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Tolkien Transactions XXV

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  • Steve Hayes
    The following annotated list of Tolkien links is posted monthly on some Usenet newsgroups by Troels Forchhammer, and may be of interest to some. Tolkien
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 3, 2012
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      The following annotated list of Tolkien links is posted monthly on some
      Usenet newsgroups by Troels Forchhammer, and may be of interest to some.

      Tolkien Transactions XXV
      May 2012

      = = = = News = = = =

      Josh Vogt, _Examiner_, Monday, 7 May 2012, "Michael Tolkien
      confirmed to appear at the Return of the Ring conference"
      <http://www.examiner.com/article/michael-tolkien-confirmed-to-appear-at-the-
      return-of-the-ring-conference>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/box6jbf>
      So, Michael Tolkien will appear at the Return of the Ring
      conference, speaking, presumably, about his own work, but hopefully
      also about his grandfather, the celebration of whose work is cause
      of the conference.

      JDR, Monday, 7 May 2012, "THE HOBBIT and QWERTY"
      <http://sacnoths.blogspot.dk/2012/05/hobbit-and-qwerty.html>
      So, one of the stories that have been surfacing about the upcoming
      _Hobbit_ films has been the objections of a test audience to a test
      screening -- not because of the acting, directing, CGI or anything
      like that, but because the felt that the _resolution_ (in both time
      and pixels) was too good: actors didn't look like characters, but
      like actors wearing make-up and costumes. Here John Rateliff
      comments on this criticism (like most of us, he hasn't seen the
      screening, so he cannot know how he'd react to it). Sometimes I
      think a bit of emotional detachment from the continued Jackson story
      is a good thing ;-)

      JDR, Wednesday, 9 May 2012, "Valparaiso Tolkien Conference"
      <http://sacnoths.blogspot.dk/2012/05/valparaiso-tolkien-conference.html>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/d3e9jg4>
      News on a March 2013 Tolkien conference in Valparaiso.

      Dawn McCarty and Phil Milford, _Bloomberg News_, Monday, 21 May
      2012, "Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Files For Bankruptcy"
      <http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-21/houghton-mifflin-harcourt-
      publishing-files-for-bankruptcy-1-.html>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/75togkh>
      Tolkien's US publisher, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co. (or
      just Houghton Mifflin) is filing for bancruptcy following a decline
      in the purchase of the school books that make up 90% of their
      business. This has apparently no influence on the planned Tolkien
      titles (including a number of titles in relation to the 75th
      anniversary of _The Hobbit_ and the upcoming _Hobbit_ films).
      See also
      Hannah Benjamin, _Bloomberg News_, Saturday, 12 May 2012, "Houghton
      Mifflin Plans $3.1 Billion Debt Reduction, FT Reports"
      <http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-12/houghton-mifflin-plans-3-1-billion-
      debt-reduction-ft-reports.html>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/bsz9n6f>
      and
      Mary Childs, _Bloomberg News_, Wednesday, 30 May 2012, "Houghton
      Mifflin Debt Valued At 55.5 Cents In Swaps Auction"
      <http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-30/houghton-debt-initially-valued-at-
      55-625-cents-in-swaps-auction.html>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/c5pghel>
      and also John Rateliff's comments from Monday, 21 May 2012,
      "Houghton Mifflin hits a bump"
      <http://sacnoths.blogspot.dk/2012/05/houghton-mifflin-hits-bump.html>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/7rp4eo9>

      David Oberhelman, The Mythopoeic Society, Wednesday, 23 May 2012,
      "Mythopoeic Awards: 2012 Finalists Announced"
      <http://www.mythsoc.org/news/awards-finalists-2012/>
      What it says, really . . .. I am particularly interested in the
      Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies, and I can see that
      of the five finalists, Tolkien is the focus of four (Sanford
      Schwartz' book, _C.S. Lewis on the Final Frontier: Science and the
      Supernatural in the Space Trilogy_ being the fifth). Having read
      three of the four Tolkien-related finalists (_Tolkien and the Study
      of His Sources_, _The Art of the Hobbit_ and _Tolkien and Wales_) I
      fully support their inclusion, and I will push the fourth book,
      Steve Walker's _The Power of Tolkien's Prose: Middle-earth's Magical
      Style_, forward on my to-buy list.

