Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Tolkien Transactions XLVII

March 2014

It will surely not come as a surprise to any regular reader of these transactions that the last five months have been rather busy for me — editions have been delayed and shortened. This has in part been due to my starting in a new job in September, being busy getting to know my responsibilities and learn to perform them well, and partly because of my being extra busy in Scouting. Now, however, things do seem to be lightening (and just in the right time for some highly welcome and interesting Tolkien publications!), so now I just hope that this will last.

All the usual disclaimers apply about newness, completeness and relevance (or any other implication of responsibility) :-)

These transactions are posted to the usenet newsgroups rec.arts.books.tolkien, alt.fan.tolkien, and alt.books.inklings, and the usenet version can be accessed at http://www.webuse.net/frameset.php?su=newsgroup.php&ng=rec.arts.books.tolkien
These transactions are also posted on my blog, Parma-kenta (Enquiry into the books): http://parmarkenta.blogspot.com
and on LotR Fanatics Plaza in the books forum: http://www.lotrplaza.com/forumdisplay.php?14-The-Books

This month it has suited my purposes to sort the contents under the following headlines:
1: Beowulf
2: Tolkien Reading Day
3: News
4: Essays and Scholarship
5: Commentary
6: Reviews and Book News
7: Tolkienian Artwork
8: Other Stuff
9: Rewarding Discussions
10: Web Sites
11: The Blog Roll
12: Sources
All images are used with the permission from the artist.
Joe Gilronan
Three is Company (A Starry Night In The Shire)

= = = = Beowulf = = = =

The big thing this month was of course the 19th March announcement from Harper-Collins and the Tolkien Estate that they will publish Tolkien's translation of Beowulf along with commentary and Tolkien's associated story, Sellic Spell — to be released on May 22nd.
‘Mu-um, pleeease! Is it May yet?’
http://www.tolkienbeowulf.com/

Let us start with the best, shall we?
JGa, The Guardian, Saturday, 22 March 2014, ‘JRR Tolkien's translation of Beowulf: bring on the monsters’
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/mar/22/jrr-tolkien-translation-beowulf-monsters
http://preview.tinyurl.com/ozs35a4
John Garth discusses the setting and what we may expect from Tolkien's work — going a long way towards answering the question of why we should bother about this book. Two points that I found particularly interesting was about the monsters (which is based on Tolkien's famous lecture-essay on Beowulf) and about Verlyn Flieger's view on Beowulf as representing the darker, dystopic, side of Tolkien (also represented by Galadriel's statement about ‘fighting the long defeat’).

User: ‘Lord of the Rings’, Sunday, 23 March 2014, ‘Sellic Spell’
http://www.lotrplaza.com/showthread.php?77041-Sellic-Spell
User ‘Lord of the Rings’ explains what is known about Tolkien's story Sellic Spell, which will be published in the Beowulf volume, and includes information about the philological context in which Tolkien was writing.

MD, Thursday, 27 March 2014, ‘Tolkien's Beowulf: The Real Story’
http://wormtalk.blogspot.dk/2014/03/tolkiens-beowulf-real-story.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/q5z454u
It is a pity that a scholar such as Michael Drout has to go out of his way to set things straight because journalists and others start repeating errors that had been thought sorted out years ago, but there you are. So, before reading a lot of mistakes about professor Drouts work on an edition of Tolkien's translation of Beowulf, you should read what he has to say himself.


A number of Tolkienists have, of course, posted comments about the upcoming volume with varying level of detail. I list them here with no further explanation on comments:

MB, Wednesday, 19 March 2014, "Finally: Tolkien's translation of ‘Beowulf’ to be published on May 22"
http://www.thetolkienist.com/2014/03/19/finally-tolkiens-translation-of-beowulf-to-be-published-on-may-22/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/qdhw93o

JGa, Wednesday, 19 March 2014, ‘Tolkien's Beowulf translation and Sellic Spell to be published’
http://johngarth.wordpress.com/2014/03/19/tolkiens-beowulf-translation-and-sellic-spell-to-be-published/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/phleehg

AS, Wednesday, 19 March 2014, ‘What a day for Tolkien news!’
http://annasmol.net/2014/03/19/what-a-day-for-tolkien-news/
No rules without exceptions ... notice that Anna Smol also includes the news about a new on-line peer-reviewed scholarly journal about Tolkien.

PC, Wednesday, 19 March 2014, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien's Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary will be published world-wide on 22nd May 2014’
http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/1146-beowulf-a-translation-and-commentary-by-tolkien.php
http://preview.tinyurl.com/nkdhln7

JDR, Wednesday, 19 March 2014, ‘Tolkien's BEOWULF’
http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/2014/03/tolkiens-beowulf.html

JDR, Friday, 21 March 2014, ‘SELLIC SPELL’
http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/2014/03/sellic-spell.html

JDR, Friday, 21 March 2014, ‘Tolkien's Beowulf postscript’
http://sacnoths.blogspot.dk/2014/03/tolkiens-beowulf-postscript.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/nhkojot


As far as I have been able to find, the news first broke on Wednesday 19 March in The Guardian and The Telegraph:
Alison Flood, Wednesday, 19 March 2014, ‘JRR Tolkien translation of Beowulf to be published after 90-year wait’
http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/mar/19/jrr-tolkien-beowulf-translation-published
http://preview.tinyurl.com/kt7fsdc

Anita Singh, Wednesday, 19 March 2014, ‘Tolkien translation of Beowulf to be published for first time’
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/10708064/Tolkien-translation-of-Beowulf-to-be-published-for-first-time.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/omfed5v


And then the storm hit ...
(The following stories do try to add something, though not always successfully, but at least they try ...)

