision against the mountain, which is interesting in itself, or is in fact standing on Mt. Fuji.”
@witchfynder_finder i don’t think this is quite true but it depends a bit on how you define “fantasy”, because one definition of fantasy might be exactly this
@witchfynder_finder like do you consider riffs on one thousand and one nights to be fantasy? if so, it is easy to write a story riffing on one thousand and one nights for which an analysis of tolkien is not relevant. but is that actually what is generally meant by “fantasy” in english literature?
@Leaf Yeah, that is where things start to get messy because by rights One Thousand Nights and A Night IS a fantasy story but when you're talking about English-language literature that's....not really what we mean when we say "fantasy"
Something riffing on that story would be like someone writing a novel riffing on the Grimm stories; a fantasy story but far enough away from what people generally mean by "fantasy" that it would be considered Something Else
Beside Tibetan prayers inside a cult I was born in, this book (and Silmarillon) might be the book I've read most often in my life...at least 10 times :)