Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Tolkien Transactions LXXVIII

February 2017

‘Busy as a bee’ is, I believe, the English expression that matches my life at the moment, though I will happily accept that ‘bee in the bonnet’ would be an appealing expression to apply to me ….

I do hope that you will notice that I have changed the URL to my own blog, even if you read this on the Tolkien Society site. My blog can now be found as www.parmakenta.com (something I was advised a long time ago to do, but which I haven't really got round to until now).

However, despite this, I have managed to at least find a few interesting tidbits along during this month, which I hope you will enjoy perousing. As usual I claim nothing about newness, completeness and relevance to anyone, and I furthermore reject any other implication of responsibility :-)

These transactions are posted on my blog, Parma-kenta (Enquiry into the books) and on the Tolkien Society web-site.

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

To the memory of Celebrían
by Graeme Skinner

News and General Interest

Travis Nicol, Mass Live, Tuesday, 3 January 2017, ‘Snapchat: 5 facts about J.R.R. Tolkien on his 125th birthday
Missed this one last month. Remarkable in that the five facts all seem to be factual – something that seems noteworthy in this day and age ...

John D. Rateliff, Thursday, 2 February 2017, ‘Tolkien Spotting (Aaronovitch)

John D. Rateliff, Thursday, 2 February 2017, ‘Tolkien's Cobbler

Buxton Advertiser, Monday, 6 February 2017, ‘Tolkien tale comes to the stage

Shaun Gunner, The Tolkien Society, Friday, 10 February 2017, ‘New amoeba named after Gandalf

Frank Jacobs, Big Think, Monday, 13 February 2017, ‘Suburb Designs Its Neighborhood around J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth [sic]
The Tolkien-inspired street names in the Dutch town of Geldrop are well known and links to the area on Google Maps have been shared numerous times, but this is nonetheless a nice walk-through of the neighbourhood with the Tolkienian names with references to other areas that have mined The Lord of the Rings for inspiration for street names.

Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Thursday, 16 February 2017, ‘Tolkien's Oxford home up for sale
The sale of 76 Sandfield Road, where the Tolkiens lived from March 1953 to July 1968, has garnered quite a bit of interest this month ...
See also Giulia Crouch, Daily Mail, Saturday, 18 February 2017, ‘Middle Earth in Middle England! Ordinary Oxford house that was JRR Tolkien's home for 15 years and played host to CS Lewis is on sale for £1.25million
And John D. Rateliff, Saturday, 18 February 2017, ‘Tolkien's House For Sale

Dave Broome, Staffordshire Newsletter, Thursday, 16 February 2017, ‘Lord of the Rings author JRR Tolkien's former home near Stafford is up for sale
... but, oddly enough, not as much as the sale of Rock Cottage in Great Haywood, where it is claimed young J.R.R. Tolkien lived briefly with Edith in the winter of 1916-17 (not to be confused with Gypsy Green). Possibly the claim that Tolkien immortalised this particular cottage as the Cottage of Lost Play in his early work contributes to this claim, but I am very sceptical of this claim, as Tolkien wrote the poem, You and Me and the Cottage of Lost Play a full year before Edith first moved to Great Haywood with Jennie Grove, but also because this does not fit with the way Tolkien used geographical inspiration in his Book of Lost Tales.
See also Express and Star, Sunday, 19 February 2017, ‘JRR Tolkien's former Staffordshire cottage up for sale
and J.J. Nattrass, The Mirror, Monday, 20 February 2017, ‘Inside JRR Tolkien's £375K country home which helped inspire writer's fantasy books
and John D. Rateliff, Monday, 20 February 2017, ‘And Another Tolkien House on Sale
and Tom Burnett, Stoke Sentinel, Monday, 20 February 2017, ‘Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit author J.R.R Tolkien's Rock Cottage up for sale in Great Haywood
and Daniel Helen, Wednesday, 22 February 2017, ‘“Cottage of Lost Play” up for sale

Jamie Lovett, Comicbook, Tuesday, 21 February 2017, ‘Legends Of Tomorrow Season Finale Will Feature JRR Tolkien
Guessing from the number of outlets that have carried these news (see a couple of examples below), I would appear to be a rare creature not to know what Legends of Tomorrow is (beyond what can be guessed from the article). I am sure we'll hear more about this once this season finale is published … or aired or broadcast or whatever these things are these days :-)
Natalie Abrams, Entertainment Weekly, Wednesday, 22 February 2017, ‘Legends of Tomorrow adds J.R.R. Tolkien in finale
Jenna Anderson, Comicbook, Thursday, 2 March 2017, ‘The Legends of Tomorrow Meet J.R.R. Tolkien in "Fellowship of the Spear" Synopsis
Apparently the show's main cast will meet a young Tolkien during the Battle of the Somme, which is at least a correct setting. Now I wonder if they will get the moustache right ... :-)

Adam Davis, Wallowa County Chieftain, Tuesday, 21 February 2017, ‘The state of Oregon’s budget explained in Tolkien analogy
Another oddity to add to the pile tagged ‘Political (ab)uses of Tolkien’.


Events

No reports or comments on past events

Info on upcoming & on-going events (as of 1 March)
25 March 2017, Worldwide, ‘Tolkien Reading Day 2017’, The Tolkien Society
This year's theme is ‘Poetry and Songs in Tolkien's Fiction’

8 April 2017, Burlington, Vermont, ‘Tolkien in Vermont’, Tolkien at University of Vermont
Anna Smol, Wednesday, 30 November 2016, ‘CFP: Romances in Middle-earth

21–23 April 2017, Warwick Arms Hotel, ‘Springmoot and AGM 2017’, The Tolkien Society

11–14 May 2017, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA, ‘International Congress on Medieval Studies (K'zoo)’, Western Michigan University, Medieval Institute
Geoffrey B. Elliott, Thursday, 26 January 2017, ‘Kalamazoo 2017: Updates

1–4 June 2017, National Conference Center, Virginia, US, ‘Mythmoot IV: Invoking Wonder’, Mythgard Institute
Curtis, Signum University, Monday, 6 February 2017, ‘Preliminary Mythmoot Program Now Available!

16–18 June 2017, Waddow Hall, Clitheroe, Lancashire, ‘The Middle-earth Beer & Music Festival’, The Ale House Clitheroe

2 July 2017, Hilton Leeds Hotel, ‘Tolkien Society Seminar 2017’, The Tolkien Society – The theme this year will be “Poetry and Song in Tolkien's works”

3–6 July 2017, Leeds, ‘International Medieval Congress’, University of Leeds, Institute for Medieval Studies
Dimitra Fimi, Wednesday, 30 November 2016, ‘Tolkien Sessions at IMC Leeds, July 2017

28–31 July 2017, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA, ‘Mythcon 48’, The Mythopoeic Society

10–13 August 2017, California State University, East Bay, Hayward Campus, USA, ‘Omentielva Otsea: The Seventh International Conference on J.R.R. Tolkien's Invented Languages’, Omentielva

21–24 September 2017, St. Anthony's College, Oxford, ‘Oxonmoot’, The Tolkien Society


Essays and Scholarship

Breaking Camp The Fellowship Of The Ring
by Joe Gilronan
“J.R.R. Tolkien” on Academia.edu
“Tolkien Studies” on Academia.edu
A sampling of papers uploaded to Academia.edu February (probably ... or thereabouts, the exact upload date is generally not available). Unsorted. Where a paper is indicated as having been previously published in a journal, this is included here:
Lars Konzack, in Wolf (ed) Revisiting Imaginary Worlds: A Subcreation Studies Anthology , ‘The Subcreation of J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle Earth and How it Became Transmedial Culture
Simon J. Cook, Tolkien Studies, Volume 13, 2016, ‘The Cauldron at the Outer Edge: Tolkien on the Oldest English Fairy Tales
Christine Chism, in Chance (ed.) Tolkien the Medievalist, ‘Middle Earth, the Middle ages, and the Aryan Nation
Lisa Chinellato, Academia.edu, ‘Nostalgia and homesickness: a manifestation of the yearning for a better, ‘primitive’ life in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings
Austin Freeman, Academia.edu, ‘Flesh, World, Devil: The Nature of Evil in Middle-earth
Amanda Votta, Harvard, Anthropology, ‘Linguistic History, Language Myths and Láamatyáve

Michael Drout, Academia.edu, ‘List of Documents
As also last month, Michael Drout has uploaded a number of documents, many of which are from various issues of Tolkien Studies (e.g. own articles and reviews, biographies etc.). And of course, there are many non-Tolkien documents (e.g. on medievalism) that could also be of interest to the readers here.

