Tolkien Transactions XXVII

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Troels Forchhammer

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Aug 3, 2012, 11:18:17 AM8/3/12
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July 2012

A busy month!

In my "spare time" I have started in a new job and been to our
national scout jamboree, Jamboree Denmark 2012, which has left me
rather short of time for serious Tolkien work . . . ;-) (which also
accounts for the delay in posting this)

August will see me travelling to Loughborough for The Return of the
Ring -- an event that I am looking very, very much forward to.


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: Other Stuff
5: Interviews
6: Rewarding Discussions
7: In Print
8: Web Sites
9: Sources


= = = = News = = = =

Nathan Quevedo, _Merced Sun-Star_, Wednesday, 4 July 2012, "Merced
County students to perform Tolkien's 'The Hobbit'
<http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2012/07/04/2408582/merced-county-students-to-perform.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/cuncwv5>
One more group of students performing _The Hobbit_ as a stage play.
Read the review here:
_Merced Sun-Star_, Thursday, 19 July 2012, "Merced County students
bring Tolkien's 'The Hobbit' to life on stage"
<http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2012/07/19/2425396/merced-county-students-bring-tolkiens.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/c3lu97v>

Lauren Davis, _io9_, Saturday, 7 July 2012, "Interactive_ Lord of
the Rings_ timeline shows exactly where in Middle Earth Tolkien's
adventures took place"
<http://io9.com/5924185/interactive-lord-of-the-rings-timeline-shows-exactly-where-in-middle-earth-tolkiens-adventures-took-place>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/c8kcy84>
Do you remember the big family-tree project that got some attention
a while back? Well, now it seems that the programmers have taken it
a step further and created a timeline that will map some Second and
Third Age events on an associated post-War of Wrath map. See link
and more comments below.

Josh Vogt, Sunday, 8 July 2012, "The Tolkien Society announces this
year's Oxonmoot"
<http://www.examiner.com/article/the-tolkien-society-announces-this-year-s-oxonmoot>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/c792am3>
Oxonmoot is announced for the weekend of 21st through 23rd
September, this year with 'a little surprise for attendees in
hounour of' the 75th anniversary of _The Hobbit_ which this year's
Oxonmoot happens to coincide with.

Doug Kane, Saturday, 14 July 2012, "New Tolkien Studies co-editor"
<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mythsoc/message/23183>
Following Doug Anderson's exit from the group of editors of _Tolkien
Studies_, it is now announced that David Bratman will take over as
co-editor responsible for the reviews and Merlin DeTardo will take
full responsibility for the Year's Work article. It is, I think,
appropriate at this point to add some expression of gratitude for
the work done by all involved, especially the editors of the journal
(if we do single out Doug Anderson at this point, it is only because
he has now left the editor group), and to congratulate David Bratman
and Merlin DeTardo for their new responsibilities for which they are
eminently suited.

DB, Saturday, 14 July 2012, "student of Tolkien"
<http://kalimac.blogspot.com/2012/07/student-of-tolkien.html>
David Bratman's own announcement of the changes in the _Tolkien
Studies_ editorship.

Nick Collins, _The Telegraph_, Wednesday, 25 July 2012, "Beowulf and
Iliad 'more plausible than Shakespeare'"
<http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/9423516/Beowulf-and-Iliad-more-plausible-than-Shakespeare.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/d58wskn>
Using modern network theory, the researchers show that the networks
portrayed in ancient legends and myths are more real than those
described in fiction, including Tolkien's /The Fellowship of the
Ring/. So, if you've ever felt that 'this is not how friend
networks work' when reading Tolkien, Shakespeare or some other
author, you were probably right ;-) See also
ANI, Wednesday, 25 July 2012, "Why Beowulf and Iliad are more
plausible than Shakespeare's stories"
<http://www.sify.com/news/why-beowulf-and-iliad-are-more-plausible-than-shakespeare-s-stories-news-international-mhzruehiecd.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/brokyn7>

William Dove, _International Business Times_, Wednesday, 24 July
2012, "The Lord of the Rings as You've Never Read it Before"
<http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/articles/366720/20120725/lord-rings-hobbit-history-middle-earth.htm>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/c5a2tmy>
In essence an invitation to go read the history of _The Lord of the
Rings_ in the _The History of Middle-earth_ vols. 6 through 9. That
invitation / suggestion is hereby passed on!

