sub-creator n.

J. R. R. Tolkien's word for: a person who creates a secondary world (see sub-creation n.); (later also more generally) an author regarded as occupying the position of God in relation to his or her own fictional creation

SF Criticism

  • 1947 J. R. R. Tolkien On Fairy-Stories in Essays Presented to C. Williams 51 J. R. R. Tolkien

    The story-maker proves a successful โ€˜sub-creatorโ€™. He makes a Secondary World which your mind can enter.

  • 1951 J. R. R. Tolkien Letter in H. Carpenter Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien (1995) 145 J. R. R. Tolkien

    It may become possessive, clinging to the things made as โ€˜ย˜its ownโ€™, the sub-creator wishes to be the Lord and God of his private creation.

  • 1951 J. R. R. Tolkien Letter in H. Carpenter Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien (1995) 194 J. R. R. Tolkien

    The right to โ€˜ย˜freedomโ€™ of the sub-creator is no guarantee among fallen men that it will not be used as wickedly as is Free Will.

  • 1972 P. H. Kocher Master of Middle-Earth (1973) vii. 201

    The sub-creator of secondary worlds of fantasy at the height of his inspiration.

  • 1999 R. Harland Literary Theory from Plato to Barthes iii. 35

    As divinely inspired sub-creator, the poet must follow God, the supreme creator, in dispensing morally appropriate rewards and punishments.

Earliest cite

J.R.R. Tolkien, 'On Fairy-Stories'

Last modified 2020-12-21 22:54:32
In the compilation of some entries, HDSF has drawn extensively on corresponding entries in OED.