Séamas Ó Sionnaigh, Wednesday, 8 February 2017, ‘Tom Shippey Discusses JRR Tolkien’s Beowulf Translation In Three Video Lectures

Michael Drout, Academia.edu, Thursday, 16 February 2017, ‘Tolkien's Creation of the Impression of Depth
This is an article from Tolkien Studies (vol. 11, 2014) uploaded to Academia.edu. Full citation: “Drout, M. D. C. & Hitotsubashi, N. & Scavera, R. "Tolkien's Creation of the Impression of Depth." Tolkien Studies, vol. 11 no. 11, 2014, pp. 167-211.”

Johanna H. Brooke, Journal of Tolkien Research, Tuesday, 21 February 2017, ‘Building Middle-earth: an Exploration into the uses of Architecture in the works of J. R. R. Tolkien
An interesting topic. Browsing the article briefly, it would seem that Brooke only refers to a couple of Tolkien's own illustrations of Middle-earth architecture, which is rather a pity as there is much to be gleaned from looking at his own drawings (not least with respect to Elvish architecture, which most illustrators seem to get ‘wrong’ in the sense that their images do not match Tolkien's conception).

Michael Flowers, Journal of Tolkien Research, Tuesday, 21 February 2017, ‘Hobbits?...And what may they be?
While most seem to accept Tolkien's statements regarding the ‘invention’ of the word Hobbit, discussions are still ongoing as to the possible subconscious influence of having met the word previously and forgotten this. Such an idea naturally requires investigating any such previously recorded uses (and, presumably, any use of words that were suffiently alike, phonetically) and assessing these carefully.
The appearance of the word in the Denham tracts (as the name of some creature of folk belief) has been made much of, but hobbits have also seen other uses before Tolkien's, including for metrological purposes (I believe I have seen descriptions of hobbits of both weight and volume …). Whether Flowers adds anything substantially new to this debate will require a more detailed reading than I have found time for, but he does appear not to address what is, to me, the more interesting question: why? While it is certainly possible – perhaps even likely – that Tolkien's inspiration was founded on a submerged and forgotten childhood memory, I lack the compelling reason to be interested. Even if Flowers is right in his guesswork about Tolkien's inspiration (and I can think of no way to falsify or prove his conjecture), I would like to understand what this would tell us about Tolkien and / or his work? How should I view or appreciate or understand Tolkien or his sub-creation, the Hobbits, any differently? Even in the slightest?

Douglas A. Anderson, Friday, 24 February 2017, ‘Tolkien Scholars Write Fantasy!
The post may, as Doug Anderson says, be ‘way overdue’, but it is received with thanks nonetheless. It is highly interesting to see how many Tolkien scholars that have tried their hand with fantasy (I had no idea of most of these). Of course it raises a question of causes and effects – particularly of whether there is something about studying Tolkien that makes you try your own hand at sub-creation and fairy-story?


Commentary

Giovanni Carmine Costabile, Thursday, 2 February 2017, ‘Note concerning the Influence of Tolkien's scholarship on Arthurian Studies

Jonathan S. McIntosh, Tuesday, 7 February 2017, ‘The Metaphysics of Coercion in Tolkien's Angelology
I dare say that more could be said about the bodies of the Ainur (much more, in fact – and not just from a Ardalogical point of view), but I think this is very perceptive – particularly the description of the bodies of the Ainur as ‘ultimately a kind of “machine”’.

Lynn Forest-Hill, Southfarthing Mathom, Saturday, 11 February 2017, ‘First in February
Spending their reading discussions in February on the last two chapters of book V of The Lord of the Rings (see also the following post, ‘Last meeting in February’ from the 25th).

Tom Hillman, Friday, 10 February 2017, ‘Some Thoughts on Structure and Meaning in The Lord of the Rings
So far mostly a collection of points about The Lord of the Rings with a clear indication that they are somehow interconnected, and that these interconnections are worth pursuing. I share Hillman's implicit idea that pursuing these interconnections may very well be a good path for some real insight into one of the most enigmatic aspects of Tolkien's conception: the nature of the Master Ring and not least how free-willed creatures relate to it. I hope Hillman will pursue these ideas, and I look forward to following his thoughts.

Simon J. Cook, Monday, 13 February 2017, ‘Reading in 'Lord of the Rings': Part I
Some ruminations on the word ‘read’ as used by Tolkien in The Lord of the Rings– particularly where he uses it in the older sense of ‘counsel‘. In such situations, I tend to turn to modern Danish cognates, where we have the word råd meaning ‘counsel‘ (the Danish word for modern English ‘read’ is unrelated, læse), and rede meaning ‘ready’ (however, vildrede means puzzled, in doubt, at a loss – unræd in the sense applied to Æthered).
It is very curious how Tolkien often (well, not on every page, but still far, far more than any other author, I know) does this: uses modern words in an older sense without distinguishing it from the places where he uses it in the modern sense (thus already in the first chapter, we have Bilbo and Gandalf discussing who would read Bilbo's book). It is almost as if Tolkien believed that at least native speakers of English would understand the older sense without knowing it ... wait! He did believe something of that kind, didn't he? In J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century, Tom Shippey wrote:
“.... for Tolkien was the holder of several highly personal if not heretical views about language. He thought that people, and perhaps as a result of their confused linguistic history especially English people, could detect historical strata in language without knowing how they did it.”.
Also see part II.

Simon J. Cook, Friday, 17 February 2017, ‘The View from the Tower
Building on ideas from the previous post, Cook moves on to towers and the view of Faërie that humans might get from an Elven-built tower, comparing this experience to the enchantment of a good fairy-story. This series of posts attempts to tie a lot of ideas together, and I think I will have to think it through at a slower pace (and probably read through them again) before trying to figure out what I think in more detail (but I do find them interesting enough that such an endeavour will be welcome).

John D. Rateliff, Sunday, 19 February 2017, ‘Loren Eiseley on Dunsany — and Tolkien
I love these findings / references – the more obscure the better! They are interesting simply by existing, but often they also provide new perspectives.


Reviews and Book News

Olórin
by Peter Xavier Price
Dennis Drabelle, The Record, Friday, 3 February 2017, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien's war inspires grandson's novel
We have seen a number of articles about Simon Tolkien and his newest book, No Man's Land. I am a bit doubtful about the value of this with respect to his grandfather. Simon Tolkien was fourteen when his grandfather died in 1973 – hardly an age when he would have gotten to discuss serious matters of life and literature with his grandfather, but he has, of course, had access to primary sources succh as his own father, Christopher Tolkien. In the end, however, I would advocate that any interest in Simon Tolkien and No Man's Land should be based in their own literary merit and not in his family relationship with J.R.R. Tolkien, as we are unlikely to learn anything about the grandfather by reading the grandson's books. See also the following articles for a small sampling ...
Michael Mercshel, Dallas News, Tuesday, 7 February 2017, ‘Simon Tolkien, in Dallas on Friday, will talk about being the grandson of 'Lord of the Rings' creator
Jay Strafford, Richmond Times – Dispatch, Saturday, 11 February 2017, ‘Book review (Fiction): 'No Man's Land' by Simon Tolkien

Bruce Charlton, Monday, 6 February 2017, ‘Review of The Return of the King cartoon movie 1980
Personally, I would reserve the word ‘horrible’ for this version and use less negative wording for Ralph Bakshi's experimental 1978 animated version, but tastes vary, and until we get a film version of one of Tolkien's stories that actually does capture the themes and moods of Tolkien's work and world (as does the stage adaptation of Leaf by Niggle by the Puppet State Theatre), I suppose there is no point in arguing degrees of bad.

Tolkienseminariet, Monday, 6 February 2017, ‘19 november 2015
Tolkienseminariet is a Swedish group that reviews a large number of Tolkien books and articles with great insight. I therefore refer to their minutes even though these are published in Swedish, as these are always very interesting. Their postings in February have covered the period up to and including November 2016.

Thomas Van, Catholic Culture, Tuesday, 14 February 2017, ‘Tolkien the modernist: a glimpse of a unique creative process
In the main a review of the excellent Ring of Words by Gilliver, Marshall and Weiner, but spiced up with some additional commentary (unfortunately it is not entirely clear when the author stops paraphrasing The Ring of Words and starts on his own reflections).

Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Friday, 17 February 2017, ‘Beren and Lúthien publication delayed
Alas ….

