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Re: an introduction to Tolkien

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  • Joe R. Christopher
    ... David-- I suspect that we ll agree on the merits of the _Tolkien Companion and Guide_ (or whatever its final title is) by Hammond and Scull, due out this
    Message 1 of 16 , Dec 19, 2003
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      David Bratman wrote:

      >Actually, if anybody ever publishes a really good introductory book on
      >Tolkien, I'd happily nominate it for the MSA. There hasn't been one yet.
      >It apparently is a difficult challenge. All the really good Tolkien
      >scholars are pursuing higher or deeper things, and the people actually
      >attempting introductory tasks are either incompetents like Michael White,
      >or genial bumblers like Bramlett.

      David--

      I suspect that we'll agree on the merits of the _Tolkien Companion and
      Guide_ (or whatever its final title is) by Hammond and Scull, due out this
      spring. Certainly, I look forward to the two-volume work. (Doesn't the
      book by Deborah and Ivor Rogers--except that it's dated--suggest that
      fairly good introductions have been done?)

      This coming year, with Hammond and Scull and with Doris Myers' book on
      _Till We Have Faces_, should be a good year for Inklings studies. (No, I
      haven't seen anything of either--I just live in hope.)

      --Joe

      P.S. Don't let Carl lead you into writing an introduction to Tolkien
      (beyond that essay you did) when you should (ahem!) be finishing that
      series of essays about the other Inklings ... or editing some other
      unpublished materials by Charles Williams ... or ...
    • Croft, Janet B
      I m reading Leslie Ellen Jones Myth & Middle Earth, and her introductory chapter struck me as a solid, brief, workmanlike introduction to Tolkien s life and
      Message 2 of 16 , Dec 19, 2003
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        I'm reading Leslie Ellen Jones' Myth & Middle Earth, and her introductory
        chapter struck me as a solid, brief, workmanlike introduction to Tolkien's
        life and works. We'll see how the rest of the book pans out. Pity about
        the cover - Hildebrandt paintings disturb me. And there are no footnotes
        and very, very few references.



        Janet



        _____

        From: Joe R. Christopher [mailto:jchristopher@...]
        Sent: Friday, December 19, 2003 8:30 AM
        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [mythsoc] Re: an introduction to Tolkien



        David Bratman wrote:

        >Actually, if anybody ever publishes a really good introductory book on
        >Tolkien, I'd happily nominate it for the MSA. There hasn't been one yet.
        >It apparently is a difficult challenge. All the really good Tolkien
        >scholars are pursuing higher or deeper things, and the people actually
        >attempting introductory tasks are either incompetents like Michael White,
        >or genial bumblers like Bramlett.

        David--

        I suspect that we'll agree on the merits of the _Tolkien Companion and
        Guide_ (or whatever its final title is) by Hammond and Scull, due out this
        spring. Certainly, I look forward to the two-volume work. (Doesn't the
        book by Deborah and Ivor Rogers--except that it's dated--suggest that
        fairly good introductions have been done?)

        This coming year, with Hammond and Scull and with Doris Myers' book on
        _Till We Have Faces_, should be a good year for Inklings studies. (No, I
        haven't seen anything of either--I just live in hope.)

        --Joe

        P.S. Don't let Carl lead you into writing an introduction to Tolkien
        (beyond that essay you did) when you should (ahem!) be finishing that
        series of essays about the other Inklings ... or editing some other
        unpublished materials by Charles Williams ... or ...





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






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      • Matthew Winslow
        ... Ah! So I m not the only one. I was beginning to think I needed to go into therapy for being the only person who detested Hildebrandt paintings and found
        Message 3 of 16 , Dec 19, 2003
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          Croft, Janet B [jbcroft@...] wrote:
          > Hildebrandt paintings disturb me

          Ah! So I'm not the only one. I was beginning to think I needed to go into
          therapy for being the only person who detested Hildebrandt paintings and found
          soemthing... disturbing about them.

