Friday, 3 August 2012

Tolkien Transactions XXVII

Tolkien Transactions XXVII
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 'sub'-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 Ainulindalë. 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 Renée 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

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 Ferré, 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 Faërie, 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) — ‘Lingwë — 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 Ilúvatar’
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

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