Nick Clark, The Independent, Wednesday, 19 March 2014, ‘JRR Tolkien's translation of Beowulf to be published after 88 years’
http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/jrr-tolkiens-translation-of-beowulf-to-be-published-after-88-years-9203016.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/pfv5wa6

Lydia Smith, International Business Times, Thursday, 20 March 2014, ‘JRR Tolkien's Translation of Beowulf to be Published After 88 Year Wait’
http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/jrr-tolkiens-translation-beowulf-be-published-after-88-year-wait-1441052
http://preview.tinyurl.com/nc33fu6

Adela Talbot, Western News, Thursday, 27 March 2014, ‘Tolkien translation of Beowulf adds little - beyond cash’
http://communications.uwo.ca/western_news/stories/2014/March/tolkien_translation_of_beowulf_adds_little__beyond_cash.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/pfltk2c
It is a pity that Adela Talbot would choose to further her negative commentary with so many factual mistakes that it has greatly undermined the point, she appears to be trying to make, and also reflects negatively on her cited source, Jane Toswell, though we must remember that quotation marks in the hands of a journalist doesn't necessarily mean that the person actually said that. This has also spurred some interesting discussion of what scholarly value this publication will have, and the general consensus seems to be that it will indeed have great value also for research and scholarship in Old English. See also under discussions.


To give a further idea of how much has been said (in English alone) about the upcoming release, I have collected links to additional pieces in varioius news-outlets and blogs. None of these really add anything new to our knowledge that hasn't been discussed in the above, but are intended only to give an impression of the interest (these links are given without shortened forms).

19th March
http://www.thebookseller.com/news/hc-publish-tolkiens-beowulf.html
http://www.medievalists.net/2014/03/19/tolkiens-translation-beowulf-coming-spring/
http://www.uproxx.com/gammasquad/2014/03/ninety-years-later-youll-finally-get-read-j-r-r-tolkiens-translation-beowulf/
http://www.upi.com/Entertainment_News/2014/03/19/JRR-Tolkiens-translation-of-Beowulf-to-be-published-after-90-years/9001395236353/
http://www.geekosystem.com/tolkien-beowulf-published/
http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/book-deals/article/61490-tolkien-s-beowulf-to-be-published-by-hmh.html
http://www.hypable.com/2014/03/19/jrr-tolkien-beowulf-translation-published/
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/133060-J-R-R-Tolkiens-1926-Beowulf-Translation-Finally-Being-Published
http://www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2014/03/after-almost-90-years-jrr-tolkiens-beowulf-to-be-p.html
http://www.avclub.com/article/90-years-later-jrr-tolkiens-translation-beowulf-ge-202407
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/tolkiens-88-year-old-beowulf-translation-published-spring-2/
http://www.sheknows.com/entertainment/articles/1032985/jrr-tolkiens-translation-of-beowulf-to-be-published-after-90-years
http://www.salon.com/2014/03/19/j_r_r_tolkiens_translation_of_beowulf_to_be_published/
http://io9.com/jrr-tolkiens-translation-of-beowulf-is-finally-going-t-1547257843

20th March
http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2014/03/20/tolkiens-beowulf-be-published
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/books/booknews/10708064/Tolkien-translation-of-Beowulf-to-be-published-for-first-time.html
http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/auckland/news/nbent/1958679469-tolkien-s-beowulf-to-be-published
http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-london-26662761
http://www.courier-journal.com/videos/entertainment/books/2014/03/20/6644511/
http://www.flickeringmyth.com/2014/03/harpercollins-to-publish-jrr-tolkiens.html
http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2014/03/20/87704-tolkiens-beowulf-translation-to-be-published-in-may/
http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/pageviews/2014/03/jrr-tolkien%E2%80%99s-translation-of-beowulf-to-be-published-in-may
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/03/20/jrr-tolkien-beowulf-translation_n_5002279.html?ir=Books
http://www.mediabistro.com/galleycat/j-r-r-tolkiens-beowulf-translation-to-be-published_b83842
http://guardianlv.com/2014/03/jrr-tolkien-translation-of-beowulf-to-be-published/
http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/03/20/jrr-tolkiens-1926-beowulf-translation-will-finally-be-published#

21st March
http://www.oxfordmail.co.uk/news/11092678.New_Tolkien_book_deal_signed/

22nd March
http://www.thedailystar.net/entertainment/tolkiens-beowulf-translation-to-be-published-16654
http://www.classicalite.com/articles/6883/20140322/after-a-90-year-wait-j-r-r-tolkiens-translation-of-beowulf-will-be-published-by-harpercollins.htm

23rd March
http://bookslive.co.za/blog/2014/03/23/sunday-read-jrr-tolkiens-beowulf-a-translation-and-commentary-to-be-published-with-his-story-sellic-spell/

= = = = Tolkien Reading Day = = = =

I had an absolutely magic Tolkien Reading Day! Bri (Bree), the Copenhagen Tolkien Society, had organised an event in a Copenhagen shop selling equipment for Live-action Role-playing (Faraos Cigarer — they also have nearby shops for comic books and table-top role-playing games). With a break in the middle I read from The Hobbit for two hours, and besides my companions from Bri (who didn't have much of a choice) five people, a father with a child, and a mother with two children, chose to stay for the whole reading. After the reading the mother told us that she had at first thought me a professional actor, which I took as very high praise (though surely not deserved it was nice anyway). I find that reading a good story to an attentive audience adds something extra to the enchantment of the story.