Robert T. Trate, _Mania_, Thursday, 26 July 2012, "The Hobbit
Trilogy?"
<http://www.mania.com/hobbit-trilogy_article_133719.html>
Though I was personally more excited about other news towards the
end of the month, the announcement that there will be three films
based on _The Hobbit_ has certainly received by far the most
exposure on the 'net of any Tolkien-related story this month. Here
are a links to a few, probably not representative, articles on the
matter.
Brian Salomon, _Forbes_, Thursday, 26 July 2012, "'The Hobbit' As A
Trilogy? Hollywood Has Jumped The Shark"
<http://www.forbes.com/sites/briansolomon/2012/07/26/the-hobbit-as-a-trilogy-hollywood-has-jumped-the-shark/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/c6ovcwc>
SJ, Monday, 30 July 2012, "A 3rd Hobbit movie: Bad Idea"
<http://steuard.livejournal.com/88412.html>
Erik Kain, _Forbes_, Monday, 30 July 2012, "Peter Jackson Confirms
'The Hobbit' Will Be A Trilogy"
<http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2012/07/30/peter-jackson-confirms-the-hobbit-will-be-a-trilogy/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/bqlvbrz>
SJ, Tuesday, 31 July 2012, "Why three Hobbit movies? Here's my
guess."
<http://steuard.livejournal.com/88772.html>
JDR, Tuesday, 31 July 2012, "Three Films"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.dk/2012/07/three-films.html>

Josh Vogt, _Examiner_, Monday, 30 July 2012, "Guardians of
Middle-earth developers explain why game isn't for Tolkien purists"
<http://www.examiner.com/article/guardians-of-middle-earth-developers-explain-why-game-isn-t-for-tolkien-purists>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/cldbkoc>
Not exactly a surprise, is it? A game will also have to allow some
level of 'fairness' -- how well you're doing in the game should
reflect your level of skill with the game rather than just the
character you chose, so a certain (big) degree of levelling is quite
natural. Whether I wish to play such a game does not really depend
on how well it reflects Tolkien's intentions, but rather on the game
play. It might annoy me, however, if the game designers were to
claim that they were being completely faithful to Tolkien's work, so
in that sense the honesty here is good.


= = = = Essays and Scholarship = = = =

JDR, Sunday, 8 July 2012, "The New Arrivals (2nd of 2)"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/2012/07/new-arrivals-2nd-of-2.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/bt3qk8w>
John Rateliff, while searching for another issue, has found and
bought a 1973 Tolkien memorial issue of _Locus_ and in addition to
describing it, he also quotes from some of the contributors.

BC, Tuesday, 10 July 2012, "Tolkien and Lewis's annus divertium of
1936: a catalytic role for Charles Williams The Place of the Lion?"
<http://notionclubpapers.blogspot.com/2012/07/tolkien-and-lewiss-annus-divertium-of.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/cwsxtbh>
Bruce Charlton on the influence he perceives of Charles Williams on
C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien in 1936. Though I am at a disadvantage
at not having read any Williams, I think Charlton exaggerates the
influence on Tolkien, and also exaggerates the importance, for
Tolkien, of _The Lost Road_ and _The Notion Club Papers_, none of
which appear to me to have been truly pivotal or seminal to
Tolkien's work.