Jeremy Edmonds, Tolkien Collector's Guide, Friday, 17 February 2017, ‘Newsweek, 1954 - Fellowship cartoon
A cartoon from Newsweek from 1954, illustrating a scene from the fight in the Chamber of Mazarbul.


Tolkienian Artwork

Peter Xavier Price, DeviantArt, Monday, 6 February 2017, ‘Olórin

Elena Kukanova, DeviantArt, Tuesday, 14 February 2017, ‘Aegnor and Andreth

Joe Gilronan, Thursday, 16 February 2017, ‘A Storm Is Coming "The Hand of Saruman"...

Joe Gilronan, Saturday, 18 February 2017, ‘Breaking Camp The Fellowship Of The Ring
With a link to a collaboration with composer Tim Janis – a video with imagery by Joe Gilronan and music by Tim Janis.

Graeme Skinner, Saturday, 25 February 2017, ‘To the memory of Celebrían

‘Arwendë Luhtiénë’, DeviantArt, Tuesday, 28 February 2017, ‘Eriador Towards the Misty Mountains


Story Internal (Ardalogy)

Michael Martinez, Wednesday, 15 February 2017, ‘Who Were the High Kings and What Realms Did They Rule?


Other Stuff

Andrew Higgins, Saturday, 18 February 2017, ‘2017 A Look Ahead
Andrew Higgins takes look ahead at his planned Tolkienian activities in 2017 …


Rewarding Discussions

Whether because I have been exceedingly busy and unable to follow discussions much this month, or because there really has been a dearth of good discussions, I don't know. Still, there are some very interesting points in the discussion below:
LotR Plaza, , ‘A Brief Defence of The Children of Húrin


Other Reading

David Russell Mosley, Patheos, Tuesday, 14 February 2017, ‘My Rolling English Road to Rome: How J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, and Stratford Caldecott Helped Make Me Catholic
Only little help, it seems, but help.


Web Sites

Michael Flowers, ‘Tolkien in East Yorkshire
What is says, really. A web-site that collects Michael's extensive knowledge about Tolkien's relations to East Yorkshire, based both on his own research and that of others. Highly recommended!

A Storm Is Coming "The Hand of Saruman"...
by Joe Gilronan

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. However, you will find below links to monthly archives of posts for months where the blog has featured interesting posts with at least some Tolkien connection. In some cases you may find a headline for a post, if I wish to recommend it particularly.

Douglas A. Anderson, ‘Tolkien and Fantasy
Archive of posts from February 2017

John D. Rateliff -- ‘Sacnoth's Scriptorium
Archive of posts from February 2017

Jonathan S. McIntosh, ‘The Flame Imperishable
Archive of posts from February 2017

David Bratman, ‘Kalimac's Journal
Archive of posts from February 2017

Andrew Higgens, ‘Wotan's Musings
Archive of posts from February 2017

Various, The Mythopoeic Society
News archive

Various (Bradford Eden, ed.)Journal of Tolkien Research (JTR)
Archive of contributions for the on-going volume 4, issue 1

Various, The Tolkien Society (TS)
Archive of posts from February 2017

Simon Cook, Ye Machine
Archive of posts from February 2017

Southfarthing Mathom
Archive of posts from February 2017

Various, The Mythopoeic Society, ‘The Horn of Rohan Redux
Archive of posts from February 2017

Sue Bridgwater, ‘Skorn
Archive of posts from February 2017

Tom Hilman, ‘Alas, not me
Archive of posts from February 2017

Michael Martinez, ‘Middle-earth
Archive of posts from February 2017

Grey Havens Group, ‘The Grey Havens Group
Archive of posts from February 2017

Bruce Charlton, ‘Tolkien's The Notion Club Papers
Archive of posts from February 2017

Jeffrey R. Hawboldt, ‘Expressions of Substance
Archive of posts from February 2017

Stephen C. Winter, ‘Wisdom from The Lord of the Rings
Archive of posts from February 2017

Sources

New sources in February 2017
Stephen C. Winter, ‘Wisdom from The Lord of the Rings
Stephen C. Winter's weekly ‘homilies’ based on Tolkien's work (mainly The Lord of the Rings). Many of these are a bit too moralising for my tastes – or, you might say, they do not offer enough actual insight in the book (this is not exactly the applicability vs. allegory distinction, but a related one).
For older sources, see https://www.parmakenta.com/p/sources.html

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Tolkien Transactions LXXVII

January 2017

These monthly introductions have become an outlet for my feelings of having too much to do – to some extent as an explanation of delays and reduced commentary. As can be seen, I am now (albeit slowly) catching up with respect to the delays, which is certainly a relief (and due to a general lightening of loads compared to the latter half of 2016). The commentary is still light as I am unable to read through all items (and a number of them I simply include because they look interesting), and this is likely to continue for quite a while.

Therefore I continue to make disclaimers regarding the newness, completeness, relevance, agreement or veracity (or any other implication of responsibility) of anything on this list, individually and as a whole :-)

These transactions are posted on my blog, Parma-kenta (Enquiry into the books) and on the Tolkien Society web-site.

This month it has suited my purposes to sort the contents under the following headlines:
1: The Birthday Toast
2: News
3: Events
4: Essays and Scholarship
5: Commentary
6: Reviews and Book News
7: Tolkienian Artwork
8: Story Internal (Ardalogy)
9: Other Stuff
10: Rewarding Discussions
11: Other Reading
12: Web Sites
13: The Blog Roll
14: Sources

Lúthien
by Jenny Dolfen

The Birthday Toast

Shaun Gunner, The Tolkien Society, Friday, 13 January 2017, ‘How the world celebrated Tolkien's Birthday


Tolkienists
Valdis, Middle-earth News, Monday, 2 January 2017, ‘Tolkien Birthday Toast 2017

Amy H. Sturgis, Tuesday, 3 January 2017, ‘Happy Birthday, J.R.R. Tolkien!

John D. Rateliff, Tuesday, 3 January 2017, ‘Happy Tolkien Day

Brenton Dickieson, Tuesday, 3 January 2017, ‘Toasting Tolkien's 125th Birthday #TolkienBirthdayToast

James Moffat, Tuesday, 3 January 2017, ‘Tolkien Birthday Toast 2017

Brenton Dickieson, Thursday, 5 January 2017, ‘A Brace of Tolkien Posts (125th Birthday Week)
A list of Tolkien-related posts on his blog (so, Tolkien posts come in braces ... these things are good to know ;) ).


Various
Russ Burlingame, Comicbook, Sunday, 1 January 2017, ‘Remembering JRR Tolkien On His Birthday

Duncan MacLaren, BBC Radio 4, Tuesday, 3 January 2017, ‘Prayer for the Day
A nice enough little prayer based on Tolkien's Leaf by Niggle (though I am favourably disposed towards the final sentiment of the prayer, I am not sure I agree with the way he comes from Niggle to this sentiment).

Felix Schlagwein, Deutsche Welle, Tuesday, 3 January 2017, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien - celebrating an unusual life
One of the better birhtday articles on Tolkien here.

Laura Rebello, International Business Times, Tuesday, 3 January 2017, ‘JRR Tolkien's 125th birthday: Check out The Lord Of The Rings author's biggest celebrity fans

Clark Mindock, International Business Times, Tuesday, 3 January 2017, ‘JRR Tolkien Birthday: Quotes And Facts About The 'Hobbit' And 'Lord Of The Rings' Author
The so-called ‘facts’ should have been reviewed more thoroughly, but at least the quotations seem to be OK (the pen & beak quotation is at a hearsay level, but at least we have someone claiming that Tolkien said so), though I haven't verified all of them for word order, punctuation etc.

Kate Samuelson, Time, Tuesday, 3 January 2017, ‘J. R. R. Tolkien Fans Are Toasting the Lord of the Rings Author on His 125th Birthday

Simonetta Dibbern, Deutschlandfunk, Tuesday, 3 January 2017, ‘Vor 125 Jahren: Der britische Schriftsteller J.R.R. Tolkien geboren
In German, but certainly one of the better articles!

Books News Desk, Broadway World, Wednesday, 4 January 2017, ‘J. R. R. Tolkien Fans Celebrate 125th Birthday With a Global Toast

Illyana Zeski, The Pierce Pioneer, Monday, 23 January 2017, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien Birthday

Happy Birthday from Elmenel
by Tsvetelina Krumova

News

Ben Hooper, UPI, Friday, 6 January 2017, ‘Great-grandma's St. Anthony figurine turns out to be 'Lord of the Rings' elf

Nan Spowart, The National, Tuesday, 10 January 2017, ‘JRR Tolkien's epic The Lord of the Rings 'depicts the horrors of the trenches'
One of many articles taking its outset in a book by a Simon Tolkien, No Man's Land, in which Simon Tolkien uses inspiration from his famous grandfather's life. This article is fairly representative in both its fallacies and its correct information (don't accept any statement without verifying it).

