Tolkien Transactions

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Troels Forchhammer

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May 6, 2010, 5:56:43 PM5/6/10
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Once more I set out to relate to you a number of recent items of
Tolkien-related interest that I have found around the 'net. I dare
say that much of this will be familiar to many here, but still I
dare hope that it will be of some help to some readers :-)

This time I've tried to organise things a bit differently. I've
selected a number of topics (of which 'Reviews' is possibly the most
interesting), and organise things chronologically within each topic
(with the exception of follow-up postings, which are presented
out-of-sequence, but indented).


= = = = 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/>


= = = = News = = = =

JDR: Thursday, April 15, 2010: "Tolkien on April Fool's"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/2010/04/tolkien-on-april-fools.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/2vgxjsg>
Two of the better Tolkien-inspired April Fool's jokes on the 'net --
unfortunately it seems that only the Mordor travel guide is still
available (at least I haven't been able to get to see thread in the
other link).

JDR: Friday, April 23, 2010: "The Book of Jonah: Lost at Sea?"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/2010/04/book-of-jonah-lost-at-sea.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/2ueyugj>
Another announcement of the fact that the independent publishing of
Tolkien's translation of _The Book of Jonah_ has been abandoned --
for now, at least.


= = = = Essays = = = =

MD: Monday, April 26, 2010: "Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics":
The Brilliant Essay that Broke Beowulf Studies"
<http://wormtalk.blogspot.com/2010/04/beowulf-monsters-and-critics-brilliant.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/3xhxdql>
Advertising an essay that he has put up at the "Lotrplaza" web-site:
<http://www.lotrplaza.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=237825&PN=1>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/3x9nnyl>
In my Word copy, this is a 6� page essay (plus notes) on _Beowulf_
-- both Tolkien's views on the poem (and the way it ought to be
looked upon), the present state of Beowulf criticism and the
influence of the former upon the latter; in particular through the
famous essay. All in all an interesting overview article for the
Tolkien-interested lay-man.


= = = = Reviews: = = = =

JS: TUesday, April 13, 2010: "Middle-earth Minstrel now available"
<http://lingwe.blogspot.com/2010/04/middle-earth-minstrel-now-available.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/2utq6or>
Actually it's more of an announcement than a review, though it does
come with a recommendation to buy ;-)

JDR: Tuesday, April 13, 2010: "The New Arrival: Strange Bedfellows"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/2010/04/new-arrival-strange-bedfellows.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/36ogga5>
A review of _Pagan Resurrection_ by Richard Rudgley, notable mainly
for having a short chapter on Tolkien's mythology which John reports
that it is 'pretty solid, if not groundbreaking.'

JDR: Thursday, April 22, 2010: "Gandalf's Garden"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/2010/04/gandalfs-garden.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/375eylt>
Comments on illustrations from the Richard Rudgley book -- mainly
the illustrations for the Tolkien chapter, also introducing the
photo discussed later, on April 27 ("The Merton Photo").

JDR: Tuesday, April 27, 2010: "The Merton Photo"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/2010/04/merton-photo.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/24cycxh>
Further commentary on a photo from the Rudgley book, also
mentioning an unpublished Blackwelder book collecting the known
photos of Tolkien. I really wish that this book will eventually
see publication!

JS: Monday, April 19, 2010: "My review of Tolkien's View is
available online"
<http://lingwe.blogspot.com/2010/04/my-review-of-tolkiens-view-is-available.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/369uobt>
The blog post is not the review itself, but rather contains a link
to his review of _Tolkien's View: Windows into his World_ by J.S.
Ryan. Jason writes that the review will be taken down, but it is
still available today (2010-05-06). The essays themselves are not
new, and, according to Jason, 'best read in its historical context,
as many of Ryan's findings are dated and have been improved on by
subsequent scholars', but he is nevertheless leaves a positive
impression of the book (at least for me).
The page also contains a review (in English) of Thomas Scholz's
_Weit entfernte Wunder. Zur Konstruktion von Raum und Zeit in der
englischen Fantasyliteratur am Beispiel von J.R.R. Tolkiens The
Hobbit._ This book also sounds promising for its 145 pages, though I
am afraid that my German is probably no longer up to it (and I'm not
sure my wife would be too happy about helping me out . . .)

