September . . .
No matter how you count it, when September's gone the autumn is
definitely started in the northern hemisphere, and here in Denmark
the leaves are gradually turning golden. We mark the passing of
summer by remembering the death of JRR Tolkien on the second of
September 1973 and / or by celebrating _The Hobbit_ on its
publication anniversary and the birthday of the Bagginses about the
equinox (this year the equinox was on September 22).
Depending on how we count the seasons, the last moon of autumn will
rise either on Wednesday 14 November (in Copenhagen it will rise 40
minutes after the sun) or set on Thursday 13 December (in Copenhagen
this will be 32 minutes after the setting of the Sun). In either
case, the new moon and the sun will be in the sky at the same time
and it will be Durin's Day (something that occurs every year).
One of the 'Big Things' in the news this month has been the release
of a new trailer for the upcoming _Hobbit_ film. I suppose that
anyone who is interested will already have seen it, or at least know
where to find it when they have the time, so I have not linked to
the trailer or any related articles in these transactions. Otherwise
the usual disclaimers apply -- this is _my_ take, and you are
welcome to add your own findings in the comments.
This month it has suited my purposes to sort the contents under the
1: Remembrances and Tributes
3: Essays and Scholarship
4: Reviews and Book News
6: Tolkienian Artwork
7: Other Stuff
8: Rewarding Discussions
9: In Print
10: Web Sites
= = = = Remembrances and Tributes = = = =
On Sunday the 2nd of September 1973 J.R.R. Tolkien died after two
days of hospitalisation. The thirty-ninth anniversary of this, which
also fell on a Sunday, was remembered in articles etc. on the day.
Sunday Morning Almanac, _CBS News_, Sunday, 2 September 2012,
""Hobbit" creator J.R.R. Tolkien"
A video tribute with transcription.
Iran Book News Agency, Sunday, 2 September 2012, "Today's Page:
The Iranian agency under the Iran Ministry of Culture focuses on
Tolkien's literary achievement, including the posthumously published
work, which they describe as forming a connected body of work
together with _The Hobbit_ and _The Lord of the Rings_ (forgetting
_The Adventures of Tom Bombadil_ and _The Road Goes Ever On_, both
of which were also published during Tolkien's life).
Tom Golway, Monday, 3 September 2012, "Remembering JRR Tolkien"
Though presumably written on the second, this very nice piece was
posted on the third. Tom Golway celebrates Tolkien not as 'a fantasy
writer,' but rather 'as the literary genius he was.'
_The Guardian_, Monday, 3 September 2012, "From the archive, 3
September 1973: Hobbit and Lord of the Rings author J. R. R. Tolkien
On the anniversary of the article appearing in _The Guardian_, this
article is a nice example of an attempt at an even-handed obituary
Saturday the 21st of September 2012 marked the seventy-fifth
anniversary of the publication of _The Hobbit_. The date is
acclaimed as 'Hobbit Day' and the Tolkien Society's Oxonmoot is held
as close as possible to this date: this year on the date. The
following items all mark the anniversary in some way. There are a
lot of articles and postings relating to the anniversary and
anniversary activities, and a number of them I will merely list
H&S, Saturday, 22 September 2012, "Happy Hobbit Day"
I'll put this first -- themselves celebrating the anniversary, but
also surveying a lot of the articles that have appeared about it,
this post by Wayne and Christina is a very welcome start to reading
about the anniversary of _The Hobbit_.
WHTC, Monday, 10 September 2012, "Hope to Host a Reading of 'The
Hobbit' by J.R.R. Tolkien"
Hope College in Holland hosted, at its Pine Grove, a full reading of
_The Hobbit_ on Hobbit day. With readers changing every 10 minutes,
it was estimated to take 11 hours to read the whole book.
Andrew Ffrench, _Oxford Mail_, Friday, 14 September 2012, "Hobbit
fans gather to celebrate anniversary"
About this year's Oxonmoot which, serendipitously, fell on Saturday
22nd of September, the exact 75th anniversary of the publication of
_The Hobbit_. The article tells of the Oxonmoot, about Tolkien and
about some of the anniversary celebrations by Tolkien's publisher,
Kathleen O'Dell, Monday, 17 September 2012, "Tolkien Festival starts
Friday at library branches"
PC, Wednesday, 19 September 2012, "The Hobbit pocket edition to
celebrate its 75th anniversary"
What it says, really -- one of the titles being released in
connection with the anniversary is the pocket edition.
Deirdre Donahue, _USA Today_, Thursday, 20 September 2012,
"Tolkien's 'Hobbit' celebrates 75th anniversary"
Corey Olsen and Shaun Gunner quoted . . .