Shaun Gunner, The Tolkien Society, Wednesday, 11 January 2017, ‘25th anniversary of Sauron Defeated

Arwen Kester, Middle-earth News, Thursday, 12 January 2017, ‘Middle-earth News Celebrates 6 Years Today!
Congratulations!

Larry Eskridge, Canton Daily Ledger, Saturday, 14 January 2017, ‘Celebrating the author of the 20th Century

Kristina Lazzara, Marquette Wire, Tuesday, 24 January 2017, ‘Marquette purchases rare first edition of ‘The Hobbit’

Cité internationale de la Tapisserie, Wednesday, 25 January 2017, ‘Aubusson weaves Tolkien
Wow! Just WOW!!
See also the PDF press release.

Shaun Gunner, The Tolkien Society, Thursday, 26 January 2017, ‘Tolkien Society achieves highest ever membership
Yay! 1,287 members! Well done! No doubt the conscious on-line presence of the Tolkien Society over the past few years (e.g. with a Facebook Group with more than 25,000 members) is a strong contributing factor to the growth of the society dedicated to “educat[ing] the public in, and promote research into, the life and works” of J.R.R. Tolkien.
Congratulations to our Tolkien Society and not least to our trustees, chaired by Shaun Gunner! Well done!

Maria Sestito, Napa Valley Register, Saturday, 28 January 2017, ‘Napa Library celebrates all things Tolkien

Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Sunday, 29 January 2017, ‘Nominations open for The Tolkien Society Awards 2017
Yay! Who else are making lists :) Looking at the list of previous winners, I think it is about time we nominate the outstanding work by Christina Scull and Wayne Hammond for the “Outstanding Contribution” award! But as for the other awards, I still haven't made up my mind :)


Events

No reports or comments on past events
See the special section on the Birthday Toast.

Info on upcoming & on-going events (as of 1 January)
26 April 2016 – 27 February 2017, Various, Staffordshire, ‘Exhibition: J.R.R. Tolkien in Staffordshire 1915 – 1918’, The Haywood Society

25 March 2017, Worldwide, ‘Tolkien Reading Day 2017’, The Tolkien Society
This year's theme is ‘Poetry and Songs in Tolkien's Fiction’

8 April 2017, Burlington, Vermont, ‘Tolkien in Vermont’, Tolkien at University of Vermont
Anna Smol, Wednesday, 30 November 2016, ‘CFP: Romances in Middle-earth

21–23 April 2017, Warwick Arms Hotel, ‘Springmoot and AGM 2017’, The Tolkien Society

11–14 May 2017, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA, ‘International Congress on Medieval Studies (K'zoo)’, Western Michigan University, Medieval Institute
Geoffrey B. Elliott, Thursday, 26 January 2017, ‘Kalamazoo 2017: Updates
Anna Smol, Saturday, 28 January 2017, ‘Kalamazoo: Tolkien Symposium and ICMS Conference

1–4 June 2017, National Conference Center, Virginia, US, ‘Mythmoot IV: Invoking Wonder’, Mythgard Institute
Curtis, Signum University, Tuesday, 22 November 2016, ‘Are you ready for Mythmoot IV?
Tom Hillman, Thursday, 5 January 2017, ‘Mythmoot IV -- A New Hope

16–18 June 2017, Waddow Hall, Clitheroe, Lancashire, ‘The Middle-earth Beer & Music Festival’, The Ale House Clitheroe

2 July 2017, Hilton Leeds Hotel, ‘Tolkien Society Seminar 2017’, The Tolkien Society – The theme this year will be “Poetry and Song in Tolkien's works”
Anna Milon, The Tolkien Society, Tuesday, 6 December 2016, ‘Call for papers: Tolkien Society Seminar 2017

Shaun Gunner, The Tolkien Society, Tuesday, 31 January 2017, ‘Book now for The Tolkien Society Seminar 2017

3–6 July 2017, Leeds, ‘International Medieval Congress’, University of Leeds, Institute for Medieval Studies
Dimitra Fimi, Wednesday, 30 November 2016, ‘Tolkien Sessions at IMC Leeds, July 2017

28–31 July 2017, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA, ‘Mythcon 48’, The Mythopoeic Society

10–13 August 2017, California State University, East Bay, Hayward Campus, USA, ‘Omentielva Otsea: The Seventh International Conference on J.R.R. Tolkien's Invented Languages’, Omentielva

21–24 September 2017, St. Anthony's College, Oxford, ‘Oxonmoot’, The Tolkien Society

The Fellowship of the Ring
by Katarzyna Chmiel-Gugulska

Essays and Scholarship

“J.R.R. Tolkien” on Academia.edu
“Tolkien Studies” on Academia.edu
A sampling of papers uploaded to Academia.edu in December & January (probably ... or thereabouts, the exact upload date is generally not available). Unsorted. Where a paper is indicated as having been previously published in a journal, this is included here: Paul Romney, Lembas Katern Iss. 76, pp. 101-114, ‘A Particular Phase of History: Time Travel, Temporal Ambiguity, and the Pattern of History in The Lord of the Rings
Robert Tally, in Tolkien in the New Century: Essays in Honor of Tom Shippey, pp. 41-56, ‘Places Where the Stars are Strange: Fantasy and Utopia in Tolkien's Middle-earth
Lars Schmeink, Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, Vol. 13, Iss. 2, pp. 430-439, ‘How Bilbo Lost His Innocence: Media Audiences and the Evaluation of The Hobbit as a 'Children's Film'
Boris Gorelik, Mallorn Iss. 55, pp. 5-10, ‘‘Africa… always moves me deeply’: Tolkien in Bloemfontein
Dina Khapaeva, chapter in The Celebration of Death in Contemporary Culture, pp. 81-85, ‘The Hobbit, the Monster's Godfather
Giovanni Costabilie, ‘Whose Salvation? True Immortality, Tolkien's Elves and the Fate of the Artist

Michael Drout, Academia.edu, ‘List of Documents
Michael Drout has uploaded a number of documents, many of which are from various issues of Tolkien Studies (e.g. own articles and reviews, biographies etc.). And of course, there are many non-Tolkien documents (e.g. on medievalism) that could also be of interest to the readers here.

Martina Juričková, Saturday, 24 December 2016, ‘A Journey of Virtues: Reflections of Advent Ideas in The Lord of the Rings

Anahit Behrooz, Medievalist.net, Sunday, 8 January 2017, ‘Good versus Evil: Representations of the Monstrous in Thirteenth Century Anglo-French Apocalypse Manuscripts
An article from Forum: University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture and the Arts, Issue 22 (2016). I am not entirely sure how this can be brought to relate more directly to Tolkien, but I was struck both by the concept of the monsters and by the sentence in the introduction, where Behrooz speaks of possibility of reading the Revelation “as an allegory or embodiment of the dichotomy or ‘near dualism’ of good and evil”, which seems to be to contrast somewhat with the Thomistic understanding of evil as an absence of good (I believe that lsquo;privation of good’ is the technical term).

Nelson Goering, The Tolkien Society, Tuesday, 17 January 2017, ‘The Later Quenta Silmarillion: A Reader's Map
An excellent work to help readers piece together something approaching a continuous (albeit far from consistent) narration of the Later Quenta Silmarillion. Goering stresses the constantly evolving nature of the texts (something that is also true of the published works, which were, in many ways, still ‘works in progress’ despite having been published), and his solutions also clearly show that there is no one right way to read these texts (though there may be ways that are wrong).

James Graham-Campbell, Medievalist.net, Monday, 23 January 2017, ‘The Vikings in Orkney

Natalia Klimczak, Friday, 27 January 2017, ‘Väinämöinen: The Finnish Deity and Hero Who Inspired Tolkien to Create Gandalf and Tom Bombadil
An introduction to the idea of Tolkienian inspirations from the Finnish Kalevala cycle, seemlingly designed with readers of The Lord of the Rings in mind – even if the specifics of the claims may be new also to readers familiar with The Story of Kullervo and other Kalevala-references in Tolkien. I could have wished that it went just one or two steps further – just naming the particular singing quality of all the Tom Bombadil says, and merely stating that Gandalf has some echoes of Väinämöinen feels a bit too superficial to me.

