Tolkien Transactions XLVII

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Troels Forchhammer

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Apr 1, 2014, 4:13:04 PM4/1/14
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March 2014

It will surely not come as a surprise to any regular reader of these
transactions that the last five months have been rather busy for me
-- editions have been delayed and shortened. This has in part been
due to my starting in a new job in September, being busy getting to
know my responsibilities and learn to perform them well, and partly
because of my being extra busy in Scouting. Now, however, things do
seem to be lightening (and just in the right time for some highly
welcome and interesting Tolkien publications!), so now I just hope
that this will last.

All the usual disclaimers apply about newness, completeness and
relevance (or any other implication of responsibility) :-)

These transactions are posted to the usenet newsgroups
rec.arts.books.tolkien, alt.fan.tolkien, and alt.books.inklings, and
the usenet version can be accessed at
<http://www.webuse.net/frameset.php?su=newsgroup.php&ng=rec.arts.books.tolkien>
These transactions are also posted on my blog, Parma-kenta (Enquiry
into the books): <http://parmarkenta.blogspot.com> and on LotR Fanatics Plaza in the books forum:
<http://www.lotrplaza.com/forumdisplay.php?14-The-Books>

This month it has suited my purposes to sort the contents under the
following headlines:
1: Beowulf
2: Tolkien Reading Day
3: News
4: Essays and Scholarship
5: Commentary
6: Reviews and Book News
7: Tolkienian Artwork
8: Other Stuff
9: Rewarding Discussions
10: Web Sites
11: The Blog Roll
12: Sources


= = = = Beowulf = = = =
The big thing this month was of course the 19th March announcement
from Harper-Collins and the Tolkien Estate that they will publish
Tolkien's translation of Beowulf along with commentary and Tolkien's
associated story, _Sellic Spell_ -- to be released on May 22nd.
"Mu-um, pleeease! Is it May yet?"
<http://www.tolkienbeowulf.com/>

Let us start with the best, shall we?
JGa, _The Guardian_, Saturday, 22 March 2014, "JRR Tolkien's
translation of Beowulf: bring on the monsters"
<http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/mar/22/jrr-tolkien-translation-beowulf-monsters>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/ozs35a4>
John Garth discusses the setting and what we may expect from
Tolkien's work -- going a long way towards answering the question of
why we should bother about this book. Two points that I found
particularly interesting was about the monsters (which is based on
Tolkien's famous lecture-essay on Beowulf) and about Verlyn
Flieger's view on _Beowulf_ as representing the darker, dystopic,
side of Tolkien (also represented by Galadriel's statement about
"fighting the long defeat").

User: "Lord of the Rings", Sunday, 23 March 2014, "Sellic Spell"
<http://www.lotrplaza.com/showthread.php?77041-Sellic-Spell>
User "Lord of the Rings" explains what is known about Tolkien's
story _Sellic Spell_, which will be published in the _Beowulf_
volume, and includes information about the philological context in
which Tolkien was writing.

MD, Thursday, 27 March 2014, "Tolkien's Beowulf: The Real Story"
<http://wormtalk.blogspot.dk/2014/03/tolkiens-beowulf-real-story.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/q5z454u>
It is a pity that a scholar such as Michael Drout has to go out of
his way to set things straight because journalists and others start
repeating errors that had been thought sorted out years ago, but
there you are. So, before reading a lot of mistakes about professor
Drouts work on an edition of Tolkien's translation of _Beowulf_, you
should read what he has to say himself.


A number of Tolkienists have, of course, posted comments about the
upcoming volume with varying level of detail. I list them here with
no further explanation on comments:

MB, Wednesday, 19 March 2014, "Finally: Tolkien's translation of
"Beowulf" to be published on May 22"
<http://www.thetolkienist.com/2014/03/19/finally-tolkiens-translation-of-beowulf-to-be-published-on-may-22/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/qdhw93o>

JGa, Wednesday, 19 March 2014, "Tolkien's Beowulf translation and
Sellic Spell to be published"
<http://johngarth.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/tolkiens-beowulf-translation-and-sellic-spell-to-be-published/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/phleehg>

AS, Wednesday, 19 March 2014, "What a day for Tolkien news!"
<http://annasmol.net/2014/03/19/what-a-day-for-tolkien-news/>
No rules without exceptions ... notice that Anna Smol also includes
the news about a new on-line peer-reviewed scholarly journal about
Tolkien.

PC, Wednesday, 19 March 2014, "J.R.R. Tolkien's Beowulf: A
Translation and Commentary will be published world-wide on 22nd May
2014"
<http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/1146-beowulf-a-translation-and-commentary-by-tolkien.php>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/nkdhln7>

JDR, Wednesday, 19 March 2014, "Tolkien's BEOWULF"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/2014/03/tolkiens-beowulf.html>

JDR, Friday, 21 March 2014, "SELLIC SPELL"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/2014/03/sellic-spell.html>

JDR, Friday, 21 March 2014, "Tolkien's Beowulf postscript"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.dk/2014/03/tolkiens-beowulf-postscript.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/nhkojot>


As far as I have been able to find, the news first broke on
Wednesday 19 March in _The Guardian_ and _The Telegraph_:
Alison Flood, Wednesday, 19 March 2014, "JRR Tolkien translation of
Beowulf to be published after 90-year wait"
<http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/mar/19/jrr-tolkien-beowulf-translation-published>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/kt7fsdc>

Anita Singh, Wednesday, 19 March 2014, "Tolkien translation of
Beowulf to be published for first time"
<http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/10708064/Tolkien-translation-of-Beowulf-to-be-published-for-first-time.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/omfed5v>


And then the storm hit ...
(The following stories do try to add something, though not always
successfully, but at least they try ...)

