Game of Thrones author George RR Martin hails 'acceptance of fantasy into literary cannon'

The author donated a first edition of the Hobbit to an American university

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The Independent Culture

Fantasy fans rejoice! George RR Martin has donated a first edition copy of The Hobbit to a Texas university in what the Game of Thrones author called an "acceptance of fantasy into the canon of world literature."

The JRR Tolkien novel, first published in 1937, was the five millionth volume to be added to Texas A&M Universities collection in a ceremony held earlier this week. Only 1,500 first editions of The Hobbit exist with this one featuring a dust cover and hand-written corrections by the publisher inside.

During the ceremony Martin noted the huge impact Tolkien’s novel had had on his life, saying: “There’s no doubt his effect upon me was profound and I take a strange pleasure in seeing him included in a library like this, to be a five millionth book with Cervantes and Walt Whitman”

Martin's own collection of papers is also kept at the university, the author having first visited in the 1970’s as part of a science fiction convention.


The fantasy author went on to add how he believed every book should be preserved: “Not just the stuff that we deem high culture, but popular culture and ordinary culture and ephemera and juvenilia, preserve all of it because we don’t know what we’ll want 50 years from now, what’s going to be important 100 years from now, or whether indeed 1,000 years from now, Stan Lee will stand next to Shakespeare.”

The university acquired its one millionth volume, CC Slaughter’s Prose and Poetry of the Livestock Industry of the United States, in 1976.