MB, Thursday, 6 March 2014, ‘Tolkien Reading 2014 — Event calendar, worldwide’
http://www.thetolkienist.com/2014/03/06/tolkien-reading-2014-event-calendar-worldwide/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/ol7ggkk
While it would be foolish of anyone to lay claim to exhaustiveness, I am sure that Marcel's calendar is the one that comes closest ...
MB, Friday, 21 March 2014, ‘A map and a calendar: Tolkien Reading Day 2014’
http://www.thetolkienist.com/2014/03/21/a-map-and-a-calendar-tolkien-reading-day-2014
http://preview.tinyurl.com/oxyybg7
And Marcel followed up with a new version that included a map ...

The My Middle-earth site set up for Tolkien Reading Day:
http://tolkienreadingday.mymiddleearth.com/


User ‘badgaladriel’, The Grey Havens Group, Sunday, 2 March 2014, ‘TOLKIEN READING DAY’
http://greyhavensgroup.com/2014/03/02/tolkien-reading-day/

Jean Lotus, Tuesday, 18 March 2014, ‘Middle Earth at the comic book store Tuesday’
http://www.forestparkreview.com/News/Articles/3-18-2014/Middle-Earth-at-the-comic-book-store-Tuesday/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/psbr4fe

EJ, Tuesday, 25 March 2014, ‘15 Tolkien quotes about life for Tolkien Reading Day 2014’
http://lotrproject.com/blog/2014/03/25/15-tolkien-quotes-about-life-for-tolkien-reading-day-2014/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/qylehlo
Chosen from more sources than the usual two or three, and with citations including book and chapter, this is how I like to see my selections of Tolkien quotations for any occasion — tack, Emil!

Zoe Mintz, International Business Times, Tuesday, 25 March 2014, ‘Tolkien Reading Day 2014: 25 Inspirational Quotes From The Books Of J. R. R. Tolkien’
http://www.ibtimes.com/tolkien-reading-day-2014-25-inspirational-quotes-books-j-r-r-tolkien-1563437
http://preview.tinyurl.com/ot748tn
Well, from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, actually, but at least the quotations are both correct and with source, which puts them miles above the average thing you see on the 'net ...

Brigid Brown, BBC America, Tuesday, 25 March 2014, ‘Tolkien Reading Day 2014’
http://www.bbcamerica.com/anglophenia/2014/03/tolkien-reading-day-2014/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/pm8tdyq

Graeme McMillan, Wired, Tuesday, 25 March 2014, ‘Happy Tolkien Reading Day: If You've Never Read Lord of the Rings, Today's the Day to Start’
http://www.wired.com/underwire/2014/03/happy-tolkien-reading-day/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/pvh7bu3

User ‘Demosthenes’, Tuesday, 25 March 2014, ‘Today is Tolkien Reading Day. Which Tolkien book did you pull open?’
http://www.theonering.net/torwp/2014/03/25/87946-today-is-tolkien-reading-day-which-tolkien-book-did-you-pull-open/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/nf753hm

Wes Venteicher, Chicago Tribune, Thursday, 27 March 2014, ‘Devotees celebrate Tolkien reading day at Forest Park comic shop’
http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/suburbs/oak_park_river_forest_forest_park/ct-hobbit-parody-oak-park-tl-0403-20140326,0,4158942.story
http://preview.tinyurl.com/oe5wmxr

Sean Kirst, Friday, 28 March 2014, ‘Open invitation to our annual Tolkien Reading Day: Saturday, 11 a.m., DeWitt Community Library’
http://www.syracuse.com/kirst/index.ssf/2014/03/tolkien_reading_day_1.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/pfuppx4
Jef Murray
Narya


Laura Amann, Oak Leaves, Monday, 31 March 2014, ‘Tolkien parody night raises funds for Opportunity Knocks’
http://oakpark.suntimes.com/news/tolkien-PTW-04032014:article

= = = = News = = = =

Hannah Hiles, Birmingham Post, Monday, 3 March 2014, ‘Funding to expand Tolkien's favourite nature spot’
http://www.birminghampost.co.uk/news/local-news/funding-expand-tolkiens-favourite-nature-6758412
http://preview.tinyurl.com/oswvexr
Funding has been found to do something for Moseley Bog and Joy's Wood, where Tolkien roamed as a kid in Sarehole. Hopefully this will mean that also future generations of Tolkien enthusiasts will be able to visit this tract of land.

Mythgard Institute, Friday, 14 March 2014, ‘The Lord of the Rings’
http://www.mythgard.org/academics/summer-2014-courses/the-lord-of-the-rings/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/q7k9z93
A Mythgard Institute course titled ‘The Lord of the Rings: A Cultural Studies and Audience Reception Approach’ to be taught by Robin Anne Reid.

