Friday, 2 November 2012

Tolkien Transactions XXX

October 2012

Ai! laurië lantar lassi súrinen

The leaves do fall golden (and gardners are busy raking and collecting them) and the bones of the trees are gradually coming out from behind the golden foliage. Driving to work this month has (when it hasn't been raining) been a breathtaking experience, coming through the woods of northern Zealand.

In the LotR Plaza we've been collecting the leaves of uncounted years in discussions of The Notion Club Papers now that all of the story (except for the editing of the papers) lies behind us (the story-internal frame being the discovery of the club records ‘after the Summer Examinations of 2012 on top of one of the sacks off waste paper in the basement of the Examination Schools at Oxford.’ We are still not through (having only just started on part 2), so come and join us.

This month it has suited my purposes to sort the contents under the following headlines:
1: News
2: The Fall of Arthur
3: Essays and Scholarship
4: Reviews and Book News
5: Interviews
6: Tolkienian Artwork
7: Other Stuff
8: Rewarding Discussions
9: In Print
10: Web Sites
11: Sources

= = = = News = = = =

Ian Spittlehouse, Monday, 1 October 2012, ‘The plaque is here!’
http://blueplaque-tolkien-in-leeds.blogspot.dk/2012/10/the-plaque-is-here_1.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/bt9xtqd
From a Tolkien-interested perspective, this month began with the unveiling of the Blue Plaque in Leeds. Sponsored by the Tolkien Society, and very much thanks to the efforts of Ian Spittlehouse, the Plaque was unveiled in Leeds on the first of the month — thank you, Ian! This blog entry also includes links to various articles about the Plaque (none of which I will link to below).

Film-News.co.uk, Monday, 1 October 2012, ‘Tolkien Society to unveil Blue Plaque in Leeds to J.R.R. Tolkien’
http://www.film-news.co.uk/show-news.asp?H=Tolkien-Society-to-unveil-Blue-Plaque-in-Leeds-to-J.R.R.-Tolkien&nItemID=14945
http://preview.tinyurl.com/cl8qmxs
With the upcoming Hobbit films, it is probably no surprise that the Blue Plaque unveiling was mentioned in this on-line film-magazine.

Kyle Wells, Victoria News, Wednesday, 10 October 2012, ‘Inmates find purpose in the world of Tolkien’
http://www.vicnews.com/entertainment/173608481.html
This story of inmates setting up Tolkien's The Hobbit as a play, setting it visually in a contemporary world (I wonder whether they nonetheless do swords and bows?) oddly moves me: I think it's the idea of the freedom of the mind combined with Tolkien's strong message (in The Lord of the Rings) about ‘the supreme value and efficacy of Pity and forgiveness of injury’ (Letters no. 191).

Matt Tota, Milton Daily News, Saturday, 13 October 2012, ‘Franklin students to tackle Tolkien’
http://www.milforddailynews.com/news/x781379724/Franklin-students-to-tackle-Tolkien
http://preview.tinyurl.com/996fh8d
The story of the ‘readathon’ at Horace Mann Middle School in Franklin, which invites all students to read The Hobbit, promising a field trip to watch the first film as the reward for getting through the book in time (and answering some questions about it). I like to read about how Tolkien's works are taken up in education, though I'm a bit surprised that a teacher opines that the students ‘will have to challenge themselves to get through the thick tale’ unless the time each student is set is much shorter than the six to eight weeks time frame mentioned in the article (recall the children around ten years getting through the Potter books in a matter of days rather than weeks — and though The Hobbit may be more challenging in a page-by-page comparison, there is so much fewer pages).

JV, Sunday, 14 October 2012, ‘LEGO reveals upcoming ‘The Hobbit’ sets at NY Comic-Con’
http://www.examiner.com/article/lego-reveals-upcoming-the-hobbit-sets-at-ny-comic-con
http://preview.tinyurl.com/97vc6cw
As is the case with their The Lord of the Rings line of sets, the Lego Hobbit sets are not based on Tolkien's story, but on the Jackson films. In that light it might be interesting to see that there are Elves appearing in the set with the Mirkwood spiders, but no Hobbit — see below for a link to Tom Shippey's comments on Bilbo's heroic progress.
See also http://thehobbit.lego.com/en-us/

JDR, Monday, 15 October 2012, ‘Middle-earth Coinage’
http://sacnoths.blogspot.dk/2012/10/middle-earth-coinage.html
About the story that New Zealand is issuing Hobbit-related coins that will be legal tender in the country. It boggles my mind too — not the least because New Zealand is about as far away as you can come on Earth from Tolkien's Middle-earth (at least if you want a major land-mass and not just the way of the whales).

JV, Thursday, 18 October 2012, ‘Tolkien lawyers threaten ‘Age of the Hobbits’ film with legal action’
http://www.examiner.com/article/tolkien-lawyers-threaten-age-of-the-hobbits-film-with-legal-action
http://preview.tinyurl.com/cas46nq
So, here it seems we might get the trial-case with respect to the use of ‘Hobbit’ for various purposes. Lawyers for the Saul Zaentz Company (SZC) and their licensees are threatening legal action against a studio planning to release a low-budget film about a race of small early hominids called ‘Age of the Hobbits.’ I have no interest in the film as such, but I do hope they'll fight out this case and win it to curb the excessive zeal of the SZC lawyers.
See also JV, Thursday, 18 October 2012, ‘Tolkien lawyers threaten ‘Age of the Hobbits’ film with legal action’
http://www.examiner.com/article/tolkien-lawyers-threaten-age-of-the-hobbits-film-with-legal-action
http://preview.tinyurl.com/cas46nq

Gordon Rayner, The Telegraph, Monday, 22 October 2012, ‘Tolkien fan Prince Charles to meet Peter Jackson in The Hobbit film studios on New Zealand visit’
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/prince-charles/9626524/Tolkien-fan-Prince-Charles-to-meet-Peter-Jackson-in-The-Hobbit-film-studios-on-New-Zealand-visit.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/9rx5s5b
I think the headline says all I could say.

