22722Re: New article series: Interviews with the Scholars
- Oct 14 5:31 PM--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "David Bratman" <dbratman@...> wrote:
>I will keep that in mind, but I am striving to tailor the interviews to each interviewee. I'm also trying to stick to a 10 question format (although how I settled on that, I don't know, but so far everyone has been sent 10 questions and now I'll feel like I cheat someone if I don't send EVERYONE ELSE who participates in the series their fair 10 questions).
> "Michael Martinez" <michael.martinez@...> wrote:
> > I invite you to read "An Interview with Janet Brennan Croft":
> > http://middle-earth.xenite.org/2011/10/14/an-interview-with-janet-brennan-croft/
> I really like reading "How I Discovered Tolkien" stories. I don't
> see them as self-indulgent, but as enlightening and unimpeachable
> personal testimony, and cumulatively as evidence of patterns of
> dissemination. I hope you keep asking that.
> I knew that Edmund Wilson disliked Sayers, but other than that heI admit that I may play up Wilson more than I should. When I was in college in the early 80s I wrote a couple of term papers on Tolkien (and getting my professors to approve the topic was interesting -- one even thought I was talking about THE LORD OF THE FLIES for 2 minutes), I kept running into references to Wilson's review.
> found _The Nine Tailors_ dull and boring (he hated genre mysteries
> in general), I don't remember what else he may have said about her.
> Moral clarity, which LOTR does have in common with genre mysteries,
> might be part of it, but if so Wilson was too dim to realize what
> was driving his own distaste.
I never actually read it until after I graduated college. I don't think our library had it and it never occurred to me to try to get it on microfiche through an interlibrary loan.
So it's always had a "legendary" position in my repertoire of earliest Tolkien commentary.
> I wouldn't describe Sam's role as as mundane as "taking care of allYour comment reminds me of something Paul Kocher wrote in MASTER OF MIDDLE-EARTH about Tolkien almost always noting what the weather was like. I remember when I first read his book that I grabbed a copy of LOTR and started thumbing through it and found that there were indeed many passing references to the weather.
> the hum-drum details for his master." He's the quartermaster of
> this little two-man expedition. That's a dignified and vital role
> in any military duty; modern armies have more support troops than
> fighting men. Part of Tolkien's genius is that throughout the
> journey (even with the full Fellowship) he always keeps the reader
> aware of the supplies situation and its effect on the plans for the
> journey, without ever getting boring or mechanical about it.
They were not obstructive to the story, but subtle enough to be informative (in terms of setting the scene) and consistent. I don't think I have changed my mental picture of very many scenes in the book since I first read it.
> I'll chime in and concur that there's no reason to flatten Tolkien'sAbout ten years ago, on this very list, I asked if there was still need to defend Tolkien, and you replied with a list of examples of recent criticisms and (I think) misconceptions about his work that convinced me there was still debate.
> feelings about Shakespeare. Tom Shippey explored the complexity of
> this in _The Road to Middle-earth_ and plenty of others have
> expanded on this, even before Janet's collection came out. But
> then, it's constantly necessary to fight off oversimplified
> misapprehensions of this kind.
Since then the news media have convinced me it will be a never-ending struggle to correct the erroneous trivia that seeps out with every article about any major author.
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