Tolkien Transactions XXXI

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Troels Forchhammer

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Dec 2, 2012, 4:09:30 PM12/2/12
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November 2012

So, November has gone and as I write this, Denmark has been
decorated with a very beautiful white blanket.

In another part of the world, summer has started and the new
_Hobbit_ film has already premiered. In due time I will go and watch
it with my family, but compared to how much this has dominated the
internet news referring to Tolkien (quite often erroneously
conflating Jackson fans and Tolkien fans), you will find relatively
little in these transactions referrring to the film.

Oh, and have a merry midwinter celebration.

This month it has suited my purposes to sort the contents under the
following headlines:
1: News
2: Essays and Scholarship
3: Reviews and Book News
4: Interviews
5: Tolkienian Artwork
6: Other Stuff
7: Rewarding Discussions
8: In Print
9: Web Sites
10: Sources

= = = = News = = = =

_Bangkok Post_, Monday, 5 November 2012, "New Zealand out to mine
tourist magic from Hobbit movies" <http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/world/319611/new-zealand-out-to-mine-tourist-magic-from-hobbit-movies>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/bpd97nl>
Let's set one thing straight before continuing: the action of
Tolkien's Middle-earth books is centred around the north-western
parts of Europe, and though the correspondance is not one-to-one,
this is the only area that is truly associated with Tolkien's
Middle-earth. That said, there is nothing new in the attempts by New
Zealand tourism to cash in on the film locations from Jackson's
films, though I can still be a little surprised at the deliberate
cynicism of it all.

Damien Gayle, _Daily Mail_, Wednesday, 7 November 2012, "The Sauron
dinosaur: Palaeontologists name beast after Tolkien's demonic
creation after it is identified from just its eye-socket"
<http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2229159/The-Sauron-dinosaur-Palaeontologists-beast-Tolkiens-demonic-creation-identified-just-eye-socket.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/c4ndocl>
Aargh! The worst thing is that the poor paleeontologists probably
think they are honouring Tolkien this way. The irony is of course
two-fold: first of all Tolkien firmly (and convincingly) rejected
any connection between the Sindarin 'saur-' element in Sauron and
the Greek _saura_ (_Letters_ no. 297), and secondly the 'Eye of
Sauron' is a metaphor -- Sauron was physically embodied in a
humanoid form during the War of the Ring. Now, however, I just
wonder how long it will be before we hear that Saul Zaentz Company
tries to prevent palaeontologist Andrea Cau from giving any talk
containing 'Sauron' or 'Sauroniops' . . .

Matia Burnett, _Publishers Weekly_, Thursday, 8 November 2012,
"Movie Alert: 'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey'"
<http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-book-news/article/54658-movie-alert-the-hobbit-an-unexpected-journey.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/bp9n7s6>
Despite the titular reference to the upcoming Jackson film, this
article also gives an overview of other related items, including
some of Houghton Mifflin's Tolkien-related portfolio.

Helen O'Hara, _Empire_, Tuesday, 13 November 2012, "Listen To The
Complete Hobbit Soundtrack"
<http://www.empireonline.com/news/story.asp?NID=35757>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/ad4eo48>
This is essentially what it says -- a chance to listen to the full 1
hour 45 minutes soundtrack of the upcoming _The Hobbit_ film --
having listened I am neither particularly impressed nor particularly
disappointed.

JV, Wednesday, 14 November 2012, "Prince Charles gets a birthday
tour of 'The Hobbit'"
<http://www.examiner.com/article/prince-charles-gets-a-birthday-tour-of-the-hobbit>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/ccbqnk5>
It would seem that Prince Charles had a good birthday visiting the
studios of _The Hobbit_ films, including an oath of fealty from Dori
(I wonder if either has any idea what such an oath would actually
mean in Middle-earth). But good to read that the prince had a good
day.

Nathan Vickers, _Ozarks First_, Wednesday, 14 November 2012,
"Tolkien Series is Front and Center at Springfield Libraries This
Fall"
<http://ozarksfirst.com/fulltext?nxd_id=728662>
The story about the Tolkien Festival 2012 in the Greene County
Libraries this autumn. It is good to see Tolkien's work getting
attention, and I have always found that libraries are at least
semi-magic places.

Greg Garrison, Thursday, 15 November 2012, "Samford University opens
exhibit honoring 'Hobbit' author Tolkien 40 years after his death"
<http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2012/11/samford_university_opens_exhib.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/c7dxpxk>
So, the Samford University Library has an exhibition about Tolkien
commemorating the 40th anniversary of his death next September --
well, if you're in Birmingham you might want to go and see it as
it's open to the public. Birmingham, Alabama, that is ;) I do hope,
though, that the exhibition itself is less focused on Jackson than
the article and more on Tolkien himself, but who knows -- I suppose
the library knows their audience better than I.