Nathan Yau, Flowing Data, Wednesday, 24 October 2012, ‘Lord of the Rings visualized’
http://flowingdata.com/2012/10/24/lord-of-the-rings-visualized/
Emil Johanssen's LotR Project statistics have been getting some attention even from high-end data visualization bloggers such as Flowing Data.
See also
Ami Sedghi, The Guardian Data Blog, Wednesday, 24 October 2012, ‘Demographics of the Lord of the Rings - graphic’
http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/interactive/2012/oct/24/demographics-lord-of-the-rings-graphic
http://preview.tinyurl.com/cwxrwv7
The focus is on what is probably the two best of Emil's graphs: one is the lifespan of the rulers of the Númenóreans and their descendants, and one is the gender distribution by race.

JV, Tuesday, 30 October 2012, ‘Saul Zaentz Company forbids use of ‘hobbit’ in lecture on primitive humanoids’
http://www.examiner.com/article/saul-zaentz-company-forbids-use-of-hobbit-lecture-on-primitive-humanoids
http://preview.tinyurl.com/brk5von
Dr. Brent Alloway from the Victoria University in Wellington wanted to give an open lecture titled ‘The Other Hobbit’ about the other Hobbit: the hominid elsewhere named the homo floresiensis after the its place of discovery, but the SZC put their foot down (possibly due to their current legal issue with a film called ‘The Age of the Hobbits’). In other media (not quoted below), Dr. Alloway's misunderstanding that the rejection was issued by the Tolkien Estate has been repeated uncritically, possibly damaging the reputation of the Tolkien Estate.
See also Alison Flood, The Guardian, Tuesday, 30 October 2012, ‘Hobbit banned as title of lecture on prehistoric 'hobbit'’
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/oct/30/hobbit-banned-prehistoric-hobbit
http://preview.tinyurl.com/c5kn3th

Huffington Post, Wednesday, 31 October 2012, ‘Air New Zealand Launches Hobbit-Themed Safety Video’
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/31/air-new-zealand-hobbit-safety-video_n_2049264.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/cumtuf3
Heh-heh! This is actually quite funny :-)

= = = = The Fall of Arthur = = = =

Since the rumours in July, the internet has been remarkably silent on the topic of the publication of Tolkien's alliterative poem, The Fall of Arthur. With official confirmation leading the way, the news have certainly picked up this month. Below you will find both a few selected links that each adds something to our knowledge about this book, and then a series of links that are included (in an abbreviated form) only to show how widespread the press-coverage of this has been (and the links included here is of course merely a small excerpt).

Harper Collins: ‘The Fall of Arthur’
http://www.harpercollins.co.uk/Titles/79908/
The description from Harper Collins of The Fall of Arthur

PC, Sunday, 7 October 2012, ‘New Tolkien book by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fall of Arthur, will be released in May 2013’
http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/1062-the-fall-of-arthur-by-jrr-tolkien.php?529
http://preview.tinyurl.com/d6askrd
Being out early with his announcement, Pieter mainly adds some context and tells us that ‘Christopher Tolkien has been unable to establish exactly when the poem was written.’

JV, Monday, 8 October 2012, ‘Unpublished Tolkien work confirmed to be released next year’
http://www.examiner.com/article/unpublished-tolkien-work-confirmed-to-be-released-next-year
http://preview.tinyurl.com/cb5a8bs
Josh Vogt buffs up all the unknowns with some of the little that is known by quoting from the published letters and Carpenter's official biography about The Fall of Arthur.

Alison Flood, The Guardian, Tuesday, 9 October 2012, ‘'New' JRR Tolkien epic due out next year’
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/oct/09/jrr-tolkien-new-poem-king-arthur
http://preview.tinyurl.com/92sl67c
As usual Alison Flood from The Guardian seems to have a better grasp of Tolkienian matters than most journalist. In this article Christopher Tolkien and John Garth are quoted alongside the Harper Collins editing director, Chris Smith. We are also treated to the first nine lines of the poem that add themselves to the few lines quoted elsewhere (e.g. in Humphrey Carpenter's Biography).

After Alison Flood's article in The Guardian, most news services seem to have been content to repeat from the HarperCollins press release and web-site and from The Guardian article. However, as time has progressed, some people have tried to say something more about it, notably some of the Tolkienists, but also others:

LotR Plaza, ‘Fall of Arthur’
http://lotrplaza.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=244254
The discussion thread on the LotR Plaza is still an excellent source of knowledge, including discussion of the medieval sources for Tolkien's poem.

JDR, Wednesday, 10 October 2012, ‘THE FALL OF ARTHUR’
http://sacnoths.blogspot.dk/2012/10/the-fall-of-arthur.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/c9pa85g
John Rateliff is mainly satisfied with collecting what is known about Tolkien's book.

