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Re: [mythsoc] Claims of expertise (was Re: Newest Greenman Review)

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  • Margaret Dean
    ... From my days in the publishing industry I also recall that Anne McCaffrey was extremely generous in the handing out of encomiums to put on book covers.
    Message 1 of 22 , Jul 5, 2004
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      Berni Phillips wrote:

      > "Best book I've read all year!" -- Marion Zimmer Bradley ---> seen on
      > so many books it's become a catch phrase in the Bratman household.

      From my days in the publishing industry I also recall that Anne
      McCaffrey was extremely generous in the handing out of encomiums
      to put on book covers.


      --Margaret Dean
      <margdean@...>
    • bowring
      I just thought I should alert everyone to the fact that the most recent Greenman Review is entirely devoted to Tolkien (this despite knowing that many of you
      Message 2 of 22 , Jul 6, 2004
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        I just thought I should alert everyone to the fact that the most recent
        Greenman Review is entirely devoted to Tolkien (this despite knowing that many
        of you will know this anyway!). No, I am not associated with GMR in anyway.
        Here's the link:
        http://www.greenmanreview.com/whats_new.html
        Kevin
      • David Bratman
        It s gratifying to see our own Matthew Winslow with such a fine take on Matthew Dickerson s _Following Gandalf_ (long may the fellowship of Matthews wave).
        Message 3 of 22 , Jul 6, 2004
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          It's gratifying to see our own Matthew Winslow with such a fine take on
          Matthew Dickerson's _Following Gandalf_ (long may the fellowship of
          Matthews wave). His reaction is pretty much identical to mine.

          But nothing but ignorance can excuse Gray Walker's claim that J.E.A.
          Tyler's _Complete Tolkien Companion_ is the one essential reference book on
          Tolkien. There are many worse ones, but there's one that outshines it as
          the sun does the moon. It's Robert Foster's _Complete Guide to
          Middle-earth._ Has Walker even heard of it? It's the book on Christopher
          Tolkien's reference shelf, and that should be recommendation enough for anyone.

          - David Bratman


          At 11:52 PM 7/6/2004 -0400, Kevin wrote:
          >I just thought I should alert everyone to the fact that the most recent
          >Greenman Review is entirely devoted to Tolkien (this despite knowing that
          many
          >of you will know this anyway!). No, I am not associated with GMR in anyway.
          >Here's the link:
          >http://www.greenmanreview.com/whats_new.html
        • Jack
          ... It was an interesting issue. We ve got an Authurian issue coming up in September, and we re working on an issue that looks at Clash/Big Audio Dynamite/Joe
          Message 4 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
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            >I just thought I should alert everyone to the fact that the most recent
            >Greenman Review is entirely devoted to Tolkien (this despite knowing that many
            >of you will know this anyway!). No, I am not associated with GMR in anyway.
            >Here's the link:
            >http://www.greenmanreview.com/whats_new.html
            >Kevin

            It was an interesting issue. We've got an Authurian issue coming up in September, and we're working on
            an issue that looks at Clash/Big Audio Dynamite/Joe Strummer sometime this fall also.
          • Jack
            ... Now, now. Not everyone agrees on what is a good reference guide. And Grey never claimed to be a Tolkien expert, just a fan. What s more I suggest that
            Message 5 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
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              >But nothing but ignorance can excuse Gray Walker's claim that J.E.A.
              >Tyler's _Complete Tolkien Companion_ is the one essential reference book on
              >Tolkien. There are many worse ones, but there's one that outshines it as
              >the sun does the moon. It's Robert Foster's _Complete Guide to
              >Middle-earth._ Has Walker even heard of it? It's the book on Christopher
              >Tolkien's reference shelf, and that should be recommendation enough for anyone.

              Now, now. Not everyone agrees on what is a good reference guide. And Grey never claimed to be a Tolkien expert, just
              a fan. What's more I suggest that simply because Christopher has something on his shelf doesn't mean that everyone
              else should have it too.
            • Wayne G. Hammond
              ... I agree with David that Foster is to be preferred to Tyler, if one must choose only one reference book for reading Tolkien (which, of course, one need not
              Message 6 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
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                Jack wrote:

                >Now, now. Not everyone agrees on what is a good reference guide.
                >And Grey never claimed to be a Tolkien expert, just
                >a fan. What's more I suggest that simply because Christopher
                >has something on his shelf doesn't mean that everyone
                >else should have it too.