Angela Marion Smith, Medievalist.net, Sunday, 29 January 2017, ‘King Æthelstan in the English, Continental and Scandinavian Traditions of the Tenth to the Thirteenth Centuries

Once Upon A Shire
by Joe Gilronan

Commentary

Steuard Jensen, January 2017, ‘A Rings-Reader's Bridge to The Children of Húrin
An excellent guide for a reader of The Lord of the Rings to get an idea of what's going on in The Children of Húrin.

T.J. West, Friday, 6 January 2017, ‘Reading “The Lord of the Rings”: “Journey to the Cross-Roads,” “The Stairs of Cirith Ungol,” and “Shelob’s Lair”

Tom Hillman, Sunday, 8 January 2017, ‘No Laughing Matter: the Ring and the Quality of the Dúnedain
... and yet humour is involved, as Hillman shows here.

Chris Gehrz, Patheos, Tuesday, 10 January 2017, ‘Lewis, Tolkien, and the Shadow of War

Philip Seargeant, The Conversation, Wednesday, 11 January 2017, ‘Why Tolkien’s fantastic imaginary languages have had more impact than Esperanto
This has also appeared in other places with similar headline.

Bruce G Charlton, Thursday, 12 January 2017, ‘Fantasy fiction is more important than ‘real life’: completing the argument of JRR Tolkien’s essay On Fairy Stories
I am quite certain that Tolkien would have disagreed vehemently on theological, literary, and simple human groups.

Andrew Whalen, iDigitalTimes, Friday, 13 January 2017, ‘‘Lord Of The Rings’ Answer To Marie Kondo: Tolkien’s Fantasy Coinage For Those Who Like Clutter
About mathoms ….

Stephen C Winter, Monday, 16 January 2017, ‘A Cock Crow Announces the Fall of Mordor

Lynn Forest-Hill, Southfarthing Mathom, Saturday, 14 January 2017, ‘First in January (2017)

T.J. West, Thursday, 19 January 2017, ‘Reading “The Lord of the Rings”: “The Choices of Master Samwise”

Bruce G Charlton, Thursday, 19 January 2017, ‘The Romantic Theology of the Inklings (considered as a complementary group)
My own impression of the Inklings is such that Charlton's search for a more coherent, complementary, theory of something appears to me forced – a matter of forced applicability rather than the contemporary actuality of the group and its writers.

Simon J Cook, Tuesday, 24 January 2017, ‘LOTR: early drafts: Tom Bombadil in passing
Cook's investigations of the early drafts of The Lord of the Rings continue to be interesting!

T.J. West, Thursday, 26 January 2017, ‘Reading “The Lord of the Rings”: “Minas Tirith”

Lynn Forest-Hill, Southfarthing Mathom, Sunday, 29 January 2017, ‘Last in January


Reviews and Book News

Bruce G Charlton, Sunday, 1 January 2017, ‘Review of Tales from the Perilous Realm - Brian Sibley's 1992 radio adaptations of Farmer Giles of Ham, Smith of Wooton Major, Leaf by Niggle and some Lord of the Rings scenes featuring Tom Bombadil

Jeffrey R. Humboldt, Wednesday, 4 January 2017, ‘A Few More Details About the Revised Tolkien Companion and Guide
A very few additional details on the upcoming three-volume second edition of Scull and Hammond's essential J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide.

Joseph Pearce, The Imaginative Conservative, Saturday, 7 January 2017, ‘The Best of Tolkien
I suppose one might argue that ‘The Best on Tolkien’ would have been a more accurate title, as Pearce here lists some books that are, in his opinion, among the best books about Tolkien and / or Tolkien's work. I can see that Pearce and I have largely read, and been moved by, different books about Tolkien, but we do agree on Carptenter, Shippey, Flieger and Garth, and I find it very strange not to find the works by Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull on this list (as for the rest, I suppose that is more easily explained by the large differences in perspective on Tolkien between Pearce and myself).

John D. Rateliff, Monday, 9 December 2016, ‘Clyde Kilby's Collected Essays
Rateliff provides some lovely examples from the book, particularly from the report of Kilby's meeting with Lewis in 1953. This could well be a book inclusion in the modest collection to my right as I write (see my updated ‘shelfie’ illustrating this issue).
Lynn Maudlin, The Horn of Rohan Redux, Friday, 13 January 2017, ‘Mythprint #379 Published

Nelson Goering, Journal of Tolkien Research, Sunday, 15 January 2017, ‘A Secret Vice (2016) by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins
A favourable (and wholly deserved so) review of A Secret Vice: Tolkien on invented languages.

Jeffrey H. Ryan, Tuesday, 17 January 2017, ‘Tolkien Tuesday: 2017
A summary of some of the Tolkien books known to arrive in 2017.

Bruce G Charlton, Tuesday, 17 January 2017, ‘Review of The Hobbit animated movie 1977
A review of the Rankin / Bass animated film that is somewhat more positive than mine would be …

Tom Hillman, Thursday, 19 January 2017, ‘Review: Tolkien, Race and Cultural History: From Fairies to Hobbits
Tom Hillman, Thursday, 19 January 2017, ‘Review: J.R.R. Tolkien's Lost English Mythology
Tom Hillman, Thursday, 19 January 2017, ‘Review: Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary, together with Sellic Spell
Tom Hillman, Thursday, 19 January 2017, ‘Review: The Book of Lost Tales, Part One
Tom Hillman, Thursday, 19 January 2017, ‘Review: Tolkien (the biography by Edwards)
Tom Hillman, Thursday, 19 January 2017, ‘Review: Deep Roots in a Time of Frost: Essays on Tolkien
Tom Hillman, Thursday, 19 January 2017, ‘Review: Perilous and Fair: Women in the Works and Life of J. R. R. Tolkien
Tom Hillman, Thursday, 19 January 2017, ‘Review: The History of Middle-Earth Index
Tom Hillman, Thursday, 19 January 2017, ‘Review: The History of the Hobbit
Tom Hillman, Thursday, 19 January 2017, ‘Review: A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-18
What Hillman himself describes as a ‘deluge’ of reviews (many more than these Tolkien-related ones). Some short, some longer, but worth checking.


Tolkienian Artwork

Matěj Čadil, DeviantArt, Monday, 12 December 2016, ‘The Road Goes Ever On

Jenny Dolfen, Sunday, 1 January 2017, ‘Lúthien

New artwork
by Tsvetelina Krumova – Elmenel
Tsvetelina Krumova, Monday, 2 January 2017, ‘Happy New Year!

Tsvetelina Krumova, Tuesday, 3 January 2017, ‘My First Artwork for this Year

Šárka Škorpíková, DeviantArt, Wednesday, 4 January 2017, ‘Bywater pool on the day of Bilbo's party

Elena Kukanova, DeviantArt, Thursday, 5 January 2017, ‘Morgoth

User ‘wildelbenreiter’, DeviantArt, Thursday, 5 January 2017, ‘the big heart of a tree

Matěj Čadil, Friday, 6 January 2017, ‘Tom and Goldberry's First Meeting

Francesca T. Barbini, SciFiFantasy Network, Saturday, 14 January 2017, ‘The Silmarillion Symphony Ep 2: The Fall of Fingolfin
A work by composer Aaron M Dunn.

Ulla Thurnell, DeviantArt, Saturday, 21 January 2017, ‘Hobbiton

Blacksanz, DeviantArt, Sunday, 22 January 2017, ‘Gimli

Antonio José Manzanedo, DeviantArt, Sunday, 22 January 2017, ‘Gwaihir the Windlord

Joe Gilronan, Thursday, 26 January 2017, ‘Once Upon A Shire

Daniel Pilla, DeviantArt, Saturday, 28 January 2017, ‘Gandalf and Bilbo

User ‘GGoya’, DeviantArt, Sunday, 29 January 2017, ‘Don't Follow the Lights

Joona Kujanen, DeviantArt, Tuesday, 31 January 2017, ‘Battle of Five Armies: King Under the Mountain


Story Internal (Ardalogy)

Michael Martinez, Tuesday, 31 January 2017, ‘Is There Any Significance to the Number of Steps at Orthanc?


Other Stuff

Michael Martinez, Tuesday, 10 January 2017, ‘DragonCon Cancels the Tolkien and Middle-earth Fan Programming Track
Obviously these are worse news to some than to others (I don't recall reading about DragonCon before this, though I probably have ...), but of course it is upsetting to those who have been heavily involved in this.