Nick Clark, _The Independent_, Monday, 19 November 2012, "Peta to
picket The Hobbit premiere after whistleblower reveals 'preventable'
deaths and 'needless suffering' of animals on set"
<http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/peta-to-picket-the-hobbit-premiere-after-whistleblower-reveals-preventable-deaths-and-needless-suffering-of-animals-on-set-8329326.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/c5zl9k8>
About the PETA allegations that animals were hurt due to their being
involved in the Hobbit film -- allegations that the producers (i.e.
Jackson et Al.) reject -- or at least put in a very different light
(depending on which newsstory you read). This is one of two
Tolkien-related stories that have received quite a lot of attention
this month (try searching Google News for "PETA Hobbit Jackson" . .
.).
See also Nick Perry, _Associated Press_, Tuesday, 20 November 2012,
"Wranglers say 'Hobbit' animals died on unsafe farm"
<http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5iwzBws7kM3yIZYMStMp4OKWbKPMg?docId=0b7672a9638f4426b7dce3b7c52bbd22>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/c694b3g>
and BBC, Tuesday, 20 November 2012, "The Hobbit producers deny
animal mistreatment claims"
<http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-20406456>
and finally Tim Kenneally and Brent Lang, Reuters, _Chicago
Tribune_, Wednesday, 21 November 2012, ""The Hobbit" animal-death
story: new line, Warner Bros. back Peter Jackson"
<http://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/sns-rt-us-thehobbit-animalsbre8ak12i-20121121,0,2459255.story>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/crv9ub5>
And finally, Reg Little, _Oxford Times_, Thursday, 29 November 2012,
"'Don't sully the image of Tolkien's work'"
<http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk/news/yourtown/oxford/10076269._Don_t_sully_the_image_of_Tolkien_s_work_/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/d6tz46h>
In which members of the Tolkien Society express their opinion of the
conflict. There are, of course, many, many more stories about this,
but I think these will give the whole picture.

Dominic Patten, _Deadline_, Monday, 19 November 2012, "Warner Bros
Sued For $80M By J.R.R Tolkien Estate & Publisher"
<http://www.deadline.com/2012/11/warner-bros-sued-for-80m-by-j-r-r-tolkien-estate-publisher/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/cblr7rk>
This is the other big story, and curiously it broke at just about
the same time as the story above. The Tolkien Estate and Harper
Collins Publishers have sued Warner Bros. and the Saul Zaentz
Company (SZC) over their use of digital rights, which the Estate and
Harper Collins claim are not included in the original contract in
which Tolkien sold the rights to films and related merchandise based
on _The Hobbit_ and _The Lord of the Rings_. The triggering factor
appears to have been particularly outrageous on-line slot machines
and similar games, which have caused some outrage in the on-line
Tolkien fan community, but the lawsuit also mentions (e.g. �57)
other examples of the SZC having "slowly and consistently, begun to
expand its trademark program to encroach upon areas of merchandise
exploitation reserved to the plaintiffs" (pardon my legalese). I
have long advocated that the grotesque attempts by the SZC to extend
their claims beyond reason would need to be curtailed, and if this
is what it takes, then I'll welcome it: I will certainly be rooting
for the Estate in this (and if their winning will mean that I have
to purchase a set of CDs in order to play _The Lord of the Rings
On-line_ (LOTRO), I am sure that I will survive that as well).
See also Matthew Belloni, _Hollywood Reporter, Monday, 19 November
2012, "Tolkien Estate Sues Warner Bros. Over 'Lord of the Rings'
Slot Machines (Exclusive)"
<http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr-esq/tolkien-estate-sues-warner-bros-393212>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/cuqu8r8>
And Allison Flood, _The Guardian_, Tuesday, 20 November 2012,
"Tolkien estate sues Hobbit producers over video and gambling
games"
<http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/nov/20/tolkien-estate-sues-hobbit-producers>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/bv35ktq>
As well as Erik Wecks, _Wired_, Wednesday, 21 November 2012, "The
Tolkien Estate Sues to Protect Their Precious"
<http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2012/11/tolkien-lawsuit/>
The latter including a sober analysis from a fan perspective (sober,
of course, because I mostly agree . . . ;-) )
You might also wish to see John Rateliff's comments, Friday, 23
November 2012, "Pushback (Tolkien Lawsuit)"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.dk/2012/11/pushback-tolkien-lawsuit.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/bnbljfp>

_Santa Clarita Valley Signal, Monday, 26 November 2012, "City
libraries embrace 'The Hobbit'"
<http://www.the-signal.com/section/36/article/81907/>
Libraries all over are taking advantage of the films to host events
about the book.

Elena Cresci, Wednesday, 28 November 2012, "Farnham artist's Tolkien
and Narnia work on display"
<http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/s/2124851_farnham_artists_tolkien_and_narnia_work_on_display>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/clqfa54>
About an exhibition of artwork by Pauline Baynes in Farnham running
from December 1st to January 12th. If you're in town and has time, I
am sure that we are many who would appreciate a report and a list of
the works that are on display.


= = = = Essays and Scholarship = = = =

JM, "Tolkien's Metaphysics of the Music"
<http://jonathansmcintosh.wordpress.com/category/j-r-r-tolkien/metaphysics-of-faerie/metaphysics-of-the-music/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/8fkmw4k>
November started with a discussion of the role of the Vision (parts
27 and 28), with McIntosh arguing the superiority of the Vision
(despite its incompleteness). In part 29 he looks into the theodicy
of the Music, and in part 30 he returns to the superiority of the
Vision, which he argues can be seen in the conversation of Eru and
Ulmo about water, and the superiority of the Vision is investigated
further in part 31. Part 32 appears to have been lost, but in parts
33 through 36, McIntosh argues that there is a movement from the
focus on Eru and themselves in the Ainur's performance of the Music
to an awakening interest in, and love for, the idea of 'the other'
that is introduced in the Vision and of course realized in the
actual Creation. This love -- or desire -- for the other is likened
to 'pure' natural science through the character of Tom Bombadil
(part 34), and is placed on a 'trajectory from intelligible potency
to existing actuality' (part 35) before the desire for the actuality
of the other is itself taken up in part 36. In parts 37 through 42
McIntosh makes a side-track into a discussion of dream vs. reality
that is based on Tolkien's comments in 'On Fairy-stories' about the
use of dream as the framing device for a story. Despite some
interesting comments about contrasts between the saints Augustine
and Acquinas, I am not convinced that Tolkien's comments in OFS are
relevant in the context they are given here. In part 43 McIntosh
summarizes his arguments up to that point.

