On-line Lecture on Tolkien
- Discovered this on-line. She's a little shaky on facts or have I
hung out with you all too long?
Escape to the Middle Ages: Why Tolkien? Why Now?
Kathryn Lynch, professor of english, Wellesley College
The fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien has always found a ready audience.
Continuously in print from the time of its publication in 1954-56,
Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy has, in its long publication run,
sold an estimated 150,000,000 copies. At the same time, the really
astonishing success of the recent film versions of these novels,
directed by Peter Jackson and appearing in fall 2001, 2002, and 2003,
has sparked a new rally of interest in Tolkien and helped to create a
new throng of enthusiastic fans. Why this resurgence of admiration
for Tolkien right now? Professor Lynch provides two answers to this
question, one that suggests Tolkien's appeal to a contemporary world
torn apart by global strife and terrorism and another that finds a
timeless interest in the world of the quiet Oxford don.
Choose: Audio Only | Modem Video | Broadband Video
Recorded: Spring, 2003
- In a message dated 1/23/2004 6:55:19 PM Eastern Standard Time,
> Escape to the Middle Ages: Why Tolkien? Why Now?This is a lecture by a professor at Wellesley who's a medieval English
> Kathryn Lynch, professor of english, Wellesley College
specialist. WGBH, the Boston PBS station, and something called the Lowell Institute
has compiled a library of lectures which are available online. They are
delivered by Boston-area academics on a variety of subjects. It's obvious that
Lynch is no Tolkien scholar (and she's honest enough to admit it). She's done
her best to learn as much about Tolkien as she could quickly to give this
lecture (and to supplement her medieval English courses), but there are a number of
minor errors. The lecture is a passible introduction to Tolkien with a bunch
of basically irrelevant references to the movies and some strained political
analogies added. There's nothing I hugely object to, but there's nothing in
this lecture that's remotely new to any of us who've been reading and studying
Tolkien. I can't blame Lynch, who's doing the best she can with a subject
that she's no expert on, but couldn't WGBH and the Lowell Institute have come up
with a Tolkien expert in the Boston area? It's not that there are no
academics doing Tolkien, because there certainly are.
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