      JDR, Thursday, 24 May 2012, "Another Upcoming Tolkien Conference"
      <http://sacnoths.blogspot.dk/2012/05/another-upcoming-tolkien-
      conference.html>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/7g4pso6>
      About the plans to create a new 'Conference on Middle Earth' [sic]
      in Massachusetts in 2014.

      JDR, Saturday, 26 May 2012, "Tolkien in Vermont"
      <http://sacnoths.blogspot.dk/2012/05/tolkien-in-vermont.html>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/73mlup2>
      John Rateliff (probably?) going to next year's annual Tolkien
      conference at the University of Vermont.


      = = = = Essays and Scholarship = = = =

      JM, "Tolkien's metaphysics of evil"
      <http://jonathansmcintosh.wordpress.com/category/j-r-r-tolkien/metaphysics-of-
      faerie/>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/cgv9ptc>
      This month's articles (nos. 27 through 40) start with a discussion
      of the Elvish weaknesses of preservationism -- leading to an arrest
      of change -- as an example of possessiveness, which is described as
      'In a remote, yet real, Melkorian manner, it is to make the power
      and light of the Flame Imperishable coextensive with the light of
      one's own intellect.' From here the discussion moves on to Sauron's
      will for domination, and from there to the One Ring, where the
      metaphysics of invisibility is touched on before moving on to the
      Manichaeism in Tolkien, which McIntosh sees as the philosophical
      position propounded by Sauron (and Melkor), but ultimately as
      rejected by Tolkien. Highly interesting stuff! Notice that part
      forty is not actually noted as part of the series, but it must be
      'Heidegger and Tolkien on Technology'.
      I here link only to the first of the articles:
      Part 27, 1 May, 'Elves: Nostalgic Progressives or "Bad
      Conservatives"?'
      <http://jonathansmcintosh.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/elves-nostalgic-
      progressives-or-bad-conservatives/>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/c6hya7h>

      BC, Thursday, 3 May 2012, "The unrepentant orcs"
      <http://notionclubpapers.blogspot.com/2012/05/unrepentant-orcs.html>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/d8wkh4o>
      Charlton here comes from Shippeys comments about Orcs as an image of
      evil to the idea that what seems to distinguish the Orcs from the
      other Children of Ilúavatar is the ability for repentance which the
      Orcs appear to lack. The ensuing discussion is also quite
      interesting though it is at times not entirely clear which concept
      of Orcs is being discussed.

      JM, Saturday, 5 May 2012, "A Theology of the Possible"
      <http://jonathansmcintosh.wordpress.com/2012/05/05/a-theology-of-the-possible-
      2/>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/cmxxylu>
      The first of another series of posts on Jonathan McIntosh' 'The
      Flame Imperishable' blog. In this case the aim is not so much a
      discussion of Tolkien, but rather a discussion with the express aim
      of trying to 'formulate a more expressly sub-creative and
      Trinitarian theology of divine power (omnipotence)' and the link is
      that Tolkien's writings on art and sub-creation informs the
      discussion. The six parts published this month lays the ground,
      including summarizing some important points in McIntosh' sources (or
      referring to earlier blog posts that summarize aspects of the
      discussion), mainly James Ross, _God, Creator of Kinds and
      Possibilities_, the summary and discussion of whom take up most of
      the posts.

      SH, Sunday, 6 May 2012, "Orthodox Christianity and fantasy
      literature"
      <http://khanya.wordpress.com/2012/05/06/orthodox-christianity-and-fantasy-
      literature/>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/ccct3rn>
      Steve Hayes refers to Orthodox Christian bloggers discussing whether
      Orthodox Christians ought to read fantasy. I am reminded of
      Strider's comment in /LotR/: 'If simple folk are free from care and
      fear, simple they will be, and we must be secret to keep them so.'
      This represents a position that I cannot agree with: if the only way
      to keep people 'in place' is to keep them ignorant, then you are
      using your authority to censor their knowledge as a means of
      dominating them, and this, in my eyes, can /never/ be good. I would
      instead teach them to recognize the temptation of evil: sometimes it
      is a difficult lesson to learn (as Boromir would come to realize),
      but it is to me far preferable to any kind of domination through
      censorship.