Various (_The Tolkienist_), October 2012, "75 reasons why you should
read "The Hobbit" before watching the films"
<http://www.thetolkienist.com/2012/09/22/75-reasons-why-you-should-read-the-hobbit-before-watching-the-films/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/8uu5hzp>
This month Doug Anderson (Oct. 5th) argues that any work of
literature that is worth making into a film is generally also worth
reading before watching the film. Dimitra Fimi (12th) reminds us of
the light-heartedness of _The Hobbit_, which is also reflected in
the mishmash of influences on the book: we should read this story
because of its uniqueness in Tolkien's Ardarin writings, a
uniqueness that is very unlikely to be translated to the
film-version. Michael Drout (23rd) writes about the meeting, the
clash, and the interactions of the heroic and bourgeois worlds in
_The Hobbit_ -- about Tolkien's excellent balancing where each
'world' becomes wiser and enriched by their contact.

Michael Cheang, Sunday, 4 November 2012, "Taste the original first"
<http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2012/11/4/lifebookshelf/12259252>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/c4gf8bb>
Another article arguing that people should read the book before
watching the film(s), Michael Cheang urges his readers to read the
book before watching the film, because he thinks _The Hobbit_ 'truly
deserves to be seen through your own imagination so that you can
form your own idea and impression of the characters and rich details
before the movie does it for you.'

Robert Rodi, Monday, 5 November 2012, "Geek love: How a fantasy
hater fell in love with J.R.R. Tolkien"
<http://www.salon.com/2012/11/04/geek_love_how_a_fantasy_hater_fell_in_love_with_j_r_r_tolkien/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/bgrp98d>
Author Robert Rodi has looked inside himself and found that his love
for Tolkien's books is rooted in a fascination with the Englishness
of Tolkien's world. Rodi claims that all Americans are 'a little bit
English' and that they all have 'a corresponding desire - even a
need - to nourish that part of ourselves.' His claim is of course
that Tolkien is capable of satisfying that need. Unfortunately this
doesn't tell us anything about why _The Lord of the Rings_ is so
popular in many other places around the world, some of which have no
reason to love the English.

H&S, Tuesday, 6 November 2012, "The 'Father Christmas' Letters"
<http://wayneandchristina.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/the-father-christmas-letters-4/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/c5yaq5z>
An overview of the publication history of the _Father Christmas
Letters_ by Christina Scull, with comments relating to the quality
of the pictures in various editions, the transcribed texts, and the
number of letters & pictures. Fully living up to the quality we have
come to expect of Hammond & Scull research.

JDR, Thursday, 8 November 2012, "Glimpses of Helen Buckhurst"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.dk/2012/11/glimpses-of-helen-buckhurst.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/c9pb497>
A tracing of a few glimpses of Helen Buckhurst, Priscilla Tolkien's
godmother and recipient of presentation copies of both _The Hobbit_
and _The Lord of the Rings_. Along the way there is also some
interesting glimpses of Tolkien's relations to the women's colleges
in Oxford.

BC, Friday, 9 November 2012, "What is the point of the tale of Turin
Turambar?"
<http://notionclubpapers.blogspot.dk/2012/11/what-is-point-of-tale-of-turin-turambar.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/c28bb2v>
I cannot follow Charlton in this religious allegory reading of the
tale of T�rin Turambar. First of all the real 'origin' of the T�rin
story is not in the Book of Lost Tales, but in Tolkien's retelling
of the Kullervo story from the Kalevala where there is no such offer
of hope at the end, and secondly I think this denies Tolkien's
admiration for the idea of fighting evil _without hope_ that he
found in the Nordic myths and legends.

Il, Saturday, 10 November 2012, "Eucatastrophe, Discatastrophe and
the destruction of the Ring"
<http://ilverai.wordpress.com/2012/11/10/eucatastrophe-discatastrophe-and-the-destruction-of-the-ring/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/cgp8gjt>
While I cannot agree entirely with this analysis of eucatastrophe
and dyscatastrophe in _The Lord of the Rings_, Ilverai nonetheless
makes some intersting points along the way. The pattern of minor
turns, either up or down, has been noted before, but warrants
repeating, but the very explicitly Christian reading of
eucatastrophe is, in my understanding, a misunderstanding of how
Tolkien used this concept.

MM, Monday, 12 November 2012, "The Sauron Strategies: Footsteps Into
Failure"
<http://middle-earth.xenite.org/2012/11/12/the-sauron-strategies-footsteps-into-failure/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/ca9ynca>
In this essay Michael Martinez goes through Sauron's strategies in
the Second Age in some depth, showing how Sauron was trying to adapt
to changing circumstances.

NMB, Wednesday, 14 November 2012, "Seven Norse Myths We Wouldn't
Have Without Snorri"
<http://nancymariebrown.blogspot.dk/2012/11/seven-norse-myths-we-wouldnt-have.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/dxymkun>
Basically Nancy Marie Brown claims that the reason we wouldn't have
these myths is not just because Snorri's _Edda_ is the only
surviving source for them, but that Snorri invented some or all of
them to fill gaps in the then current knowledge of actual Old Norse
mythology. Old Snorri practicing mythopoeisis and his myths then
later becoming taken up in the modern mythopoetic work of J.R.R.
Tolkien -- what a fascinating thought!