JM, Thursday, 12 July 2012, "Tolkien's metaphysics of evil"
Part 53: "The good as the efficacy of evil"
<http://jonathansmcintosh.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/the-good-as-the-efficacy-of-evil/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/bvkpwz8>
This month has seen the final postings in Jonathan McIntosh' series
on Tolkien's metaphysics of evil. He has some very interesting
thoughts on how to understand the semblance of evil as an
independent force. I am trying to understand it all, and while I am
not sure that I can go the full nine yards with McIntosh (I am, for
instance, not sure that his reading of Shippey is entirely fair, and
I think that the difference may be smaller than he allows), I do
think that McIntosh has some important points that should be
considered when discussing the portrayal of evil in Tolkien's work.
Saturday, 21 July 2012, Finale: "Why Manichaeism doesn't allow evil
to be real enough"
<http://jonathansmcintosh.wordpress.com/2012/07/21/why-manichaeism-doesnt-allow-evil-to-be-real-enough/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/d27ffvu>

BC, Friday, 13 July 2012, "Why read Tolkien's Notion Club Papers?"
<http://notionclubpapers.blogspot.com/2012/07/why-read-tolkiens-notion-club-papers.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/clzzj9x>
I almost said, 'because it's a good and fascinating read' -- is
there a need to say more? Bruce Charlton here reproduces his
article from the July 2012 issue of _Beyond Bree_. I agree with
Charlton in his descriptions, though I don't agree entirely with his
conclusions about the importance of The Notion Club Papers in the
evolution of Tolkien's _The Lord of the Rings_.

JDR, Saturday, 14 July 2012, "A Brief Sad History, Revisited"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.dk/2012/07/brief-sad-history-revisited.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/cxlcxx4>
A video of John Rateliff's guest of honour talk from MERP.con IV, 'A
Brief, Sad History of Tolkien Roleplaying Games'.

Ian Richard, Sunday, 22 July 2012, "An Analysis of Tolkien's
Subterranean Realms within _The Hobbit_"
<http://iantrichardblog.wordpress.com/2012/07/22/an-analysis-of-tolkiens-subterranean-realms-within-the-hobbit-book-four-of-the-subterranean-in-science-fiction-and-fantasy-series-by-ian-richard/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/d3mvqnr>
A rather interesting analysis of _The Hobbit_ that focuses on the
use of subterranean settings and themes (darkness, secrecy etc.).
This provides an interesting perspective on the book, which Richard
makes the most of. As with many other attempts to analyse Tolkien's
work from a single perspective, there is a sense of overreaching --
of stretching the analysis further than the evidence can support.
Here, however, there is a sense of playfulness over this, emphasized
by the excessive and unnecessary repetitions of the word
'subterranean' -- it's like the kid climbing out a limb until he
falls into the water, only to emerge laughing to try the
neighbouring branch for its strength. For me, this playful character
has an ability to make the excesses more tolerable since it appears
not to take itself entirely seriously (though I did get a bit tired
of the 's'-word . . .).

JM, Monday, 23 July 2012, "The Metaphysics of the Music of the
Ainur"
<http://jonathansmcintosh.wordpress.com/2012/07/23/the-metaphysics-of-the-music-of-the-ainur/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/cqza9sa>
Following his series on Tolkien's metaphysics of evil, Jonathan
McIntosh starts a series of posts on the metaphysics of the
Ainulindal�. So far four posts have been posted, which outline the
intentions with the series and then moves on to look at some of the
classic sources that pertain to this question.

JM, Wednesday, 25 July 2012, "Aragorn, King and Priest after the
Order of Melchizedek"
<http://jonathansmcintosh.wordpress.com/2012/07/25/aragorn-king-and-priest-after-the-order-of-melchizedek/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/c9gbucn>
I am not sure if McIntosh is making a comparative study or
suggesting a source here, but some of the parallels that he points
out are quite interesting, though I think he takes it a step or two
further than the evidence can really support. Still, he promises a
continuation, so perhaps it is better to withhold judgement.

