Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Tolkien Transactions LXXI

July 2016

As you will see below, July has been a deliciously busy month with conferences and interesting papers coming up. And due to the summer holiday season in Denmark, I've been able to keep up better than usual.

As I can see that the end of August and start of September is going to be quite busy for me, I had better warn that the next transactions may end up being somewhat delayed. If I haven't posted when I take off for Oxonmoot on the 8th, there is a good chance that I'll merge the August and September issues ...


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

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

Happy 7th Anniversary to Parma Eldalieva!
image by Tsvetelina ‘Elmenel’ Krumova
See also the arts-section below

News

Alison Flood, The Guardian, Friday, 1 July 2016, ‘JRR Tolkien's war experiences inspire novel by his grandson
Marginally relevant, but it ties in well also with the Somme Centenary theme below ... :)

The Guardian, Friday, 15 July 2016, ‘The Hobbit review – Tolkien's epic unfolds in Lancastrian landscape
A nice setting for a ‘stage’ adaptation of Tolkien's children's book (but ... a green Gandalf the Grey??). Personally I could do with more comparison with Tolkien and less with Jackson (two entirely different things, really).

Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Friday, 29 July 2016, ‘BBC to broadcast lost Tolkien recordings
Announcing the broadcast of the previously unaired parts of the interview Tolkien gave for the BBC Tolkien in Oxford documentary in 1968 ... to say I am excited doesn't quite fit the bill ...
See also SW, BBC Media Centre, Thursday, 28 July 2016, ‘Tolkien: The Lost Recordings
The programme will be available for listening here for an international audience after being broadcast:
BBC Radio 4, Saturday, 6 August 2016, ‘Tolkien: The Lost Recordings
Also, it is possible to listen live at 8 PM British Summer Time on Saturday 6 August at http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4 (click “Listen live”).


Somme Centenary

Faramir
by Jenny Dolfen
The Battle of the Somme in in WWI started on 1 July 1916, and though Tolkien was not on the battle field from the beginning, this is where he served and had his front-line experience during the Great War. The battle itself, as well as the participation of Tolkien (and other well-known people) has been commemorated along, of course, with discussions and commentary on how this experience affected his later work.

Joseph Loconte, International New York Times, Thursday, 30 June 2016, ‘How J.R.R. Tolkien Found Mordor on the Western Front
Though dated 30 June, this was put on-line on 1 July, and I wanted to use it to start my Somme section.

Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Friday, 1 July 2016, ‘Tolkien fans remember the T.C.B.S. on the centenary of the Battle of the Somme
Also listing other resources, including the video documentaries made for King Edward's School in Birmingham.

John D. Rateliff, Friday, 1 July 2016, ‘The Somme

BBC, Friday, 1 July 2016, ‘In pictures: Battle of the Somme
Not specifically about Tolkien

Michael Warren, Friday, 1 July 2016, ‘The Battle of the Somme and Tolkien, 100 Years Later
Heavily based on the above article from the International New York Times

Sunderland Echo, Friday, 15 July 2016, ‘Revealed: The link between a Sunderland sailor and JRR Tolkien
A sailor on the Hospital Ship Asturias that took young Tolkien home to England after he caught trench fever at the Somme.

Jerry Bowyer, Forbes, Tuesday, 26 July 2016, ‘The Inklings At War: C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, And WWI
Mostly included because it is there. In truth, if you want to know about Tolkien and the Great War, read John Garth (and Carpenter, Edwards and Scull & Hammond). I am sure that equally good, and non-tendentious biographies exist for Lewis.