                I agree with David that Foster is to be preferred to Tyler, if one must
                choose only one reference book for reading Tolkien (which, of course, one
                need not do, so the point is moot). The latest edition of Tyler's book is,
                however, of at least intellectual interest for its use (such as it is) of
                Tolkien sources later than _The Silmarillion_, and for Tyler's abandoning
                of his previous conceit that the Red Book of Westmarch, etc. were "real".

                As for Grey Walker being "just a fan", that's irrelevant. He never claims
                to be either a fan or an expert; but the average reader of a review in a
                source such as the Greenman Review, presented in what appears to be a
                serious, professional manner, will expect or assume the reviewer to have
                adequate knowledge of the subject, even knowledge superior to the reader's.
                A reviewer therefore, even a "fan", has a responsibility to rise to the
                occasion -- as David Bratman, say, does regularly in _Mythprint_ -- for the
                sake of readers looking for advice on whether or not to read (or buy) a
                book. For the most part, Grey Walker's review is reasonable, if too short:
                a comparison with Foster's book would have been welcome. Other reviews in
                the new issue, such as I've read them so far, offer much more to criticize.

                Is Robert Tilendis not aware that Ruth Noel's _Languages of Middle-earth_
                is utterly notorious for the number of its errors? Has he never seen it
                called "the little red horror"? I disagree with most of Jack Merry's
                comments about _The Road Goes Ever On_, but that's partly my age showing,
                and the fact that I knew Donald Swann personally. The dust-jacket has too
                much text on it? What sort of comment is that? Does he not see that the
                greater part of that text is Tolkien's "Namarie" written out in tengwar by
                the author himself, and therefore of not a little interest? What about the
                important linguistic notes by Tolkien at the back?

                And then there is Wes Unruh's review of _J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and
                Illustrator_, which he cannot have read too carefully. Leaving aside his
                comments about style and approach, I would point out at least that the
                final picture in chapter 1 is not from 1940, but from the early fifties;
                that chapter 2 in no way "implies that this book [The Book of Ishness] was
                the symbolic key [Tolkien] used to unlock his mythic cycle" (this is a
                sketchbook containing many different kinds of pictures, including some of
                the Silmarillion art); and that _Roverandom_ did not _begin_ with the
                picture "House where Rover Began His Adventures as a Toy", rather that
                picture came later, following on an impromptu oral tale. No, it's not a
                book for everyone, only those who would have a greater appreciation of
                Tolkien's achievement through a better knowledge of the breadth of his
                creativity. It was of course not meant to be an introduction to Tolkien's
                work, and indeed it assumes that the reader has a certain knowledge of the
                writings. As for Wes Unruh's statement: "I would rather have seen an
                edition of 'The Book of Ishnessess' published, or as complete as possible
                an edition of Roverandom produced than be presented with only partial
                elements", I would point out, again, that "The Book of Ishness" is really
                just the title of a sketchbook, not a book completely with a theme of
                "ishnesses", and most of its contents do appear in _Artist and
                Illustrator_; and if a complete edition of _Roverandom_ is wanted, well, we
                produced that back in 1998, and it's still in print.

                As in other reviews on the site, Unruh would have done well to compare
                _Artist and Illustrator_ to the only previous major collection of Tolkien's
                art, _Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien_ (1979; 2nd ed. 2002), and note that
                _Artist and Illustrator_ contains far more paintings and drawings, has much
                more supporting text, and has a far superior quality of reproduction.

                Wayne Hammond
              • Michael Martinez
                ... Tyler s first efforts at documenting Tolkien were not very successful. I have been told by a number of people he is now doing a better job. But Foster s
                Message 7 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
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                  --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Jack <jack@g...> wrote:
                  > >But nothing but ignorance can excuse Gray Walker's claim that J.E.A.
                  > >Tyler's _Complete Tolkien Companion_ is the one essential reference
                  > >book on Tolkien. There are many worse ones, but there's one that
                  > >outshines it as the sun does the moon. It's Robert Foster's
                  > >_Complete Guide to Middle-earth._ Has Walker even heard of it?
                  > >It's the book on Christopher Tolkien's reference shelf, and that
                  > >should be recommendation enough for anyone.
                  >
                  > Now, now. Not everyone agrees on what is a good reference guide. And
                  > Grey never claimed to be a Tolkien expert, just a fan. What's more I
                  > suggest that simply because Christopher has something on his shelf
                  > doesn't mean that everyone else should have it too.