Jonathan S MacIntosh, Tuesday, 17 January 2017, ‘Entrepreneurship vs. Labor in Middle-earth

Brian Castner, KWAC, Tuesday, 24 January 2017, ‘Simon Tolkien Draws On His Famous Grandfather's Experiences In 'No Man's Land'
See also Dennis Drabelle, Washington Post, Thursday, 26 January 2017, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien’s war experiences inspire his grandson’s novel, ‘No Man’s Land’


Rewarding Discussions

LotR Plaza, ‘The Name Tolkien
Discussing the research by Derdzinski (see the section on web sites)

LotR Plaza, , ‘Alliterative Revival
Having an expert on the alliterative metre contribute can be daunting, but not when it's the kind and helpful Nelson Goering … :-)

Did Tolkien ever change the meanings of his words?
The discussion has now been closed, but an interesting topic that could do with a broader discussion (though not of whether Tolkien changed the meanings, but rather how, when, and particularly why he change the meanings of his words).


Other Reading

Among other things, I will here add some old items that have come up (in some cases I'll be reposting), and which are still worth reading. So expect rather a jumble in this section.

Rebecca Lawes, Winter 2017, ‘Tolkien & Latin

Jenny Turner, London Review of Books, Vol. 23 No. 22, 15 November 2001, ‘Reasons for Liking Tolkien
A lengthy analysis that is critical in an intelligent way. Good reading!

Christopher Howse, The Telegraph, 14 November 2014, ‘Tolkien and the Goths’ disaster
What might Tolkien have meant by saying that “the greatest disaster in history was that the Goths fell into the Arian heresy”?

Michael Caines, The Times Literary Supplement, 2 December 2015, ‘Iris Murdoch: letter-writer and eucatastrophist
The theme of this article is relating and comparing Iris Murdoch and J.R.R. Tolkien. Good stuff.

Apart from these, I am still working my quiet way through Tolkien's Beowulf, while also keeping up with various non-Tolkienian reading (I've recently bought a couple of books by Lord Baden-Powell, Rovering to Sucess and Lessons from the Varsity of Life, and I also still have some books in Danish from my birthday to get through – one a Danish translation of I am Malala). Good days ahead :)

Web Sites

Ryszard Viajante Derdzinski, ‘Tolknięty
A blog on the genealogy of Tolkien. Derdzinski believes to have traced the family of J.R.R. Tolkien to Danzig (modern day Gdansk) in what was, at the time, eastern Germany. I haven't had time to read the most recent posts, but he has promised to post some more convincing evidence of the link from London to Danzig, and I look forward to seeing more from this very interesting research.

Elrond and Elros
by Jenny Dolfen

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. However, you will find below links to monthly archives of posts for months where the blog has featured interesting posts with at least some Tolkien connection. In some cases you may find a headline for a post, if I wish to recommend it particularly.

John D. Rateliff -- ‘Sacnoth's Scriptorium
Archive of posts from January 2017

Jonathan S. McIntosh, ‘The Flame Imperishable
Archive of posts from January 2017

David Bratman, ‘Kalimac's Journal
Archive of posts from January 2017

Jenny Dolfen, ‘Jenny's Sketchbook
Archive of posts from January 2017

Anna Smol, ‘A Single Leaf
Archive of posts from January 2017

Annalisa Palmer, her blog
Archive of posts from September 2016

Various (Bradford Eden, ed.)Journal of Tolkien Research (JTR)
Archive of contributions for the on-going volume 3, issue 3

Various, The Tolkien Society (TS)
Archive of posts from January 2017

Simon Cook, Ye Machine
Archive of posts from January 2017

Southfarthing Mathom
Archive of posts from January 2017

Various, The Mythopoeic Society, ‘The Horn of Rohan Redux
Archive of posts from January 2017

Sue Bridgwater, ‘Skorn
Archive of posts from January 2017

Tom Hilman, ‘Alas, not me
Archive of posts from January 2017

Michael Martinez, ‘Middle-earth
Archive of posts from January 2017

Grey Havens Group, ‘The Grey Havens Group
Archive of posts from January 2017

Bruce G Charlton, ‘Tolkien's The Notion Club Papers
Archive of posts from January 2017

Various, ‘Middle-earth News
Archive of posts from January 2017

Jeffrey R. Hawboldt, ‘Expressions of Substance
Archive of posts from January 2017

Sources

New sources in January 2017
Ryszard Viajante Derdzinski, ‘Tolknięty
Archive of posts from January 2017


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

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Tolkien Transactions LXXVI

December 2016

Happy New Year!

Yup, I know: I'm late ... again.
Still, not as much as last month, and things are looking up, and I am now gnawing away slowly at the backlog – the ‘Mountain of Neglects’, as I joined Brenton Dickieson in quoting Tolkien last month. There are still old neglects to catch up on, but they are fewer than they were.

Some of the artworks this month show that I often like my illustrations to try out new routes; to add something new to our perception of Tolkien's work, even if – and perhaps particularly if – it doesn't fit withour usual perceptions or (to be honest) with Tolkien's text. This is also the main reason why I am saddened by the many illustrations trying merely to recreate someone else's vision – it doesn't give us anything personal, just an imitation (which might be flattering to the imitated, but not very interesting), and I am quite unlikely to include such pieces.

Another thing about the images this month is that three of the pictures are of pictures on my wall. For my birthday, my mother gave me a framing of three of my Tolkien pieces, and I have now finally managed to hang them (there have been a bit of problems with the frames and the wall etc.) and I want to show them off. But I do feel that I need to apologise to the artists – not for the frames, nor for wanting to have their art on my wall, but for my poor photography skills. Please believe when I insist that these pictures look much better when seen for real (the photographs were not improved by the fact that I had to take the photos quite close due to my Tolkien book case being about 1.5 metres from the wall). Still, I wanted to share my joy (and, I admit it, pride) in these pictures.

Middle-earth map by Elmenel (Tsvetelina Krumova)
This wonderful map of Middle-earth is astonishing! I am deeply sorry
about the reflections, but I am immensely happy for this wonderful map

As usual, I make or accept no claims about newness, completeness and relevance (or any other implication of responsibility) :-)

These transactions are posted on my blog, Parma-kenta (Enquiry into the books) and on the Tolkien Society web-site.

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

Marrer of Middle-earth ...!
by Peter Xavier Price

News

Anabelle Williams, The Times, Friday, 9 December 2016, ‘The story of Lydbrook Farm House
— “A Georgian property with connections to the Tolkien family is for sale”. As is so often seen, the connection to J.R.R. Tolkien quickly becomes rather weak, or even tenuous, but I suppose one cannot blame the seller for trying to cash in a bit on the connection ...
See also Alex Matthews, Daily Mail, Friday, 9 December 2016, ‘It's not quite Middle Earth: House where JRR Tolkien lived in the 1940s goes on sale for £2million

BroadwayWorld, Tuesday, 20 December 2016, ‘Marquette Purchases Rare First Edition, First Printing Of 'The Hobbit'
See also Judith Siers-Poisson, Wisconsin Public Radio, Thursday, 22 December 2016, ‘Rare Edition Of 'The Hobbit' Added To Marquette University Collection

Clive Hammond, Basingstoke Gazette, Thursday, 29 December 2016, ‘Basingstoke composer Joseph Purdue completes dream to take 'Tolkien' to the West End


Events

Reports & comments on past events
14 April–10 June 2016, Various locations, Scotland (and 10 September, St. Anthony's College, Oxford), ‘Leaf by Niggle’, Puppet State Theatre Company.
Elspeth, The Puppet State Blog, Monday, 12 December 2016, ‘Leaf by Niggle Reflections
Reflections on the stage play of Leaf by Niggle which conquered the Tolkien Society at Oxonmoot this year. It was truly a privilege to be able to watch this play, and not least to be able to do so in the company of my Tolkien Society friends. Thanks to the Puppet State Theatre and to all those from the Society involved in getting this enchanting experience to Oxonmoot. Thank you!