Events

Reports & comments on past events
The Dwarves of yore made mighty spells
by Tomás Hijo
3 July 2016, Hilton Hotel, Leeds, ‘the Tolkien Society Seminar 2016’, the Tolkien Society
Dimitra Fimi, Saturday, 9 July 2016, ‘Leeds 2016: Tolkien Society Seminar and IMC
Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Sunday, 10 July 2016, ‘7 videos from The Tolkien Society Seminar 2016

4–7 July 2016, Leeds University, ‘International Medieval Congress’, Institute for Medieval Studies
Anna Smol, Saturday, 2 July 2016, ‘Tolkien events in Leeds
Dimitra Fimi, Saturday, 9 July 2016, ‘Leeds 2016: Tolkien Society Seminar and IMC

16 July 2016, Baruch College, New York City, ‘New York Tolkien Conference
Joe Hoffman, Wednesday, 20 July 2016, ‘Notes from the NY Tolkien Conference
Including videos of several presentations.


Info on upcoming & on-going events (as of 1 July)
26 April 2016 – 27 February 2017, Various, Staffordshire, ‘Exhibition: J.R.R. Tolkien in Staffordshire 1915 – 1918’, The Haywood Society
Leek Post and Times, Tuesday, 5 July 2016, ‘Tolkien Exhibition reveals how horrors of the Somme shaped Middle-Earth
Craig Campbell, Sunday Post, Wednesday, 27 July 2016, ‘It's time to celebrate Staffordshire – the inspiration for JRR Tolkien's books

5–8 August 2016, San Antonio, Texas, US, ‘Mythcon 47’, The Mythopoeic Society. The 2016 theme is ‘Faces of Mythology: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern’
Lynn Maudlin, The Horn of Rohan Redux, Tuesday, 5 July 2016, ‘Mythcon 47 - Progress Report #2 now available’ – Read about the 47th Mythcon; what you are going to experience, or what you'll be hoping to see some good reports about :)
Lynn Maudlin, The Horn of Rohan Redux, Monday, 11 July 2016, ‘Mythcon 47 Tshirts & Totes Available
Lynn Maudlin, Wednesday, 13 July 2016, ‘Room & Board deadline for Mythcon 47
Lynn Maudlin, Thursday, 21 July 2016, ‘Mythcon 47 Day Rates and At-the-Door Prices
Lynn Maudlin, Wednesday, 27 July 2016, ‘Mythcon 47 Program Schedule Now Available’ –
I certainly hope that those who speak on Tolkienian topics will keep in mind that the Journal of Tolkien Research publishes conference papers ... (looking at the papers and presenters, many of them should certainly meet the academic requirements of the Journal).

8–11 September 2016, Saint Anthony's, Oxford, ‘Oxonmoot 2016’, The Tolkien Society — I have booked! :-)
Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Monday, 25 July 2016, ‘Leaf by Niggle comes to Oxonmoot’ – and the Bodleian will be displaying the Tolkien / Baynes annotated map ... you're reading the words of a very happy man with a ticket to Oxonmoot 2016! :-)

24–25 September 2016, Newcastle Castle, ‘Tolkien Weekend 2016’, Time and Tide Events
Will also feature the Illuminating Tolkien exhibition of art and illustration.


Essays and Scholarship

The Tolkien Society, YouTube, Wednesday, 6 July 2016, ‘Dimitra Fimi - Joyful sorrow in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings
Dimitra Fimi's paper from the Tolkien Society's seminar in Leeds. An excellent paper, that I enjoyed quite a lot.

Sue Bridgwater, Academia.edu, Friday, 8 July 2016, ‘“Fairest of all”: Tolkien's Lúthien Tinúviel and Tennyson's Guinevere
In essence a literary comparison of the two characters – their similarities and their differences.

The Man in the Moon
by Tomás Hijo
Lynn Forest-Hill, Academia.edu, Monday, 11 July 2016, ‘Tolkien, Lydney and the Vyne: patterns of loss and discovery
A paper on the so-called Vyne ring, and the possibility of a connection with Tolkien and, more specifically, the Master Ring in The Lord of the Rings. The analysis is OK, but I have to say I disagree with Forest-Hill's assessment of the probabilities involved. Given the utter lack of evidence for it, I would certainly not agree that it is likely that Tolkien heard about the ring at all – it may be possible (as he did have access to people who did know about it), but that is it. The connections between the Master Ring and the Nodens curse tablet from Lydney (which Tolkien certainly did know) are, in my opinion, already tenuous (there are other possible sources that could inspire the same narrative elements and which are known to have influenced Tolkien), and trying to extend them to the Vyne ring requires, in my opinion, rather more speculative extrapolation than is sound.