Matt Shaw, _The Archdale-Trinity News_, Thursday, 20 September 2012,
"It's 'The Year of the Hobbit'"
Kelly Cowling, Grey Havens Group, Thursday, 20 September 2012, "75th
Anniversary of the Publication of The Hobbit"
_The Telegraph_, Friday, 21 September 2012, "The Hobbit 75th
birthday celebrated worldwide"
Matt Buchanan and Lissa Christopher, _The Sydney Morning Herald_,
Friday, 21 September 2012, "Why everyone's talkin' Tolkien"
Bruce Walker, Friday, 21 September 2012, "Seventy-Five Years Later,
The Hobbit Still Enchants Us"
We are all enchanted by the Hobbit in different ways, and if Mr
Walker prefers to be enchanted only by the Christian themes, that
will have to be his choice, though for my own enchantment I prefer
something a bit more varied (albeit the Christian flavour is an
essential part of the Tolkienian mix).
Matthew Rosenbaum, _ABC News_, Friday, 21 September 2012, "'The
Hobbit' Turns 75"
A better piece than most -- Wayne Hammond quoted. I do suspect a
connection here ;-)
MB, Friday, 21 September 2012, "Happy 75th Birthday, Hobbit"
Amy H. Sturgiss, Saturday, 22 September 2012, "Long Live the
Halflings! Praise Them with Great Praise!"
Paul Milligan, _The Daily Mail_, Saturday, 22 September 2012, "A new
glimpse into The Hobbit: More Tolkien drawings emerge to celebrate
the 75th birthday of the classic story"
A reference to _The Art of the Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien_, but with
some nice reproductions (though miscoloured -- tinted a horrible
shade of green).
_The Independent_, Sunday, 23 September 2012, "The Blagger's Guide
To... The Hobbit"
Focusing on the films, and Andy Serkis' appearance at a Hobbit Day
celebration at the Fulham Palace Gardens, this piece mainly shows
the extent of the 75th anniversary celebrations, though it also
makes me wonder how big it would have been had there not be a film
coming out . . .
Tom Shippey, Sunday, 23 September 2012, "Tolkien Scholar Tom Shippey
reads original version of Riddles in the Dark for HobbitDay.com"
A video of Tom Shippey reading from chapter 5, 'The Riddle Game,'
from the first edition of _The Hobbit_ -- Shippey is doing voices
. . .!
Talelmarhazad, Monday, 24 September 2012, "In the Grey Havens Hall
The tale of how Hobbit Day was celebrated by the Grey Havens group
in their Hall of Fire.
_The Oxford Times_, Monday, 24 September 2012, "Tolkien fans pay
tribute at his graveside"
On Oxonmoot and Enyalië.
= = = = News = = = =
HKT, _The Wall Street Journal_, Wednesday, 5 September 2012,
"Supersizing 'The Hobbit' Spurs Debate"
Reporting briefly on the debate that has arisen in the wake of the
decision to do three films based on _The Hobbit_ (rather than the
originally planned two films).
Allen Pierleoni, _The Sacramento Bee_, Sunday, 9 September 2012,
"Between the Lines: Sac Library celebrates J.R.R. Tolkien"
The Sacramento Public Library has put together a programme of
special events in celebration of Tolkien, "Full Circle: An
Exploration of Tolkien's 'The Lord of the Rings.'" The events run
from September through December.
John Cameron, _University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary's College
Observer_, Wednesday, 12 September 2012, "Professor connects
A professor David O'Connor has lectured on 'Tolkien and Nostalgia',
drawing parallels to Homer's classic _Odyssey_. It is difficult to
assess the quality of a lecture and much less of an hypothesis based
on a short on-line summary, but as it appears in this summary, I
admit to being somewhat sceptical, though not enough to dismiss the
idea out of hand: certainly there's a nostalgia that is informing
Tolkien's work, but I am unconvinced that _The Odyssey_ is a
particularly relevant basis for a comparative study centring around
this sense of nostalgia.
Unknown, Wednesday, 12 September 2012, "LotR Cupcakes WIN"
I wonder if they also tasted nice . . . ;-)
JV, Friday, 14 September 2012, "New stamps and commemorative coin
series to celebrate Middle-earth"
I sometimes worry if I'm becoming an old grumpy f-, eh, man, but I
do occasionally feel ever so slightly nauseated by the efforts by
New Zealand to brand themselves with some imagined connection to the
work of J.R.R. Tolkien. There really is _no such relation_! Fifteen
years ago, I would have loved to visit New Zealand, but not any
longer. Middle-earth -- or at least the parts of Middle-earth where
the action of Tolkien's stories occur, is meant by Tolkien to be the
north-western part of Europe, and that is the only part of the world
that has any claim to be related to J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth
(and the English West Midlands more than anywhere else).
