Ceci est une pipe (2)
By: Joshua Glenn | Categories: Codebreaking, Semiotics

One in an irregular series of posts analyzing and celebrating the pipe’s metaphorical significance in US pop culture.

HiLo Hero J.R.R. Tolkien, whose novels celebrated Hobbit pipe-weed so lavishly that Jeff Alexander and Tom Bissell developed a semi-coherent paranoid theory arguing that the Shire’s surfeit of that addictive crop leads to Middle Earth-wide war, was a voracious pipe-smoker. It’s said he favored Capstan Navy Cut or Player’s Navy Cut tobaccos.

J.R.R. Tolkien's drawing of Bag-End, with a pipe-smoking hobbit

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Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based semiotic culture and brand analyst. He is editor/publisher of HILOBROW and the Radium Age science fiction imprint HILOBOOKS. In addition, Josh is co-author of several books, including (with Mark Kingwell and the cartoonist Seth) THE IDLER'S GLOSSARY and THE WAGE SLAVE'S GLOSSARY, the object-oriented story collections TAKING THINGS SERIOUSLY and (with Rob Walker) SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS, and (with Elizabeth Foy Larsen) the family activities guides UNBORED, UNBORED GAMES, and the forthcoming UNBORED ADVENTURE. In the ’00s, Josh was an editor and columnist for the BOSTON GLOBE's IDEAS section; in the ’90s, he published the high-lowbrow zine/journal HERMENAUT.