Anna Smol, Monday, 18 July 2016, ‘Talks on Tolkien II: summer series. Flieger on Kullervo
Anna Smol resumes her series of podcasts & videos with scholars talking about Tolkien. In this second series, she starts with Verlyn Flieger speaking about Kullervo at Exeter College in October last year. Flieger is as brilliant as ever, and I think the power of her lecturing style, drawing the audience in, translates quite well on the audio.

Danièle Cybulskie, Medievalist.net, Wednesday, 20 July 2016, ‘Did Medieval People Believe in King Arthur?
An interesting question and a fine introduction to the discussion. In my mind this also ties up with some of Tolkien's internal discussions (e.g. in the ‘Myths Transformed’ texts) in which he seems to think that his mythology needed to be in some sense believable even for modern people (“When however […] it is the general belief that we live upon a 'spherical' island in 'Space' you cannot do this [flat earth made round, red.] any more.”). I have always felt that Tolkien was wrong here – what mattered is rather what people believe that their ancestors were willing to believe. And discussions such as this imply that even our ancestors may have had a more refined outlook, being able to distinguish between what we might call the historical truth and the mythological truth.

Simon J. Cook, Wednesday, 20 July 2016, ‘Death and the Tower
A very good article by Simon Cook about an aspect of Tolkien's long-standing ‘meditation upon death’, which Cook observes stands ‘[a]t the root of Tolkien's fantasy’. To me, this piece sparked thoughts on Tolkien's use of water (and in particular the Sea). I have often seen in popular expositions of our early medieval history (say, the latter half of the first millennium) that, water was the connecting parts of geography, while land, with all the huge forests, the Myrkviðr, were the barriers, the no-man zones where the boundaries lay. This idea of water, and particularly the sea, as that which connects us to others, and which may bring us to new and strange lands (think Leifr Eiríksson, Odysseus, Gulliver, etc. etc.), seems to be present in many ways in Tolkien's work.

Gandalf Pipe-Weed
by Joe Gilronan

Dennis Wilson Wise, Journal of Tolkien Research, Wednesday, 20 July 2016, ‘Harken Not to Wild Beasts: Between Rage and Eloquence in Saruman and Thrasymachus
In The Hobbit Tolkien (through Bilbo) notes that the good things are soon told about, while the uncomfortable parts make for a longer telling. I really enjoyed reading this paper by Wise, and I think he has some very excellent points that are in no way undermined by my minor complaints below. The overarching theme of looking at Saruman's speech from a rhetorical perspective and applying the framework of Plato's arguments against rhetorics works really fine, and his inclusion of thymos is enlightening.
Wise appears to overlook the first mention of Saruman, which (besides Tolkien's foreword) occurs already in the second chapter, ‘The Shadow of the Past’ when Gandalf says things like ”I might perhaps have consulted Saruman the White, but something always held me back” and “I let [Gollum] go; for I had much else to think of at that time, and I still trusted the lore of Saruman” It is a pity, for I think these instances would strengthen his argument.
On the other hand, Wise also claims that Tolkien, in a statement in the published letters, “states that there is nothing magical about Saruman’s Voice.” This is a strong overstatement of what Tolkien actually says anywhere in the letters. The implications in the book is that Saruman's voice does have a power that the Hobbits would most likely describe as ‘magic’ – a power that “corrupted the reasoning powers” and thus undermines the will, making it more difficult (but not impossible) to reject his voice (there is more to it than that). I suppose that it is possible to read the book as saying that there is nothing magical about Saruman's voice, but I do not agree that it is a reasonable reading to claim that “Anyone with skill, talent, and patience can learn the speech-craft possessed by Saruman.”(9) In this connection, it is worth remembering that Tolkien also often uses his magic (or whatever you wish to call it – what the Hobbits would call ‘magic’, anyway) to emphasise the natural causality of the Primary World, strengthening a causal relation by magic to make also the natural connection appear more obvious. Thus the indications of something magical about Saruman's voice are, in my opinion, in many ways a stronger argument in favour of Wise's overall ideas than his (Wise's) insistence that Saruman's voice is not magical (because it, in my opinion, shows Tolkien emphasising this aspect of causation).
See also Dennis Wise, Wednesday, 20 July 2016, ‘A Good Week For Publication

