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21922Re: [mythsoc] Murkierwood

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  • Mike Foster
    Feb 22, 2011
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      Besides the almanac, simply going through the New York newspapers for the time-frame of the story’s setting would have been a basic research essential.
       
      As to JRRT travelling to the USA in 1970, very loud chuckles.  Anyone’s who read Tolkien’s correspondence with Marquette regarding the U’s efforts to get him to visit Milwaukee in 1958 knows that the mere premise that Tolkien would fly to Noo Yawk torpedoes willing suspension of disbelief.
       
      Six words, seven words: when it’s as bad as that sample David quoted, the counter goes off.
       
      Maybe the Stewards should consider The Drinking Fountain Of Khazad-dum, wherein participants would read the worst line they came across this year.
       
      Back to Phantastes for Far Westfarthing smial pubmoot on Friday.  Re-reading it for the first time in 40 years, I find myself more attuned to Tolkien’s view of MacDonald than CSL’s.  But as a nap-inducer on a cold Midwestern afternoon, it’s hard to top.
       
      Cheers,
      Mike
       
      Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 12:16 PM
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Murkierwood
       
       

      I had to chuckle at your list of points, David, because some of these
      details are easily researchered - like the Idlewild to JFK transformation.
      And the reason I'm chuckling is that last Saturday I was on a panel with
      Harry Turtledove and Barbara Hambly about doing just THAT KIND of research
      for writing! One point we were highlighting was that in the readership for
      any book there is going to be SOMEONE who is an expert on whatever you're
      talking about. Why tick them off when you don't have to.

      It's one thing when someone is warping reality for the sake of the story,
      shifting historical details (such as James Owen does in his books - where
      it is always in service to the story and he is well aware where he is
      "stepping off the path" as it were). It's something else when details are
      gotten wrong simply because the writer couldn't be bothered to verify
      something (I once read a story where the writer had a character, who was a
      radio reporter, win a Pulitzer for investigative reporting! How hard is it
      to check an almanac and find out that the broadcast awards are the
      Peabodys?).

      Okay... sorry, it's a hobbyhorse for me this week.

      > Has anyone else read the brief opening chapter available on
      the website?
      > There are some strange and apparently unnecessary
      historical bloopers in
      > it.
      > I'm leaving out the stuff that might
      actually be necessary for the plot.
      >
      >>These creatures live to
      me as I am creating them. ...
      >
      > As Doug Kane observed, this
      supposed quote from Tolkien's Letters doesn't
      > even sound remotely like
      him.
      >
      >>As he deplaned at what was then Idlewild
      Airport
      >
      > This is set in 1970, by which time the airport had been
      JFK for several
      > years.
      >
      >>the old manwas scarcely
      recognizable as the chipper
      >>Merton Professor of Anglo-Saxon
      Literature
      >
      > A hopeless amalgam of Tolkien's two separate
      professorial titles, the
      > second
      > one of which he'd been retired
      from for over a decade by 1970.
      >
      >>For a man about whose life it
      would be observed, "after
      >>1925, nothing much
      happened,"
      >
      > The actual quote, from Carpenter, is the more
      measured, "And after this,
      > you
      > might say, nothing else really
      happened."
      >
      >>this lion of letters trudged in fear for the first
      time
      >>since he was eighteen at the Battle of the
      Somme.
      >
      > Tolkien was 18 in 1910. The Battle of the Somme, in which
      Tolkien did
      > fight, took place in 1916.
      >
      >

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