      H&S, Sunday, 6 May 2012, "May 2012 Addenda and Corrigenda"
      <https://wayneandchristina.wordpress.com/2012/05/06/may-2012-addenda-and-
      corrigenda/>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/ck4b3aq>
      Announcing publication of further addenda and corrigenda on their
      website.

      BC, Saturday, 12 May 2012, "Tolkien, philology and theology"
      <http://notionclubpapers.blogspot.dk/2012/05/tolkien-philology-and-
      theology.html>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/72lpjco>
      Some perspectives on some of Tolkien's aims with his legendarium,
      claiming that Tolkien strove to achieve a unity of the West
      Midlands, England and Christianity. I am not sure that I can go the
      full nine yards with Bruce Charlton in this: I certainly think that
      he would need to look into the evolution of the legendarium as I am
      not sure that the unity that he lists is not an articificial
      construction bringing together aspects from various times of
      Tolkien's work. Still, it is an interesting perspective, and I think
      the basic idea of Tolkien striving to achieve a united whole of
      apparently unconnected ideas is correct -- I just suspect that the
      set of ideas changed as his mythology evolved.

      JM, Thursday, 24 May 2012, "'Day Shall Come Again!': The Book of
      Samuel in 'The Silmarillion'"
      <http://jonathansmcintosh.wordpress.com/2012/05/24/day-shall-come-again-the-
      book-of-samuel-in-the-silmarillion/>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/7rypkdh>
      A comparative study of passages from _The Silmarillion_ with the
      biblical Book of Samuel. It has been many years since I read any of
      the Book of Samuel, so I have only McIntosh' explanations to go by,
      but while some of the links seem rather tenuous, there is, I think,
      enough substance to the idea to warrant also a more detailed study.
      McIntosh avoids implying that the biblical book was a source for the
      investigated passages of Tolkien's Silmarillion (it is, I think,
      part of the nature of the comparative study that the language
      inevitably will hint at a causal connection even where this is not
      the intention of the author), which I think is wise: with Tolkien
      there is so often numerous possible sources even to a little detail,
      and choosing among them becomes too often a matter of what the
      critic _wants_ to be true rather than what actually influenced
      Tolkien the strongest (if any).

      JDR, Monday, 28 May 2012, "Edmund Wilson: wrong about everything"
      <http://sacnoths.blogspot.dk/2012/05/edmund-wilson-wrong-about-
      everything.html>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/6ujo8nx>
      I admit that there is something deeply satisfying about taking
      Edmund 'Oo, Those Awful Orcs!' Wilson to task for his insistence on
      reviewing fantastic fiction despite his inability to sympathise with
      it. Rateliff shows that a number of other authors of fantastic
      fiction received scathing comments by Wilson: Dunsany, Mencken,
      Lovecraft and others, with Cabell as the only possible exception.

      JDR, Tuesday, 29 May 2012, "Tolkien and Cabell"
      <http://sacnoths.blogspot.dk/2012/05/tolkien-and-cabell.html>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/7gpa6ex>
      Following the previous item listing Cabell as a possible exception
      to Edmund Wilson's apparently universal dislike of anything
      fantastic, Rateliff here discusses what is know about Tolkien's
      opinion of Cabell.

      BC, Tuesday, 29 May 2012, "Which Inklings are the Notion Club
      Principals? And who is missing?"
      <http://notionclubpapers.blogspot.dk/2012/05/which-inklings-are-notion-
      club.html>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/8ywdg62>
      Once again Bruce Charlton speculates about the character-to-person
      correspondances of the members of the Notion Club and the Inklings.
      The speculative identifications are not in all cases identical to
      the the identifications in Glyer and Long's contribution in Jason
      Fisher's _Tolkien and the Study of his Sources_, 'Biography as
      Source: Niggles and Notions', but that only makes things more
      interesting :-)

      JDR, Thursday, 31 May 2012, "Well, This is a Weird Twist"
      <http://sacnoths.blogspot.dk/2012/05/well-this-is-weird-twist.html>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/7qvuqac>
      Another follow-up on the matter of Edmund Wilson -- this time in
      relation to Tolkien. And yes, this is indeed a weird twist: Wilson
      apparently links a liking of, in his opinion juvenile trash, _The
      Lord of the Rings_ with homosexuality. Weird indeed.


