Ethan Gilsdorf writes: Once upon a time, J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings was considered a work of literary genius. But now, thanks to movie and merchandising spinoffs, the author’s reputation is foundering in a sea of commercialism. Which book was cited “greatest of the century” in several British polls? Which first two films of a trilogy grossed more than $1.8 billion worldwide? What author sold at least 100 million books — 11 million in the United States alone last year — and also wrote what has been called “the world’s most popular work of fiction”? [More]