Nick Clark, _The Independent_, Wednesday, 19 March 2014, "JRR
Tolkien's translation of Beowulf to be published after 88 years"
<http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/jrr-tolkiens-translation-of-beowulf-to-be-published-after-88-years-9203016.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/pfv5wa6>

Lydia Smith, _International Business Times_, Thursday, 20 March
2014, "JRR Tolkien's Translation of Beowulf to be Published After 88
Year Wait"
<http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/jrr-tolkiens-translation-beowulf-be-published-after-88-year-wait-1441052>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/nc33fu6>

Adela Talbot, _Western News_, Thursday, 27 March 2014, "Tolkien
translation of Beowulf adds little - beyond cash"
<http://communications.uwo.ca/western_news/stories/2014/March/tolkien_translation_of_beowulf_adds_little__beyond_cash.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/pfltk2c>
It is a pity that Adela Talbot would choose to further her negative
commentary with so many factual mistakes that it has greatly
undermined the point, she appears to be trying to make, and also
reflects negatively on her cited source, Jane Toswell, though we
must remember that quotation marks in the hands of a journalist
doesn't necessarily mean that the person actually said that. This
has also spurred some interesting discussion of what scholarly value
this publication will have, and the general consensus seems to be
that it will indeed have great value also for research and
scholarship in Old English. See also under discussions.


To give a further idea of how much has been said (in English alone)
about the upcoming release, I have collected links to additional
pieces in varioius news-outlets and blogs. None of these really add
anything new to our knowledge that hasn't been discussed in the
above, but are intended only to give an impression of the interest
(these links are given without shortened forms).

19th March
<http://www.thebookseller.com/news/hc-publish-tolkiens-beowulf.html>
<http://www.medievalists.net/2014/03/19/tolkiens-translation-beowulf-coming-spring/>
<http://www.uproxx.com/gammasquad/2014/03/ninety-years-later-youll-finally-get-read-j-r-r-tolkiens-translation-beowulf/>
<http://www.upi.com/Entertainment_News/2014/03/19/JRR-Tolkiens-translation-of-Beowulf-to-be-published-after-90-years/9001395236353/>
<http://www.geekosystem.com/tolkien-beowulf-published/>
<http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/book-deals/article/61490-tolkien-s-beowulf-to-be-published-by-hmh.html>
<http://www.hypable.com/2014/03/19/jrr-tolkien-beowulf-translation-published/>
<http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/133060-J-R-R-Tolkiens-1926-Beowulf-Translation-Finally-Being-Published>
<http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2014/03/after-almost-90-years-jrr-tolkiens-beowulf-to-be-p.html>
<http://www.avclub.com/article/90-years-later-jrr-tolkiens-translation-beowulf-ge-202407>
<http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/tolkiens-88-year-old-beowulf-translation-published-spring-2/>
<http://www.sheknows.com/entertainment/articles/1032985/jrr-tolkiens-translation-of-beowulf-to-be-published-after-90-years>
<http://www.salon.com/2014/03/19/j_r_r_tolkiens_translation_of_beowulf_to_be_published/>
<http://io9.com/jrr-tolkiens-translation-of-beowulf-is-finally-going-t-1547257843>

20th March
<http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/03/20/tolkiens-beowulf-be-published>
<http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/10708064/Tolkien-translation-of-Beowulf-to-be-published-for-first-time.html>
<http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/news/nbent/1958679469-tolkien-s-beowulf-to-be-published>
<http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-26662761>
<http://www.courier-journal.com/videos/entertainment/books/2014/03/20/6644511/>
<http://www.flickeringmyth.com/2014/03/harpercollins-to-publish-jrr-tolkiens.html>
<http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2014/03/20/87704-tolkiens-beowulf-translation-to-be-published-in-may/>
<http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/pageviews/2014/03/jrr-tolkien%E2%80%99s-translation-of-beowulf-to-be-published-in-may>
<http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/20/jrr-tolkien-beowulf-translation_n_5002279.html?ir=Books>
<http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/j-r-r-tolkiens-beowulf-translation-to-be-published_b83842>
<http://guardianlv.com/2014/03/jrr-tolkien-translation-of-beowulf-to-be-published/>
<http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/03/20/jrr-tolkiens-1926-beowulf-translation-will-finally-be-published#>

21st March
<http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/11092678.New_Tolkien_book_deal_signed/>

22nd March
<http://www.thedailystar.net/entertainment/tolkiens-beowulf-translation-to-be-published-16654>
<http://www.classicalite.com/articles/6883/20140322/after-a-90-year-wait-j-r-r-tolkiens-translation-of-beowulf-will-be-published-by-harpercollins.htm>

23rd March
<http://bookslive.co.za/blog/2014/03/23/sunday-read-jrr-tolkiens-beowulf-a-translation-and-commentary-to-be-published-with-his-story-sellic-spell/>


= = = = Tolkien Reading Day = = = =
I had an absolutely magic Tolkien Reading Day! Bri (Bree), the
Copenhagen Tolkien Society, had organised an event in a Copenhagen
shop selling equipment for Live-action Role-playing (Faraos Cigarer
-- they also have nearby shops for comic books and table-top
role-playing games). With a break in the middle I read from _The
Hobbit_ for two hours, and besides my companions from Bri (who
didn't have much of a choice) five people, a father with a child,
and a mother with two children, chose to stay for the whole reading.
After the reading the mother told us that she had at first thought
me a professional actor, which I took as very high praise (though
surely not deserved it was nice anyway). I find that reading a good
story to an attentive audience adds something extra to the
enchantment of the story.

