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10705Re: [mythsoc] Mythopoeic Awards

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  • David Bratman
    Dec 16, 2003
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      At 03:48 PM 12/13/2003 +0000, Joe R. Christopher wrote:
      >I haven't seen any calls about the Mythopoeic Awards yet (and I think I've
      >opened all these e-mailings), but I thought I'd report the Brian Bates'
      >_The Real Middle Earth: Exploring the Magic and Mystery of the Middle Ages,
      >J. R. R. Tolkien, and "The Lord of the Rings"_ (New York: Palgrave
      >Macmillan, 2003) is _not_ a contender for the Scholarship Award. He's
      >interested in the imaginative aspects of pagan Europe (both Germanic and
      >Celtic--though mainly Germanic); usually just one or two paragraphs appear
      >per chapter on how Tolkien used whatever aspect is being discussed at the
      >time. In other words, very light on Tolkien; the main interest is
      >elsewhere. I suspect Tolkien was brought in to sell the book.

      That is true. Here's what I wrote about the book in my roundup of books on
      Tolkien for (I hope) the December Mythprint:

      "Lastly, _The Real Middle-earth_ by Brian Bates isn�t about Tolkien at all.
      It�s an attempt by an English redbrick university psychology professor to
      use Tolkien�s popularity as an awkward kicking-off point for a rather
      woo-woo account of the civilization and worldview of late first-millennium
      Celtic and Germanic Europe. His constant reference to these peoples as
      'the real Middle-earth' grates, and correlations with Tolkien�s creation
      are only cursory."

      Of the 2003 books about Tolkien that I've read, the ones I'm inclined to
      nominate for the award are _Tolkien in the Land of Heroes_ by Anne C.
      Petty, _Tolkien the Medievalist_ ed. by Jane Chance (selectively: some's
      excellent, some's mediocre), _Tolkien and the Great War_ by John Garth, and
      _Following Gandalf_ by Matthew Dickerson. The absolute _worst_ new book on
      Tolkien this year is _Untangling Tolkien_ by Michael W. Perry.
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