Ethan Gilsdorf, Boing-boing, Saturday, 22 March 2014, ‘Lost Bakshi Lord of the Rings footage found’
http://boingboing.net/2014/03/22/lost-bakshi-lord-of-the-ri.html
As far as I know, Ralph Bakshi was the first to successfully adapt a part of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings for the cinema, and his adaptation is as much worth knowing as any other.

EJ, Sunday, 23 March 2014, ‘9 things you didn't know related to Tolkien's works’
http://lotrproject.com/blog/2014/03/23/9-things-related-to-tolkien-you-maybe-didnt-know/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/pgwkfqm
The URL suggests that Emil Johansson initially included a qualification in the title — things we maybe didn't know. He did succeed in finding one item I didn't know (which, given the way I have trawled most Tolkien-related news-stories for the past four years, is probably attesting to the thoroughness of Emil's research) — I hadn't heard of that Chinese Hobbit-based Harry Potter sequel.

Tom Peacock, Tuesday, 25 March 2014, ‘From Beowulf to Gandalf: a new approach to Old English’
http://www.concordia.ca/cunews/main/stories/2014/02/25/from-beowulf-to-gandalfanewapproachtooldenglish.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/k9pnlag
While I know it is quite common to take up some of his Old English and other medieval sources of inspiration when teaching Tolkien, I cannot recall having heard before of a professor taking to Tolkien as a means of mediating the Old English subject of a course on Old English. Interesting take on it.

Christina Sterbenz, Business Insider, Wednesday, 26 March 2014, ‘Here's The Epic Real-Life Inspiration For Tolkien's 'Lord Of The Rings'’
http://www.businessinsider.com/world-war-i-lord-of-the-rings-2014-3
http://preview.tinyurl.com/pcovaj3
The headline promises a bit more than is kept, but there is a photo montage that includes some relevant and interesting pictures both from Sarehole and from WWI.

Shaun Gunner, TS, Friday, 28 March 2014, ‘Welcome to our new website!’
http://www.tolkiensociety.org/blog/2014/03/welcome-to-our-new-website/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/od8j6d9
A welcome and an introduction to the new Tolkien Society web-site by TS chairman, Shaun Gunner. It's a really nice site — do take a look!

= = = = Essays and Scholarship = = = =

Medievalist.net
http://www.medievalists.net/category/articles/
As usual, I don't think you need me to point out the many intriguing headlines on old Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian culture, so I will just point out ones that have stuck out more than usual for me:
‘Enter the Dragon: Legendary Saga Courage and the Birth of the Hero’ (9 Mar) — Starting out by quoting the Völsungasaga is certainly a good way to get my attention, and discussing directly the relationship of Sigurdr, Regin and Fafnír should immediately recall to us Tolkien's assessment that ‘the world that contained even the imagination of Fàfnir was richer and more beautiful, at whatever cost of peril.’
http://www.medievalists.net/2014/03/09/enter-dragon-legendary-saga-courage-birth-hero/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/nc78gvr
‘All the King's Men: Icelandic Skalds at Scandinavian Court’ (10 Mar) — I am reminded not just of Icelandic Skalds, but of the Anglo-Saxon skald in Tolkien's Notion Club Papers ...
http://www.medievalists.net/2014/03/10/kings-men-icelandic-skalds-scandinavian-court/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/qxy7fpz
‘Mordred: Treachery, Transference, and Border Pressure in British Arthurian Romance’ (12 Mar) — I haven't read this thesis, but of course it is before the publication of Tolkien's The Fall of Arthur so it cannot take that into account, though it touches on topics that are also present in Tolkien's treatment.
http://www.medievalists.net/2014/03/12/mordred-treachery-transference-border-pressure-british-arthurian-romance/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/psjxaax
‘http://www.medievalists.net/2014/03/17/middle-ages-mean-much-us-today-tomorrow/’ (18 Mar) — the answer, as you may suspect, is not just ‘because it helps us understand the background of Tolkien's work a little better’, though of course Albrecht Classen's answer doesn't quite have the imperative force of mine :-)
http://www.medievalists.net/2014/03/17/middle-ages-mean-much-us-today-tomorrow/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/qgtw5c4
‘What we now know about the Staffordshire Hoard’ (19 Mar) — about this fantastic Anglo-Saxon hoard, which is called the archaeological mirror of Beowulf ...
http://www.medievalists.net/2014/03/19/now-know-staffordshire-hoard/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/onouymw
‘The Process of State-Formation in Medieval Iceland’ (22 Mar) — just because.
http://www.medievalists.net/2014/03/22/process-state-formation-medieval-iceland/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/pb8d2v2

JGa, Wednesday, 5 March 2014, ‘Tolkien at fifteen, a warrior-to-be’
http://johngarth.wordpress.com/2014/03/05/tolkien-at-fifteen-a-warrior-to-be/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/k759yyh
Based on the recent surfacing of a picture of the King Edward's School Cadet Corps (later known as the Officer Training Corps) in which Tolkien was a corporal. The picture is from 4 April 1907 and shows a young Tolkien in his cadet uniform. John Garth explains the context of the picture, and puts it in perspective by discussing the young boys at the school as they emerged for him from the pages of the school chronicle and other sources ... and not least by discussing the fate of this generation less than a decade after this picture was taken. If you allow yourself to stop and think, a picture and a few words in school chronicle can be a powerful spell.