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

      PC, Tuesday, 1 May 2012, "Fairy Tales, Children's Stories and
      Tolkien's Legacy"
      <http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/1032_Fairy_Tales_Children_Stories_Tolkien
      _Legacy.php?457>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/d5as2yb>
      A Tolkien writing fairy-stories, even if they are addressed
      specifically towards children, is, I think, interesting, though one
      is tempted to paraphrase Boromir: 'if the hand that wields [the pen]
      has inherited not [a name] only . . .'

      Kieran O'Mahony, _Cork Independent_, Thursday, 3 May 2012, "The
      Hobbit as Gaeilge"
      <http://corkindependent.com/stories/item/9020/2012-18/The-Hobbit-as-Gaeilge>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/d7cnsap>
      _The Hobbit_ being published 'fully translated into Irish' for the
      first time. In this case 'fully translated' apparently also means
      translating (or perhaps just transliterating?) some of the names of
      the characters -- I do wonder what would be in the 'spirit' of
      Tolkien's guide to translators of _The Lord of the Rings_?

      JDR, Saturday, 5 May 2012, "The One-Man LORD OF THE RINGS"
      <http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/2012/05/one-man-lord-of-rings.html>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/ceo7h84>
      A review of Charlie Ross' one-man performance based on the New Line
      Cinema _The Lord of the Rings_ film trilogy. I have to say that I
      agree whole-heartedly with David Bratman's comment: there is no way
      that including Tom Bombadil would have improved the films.

      Harley J. Sims, _Mythprint_, Tuesday, 8 May 2012, "Snowblind
      Studios' _'The Lord of the Rings': War in the North_"
      <http://www.mythsoc.org/reviews/war-in-north-snowblind/>
      An interesting and clear-minded review of a game based on Tolkien's
      world. I am particularly intrigued by the implications of comments
      relating to viewing games more seriously as an interpretative art
      form.

      Benjamin Peters, _BLOGCRITICS.ORG_, Wednesday, 9 May 2012, "Book
      Review: The Company They Keep: C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien as
      Writers in Community by Diana Pavlac Glyer"
      <http://www.seattlepi.com/lifestyle/blogcritics/article/Book-Review-The-
      Company-They-Keep-C-S-Lewis-3546780.php>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/brweyg9>
      A fairly positive review of Diana Glyer's 2007 book (which won the
      2008 Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies).

      PC, Sunday, 13 May 2012, "A Tolkien Tapestry: Pictures to accompany
      The Lord of the Rings is a 2012 Locus Award Finalist"
      <http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/1035_Cor_Blok_Tolkien_Tapestry_Locus_Awar
      d_Finalist.php?460>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/84vd8ew>
      The book _A Tolkien Tapestry: Pictures to accompany The Lord of the
      Rings_ by Cor Blok (edited by Pieter Collier) is one of five
      finalists for the 2012 Locus Award in the Art Books category.
      Congratulations to Blok and Collier!

      BC, Thursday, 17 May 2012, "The audio-book Lord of the Rings, read
      by Rob Inglis"
      <http://notionclubpapers.blogspot.dk/2012/05/audio-book-lord-of-rings-read-by-
      rob.html>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/86wjboa>
      The first of two audio-book reviews this month by Bruce Charlton who
      gives Rob Inglis' performance 8 out of 10.

      Emily E. Auger, _Mythlore_, Tuesday, 22 May 2012, "Picturing
      Tolkien"
      <http://www.mythsoc.org/reviews/picturing-tolkien/>
      The _Mytholore_ (issue 117/118) review of _Picturing Tolkien:
      Essays on Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings Film Trilogy_ edited
      by Janice M. Bogstad and Philip E. Kaveny. The overall tone seems
      positive, while the review is also remarkably uncommitted -- the
      most direct opinion given is that it is a 'worthwhile study' for
      those 'most dedicated to Tolkien in the original' (making me wonder
      about those _only_ committed to Tolkien in the original . . .?)