          --
          Matthew Winslow mwinslow@... http://x-real.firinn.org/
          "The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds;
          and the pessimist fears this is true."
          --James Branch Cabell
          Currently reading: Let the Nations Be Glad! by John Piper
        • Croft, Janet B
          Well, I m looking at the big double-wide painting of the whole fellowship pausing by a tree with mountains in the background - probably the Fellowship setting
          Message 4 of 16 , Dec 19, 2003
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            Well, I'm looking at the big double-wide painting of the whole fellowship
            pausing by a tree with mountains in the background - probably the Fellowship
            setting out from Rivendell. It's shrunk down in this reproduction, but I
            never liked the large size version either. Legolas is particularly
            disturbing -- he looks like John Hurt as the dissipated emperor Caligula in
            I, Claudius. (I mean, I have an idea what Leggy gets up to in fan fic, but
            really...) Strider looks like a refugee from a Howard Pyle pirate painting.
            Pippin and Merry look like they're about six years old. And somehow
            there's a bit of a plastic sheen to everything...



            I was just looking through some old Mythlores (I made them buy the whole set
            here at OU! Yeehaw!), and Patrick Wynne's wonderful pen and ink drawings
            seem to fit Tolkien's atmosphere so much better. I'm looking at the cover of
            issue 75, with Melkor presenting the Silmarils to Ungoliant, and it's just
            marvelous.



            Janet



            From: Matthew Winslow [mailto:mwinslow-sf@...]
            Sent: Friday, December 19, 2003 3:18 PM
            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: an introduction to Tolkien



            Croft, Janet B [jbcroft@...] wrote:
            > Hildebrandt paintings disturb me

            Ah! So I'm not the only one. I was beginning to think I needed to go into
            therapy for being the only person who detested Hildebrandt paintings and
            found
            soemthing... disturbing about them.

            --
            Matthew Winslow mwinslow@... http://x-real.firinn.org/
            <http://x-real.firinn.org/>
            "The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds;
            and the pessimist fears this is true."
            --James Branch Cabell
            Currently reading: Let the Nations Be Glad! by John Piper



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



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          • Croft, Janet B
            Why you re welcome! Have you ever published a collection of the artwork you did for Mythlore? Or do you sell them as prints? Janet _____ From: Patrick Wynne
            Message 5 of 16 , Dec 19, 2003
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              Why you're welcome! Have you ever published a collection of the artwork you
              did for Mythlore? Or do you sell them as prints?



              Janet



              _____

              From: Patrick Wynne [mailto:pwynne@...]
              Sent: Friday, December 19, 2003 4:03 PM
              To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: an introduction to Tolkien



              Janet Croft wrote:

              > I was just looking through some old Mythlores (I made them buy the
              > whole set
              > here at OU! Yeehaw!), and Patrick Wynne's wonderful pen and ink
              > drawings
              > seem to fit Tolkien's atmosphere so much better. I'm looking at the
              > cover of
              > issue 75, with Melkor presenting the Silmarils to Ungoliant, and it's
              > just
              > marvelous.

              Well thank you -- you made my day! I'm glad my Tolkien artwork is still
              a source of pleasure!

              -- Pat Wynne


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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



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              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Patrick Wynne
              ... Well thank you -- you made my day! I m glad my Tolkien artwork is still a source of pleasure! -- Pat Wynne [Non-text portions of this message have been
              Message 6 of 16 , Dec 19, 2003
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                Janet Croft wrote:

                > I was just looking through some old Mythlores (I made them buy the
                > whole set
                > here at OU!  Yeehaw!), and Patrick Wynne's wonderful pen and ink
                > drawings
                > seem to fit Tolkien's atmosphere so much better. I'm looking at the
                > cover of
                > issue 75, with Melkor presenting the Silmarils to Ungoliant, and it's
                > just
                > marvelous.