                  Tyler's first efforts at documenting Tolkien were not very successful.
                  I have been told by a number of people he is now doing a better job.
                  But Foster's book, while out-of-date, remains the most authoritative
                  glossary on THE LORD OF THE RINGS, THE HOBBIT, THE SILMARILLION, THE
                  ADVENTURES OF TOM BOMBADIL, and THE ROAD GOES EVER ON that I have seen.

                  I would love for the book to be updated to at least include UNFINISHED
                  TALES, but it remains one of my own favored resources.
                • Carl F. Hostetter
                  I found a number of comments in Wes Unruh s review of Hammond and Scull s _J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator_: http://www.greenmanreview.com/book/
                  Message 8 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
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                    I found a number of comments in Wes Unruh's review of Hammond and
                    Scull's _J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator_:

                    http://www.greenmanreview.com/book/
                    book_hammond_scull_tolkienartistandillustrator.html

                    to be nothing short of astonishing. For example:

                    "I would have preferred a chronological order that his creative process
                    might be more easily inferred"

                    As Unruh then goes on to demonstrate with his own overview of chapters
                    and contents, _A&I_ _is_ essentially chronological. So whence the
                    criticism?

                    And then there's this:

                    "I would rather have seen an edition of "The Book of Ishnessess"
                    published, or as complete as possible an edition of Roverandom produced
                    than be presented with only partial elements"

                    I can understand that Mr. Unruh could be unaware that Hammond and Scull
                    did in fact publish an edition of the complete _Roverandom_ years ago;
                    but are there no editors at Green Man Review with sufficient knowledge
                    of Tolkien to correct such howlers before they are published?
                  • David Bratman
                    ... On the contrary. First off, of course, fan and Tolkien expert are not mutually exclusive categories. But in any case Grey Walker says nothing about
                    Message 9 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
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                      At 06:52 AM 7/7/2004 -0400, Jack wrote:

                      >Grey never claimed to be a Tolkien expert, just a fan.

                      On the contrary.

                      First off, of course, "fan" and "Tolkien expert" are not mutually exclusive
                      categories. But in any case Grey Walker says nothing about being "just a
                      fan," but rather makes statements claiming status as a Tolkien expert.

                      If Walker had merely said "Tyler's is a good book," I would merely have
                      pointed out that there was a better one. After all, it's unreasonable to
                      expect that every reviewer will always be familiar with all the prior
                      literature in the field, even though it is rather bad form to review a
                      reference book while apparently being unaware of the standard text on the
                      subject.

                      But Walker didn't say that. Walker said, "If you only have one reference
                      book on Tolkien on your shelf, it ought to be this one."

                      That IS a claim of being a Tolkien expert. It states that the writer has a
                      thorough knowledge and has made a considered judgment of the entire field.
                      Anyone who writes such a sentence without this background is a blowhard.
                      And if a reviewer does have the knowledge claimed and therefore is an
                      expert, then in this case that expert knows s/he is going against the
                      considered judgment of the expert scholarly community in prefering
                      something other than the standard work. In that case, one owes it to one's
                      readers to explain why. Then we can discuss whether the reviewer's
                      judgment is faulty.

                      But no comparison was offered. And I did not impugn Walker's judgment. As
                      I said, nothing but ignorance can excuse this.


                      >What's more I suggest that simply because Christopher has something
                      >on his shelf doesn't mean that everyone else should have it too.

                      I certainly never said that everyone should have it. But everyone _who
                      wants a Tolkien reference book_ should have it. Why shouldn't I make such
                      a statement? Walker made one, in favor of Tyler. If you've actually read
                      Walker's review, you'll know the context was, "If you only have one
                      reference book on Tolkien on your shelf," what that book should be. And
                      for that, Christopher Tolkien's use (in The History of Middle-earth) of
                      Robert Foster's book as the measuring tool of readerly understanding of
                      what his father actually published should indeed, as I said, be
                      recommendation enough for anyone. If you think otherwise, I'd like to read
                      why. Or have I stumbled onto a coterie of people with a habit of making
                      sweeping unconventional judgments without backing them up?

                      (For more on my own take on Tyler, see next post.)