John Lundberg, Huffington Post, Sunday, 14 October 2012, ‘Tolkien's Take on the Arthurian Legends’
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-lundberg/tolkiens-take-on-the-arth_b_1961838.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/8awrq4a
John Lundberg wants to educate his readers about alliterative verses (though this is unlikely to be necessary to most Tolkienists, and certainly unnecessary for anyone familiar with The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún). There is, of course, much more to alliterative poetry, but I will be particularly interested to see if Tolkien again sticks to the stricter forms of alliteration found in Old English and Old Norse poetry (Skaldic poetry), or if he will, in The Fall of Arthur be content to use the looser forms developed in Middle English during the alliterative revival of late medieval times (the alliterative Morte Arthure and Layamon's Brut come naturally to mind).

DB, Monday, 15 October 2012, ‘The Fall of Arthur’
http://kalimac.blogspot.dk/2012/10/the-fall-of-arthur.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/9fbg29f
In addition to summarizing and commenting on the news itself, David Bratman comments on the place of The Fall of Arthur in earlier Tolkien scholarship.

7 October
_The Australian, ‘The rise of JRR Tolkien's fallen Arthur’
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/the-rise-of-jrr-tolkiens-fallen-arthur/story-fnb64oi6-1226490111696
http://preview.tinyurl.com/btr8xkm
The One Ring.net, ‘New Tolkien work to be released next May!’
http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2012/10/07/62845-new-tolkien-work-to-be-released-next-may/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/d9czoqf

8 October
Oxford Mail, ‘Unseen work by Tolkien to be published’
http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/9971059.Unseen_work_by_Tolkien_to_be_published/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/bwfl38r
The Bookseller, ‘HC to release previously unpublished Tolkien poem’
http://www.thebookseller.com/news/hc-release-previously-unpublished-tolkien-poem.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/d8mkg24
The Oxford Times, ‘Unseen work by Tolkien to be published’
http://www.oxfordtimes.co.uk/news/9971059.Unseen_work_by_Tolkien_to_be_published/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/cdch3q2
WTOP, ‘Unpublished Tolkien book to be released in 2013’
http://www.wtop.com/541/3072525/The-Fall-of-Arthur
Flavorwire, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien’s King Arthur Poem to See Publication in 2013’
http://www.flavorwire.com/336210/j-r-r-tolkiens-king-arthur-poem-to-see-publication-in-2013
http://preview.tinyurl.com/botpwhb
ActuaLitté (French), ‘La Chute d'Arthur, poème inédit de Tolkien pour 2013’
http://www.actualitte.com/les-maisons/la-chute-d-arthur-poeme-inedit-de-tolkien-pour-2013-37302.htm
http://preview.tinyurl.com/d4rpygv
Tempi (Italian), ‘La scoperta de “La caduta di Artù” e l’inesauribile sperimentalismo di Tolkien’
http://www.tempi.it/la-scoperta-de-la-caduta-di-artu-e-linesauribile-sperimentalismo-di-tolkien
http://preview.tinyurl.com/c48e6qf
La Stampa (Italian), ‘Un poema inedito di Tolkien scoperto negli archivi di Oxford’
http://www.lastampa.it/2012/10/08/esteri/un-poema-inedito-di-tolkien-scoperto-negli-archivi-di-oxford-sSABCXOC1MxkN6T2HMTAXM/pagina.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/cyqfj48
Iran Book News Agency, ‘HC to release previously unpublished Tolkien poem’
http://www.ibna.ir/vdcc1sqsi2bqps8.-ya2.html

9 October
Huffington Post, ‘New Tolkien Book: J.R.R.'s Epic Poem Out Next Year’
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/09/new-tolkien-book_n_1952307.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/ckvbpg2
La Razon (Spanish), ‘Un poema inédito de Tolkien inspirado en el Rey Arturo se publicará en mayo’
http://www.larazon.es/noticia/2601-un-poema-inedito-de-tolkien-inspirado-en-el-rey-arturo-se-publicara-en-mayo
http://preview.tinyurl.com/8h76j9j

10 October
Galleycat, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien’s Previously Unpublished ‘The Fall of Arthur’ Coming Next Year’
http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/j-r-r-tolkiens-previously-unpublished-the-fall-of-arthur-coming-next-year_b58793
http://preview.tinyurl.com/c3hmpsa
Huffington Post UK, ‘New JRR Tolkien Book Announced: 'The Fall Of Arthur'’
http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/10/10/tolkien-new-book-fall-of-authur_n_1953429.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/caew7bv
Kultura (Croatian), ‘Dosad neobjavljeni Tolkien uskoro na policama’
http://www.tportal.hr/kultura/knjizevnost/219396/Dosad-neobjavljeni-Tolkien-uskoro-na-policama.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/bwas29p
Helsingin Sanomat (Finnish), ‘Tolkienilta uusi kirja ensi vuonna’
http://www.hs.fi/kulttuuri/Tolkienilta+uusi+kirja+ensi+vuonna/a1305605554555
http://preview.tinyurl.com/cvb7mr7
Svenska Dagbladet (Swedish), ‘Bortglömd Tolkien-bok ges ut’
http://www.svd.se/kultur/bortglomd-tolkien-bok-ges-ut_7570950.svd
http://preview.tinyurl.com/cxnpgsd
ShortNews (German), ‘"The Fall of Arthur’: Unbekanntes J.R.R. Tolkien-Buch erscheint nächstes Jahr"
http://www.shortnews.de/id/988658/The-Fall-of-Arthur-Unbekanntes-J-R-R-Tolkien-Buch-erscheint-nachstes-Jahr
http://preview.tinyurl.com/dyc6ldj
Sveriges Television (Swedish), ‘Bortglömd Tolkienbok ser dagens ljus 2013’
http://www.svt.se/kultur/bok/bortglomd-tolkienbok-ser-ljuset-2013
http://preview.tinyurl.com/cu5ptjt