Info on upcoming & on-going events (as of 1 January)
Bilbo and the Red Book by Jay Johnstone
Another piece that I am very pleased with. I
bought it early in 2016, and now I can finally
do it justice, having put it in a proper frame.
26 April 2016 – 27 February 2017, Various, Staffordshire, ‘Exhibition: J.R.R. Tolkien in Staffordshire 1915 – 1918’, The Haywood Society
Staffordshire Newsletter, Wednesday, 28 December 2016, ‘JRR Tolkien exhibition comes to Stafford
Deniz Bevan, Wednesday, 28 December 2016, ‘Tolkien in Staffordshire and Birthday Toast
Jon Cook, A Little Bit of Stone, Thursday, 29 December 2016, ‘Tolkien exhibition celebrates link with Staffordshire

3 January 2017, World-wide, ‘Tolkien Birthday Toast 2017’, The Tolkien Society

3 January 2016 and later, Lord of the Rings Online, ‘Explore "The Lord of the Rings" – On Location’, Signum Univiersity
8 April 2017, Burlington, Vermont, ‘Tolkien in Vermont’, Tolkien at University of Vermont
Anna Smol, Wednesday, 30 November 2016, ‘CFP: Romances in Middle-earth

11–14 May 2017, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA, ‘International Congress on Medieval Studies (K'zoo)’, Western Michigan University, Medieval Institute
Anna Smol, Tuesday, 29 November 2016, ‘New! Tolkien Symposium in Kalamazoo

1–4 June 2017, National Conference Center, Virginia, US, ‘Mythmoot IV: Invoking Wonder’, Mythgard Institute
Curtis, Signum University, Tuesday, 22 November 2016, ‘Are you ready for Mythmoot IV?

16–18 June 2017, Waddow Hall, Clitheroe, Lancashire, ‘The Middle-earth Beer & Music Festival’, The Ale House Clitheroe
2 July 2017, Hilton Leeds Hotel, ‘Tolkien Society Seminar 2017’, The Tolkien Society – The theme this year will be “Poetry and Song in Tolkien's works”
Anna Milon, The Tolkien Society, Tuesday, 6 December 2016, ‘Call for papers: Tolkien Society Seminar 2017


3–6 July 2017, Leeds, ‘International Medieval Congress’, University of Leeds, Institute for Medieval Studies
Dimitra Fimi, Wednesday, 30 November 2016, ‘Tolkien Sessions at IMC Leeds, July 2017

28–31 July 2017, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA, ‘Mythcon 48’, The Mythopoeic Society


Essays and Scholarship

Eleanor Parker, Friday, 20 December 2013, ‘The Anglo-Saxon O Antiphons: O Oriens, O Earendel
Retweeted for the holiday, and thus I saw it ... :-)

John Garth, The Telegraph, Thursday, 8 December 2016, ‘When JRR Tolkien bet CS Lewis: the wager that gave birth to The Lord of the Rings
A very interesting article written with John Garth's usual clear and approachable style, pinning down the wager between Lewis and Tolkien that directly gave us Out of the Silent Planet as well as The Lost Road and, as Garth argues, indirectly led to The Lord of the Rings. I am very much looking forward to see John Garth's upcoming Tolkien book, Tolkien's Mirror: Creation in the Catastrophic 20th Century.

John Garth, Friday, 9 December 2016, ‘Tanks at Gondolin
An excerpt from John Garth's superb Tolkien and the Great War. If you haven't got that book yet, read here to get a sampling of John Garth's ability to present his research in a very readable and engaging form.

Amanda Gilmore, Medievalist.net, Sunday, 11 December 2016, ‘Trees as a Central Theme in Norse Mythology and Culture
Trees and Old Norse mythology – how could that not have Tolkienian relevance :)

Matthew Firth, Medievalist.net, Sunday, 11 December 2016, ‘Allegories of Sight: Blinding and Power in Late Anglo-Saxon England

Dimitra Fimi, Saturday, 31 December 2016, ‘“Twas the Night Before Christmas” and J.R.R. Tolkien's Tinfang Warble
A comparison of two poems covering metre, imagery, phrasing and other elements. Very interesting, indeed!

Tom Bombadil by Anke Eissmann
I bought this piece at Oxonmoot after wavering back and forth about this
work and one or two others. Fortunately I had brought my daughter, who was
not in doubt, and so I bought this wonderful piece by Anke Eissmann.

Commentary

T.J. West, Tuesday, 6 December 2016, ‘The Pleasures of Reading Tolkien Criticism
Some thoughts on Tolkien criticism ...

Lynn Forest-Hill, Southfarthing Mathom, Saturday, 10 December 2016, ‘December
Discussing ‘The Pyre of Denethor’ (V,7).

T.J. West, Monday, 12 December 2016, ‘Why Are Tolkien's Villains So Compelling?
T.J. West, Thursday, 15 December 2016, ‘Reading “The Lord of the Rings”: “The Taming of Smeagol,” “The Passage of the Marshes,” and “The Black Gate is Closed”
T.J. West, Monday, 19 December 2016, ‘Reading “The Lord of the Rings”: “Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit.”
These are some of the reflections by T.J. West during his ‘Tolkien Appreciation Month’ as he re-read The Lord of the Rings. You will find more on his blog.
Simon J. Cook, Monday, 19 December 2016, ‘the week before christmas – the story of the Ring begins
On the 79th anniversary (at the latest) of Tolkien setting pen to paper to begin the ‘second Hobbit’.

Tom Hillman, Monday, 19 December 2016, ‘The Price of Ilúvatar's Gift?
An interesting juxtaposition of On Fairy-stories and the Ainulindalë. I am not convinced (meaning, of course, that I am somewhat sceptical) that ideas and concepts expressed in On Fairy-stores can be ported to Tolkien's Silmarillion sub-creation in quite the way that Hillman, at least as I read it, proposes here, but I quite agree that it could be interesting to see where such enquiries might lead.

Number 3 Bagshot Row
by Joe Gilronan
Simon J. Cook, Tuesday, 20 December 2016, ‘LOTR – the very first pages
Cook continues his exploration of the earliest writings on The Lord of the Rings, and adds some very interesting comments along the way. When, for instance, he notes that “At this point in time, we must remember, Tolkien was very much in the world of The Hobbit and not at all in that which we now know as The Lord of the Rings.”, he also, almost incidentally, points out the vast difference between the worlds of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings – differences that Tolkien ‘solved’ by the expedient, but brilliant, way of just ignoring them and ultimately only merging / importing those aspects of The Hobbit that were consistent with his Silmarillion world and The Lord of the Rings (a few hints of something else can, as Simon points out, be found in the early chapters – the thinking fox is an example of that).

Elin Nyberg, ScienceNordic, Tuesday, 20 December 2016, ‘The names of Tolkien's universe explained
A bit of etymology for a few of the names we meet in Tolkien's works.

Simon J. Cook, Wednesday, 21 December 2016, ‘LOTR: January & February 1938
Simon J. Cook, Saturday, 25 December 2016, ‘LOTR: Christmas 1937 to March 1938
Cook continues his explorations of the earliest work on The Lord of the Rings as the story slowly and with many false starts evolves ...

Edmund Weiner, Wednesday, 21 December 2016, ‘Hope and Leadership in The Lord of the Rings
Philogist Edmund Weiner has posted a blog post on the hard choices facing Aragorn from the fall of Gandalf in book 2 to Gandalf's return in book 3. Having been lucky enough to hear Liz Wright speak about Aragorn's leadership at Oxonmoot this year I couldn't help but compare the two approaches. Where Wright based her talk on modern leadership theory, Weiner is mainly focused on words, focusing on how Tolkien uses the word ‘hope’.

Bruce Charlton, Wednesday, 28 December 2016, ‘Tolkien and Barfield, Fantasy and Imagination - unexplored links

Tom Hillman, Wednesday, 28 December 2016, ‘The Uncouth Name of Shire
What, Hillman asks, is so ‘uncouth’ about the Shire?


Reviews and Book News

Dennis Wise, Friday, 2 December 2016, ‘3 1/2 Straussian readings of Tolkien!!!!
Mostly a review (sort of) of an article by Mary Keys

Brenton Dickieson, Monday, 19 December 2016, ‘Christmas With J.R.R. Tolkien: The Father Christmas Letters

John D. Rateliff, Thursday, 22 December 2016, ‘My Latest Publication (on THE FALL OF ARTHUR)
On Rateliff's essay, ‘“That Seems to Me Fatal”: Pagan and Christian in The Fall of Arthur’ in Tolkien Studies vol. 13.

Dennis Wise, Saturday, 24 December 2016, ‘And the newest issue of Tolkien Studies is out!


Tolkienian Artwork

The wall behind me as I sit at my computer
writing up these transactions ... I have just
to swirl my chair to find this kind of inspiration.
Peter Xavier Price, Saturday, 3 December 2016, ‘Marrer of Middle-earth ...!
Húrin cursing the Morgoth ...