NMB, Wednesday, 21 November 2012, "Seven Norse Myths We Wouldn't
Have Without Snorri: Part II"
<http://nancymariebrown.blogspot.dk/2012/11/seven-norse-myths-we-wouldnt-have_21.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/cwh2vt2>
About Odin, Snorri's Odin, who might be more a figure of Snorri's
invention (or perhaps 'happy interpolation' would be a kinder way to
put it) than of Snorri's sources. Other known sources are, in any
case, very brief on the matter of Odin -- only in Snorri's _Edda_
and _Heimskringla_ do we find any substantial information. I do
wonder what Tolkien would have thought of Nancy Marie Brown's ideas,
though I actually suspect that he would have been sympathetic: his
own attempt to interpolate and straighten up the V�lsungasaga at
least suggests as much to me.

JDR, Saturday, 24 November 2012, "Tolkien Sings"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/2012/11/tolkien-sings.html>
Discussion of newly published recordings of Tolkien reading and
singing from _The Hobbit_ -- including a link to Tolkien singing the
"Chip the glasses and crack the plates" song from the first chapter.
Rateliff also discusses the dating of these recordings and what they
may mean to his book, _The History of The Hobbit_. (See also the
post listed under books for November 19th)

NMB, Wednesday, 28 November 2012, "Saga Sites"
<http://nancymariebrown.blogspot.dk/2012/11/saga-sites.html>
About Iceland, the sites from the sagas that can still be visited,
and not least how Snorri Sturlason came to receive a good
education.

Jonathan Jones, _The Guardian_, Thursday 29 November 2012, "Why
Tolkien was a fine modern artist"
<http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/jonathanjonesblog/2012/nov/29/jrr-tolkien-fine-modern-artist>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/cfcqpr8>
Jones takes a look at Tolkien's illustrations for his own stories,
which were mainly for _The Hobbit_, and judges the _Hobbit_ pictures
to be 'beautiful works of art' that are 'subtle, even abstract', and
he finds Tolkien a 'a fine modern artist'. While I do agree that
Tolkien's better pieces are very good, I would also have to admit
that his range is rather limited by his lack of technical skill in
some areas (notably in drawing people).

JF, Friday, 30 November 2012, "Reconstructed lexis in Tolkien's
Middle English Vocabulary"
<http://lingwe.blogspot.dk/2012/11/reconstructed-lexis-in-tolkiens-middle.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/cju2dvz>
Having himself missed such a list, Jason Fisher has compiled, and
kindly published, a list of the reconstructed words (the
'asterisk-words') that Tolkien made (i.e. that are Tolkien's
reconstructions) for his Middle English Vocabulary, which was
originally made to accompany Kenneth Sisam's collection of Middle
English poetry, _Fourteenth Century Verse and Prose_. The list
comprises asterisk forms in Old English (West Saxon), Old Kentish,
Middle English, Old French and Old Norse.


= = = = Reviews and Book News = = = =

_Abingdon Press_, Thursday, 1 November 2012, "About the Book and
Author"
<http://www.patheos.com/Books/Book-Club/Devin-Brown-The-Christian-World-of-The-Hobbit/About-the-Book-and-Author-11-01-2012.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/cyowgm2>
The praise in this piece is so thick that it's hard to take it
seriously -- I doubt that even Devin Brown himself would have
written something so one-sided. I am still debating with myself
whether I should buy this book or not, and this piece doesn't help
me one bit. The only reason for including it is to point it out as
an example of an entirely unhelpful review.

Charles Runnells, Thursday, 1 November 2012, "North Naples
conference motivates Christian artists"
<http://www.news-press.com/article/20121102/ENT/311020026/1015/SPORTS/North-Naples-conference-motivates-Christian-artists>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/c2vkynk>
This review is a bit more useful in giving an idea of what Devin
Brown's book, _The Christian World of The Hobbit_ intends to be, but
it still doesn't say whether it actually achieves it. Clearly Brown
attempts to strike a balance -- emphasize the role of Tolkien's
faith in his fiction without turning the book into a sermon as some
Christian critics have done, and I look forward to some real reviews
to see if he has managed to find that balance.

Il, Saturday 3 November 2012, "In Review: The Lays of Beleriand"
<http://ilverai.wordpress.com/2012/11/03/in-review-the-lays-of-beleriand/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/ccol2qs>
Ilverai looks at _The Lays of Beleriand_. He finds that the Lay of
Leithian in rhyming couplets a 'joy to read', but was not terribly
impressed by the alliterative Lay of the Children of H�rin --
curiously my experience is the exact opposite: for me Tolkien's
poetry in general is not terribly exciting (and I occasionally have
to drag my way by brute force of will through his long narrative
poems in rhyming couplets), but his alliterative poetry is stirring
and captivating -- here Tolkien is the Master!

Gret Garrett, Monday, 5 November 2012, "Meaning and Imagination: A
Review of "The Christian World of the Hobbit""
<http://www.patheos.com/Progressive-Christian/Meaning-Imagination-Greg-Garrett-11-06-2012.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/c6b3tuz>
This appears to be the first review by someone who has actually read
the book.
See also Ellen Painter Dollar, Monday, 12 November 2012, "What
Hobbits Have Taught Me About God's Providence"
<http://www.patheos.com/blogs/ellenpainterdollar/2012/11/what-hobbits-have-taught-me-about-gods-providence/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/cusfzw6>
These reviews suffer from the problem that the reviewers _want_ to
agree with the author (and perhaps even wanted him to go further),
which make for poor reviews that deal very little with what the book
actually is and nothing about what the book should be.