MB, Thursday, 6 March 2014, "Tolkien Reading 2014 -- Event calendar,
worldwide"
<http://www.thetolkienist.com/2014/03/06/tolkien-reading-2014-event-calendar-worldwide/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/ol7ggkk>
While it would be foolish of anyone to lay claim to exhaustiveness,
I am sure that Marcel's calendar is the one that comes closest ...
MB, Friday, 21 March 2014, "A map and a calendar: Tolkien Reading
Day 2014"
<http://www.thetolkienist.com/2014/03/21/a-map-and-a-calendar-tolkien-reading-day-2014>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/oxyybg7>
And Marcel followed up with a new version that included a map ...

The My Middle-earth site set up for Tolkien Reading Day:
<http://tolkienreadingday.mymiddleearth.com/>


User "badgaladriel", The Grey Havens Group, Sunday, 2 March 2014,
"TOLKIEN READING DAY"
<http://greyhavensgroup.com/2014/03/02/tolkien-reading-day/>

Jean Lotus, Tuesday, 18 March 2014, "Middle Earth at the comic book
store Tuesday"
<http://www.forestparkreview.com/News/Articles/3-18-2014/Middle-Earth-at-the-comic-book-store-Tuesday/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/psbr4fe>

EJ, Tuesday, 25 March 2014, "15 Tolkien quotes about life for
Tolkien Reading Day 2014"
<http://lotrproject.com/blog/2014/03/25/15-tolkien-quotes-about-life-for-tolkien-reading-day-2014/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/qylehlo>
Chosen from more sources than the usual two or three, and with
citations including book and chapter, this is how I like to see my
selections of Tolkien quotations for any occasion -- tack, Emil!

Zoe Mintz, _International Business Times_, Tuesday, 25 March 2014,
"Tolkien Reading Day 2014: 25 Inspirational Quotes From The Books Of
J. R. R. Tolkien"
<http://www.ibtimes.com/tolkien-reading-day-2014-25-inspirational-quotes-books-j-r-r-tolkien-1563437>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/ot748tn>
Well, from _The Hobbit_ and _The Lord of the Rings_, actually, but
at least the quotations are both correct and with source, which puts
them miles above the average thing you see on the 'net ...

Brigid Brown, BBC America, Tuesday, 25 March 2014, "Tolkien Reading
Day 2014"
<http://www.bbcamerica.com/anglophenia/2014/03/tolkien-reading-day-2014/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/pm8tdyq>

Graeme McMillan, _Wired_, Tuesday, 25 March 2014, "Happy Tolkien
Reading Day: If You've Never Read _Lord of the Rings_, Today's the
Day to Start"
<http://www.wired.com/underwire/2014/03/happy-tolkien-reading-day/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/pvh7bu3>

User "Demosthenes", Tuesday, 25 March 2014, "Today is Tolkien
Reading Day. Which Tolkien book did you pull open?"
<http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2014/03/25/87946-today-is-tolkien-reading-day-which-tolkien-book-did-you-pull-open/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/nf753hm>

Wes Venteicher, _Chicago Tribune_, Thursday, 27 March 2014,
"Devotees celebrate Tolkien reading day at Forest Park comic shop"
<http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/oak_park_river_forest_forest_park/ct-hobbit-parody-oak-park-tl-0403-20140326,0,4158942.story>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/oe5wmxr>

Sean Kirst, Friday, 28 March 2014, "Open invitation to our annual
Tolkien Reading Day: Saturday, 11 a.m., DeWitt Community Library"
<http://www.syracuse.com/kirst/index.ssf/2014/03/tolkien_reading_day_1.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/pfuppx4>

Laura Amann, _Oak Leaves_, Monday, 31 March 2014, "Tolkien parody
night raises funds for Opportunity Knocks"
<http://oakpark.suntimes.com/news/tolkien-PTW-04032014:article>


= = = = News = = = =

Hannah Hiles, _Birmingham Post_, Monday, 3 March 2014, "Funding to
expand Tolkien's favourite nature spot"
<http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/news/local-news/funding-expand-tolkiens-favourite-nature-6758412>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/oswvexr>
Funding has been found to do something for Moseley Bog and Joy's
Wood, where Tolkien roamed as a kid in Sarehole. Hopefully this will
mean that also future generations of Tolkien enthusiasts will be
able to visit this tract of land.

Mythgard Institute, Friday, 14 March 2014, "The Lord of the Rings"
<http://www.mythgard.org/academics/summer-2014-courses/the-lord-of-the-rings/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/q7k9z93>
A Mythgard Institute course titled "The Lord of the Rings: A
Cultural Studies and Audience Reception Approach" to be taught by
Robin Anne Reid.

Ethan Gilsdorf, _Boing-boing_, Saturday, 22 March 2014, "Lost Bakshi
_Lord of the Rings_ footage found"
<http://boingboing.net/2014/03/22/lost-bakshi-lord-of-the-ri.html>
As far as I know, Ralph Bakshi was the first to successfully adapt a
part of Tolkien's _The Lord of the Rings_ for the cinema, and his
adaptation is as much worth knowing as any other.