Alan Jacobs, _The Atlantic_, Friday, 27 July 2012, "Fall, Mortality,
and the Machine: Tolkien and Technology"
<http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/07/fall-mortality-and-the-machine-tolkien-and-technology/260412/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/cfrk9hd>
A very interesting article. Starting with Tolkien's ideas about 'the
Machine' and its relation to magic, Jacobs investigates the use of
technology in other fantasy novels, ending with the questions 'Is
fantasy intrinsically hostile to technology? That is, was Tolkien
simply drawing out what is already there in the genre? Or has he
limited it in unnecessary ways? What would a fantasy that embraces
technology look like?' Now that are some very good questions, and I
would dearly like to see them addressed.

BC, Friday, 27 July 2012, "A Companion to JRR Tolkien's The Notion
Club Papers by Bruce G Charlton"
<http://notionclubpapers.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/a-companion-to-jrr-tolkiens-notion-club.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/cpfrmxc>
Charlton calls this 'a set of rough notes, or a draft' and notes
that it is 'drawn mainly from this blog but with some improvements
in order and sequence.' It runs in 25,000 words, and I will admit
that I have not had time to read it all yet. I do, however, look
very much forward to working my way through it: Charlton has some
very interesting ideas about Tolkien's 'Notion Club Papers', and
though I often disagree, I very nearly always find that I learn
something from reading his pieces. I do hope that the 'improvements
in order and sequence' may help bring out the ideas more clearly --
who knows, perhaps I will even find myself agreeing with points I
have previously found unsatisfyingly explained or argued.

MT, Tuesday, 31 July 2012, "Tolkien and the Illustrations of Robert
J. Lee"
<http://mythoi.tolkienindex.net/#post7>
Morgan Thomsen has once more found a rare gem, this time a copy of
_The Children's Treasury of Literature_ including the first chapter
of _The Hobbit_ illustrated by Robert J. Lee. Thomsen reproduces a
few of the illustrations, and discusses the illustrations as well as
Tolkien's comments to them.


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

MediaConnection, Friday, 6 July 2012, "Dynamite Unveils 2013
Calendars"
<http://mediaconnectiononline.com/?p=7431>
I hope that I don't step on anyone's toes when saying that the
choice of Cor Blok as the artist for the official Tolkien Calendar
for the last two years has not been met with universal approval. It
is, I think, possible that we may see a few extra Tolkien calendars
on the market this year, and here we have the announcement that one
of them will feature a re-release of the brothers Hildegard artwork
used these many years ago. While I am not myself particularly
attracted to the Hildegards' vision of Middle-earth, I do welcome a
greater variety of imagery. See also
MediaConnection, Thursday, 12 July 2012, "The Hildebrants' Tolkien
Returns"
<http://mediaconnectiononline.com/?p=7589>

PC, Tuesday, 10 July 2012, "Tolkien and Welsh, A Collection of
Articles on J.R.R. Tolkien's Use of Welsh by Mark T. Hooker has been
released"
<http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/1044_Tolkien_and_Welsh_Mark_Hooker.php?469>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/d92dfmn>
Information about Mark Hooker' new book on _Tolkien and Welsh_,
which seems to carry the promise of an interesting read; it is
certainly making its way up on my wish-list.

PC, Wednesday, 11 July 2012, "Wagner and Tolkien: Mythmakers by
Ren�e Vink"
<http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/1045_Tolkien_and_Wagner.php?470>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/csrn6cl>
That there is more to say about the relationship between Tolkien and
Wagner than Tolkien's own comment that 'both rings were round' is
obvious, but I tend to agree wholeheartedly with Tom Shippey that
Tolkien is reacting _against_ Wagner -- possibly because I consider
Wagner's mythopoesis to be extremely poor.