BC, Tuesday, 6 November 2012, "Roverandom Reviewed"
<http://notionclubpapers.blogspot.dk/2012/11/roverandom-reviewed.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/boczgry>
Thank you to Bruce Charlton for a review of Tolkien's _Roverandom_.
Charlton finds _Roverandom's_ 'warmth of wit' 'utterly charming',
and he is especially fond of the light it sheds on the 'good and
loving father' aspect of Tolkien's personality.

Jennie Ramstad, Wednesday, 7 November 2012, "Corey Olsen gets
introspective with Exploring J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit"
<http://www.straight.com/article-828131/vancouver/corey-olsen-gets-introspective-exploring-j-r-r-tolkiens-hobbit>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/bqxgj5x>
A quite short commentary on Corey Olsen's book, _Exploring J.R.R.
Tolkien's The Hobbit_. Jennie Ramstad writes that Olsen, '[s]omewhat
painstakingly' writes about the progress of each character, and
admits that she found herself 'gettting lost' in the book's wealth
of information '[d]espite [her] familiarity with the story] and
recommends reading Olsen's book along with Tolkien's work.

Brian Sibley, Thursday, 8 November 2012, "Bag End Bookshelf"
<http://briansibleysblog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/bag-end-bookshelf.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/dyr8s3t>
Comments on the Latin _Hobbit_, _Hobbitus Ille_, and on Colin
Duriez' new Tolkien biography, _J R R Tolkien: The Making of a
Legend_, which Sibley recommends warmly (also in the blurb he wrote
for it and which he quotes in the blog).

JDR, Sunday, 11 November 2012, "The New Arrivals (three more
books)"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.dk/2012/11/the-new-arrivals-three-more-books.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/cwwl66w>
John Rateliff usually give a short description of new books as they
arrive and after he has skimmed through them to see what is in
there, and though I could wish for an occasional more detailed
review to follow, I am grateful for these short notes. _The
Christian World of The Hobbit_ by Devin Brown is described as
looking to be 'one of the better books of its kind' and that its
'basic premise seems to be that Tolkien's Xianity was sublimated
into the world.' This at least sounds promising. _The Hobbit and
Philosophy: For when you've lost your dwarves, your wizard, and your
way_ (edited by Gregory Bassham and Eric Bronson) gets, as Rateliff
says, 'the award for 'best subtitle'', but though a sense of humour
sounds very promising, I'll be waiting for other reviews before this
gets on my wish-list. The last of Rateliff's new arrivals is Brian
Sibley's _The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: Official movie guide_ -
in Rateliff's words, 'If you're not interested in the movies, might
consider giving it a pass.' Thank you -- I'll definitely watch the
film, but I think I'll give books about it a pass.

Charlotte Williams, _The Bookseller_, Monday, 12 November 2012, "HoZ
acquires life of 'Aragorn'"
<http://www.thebookseller.com/news/hoz-acquires-life-aragorn.html>
Surely in the realm of short items, this tells of a non-fiction book
about king Oswald of Northumbria, whom is claimed to be "the
real-life inspiration for J R R Tolkien's Aragorn." Perhaps a bit of
research in that direction will not be entirely wasted.

Matt Forbeck, _Wired_, Thursday, 15 November 2012, "Bilbo's Last
Song, Revised"
<http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2012/11/bilbos-last-song-revised/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/d4wsxam>
In praise of this thin book, re-issued this October with the
illustrations by Pauline Baynes.
See also J.R.R. Tolkien, _Salon_, Thursday, 15 November 2012,
"Bilbo's Last Song"
<http://www.salon.com/2012/11/15/bilbos_last_song/>
where the text of the poem is reproduced in full.

JDR, Saturday, 17 November 2012, "The Hobbit EMPIRE"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.dk/2012/11/the-hobbit-empire.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/cnva47m>
About the Hobbit-film-celebrating issue of _Empire_ magazine.
Apparently they have also found a picture of J.R.R. Tolkien that
wasn't known even to Rateliff. They also seem to spend enough pages
on Tolkien and _his_ story to at least inform the general public.
I'm not surprised, really, that Shippey is proving very quotable --
this also shines through in his lecturing style.

John Williford, _The Miami Herald_, Sunday, 18 November 2012,
"Tolkien's 'Hobbit' has everlasting power"
<http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/11/18/3100412/tolkiens-hobbit-has-everlasting.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/cgvdrrv>
John Williford has been talking with Corey Olsen and with Wayne and
Christina about _The Hobbit_ and their own books on the subject
prior to their visis at the Miami Book Fair.

JDR, Monday, 19 November 2012, "Listening to THE HOBBIT"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.dk/2012/11/listening-to-hobbit.html>
A list of audio versions (audio-books, audio adaptations, audio
dramatisations etc.) of _The Hobbit_ with some comments on each --
so far the only additions to Rateliff's list has been some
additional recordings of J.R.R. Tolkien reading passages from the
book. Hence, if you like listening to your books, this is a very
good starting place for _The Hobbit_. (See also the post listed
under essays for November 24th)

Il, Saturday, 24 November 2012, "In Review: Splintered Light"
<http://ilverai.wordpress.com/2012/11/24/in-review-splintered-light/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/d9pd44p>
We cannot get too many appreciative reviews of Verlyn Flieger's
books out there! Overall this is an excellent review, though I have
to say that I do not agree with "Ilverai" about Frodo's defeat in
the Sammath Naur: the eucatastrophe is there withheld to make way
for a muted dyscatastrophe with the eucatastrophe following in the
next chapter, 'The Field of Cormallen'.