                Well thank you -- you made my day! I'm glad my Tolkien artwork is still
                a source of pleasure!

                -- Pat Wynne


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • David Bratman
                ... The mere fact that it s a two-volume work suggests that its merits _as a simple introduction to Tolkien_ will be few. Though it may have the materials for
                Message 7 of 16 , Dec 19, 2003
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                  At 02:30 PM 12/19/2003 +0000, Joe R. Christopher wrote:

                  >I suspect that we'll agree on the merits of the _Tolkien Companion and
                  >Guide_ (or whatever its final title is) by Hammond and Scull, due out this
                  >spring. Certainly, I look forward to the two-volume work.

                  The mere fact that it's a two-volume work suggests that its merits _as a
                  simple introduction to Tolkien_ will be few. Though it may have the
                  materials for one buried inside it. Its merits for many other purposes are
                  certain to be very great indeed, but that's not what we're talking about
                  right now.


                  >(Doesn't the
                  >book by Deborah and Ivor Rogers--except that it's dated--suggest that
                  >fairly good introductions have been done?)

                  No, because the merits of the Rogers book - which are considerable - are
                  not the merits of a simple introduction. In fact, by far its most serious
                  flaw is that it was marketed as one. As a Twayne author series book, it's
                  wildly eccentric. As just a book on its own, it's not so eccentric ... but
                  it's still not an introduction.


                  >P.S. Don't let Carl lead you into writing an introduction to Tolkien
                  >(beyond that essay you did)

                  Do you mean the one that appeared in the Jan-Feb 1992 Mythprints and later
                  (revised) in the magazine _Adventures of Sword and Sorcery_? Yes, that was
                  my stab at an introduction to Tolkien. I was satisfied with it at the
                  time, but I'm less so now, and I fear any attempt to write such a thing at
                  book length would founder on the same shoals that have caught others. In
                  particular, I can hardly bring myself to read any more potted rehashes of
                  Carpenter's biography, let alone write one.


                  >when you should (ahem!) be finishing that
                  >series of essays about the other Inklings ... or editing some other
                  >unpublished materials by Charles Williams ... or ...

                  I have no intention of tackling all the other Inklings at that length (I
                  have one or two I'd like to claim), and have been hoping for some time to
                  interest others in sharing this project, but this hasn't seemed to come to
                  anything so far. As for unpublished CW, I'd been curious about the Masques
                  ever since I first read about them in Hadfield's first book, 20 years
                  before I finally laid eyes on the texts. If anything else captures my
                  interest for that long, I might do something about it. The volume of
                  unpublished CW poetry at the Wade is large, but I managed to skim off much
                  of the cream for the Masques book.


                  At 02:24 PM 12/19/2003 -0600, Croft, Janet B wrote:
                  >I'm reading Leslie Ellen Jones' Myth & Middle Earth, and her introductory
                  >chapter struck me as a solid, brief, workmanlike introduction to Tolkien's
                  >life and works.

                  The book as a whole stuck me as very drab, and not always in solid command
                  of its facts. And her children's biography of Tolkien (a separate work)
                  was only virtuous in not being an absolute horror like its predecessors in
                  that category. It was still pretty bad.

                  Are you familiar with Katharyn Crabbe's book on Tolkien, in either of its
                  editions? It seemed to me a pretty fair attempt at introducing Tolkien,
                  though oddly arranged, and again the prose was very drab.


                  At 03:18 PM 12/19/2003 -0600, Matthew Winslow wrote:
                  >Ah! So I'm not the only one. I was beginning to think I needed to go into
                  >therapy for being the only person who detested Hildebrandt paintings and found
                  >soemthing... disturbing about them.

                  You are far from alone, Matthew. A marked unfondness for Hildebrandts is
                  virtually universal whenever the subject has come up in my hearing. I
                  think that if anybody stood up at a Mythcon and said they liked
                  Hildebrandts, _they'd_ be the ones sent into therapy. What I find most
                  disturbing about their paintings is the bizarre lighting, which seems to
                  come mostly from invisible spotlights at the characters' feet, followed by
                  the waxwork skin and posing.