                      - David Bratman
                    • David Bratman
                      ... Unfortunately, what Tyler says and what Tyler does are two different things. From my own review of the new edition (Mythprint, December 2003): A reliable
                      Message 10 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
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                        At 08:52 AM 7/7/2004 -0400, Wayne G. Hammond wrote:
                        >The latest edition of Tyler's book is,
                        >however, of at least intellectual interest for its use (such as it is) of
                        >Tolkien sources later than _The Silmarillion_, and for Tyler's abandoning
                        >of his previous conceit that the Red Book of Westmarch, etc. were "real".

                        Unfortunately, what Tyler says and what Tyler does are two different
                        things. From my own review of the new edition (Mythprint, December 2003):

                        "A reliable source but a very poor second choice to Robert Foster's
                        _Complete Guide to Middle-earth_ (less detail, more omissions, few dates,
                        hardly any page references), Tyler's tome now includes entries from
                        _Unfinished Tales_, 24 years after that book was published. It ignores
                        almost everything else since then, whether it fits into the (illusory)
                        "final" legendarium or not. Tyler claims he's dropped his pretence that
                        Middle-earth is real, but entries like that for Orcs, identifying them as
                        the true origin of mythic goblins, show that he hasn't."


                        >Is Robert Tilendis not aware that Ruth Noel's _Languages of Middle-earth_
                        >is utterly notorious for the number of its errors? Has he never seen it
                        >called "the little red horror"?

                        I found Tilendis's review excusable. He neither claims expertise on the
                        subject nor pretends to expertise he doesn't have. Yet he is wise enough
                        to detect a certain odor of unreliability in Noel's book. Though I suppose
                        if you're going to review a 25-year-old treatise it might be a good idea to
                        check up on what previous scholarly reviewers have had to say before
                        publishing your own thoughts.

                        More puzzling was Tilendis whining about how boring the scholarly apparatus
                        was. And Jack Merry, reviewer of Swann's _The Road Goes Ever On_, is bored
                        by sheet music. Spare me from the easily bored, or at least spare me from
                        reviews about how easily bored they get.


                        >And then there is Wes Unruh's review of _J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and
                        >Illustrator_, which he cannot have read too carefully.

                        Certainly not. Unruh says, "I would have preferred a chronological order
                        that his creative process might be more easily inferred." I am astonished
                        by the implication that A&I has anything other than a chronological basis
                        within the various threads of Tolkien's visual imagination. Unruh also
                        calls it an "incomplete survey," and at the word "incomplete" I give up.
                        As a survey, "incomplete" is the last word for it. It was never intended
                        or advertised as "The Complete Artwork of J.R.R. Tolkien," and by any other
                        standards the book is comprehensively inclusive almost to a fault.

                        Again I'd like to quote from my own review, at
                        <http://www.mythsoc.org/jrrtairev.html>:

                        "This magnificent volume is a full, detailed, and definitive study of
                        Tolkien's artwork in all its manifestations ... About three-quarters of
                        Tolkien's artwork in _Pictures_ is reproduced in this book, usually smaller
                        in size but often more clearly and usually in better color. The overlap,
                        and the exclusions, are designed to enable this book to cover Tolkien's art
                        thoroughly and completely without rendering _Pictures_ superfluous. ... A
                        few early drafts of particular scenes from _Pictures_ are not included
                        here, but this book makes up for that by including other previously
                        unpublished drafts of the same scenes. ... Few authors are fortunate
                        enough to have their works served so well."


                        - David Bratman
                      • Jack
                        ... What I said was: Now before you run out as a Tolkien fan and purchase the 2002 edition which was released only in Britain by Harper Collins (with a CD of
                        Message 11 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
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                          >More puzzling was Tilendis whining about how boring the scholarly apparatus
                          >was. And Jack Merry, reviewer of Swann's _The Road Goes Ever On_, is bored
                          >by sheet music. Spare me from the easily bored, or at least spare me from
                          >reviews about how easily bored they get.

                          What I said was:

                          Now before you run out as a Tolkien fan and purchase the 2002 edition which
                          was released only in Britain by Harper Collins (with a CD of the songs to
                          boot!) be advised that this is mostly sheet music, something that even most
                          of the regular members of the Neverending Session in the Green Man Pub
                          would find boring. Really boring. But if you're interested in a relatively
                          practical look at how some of Tolkien's poetry is as song, this is the book
                          for you.

                          David, are you a fiddler? Most fiddlers including myself do not find sheet
                          music all that exciting. If we did, than such tunes as Simon Jeffe's 'Music
                          for a Found Harmonium' would never ahve come to be considered traditional
                          by Irish musicians!