= = = = Commentary = = = =

Donald T. Williams, Touchstone, November/December issue 2013, ‘The World of the Rings’
http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=26-06-014-v
http://preview.tinyurl.com/pyvx6vu
An interesting take on one of the significant differences between Tolkien's story and Jackson's — and certainly some of the explanation of why people such as myself feel that the latter feels wrong and trivial in comparison.

MB, Friday, 7 March 2014, ‘Tolkien, Anglo-Saxon England and the Viking exhibition at the British Museum’
http://www.thetolkienist.com/2014/03/07/tolkien-anglo-saxon-england-and-the-viking-exhibition-at-the-british-museum/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/nzpfmlx
Unless Marcel has access to insider sources, this (and his February 28 post about Beowulf in Old English) must be a nice bit of serendipidity as it ties in very well with the later news about the upcoming publication of Tolkien's translation of Beowulf. I went to see the ‘Vikings’ exhibition last summer in Copenhagen, and it really is very nice: if it comes to a place near you at some point in the coming years, I can recommend taking the time to see it.
See also the blog from the British Museum:
Gareth Williams, British Museum, Friday, 7 March 2014, ‘The Vikings are here ...’
http://blog.britishmuseum.org/2014/03/07/the-vikings-are-here/

Lynn Forest-Hill, Saturday, 8 March 2014, ‘First Saturday, March’
http://southfarthingmathom2012.wordpress.com/2014/03/15/first-saturday-march/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/o946u8b
Discussion of the last bits of The Fall of Arthur ...

Albert Mohler, Tuesday, 11 March 2014, ‘From Father to Son — J.R.R. Tolkien on Sex’
http://www.albertmohler.com/2014/03/11/from-father-to-son-j-r-r-tolkien-on-sex/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/nanf7dy
Based mostly on letter no. 43 from The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (to Michael Tolkien, 6-8 March 1941). The context of this letter seems quite special, and Tolkien is saying things here that he contradicts elsewhere, so I would take this letter with more than a single grain of salt. Mr Mohler, however, seems to take the letter at face value, making his reading fairly straight-forward, but also not particularly interesting.

BC, Sunday, 23 March 2014, ‘Is it immature to regard Tolkien as a great writer?’
http://notionclubpapers.blogspot.dk/2014/03/is-it-immature-to-regard-tolkien-as.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/pl9oxnm
Well, of course it is not immature to regard Tolkien as a great writer — rather the opposite, I would say. On the other hand, it may be bit immature to insist on the existence of one single ‘greatest writer in the world’ in ‘the strict sense’ of that term.

Philip Kosloski, Wednesday, 26 March 2014, ‘Is There Occult Magic In The Lord of the Rings?’
http://www.philipkosloski.com/2014/03/is-there-occult-magic-in-lord-of-rings.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/q6yqjgu
While I do not particulary agree with the specific approach, there is nonetheless an interesting underlying question of how to convince concerned people that fantastic fiction, despite featuring magic, does not promote occult practices in the Primary World. We can shake our heads and call them nutcases, but some of these are keeping their children from some of the best literature available for completely fallacious reasons ...

Sue Brunning, British Museum, Wednesday, 26 March 2014, ‘Sutton Hoo, treasure hunters and a lucky escape’
http://blog.britishmuseum.org/2014/03/26/sutton-hoo-treasure-hunters-and-a-lucky-escape/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/om76o72
Just because the Sutton Hoo treasure is fascinating and is often mentioned together with Beowulf of curent Tolkien topicality.

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

Journal of Tolkien Research
http://scholar.valpo.edu/journaloftolkienresearch/
Had it not been for the more or less simultaneous announcement of the publication of Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary, I am sure that this exciting bit of news would have gathered quite a lot more interest in the Tolkien community. It is a pity that these two things should co-incide, but such is sometimes how things go. I hope this can help spur interest, and once we start seeing articles from this journal, I am sure that much more will be made of it.

PC, Wednesday, 5 March 2014, ‘The Ideal of Kingship in the Writings of Charles Williams, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien by Christopher Scarf’
http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/1144-the-ideal-of-kingship.php
http://preview.tinyurl.com/lvlowut
A review of Scarf's book from June 2013. The idea of a comparative study of kingship in these three Inklings authors, looking at the topic from literary, and historical as well as from a religious point of view seems intriguing.

PC, Wednesday, 5 March 2014, ‘Middle-Earth in Magic Mirror Maps... of the Wilderland in Wales... of the Shire in England by Steve Ponty’
http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/1128-jrr-tolkien-magic-mirror-maps-of-wales.php
http://preview.tinyurl.com/kh83gxs
A preview of a book that seems to take a cartographic look at Tolkien's maps. I must admit that I remain unconvinced by the descriptions here — it will take more to persuade me that this is more than another poorly researched attempt at straw-grasping source-hunting.

JF, Sunday, 9 March 2014, ‘New Tolkien collection — and a new publication credit’
http://lingwe.blogspot.dk/2014/03/new-tolkien-collection-and-new.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/o8fkqzd
Half the story of Jason Fisher's own involvement with the two volumes of the French Tolkien, le façonnement d’un monde (vol. 1 about botany and astronomy, vol. 2 about astronomy and geography), and also in part a review of particularly the latest which is newly published. French is, unfortunately, a language that is beyond me (and likely to remain so), so I will only have access to that which appears also in English.
See also PC, Sunday, 9 March 2014, ‘Tolkien, le façonnement d'un monde - vol. 2, Astronomie & Géographie’
http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/1145-tolkien-le-faconnement-monde-volume-2-astronomie-Geographie.php
http://preview.tinyurl.com/o7gukyq
Which is more of a review, commenting on, I think, all the contents of this volume.