_3 News_, Tuesday, 27 November 2012, "Tolkien-inspired recipes
include Hobbit pork pies"
<http://www.3news.co.nz/Tolkien-inspired-recipes-include-Hobbit-pork-pies/tabid/1748/articleID/278262/Default.aspx>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/co7c7q5>
Health Dill, a food blogger working in cooperation with Corey Olsen,
wishes to write a cookbook featuring Tolkien-related recipes with
commentary by Corey Olsen. Some of the recipes have already been
published on Dill's food blog, <http://dillicious.wordpress.com>.
The book project has been tentatively titled _Medium Rare and Back
Again_ and they are crowdsourcing the money needed to develop the
remaining recipes and write the book:
<http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/783115992/medium-rare-and-back-again-a-tolkien-cookbook>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/ap45prt>

Mark Walker, _Huffington Post_, Tuesday, 27 November 2012,
"Translating 'The Hobbit' Into Latin"
<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-walker/post_4176_b_2198075.html>
A passage (or a pastiche of more than one passage -- I don't really
know) from Mark Walker's introduction to his Latin translation of
_The Hobbit_, _Hobbitus Ille_. In this passage Walker speaks of the
reasons for wanting to do a Latin translation, and some of the
challenges that faced him as a Latinist in this endeavour.


= = = = Interviews = = = =

Andrew Hough, _The Telegraph_, Sunday, 18 November 2012, "Simon
Tolkien: JRR Tolkien's grandson admits Lord of the Rings trauma"
<http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/9686451/Simon-Tolkien-JRR-Tolkiens-grandson-admits-Lord-of-the-Rings-trauma.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/au6avtp>
A sober description of some of the problems of being the grandchild
of a famous author when you're just trying to be yourself.
See also _Daily Mail_, Monday, 19 November 2012, "The Tolkien
'curse': Author's grandson claims Lord of the Rings films were 'like
a juggernaut that tore my family apart'"
<http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2235098/Simon-Tolkien-Lord-Rings-films-like-juggernaut-tore-family-apart.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/d2y357e>

Joanna Moorhead, _The Guardian_, Saturday, 24 November 2012, "'Being
Tolkien's grandson blocked my writing ...'"
<http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2012/nov/24/simon-tolkien-jrr-tolkien-hobbit>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/crp6k8r>
Another interview with Simon Tolkien, this one going into more
details about his grandfather, the effect on his own desires to
write, about the family and the immense pressure created by
Jackson's films.


= = = = Tolkienian Artwork = = = =

JD, Tuesday, 6 November 2012, "Beren and L�thien diptych"
<http://goldseven.wordpress.com/2012/11/06/beren-and-luthien-diptych/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/d5ac33v>
One of the few (if not actually the first) pictures of L�thien or
Arwen that manages to convey to me a sense of a greater-than-life
beauty. Dolfen manages (in my inexpert opinion) to strike that
delicate balance between being too indistinct to convey anything
beyond "young female" and being too distinct so that the beholder
cannot impose on L�thien her or his own idea of perfect beauty.
Beren, while shabbily clothed, appears to have found a good barber
after his months in the wild (one who has left him fashionably
stubbled) -- but perhaps I should not complain too loudly lest I am
accused of envy ;-)

JJK Movies , Monday, 12 November 2012, "Lord of the Rings Re-enacted
by Ponies"
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4hD31VTdsw>
I suppose we might question the application of the word 'art' here,
but I found this video (12 min. 13 secs.) quite hilarious. The video
itself is an adaptation of Peter Jackson's _The Lord of the Rings_
film trilogy, but in many ways I am more comfortable with this work
than I was with Jackson's original -- not, I suspect, because of
what Jackson didn't get right (in terms of closeness to Tolkien's
story), but rather because the things that he did get right set too
high expectations for the rest; expectations that were woefully
unfulfilled.

JG, Friday, 16 November 2012, "Weathertop (Amon Sul/r Hill of
Wind)."
<http://joegilronanlordoftherings.blogspot.dk/2012/11/weathertop-amon-sulr-hill-of-wind.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/cc3pbxe>
A very nice picture of the approach to Weathertop featuring the four
Hobbit travellers, Bill the Pony and Strider -- and another figure
among the trees?

_Broadway World_, Tuesday, 27 November 2012, "Oglio Records Releases
'In Elven Lands - The Fellowship,' THE HOBBIT"
<http://music.broadwayworld.com/article/Oglio-Records-Releases-In-Elven-Lands-The-Fellowship-THE-HOBBIT-20121127>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/bot7vsr>
The story about the release of an album that, judging by the titles,
is inspired rather explicitly by _The Lord of the Rings, it would
seem that they just added "THE HOBBIT" to this in order to do
something for their Google searchability. I also wonder if they have
received permission from the Tolkien Estate to use Tolkien's texts
for some of their songs.

JG, Thursday, 29 November 2012, "Bilbo's adventure (late for an
appointment)."
<http://joegilronanlordoftherings.blogspot.dk/2012/11/bilbos-adventure-late-for-appointment.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/d8vwqno>
A painting of Bilbo rushing to get to _The Green Dragon_ at eleven
o'clock -- precisely!


= = = = Other Stuff = = = =

MD, Sunday, 11 November 2012, "A Successful Scholarly Sojourn"
<http://wormtalk.blogspot.dk/2012/11/a-successful-scholarly-sojourn.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/d8qeo2m>
Michael Drout tells of how he spent a week this summer taking a
group of "students" travelers through some of the locations of
Anglo-Saxon England, turning their holiday into a learning
experience. This way of spending a holiday sounds absolutely
fantastic, but I'm afraid that I will have little success convincing
the family to join next year's Scholarly Sojourn, "Imagining
Middle-earth: A Journey Through Tolkien's England" with professor
Drout -- also because school will have started in Denmark at that
time.