11 October
Hindustan Times, ‘Tolkien's poem to be out in 2013’
http://www.hindustantimes.com/Books/Chunk-HT-UI-BooksSectionPage-AuthorsCorner/Tolkien-s-poem-Fall-of-Arthur-confirmed-for-2013/Article1-942940.aspx
http://preview.tinyurl.com/cgmvr8y
Le HuffPost (French), ‘Un poème de J.R.R. Tolkien sur le Roi Arthur bientôt publié’
http://www.huffingtonpost.fr/2012/10/11/poeme-de-jrr-tolkien-roi-arthur-chevaliers-table-ronde_n_1955085.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/cqpbwrg
Bagnet (Russian), ‘??’
http://www.bagnet.org/news/showbiz/195683
http://preview.tinyurl.com/cwtbza5
Deutsche Tolkien Gesellschaft (German), ‘Neuer Tolkien: The Fall of Arthur’
http://www.tolkiengesellschaft.de/8386/neuer-tolkien-the-fall-of-arthur/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/ctfhjst
DiePresse.com (German), ‘Neues Tolkien-Buch erscheint 2013’
http://diepresse.com/home/kultur/literatur/1300009/Neues-TolkienBuch-erscheint-2013
http://preview.tinyurl.com/bonus2v
Hypervocal, ‘Mordor d'Arthur’
http://hypervocal.com/news/2012/tolkien-arthur-poem/

12 October
Knack.be (Belgian), ‘Alweer nieuw oud werk van J.R.R. Tolkien’
http://www.knack.be/nieuws/boeken/nieuws/alweer-nieuw-oud-werk-van-j-r-r-tolkien/article-4000191739988.htm
http://preview.tinyurl.com/ca2dbdo
Lukor.com (Spanish), ‘Un poema inédito de Tolkien verá la luz en 2013’
http://lukor.com/blogs/revistadetecnologia/2012/10/12/un-poema-inedito-de-tolkien-vera-la-luz-en-2013/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/d7qqx58
IGN, ‘"New’ Tolkien Epic Hitting the Shelves"
http://www.ign.com/articles/2012/10/12/new-tolkien-epic-hitting-the-shelves
http://preview.tinyurl.com/96ujh4w

14 October
My Boox (French), ‘"The Fall of Arthur’ : une œuvre inédite de Tolkien à paraître en mai 2013"
http://www.myboox.fr/actualite/fall-arthur-une-oeuvre-inedite-de-tolkien-paraitre-en-mai-2013-ac-18151.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/bmyp29f

16 October
Sarah Sloat, ‘Speakeasy’, The Wall Street Journal, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien Moves From Middle-Earth to Camelot’
http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2012/10/16/j-r-r-tolkien-moves-from-middle-earth-to-camelot/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/8eakzmp

= = = = Essays and Scholarship = = = =

Various (The Tolkienist), October 2012, ‘75 reasons why you should read “The Hobbit” before watching the films’
http://www.thetolkienist.com/2012/09/22/75-reasons-why-you-should-read-the-hobbit-before-watching-the-films/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/8uu5hzp
Marcel Aubron-Bülles has continued the series of people answering the question of why one should read The Hobbit — certainly before watching any of Peter Jackson's films, and preferably long ago ;-) This month we have contributions from Chris Seeman (October 2nd), who has the interesting point that while the book is not a prequel to The Lord of the Rings, Jackson's films will be prequels. Tom Shippey (October 12th) writes about Bilbo's heroic progress, and goes on to contrast Bilbo's heroic mode with that of Bard and Thorin — thoroughly good Shippey stuff! Colin Duriez (October 20) speaks of the opening line, saying that ‘the imaginative engagement of these brief words which cast a spell that keeps the reader engaged.’ He further asserts that ‘[a] word like ‘hobbit’ can be worth a thousand pictures.’ This recalls to me Tolkien's words in ‘On Fairy-stories’ about the power of literature, unillustrated, to invoke our personal images: one word is indeed often worth millions of pictures. On October 23rd Guglielmo Spirito speaks about the actual book as the basis, the frame and back of the mirror with the adaptation(s) as the mirror image (no matter how good, no mirror is completely perfect), and Jonathan Fruoco (October 24th) speaks about the beauty of Tolkien's opening sentence and of the opportunity to actually yourself perform the story inside your head while reading it.

JM, ‘Tolkien's Metaphysics of the Music’
http://jonathansmcintosh.wordpress.com/category/j-r-r-tolkien/metaphysics-of-faerie/metaphysics-of-the-music/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/8fkmw4k
Parts 22 through 26 published in October take us into more depth about the act of Creation and God as Creator in both St. Thomas and Tolkien's Ainulindalë before moving on to an attempt to ‘understand more precisely the metaphysical significance of the musical imagery of Tolkien's creation-myth.’ (Part 25).