Renée Vink, Academia.edu, Saturday, 23 July 2016, ‘Human-stories or Human Stories?
Renée's paper from the 2015 Tolkien Seminar in Aachen. The paper takes its outset from Tolkien's remark in On Fairy-stories that “the human stories of the elves are doubtless full of the Escape from Deathlessness.” This starts an investigation to see which of Tolkien's stories might qualify as examples of this. Renée concludes that the story of Beren and Lúthien is probably the best example (probably with Aragorn and Arwen coming in second). I like that she also notes that if enchantment is a part of the Faërie of the fairy-stories of humans, then some kind of disenchantment should be part of the human stories of the Elves. I think, however, that the specifik context in which Tolkien uses the term would suggest something other than then usual interpretation of this phrase, but rather something that would be an antithesis to his concept of the enchantment of the Elves (something akin to, but stronger than, Secondary Belief).

Anna Smol, Kristine Larsen, Sunday, 24 July 2016, ‘Talks on Tolkien II: Kristine Larsen on the Inklings & Science
Kristine Larsen's keynote speech, “Lewis, Tolkien, and Popular Level Science: What the Well-Educated Inklings Actually Knew about the Universe (As Reflected in the Details of Narnia, Middle-earth, and Other Secondary Worlds)” from the New York Tolkien Conference. Larsen clearly prefers to keep her titles in the tradition of the sciences – precise rather than poetic ... :-) Oh, and the talk, despite some sound buffering problems, is really good!

Pippin Comforts Merry
by Peter Xavier Price
Andrew Higgins, Journal of Tolkien Research, Tuesday, 26 July 2016, ‘'Those Who Cling in Queer Corners To The Forgotten Tongues and Memories of an Elder Day': J.R.R. Tolkien, Finns and Elves
A longer version of Andrew Higgins' paper from the Leeds conference, in which Andy explores the connections between Tolkien's early fascination of the Finnish Kalevala and his Book of Lost Tales. The connections explored range from the conceptual over the narrative to the lingustic, and are followed by some interesting commentary. A really fine paper!
I am, however, a little curious about what constitutes a ‘primitive’ language in modern linguistic research? Andy seems to accept Max Müller's 1881 description, leading to his assertion, that “Therefore Finnish and Qenya both represent the most primitive of these phases in language.” I am curious whether this also reflects the modern linguistic view (I wouldn't say that I don't speak a word of Finnish – I speak six. But I have had a life-long contact with Finnish, and I wouldn't have thought of the language as primitive).

Nelson Goering, Journal of Inklings Studies (Academia.edu), Friday, 29 July 2016, ‘The Fall of Arthur and The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún: A Metrical Review of Three Modern English Alliterative Poems
A very interesting article, which I dare say though I haven't finished it yet (I need to concentrate and take it slowly, OK :-) ). Nelson analyses the three long, narrative alliterative poems by Tolkien that have been published in recent years (two in The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún and one in The Fall of Arthur) for their metrical structure, showing both haw Tolkien stayed within the medieval tradition, though at times tweaking it a bit to accomodate the needs of modern English.