EJ, Sunday, 23 March 2014, "9 things you didn't know related to
Tolkien's works"
<http://lotrproject.com/blog/2014/03/23/9-things-related-to-tolkien-you-maybe-didnt-know/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/pgwkfqm>
The URL suggests that Emil Johansson initially included a
qualification in the title -- things we _maybe_ didn't know. He did
succeed in finding one item I didn't know (which, given the way I
have trawled most Tolkien-related news-stories for the past four
years, is probably attesting to the thoroughness of Emil's research)
-- I hadn't heard of that Chinese Hobbit-based Harry Potter sequel.

Tom Peacock, Tuesday, 25 March 2014, "From Beowulf to Gandalf: a new
approach to Old English"
<http://www.concordia.ca/cunews/main/stories/2014/02/25/from-beowulf-to-gandalfanewapproachtooldenglish.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/k9pnlag>
While I know it is quite common to take up some of his Old English
and other medieval sources of inspiration when teaching Tolkien, I
cannot recall having heard before of a professor taking to Tolkien
as a means of mediating the Old English subject of a course on Old
English. Interesting take on it.

Christina Sterbenz, _Business Insider_, Wednesday, 26 March 2014,
"Here's The Epic Real-Life Inspiration For Tolkien's 'Lord Of The
Rings'"
<http://www.businessinsider.com/world-war-i-lord-of-the-rings-2014-3>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/pcovaj3>
The headline promises a bit more than is kept, but there is a photo
montage that includes some relevant and interesting pictures both
from Sarehole and from WWI.

Shaun Gunner, TS, Friday, 28 March 2014, "Welcome to our new
website!"
<http://www.tolkiensociety.org/blog/2014/03/welcome-to-our-new-website/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/od8j6d9>
A welcome and an introduction to the new Tolkien Society web-site by
TS chairman, Shaun Gunner. It's a really nice site -- do take a
look!


= = = = Essays and Scholarship = = = =

Medievalist.net
<http://www.medievalists.net/category/articles/>
As usual, I don't think you need me to point out the many intriguing
headlines on old Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian culture, so I will
just point out ones that have stuck out more than usual for me:
"Enter the Dragon: Legendary Saga Courage and the Birth of the Hero"
(9 Mar) -- Starting out by quoting the Völsungasaga is certainly a
good way to get my attention, and discussing directly the
relationship of Sigurdr, Regin and Fafnír should immediately recall
to us Tolkien's assessment that "the world that contained even the
imagination of Fàfnir was richer and more beautiful, at whatever
cost of peril."
<http://www.medievalists.net/2014/03/09/enter-dragon-legendary-saga-courage-birth-hero/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/nc78gvr>
"All the King's Men: Icelandic Skalds at Scandinavian Court" (10
Mar) -- I am reminded not just of Icelandic Skalds, but of the
Anglo-Saxon skald in Tolkien's _Notion Club Papers_ ...
<http://www.medievalists.net/2014/03/10/kings-men-icelandic-skalds-scandinavian-court/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/qxy7fpz>
"Mordred: Treachery, Transference, and Border Pressure in British
Arthurian Romance" (12 Mar) -- I haven't read this thesis, but of
course it is before the publication of Tolkien's _The Fall of
Arthur_ so it cannot take that into account, though it touches on
topics that are also present in Tolkien's treatment.
<http://www.medievalists.net/2014/03/12/mordred-treachery-transference-border-pressure-british-arthurian-romance/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/psjxaax>
"http://www.medievalists.net/2014/03/17/middle-ages-mean-much-us-toda
y-tomorrow/" (18 Mar) -- the answer, as you may suspect, is not
_just_ "because it helps us understand the background of Tolkien's
work a little better", though of course Albrecht Classen's answer
doesn't quite have the imperative force of mine :-)
<http://www.medievalists.net/2014/03/17/middle-ages-mean-much-us-today-tomorrow/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/qgtw5c4>
"What we now know about the Staffordshire Hoard" (19 Mar) -- about
this fantastic Anglo-Saxon hoard, which is called the archaeological
mirror of _Beowulf_ ...
<http://www.medievalists.net/2014/03/19/now-know-staffordshire-hoard/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/onouymw>
"The Process of State-Formation in Medieval Iceland" (22 Mar) --
just because.
<http://www.medievalists.net/2014/03/22/process-state-formation-medieval-iceland/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/pb8d2v2>

JGa, Wednesday, 5 March 2014, "Tolkien at fifteen, a warrior-to-be"
<http://johngarth.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/tolkien-at-fifteen-a-warrior-to-be/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/k759yyh>
Based on the recent surfacing of a picture of the King Edward's
School Cadet Corps (later known as the Officer Training Corps) in
which Tolkien was a corporal. The picture is from 4 April 1907 and
shows a young Tolkien in his cadet uniform. John Garth explains the
context of the picture, and puts it in perspective by discussing the
young boys at the school as they emerged for him from the pages of
the school chronicle and other sources ... and not least by
discussing the fate of this generation less than a decade after this
picture was taken. If you allow yourself to stop and think, a
picture and a few words in school chronicle can be a powerful
spell.


= = = = Commentary = = = =

Donald T. Williams, _Touchstone_, November/December issue 2013, "The
World of the Rings"
<http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=26-06-014-v>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/pyvx6vu>
An interesting take on one of the significant differences between
Tolkien's story and Jackson's -- and certainly some of the
explanation of why people such as myself feel that the latter feels
wrong and trivial in comparison.