MB, Mythprint, Friday, 14 March 2014, ‘J.R.R Tolkien: The True Lord of the Rings’
http://www.mythsoc.org/reviews/jrrt-true-lord-of-the-rings/
A review by Marcel Aubron-Bülles of a graphical biography of Tolkien, J.R.R Tolkien - The True Lord of the Rings. Given the brilliant biographical works by Carpenter and Garth and, for the more advanced students, Scull & Hammond, I think this comic-book approach is at best of value to young people whose interest for J.R.R. Tolkien's works are only just branching out into an interest also in Tolkien as a person.

JDR, Saturday, 15 March 2014, ‘Shippey Lectures’
http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/2014/03/shippey-lectures.html
About an audio-book with lectures by Tom Shippey on Heroes and Legends: The Most Influential Characters of Literature, which starts out with a lecture on Frodo Baggins. Given Shippey's fantastic ability to reach out to his audience, this is probably well worth the money.

Oloris Publishing, Thursday, 20 March 2014, "Pre-release Excerpt from Dr. Higgens' ‘Anglo-Saxon Community in J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Lord of the Rings'"’
http://olorispublishing.mymiddleearth.com/2014/03/20/pre-release-excerpt-from-dr-higgens-anglo-saxon-community-in-j-r-r-tolkiens-the-lord-of-the-rings/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/q6ppcl9
See also the release notice below (25 March).

AS, Monday, 24 March 2014, ‘Dictionnaire Tolkien, ed. Ferré’
http://medievallyspeaking.blogspot.ca/2014/03/dictionnaire-tolkien-ed-ferre.html
http://preview.tinyurl.com/ow28rgf
Anna Smol's review of Dictionnaire Tolkien (edited by Vincent Ferré). As with the books discussed by Jason Fisher above, I will have to hope that some of this will eventually be translated into English and made available to the wider Tolkien community (a lot of very excellent stuff is coming out in other languages — German, Spanish, French etc. — but English is, I think, likely to remain the primary language of Tolkien research).

Oliris Publishing, Tuesday, 25 March 2014, "Announcing the Release of ‘Anglo-Saxon Community in J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Lord of the Rings'’ by Dr. Deborah A. Higgens"
http://olorispublishing.mymiddleearth.com/2014/03/25/announcing-the-release-of-anglo-saxon-community-in-j-r-r-tolkiens-the-lord-of-the-rings-by-dr-deborah-a-higgens/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/pn9pgtt
Announcing the release of this book. The book has of course been underway for quite a while, and so the timing with respect to the news of the release of Tolkien's Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary can only be said to be a stroke of luck — hopefully that bodes good for Oliris Publishing.

PC, Wednesday, 26 March 2014, ‘Tolkien Calendar 2015 features artwork from artist Mary Fairburn from The Lord of the Rings’
http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/1147-tolkien-calendar-2015-art-mary-fairburn.php
http://preview.tinyurl.com/nzj79xg
I do not normally buy the calendars (preferring art-books or prints if I want to buy Tolkien-related art), but this is darned tempting ...

PC, Thursday, 27 March 2014, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings 60th Anniversary Edition will be released in June’
http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/1149-60th-anniversary-edition-the-lord-of-the-rings.php
http://preview.tinyurl.com/p9kyhum
About the sixtieth anniversay edition of The Lord of the Rings, which will be released in June. Personally I am hoping for a later hard-cover edition only with Tolkien's own illustrations and some well-produced maps, as I am not particularly fond of having other illustrations in my Hobbit and LotR editions (it's an idiosyncratic quirk — I like the illustrations, but I don't want them in the books ...)
See also
TS, Friday, 28 March 2014, ‘60th Anniversary Edition of The Lord of the Rings’
http://www.tolkiensociety.org/2014/03/60th-anniversary-edition-of-the-lord-of-the-rings/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/pst59bh

Kris Swank, Mythgard Institute, Thursday, 27 March 2014, ‘New CFPs — Tolkien, Whedon & Medievalism’
http://www.mythgard.org/2014/03/new-cfps-tolkien-whedon-medievalism
Calls for papers for the new Journal of Tolkien Research (see above), and for two conferences (not particularly Tolkien-related).

MB, Thursday, 27 March 2014, ‘Call for Papers: Overlooked Aspects of Middle-earth’
http://www.thetolkienist.com/2014/03/27/call-for-papers-overlooked-aspects-of-middle-earth/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/ptaf5go
A call for papers issued by the Dutch Tolkien Society, Unquendor, for their Lembas Extra journal.

Wiley, Ultimo March 2014, ‘A Companion to J. R. R. Tolkien’
http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-0470659823.html
The publisher's page for this upcoming (May 2014) book. I hope, however, that it will become available at a somewhat lower price, as the price quoted at the Wiley site seems rather steep. Note that the list of contents, the index and chapter 1 are all available as pdf files from this page.