Nelson Goering, Transactions of the Philological Society (Academia.edu), Friday, 29 July 2016, ‘Early Old English Foot Structure
I have not had time to read this paper, but check the abstract yourself ...

Anna Smol, Irina Metzler, Sunday, 31 July 2016, ‘Talks on Tolkien II: Irina Metzler on Tolkien & Disability Studies
From the 2016 Tolkien Society seminar. Also see elsewhere.


Commentary

Thranduil & Legolas
by Katarzyna ‘Kasiopea’ Chmiel-Gugulska
Konstantin Kakaes, Slate, Tuesday, 5 July 2016, ‘The Magic of the Lord of the Rings Books
An excellent reading / review, and I do not think that I can add anything to David Bratman's comments in
David Bratman, The Tolkien Society, Wednesday, 6 July 2016, ‘today's article on Tolkien
Bratman responds to the discussion of his critique of Kakaes' use of the word ‘fight’ to describe the scene when Gandalf comes to Isengard and is put on the pinnacle of Orthanc after a discussion with Saruman David Bratman, The Tolkien Society, Saturday, 9 July 2016, ‘word fight
While I accept that the word may be ... not inappropriate in an informal modern vernacular, I would still never dream of describing this scene as a fight (not even a quarrel), as there is no aggression, no raised voices, and despite scoffing and scorn, only hints at an underlying anger, and ultimately Gandalf resigns to go quietly with the people who put him at the pinnacle.
Further commentary on both Kakaes' piece and Bratman's reaction can be found be here,Dennis Wise, Monday, 11 July 2016, ‘Tolkien on the Webz

Lynn Forest-Hill, Sunday, 10 July 2016, ‘First meeting in July
This month starts with ‘The Stairs of Cirith Ungol’ (TLotR IV, 8)

Tim Lomas, Scientific American, Tuesday, 12 July 2016, ‘The Magic of "Untranslatable" Words
Though it doesn't mention Tolkien, I think there is something very Tolkienian about this article. I certainly think that discussing this over a pint (or perhaps a ‘pant of Thong-ale’) with good Tolkien friends would be hyggeligt ... :-)

Michael Flowers, Tuesday, 12 July 2016, ‘A Weekend in Tolkien's Staffordshire
The story of a very special magical trip ... Unfortunately I am unlikely to be able to visit Staffordshire anytime soon, but one day ...

Simon J. Cook, Monday, 18 July 2016, ‘The Shadow in the Nameless East
A commentary on the on-line essay, All the East is moving by Tom Holland. Holland mentions Tolkien in the essay, and Cook finds that “in general this seems to me yet another case of someone using Tolkien's fantasy for their own ends”. Having read the essay I agree with Cook's assessment of the invokation of Tolkien – also that some of the parallels might be worth investigating in context without the personal political agenda.

Bruce Charlton, Tuesday, 19 July 2016, ‘The next step in Inklings studies? The Inklings as group complementarity
I will leave assessing the scholarly value of this commentary on the Inklings to those more knowledgeable about this club-group-whatever – I found it interesting without being immediately compelling, and certainly thought-inspiring.

John D. Rateliff, Friday, 22 July 2016, ‘Did Tolkien Read Burroughs?
A question arising from a reading of the extended Smith of Wootton Major (edited by Verlyn Flieger and Douglas A. Anderson – an absolute must-have gem, by the way!).
Rateliff answers the titular question himself in John D. Rateliff, Monday, 25 July 2016, ‘Tolkien Definitely Read Burroughs

Tom Hillman, Thursday, 28 July 2016, ‘'Radagast The Bird-Tamer!' and the Characterization of Saruman (FR 2.ii.238-39)
An interesting observation on Saruman's rhetorical tricks when insulting Radagast and glorifying himself.


Reviews and Book News

Jeffrey R. Hawboldt, Monday, 4 July 2016, ‘Tolkien Tuesday: "Unfinished Tales" (30th Anniversary Hardback Edition)
Another description of a delightful Tolkien hardback edition.