MB, Friday, 7 March 2014, "Tolkien, Anglo-Saxon England and the
Viking exhibition at the British Museum"
<http://www.thetolkienist.com/2014/03/07/tolkien-anglo-saxon-england-and-the-viking-exhibition-at-the-british-museum/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/nzpfmlx>
Unless Marcel has access to insider sources, this (and his February
28 post about _Beowulf_ in Old English) must be a nice bit of
serendipidity as it ties in very well with the later news about the
upcoming publication of Tolkien's translation of _Beowulf_. I went
to see the "Vikings" exhibition last summer in Copenhagen, and it
really is very nice: if it comes to a place near you at some point
in the coming years, I can recommend taking the time to see it.
See also the blog from the British Museum:
Gareth Williams, British Museum, Friday, 7 March 2014, "The Vikings
are here ..."
<http://blog.britishmuseum.org/2014/03/07/the-vikings-are-here/>

Lynn Forest-Hill, Saturday, 8 March 2014, "First Saturday, March"
<http://southfarthingmathom2012.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/first-saturday-march/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/o946u8b>
Discussion of the last bits of _The Fall of Arthur_ ...

Albert Mohler, Tuesday, 11 March 2014, "From Father to Son -- J.R.R.
Tolkien on Sex"
<http://www.albertmohler.com/2014/03/11/from-father-to-son-j-r-r-tolkien-on-sex/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/nanf7dy>
Based mostly on letter no. 43 from _The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien_
(to Michael Tolkien, 6-8 March 1941). The context of this letter
seems quite special, and Tolkien is saying things here that he
contradicts elsewhere, so I would take this letter with more than a
single grain of salt. Mr Mohler, however, seems to take the letter
at face value, making his reading fairly straight-forward, but also
not particularly interesting.

BC, Sunday, 23 March 2014, "Is it immature to regard Tolkien as a
great writer?"
<http://notionclubpapers.blogspot.dk/2014/03/is-it-immature-to-regard-tolkien-as.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/pl9oxnm>
Well, of course it is not immature to regard Tolkien as a great
writer -- rather the opposite, I would say. On the other hand, it
may be bit immature to insist on the existence of one single
"greatest writer in the world" in "the strict sense" of that term.

Philip Kosloski, Wednesday, 26 March 2014, "Is There Occult Magic In
The Lord of the Rings?"
<http://www.philipkosloski.com/2014/03/is-there-occult-magic-in-lord-of-rings.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/q6yqjgu>
While I do not particulary agree with the specific approach, there
is nonetheless an interesting underlying question of how to convince
concerned people that fantastic fiction, despite featuring magic,
does _not_ promote occult practices in the Primary World. We can
shake our heads and call them nutcases, but some of these are
keeping their children from some of the best literature available
for completely fallacious reasons ...

Sue Brunning, British Museum, Wednesday, 26 March 2014, "Sutton Hoo,
treasure hunters and a lucky escape"
<http://blog.britishmuseum.org/2014/03/26/sutton-hoo-treasure-hunters-and-a-lucky-escape/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/om76o72>
Just because the Sutton Hoo treasure is fascinating and is often
mentioned together with _Beowulf_ of curent Tolkien topicality.


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

Journal of Tolkien Research
<http://scholar.valpo.edu/journaloftolkienresearch/>
Had it not been for the more or less simultaneous announcement of
the publication of _Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary_, I am
sure that this exciting bit of news would have gathered quite a lot
more interest in the Tolkien community. It is a pity that these two
things should co-incide, but such is sometimes how things go. I hope
this can help spur interest, and once we start seeing articles from
this journal, I am sure that much more will be made of it.

PC, Wednesday, 5 March 2014, "The Ideal of Kingship in the Writings
of Charles Williams, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien by Christopher
Scarf"
<http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/1144-the-ideal-of-kingship.php>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/lvlowut>
A review of Scarf's book from June 2013. The idea of a comparative
study of kingship in these three Inklings authors, looking at the
topic from literary, and historical as well as from a religious
point of view seems intriguing.

PC, Wednesday, 5 March 2014, "Middle-Earth in Magic Mirror Maps...
of the Wilderland in Wales... of the Shire in England by Steve
Ponty"
<http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/1128-jrr-tolkien-magic-mirror-maps-of-wales.php>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/kh83gxs>
A preview of a book that seems to take a cartographic look at
Tolkien's maps. I must admit that I remain unconvinced by the
descriptions here -- it will take more to persuade me that this is
more than another poorly researched attempt at straw-grasping
source-hunting.

JF, Sunday, 9 March 2014, "New Tolkien collection -- and a new
publication credit"
<http://lingwe.blogspot.dk/2014/03/new-tolkien-collection-and-new.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/o8fkqzd>
Half the story of Jason Fisher's own involvement with the two
volumes of the French _Tolkien, le façonnement d'un monde_ (vol. 1
about botany and astronomy, vol. 2 about astronomy and geography),
and also in part a review of particularly the latest which is newly
published. French is, unfortunately, a language that is beyond me
(and likely to remain so), so I will only have access to that which
appears also in English.
See also PC, Sunday, 9 March 2014, "Tolkien, le façonnement d'un
monde - vol. 2, Astronomie & Géographie"
<http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/1145-tolkien-le-faconnement-monde-volume-2-astronomie-Geographie.php>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/o7gukyq>
Which is more of a review, commenting on, I think, all the contents
of this volume.