Tom Kennedy, _The Telegraph_, Thursday, 20 September 2012,
"Schoolboys film full-length version of The Hobbit on a shoestring"
A group of school boys from Tower House prep have created a full
feature-length film of _The Hobbit_. The trailer (which is available
with the article) shows a lot of dedication to the project.
Ian Spittlehouse, Monday, 24 September 2012, "The Final Countdown"
Posted only a week before the unveiling on 1 October, this is likely
the last post before the event. As the unveiling of the Blue Plaque
is scheduled for 11:30am on the 1st October 2012 at 2 Darnley Road,
West Park, Leeds, it will probably have already happened when this
month's transactions are published, and you should check in on the
Blue Plaque blog for a report on the actual event. Thank you to all
those who have made this possible.
Sam Casey, _Yorkshire Evening Post_, Friday, 28 September 2012,
"Leeds: Did Meanwood Valley inspire Middle Earth?"
Not so much about the question in the title, but more about Tolkien
and of course particularly his time in Leeds and the Blue Plaque set
to be unveiled on October 1st.
Paul Cole, _Sunday Mercury_, Sunday, 30 September 2012, "Hobbit fans
dismayed by state of Sarehole Mill"
It is a good thing that Sarehole Mill -- both the buildings and the
mill pond -- are being repaired, restored and generally get a
face-lift, but it is, of course, rather bad timing that the pond
should be drained and the mill itself be covered in scaffolding
covered in weather-proof sheeting for the 75th anniversary of _The
Hobbit_. On the other hand the mill will hopefully open with
improved looks before next summer, when Hobbit tourism can be
expected to rise to new heights.
= = = = Essays and Scholarship = = = =
BC, Monday, 3 September 2012, "JRR Tolkien's psychological illnesses
Bruce Charlton here argues for his theory that Tolkien suffered from
some kind of psychological illness or breakdown in the period around
1948-50. I still do not find the arguments entirely compelling -- at
least for a layman's understanding of these terms.
H&S, Tuesday, 4 September 2012, "Tolkien, Leek, and the Moorlands"
In response to the claims from Leek in Staffordshire that Tolkien
wrote parts of _The Lord of the Rings_ in a Leek pub (see the 3rd
September post from Wellinghall under 'other'). I am grateful to
Wayne and Christina for their diligent work to uphold a high
standard of evidence in biographical (and other) matters. I suppose
it's only natural for various places to wish to get a share of the
fame, but let's keep it factual, shall we.
AH, Wednesday, 5 September 2012, "A Rare Tolkienian Treasure"
On this day Andrew Higgins posted about a wonderful gift that he had
received: a genuine letter from J.R.R. Tolkien addressed 'Dear Mr
Higgins' -- how good can it get? Unfortunately he had added a
transcription of the text, which is still copyrighted (the copyright
is held by the Estate), and so he has chosen to take down the blog
Tom Shippey, _The Telegraph_, Thursday, 20 September 2012, "The
Hobbit: What has made the book such an enduring success?"
Tom Shippey writes on the success of _The Hobbit_ -- definitely a
'must read'. Also, do yourself the service to at least skim through
the comments -- there are actually some gems there (and I am _not_
speaking about my own comment here).
See also Marcel Aubron-Bülles' comments here:
MB, Saturday, 22 September 2012, "The Hobbit: What has made the book
such an enduring success?"
Corey Olsen, _The Wall Street Journal_, Friday, 21 September 2012,
"Why J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Hobbit' Isn't Just For Kids"
Another well-known Tolkien scholar speaking about _The Hobbit_. One
of the things that Olsen really wants of us is to pay more attention
to the poetry of the tales, and I must say that Olsen's comments on
the poetry (particularly in his _Hobbit_ podcast series) has made me
appreciate the poetry even more.
MB, Friday, 21 September 2012, "Tolkien: The Forest & the City.
Tolkien Conference at Trinity College, Dublin, Sept 21-22, 2012"
I really shouldn't keep reading about all the things that I cannot
go to . . .
MB, Saturday, 22 September 2012, "75 reasons why you should read
'The Hobbit' before watching the films"
I debated a lot with myself where to put this, but the array of
names so far warrant inclusion as scholarship. In this series of
post Marcel has asked a number of Tolkienists to give their answer
to the titular question. As of writing, there are answers from Brian
Sibley, Verlyn Flieger and David Bratman, and they are well worth
reading, even if, as I suspect is the case for most of my readers,
you have long since read _The Hobbit_ for yourself.