JDR, Friday, 16 November 2012, "Tolkien Day at Trout Lake"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.dk/2012/11/tolkien-day-at-trout-lake.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/bz9h4a8>
What better way to spend a holiday than talking Tolkien with good
friends? Incidentally, adding something to _The History of The
Hobbit_ about Tolkien's sources for _The Hobbit_ probably wouldn't
be a bad idea.

MD, Friday, 16 November 2012, "Fun with Lexomics (and you can have
some, too)"
<http://wormtalk.blogspot.dk/2012/11/fun-with-lexomics-and-you-can-have-some.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/as6rvkj>
I've always been fascinated by Michael Drout's Lexomics project,
wanting to know also how it relates to other kinds of stylometric
analysis -- I want text and formulas, and they give me video ;-)
Still, the project is highly interesting.

Robert Rodi, _Salon_, Sunday, 18 November 2012, "Are Hobbits' feet
hot?"
<http://www.salon.com/2012/11/17/are_hobbits_feet_hot/>
A humorous (I sincerely hope!) attempt to apply, in the end, som
Freudian analysis to Hobbit feet. It's a nice joke . . . I think.

JD, Monday, 19 November 2012, "Hobbit Feest"
<http://goldseven.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/hobbit-feest/>
A report on the Dutch Hobbit Feest convention. Jenny Dolfen had a
good time and even ended up in the local newspaper.

H&S, Sunday, 25 November 2012, "Up in the Air: Milwaukee and Miami"
<http://wayneandchristina.wordpress.com/2012/11/25/up-in-the-air-milwaukee-and-miami/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/bqdjv2n>
Christina and Wayne write about their journeys to speak about
Tolkien's Middle-earth art at the Marquette and his Hobbit art at
the Miami Book Fair. Along the way Christina writes that she
utilized the time at the Marquette to look at _The Lord of the
Rings_ chronologies for a future paper, while Wayne researched
"various queries [they] had received since [their] last visit to
Marquette in 2009."

JDR, Wednesday, 28 November 2012, "Tolkien and Westminster"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.dk/2012/11/tolkien-and-westminster.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/brj8cpn>
Following the announcement (not reported here) that C.S. Lewis will
be be honoured with a memorial at the Poets' Corner of Westminster
Abbey, John Rateliff here speculates about the chances that Tolkien
might be similarly honoured.


= = = = Rewarding Discussions = = = =

"Notion Club, Night 69"
<http://lotrplaza.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=244887>
The discussions of the Notion Club Papers are certainly worth to
look at. Here discussion of Night 69.

"Christianity and Tolkien"
<http://lotrplaza.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=244936>
How to assess the importance and influence of Tolkien's Catholic
faith on his writings is an old discussion that will likely never be
fully resolved. In this thread the more extreme positions are
absent, but many of the relevant arguments are nonetheless
included.

"Tolkien Studies 9"
<http://lotrplaza.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=244366>
Following publication, this thread now also features a discussion of
Doug Kane's article on 'Law and Arda'.

"Tolkien's Prose"
<http://lotrplaza.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=245026>
A new promising thread on Tolkien's prose style -- the thread still
has to really take off, so here's a chance to be in on it from the
outset . . .


= = = = In Print = = = =

_Beyond Bree_ November 2012
This month's _Beyond Bree_ features short pieces by Geoff Davies on
the age of the One Ring and by Nancy Martsch on the poor survival
chances of ponies in _The Lord of the Rings_. Also there are reviews
/ comments on the 2013 calendars (Nancy Martsch, _Beyond Bree
Calendar_ and _Jef Murray Middle-earth Calendar_; David Cofield,
_Tolkien Calendar_), Mararet Hiley's book, _The Loss and the
Silence_ is reviewed by Ryder W. Miller, the _J.R.R. Tolkien: The
True Lord of the Rings_ comic by McCarthy, Lent, and Chich�n is
reviewed by David Cofield who also reviews the enhanced e-book
edition of _The Hobbit_, and Nancy Martsch also reviews _Aiglos_
special issue no. 2. Additionally there is a further report from The
Return of the Ring as well as several smaller pieces and the
customary columns.

_Amon Hen_ no. 238, November 2012
In the backward-looking part of the latest issue of _Amon Hen_ we
find reports from Oxonmoot 2012 (Carella Ridley and a thank you
note from Helen Armstrong [chair]), the unveiling of the Tolkien
Blue Plaque in Leeds (Ian Spittlehouse), Discworld Convention 2012
(Jessica Yates), the celebration of the 75th anniversary of _The
Hobbit_ at the British Library (Jessica Yates and Chris Kreuzer
together) as well as the minutes from a committee meeting and the
regular news-columns. Other articles are looking forward such as a
discussion of ideas for the future of Oxonmoot and the invitation
for the AGM & dinner in April. Michael Cunningham reviews Mark T.
Hooker's _Tolkien and Welsh_ and Lyn Wilshire reviews Suzette
Field's _A Curious Invitation_. Anne Marie Gazzalo has written a
piece on 'The Spiritual Kinship of Frodo and Sm�agol', which is at
places quite interesting, though I think there is also a hint of the
regrettable tendency to turn Tolkien's work into a sermon.