                          Not everything Tolkien wrote is interesting. This work is a bit of a minor
                          fluff.

                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Patrick Wynne
                          On Jul 7, 2004, at 12:36 PM, Jack wrote, assessing the value of ... The first sentence is a matter of taste; the latter sentence is a bit of major nonsense.
                          Message 12 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
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                            On Jul 7, 2004, at 12:36 PM, Jack wrote, assessing the value of
                            _The Road Goes Ever On_:

                            > Not everything Tolkien wrote is interesting. This work is a bit of a
                            > minor
                            > fluff.

                            The first sentence is a matter of taste; the latter sentence is a bit
                            of major nonsense.

                            The scholarly value of Tolkien's linguistic commentaries on
                            _Namárië_ and _A Elbereth Gilthoniel_ included at the end
                            of RGEO is well known to anybody who has delved into the
                            serious study of Tolkien's invented languages. There is much
                            information here that is found nowhere else, and RGEO is a
                            major text that is regularly cited in linguistic analyses. I should
                            know; I've written a lot of them myself.

                            To cite one example: RGEO gives a unique version of
                            _Namárie_ in which the poem is rearranged in "a clearer
                            and more normal style". Comparison of this "Prose
                            Namárie" with the poetic original provides an invaluable
                            opportunity -- available nowhere else that I know of
                            in Tolkien's writings -- to compare poetic word order in
                            Quenya with normal, prosaic word order. Whatever
                            fiddlers may think of RGEO, to scholars of Tolkien's
                            languages the book is anything BUT "minor fluff".

                            -- Patrick H. Wynne
                          • David Bratman
                            ... Oh, are you that Jack? Your e-mail header doesn t give a last name. ... I know a fair number of folk musicians, and they re all happy to learn from sheet
                            Message 13 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
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                              At 01:36 PM 7/7/2004 -0400, Jack wrote:

                              >What I said was:

                              Oh, are you that Jack? Your e-mail header doesn't give a last name.


                              >David, are you a fiddler? Most fiddlers including myself do not find sheet
                              >music all that exciting.

                              I know a fair number of folk musicians, and they're all happy to learn from
                              sheet music if they read music at all. There are plenty of traditional
                              Irish fiddle-music books and other traditional folk sheet-music books out
                              there, and the folk musicians I know all own plenty of them. And they find
                              them pretty interesting books, too. I've never heard a folk musician whine
                              about how sheet music is boring. Instead, their interest is in taking
                              those printed notes and bringing them alive through their playing. You
                              must know a quite different circle of folk musicians than I do.

                              If you don't read music and learn everything aurally, that's OK too; but
                              then you'd be musically illiterate and therefore as incompetent to review a
                              book of sheet music as a person who doesn't read French would be to review
                              a book written in French.

                              _The Road Goes Ever On_ isn't particularly interesting as Irish fiddle
                              music, but then it's not Irish fiddle music. It's a classical art-song
                              cycle with piano, a totally different musical tradition, and it should be
                              judged as one. If you don't like that kind of music, then say so. But
                              that's not because sheet music as such is boring.


                              >If we did, than such tunes as Simon Jeffe's 'Music
                              >for a Found Harmonium' would never ahve come to be considered traditional
                              >by Irish musicians!

                              I'm not sure how that follows.

                              Are you saying that they consider it traditional because they learned it
                              aurally and therefore didn't know where it came from? If they read Patrick
                              Street's CD liner notes, they'd know.

                              Or are you saying that if they had only come across it in sheet music, they
                              would have ignored it because sheet music is boring?


                              >Not everything Tolkien wrote is interesting. This work is a bit of a minor
                              >fluff.

                              As a book by Tolkien, _The Road Goes Ever On_ is a collection of reprinted
                              poems, with some attractive calligraphy, and it should be judged as such.
                              As such, it is not "minor fluff."

                              As a work by Swann, it is sheet music of a song cycle, and should be judged
                              as such. As such, it is not "minor fluff" either.

                              If you're going to review a book for something it's not intended to be, why
                              not review it for its usefulness at swatting flies? As such, _Road Goes
                              Ever On_, a lightweight tome with a big flat surface, is very useful indeed.


                              - David Bratman
                            • David Bratman
                              At 01:09 PM 7/7/2004 -0500, Patrick Wynne wrote ... Oh yeah, and it s got that linguistic (and Middle-earth historical) stuff in the back, too. - David Bratman
                              Message 14 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
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                                At 01:09 PM 7/7/2004 -0500, Patrick Wynne wrote ...