JF, Sunday, 23 September 2012, "A (late) spring harvest"
About G.B. Smith and his posthumously published collection of poems,
_A Spring Harvest_ which was edited by his two surviving TCBS
friends, J.R.R. Tolkien and Christopher Wiseman. Jason also relates
the great news that not only are a number of the poems reproduced in
full in Mark Atherton's _There and Back Again: J R R Tolkien and the
Origins of The Hobbit_, but Doug Anderson is working on a new
edition of _A Spring Harvest_.
JDR, Wednesday, 26 September 2012, "Me at Marquette (October 3rd)"
The Marquette University is hosting three events on the occasion of
the 75th anniversary of the publication of _The Hobbit_. At the
first event, on 3 October, John Rateliff will speak on 'how to
become a Tolkien scholar.' In the second event, to be held on 8
November, Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull are to speak about 'J.
R. R. Tolkien and the Art of Middle-Earth' [sic]. For more details
For a slightly different description of the topic of Rateliff's
Jackie Loohauis-Bennett, _Journal Sentinel_, Thursday, 27 September
2012, "Talk reveals how 'The Hobbit' came to Milwaukee"
where he is said to talk about how the manuscripts for _The Hobbit_
and _The Lord of the Rings_ came to rest at Marquette (though I
suppose that the talk can easily cover this as well as, or as a part
of, the topic of 'how to become a Tolkien scholar' that Rateliff
Christopher Howse, _The Telegraph_, Saturday, 29 September 2012,
"The Hobbit unearths a hoard of myths"
_The Telegraph_ comes up with one more piece of intelligent
commentary on _The Hobbit_. Little more than a week after Tom
Shippey Christopher Howse is here commenting with a focus on
mythopoesis and philology and well worth reading.
JM, September 2012, "Tolkien's Metaphysics of the Music"
In this months discussions of the metaphysics of the Music (parts 15
through 21), Jonathan McIntosh focuses on St. Thomas Aquinas'
concepts of music and beauty, going from his idea of music as a
mathematical abstraction to his views on beauty (in particular the
question of the rôle of the beholder -- the subjective and objective
elements of beauty). While interesting in its own right, the
connection to Tolkien is not always immediately obvious, but I do
look forward to see where this is leading.
= = = = Reviews and Book News = = = =
JDR, Saturday, 1 September 2012, "J. R. R. Tolkien: The Comic Book"
John Rateliff has bought the new Tolkien comic book biography for
his Kindle, but can't really read it on his B/W kindle. This is the
comic book that was reviewed by Marcel Aubron-Bülles in the last
issue (no. 361) of _Mythprint_.
PC, Monday, 3 September 2012, "There and Back Again: J R R Tolkien
and the Origins of The Hobbit"
About Mark Atherton's new book, _There and Back Again: J R R Tolkien
and the Origins of The Hobbit_, in which he aims to explore the many
inspirations and influences -- literary, historical geographical,
biographical and others -- that marked Tolkien's grand work.
JDR, Monday, 3 September 2012, "The New Arrival: PARMA Twenty"
John Rateliff has received _Parma Eldalamberon_ vol. 20 and reports
on the contents. The basis for this volume is documents written in
tengwar, but the texts themselves are generally in English. This
volume also includes some letters and some notes that the editors
have chosen to title 'Philosophical Thoughts.'
JDR, Thursday, 6 September 2012, "The New Arrivals & The New
The latest issue of _Tolkien Studies_ as well as a copy of _L'Arc et
le Heaume_ (The Bow and the Helm), the journal of the French Tolkien
society, Tolkiendil have arrived at the Rateliff home, just before
departure for England. Focus is, understandably, on Rateliff's own
contributions and reviews of his own work.
DAA, Saturday, 8 September 2012, "The Qenya Alphabet, Hrolf Kraki,
Tolkien Studies 9, etc."
Doug Anderson comments on the new _Parma Eldalamberon_, 'The Qenya
Alphabet' (vol. 20), on Robert J. Lee's illustrations for the first
chapter of _The Hobbit_ (see also Morgan Thomsen's 'Mythoi' post of
July 31st covered in the July _Transactions_ (no. XVLL)), and on
_Tolkien Studies_ vol. 9, for which he adds some book notes he had
drafted for this volume before he left the journal. A highly
Eleanor La Prade, _Delaware Newszap_, Wednesday, 12 September 2012,
"Corey Olsen to unveil companion to Tolkien's classic at Acorn
About Corey Olsen (a.k.a. "The Tolkien Professor") and his new book
about _The Hobbit_, _Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Hobbit'_. We
are reminded that Corey Olsen started his podcast series with
podcasts on _The Hobbit_ (his love for _The Hobbit_ comes, in my
opinion, through very clearly in these podcasts), and the evolution
from there to the Mythgard Institute and the new book is covered
nicely in this article / interview.