TS, Tuesday, 2 October 2012, ‘Frodo’s Vaunt’
http://superversive.livejournal.com/141600.html
An essay on Tolkien's use of the ‘vaunt’ (the, often boastful and excessive, promise that must be kept) in The Lord of the Rings. Simon manages to deal with this subject without even touching on that most fateful of all the vaunts in Tolkien's legendarium, the Oath of Fëanor. His analysis is nonetheless very interesting and illuminating.

JDR, Thursday, 11 October 2012, ‘Tolkien's Webley’
http://sacnoths.blogspot.dk/2012/10/tolkiens-webley.html
About J.R.R. Tolkien's revolver from the Great War, which can be seen at the Imperial War Museum's website. Also notice John Garth's comments about this item and how he believes it has come to the museum. In addition to the link provided by Rateliff, you can see, also in high resolution, the gun here:
http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/30034679

MB, Thursday, 11 October 2012, ‘"The Lord of the Gaps’: How Tolkien’s mastery of a literary technique would make ten Hobbit films possible — and they still wouldn’t be enough"
http://www.thetolkienist.com/2012/10/11/the-lord-of-the-gaps-how-tolkiens-mastery-of-a-literary-technique-would-make-ten-hobbit-films-possible-and-they-still-wouldnt-be-enough/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/9kzt2jk
Marcel, you need to work on the length of your titles and ensuing URLs ;)
Regardless of how you may apply this to the idea of film adaptations of Tolkien's works, the discussion of Tolkien's mastery of the literary technique of the gap, the untold story, is interesting. Notice also that Tolkien doesn't necessarily rely on there actually being a tale to tell (known to himself): examples from The Lord of the Rings are the cats of Queen Beruthiel (about which he much later did write something) and Merry and Pippin's last years in Rohan and Gondor, and from the Silmarillion we could mention e.g. ‘the Narsilion, the Song of the Sun and Moon.’

TS, Thursday, 11 October 2012, ‘The Rhetoric of Middle-earth’
http://superversive.livejournal.com/142478.html
An analysis of Tolkien's prose style. Tom Simon takes the so-called ‘New Criticism’ to task for not being able to see literature as a story that has to be experienced as a story, and then proceeds to analyse Tolkien's prose, including his many different ‘voices’, in light of exactly what it does for the story and for the reader's ability to experience the story, to be caught up in the ‘Faërian Drama’, Secondary Belief. Needless to say, I very much agree with Simon's criticism of the various ‘New Criticism’ approaches to a book.
See also comments from John C. Wright, Thursday, 11 October 2012, ‘Superversive on Tolkienian Diction’
http://www.scifiwright.com/2012/10/superversive-on-tolkienian-diction/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/8hom42w

JM, Friday, 12 October 2012, ‘Salt Lake City vs. Treebeard's Eyes: Tolkien and Descartes on Tradition’
http://jonathansmcintosh.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/salt-lake-city-vs-treebeards-eyes-tolkien-and-descartes-on-tradition/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/bnfe6og
The first of two posts contrasting aspects of Descartes' ideas with Tolkien's ideas. Here it is Descartes' love for the ordered and rational planning vs. Tolkien's apparent preference for a more organic growth. In the second of these posts (from the 13th — just click ‘next’), McIntosh discusses their different approaches to the relation of desires to reality and realism.

Ivona Elenton, The Grey Havens Group, Monday, 15 October 2012, ‘At the Harbor of the Grey Havens, I clung on to the Pier for dear Life (Or The Art of not Letting Go)’
http://greyhavensgroup.com/2012/10/15/at-the-harbor/
Musings on the concept of letting go of The Lord of the Rings, in particular in relation to a particularly immersive reading such as the Grey Havens Group has been through, and with a charming story of Ivona's childhood problems with letting go.

University of Leeds, Tuesday, 16 October 2012, ‘Tolkien: 'Sales are not very great'’
http://www.leeds.ac.uk/news/article/3305/
The letter that Tolkien wrote to Arthur Ransome and which is kept at the Univeristy of Leeds. For pictures of the two pages of the letter see
http://pinterest.com/universityleeds/j-r-r-tolkien-s-letter/
Tolkien wrote to Arthur Ransome about The Hobbit that ‘sales are not very great’ and expressing doubt about the possibility of a reprint on December 15th 1937 — less than two months after the publication of The Hobbit. I don't know what exactly Tolkien was imagining, but on December 17th, two days later, C.A. Furth of Allen & Unwin wrote to Tolkien about the reprint that was being ‘rushed through to meet demand in the Christmas trade’ (Hammond & Scull, Chronology, p. 209), so the sales can't have been all that bad. Possibly Tolkien was merely trying to be downplay his success a bit to the older author whose work he and his children admired.

Charles Jeanes, The Rossland Telegraph, Wednesday, 17 October 2012, ‘Frodo lives: Middle Earth, Evil, and the decline of religion in the West.’
http://rosslandtelegraph.com/news/frodo-lives-middle-earth-evil-and-decline-religion-west-21482#.UJElgW_oSvg
http://preview.tinyurl.com/ch4tep8
This essay is not so much an analysis of Tolkien, but rather an analysis of the cultural landscape (in the late sixties) where Charles Jeanes encountered Tolkien, and about how they made Tolkien's work apply to their own situation. Jeanes seems to me to focus on the work's applicability to himself and the people with whom he discovered Tolkien's work and world.

JM, Tuesday, 23 October 2012, ‘Embodied Immortality in Tolkien and Anselm’
http://jonathansmcintosh.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/embodied-immortality-in-tolkien-and-anselm/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/bre7opy
The last of three posts that investigate parallels between Tolkien's Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth (in Morgoth's Ring) and works of medieval Christian philosophical works such as the Cur Deus Homo by Alselm of Canterbury and the works of Peter Damian.