Drussy, Thursday, 12 July 2012, "The Fall of Arthur"
<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mythsoc/message/23178>
Once more, the Mythsoc list proved first with the news, and once
more the source was French. This time the source was a page on the
French site of on-line bookshop Amazon that listed a Deluxe edition
hardcover book by J.R.R. Tolkien titled _Fall of Arthur_ to be
available in May 2013 (the date has since been removed). And again
the news has spread like a wildfire:
JDR, Thursday, 12 July 2012, "The Rumor"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/2012/07/rumor.html>
The rumour has been confirmed by people closer than I to the Estate,
and, yes, this _is_ really the 954 lines unfinished, alliterative
poem that is being released. See also the discussions of this
month.
Demosthenes, Friday, 13 July 2012, "A new Tolkien Book looms on the
horizon"
<http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2012/07/13/58991-a-new-tolkien-book-looms-on-the-horizon/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/cjyw59j>
Josh Vogt, Saturday, 14 July 2012, "Unpublished Tolkien poem rumored
for official release"
<http://www.examiner.com/article/unpublished-tolkien-poem-rumored-for-official-release>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/87hhb7u>

Harley J. Sims, _Mythlore_, Friday, 13 July 2012, "From Elvish to
Klingon: Exploring Invented Languages"
<http://www.mythsoc.org/reviews/from-elvish-to-klingon-mythlore/>
This book, edited by Michael Adams and published by the OUP is,
according to Sims, a 'mixed bag'. He praises the intentions of the
book, and not least the step towards establishing the study of
invented languages as a legitimate scholarly study, but he is less
generous towards the execution. Sims finds that the book 'suffers
from overextension' -- a problem that seems to particularly affect
the chapter on Tolkien's languages, which tries to cover everything
in too little space.

JF, Tuesday, 17 July 2012, "My book is a 2012 Mythopoeic Award
Finalist!"
<http://lingwe.blogspot.dk/2012/07/my-book-is-2012-mythopoeic-award.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/bw623ed>
Congratulations to Jason Fisher -- and to the other finalists, of
course -- on making it to this exclusive list. See also the
announcement of the list in the transactions for May 2012 (no.
XXV).

H&S, Saturday, 28 July 2012, "Die Kunst des Hobbit"
<http://wayneandchristina.wordpress.com/2012/07/28/die-kunst-des-hobbit/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/d9nrxmj>
The German edition of _The Art of the Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien_ has
been published.

JF, Monday, 30 July 2012, "A Festschrift for Tom Shippey"
<http://lingwe.blogspot.dk/2012/07/a-festschrift-for-tom-shippey.html>
<preview.tinyurl.com/dx5ygfv>
Announcing a Festshrift in tribute of Tom Shippey to be released
somewhere around the turn of the year (I suppose they'd like to make
it for the Christmas shopping, but I'd be just as happy to start
this on the occasion of the Birthday Toast or the Tolkien Reading
Day). This tribute is of course so very, very richly deserved that
my only concern would be whether the actual book would be a worthy
tribute, but judging by the contents that Fisher lists, this book
will indeed be a worthy tribute to one of the most influential, and
rightly so, Tolkien scholars.

JF, Tuesday, 31 July 2012, "Tolkien Studies Volume 9"
<http://lingwe.blogspot.dk/2012/07/tolkien-studies-volume-9.html>
Jason Fisher lists the contents of the ninth volume of _Tolkien
Studies_, announcing at the same time that this volume is now
available at _Project Muse_, while those of us subscribing to the
paper copy will have to wait for September . . . oh, the injustice!
;-)


= = = = Interviews = = = =

Vincent Ferr�, Friday, 6 July 2012, "portrait / itw of Christopher
Tolkien - Le Monde"
<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mythsoc/message/23139>
This was the first I saw about the _Le Monde_ interview of
Christopher Tolkien, 'Tolkien, l'anneau de la discorde' (Tolkien,
the Ring of Discord), and at that point I was frustrated that I know
no French at all. Fortunately that was later amended and a
translation to English put on-line.
Others have reacted to this:
DAA, Wednesday, 11 July 2012, "A New Interview with Christopher
Tolkien"
<http://tolkienandfantasy.blogspot.com/2012/07/new-interview-with-christopher-tolkien.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/cfqzxdd>
and
JDR, Wednesday, 11 July 2012, "Christopher Tolkien interviewed in LE
MONDE"
<http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/2012/07/christopher-tolkien-interviewed-in-le.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/bnzl5ns>
Both of these blogs posts have links both to the original French
article and the English translation. See also this month's
discussions.