Molly Klinefelter, _Laptop_, Wednesday, 12 September 2012, "Hands-On
"The Hobbit: Enhanced Edition" E-Book for Tolkien Lovers"
The opening argument says a lot about the article itself: 'With the
anticipated release of "The Hobbit: Part 1" this December, any
self-respecting "Lord of the Rings" fan will want to brush up on his
or her knowledge of J.R.R. Tolkien's prequel ahead of time.' But
regardless of the quality of the article, the enhanced e-book
edition of _The Hobbit_ seems attractive with a number of recordings
of J.R.R. Tolkien reading or singing from the book, and with most
(if not all -- I'd have to check that more thoroughly to say for
certain) of his finished illustrations and maps in reasonable
quality. And I suppose that it is available for other readers than
the Barnes & Noble Nook.
Alfred Duggan, _Times Literary Supplement_, Thursday, 13 September
2012, "Then and Now, 1954"
_The Times Literary Supplement_ has republished Alfred Duggan's 1954
review of _The Fellowship of the Ring_. There are signs of a very
perceptive reader in his calling Tolkien's achievement 'a system of
mythology as coherent, complete and detailed as that constructed by
the ancients' and elsewhere. I am not sure if the mistakes, such as
claiming that 'their only code is the warrior's code of courage,' is
a result of having only _FotR_ and not the whole story.
Nancy-Lou Patterson, _Mythlore_, Friday, 14 September 2012, "The
An old (first published in _Mythlore_ 20 from the spring of 1979)
review of C.S. Lewis' _The Joyful Christian_, which is a collection
/ anthology of devotional quotations that the reviewer rather
Nancy-Lou Patterson, _Mythlore_, Tuesday, 18 September 2012, "Lewis
The 1982 _Mythlore_ (no. 31) review of C.S. Lewis' _The Visionary
Christian_; another collection of quotations from C.S. Lewis.
JDR, Friday, 28 September 2012, "The New Arrival / I Am
Most of this post is taken up of a discussion of the new Latin
translation of _The Hobbit_, _Hobbitus Ille_, but with a couple of
hints of other things that we may hear more about later.
= = = = Interviews = = = =
PC, Wednesday, 5 September 2012, "Interview with Dr. Dimitra Fimi on
lecturing online Tolkien courses"
A wonderful interview with Tolkien scholar Dimitra Fimi from the
Cardiff Metropolitan University about her love for, and history
with, Tolkien's work, and her own work on Tolkien, including the
on-line courses that she teaches.
= = = = Tolkienian Artwork = = = =
JD, Monday, 3 September 2012, "Maglor Sketch"
This is one of Jenny Dolfen's sketches of Fëanorians. Jenny seems
fascinated with the First Age Elves -- in particular the Fëanorians,
but also Olwë and others (Eärendil also counts, I suppose), which is
one of the things that I in my turn finds fascinating by her
artwork: there has, as far as I am aware, been little effort to
portray the people of _The Silmarillion_ (the scenes, the monsters
and the landscapes, yes but little work on the people). See also
the following work.
Tuesday, 4 September 2012, "Olwë of Alqualondë"
Friday, 7 September 2012, "Fëanorean sketchdump"
Andres Jauregui, _Huffington Post_, Tuesday, 4 September 2012, "Jian
Guo 'Lord Of The Rings' Stained Glass Designs Look Straight Out Of
No doubt this is where it started, though this is where I saw it
last ;) Though Chinese fan artist Jian Guo has been making and
publishing these pictures at least since 2011, they got the
attention of a much wider circle when they were advertised in
Huffington Post. The pictures are created as stained glass images
based on Peter Jackson's imagery.
Rosie Best, Tuesday, 4 September 2012, "Lord Of The Rings Stained
This was the first that I saw -- shared on Facebook.
JDR, Tuesday, 4 September 2012, "Tolkien-inspired Stained Glass"
And John Rateliff has also seen this . . .
Jian Guo, "LOTR Gallery"
The artist's gallery of stained-glass-style images based on Peter
Jackson's /LotR/ trilogy.
Jenny Wotherspoon, _Sky: Tyne and Wear_, Tuesday, 11 September 2012,
"Success For Tolkien-Inspired Artist Jay Johnstone After Lord Of The
Rings Characters Appear In Dream"
A story about Tolkien-inspired artist Jay Johnstone (see also the
Tolkien Library interview in the July _Transactions_ -- no. XXVII).