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

Noble Smith, Huffington Post, Wednesday, 10 October 2012, ‘13 Life Lessons From 'The Hobbit'’
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/noble-smith/hobbit-book_b_1949522.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/clcubq5
I am sorry to say that this piece, to me, is only interesting for being wrong in so many ways :-( The whole concept of trying to teach life-lessons based on Tolkien's books may at first seem attractive, but it would, in my opinion, require a wholly different approach than this, which seems only suited to line the author's pockets with as little work (including mental activity) as at all possible. Do NOT buy his _Wisdom of the Shire_!

JDR, Tuesday, 9 October 2012, ‘The New Arrivals’
http://sacnoths.blogspot.dk/2012/10/the-new-arrivals.html
A few comments on the book The Unofficial Hobbit Handbook: Everything I Need to Know About Life I Learned From Tolkien by ‘The Shire Collective’. Looking at the available preview in Google Books, it seems light-hearted; more meant for fun than for anything serious, but a bit of humour is never comes amiss (unfortunately the advice that Rateliff refers to on ‘how to tell a Good Wizard from a Bad Wizard’ isn't part of the Google preview).

Jason Boog, Galleycat, Thursday, 11 October 2012, ‘Lord of the Rings Trilogy Unabridged Audiobook is 54 Hours Long’
http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/j-r-r-tolkien-lord-of-the-rings-trilogy-unabridged-audio-book-is-54-hours-long_b58953
http://preview.tinyurl.com/9pxodb3
Recorded Books is doing an unabridged audiobook of The Lord of the Rings (to be distributed by Audible), which will contain some 54 hours of listening. I wonder what ‘unabridged’ means in this context — I could imagine some of the appendices being able to work, but the family trees might be rather difficult to present in an audio book . . .
See also Jenny Che, Thursday, 11 October 2012, ‘'Lord of the Rings' and ‘Hobbit’ now available as unabridged audiobooks’
http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/pageviews/2012/10/%E2%80%98lord-of-the-rings%E2%80%99-and-%E2%80%98hobbit%E2%80%99-now-available-as-unabridged-audiobooks
http://preview.tinyurl.com/cxc32h7
And Laura Miller, Salon, Thursday, 18 October 2012, ‘"The Hobbit’ uncut, at last"
http://www.salon.com/2012/10/18/the_hobbit_uncut_at_last/singleton/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/ct8evno
Which discusses the availability (‘finally’) of Rob Inglis' reading of The Hobbit in the USA.

H&S, Tuesday, 16 October 2012, ‘Tolkien Notes 1’
http://wayneandchristina.wordpress.com/2012/10/16/tolkien-notes-1/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/c9jf9xd
‘This is the first in a continuing series of brief notes on Tolkien matters, that is, when the subject doesn’t call for a longer post all to itself, or when we don’t have a lot to say about it.’ In this first collection of notes Wayne and Christina comments on descriptions of their latest Tolkien book, The Art of the Hobbit by JRR Tolkien, on their appearance at giving talks and at book fairs, and on a couple of new Tolkien-related publications with pictures by Jemima Catlin (an illustrated Hobbit and the 2014 Tolkien Calendar).

Janet Brennan Croft, Mythopoeic Society, Sunday, 21 October 2012, ‘Mythlore 119/120: Table of Contents Announced’
http://www.mythsoc.org/mythlore/119-120/
Only one contribution this time that is obviously about Tolkien, Sue Bridgwater's ‘The Steward, The King, and the Queen: Fealty and Love in Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and in _Sir Orfeo_’ which I look very much forward to. Other items that I find particularly promising is about ‘Yggdrasil and the Stave Church’ by G. Ronald Murphy, and a couple of pieces about Lord Dunsany. And then there are the list of reviews, which will probably make their way to the Mythopoeic Society website over the coming months, and in most cases be mentioned here when they do.

JF, Monday, 22 October 2012, ‘How to review books’
http://lingwe.blogspot.dk/2012/10/how-to-review-books.html
Jason Fisher has put down his thoughts on what a good book review should be: what its purpose is and how various aspects of the review should be weighted (roughly). I read a lot of book reviews, and have even written a few myself, which may account for my finding this discussion very interesting (where others might find it gets at least one meta-level too far from anyting about Tolkien). Still, if you find that you rely on reviews for guiding your use of your money, I think you will find Jason's thoughts interesting.

BC, Monday, 29 October 2012, ‘My Amazon reviw of the 1968 BBC radio dramatisation of The Hobbit’
http://notionclubpapers.blogspot.dk/2012/10/my-amazon-reviw-of-1968-bbc-radio.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/c6r88xg
Bruce Charlton liked this dramatisation, giving it 4 out of 5 stars despite some minor quibbles.

= = = = Interviews = = = =

Mitch Teich, ‘Lake Effect’, NPR Milwaukee, Tuesday, 2 October 2012, ‘A Bit of Middle Earth in Downtown Milwaukee’
http://www.wuwm.com/programs/lake_effect/lake_effect_segment.php?segmentid=9701
http://preview.tinyurl.com/99ptrrn
A long interview with John Rateliff on how Tolkien's manuscripts and papers relating to The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, Farmer Giles of Ham and Mr Bliss came to Marquette University Library and about Tolkien's work and Tolkien studies more generally. Well worth listening to.