JS: Thursday, April 22, 2010: "Another of my reviews goes online"
<http://lingwe.blogspot.com/2010/04/another-of-my-reviews-goes-online.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/2vhhwb2>
Another link to an on-line review, this time of Hilary Tolkien's
_Black and White Ogre Country_, summarized as a 'short but
delightful book' which Jason deems 'well worth reading.'

JDR: Thursday, April 29, 2010: "Tolkien Documentary (I)"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/2010/04/tolkien-documentary-i.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/3668h8w>
A review of a DVD documentary from Lion's Gate called _The Master of
the Rings: The Unauthorized Story Behind J. R. R. Tolkien's _The
Lord of the Rings.__ -- the short version is this: 'you won't learn
anything about Tolkien you didn't know before' and 'the best part
are seeing the Oxford sites (including his favorite tree) and the HC
bits; would that there were more.'


= = = = Simon Tolkien = = = =
<http://simontolkien.com/>

There has been some interest about Simon Tolkien (Christopher
Tolkien's son) lately -- apparently he has published his second
novel (ostensively some kind of detective / court-room mix), but
much of the fuss is of course because he is willing to speak also
about his father and grandfather and how he relates to their work.

Has anyone read any of Simon's own books? I admit that my own
interest in the man is mainly as a first-hand witness to the life of
his grandfather (terribly insensitive and impersonal of me, I'm
afraid -- in some ways I _am_ sorry to behave like this), but I'd
like to hear some reports of his abilities in his own right.

JDR: Sunday, April 18, 2010: "Simon Tolkien Interview"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/2010/04/simon-tolkien-interview.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/34yypc2>
Here's there's a link to an interview. The interesting part (to me
at least) is that he speaks about his memories of J.R.R. Tolkien.
It's a pity, I think, that he doesn't get to speak about his own
books, but of course, since my interest is in his grandfather, I
shouldn't complain, really :-)

JDR: Monday, April 26, 2010: "New Simon Tolkien Interview"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/2010/04/new-simon-tolkien-interview.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/37nkpao>
Another interview with Simon Tolkien. This one quite short, though I
found it interesting to see his summary of Tolkien's position on
mythopoesis: '[JRRT] believed that human beings are most fulfilled
when they create using their imaginations.'


= = = = Other Stuff = = = =

JS: Monday, April 12, 2010: "CSLIS 13 Conference Report"
<http://lingwe.blogspot.com/2010/04/cslis-13-conference-report.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/33oa44x>
Though a report from a conference on C.S. Lewis, there is,
unsurprisingly, much in the report that will also interest those who
devote their interest mainly to Tolkien. Thus both Jason's own
paper, and at least two of the winning / runner-up papers have clear
Tolkien-related contents.

JDR: Wednesday, April 21, 2010: "Clever Crows"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/2010/04/clever-crows.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/34nx4we>
Readers of John's fantastic _History of the Hobbit_ will possibly
remember his arguments regarding the intelligence of crows and
ravens and their ability to learn to speak (mimicking) human words.
While not explicitly related to this in the blog, I couldn't help
thinking of his arguments in the book, when I read this blog post.

In addition to all of this, there is a new issue of _Mythprint_ out
-- the first (I think) to be delivered electronically to the
subscribers. Among other things it contains a review of _Tolkien and
Shakespeare: Essays on Shared Themes and Language_ edited by Janet
Brennan Croft . . . suffice to say that the review did not convince
me that this is a book I ought to buy, and I don't think that this
would make the reviewer think he had failed in his intention.

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

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable
from magic.
- Arthur C. Clarke, /Profiles of The Future/, 1961
(Also known as 'Clarke's third law')

Steve Morrison

unread,
May 6, 2010, 8:18:35 PM5/6/10
to
Troels Forchhammer wrote:

> In addition to all of this, there is a new issue of _Mythprint_ out
> -- the first (I think) to be delivered electronically to the
> subscribers. Among other things it contains a review of _Tolkien and
> Shakespeare: Essays on Shared Themes and Language_ edited by Janet
> Brennan Croft . . . suffice to say that the review did not convince
> me that this is a book I ought to buy, and I don't think that this
> would make the reviewer think he had failed in his intention.


I have this volume, but I've found it to be of only mild interest.
In fact, I've never finished most of the essays. (Rather a shame,
since you'd think this topic could produce interesting analysis!)

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