Johnstone is using a medieval style to create his iconic
Tolkien-inspired artwork, which I think is highly appropriate to the
subject. Creating character portraits as icons is both original and
gives the impression of 'a great abyss of time, not measurable even
by _twe tusend Johr_,' (Tolkien, 'On Fairy-Stories') and though the
implication of holiness that is created by the addition of aureoles
to the portraits may seem to some sacrilegious, I think it is a fine
way to reflect the 'larger than life' status that the heroes of the
War of the Ring must have attained in the Fourth Age. See also the
Paul Tankard, _Times Literary Supplement_, Wednesday, 12 September
2012, "An unknown vision of Middle-earth"
An interesting, and moving, account of the artist Mary Fairburn and
her illustrations of _The Lord of the Rings_ and Tolkien's response
to them. In 1968 Tolkien praised her work for showing 'far more
attention to the text than any that have yet been submitted to me'
and said that he was beginning to 'think that an illustrated edition
might be a good thing.' This, it would seem to me, is very high
There is one picture reproduced in the article, and another is
JV, Monday, 17 September 2012, "University researcher uncovers
long-lost Lord of the Rings illustrations"
John Gibb, _Otago Daily Times_, Tuesday, 18 September 2012, "'Lord
of the Rings' paintings unearthed"
As well as
_Phys Org_, Tuesday, 18 September 2012, "Previously undiscovered
'Lord of the Rings' illustrations unearthed by literary researcher"
JD, Saturday, 22 September 2012, "Because Thorin is a *Dwarf*!"
That he is, Jenny, that he is! And I really do like this
envisioning of him :)
Celedor, Saturday, 22 September 2012, "Matchstick Minas Tirith
Creator Tells All"
For me, this matchstick model of Minas Tirith is certainly a piece
of art, though I suppose that my opinion may be debatable :-)
Still, by whatever name you call it, it is impressive.
= = = = Other Stuff = = = =
AW, Monday, 3 September 2012, "Tolkien slept here"
This time about the claim that Tolkien is 'believed to have written
much of Lord Of The Rings while downing cask ales in what was The
Green Dragon' -- of Leek, Staffordshire. While there is evidence
that Tolkien spent some time in Staffordshire during the First World
War, I know of no evidence that he spent any time in this Green
Dragon (one of numerous pubs and inns of that name in England). See
also Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull on the 4th.
PC, Wednesday, 5 September 2012, "Fifteen places named after J.R.R.
Tolkien to honour the author"
From an asteroid and the creater on Mercury over streets and a
schooner (!) to hotel rooms and a tree; fifteen places named after
J.R.R. Tolkien. A fun and interesting list.
JF, Wednesday, 5 September 2012, "Teaching Tolkien, revisited"
Teaching Tolkien at various levels of university gathers more and
more attention in Tolkien circles. The recent Return of the Ring
conference was attended by several teachers, some of whom also gave
presentations where their teaching experiences if not were the main
subject then at least heavily informed the presentation, and more
and more papers are published on this topic. The immediate and
personal interest that Jason Fisher has with this post is that the
book he edited and contributed to, _Tolkien and the Study of His
Sources_, has been assigned at an undergraduate Tolkien seminar, and
he looks at the course planning and what context the essays of his
books will used in.
Lauren Davis, _IO9_, Saturday, 8 September 2012, "Listen to J.R.R.
Tolkien read his poem _Namárië_ in Elvish"
I do wonder about the copyrights here . . .? In any case, this page
has collected three performances of the Quenya poem _Namarië_
(Galadriel's lament, found in book II ch. 10): spoken by Tolkien
himself, the chanted version by Donald Swann and a version to music
by Martin Romberg. Personally I am also quite fond of the version by
the Tolkien Ensemble, which can (of course) be found on YouTube:
> though I think the tune
probably works better with the English version.
H&S, Sunday, 9 September 2012, "Our Collections: Pauline Baynes"
A history and description of Christina Scull and Wayne Hammond's
collection of artwork by Pauline Baynes.
DB, Tuesday, 11 September 2012, "cram"
On why having a second breakfast might be a good way to celebrate
Tolkien's _The Hobbit_, while calling it 'Second Breakfast' is not.
David Bratman once more demonstrates why his 'Year's Work' surveys
in _Tolkien Studies_ were often the first part that readers turned
to (or the second part when new original documents were published).
Amber Williams, _Wired.com_, Tuesday, 11 September 2012,
"Middle-Earth Maven Creates Massive LOTR Family Tree"
Another article about Emil Johansson's 'The Lord of the Rings
>). The maps and the timeline ideas
are absolutely wonderful, though I have some reservations about the
character genealogies (I think that the conflation of many sources
creates a gross misrepresentation of Tolkien's conception) and,
speaking as a professional data analyst, some of the statistics
should never have been made and much less published.