      PC, Tuesday, 29 May 2012, "Tolkien Calendar 2013 will be illustrated
      by John Howe and Alan Lee"
      <http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/1038_Tolkien_Calendar_2013_John_Howe_Alan
      _Lee_Hobbit.php?463>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/7uqx6ds>
      After two years with Cor Blok, I am sure that many collectors will
      be relieved to see that the official 2013 Tolkien Calendar (issued
      by HarperCollins) will feature artwork by John Howe and Alan Lee.
      Personally I would advocate diversity, and I think a Hobbit-themed
      calendar would have benefitted from featuring artwork that was by
      people _not_ in any way involved with the upcoming films -- to
      provide a much-needed counter-point to the inevitable pervasiveness
      of the films' imagery. In some ways I'd have preferred to see a
      Hobbit-themed calendar by Cor Blok, but even more one by other
      artists -- Lacon, Murray, Nasmith, Eißmann and others who could have
      offered new imagery that would be different from both the films and
      Blok (not that there is necessarily anything wrong with Blok's art,
      but because I agree with Lacon that it's important to offer
      different visual perspectives).

      Zenestex, _Geeks of Doom_, Tuesday, 29 May 2012, "Comic Review:
      Orbit #8: JRR Tolkien: The True Lord of the Rings"
      <http://www.geeksofdoom.com/2012/05/29/comic-review-jrr-tolkien-the-true-lord-
      of-the-rings-1/>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/73r6fd7>
      A review of the comic-book biography of Tolkien that has been
      mentioned previously (issue XXIV for April 2012). The comic gets an
      almost enthusiastic review by someone who describes himself as 'not
      at all a fan of Tolkien's writing' while still respecting Tolkien's
      contributions to literature.

      PC, Wednesday, 30 May 2012, "HarperCollins Releases Hobbit Movie
      Cover Edition"
      <http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/1039_HarperCollins_Releases_Hobbit_Movie_
      Cover_Edition.php?464>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/6nehofb>
      As Pieter notes, 'it had to happen' -- there is simply too much
      money to be made on tie-in products for HarperCollins to ignore it.
      Fortunately I have all the copies of _The Hobbit_ that I need: _The
      Annotated Hobbit_, _The History of the Hobbit_ and _Art of the
      Hobbit_ so I won't have any need for this product.


      = = = = Interviews = = = =

      PC, Monday, 28 May 2012, "Interview with Devin Brown on his book The
      Christian World of The Hobbit"
      <http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/press/1037_Interview_Devin_Brown_Christian_Worl
      d_Hobbit.php?462>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/6nvr7fy>
      Devin Brown claims to balance the two extreme positions of Tolkien
      scholarship on Tolkien's Christian influences: neither ignoring them
      nor seeing Christian influences everywhere. Brown says that
      Tolkien's works are 'in their essence, at their core, Christian
      works, but only at their core, not on the surface.' Brown also
      thinks that his own Christian faith is part of his qualifications
      for writing this book, while I have occasionally wondered if being
      Christian did not disqualify a scholar from writing on the Christian
      elements of Tolkien's work. This interview is, however, quite
      encouraging as Devin Brown seems to have been very much aware of the
      danger of turning Tolkien's works into a sermon, which neither the
      author nor most readers would enjoy.


      = = = = Other Stuff = = = =

      Kate Shellnutt, Tuesday, 1 May 2012, "Hogwarts, Narnia, Neverland:
      What does your faith say about fantasy?"
      <http://blog.chron.com/believeitornot/2012/05/hogwarts-narnia-neverland-what-
      does-your-faith-say-about-fantasy/>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/cxv9va9>
      So, the idea is that a research team has asked a lot of Americans
      the question 'Which of these fantasy worlds would you most like to
      visit?' and given them the options of Hogwarts, Alice's Wonderland,
      Neverland, Narnia, Middle-earth or 'None, Don't Know'. The age and
      religious affiliation of the respondents has been registered, and in
      the research blog of the Center for Applied Research in the
      Apostolate you can see the more detailed results. I think it is
      interesting that those with no religious affiliation are the most
      likely to answer Middle-earth, followed by Catholics and
      evangelicals the least likely to choose Tolkien's sub-created
      Secondary World. It is perhaps also interesting that Catholics are
      the _least_ likely to answer 'None, Don't Know'. The research blog
      can be found below.
      <http://nineteensixty-four.blogspot.com/2012/04/literary-aside-tolkien-lewis-
      rowling.html>
      <tinyurl.com/c5q6l2u>