‘aegeri’, DeviantArt, Sunday, 4 December 2016, ‘Steward of Gondor

Joe Gilronan, Monday, 5 December 2016, ‘Number 3 Bagshot Row

‘Alystraea’, DeviantArt, Tuesday, 6 December 2016, ‘Glorfindel With Battle Hair

‘Yeldabon’, DeviantArt, Saturday, 10 December 2016, ‘The Brandywine Bridge

‘Alystraea’, DeviantArt, Monday, 12 December 2016, ‘When Eowyn met Glorfindel

Tim Catherall, DeviantArt, Wednesday, 14 December 2016, ‘Wood elf

‘Szpondi’, DeviantArt, Thursday, 15 December 2016, ‘Unwanted guest

Gonzalo Kenny, DeviantArt, Friday, 16 December 2016, ‘Between the Nazgul and his prey

Tomás Hijo, Monday, 19 December 2016, ‘Work in progress
Not sure entirely which Tolkienian tower this is, but I look forward to seeing more.

Peter Xavier Price, DeviantArt, Saturday, 24 December 2016, ‘Young Turin and Beleg

‘AncaXBre’, DeviantArt, Sunday, 25 December 2016, ‘Bilbo and Lindir

‘Chechula’, DeviantArt, Monday, 26 December 2016, ‘Caradhras

‘Blacksanz’, DeviantArt, Tuesday, 27 December 2016, ‘The Great Horn

Elena Kukanova, DeviantArt, Wednesday, 28 December 2016, ‘The Swan-Maiden of Alqualonde

Magda Zwierzchowska, DeviantArt, Thursday, 29 December 2016, ‘Smaug


Story Internal (Ardalogy)

Michael Martinez, Monday, 5 December 2016, ‘What Happened to the Dúnedain after the War of the Ring?

Hawke, Monday, 12 December 2016, ‘Preview Review of Adventures in Middle-earth Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Player's Guide

Michael Martinez, Friday, 16 December 2016, ‘Did Sauron Really Believe the One Ring Had been Destroyed?
One of the great discussions, and one that requires a bit of careful tracking of who knew what when in order to discuss. Martinez, in my opinion, does a good job (of course it also helps that I agree with his conclusion :) )

Jeff LaSala, Wednesday, 21 December 2016, ‘The Eagles of Middle-earth: Tolkien’s Special Ops
Possibly the most irritating of the Great Debates for me – why bother with something nobody would actually want to happen, when there are so many (and, frankly, quite obvious) reasons it would not be a good idea? Still, LaSala does a quite good job at it, including the role of the Eagles in the wider legendarium.


Other Stuff

T.J. West, Saturday, 3 December 2016, ‘Reading Tolkien in the Time of Trump
Starting his annual ‘Tolkien Appreciation Month’ at his blog, Queerly Different (likely to extend a bit into January), West shares some thoughts on setting out on his re-reading of The Lord of the Rings. As for the political application ... well, I suppose you all know where I stand with regards to mapping Tolkien to contemporary political questions and divisions.
This goes into my collection of articles tagged “Political Tolkien” that I created at one point when I dreamed of one day having something intelligent to say about the use of Tolkien or his works to promote this or that modern political point of view (beyond the fairly basic ‘such is a pointless exercise in futile foolishness’). I no longer have such ambitions, but I do maintain the list. I have found that regardless of whether I agree or disagree with the political opinion being argued, I invariably disagree with the reading of Tolkien used to make him relevant to the specifics of the argument (I am all for the relevance of Tolkien and his applicability to modern life in a far broader sense).

Dan Trynoski, Medievalist.net, Saturday, 3 December 2016, ‘Want a new Medieval LEGO kit? Vote now!
Just because ... :-) (and it is, indeed, a very nice set!)

Stephen C Winter, Tuesday, 6 December 2016, ‘The Siege of Gondor: A Word to Those For Whom Hope Has Gone
This is a bit too ‘preachy’ for my tastes, but I'll leave it here for those who like this sort of thing ...

Young Turin and Beleg
by Peter Xavier Price
Eric Grundhauser, Altas Obscura, Wednesday, 7 December 2016, ‘Why do Dwarves Sound Scottish and Elves Sound Like Royalty?
Though the author advices us to “Blame Tolkien and time”, I cannot see what Tolkien has to do with it (look at Khuzdul – does that look like something that would yield a Scottish accent? And does Royalty sound Welsh? Because then I might understand it ...). I think it is better to look elsewhere, and ‘the times’ gets blamed for so much that a little more won't make much of a difference ...

Dimitra Fimi, Monday, 12 December 2016, ‘First impressions count? On academic book covers
I was not surprised to see this call for getting engaged from Dimitra Fimi. Her own enthusiasm and engagement is certainly contagious (not least in person), and her caring about the impression her book covers give rhymes well with my impression of a genuinely warm and caring person (which, in the end, is more important than being a brilliant scholar – which she of course also is).

John D. Rateliff, Monday, 19 December 2016, ‘Tollers and Jack
Follow-up on the earlier post about a stage play focusing on the friendship between Tolkien and Lewis.

Michael Martinez, Thursday, 22 December 2016, ‘Did Tolkien's Legendarium Have Anything to do with the Occult?
I cannot help but wonder about the specific questions and talking points – and the reason for asking. But that is not really relevant, and I think Michael Martinez does an excellent job at an explanation, with which I agree.

Nico Salvatori, Erie Times, Friday, 23 December 2016, ‘Nico Salvatori: Christmas with Tolkien


Rewarding Discussions

Tolkien Collector's Guide, ‘Collecting and sales
A question from Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull in preparation for the upcoming (is it September soon?) new edition of their J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide.

LotR Plaza, ‘Humour in 'The Silmarillion'
On examples of wit and humour in Tolkien's Silmarillion tradition (not all in the published Silmarillion).

Other Reading

J.R.R. Tolkien, Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary
It is taking me quite a bit of time to get through Tolkien's Beowulf as I am, almost exclusively, reading on my Kindle in my lunch breaks, which means some 20 minutes per day (unless someone is keeping me company). Still, the pace suits me well, and allows time for reading other things when at home. I have finished the translation itself and am now reading Tolkien's comments.

Nancy Bunting, ‘Tolkien and the Boy Scouts’ in Lembas Extra 2015, edited by Cécile van Zon and Renée Vink.
Renée kindly pointed out this essay for me, and of course I had to get the collection for that :-)
The essay sums up what little is known about Tolkien's stint with the Boy Scouts (very little) and recounts a few things about the history and ideals of the early Scout Movement (probably good thing it wasn't me writing that essay – I probably would have had a bit more to say on those ;-) ). Bunting also tries to show how the Boy Scout motto, ‘Be Prepared’, can be seen as an undercurrent in Tolkien's work. Though I do not think we should look for a source connection here, I think that it would be worth doing more on the parallels between Tolkien and Baden-Powell simply seeing the latter as an exponent for some more general trends – after all, the Scout movement got a lot of early and eager support from all parts of society, which seems to indicate that Baden-Powell managed to connect to the zeitgeist of pre WWI England.


Web Sites

Baillie Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, ‘Letters from Father Christmas
An article by Baillie Tolkien about the Letters from Father Christmas, which she prepared. Note to self: remember to browse the Estate website more often ...


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. However, you will find below links to monthly archives of posts for months where the blog has featured interesting posts with at least some Tolkien connection. In some cases you may find a headline for a post, if I wish to recommend it particularly.

Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond, ‘Too Many Books and Never Enough
Archive of posts from December 2016

Dimitra Fimi, ‘Dr. Dimitra Fimi
Archive of posts from December 2016

John D. Rateliff -- ‘Sacnoth's Scriptorium
Archive of posts from December 2016

John Garth, ‘John Garth
Archive of posts from December 2016

Jonathan S. McIntosh, ‘The Flame Imperishable
Archive of posts from December 2016

David Bratman, ‘Kalimac's Journal
Archive of posts from December 2016

Edmund Weiner, ‘Philoloblog
Archive of posts from December 2016

Various, The Tolkien Society (TS)
Archive of posts from December 2016

Simon Cook, Ye Machine
Archive of posts from December 2016

Southfarthing Mathom
Archive of posts from December 2016

Sue Bridgwater, ‘Skorn
Archive of posts from December 2016

Tom Hilman, ‘Alas, not me
Archive of posts from December 2016

Michael Martinez, ‘Middle-earth
Archive of posts from December 2016

Bruce Charlton, ‘Tolkien's The Notion Club Papers
Archive of posts from December 2016

Various, ‘Middle-earth News
Archive of posts from December 2016

Jeffrey R. Hawboldt, ‘Expressions of Substance
Archive of posts from September 2016

Sources

No new sources in December 2016

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