JDR, Monday, 24 September 2012, "Tonight, I Lecture"
John Rateliff is giving lectures for the Mythgard Institute about
the writing of _The Hobbit_. He follows up with a report on how it
went ('Well, that went well,' Tuesday, 25 September 2012) and on the
second lecture ('Another lecture,' Thursday, 27 September 2012).
These reports, with the questions from the students and the ensuing
discussions, are really the more interesting, so do yourself the
favour to find them and read them.
MB, Thursday, 27 September 2012, "Why the 'film purists' and the
'book purists' will never understand each other -- on how (not) to
appreciate Peter Jackson's work"
A sober and well-written look at the differences in perspective
between those who adore Jackson's films and those who adore
Tolkien's books. I am sure that there are lots of nuances that
Marcel doesn't get into in this, but as an attempt at asserting a
paradigmatic approach to three different perspectives, I think he
does a good job.
AW, Thursday, 27 September 2012, "Oxonmoot lego"
Obviously they were playing with _LotR_ Legos at Oxonmoot, and
Andrew Wells was dutifully taking pictures -- thank you!
AW, Friday, 28 September 2012, "Tolkien slept here"
More links in 'Wellinghall's' series of 'Tolkien slept here' posts
-- some of these things are quite genuine, but in many situations
varius claims are made for which there is no supporting evidence. As
a child I spent many summer weeks in the Swedish Dalarna (lit. 'The
Valleys') through which the Swedish King Gustav Wasa fled to escape
Danish troops in the sixteenth century -- and if he had really slept
in all the places that claimed so, he would never have managed to
stay ahead of the Danish troops. I am always reminded of this story
whenever seeing the 'Tolkien slept here' headline, and I always
remember the lesson about not simply accepting the claims as true.
MB, Saturday, 29 September 2012, "Upcoming Category: International
Announcing a category of postings to his _Tolkienist_ blog, Marcel
Aubron-Bülles also wishes to celebrate all those good people working
in various voluntary jobs in the many Tolkien societies, smials etc.
DB, Sunday, 30 September 2012, "reasons to read The Hobbit"
David Bratman here links to his post in the "75 reasons why you
should read "The Hobbit" before watching the films" series at Marcel
Aubron-Bülles' Tolkienist blog and also shares his reminiscences of
encountering _The Hobbit_ (also published in this month's
= = = = Rewarding Discussions = = = =
"Why Dol Guldur"
A story-internal discussion of why Sauron chose to settle in
southern Mirkwood when he began to take shape again after his defeat
to Gil-galad, Elendil and Isildur.
"more musings ....."
A discussion about Rings of power -- and also with the many
side-tracks such discussions often get themselves into.
"The lesser rings of power's use by Sauron?"
This ties in nicely with the thread above, dealing with some of the
Another story-internal discussion, this one on how to interpret the
disappearing carcasses of the wargs that attacked the Company of the
Ring in Eregion (after their failed attempt to cross high passes of
"The Lithe - Welsh?"
Some excellent commentary on a suggestion propounded by Mark Hooker
in his book _Tolkien and Welsh_. Not much discussion, but very much
= = = = In Print = = = =
_Beyond Bree_ September 2012
This issue opens with reports from 'The Return of the Ring'
conference in Loughborough (see also last month's _Transactions_)
with Nancy Martsch providing links to my report (thank you, Nancy!)
and to Kristin Thomsen's report at TheOneRing.net:
_Beyond Bree_ (_BB_) adds the first part of a report by Bruce
Leonard, and various notes relating to this such as letters from
other participants, a review of the arts catalogue and a report on
the _Beyond Bree_ awards that were presented at the conference.
_Amon Hen_ no. 237, September 2012
The highlights of this issue are reports from the Return of the Ring
by Julie Sinclair and Bob Blackham, some musings on the death of
Lalia Took by Murray Smith and reviews of the Irish Hobbit (_An
Hobad_) including transliteration of runic inscriptions in the
_Conversation with Smaug_ illustrations. I am normally impervious to
the attraction of fan fiction, but recognizing the author's name
fondly, I decided to nonetheless read a small piece set in the last
years of masters Meriadoc and Peregrin after their arrival in Minas
Tirith and was positively surprised.
_Mythprint_ vol.49 no.9, September 2012, whole no. 362
This issue of _Mythprint_ is a _Hobbit_ celebration special issue --
it features a series of reminiscences about reading _The Hobbit_ and
about translations of the book (four pages in all), as well as an
interview with Mark Walker (the translator of the Latin version,
_Hobbitus Ille_ -- in addition to talking about choices in the
translation, the interview also gives examples of songs in Latin),
reflections on the opening to _The Hobbit_ by Mike Foster (for me
this piece lacks a focus, and it seems to go in too many directions
at once) and David Oberhelman's positive (though not enthusiastic)
review of Corey Olsen's book about _The Hobbit_.