      BC, Tuesday, 8 May 2012, "The centrality of co-inherence to
      salvation - Charles Williams as prophet"
      <http://notionclubpapers.blogspot.dk/2012/05/centrality-of-co-inherence-to-
      salvation.html>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/7cfdneq>
      This is the first of a couple of postings that Bruce Charlton has
      made this month about Charles Williams and co-inherence. As I
      haven't read any Williams myself, I cannot comment on the quality of
      the interpretative / critical approach, but I did find them
      interesting (albeit not enough to push Williams forward on my
      to-read list). Irrespective of anything else (including religious
      affiliations), I like the basic idea being propounded here.
      The other post about the issue is
      BC, TUESDAY, 15 MAY 2012, "Charles Williams regrettable tendency to
      regard co-inherence as therapeutic 'magic'"
      <http://notionclubpapers.blogspot.dk/2012/05/charles-williams-regrettable-
      tendency.html>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/78znf8v>

      Roger Colby, Tuesday, 8 May 2012, "Tolkien's 10 Tips for Creating
      Epic Heroes"
      <http://writingishardwork.wordpress.com/2012/05/08/tolkiens-10-tips-for-
      creating-epic-heroes/>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/7y9gqb8>
      Tolkien's writings -- particularly his letters -- are extracted for
      ten pieces of advice on the creation of epic heroes. The most
      surprising bit is in the first piece of advice, where Colby reads
      Tolkien's use of 'the chief hero' (in letter #131 to Milton Waldman)
      as refence to _Aragorn_ rather than to Sam as is usually assumed
      (the reference to 'chief hero' is found in Wayne Hammond and
      Christina Scull's extended index to the letters under their listing
      of references to Sam Gamgee and they repeat this interpretation in
      _The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion_). I can even see how
      this _might_ be the case, but I am hesitant to suggest that Wayne
      and Christina got it all wrong. See also the earlier 'Tolkien's Ten
      Tips for Writers' (linked at the top of the post).

      MT, Thursday, 17 May 2012, "Vinyar Tengwar 39 Index"
      <http://mythoi.tolkienindex.net/#post6>
      Announcing the addition to the Tolkien Index of _Vinyar Tengwar_ #39
      which includes '_Ósanwe-kenta_' and 'From _Quendi and Eldar_,
      Appendix D'.

      BC, Friday, 18 May 2012, "Corruption in Tolkien's Legendarium"
      <http://notionclubpapers.blogspot.dk/2012/05/corruption-in-tolkiens-
      legendarium.html>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/7njx8sp>
      Bruce Charlton remarks on the fact that in Tolkien's writings the
      greatest are almost always corrupt, making Gandalf, Aragorn,
      Galadriel and Elrond even more special.

      JDR, Sunday, 20 May 2012, "Tolkien Unbound"
      <http://sacnoths.blogspot.dk/2012/05/tolkien-unbound.html>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/7nmxlmf>
      A nice report from the lighter side of Kalamazoo -- including links
      to videos from a performance from Friday evening's 'Tolkien Unbound'
      event.

      John Howe, Monday, 21 May 2012, "Pipe-smoking Dwarf"
      <http://www.john-howe.com/portfolio/gallery/details.php?image_id=5920>
      <http://preview.tinyurl.com/73dyku4>
      A somewhat more traditional rendering of a Dwarf than what we saw in
      the trailer for the _Hobbit_ film. Except for the spoon, that is --
      nice detail though! :-)


      = = = = Rewarding Discussions = = = =

      For the better part of May I have been keeping very busy with a
      course at work, and so I have not been following the discussions
      closely enough to pick out a few to stand out.


      = = = = In Print = = = =

      This has been a good month!