'Trotter', Tolkien Collector's Guide, Thursday, 7 July 2016, ‘Sotheby's Auction
A number of Tolkien lots up for auction at Sotheby's on 12 July.

Wayne G. Hammond, Friday, 8 July 2016, ‘Tolkien Biographies Continued, Part Three
A review of a new ‘biography’ by Currie and Lewis, On the Perilous Road: An Unauthorised Biography of J.R.R. Tolkien. The review is sharp and to the point, though it is also my impression that it is rather patient and generous towards the book and the idiosyncracies of the authors.

Jeffrey R. Hawboldt, Monday, 11 July 2016, ‘Tolkien Tuesday: "The Children of Hurin"
On the hardback Children of Húrin

Under the Sign of the Prancing Pony
by Tomás Hijo
Alison Flood, The Guardian, Thursday, 14 July 2016, ‘Rare JRR Tolkien poem The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun to be republished
A good article – and one for the shelves, obviously :)
I feel somewhat with Ms Flood when I see how her fine article is treated (The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun becoming the ‘Galadriel poem’ in the URL …): Daniel White, Time, Thursday, 14 July 2016, ‘Rare J.R.R. Tolkien Poem Will Be Republished After 70 Years
Alison Flood's article in The Guardian has inspired a number of other articles, that are all depending on the article above such as Carli Velocci, Gizmodo.com (14 July), Nick Romano, Entertainment Weekly (15 July), Carolyn Fox, The Mary Sue (15 July), Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, CNET (17 July), Nate Pedersen, Fine Books & Collections (19 July), , ( July), OK … to be completely honest, they are not all horribly bad, some of them are just ‘meh!’, but as usual I find the interest in Tolkien publications interesting in itself. For a humorous reaction to the hype see Simon Cook's laundry list post under ‘Other Stuff.

Dimitra Fimi, Academia.edu, Thursday, 14 July 2016, ‘Tolkien, Race and Cultural History: From Fairies to Hobbits
If you have been in doubt on whether to buy this book (I cannot imagine why, but still), Fimi has uploaded the contents and the index to give you an idea of the contents (the short version: if you haven't already, then go buy it – there's also a link to the publisher).

Jeffrey R. Hawboldt, Monday, 18 July 2016, ‘Tolkien Tuesday: "Tales From the Perilous Realm"
Personally I will strongly recommend the expanded editions – do not rob yourself of such gems from Tolkien's pen as “for nowhere does time ‘fly’ so fast compared with daily experience as when sitting and drinking and conversing with dear friends in an inn.” and “The love of Faery is the love of love: a relationship towards all things, animate and inanimate, which includes love and respect, and removes or modifies the spirit of possession and domination.“ ... Expanded editions, friends!

John Rateliff, Thursday, 21 July 2016, ‘THE LAY OF AOTROU AND ITROUN (Next New Tolkien Book)
Discussing the news about the upcoming relase of The Lay of Autrou and Itroun (also see above).

Jeffrey R. Hawboldt, Friday, 22 July 2016, ‘"The Story of Kullervo" Paperback
On the August 2017 of the paperback version of The Story of Kullervo.

Jeffrey R. Hawboldt, Monday, 25 July 2016, ‘Tolkien Tuesday: "The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun"

Dimitra Fimi, Mallorn (Academia.edu), Thursday, 28 July 2016, ‘Tolkien and Folklore: Sellic Spell and The Lay of Beowulf
Dimitra Fimi's review from Mallorn 55 (Winter 2014) of Beowulf – A Translation and Commentary by J.R.R. Tolkien and edited by Christopher Tolkien.

Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Wednesday, 27 July 2016, ‘Facsimile first edition of The Hobbit to be published on 22 September
This time the release date is reportedly firm and certain … almost … sort of … perhaps …. As this book has been promised for something like 2½ years with a release date constantly on the move, I'm solidly in the ‘let's wait and see’ camp.

Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Thursday, 28 July 2016, ‘Leaf by Niggle published in its own volume


Tolkienian Artwork

Tomás Hijo, Tuesday, 12 July 2016, ‘Restocking
It would seem that Hijo's Smaug image is one of those being restocked ...

Katarzyna Chmiel-Gugulska, Tuesday, 12 July 2016, ‘Thranduil & Legolas

Peter Xavier Price, Wednesday, 13 July 2016, ‘Pippin Comforts Merry
... in Minas Tirith after finding him in an alley after the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.

Tomás Hijo, Friday, 15 July 2016, ‘Crossing fingers for this new ultra secret project.
No hints at what this ‘ultra secret project’ might be unless there is a hint in the picture, which illustrates a couple of lines from the Dwarves' song in The Hobbit (Far over the misty mountains cold).

The Witch-king
by Katarzyna Chmiel-Gugulska (Kasiopea)
Manuel Castañón, Saturday, 16 July 2016, ‘The Dragon and the Star
A quite good depiction of the fight between Ancalagon the Great and Eärendil in Vingilot.

Tsvetelina Krumova, ‘Elmenel’, Monday, 18 July 2016, ‘Happy Seventh Anniversary to the "Parma Eldaliéva" Project!
First, congratulations on the anniversary to Elmenel (Tsvetelina)! May the stars and moon continue to light up your beautiful calligraphy! Secondly I'll encourage anyone with a bit of monthly surplus to consider supporting one or more of the fantastic Tolkien-related artists on Patreon (I'm sure that there are other, similar, sites that I don't know), such as e.g. Tsvetelina's amazingly beautiful Parma Eldaliéva project. (Post restricted to patrons)

Katarzyna Chmiel-Gugulska, Tuesday, 19 July 2016, ‘Witch-king

Tomás Hijo, Wednesday, 20 July 2016, ‘Under the Sign of the Prancing Poney
Celebrating the first anniversary of the coloured version of Hijo's award-winning piece, Under the Sign of the Prancing Pony.

Tomás Hijo, Wednesday, 20 July 2016, ‘What have I got in my pocket?
“This goes to Newcastle, UK, for the exhibition Illuminating Tolkien ...”

Tomás Hijo, Saturday, 23 July 2016, ‘The Dwarves of yore made mighty spells
Another frame from Hijo's Dwarf-song work.

Tomás Hijo, Monday, 25 July 2016, ‘The Man in the Moon
From Hijo's illustration of the song that Frodo sings in The Prancing Pony ...

Joe Gilronan, Tuesday, 26 July 2016, ‘Gandalf Pipe-Weed

Graeme Skinner, John-Howe.com, Sunday, 31 July 2016, ‘Bookplates
Three ornate, Tolkien-theme bookplates for books from the libraries of some of Tolkien's well-loved characters.


Story Internal (Ardalogy)

Tom Hillman, Sunday, 17 July 2016, ‘Galadriel and the Fall of Gandalf
Hillman continues his close investigation of the reception of the Company of the Ring in Caras Galadhon, particularly what Galadriel knew when about Gandalf's fate (at the time when Celeborn and Galadriel were greeting the Company, Gandalf was still fighting the Balrog in the depths below the mines).

Michael Martinez, Saturday, 25 July 2016, ‘Why Didn't the Elves Sail to Númenor?
Michael discusses this question, and in a following post discusses “What is the significance of height among Númenoreans?”


Other Stuff

John D. Rateliff, Friday, 8 July 2016, ‘'stretches incredulity'
With a few words on what is going to be the contents of Rateliff's next Tolkien-related publication.

Simon Cook, Saturday, 16 July 2016, ‘Tolkien's undiscovered previously discovered laundry list with new annotations
Probably a comment on the comments on the coming release of The Lay Aotrou and Itroun, but I am not entirely sure of the target of the humour – the sometimes horribly poor articles that get written about it, the attempts by the HarperCollins marketing team to tie just about everything Tolkien ever wrote to his legendarium in order, presumably, to boost sales (one could argue that this is to some extent not entirely false, but then it is in a very general, and vague, sense), or the fact of the publication at all?