= = = = Web Sites = = = =
"The JRR Tolkien inspired art of Jay Johnstone"
Website for the Tolkien art of Jay Johnstone where you can see the
pieces and buy prints and originals.
"Blue Plaque for Tolkien in Leeds"
Ian Spittlehouse's blog about the efforts to get a Blue Plaque for
Tolkien in Leeds . Planned to be unveiled on October 1st, reports
from the unveiling are likely to have been posted when these
transactions are posted, or be posted shortly thereafter.
"Heart of England"
No new posts since November 2011, so why include it? Well, there's
some posts with a clear Tolkienian angle: posts on Dormton and Bag
End, on Warwick (and on Warwick Castle), and even a Tolkien
biography post nicely illustrated with photos of places relevant to
Tolkien and the blog (a pity that Rayner Unwin's name is
consistently misspelled "Raynor").
"The Mythgard WikiMoot"
A wiki for and by the students at the Mythgard Institute. The focus
is on a critical approach rather than the story-internal approach of
e.g. the Tolkien Gateway (or the inconsistent mix of approaches in
the Wikipedia). While still limited in articles, the contents are
generally of a good standard. A sample article could be the one
about the Kalevala (where relevant all titles should be read as
succeeded by an unstated 'and Tolkien'):
"The Noldorin Herald"
A blog by Joseph Bradford on the My Middle-earth site
New blog created by Marcel Aubron-Bülles
"The Tolkien Ensemble"
A site dedicated to The Tolkien Ensemble. The site is in German,
though the ensemble is Danish and English. On the "Musik" sub-page
you can, legally, find trials of several of their songs. The Tolkien
Ensemble were the last (though certainly not the only) to achieve
permission from the Tolken Estate to put their own music to
Tolkien's poems and publish (and sell) that music before the Estate
ceased to give such permissions (being swamped with requests).
Composer and Tolkien fan Martin Romberg has created a number of
pieces in a classical tradition inspired by Tolkien's works.
"MythCon 35 Guest of Honour Speech"
A copy of the speech Neil Gaiman gave at MythCon 35 (2004) about the
influence upon him of C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton and J.R.R.
= = = = Sources = = = =
John D. Rateliff (JDR) -- "Sacnoth's Scriptorium"
Jason Fisher (JF) -- "Lingwë -- Musings of a Fish"
Michael Drout (MD) -- "Wormtalk and Slugspeak"
Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull (H&S) -- "Too Many Books and
Pieter Collier (PC) -- "The Tolkien Library"
Douglas A. Anderson (DAA) et Al. -- "Wormwoodiana"
Corey Olsen (CO), "The Tolkien Professor"
David Bratman (DB), "Kalimac"
and the old home:
Larry Swain (LS), "The Ruminate"
Andrew Wells (AW), "Musings of an Aging Fan"
Various, 'The Northeast Tolkien Society' (NETS), "Heren Istarion"
Bruce Charlton (BC), "Tolkien's The Notion Club Papers"
Marcel R. Aubron-Bülles (MB), "The Tolkienist"
Andrew Higgins (AH), "Wotan's Musings"
Various, The Mythopoeic Society
Henry Gee (HG) 'cromercrox', "The End of the Pier Show"
Jonathan S. McIntosh (JM), "The Flame Imperishable"
Morgan Thomsen (MT), "Mythoi"
Steuard Jensen (SJ), "Strings, Rings, and Other Things"
John Howe (JH)
Jenny Dolfen (JD)
Nancy Marie Brown (NMB), "God of Wednesday"
Josh Vogt (JV), "Tolkien Examiner"
David Simmons (DS), "Aiya Ilúvatar"
Michael Martinez (MM), "Tolkien Studies Blog"
Michael Martinez (MM), "Middle-earth"
Troels Forchhammer (TF), "Parma-kenta"
_Mythprint_ -- 'The Monthly Bulletin of the Mythopoeic Society'
_Amon Hen_ -- the Bulletin of the Tolkien Society
_Beyond Bree_ -- the newsletter of the Tolkien Special Interest
Group of the Americal Mensa
- and others
Valid e-mail is <troelsfo(a)gmail.com
Please put [AFT], [RABT] or 'Tolkien' in subject.
It is useless to meet revenge with revenge: it will heal
- Frodo Baggins, /The Return of the King/ (J.R.R. Tolkien)