PC, Monday, 9 July 2012, "Interview with Jay Johnstone and his
Tolkien inspired art"
<http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/1043_Interview_Jay_Johnstone_Tolkien_artist.php>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/d65b2q2>
A brief interview with Jay Johnstone, and a link to some of
Johnstone's work. The work itself is very medieval in style and
technique, which I find immensely appropriate for the subject, but
it pains me to see that when working with _The Lord of the Rings_
Johnstone's imaginary universe draws more from the New Line Cinema
films than from Tolkien, often reproducing scenes from the films
rather than from Tolkien's book.


= = = = Other Stuff = = = =

MD, Thursday, 5 July 2012, "Dobbie is FREEEEEEEEEEE!"
<http://wormtalk.blogspot.dk/2012/07/dobbie-is-freeeeeeeeeee.html>
I think it's fair to say that Michael Drout has felt that his term
as chair of the English Department at Wheaton has been marked by
some . . . frustration? I get the impression that he feels that his
duties as chair have kept him from other things he would rather have
spent his time on. While happy for Michael Drout that he can spend
more time with family, I also can't help hoping that he'll find time
for an extra Tolkien-related project here and there :-)

BC, Friday, 6 July 2012, "Charles Williams (probably) did not
believe the devil is real"
<http://notionclubpapers.blogspot.com/2012/07/charles-williams-probably-did-not.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/bw8b6fe>
Bruce Charlton continues his posts about Charles Williams, this time
discussing an aspect of Williams' view of evil -- particularly
whether Williams believed in the existence of Satan and demons.

H&S, Sunday, 8 July 2012, "Bristol, May 2012"
<http://wayneandchristina.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/bristol-may-2012/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/cdy4nnl>
Christina Scull continues the story of hers and Wayne Hammond's trip
to England in May 2012 with descriptions of the trip from Oxford to
Bristol, research in the Penguin Books Archive, meals, hotels and
the trip to London. The story is continued in later posts with an
account of their stay in London.

DB, Wednesday, 18 July 2012, "a box"
<http://kalimac.blogspot.dk/2012/07/a-box.html>
Some musings on boxes and their uses (e.g. for review copies --
earlier for the Year's Work for _Tolkien Studies_ and now as their
review editor) leading to some musings over the differences between
Tolkien and Wagner. This post is a fine example of the dry wit that
I find so enchanting about Bratman's writing style.

NMB, Wednesday, 18 July 2012, "Bilbo's Ride through Iceland"
<http://nancymariebrown.blogspot.dk/2012/07/bilbos-ride-through-iceland.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/bl9yskn>
Possibly the best review of Marjorie Burns' _Perilous Realms- that I
have ever seen -- except that it is no such thing, but rather a
charming tale of the author's personal relationship with the
Icelandic landscape, with Old Norse mythology, Tolkien's works and
Burn's book on Tolkien.

DB, Thursday, 19 July 2012, "Mythcon statistic"
<http://kalimac.blogspot.com/2012/07/mythcon-statistic.html>
On the gender-distribution of the panels for the upcoming Mythcon. I
wonder if the strong presence of women in the panels is a result of
the broad range of interests of the Mythopoeic Society or if it also
representative of the more narrow interests of e.g. the Tolkien
Society? Hopefully the strong position of scholars such as Verlyn
Flieger and Dmitra Fimi shows that Tolkien studies are not for men
only.