                  - David Bratman
                • Margaret Dean
                  ... They always (especially the early calendars) looked to me like scenes from the Middle-earth Wax Museum (with orcs cunningly suspended upon threads).
                  Message 8 of 16 , Dec 19, 2003
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                    Matthew Winslow wrote:
                    >
                    > Croft, Janet B [jbcroft@...] wrote:
                    > > Hildebrandt paintings disturb me
                    >
                    > Ah! So I'm not the only one. I was beginning to think I needed to go
                    > into therapy for being the only person who detested Hildebrandt
                    > paintings and found soemthing... disturbing about them.

                    They always (especially the early calendars) looked to me like
                    scenes from the Middle-earth Wax Museum (with orcs cunningly
                    suspended upon threads).


                    --Margaret Dean
                    <margdean@...>
                  • David Bratman
                    ... Of course they re six years old, Janet: they re Sam s sons of those names. Honestly, I once received a Tolkien gaming catalog whose author, knowing that
                    Message 9 of 16 , Dec 19, 2003
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                      At 03:34 PM 12/19/2003 -0600, Croft, Janet B wrote:

                      >Pippin and Merry look like they're about six years old.

                      Of course they're six years old, Janet: they're Sam's sons of those names.
                      Honestly, I once received a Tolkien gaming catalog whose author, knowing
                      that there were hobbits named Pippin and Merry in the Fellowship, went
                      hunting for them in the family trees and identified them as sons of Sam.
                      (Brief flash of hobbits terrorizing NYC in the 1970s.) The original Pippin
                      and Merry, of course, are listed in the family trees as Peregrin and
                      Meriadoc, but this person didn't know that. I will not presume seriously
                      to claim that the Hildebrandts were equally dim, but I will let the
                      implication lie there untouched.

                      >Patrick Wynne's wonderful pen and ink drawings
                      >seem to fit Tolkien's atmosphere so much better.

                      And don't forget his delightful pastiche engraving from a 15th century
                      German edition of the Silmarillion, which appeared as the cover of Mythlore
                      64 iirc.

                      - David Bratman
                    • Joan Marie Verba
                      ... I ve detested their artwork for years. Joan ****************************************** Joan Marie Verba verba001@tc.umn.edu
                      Message 10 of 16 , Dec 19, 2003
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                        Matthew Winslow wrote:
                        >
                        > Croft, Janet B [jbcroft@...] wrote:
                        > > Hildebrandt paintings disturb me
                        >
                        > Ah! So I'm not the only one.

                        I've detested their artwork for years.

                        Joan
                        ******************************************
                        Joan Marie Verba
                        verba001@...
                        http://www.sff.net/people/Joan.Marie.Verba
                      • Jane Bigelow
                        ... They ve always looked like propaganda art to me. I keep expecting to see a flag or a tractor in the background. Jane
                        Message 11 of 16 , Dec 19, 2003
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                          At 05:34 PM 12/19/03 -0600, you wrote:
                          > Matthew Winslow wrote:
                          >>
                          >> Croft, Janet B [jbcroft@...] wrote:
                          >>> Hildebrandt paintings disturb me
                          >>
                          >> Ah! So I'm not the only one.
                          >
                          > I've detested their artwork for years.
                          >
                          > Joan
                          >
                          They've always looked like propaganda art to me. I keep expecting to see a
                          flag or a tractor in the background.