      _Beyond Bree_, May 2012
      This issue of BB includes a favourable review of _The Art of the
      Hobbit_ by Nancy Martsch followed by an article on 'Tolkien's Art'
      by the same hand in which she discusses Tolkien's skills and
      education in drawing and painting, summarising by describing Tolkien
      as 'an amateur artist with talent and some technical skill, though
      his skills were mostly in design and landscape drawing. He certainly
      had some informal training. He repeated ideas in his writing and his
      drawing. He was very fond of patterns and designs.' Nancy Martsch
      also provides an article on the wearing of armour, and Dale Nelson
      continues his tale of the 'Days of the Craze' with some notes on the
      Ace Books affair. Mark Hooker writes on sesquipedalia in two rounds
      (and a warm 'thank you' to Mark for teaching me that wonderful
      word!). As usual BB is rounded off with various news, letters and
      announcements -- oh, and two poems by Matthew Anish.

      _Mythprint_ 357/358
      This issue of _Mythprint_ contains a number of reviews of various
      works of fantastic fiction, none of which is directly related to the
      topic of this listing.

      _Amon Hen_ 235
      The bulletin of the Tolkien Society is, as always, filled with many
      bits and pieces about the life of the society, including the
      inevitable calls for volunteers (if you have aspirations to become
      the editor of a Tolkien-related journal, the TS is seeking for a new
      editor for _Mallorn_), and in this issue the report from the Annual
      Grand Meeting, at which was, among other things, decided to go back
      to only one issue of _Mallorn_ per year. It would seem that one will
      have to produce even better stuff to get published in _Mallorn_,
      then.
      Of the more generally interesting bits we find a letter from David
      Doerr in which he defends his position in his AH 233 article, 'The
      Brightest Stars of George Allen & Unwin Ltd.' which has been
      questioned by Allan Turner in a letter in AH 234. Becky Hitchin
      reviews Jason Fisher's (ed) _Tolkien and the Study of His Sources_
      (since the sorry excuse for a review in AH 233 it is good to see a
      proper review), Michael Cunningham gives a good (and long) review of
      Michael Saler's book _As If: Mordern Enchantment and the Literary
      Prehistory of Virtual Reality_, and Lynn Forest-Hill writes about
      'The Hobbit and Bevois Valley'.

      _Mythlore_ 117/118
      Having been sent in April, my copy of _Mythlore_ 117/118 turned up
      in a pile of unaddressed mail (local papers, shop catalogues etc.)
      near the end of May. Unfortunately I haven't yet had time to dive
      into the articles, but I particularly look forward to Michael
      Livingston's linguistic survey of the origins of the words _hobbit_
      and _Baggins_.

      _Mallorn_ 53
      In the current issue of _Mallorn_ we find a good article by Colin
      Duriez on 'What made Tolkien tick and why was he called 'Reuel'? The
      importance of Tolkien biography' in which he does discuss the
      questions he poses, including defending the importance of doing
      Tolkien biography despite Tolkien's outspoken distate for the use of
      biography in literary criticism. Kristine Larsen, who also provides
      the editorial, writes on 'disembodied time travel in Tolkien,
      Stapledon and _Lost_' while Virginia Luling compares 'time travel in
      Tolkien and E. Nesbit'. I provide an overview of the business with
      Tolkien and the 1961 Nobel Prize, and I have also reviewed the eigth
      volume of _Tolkien Studies_. Other reviews include Janet Brennan
      Croft's positive review of Jason Fisher's book, _Tolkien and the
      Study of His Sources_, a review of the book of Cor Blok's art (_A
      Tolkien Tapestry_) by Daniel Howick who praises the book itself
      while being more mixed in his reaction to the art. Then there's a
      review by Becky Hitchin of Robert S. Blackham's _Tolkien and the
      Peril of War_ which seems to offer more in terms of visualising the
      scenes of the first world war (e.g. by using old postcards) than it
      has to offer in terms of new information about Tolkien and his role
      in the Great War.