H&S, Monday, 31 March 2014, ‘Tolkien Notes 11’
http://wayneandchristina.wordpress.com/2014/03/31/tolkien-notes-11/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/pd9xttj
An update on various Tolkien projects, additional information on the Beowulf and the 60th anniversary edition of LotR, a review of The Forest and the Hill and other notes of Tolkien interest. As usual these notes are densely packed with very interesting information.

= = = = Tolkienian Artwork = = = =

JM, Monday, 3 March 2014, ‘Narya’
http://jefmurray.mymiddleearth.com/2014/03/03/narya/
Gandalf with Narya on his finger

Jef Murray
Meeting Bilbo
JM, Monday, 3 March 2014, ‘Meeting Bilbo’
http://jefmurray.mymiddleearth.com/2014/03/03/meeting-bilbo/
Gandalf meeting a very young Bilbo who has crawled up a tree. ‘Not the Gandalf who was responsible for so many quiet lads and lasses going off into the Blue for mad adventures? Anything from climbing trees to visiting elves—or sailing in ships, sailing to other shores!’ Oh, yes, Bilbo. That Gandalf! Brilliant sketch by Jef Murray!

Sergiu, Tuesday, 4 March 2014, ‘Misty Mountains’
http://www.john-howe.com/portfolio/gallery/details.php?image_id=6223
http://preview.tinyurl.com/m7dewt7
I don't know how it's made, but the title is apt, and I like it!

JGi, Monday, 17 March 2014, ‘Three is Company (A Starry Night In The Shire)’
http://joegilronanlordoftherings.blogspot.dk/2014/03/three-is-company-starry-night-in-shire.html#.UznTXvmSwpg
http://preview.tinyurl.com/o5jojv2
The title says it quite well — the three hobbits are only just setting out from Bag End in this painting by joe Gilronan.

Graeme, Monday, 24 March 2014, ‘Escape to the eyrie’
http://www.john-howe.com/portfolio/gallery/details.php?image_id=6227
http://preview.tinyurl.com/o49dsrj
Bilbo hanging on to Dori's ankles in the Eagle-assisted escape from the wolves and goblins in The Hobbit. See also the later image ‘Still escaping’ (image_id=6228 from the 25th).

JM, Monday, 24 March 2014, ‘Jef Murray Studio Tour’
http://jefmurray.mymiddleearth.com/2014/03/24/jef-murray-studios-tour/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/qe3zfyf
A video tour of Jef Murray's studio, guided by the artist himself. The place is very nice, but Jef's explanations are, to me, at least, even more interesting.

= = = = Other Stuff = = = =

Corinne Keer, Tuesday, 18 February 2014, ‘The British Strike Again! Heros for Our Time: Frodo Baggins and Harry Potter’
http://buquad.com/2014/02/18/the-british-strike-again-heros-for-our-time-frodo-baggins-and-harry-potter/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/po6kcs9
A report from a lecture by Tom Shippey titled ‘Heroes for Our Time: Frodo Baggins and Harry Potter’.

Thomas Morwinsky, Other Minds, Sunday, 9 March 2014, ‘Other Minds, Issue 14 published!’
http://www.othermindsmagazine.com/news/other-minds-issue-14-published
http://preview.tinyurl.com/q9f7tnf
Other Minds is an on-line magazine focusing on Role Playing in Tolkien's Middle-earth.

Noah Berlatsky, Salon, Monday, 10 March 2014, ‘10 songs Tolkien fans will love’
http://www.salon.com/2014/03/01/10_songs_tolkien_fans_will_love/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/m7pwsph
I don't know why I should love these song, but then I prefer not to call myself a ‘fan’, so perhaps the headline doesn't apply to me ... The Tolkien references in these songs are generally trivial and uninteresting — seeming more a space for some artists to say ‘look, I read books, too’ than any genuine response to Tolkien's work. Though my taste has since mellowed, I did listen to a lot of punk-rock and heavy metal in my youth, but I still fail to see what in Tolkien's works that would inspire that kind of reaction. Not that I think that the Sally Oldfield song is much better (as Berlatsky asks, ‘Is “Three rings for the elven kings,” really supposed to sound quite so cheery?’). Of the oeuvre on offer, the Oldfield, the Sangster, and the Rahman seem to me reasonable artistic responses to Tolkien's work.
That leaves the two songs that set music and tune to Tolkienian lyrics. The Walking Song from The Hobbit is not exactly the same as the one from LotR, but it is close, and, in my opinion, more successful than both The Tolkien Ensemble (usually my favourite band for setting Tolkien's lyrics to music) and Donald Swann, and almost as successful as Shore's tune to the song for the New Line Cinema films. The last one, setting the Ring-verse to music, I am in at least two (and probably more) minds about.

EJ, Thursday, 20 March 2014, ‘The Perks of a Geeky Project’
http://lotrproject.com/blog/2014/03/21/the-perks-of-a-geeky-project/
http://preview.tinyurl.com/puedgbf
A very personal post by Emil Johansson reflecting over his own motivation for his continued work on his LotRProject web-site. I can certainly recognise a lot of what he says, in case you were wondering what has kept me posting monthly summaries of Tolkien-related activity on the internet (mostly) for nearly four years. For my own part, I would want to add a deep yearning to learn — to increase my knowledge and understanding and to share that simply for the joy of shared knowledge in and of itself (I would, however, not be surprised if Emil is also affected by this).