CO, Friday, 27 july 2012, "Down the Hobbit Hole: Finding Connection
in Online Learning: Corey Olsen at TEDxChesterRiver"
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=raTIg53ZA9w>
Corey Olsen, a.k.a. 'The Tolkien Professor', speaks about the
unexpected journey from a desire to reach out to fans outside the
universities to an on-line university.

Becky Chambers, Monday, 30 July 2012, "That Time J.R.R. Tolkien
Wrote a Short Story About Video Games"
<http://www.themarysue.com/that-time-j-r-r-tolkien-wrote-a-short-story-about-video-games/>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/c5cx3po>
That short-story is 'Leaf by Niggle' and the connection is 'flow'.
It's interesting to see how Tolkien's work crops up in strange
connections -- and particularly when it is his lesser known works.


= = = = Rewarding Discussions = = = =

"Fall of Arthur"
<http://www.lotrplaza.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=244254>
A discussion following the leak about the upcoming publication of
Tolkien's _The Fall of Arthur_ that also tries to list all that is
currently known about the poem.

"The Ring of Discord"
<http://www.lotrplaza.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=244218>
A discussion of the interview with Christopher Tolkien that was
published in _Le monde_. While I'd agree that the reverence shown
Christopher Tolkien can sometimes become a bit too much, I am more
surprised when people choose to judge the man by malicious
third-party reports in media rather than by his (documented) actions
and his own words: that Christopher Tolkien chooses to remain silent
doesn't mean that his accusers are correct.


= = = = In Print = = = =

_Beyond Bree_ July 2012
Opening with Bruce G. Charlton's article on why one should read 'The
Notion Club Papers' (see above), _Beyond Bree_ moves on to Dale
Nelson's discussion of 'Other Anniversaries', meaning the fiftieth
anniversary of _The Adventures of Tom Bombadil_ and the forty-fifth
of _Poems and Songs of Middle-earth_, _The Road Goes Ever On_ and
_Smith of Wootton Major_, all of which are discussed in some detail
with an addendum on Donald Swann's _The Road Goes Ever On_. The rest
of the newsletter is made up of the letters, reviews, notes and
comments that are often the true gems of _Beyond Bree_, but which
will be too much for extensive commentary. I will, however, mention
specifically Geoff Davies' reply, 'On "Grace" in _The Hobbit_' in
which Davies comments with insight on an the application of grace in
_The Hobbit_ and _The Lord of the Rings_.

_Amon Hen_ no. 236, July 2012
_Amon Hen_ is the bulletin of the Tolkien Society, and as such is
the primary carrier of the everyday communications of the society:
the calls for volunteers, news from the smials, news on various
events, the password for the members-only section of the home page,
new members etc. etc. It also habitually carries various artwork
among which Jef Murray's often features prominently such as the
lovely drawing, _Gandalf and Bilbo_, on the front cover of this
issue. Of other interesting items in this issue, Ian Spittlehouse
provides new information on the progress of the Leeds Blue Plaque,
Christine Ahmed writes about Tolkien's paternal aunt and her
husband, Grace Bindley Tolkien and William Charles Mountain,
suggesting that Saruman may owe some small parts to this old
Newcastle industrialist. Jim Allen continues a discussion about
some claims made in an earlier issue by David Doerr. Anne Marie
Gazzolo offers a commentary on 'The Sacrifice of Frodo', which I
find has some interesting perspectives, but takes the ideas much too
far (in my opinion she extrapolates the evidence beyond breaking
point). Shaun Gunner deplores the absence of the old story-internal
debates -- the Glorfindels, the elven-ears, the irredeemability of
Orcs and the nature of Tom Bombadil . . . I would rather ask 'what
are the new debates'? Finally there is an interesting (but all too
short) article by Dale Nelson that looks into the possible
influences of the Kibbo Kift movement, to which Tolkien Society
founder Vera Chapman belonged in the twenties and early thirties.