                          Jane
                        • dianejoy@earthlink.net
                          I don t care for Hildebrandt either; their hobbits look like children, and it seems they re too apple-cheeked. ---djb ... From: Matthew Winslow
                          Message 12 of 16 , Dec 19, 2003
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                            I don't care for Hildebrandt either; their hobbits look like children, and
                            it seems they're too apple-cheeked. ---djb

                            Original Message:
                            -----------------
                            From: Matthew Winslow mwinslow-sf@...
                            Date: Fri, 19 Dec 2003 15:18:25 -0600
                            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: an introduction to Tolkien


                            Croft, Janet B [jbcroft@...] wrote:
                            > Hildebrandt paintings disturb me

                            Ah! So I'm not the only one. I was beginning to think I needed to go into
                            therapy for being the only person who detested Hildebrandt paintings and
                            found
                            soemthing... disturbing about them.

                            --
                            Matthew Winslow mwinslow@... http://x-real.firinn.org/
                            "The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds;
                            and the pessimist fears this is true."
                            --James Branch Cabell
                            Currently reading: Let the Nations Be Glad! by John Piper


                            The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org

                            Yahoo! Groups Links

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                          • darancgrissom@sbcglobal.net
                            I have always preferred Alan Lee s work, Hildebrant s look like they are form some slightly cartoonish alternate dimension to the one Tolkien wrote about ...
                            Message 13 of 16 , Dec 20, 2003
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                              I have always preferred Alan Lee's work, Hildebrant's look like they are
                              form some slightly cartoonish alternate dimension to the one Tolkien wrote
                              about
                              Croft, Janet B [jbcroft@...] wrote:
                              > Hildebrandt paintings disturb me


                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Elizabeth R. Milner
                              Add me to the list. Their work seems awfully twee to me. ... to see a
                              Message 14 of 16 , Dec 22, 2003
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                                Add me to the list. Their work seems awfully 'twee' to me.

                                --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Jane Bigelow <jbigelow@p...> wrote:
                                > At 05:34 PM 12/19/03 -0600, you wrote:
                                > > Matthew Winslow wrote:
                                > >>
                                > >> Croft, Janet B [jbcroft@o...] wrote:
                                > >>> Hildebrandt paintings disturb me
                                > >>
                                > >> Ah! So I'm not the only one.
                                > >
                                > > I've detested their artwork for years.
                                > >
                                > > Joan
                                > >
                                > They've always looked like propaganda art to me. I keep expecting
                                to see a
                                > flag or a tractor in the background.
                                >
                                > Jane
                              • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                                The Hildebrandts? They re not my first choice, but they were doing fantasy back when there weren t as many other choices, so I think the spirit is in them.
                                Message 15 of 16 , Dec 22, 2003
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                                  The Hildebrandts? They're not my first choice, but they were doing fantasy
                                  back when there weren't as many other choices, so I think the spirit is in
                                  them. And they have this one piece I love and haven't seen lately, a
                                  luscious blonde woman reclining on something, with a unicorn watching over
                                  her. I think that's it. It's been a while since I've seen it.

                                  Lizzie Apgar Triano
                                  lizziewriter@...
                                  amor vincit omnia
                                • Ginger L. Hysell
                                  I just read the Letters to Children by CS Lewis and passed it on to my mom for Christmas. What a wonderful compilation! I think in writing for children
                                  Message 16 of 16 , Dec 31, 2003
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                                    I just read the "Letters to Children" by CS Lewis and passed it on to
                                    my mom for Christmas. What a wonderful compilation! I think in writing
                                    for children Lewis shows how simple his most profound ideas are, whether in
                                    Narnia or this world. It surprised me how many times the ideas he had gone
                                    to great lengths to flesh out in Screwtape and other books were so simply
                                    put into use in these letters.
                                    Anyway, I just thought I'd send this out as a recommendation for a
                                    quick holiday read that really made me smile at times, and certainly made
                                    me want to write to my little nephew.

                                    -Ginger


                                    _____________________________________
                                    Ginger L.Hysell
                                    Mill Creek Middle School
                                    Dexter MI
                                    7th grade English, Newspaper, and Drama

                                    "To be ignorant is not such a shame as to be unwilling to learn." - G. W.
                                    Hoss
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