MythCon, Friday, 28 March 2014, ‘Mythcon 45 Room & Board Now Available’
http://www.mythsoc.org/news/mythcon-45-room-board-available/
For those attending MythCon 45 ...

= = = = Rewarding Discussions = = = =

Mythsoc, Yahoo group: ‘Fwd: Tolkien's 1926 Translation of Beowulf To Be Published in M...’
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/mythsoc/conversations/topics/25152

With the new Yahoo groups interface they seem to have ditched the threaded view (a great pity), and I do not know if you can see the messages if you are not a member of the list ... But still, the discussion is certainly worth-while. Around post 50, I ask to the academic / scholarly interest in the publication of Tolkien's Beowulf translation (with commentary and Sellic Spell), and there are some very good answers to that.

= = = = Web Sites = = = =

Tolkien's Beowulf
http://www.tolkienbeowulf.com/
The official home page for the book ...

The Journal of Tolkien Research
http://scholar.valpo.edu/journaloftolkienresearch/
The site for the new peer-reviewed on-line journal – there you can also find how to submit articles for the journal.

The Tolkien Society
http://www.tolkiensociety.org/
The Tolkien Society has launched its new web-site – very smart and with a nice RSS feed to keep up with new stuff on the site.

MEDEM Tiles
http://66.172.33.110/openlayers2.html
A fascinating new on-line map of Middle-earth ready for exploration.

= = = = 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, but I will here note the number of Tolkien-related posts in the month covered by these transactions (while the number of posts with a vaguer relation — e.g. by being about other Inklings — are given in parentheses).

Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond (S&H), ‘Too Many Books and Never Enough’
http://wayneandchristina.wordpress.com/
A single Tolkien-related post in March 2014 (see above), and one post about the garden waiting for spring.

Jason Fisher (JF) — ‘Lingwë — Musings of a Fish’
http://lingwe.blogspot.com
1 Tolkien-related posts in March 2014 (see above).

Pieter Collier (PC), ‘The Tolkien Library’
http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/
9 Tolkien-related posts in March 2014. Besides the 6 mentioned above, there is an update from the Tolkien Library shop (detailing items for sale), an extra post on Tolkien's Beowulf and one by a guest-writer with inspirational quotations, some of which are by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Douglas A. Anderson (DAA), ‘Tolkien and Fantasy’
http://tolkienandfantasy.blogspot.com/
No posts in March 2014

John D. Rateliff (JDR) — ‘Sacnoth's Scriptorium’
http://sacnoths.blogspot.com
4 (+1) Tolkien-related posts in March 2014, the four listed above, and the last a mere allusion to The Brief History of the Hobbit (‘cutting a 400,000 word book by about 40%’). In addition there are a number of posts on other writers of fantastic fiction, Pratchett, Lovecraft, Grahame, Dunsany etc.

Marcel Aubron-Bülles (MB), ‘The Tolkienist’
http://thetolkienist.com/
7 (+3) Tolkien-related posts in March 2014. In addition to those mentioned above, there is a post about an attempt at marketing slogans based (mostly) on Tolkien, a post about a film-promo using a picture from the real Middle-earth (the English Midlands), a Jackson-inspired wedding cake, a post about first edition Hobbits coming up for auction (for those with some thousand quid to spare ...), and a post on Middle-earth in the English Midlands, the Midlands landscape as a source of inspiration for Tolkien.

David Bratman (DB), ‘Kalimac’
http://kalimac.blogspot.com/
and the old home:
http://calimac.livejournal.com/
No Tolkien-related posts in March 2014.

Jenny Dolfen (JD), ‘Jenny's Sketchbook’
http://goldseven.wordpress.com/
No Tolkien-related paintings in March 2014

Holly Rodgers (HR), ‘Teaching Tolkien’
http://teachingtolkien.com/
No posts in March 2014

Anna Smol (AS), ‘A Single Leaf’
http://annasmol.net/
1 Tolkien-related posts in March 2014, for which see above.

Various, The Mythopoeic Society
http://www.mythsoc.org
1 (+1) Tolkien-related posts in March 2014 — a review and the Mythcon 45 announcement. See both above.

Morgan Thomsen (MT), ‘Mythoi’
http://mythoi.tolkienindex.net
No posts in March 2014

Emil Johansson (EJ), ‘LotR Project Blog’
http://lotrproject.com/blog/
2 (+1) Tolkien-related posts in March 2014. All are listed above.

Michael Martinez (MM), ‘Middle-earth’
http://middle-earth.xenite.org/
No posts in March 2014

Bruce Charlton (BC), ‘Tolkien's The Notion Club Papers’
http://notionclubpapers.blogspot.com/
3 Tolkien-related posts in March 2014. Beyond the one listed above, there is a list of seven books about Tolkien that Charlton does not recommend. I suppose that it is fair enough to mention that three of these books are on the Tolkien Society recommended list of books about Tolkien that I have contributed to:
http://www.tolkiensociety.org/the-author/books-about-tolkien/

= = = = Sources = = = =

New sources in March 2014
Bradford Lee Eden and Douglas A. Anderson (editors), (JTR), ‘Journal of Tolkien Research’
http://scholar.valpo.edu/journaloftolkienresearch/

The Tolkien Society (TS)
http://www.tolkiensociety.org/
In addition to the posts listed above, you can also find announcements of a number of Tolkien events around the world in 2014.

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

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