_Mythprint_ vol.49 no.6/7, June/July 2012, whole no. 359/360
The bulk of this issue of _Mythprint_ is made up of three reviews.
First a long and enthusiastic review by Douglas C. Kane of Verlyn
Flieger's recent collection of essays, _Green Suns and Fa�rie_,
which praises Flieger's writing as being 'as clear as it is
insighful' and speaks of the 'joy it is to read' the book. For my
own part I have only had time to browse the book a little, but it is
at the top of my 'to read' list. Edward Kloczko uses far less space
to review Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull's _The Art of the
Hobbit_, but he also gives this book a sound recommendation -- and
it reappears on the next page in the list of finalists for the
Mythopoeic Scholaship Award in Inklings Studies (also mentioned
elsewhere). The final review is of a book on Neil Gaiman's work
edited by Anthony Burdge, Jessica Burke and Kristine Larsen, all of
whom are known also in a Tolkien connection. Hugh Davis reviews
their book, _The Mythological Dimensions of Neil Gaiman_, giving it
a sound recommendation.


= = = = Web Sites = = = =

Bill Cater, _The Telegraph_, 4 December 2001, "We talked of love,
death and fairy tales"
<http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/4726863/We-talked-of-love-death-and-fairy-tales.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/crn6yo4>
Bill Cater was allowed to interview J.R.R. Tolkien in the sixties,
and later he spoke with Tolkien at several occasions. In this old
piece he shares some of what he learned about and from the old
master along with some thoughts on his contacts with Christopher
Tolkien.

The LotR Project
<http://www.lotrproject.com/>
The LotR project so far contains the original family tree, though in
a much developed version (this is where land when following the link
above), where you can look at an impressive number of characters; a
map showing some _Lord of the Rings_ characters' movements at
<http://lotrproject.com/map/>, and a timeline at
<http://lotrproject.com/timeline/> that will link some events from
the Third and Second Ages to a map.
All of this is a nice enough entertainment tool, but I must admit
that I have some serious misgivings about the project. The worst bit
is that there are no references (links to the Tolkien Gateway that
may, or may not, list proper references is not enough), but the
attempt to present any of this, whether the family trees or the time
line, as a single coherent truth is, in my opinion, a gross
misrepresentation of the actual texts. Adding characters that have
nothing to do with Tolkien but are the invention of adaptations for
games or cinema is just to add insult to injury (even if these are
marked as such). All in all I think this web-site may provide a bit
of amusing entertainment, but it appears to be useless for any
serious Tolkien-related studies.

Tolkien, l'anneau de la discorde
<http://www.lemonde.fr/culture/article/2012/07/05/tolkien-l-anneau-de-la-discorde_1729858_3246.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/789s3dt>
The original French version of the interview with Christopher
Tolkien.

Christopher Tolkien interviewed by _Le Monde_
<http://sedulia.blogs.com/sedulias_translations/2012/07/was-first-felt.html>
<http://preview.tinyurl.com/cn5qlmk>
An English translation of the interview with Christopher Tolkien.

God of Wednesday
<http://nancymariebrown.blogspot.com>
Nancy Marie Brown's blog on various Icelandic and Norse topics -- be
sure to read the older posts on Snorri Sturlason's influence on
modern English literature.

Strings, Rings, and Other Things
<http://steuard.livejournal.com>
Steuard Jensen is a long-time resident of the Tolkien usenet
newsgroups and the current steward (pun intended) of the FAQs. Most
of his blog entries are about physics, but you should read those as
well: I've always felt that bringing a solid dose of the scientific
method of the natural sciences to the study of Tolkien's work is an
advantage -- a view that is strengthened by seeing the solid grasp
of the strength of her evidence that is displayed by Kristine
Larsen.


= = = = 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/>

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>

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

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

A good bookshop is just a genteel Black Hole that knows
how to read.
- /Guards! Guards!/ (Terry Pratchett)
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