      = = = = Web Sites = = = =

      Do you know Forodrim, the Tolkien Society in Stockholm, Sweden?
      <http://www.forodrim.org/index_en.html>
      Their web-site contains a wealth of fine information. Here I will
      merely list a few of the pages that I find myself referring to again
      and again.
      First there's their listing of the contents of the _History of
      Middle-earth_ series:
      <http://www.forodrim.org/daeron/md_hm.html>
      Notice that while this lists the contents by volume, there are other
      lists that give the contents chronologically (by year of writing)
      and by content type.
      Åke Bertenstam's chronological bibliography of the writings of
      J.R.R. Tolkien is another gem that can be found on Forodrim's site:
      <http://www.forodrim.org/bibliography/tbchron.html>
      The list stops at 2003, leaving out any material published since
      then in _The Children of Húrin_, _The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún_,
      _Tolkien Studies_, _Vinyar Tengwar_ and _Parma Eldelamberon_ (and
      probably elsewhere as well).
      Finally a nice page on 'Astronomical objects above Middle-earth':
      <http://www.forodrim.org/daeron/md_astro.html>


      = = = = Sources = = = =

      John D. Rateliff (JDR) -- "Sacnoth's Scriptorium"
      <http://sacnoths.blogspot.com>

      Jason Fisher (JF) -- "Lingwë -- Musings of a Fish"
      <http://lingwe.blogspot.com>

      Michael Drout (MD) -- "Wormtalk and Slugspeak"
      <http://wormtalk.blogspot.com/>

      Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull (H&S) -- "Too Many Books and
      Never Enough"
      <http://wayneandchristina.wordpress.com/>

      Pieter Collier (PC) -- "The Tolkien Library"
      <http://www.tolkienlibrary.com/>

      Douglas A. Anderson (DAA) et Al. -- "Wormwoodiana"
      <http://wormwoodiana.blogspot.com>

      Corey Olsen (CO), "The Tolkien Professor"
      <http://www.tolkienprofessor.com>

      David Bratman (DB), "Kalimac"
      <http://kalimac.blogspot.com/>
      and the old home:
      <http://calimac.livejournal.com/>

      Larry Swain (LS), "The Ruminate"
      <http://theruminate.blogspot.com>

      Andrew Wells (AW), "Musings of an Aging Fan"
      <http://wellinghall.livejournal.com>

      Various, 'The Northeast Tolkien Society' (NETS), "Heren Istarion"
      <http://herenistarionnets.blogspot.com>

      Bruce Charlton (BC), "Tolkien's The Notion Club Papers"
      <http://notionclubpapers.blogspot.com/>

      Andrew Higgins (AH), "Wotan's Musings"
      <http://wotanselvishmusings.blogspot.com>

      Various, The Mythopoeic Society
      <http://www.mythsoc.org>

      Henry Gee (HG) 'cromercrox', "The End of the Pier Show"
      <http://occamstypewriter.org/cromercrox/>

      Jonathan S. McIntosh (JM), "The Flame Imperishable"
      <http://jonathansmcintosh.wordpress.com/>

      Morgan Thomsen (MT), "Mythoi"
      <http://mythoi.tolkienindex.net>

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

      David Simmons (DS), "Aiya Ilúvatar"
      <http://www.aiyailuvatar.org/>

      Michael Martinez (MM), "Tolkien Studies Blog"
      <http://blog.tolkien-studies.com/>

      Michael Martinez (MM), "Middle-earth"
      <http://middle-earth.xenite.org/>

      Troels Forchhammer (TF), "Parmar-kenta"
      <http://parmarkenta.blogspot.com>

      _Mythprint_ -- 'The Monthly Bulletin of the Mythopoeic Society'
      <http://www.mythsoc.org>

      _Amon Hen_ -- the Bulletin of the Tolkien Society
      <http://www.tolkiensociety.org/>

      _Beyond Bree_ -- the newsletter of the Tolkien Special Interest
      Group of the Americal Mensa
      <http://www.cep.unt.edu/bree.html>

      - and others

      --
      Troels Forchhammer
      Valid e-mail is <troelsfo(a)gmail.com>
      Please put [AFT], [RABT] or 'Tolkien' in subject.

      --
      Steve Hayes
      E-mail: shayes@...
      Web: http://hayesstw.tumblr.com/ (follow me on Tumblr)
      Blog: http://khanya.wordpress.com
      Phone: 083-342-3563 or 012-333-6727
      Fax: 086-548-2525
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