MB, _Mythprint_, Friday, 14 March 2014, "J.R.R Tolkien: The True
Lord of the Rings"
<http://www.mythsoc.org/reviews/jrrt-true-lord-of-the-rings/>
A review by Marcel Aubron-Bülles of a graphical biography of
Tolkien, _J.R.R Tolkien - The True Lord of the Rings_. Given the
brilliant biographical works by Carpenter and Garth and, for the
more advanced students, Scull & Hammond, I think this comic-book
approach is at best of value to young people whose interest for
J.R.R. Tolkien's works are only just branching out into an interest
also in Tolkien as a person.

JDR, Saturday, 15 March 2014, "Shippey Lectures"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/2014/03/shippey-lectures.html>
About an audio-book with lectures by Tom Shippey on _Heroes and
Legends: The Most Influential Characters of Literature_, which
starts out with a lecture on Frodo Baggins. Given Shippey's
fantastic ability to reach out to his audience, this is probably
well worth the money.

Oloris Publishing, Thursday, 20 March 2014, "Pre-release Excerpt
from Dr. Higgens' "Anglo-Saxon Community in J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The
Lord of the Rings'""
<http://olorispublishing.mymiddleearth.com/2014/03/20/pre-release-excerpt-from-dr-higgens-anglo-saxon-community-in-j-r-r-tolkiens-the-lord-of-the-rings/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/q6ppcl9>
See also the release notice below (25 March).

AS, Monday, 24 March 2014, "Dictionnaire Tolkien, ed. Ferré"
<http://medievallyspeaking.blogspot.ca/2014/03/dictionnaire-tolkien-ed-ferre.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/ow28rgf>
Anna Smol's review of _Dictionnaire Tolkien_ (edited by Vincent Ferré). As with the books discussed by Jason Fisher above, I will have to hope that some of this will eventually be translated into English and made available to the wider Tolkien community (a lot of very excellent stuff is coming out in other languages -- German, Spanish, French etc. -- but English is, I think, likely to remain the primary language of Tolkien research).

Oliris Publishing, Tuesday, 25 March 2014, "Announcing the Release
of "Anglo-Saxon Community in J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Lord of the
Rings'" by Dr. Deborah A. Higgens"
<http://olorispublishing.mymiddleearth.com/2014/03/25/announcing-the-release-of-anglo-saxon-community-in-j-r-r-tolkiens-the-lord-of-the-rings-by-dr-deborah-a-higgens/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/pn9pgtt>
Announcing the release of this book. The book has of course been
underway for quite a while, and so the timing with respect to the
news of the release of Tolkien's _Beowulf: A Translation and
Commentary_ can only be said to be a stroke of luck -- hopefully
that bodes good for Oliris Publishing.

PC, Wednesday, 26 March 2014, "Tolkien Calendar 2015 features
artwork from artist Mary Fairburn from The Lord of the Rings"
<http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/1147-tolkien-calendar-2015-art-mary-fairburn.php>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/nzj79xg>
I do not normally buy the calendars (preferring art-books or prints
if I want to buy Tolkien-related art), but this is darned tempting
...

PC, Thursday, 27 March 2014, "J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings
60th Anniversary Edition will be released in June"
<http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/1149-60th-anniversary-edition-the-lord-of-the-rings.php>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/p9kyhum>
About the sixtieth anniversay edition of _The Lord of the Rings_,
which will be released in June. Personally I am hoping for a later
hard-cover edition only with Tolkien's own illustrations and some
well-produced maps, as I am not particularly fond of having other
illustrations in my _Hobbit_ and _LotR_ editions (it's an
idiosyncratic quirk -- I _like_ the illustrations, but I don't want
them in the books ...)
See also
TS, Friday, 28 March 2014, "60th Anniversary Edition of The Lord of
the Rings"
<http://www.tolkiensociety.org/2014/03/60th-anniversary-edition-of-the-lord-of-the-rings/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/pst59bh>

Kris Swank, Mythgard Institute, Thursday, 27 March 2014, "New CFPs
-- Tolkien, Whedon & Medievalism"
<http://www.mythgard.org/2014/03/new-cfps-tolkien-whedon-medievalism>
Calls for papers for the new _Journal of Tolkien Research_ (see
above), and for two conferences (not particularly Tolkien-related).

MB, Thursday, 27 March 2014, "Call for Papers: Overlooked Aspects of
Middle-earth"
<http://www.thetolkienist.com/2014/03/27/call-for-papers-overlooked-aspects-of-middle-earth/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/ptaf5go>
A call for papers issued by the Dutch Tolkien Society, Unquendor,
for their _Lembas Extra_ journal.

Wiley, Ultimo March 2014, "A Companion to J. R. R. Tolkien"
<http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0470659823.html>
The publisher's page for this upcoming (May 2014) book. I hope,
however, that it will become available at a somewhat lower price, as
the price quoted at the Wiley site seems rather steep. Note that the
list of contents, the index and chapter 1 are all available as pdf
files from this page.

H&S, Monday, 31 March 2014, "Tolkien Notes 11"
<http://wayneandchristina.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/tolkien-notes-11/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/pd9xttj>
An update on various Tolkien projects, additional information on the
_Beowulf_ and the 60th anniversary edition of LotR, a review of _The
Forest and the Hill_ and other notes of Tolkien interest. As usual
these notes are densely packed with very interesting information.