JDR, Wednesday, 3 October 2012, ‘I'm On NPR’
http://sacnoths.blogspot.dk/2012/10/im-on-npr.html
John Rateliff's own comments on the interview, including a couple of corrections of his own statements.

‘All Things Considered’, NPR , Sunday, 21 October 2012, ‘A Reminder To Tolkien Fans Of Their First Love’
http://www.npr.org/2012/10/21/163002962/a-reminder-to-tolkien-fans-of-their-first-love
http://preview.tinyurl.com/94dv22o
Interview with Corey Olsen, ‘The Tolkien Professor’, for NPR programme ‘All Things Considered’ about The Hobbit — for many of us indeed where we found our ‘first love’ for J.R.R. Tolkien's works and worlds. The interview is a good 6½ minutes, which sometimes seems to be close to an age in the electronic media of our times. Well said, Corey!

Leonie Harris, ‘Saturday Breakfast’ ABC Perth, Saturday, 27 October 2012, ‘The Tolkien Professor, Corey Olsen’
http://blogs.abc.net.au/wa/2012/10/the-tolkein-professor-corey-olsen.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/bn6fknb
Another interview with Corey Olsen about The Hobbit, this one is more than 16 minutes and covers a lot of different aspects of the story making it well worth listening to.

= = = = Tolkienian Artwork = = = =

JD, Wednesday, 3 October 2012, ‘Maedhros searching for the sons of Dior’
http://goldseven.wordpress.com/2012/10/03/maedhros-searching-for-the-sons-of-dior-2/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/9q9lggk
Another of Jenny Dolfen's First Age Elven motives — Maedhros, one-handed like Beren, holding up a lamp and looking for Elros and Elrond during the Fëanorian attack on Doriath.

JD, Saturday, 20 October 2012, ‘Beren and Lúthien – lineart’
http://goldseven.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/beren-and-luthien-lineart/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/c5nzpqx

= = = = Other Stuff = = = =

Kelly House, The Oregonian, Monday, 1 October 2012, ‘Lunchtime Laugh: Bilbo Baggins, from ‘The Hobbit,’ gets a Twitter account’
http://www.oregonlive.com/living/index.ssf/2012/10/lunchtime_laugh_frodo_from_the.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/d8t25za
If we ignore for the moment the errors (even those in the headline), the idea of tweeting the events of The Lord of the Rings is quite amusing. It appears that the story has started, this time round, on June 30th with Gandalf meeting Ragast on the road (apparently events before this and after the marriage of Arwen and Aragorn exactly a year later are ignored to pack the tweeting of a story into a year and a day).

Joe Carter, Wednesday, 10 October 2012, ‘The Most Beautiful Phrase in English?’
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/joecarter/2012/10/the-most-beautiful-phrase-in-english/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/ck7yqsn
What is it with ‘cellar door’ that makes it a contender to the title of 'the most beautiful phrase in English'? This blog post doesn't attempt to answer that, but refers to a February 2012 article in The New York Times that investigates the history of this idea in a little more depth.

AW, Sunday, 14 October 2012, ‘Some Tolkien links for you’
http://wellinghall.livejournal.com/1010475.html
A collection of links to various Tolkien-related stories that Andrew Wells has found for us. Do check them out!

Alex Cranz, Monday, 15 October 2012, ‘Incontrovertible Proof JRR Tolkien Could Not Write Women’
http://www.fempop.com/2012/10/15/incontrovertible-proof-jrr-tolkien-could-not-write-women/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/8dr9n5w
Given that 23% of Tolkien's characters were female, the headline is of course a bit of an exaggeration, but I think that it is correct that something made Tolkien write significantly less women than men, and that there is more to this than merely a similar skew in his legendary sources (these should only to a very small degree affect the description of the Shire). Investigating this reluctance is, I would say, a reasonable line of research.

BBC, Tuesday, 16 October 2012, ‘JRR Tolkien letter reveals poor sales of The Hobbit’
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-19965058
http://preview.tinyurl.com/cekqnyl
See also the article from the University of Leeds mentioned above. In the light of the planned reprint (of which Tolkien was adviced at the latest in a letter dated 17th December from C.A. Furth at Allen & Unwin) ‘Poor sales’ is definitely a bit of journalistic license (which appears to give no smaller margins for invention than artistic license).

Deirdre Donahue, USA Today, Wednesday, 17 October 2012, ‘10 reasons we still love J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Hobbit'’
http://www.usatoday.com/story/life/books/2012/10/15/why-we-love-tolkeins-the-hobbit/1635637/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/8gjsnql
A curious mix of well-researched points and groan-inducing prejudiced idiocies this article took me through new reflections, quiet smiles, laughter and the afore-mentioned groans of exasperation. Well worth reading for the sheer range of my emotional responses ;-)

Eddie Makuch, Gamespot, Wednesday, 17 October 2012, ‘The Troublesome Task of Translating Tolkien's Tome’
http://www.gamespot.com/features/the-troublesome-task-of-translating-tolkiens-tome-6398360/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/cqkvwyj
About the task of translating Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings into a Lego game — though of course that is not what they did, rather they translated Jackson's film trilogy into a game, which is not quite the same thing (some would likely hold that it is a vastly different thing).