Anna Faktorovich, Pennsylvania Literary Journal (Academia.edu), Wednesday, 20 July 2016, ‘Interview with Janet Brennan Croft, Editor of Mythlore
This 2011 interview has now been uploaded to Academia.edu by Janet Brennan Croft.

Suzanne Simard TED, Friday, 22 July 2016, ‘How trees talk to each other
Nope, no ‘hoom hom’ or trees moving about. But nonetheless discussing the internet of tree roots ... (mostly for fun)

Dimitra Fimi, Monday, 25 July 2016, ‘Tackling your first academic conference paper: a practical guide
Not Tolkien-related as such, but the Tolkien community has a large number of people presenting papers at various conferences and seminars, many of whom have never given a paper before, and this guide will undoubtedly come in handy for many of those. Thank you, Dimitra!

Michael Martinez, The Tolkien Society, Tuesday, 26 July 2016, ‘The Terence Tiller Tolkien Trivia Quiz
Those are good questions for now – but how long before all the answers are considered ordinary Tolkien trivia? Though I dare say that Terence Tiller will be remembered more for his work for the BBC than for this.


Rewarding Discussions

LotR Plaza, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien Style
On Tolkien prose style.

LotR Plaza, ‘Goblin or Orc
Nothing new, really, unless it be in the specific combination of information :) Still, it does both bear and need to be restated every once in a while.


In Print

Beyond Bree July 2016
Leading with an hypothesis regarding the word Mewlips by Mark Hooker, whose linguistic analyses leave with the overall feeling that “it may well be possible, and while some of them must almost certainly be true, most of them almost certainly aren't” – I just have no idea which are which. Still, the linguistic playfulness is always enjoyable for those who love words. Nancy Martsch reviews A Secret Vice edited by Fimi and Higgins, and Nancy Bunting offers ‘An autobiographical reading’ of Tolkien's Roverandom. All in all a fairly good issue.

Amon Hen 260, July 2016
This issue has not yet reached my door, but I have found it for download at the Tolkien Society web-site (members' section). The main pleasure for me about Amon hen is always to see what is going on in the Tolkien Society – including in on-line discussions I have participated in, but also including fascinating reports from various events (all of them being ‘abroad’ for me, but some also for the UK readers). This time these are complemented by a hilarious article by Kristine Larsen on the structural geology textbook that feature the Bree Creek Quadrangle, and an interesting analysis of Arvedui by Angela Nicholas. Again, July has proven a good month!

The dragon's ire more fierce than fire
by Tomás Hijo

Web Sites, Blogs, Etc.

Dennis Wilson Wise, ‘Stratofanatic's Emporium


The Blog Roll

These are blogs you really should be following yourself if you're interested in Tolkien ...
Contents from these blogs will only be reported here if there is something that I find particularly interesting, or posts that fit with a monthly theme. However, you will find below links to monthly archives of posts for months where the blog has featured interesting posts with at least some Tolkien connection. In some cases you may find a headline for a post, if I wish to recommend it particularly.

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

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

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

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

Anna Smol, ‘A Single Leaf
Archive of posts from July 2016

Various, The Mythopoeic Society
News archive

Various (Bradford Eden, ed.)Journal of Tolkien Research (JTR)
Archive of contributions for the on-going volume 3, issue 2

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

Simon Cook, Ye Machine
Archive of posts from July 2016

Southfarthing Mathom
Archive of posts from July 2016

Various, The Mythopoeic Society, ‘The Horn of Rohan Redux
Archive of posts from July 2016

Sue Bridgwater, ‘Skorn
Archive of posts from July 2016

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

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

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

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

For a full list of sources, see http://parmarkenta.blogspot.com/p/sources.html

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