= = = = Tolkienian Artwork = = = =

JM, Monday, 3 March 2014, "Narya"
<http://jefmurray.mymiddleearth.com/2014/03/03/narya/>
Gandalf with Narya on his finger

JM, Monday, 3 March 2014, "Meeting Bilbo"
<http://jefmurray.mymiddleearth.com/2014/03/03/meeting-bilbo/>
Gandalf meeting a very young Bilbo who has crawled up a tree. "Not
the Gandalf who was responsible for so many quiet lads and lasses
going off into the Blue for mad adventures? Anything from climbing
trees to visiting elves-or sailing in ships, sailing to other
shores!" Oh, yes, Bilbo. _That_ Gandalf! Brilliant sketch by Jef
Murray!

Sergiu, Tuesday, 4 March 2014, "Misty Mountains"
<http://www.john-howe.com/portfolio/gallery/details.php?image_id=6223>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/m7dewt7>
I don't know how it's made, but the title is apt, and I like it!

JGi, Monday, 17 March 2014, "Three is Company (A Starry Night In The
Shire)"
<http://joegilronanlordoftherings.blogspot.dk/2014/03/three-is-company-starry-night-in-shire.html#.UznTXvmSwpg>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/o5jojv2>
The title says it quite well -- the three hobbits are only just
setting out from Bag End in this painting by joe Gilronan.

Graeme, Monday, 24 March 2014, "Escape to the eyrie"
<http://www.john-howe.com/portfolio/gallery/details.php?image_id=6227>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/o49dsrj>
Bilbo hanging on to Dori's ankles in the Eagle-assisted escape from
the wolves and goblins in _The Hobbit_. See also the later image
"Still escaping" (image_id=6228 from the 25th).

JM, Monday, 24 March 2014, "Jef Murray Studio Tour"
<http://jefmurray.mymiddleearth.com/2014/03/24/jef-murray-studios-tour/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/qe3zfyf>
A video tour of Jef Murray's studio, guided by the artist himself.
The place is very nice, but Jef's explanations are, to me, at least,
even more interesting.


= = = = Other Stuff = = = =

Corinne Keer, Tuesday, 18 February 2014, "The British Strike Again!
Heros for Our Time: Frodo Baggins and Harry Potter"
<http://buquad.com/2014/02/18/the-british-strike-again-heros-for-our-time-frodo-baggins-and-harry-potter/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/po6kcs9>
A report from a lecture by Tom Shippey titled "Heroes for Our Time:
Frodo Baggins and Harry Potter".

Thomas Morwinsky, _Other Minds_, Sunday, 9 March 2014, "Other Minds,
Issue 14 published!"
<http://www.othermindsmagazine.com/news/other-minds-issue-14-published>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/q9f7tnf>
_Other Minds_ is an on-line magazine focusing on Role Playing in
Tolkien's Middle-earth.

Noah Berlatsky, _Salon_, Monday, 10 March 2014, "10 songs Tolkien
fans will love"
<http://www.salon.com/2014/03/01/10_songs_tolkien_fans_will_love/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/m7pwsph>
I don't know why I should _love_ these song, but then I prefer not
to call myself a "fan", so perhaps the headline doesn't apply to me
... The Tolkien references in these songs are generally trivial and
uninteresting -- seeming more a space for some artists to say "look,
I read books, too" than any genuine response to Tolkien's work.
Though my taste has since mellowed, I did listen to a lot of
punk-rock and heavy metal in my youth, but I still fail to see what
in Tolkien's works that would inspire that kind of reaction. Not
that I think that the Sally Oldfield song is much better (as
Berlatsky asks, "Is "Three rings for the elven kings," really
supposed to sound quite so cheery?"). Of the oeuvre on offer, the
Oldfield, the Sangster, and the Rahman seem to me reasonable
artistic responses to Tolkien's work.
That leaves the two songs that set music and tune to Tolkienian
lyrics. The Walking Song from _The Hobbit_ is not exactly the same
as the one from LotR, but it is close, and, in my opinion, more
successful than both _The Tolkien Ensemble_ (usually my favourite
band for setting Tolkien's lyrics to music) and Donald Swann, and
almost as successful as Shore's tune to the song for the New Line
Cinema films. The last one, setting the Ring-verse to music, I am in
at least two (and probably more) minds about.

EJ, Thursday, 20 March 2014, "The Perks of a Geeky Project"
<http://lotrproject.com/blog/2014/03/21/the-perks-of-a-geeky-project/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/puedgbf>
A very personal post by Emil Johansson reflecting over his own
motivation for his continued work on his LotRProject web-site. I can
certainly recognise a lot of what he says, in case you were
wondering what has kept me posting monthly summaries of
Tolkien-related activity on the internet (mostly) for nearly four
years. For my own part, I would want to add a deep yearning to
_learn_ -- to increase my knowledge and understanding and to share
that simply for the joy of shared knowledge in and of itself (I
would, however, not be surprised if Emil is also affected by this).

MythCon, Friday, 28 March 2014, "Mythcon 45 Room & Board Now
Available"
<http://www.mythsoc.org/news/mythcon-45-room-board-available/>
For those attending MythCon 45 ...


= = = = Rewarding Discussions = = = =

_Mythsoc_, Yahoo group: "Fwd: Tolkien's 1926 Translation of Beowulf
To Be Published in M..."
<https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/mythsoc/conversations/topics/25152>
<tinyurl.com/putund6>
With the new Yahoo groups interface they seem to have ditched the
threaded view (a great pity), and I do not know if you can see the
messages if you are not a member of the list ... But still, the
discussion is certainly worth-while. Around post 50, I ask to the
academic / scholarly interest in the publication of Tolkien's
_Beowulf_ translation (with commentary and _Sellic Spell_), and
there are some very good answers to that.