MB, Saturday, 20 October 2012, ‘Starting today: Presenting Tolkiendili from all over the world’
http://www.thetolkienist.com/2012/10/20/starting-today-presenting-tolkiendili-from-all-over-the-world
http://preview.tinyurl.com/bytxpzp
An introduction to a new series of posts at The Tolkienist in which Marcel will let Tolkien societies from around the world describe themselves.

MB, Saturday, 20 October 2012, ‘Tolkien fandom in Lithuania and Tolkien Lietuva’
http://www.thetolkienist.com/2012/10/20/meet-fellow-tolkienists-today-the-lithuanian-tolkien-society/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/bw9an7h
A history of Tolkien fandom and societies in Lithuania and a description of the current Lithuanian Tolkien Society, Tolkien Lietuva Draugija. Doing both hikes and summer camps, they seem in many ways to combine elements of two of my most cherished spare time activities (though of course there's more to Scouting than camping and hiking).

Nathan Yau, FlowingData, Wednesday, 24 October 2012, ‘Lord of the Rings visualized’
http://flowingdata.com/2012/10/24/lord-of-the-rings-visualized/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/99vvcg9
Emil Johansson's Lord of the Rings Project is mentioned on FlowingData in their Statistical Visualization blogging category. I rather like the graph shown here — it visualizes the actual life-span of kings and rulers of Númenórë and the Dúnedain kingdoms in exile, and the underlying assumption is of course that the life-span of the ordinary people followed the same overall trends.

PC, Monday, 29 October 2012, ‘The Friendship of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien’
http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/1063-The-Friendship-of-C.S.-Lewis-and-J.R.R.-Tolkien.php?530
http://preview.tinyurl.com/ch8jlp7
A nice and short article to intrude the topic of the friendship between Lewis and Tolkien along with references to a couple of books on the Inklings.

H&S, Tuesday, 30 October 2012, ‘Boston Book Festival’
http://wayneandchristina.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/boston-book-festival/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/blpubxb
A description of their trip to the Boston Book Festival, where they were on a panel about The Hobbit with Corey Olsen, moderated by Ethan Gilsdorf.

= = = = Rewarding Discussions = = = =

‘The Notion Club Papers read-through’
Introduction and nights 54 through 60 (part 1):
http://lotrplaza.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=244724
Night 61 (part 1):
http://lotrplaza.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=244745
Nights 62-66 (part 2):
http://lotrplaza.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=244804
Quite entertaining and clever discussions of the Notion Club Papers

‘rohir’
http://lotrplaza.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=244679
Rohir, or rochir appears both in the Sindarin/Gondorian name for the Riders, the Rohirrim, and in the name of one of Elrond's sons, Elrohir. The word, its pronunciation and spellings is discussed in this learned thread.

‘Chunks of Poetry in The Silmarillion’
http://lotrplaza.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=244689
Comments and discussion based on an article by Carl Phelpstead and the observation that there is very little actual poetry in The Silmarillion when compared to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

‘What do you not like about Tolkien's works?’
http://lotrplaza.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=244695
A nicely provocative question, don't you think? The last part of the thread (as of the end of October) ends up discussing Tolkien's treatment of Éowyn and the general underrepresentation of women.

= = = = In Print = = = =

Beyond Bree October 2012
Geoff Davies has guest-edited this humour-issue, titled It's Beyond Me in which Mark Hooker contributes a clever story about the ‘discovery’ of a Tolkienian hobbit pastiche of an inscription on an old Roman bridge, Geoff Davies himself offers a list of Tolkienian spoonerisms while Dale Nelson stands in staunch defence of Tolkien's early poem Goblin Feet, lamenting the self-important Elvish ‘warriors’ and ‘ladies’ of Tolkien's later writings. From the Gondor Herald Crier we get Scott Warner's obituary for Fangorn the Ent, and Bernard Roessler has kindly translated a 1968 letter from the Elf ‘Logo’ to his friend, Dorion, in which is revealed the plans to cover up for Tilion and the dragons when Men would land on Isil. In the science section we also find a learned exposition of the Ranger formula: E = m c^2. A collection of riddles, doodles, verses, faux letters and a non-advertisement for the 2013 Beyond Bree Calendar make up the rest of the bulletin — except for the only non-humorous bit (though it is far from being the only serious part): the last half page is given to the usual list of news and notes.

= = = = Web Sites = = = =

The Guardian, ‘JRR Tolkien’
http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/jrrtolkien
A catalogue of articles from The Guardian about JRR Tolkien and his work going back to 1991 (though only two items are before 1999 when stories related to the Peter Jackson films began to appear).

Tom Simons, ‘The Superversive’
http://superversive.livejournal.com/
A blog by author Tom Simons

Tolkien Inspiration, ‘The Ring Verse ... in 56 Languages’
http://tolkien-inspiration.blogspot.pt/2012/07/ring-verse-in-50-languages.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/ctm3uol
From Albanian to Valencian, the Ring-verse around the world. Obviously I cannot understand them all, but I am not very happy with the Danish translation, which I think has changed the meaning more than was necessary.

= = = = 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/

Marcel R. Aubron-Bülles (MB), ‘The Tolkienist’
http://thetolkienist.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

Tom Simon (TS), ‘The Superversive’
http://superversive.livejournal.com/

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

Jenny Dolfen (JD)
http://goldseven.wordpress.com/

Nancy Marie Brown (NMB), ‘God of Wednesday’
http://nancymariebrown.blogspot.com

Josh Vogt (JV), ‘Tolkien Examiner’
http://www.examiner.com/tolkien-in-national/josh-vogt

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), ‘Parma-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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