= = = = Web Sites = = = =

Joe Gilranon, "The Lord of the Rings Blog (Joe Gilronan Tolkien
Art)"
<http://joegilronanlordoftherings.blogspot.com/>
Another artist making pictures inspired by Tolkien's Arda and its
history.

"Ilverai" (Il). "Wandering Paths"
<http://ilverai.wordpress.com/>
A blog by Grey Havens Group member "Ilverai" on Tolkienian matters.

"Greisinger Museum"
<https://www.facebook.com/GreisingerMuseum>
The Facebook page for the Greisinger Museum, home of the Greisinger
Middle-earth Collection. I do think I'll have to take a trip some
day that takes me to Switzerland . . .

= = = = Sources = = = =

John D. Rateliff (JDR) -- "Sacnoth's Scriptorium"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.com>

Jason Fisher (JF) -- "Lingw� -- Musings of a Fish"
<http://lingwe.blogspot.com>

Michael Drout (MD) -- "Wormtalk and Slugspeak"
<http://wormtalk.blogspot.com/>

Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull (H&S) -- "Too Many Books and
Never Enough"
<http://wayneandchristina.wordpress.com/>

Pieter Collier (PC) -- "The Tolkien Library"
<http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/>

Douglas A. Anderson (DAA) et Al. -- "Wormwoodiana"
<http://wormwoodiana.blogspot.com>

Corey Olsen (CO), "The Tolkien Professor"
<http://www.tolkienprofessor.com>

David Bratman (DB), "Kalimac"
<http://kalimac.blogspot.com/>
and the old home:
<http://calimac.livejournal.com/>

Larry Swain (LS), "The Ruminate"
<http://theruminate.blogspot.com>

Andrew Wells (AW), "Musings of an Aging Fan"
<http://wellinghall.livejournal.com>

Various, 'The Northeast Tolkien Society' (NETS), "Heren Istarion"
<http://herenistarionnets.blogspot.com>

Bruce Charlton (BC), "Tolkien's The Notion Club Papers"
<http://notionclubpapers.blogspot.com/>

Marcel R. Aubron-B�lles (MB), "The Tolkienist"
<http://thetolkienist.com/>

Andrew Higgins (AH), "Wotan's Musings"
<http://wotanselvishmusings.blogspot.com>

Various, The Mythopoeic Society
<http://www.mythsoc.org>

Henry Gee (HG) 'cromercrox', "The End of the Pier Show"
<http://occamstypewriter.org/cromercrox/>

Jonathan S. McIntosh (JM), "The Flame Imperishable"
<http://jonathansmcintosh.wordpress.com/>

Morgan Thomsen (MT), "Mythoi"
<http://mythoi.tolkienindex.net>

Steuard Jensen (SJ), "Strings, Rings, and Other Things"
<http://steuard.livejournal.com>

Tom Simon (TS), "The Superversive"
<http://superversive.livejournal.com/>

Nancy Marie Brown (NMB), "God of Wednesday"
<http://nancymariebrown.blogspot.com>

John Howe (JH)
<http://www.john-howe.com>

Jenny Dolfen (JD)
<http://goldseven.wordpress.com/>

Joe Gilranon (JG)
<http://joegilronanlordoftherings.blogspot.com/>

Josh Vogt (JV), "Tolkien Examiner"
<http://www.examiner.com/tolkien-in-national/josh-vogt>

"Ilverai" (Il). "Wandering Paths"
<http://ilverai.wordpress.com/>

David Simmons (DS), "Aiya Il�vatar"
<http://www.aiyailuvatar.org/>

Michael Martinez (MM), "Tolkien Studies Blog"
<http://blog.tolkien-studies.com/>

Michael Martinez (MM), "Middle-earth"
<http://middle-earth.xenite.org/>

Troels Forchhammer (TF), "Parma-kenta"
<http://parmarkenta.blogspot.com>

_Mythprint_ -- 'The Monthly Bulletin of the Mythopoeic Society'
<http://www.mythsoc.org>

_Amon Hen_ -- the Bulletin of the Tolkien Society
<http://www.tolkiensociety.org/>

_Beyond Bree_ -- the newsletter of the Tolkien Special Interest
Group of the Americal Mensa
<http://www.cep.unt.edu/bree.html>

- and others

--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail is <troelsfo(a)gmail.com>
Please put [AFT], [RABT] or 'Tolkien' in subject.

As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they
are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not
refer to reality.
- Albert Einstein

Bill O'Meally

unread,
Dec 2, 2012, 6:49:36 PM12/2/12
to
On 2012-12-02 21:09:30 +0000, Troels Forchhammer said:

> _3 News_, Tuesday, 27 November 2012, "Tolkien-inspired recipes
> include Hobbit pork pies"
> <http://www.3news.co.nz/Tolkien-inspired-recipes-include-Hobbit-pork-pies/tabid/1748/articleID/278262/Default.aspx>
>
> <http://preview.tinyurl.com/co7c7q5>
> Health Dill, a food blogger working in cooperation with Corey Olsen,
> wishes to write a cookbook featuring Tolkien-related recipes with
> commentary by Corey Olsen. Some of the recipes have already been
> published on Dill's food blog, <http://dillicious.wordpress.com>.
> The book project has been tentatively titled _Medium Rare and Back
> Again_ and they are crowdsourcing the money needed to develop the
> remaining recipes and write the book:
> <http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/783115992/medium-rare-and-back-again-a-tolkien-cookbook>
>
> <http://preview.tinyurl.com/ap45prt>
>


Balrog wings! I wonder if the authors are poking fun at the rather
lively arguments on the subject over the years.

--
Bill O'Meally

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