= = = = Web Sites = = = =

Tolkien's Beowulf
<http://www.tolkienbeowulf.com/>
The official home page for the book ...

The Journal of Tolkien Research
<http://scholar.valpo.edu/journaloftolkienresearch/>
The site for the new peer-reviewed on-line journal - there you can
also find how to submit articles for the journal.

The Tolkien Society
<http://www.tolkiensociety.org/>
The Tolkien Society has launched its new web-site - very smart and
with a nice RSS feed to keep up with new stuff on the site.

MEDEM Tiles
<http://66.172.33.110/openlayers2.html>
A fascinating new on-line map of Middle-earth ready for exploration.


= = = = The Blog Roll = = = =

These are blogs you really should be following yourself if you're
interested in Tolkien ...
Contents from these blogs will only be reported here if there is
something that I find particularly interesting, or posts that fit
with a monthly theme, but I will here note the number of
Tolkien-related posts in the month covered by these transactions
(while the number of posts with a vaguer relation -- e.g. by being
about other Inklings -- are given in parentheses).

Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond (S&H), "Too Many Books and
Never Enough"
<http://wayneandchristina.wordpress.com/>
A single Tolkien-related post in March 2014 (see above), and one
post about the garden waiting for spring.

Jason Fisher (JF) -- "Lingwë -- Musings of a Fish"
<http://lingwe.blogspot.com>
1 Tolkien-related posts in March 2014 (see above).

Pieter Collier (PC), "The Tolkien Library"
<http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/>
9 Tolkien-related posts in March 2014. Besides the 6 mentioned
above, there is an update from the Tolkien Library shop (detailing
items for sale), an extra post on Tolkien's _Beowulf_ and one by a
guest-writer with inspirational quotations, some of which are by
J.R.R. Tolkien.

Douglas A. Anderson (DAA), "Tolkien and Fantasy"
<http://tolkienandfantasy.blogspot.com/>
No posts in March 2014

John D. Rateliff (JDR) -- "Sacnoth's Scriptorium"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.com>
4 (+1) Tolkien-related posts in March 2014, the four listed above,
and the last a mere allusion to _The Brief History of the Hobbit_
("cutting a 400,000 word book by about 40%"). In addition there are
a number of posts on other writers of fantastic fiction, Pratchett,
Lovecraft, Grahame, Dunsany etc.

Marcel Aubron-Bülles (MB), "The Tolkienist"
<http://thetolkienist.com/>
7 (+3) Tolkien-related posts in March 2014. In addition to those
mentioned above, there is a post about an attempt at marketing
slogans based (mostly) on Tolkien, a post about a film-promo using a
picture from the _real_ Middle-earth (the English Midlands), a
Jackson-inspired wedding cake, a post about first edition _Hobbits_
coming up for auction (for those with some thousand quid to spare
...), and a post on Middle-earth in the English Midlands, the
Midlands landscape as a source of inspiration for Tolkien.

David Bratman (DB), "Kalimac"
<http://kalimac.blogspot.com/>
and the old home:
<http://calimac.livejournal.com/>
No Tolkien-related posts in March 2014.

Jenny Dolfen (JD), "Jenny's Sketchbook"
<http://goldseven.wordpress.com/>
No Tolkien-related paintings in March 2014

Holly Rodgers (HR), "Teaching Tolkien"
<http://teachingtolkien.com/>
No posts in March 2014

Anna Smol (AS), "A Single Leaf"
<http://annasmol.net/>
1 Tolkien-related posts in March 2014, for which see above.

Various, The Mythopoeic Society
<http://www.mythsoc.org>
1 (+1) Tolkien-related posts in March 2014 -- a review and the
Mythcon 45 announcement. See both above.

Morgan Thomsen (MT), "Mythoi"
<http://mythoi.tolkienindex.net>
No posts in March 2014

Emil Johansson (EJ), "LotR Project Blog"
<http://lotrproject.com/blog/>
2 (+1) Tolkien-related posts in March 2014. All are listed above.

Michael Martinez (MM), "Middle-earth"
<http://middle-earth.xenite.org/>
No posts in March 2014

Bruce Charlton (BC), "Tolkien's The Notion Club Papers"
<http://notionclubpapers.blogspot.com/>
3 Tolkien-related posts in March 2014. Beyond the one listed above,
there is a list of seven books about Tolkien that Charlton does
_not_ recommend. I suppose that it is fair enough to mention that
three of these books are on the Tolkien Society recommended list of
books about Tolkien that I have contributed to:
<http://www.tolkiensociety.org/the-author/books-about-tolkien/>


= = = = Sources = = = =

New sources in March 2014
Bradford Lee Eden and Douglas A. Anderson (editors), (JTR), "Journal
of Tolkien Research"
<http://scholar.valpo.edu/journaloftolkienresearch/>

The Tolkien Society (TS)
<http://www.tolkiensociety.org/>
In addition to the posts listed above, you can also find
announcements of a number of Tolkien events around the world in
2014.

For older sources, see <http://parmarkenta.blogspot.com/p/sources.html>

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

"It would seem that you have no useful skill or talent
whatsoever," he said. "Have you thought of going into
teaching?"
- /Mort/ (Terry Pratchett)
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