                                Oh yeah, and it's got that linguistic (and Middle-earth historical) stuff
                                in the back, too.

                                - David Bratman
                              • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                                Who is Verlyn Flieger? thanks Lizzie Elizabeth Apgar Triano lizziewriter@earthlink.net amor vincit omnia
                                Message 15 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
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                                  Who is Verlyn Flieger?

                                  thanks

                                  Lizzie

                                  Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                                  lizziewriter@...
                                  amor vincit omnia
                                • Anne Petty
                                  ...why not review it for its usefulness at swatting flies? As such, _Road Goes Ever On_, a lightweight tome with a big flat surface, is very useful indeed.
                                  Message 16 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
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                                    "...why not review it for its usefulness at swatting flies? As such,
                                    _Road Goes Ever On_, a lightweight tome with a big flat surface, is
                                    very useful indeed."

                                    > - David Bratman

                                    David, you absolutely stop me in my tracks sometimes - thanks for
                                    giving me my first howling laugh of the day!

                                    Anne Petty
                                    acp@...
                                  • Michael Martinez
                                    ... [snipping to get to the point] ... I don t agree. It is an expression of opinion, or preference. It is also an endorsement, but anyone is free to endorse
                                    Message 17 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
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                                      --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Bratman <dbratman@e...> wrote:
                                      > At 06:52 AM 7/7/2004 -0400, Jack wrote:
                                      >
                                      > >Grey never claimed to be a Tolkien expert, just a fan.
                                      >
                                      > On the contrary.

                                      [snipping to get to the point]

                                      > But Walker didn't say that. Walker said, "If you only have one
                                      > reference book on Tolkien on your shelf, it ought to be this one."
                                      >
                                      > That IS a claim of being a Tolkien expert. It states that the
                                      > writer has a thorough knowledge and has made a considered judgment
                                      > of the entire field.

                                      I don't agree. It is an expression of opinion, or preference. It is
                                      also an endorsement, but anyone is free to endorse anything. Idiots
                                      and fools make endorsements on every topic every day. Experts do,
                                      too. In almost any given field of study, you pretty much have to be
                                      or become an expert in order to weed out the informed (unsupported)
                                      opinions from the uninformed ones (regardless of whether the latter
                                      offer support).
                                    • Michael Martinez
                                      ... It is a very good resource for the study of the mythological world itself, not simply the linguistics. There are historical and cultural details in this
                                      Message 18 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
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                                        --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Patrick Wynne <pwynne@g...> wrote:
                                        > On Jul 7, 2004, at 12:36 PM, Jack wrote, assessing the value of
                                        > _The Road Goes Ever On_:
                                        >
                                        > > Not everything Tolkien wrote is interesting. This work is a bit of a
                                        > > minor
                                        > > fluff.
                                        >
                                        > The first sentence is a matter of taste; the latter sentence is a bit
                                        > of major nonsense.
                                        >
                                        > The scholarly value of Tolkien's linguistic commentaries on
                                        > _Namárië_ and _A Elbereth Gilthoniel_ included at the end
                                        > of RGEO is well known to anybody who has delved into the
                                        > serious study of Tolkien's invented languages. There is much
                                        > information here that is found nowhere else, and RGEO is a
                                        > major text that is regularly cited in linguistic analyses. I should
                                        > know; I've written a lot of them myself.

                                        It is a very good resource for the study of the mythological world
                                        itself, not simply the linguistics. There are historical and cultural
                                        details in this book which are found nowhere else.

                                        So, I would strongly agree that THE ROAD GOES EVER ON is anything but
                                        fluff.
                                      • Berni Phillips
                                        From: David Bratman ... I don t know who this Jack Merry is (I read the review, too), but if he s bored by sheet music, he s no
                                        Message 19 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
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                                          From: "David Bratman" <dbratman@...>
                                          >
                                          > And Jack Merry, reviewer of Swann's _The Road Goes Ever On_, is bored
                                          > by sheet music. Spare me from the easily bored, or at least spare me from
                                          > reviews about how easily bored they get.

                                          I don't know who this Jack Merry is (I read the review, too), but if he's
                                          bored by sheet music, he's no musician! I would much rather have a copy of
                                          the sheet music than recorded music. I find it quite helpful not to have
                                          someone else's interpretation (many of which I dislike anyway) of music. I
                                          much prefer the source.

                                          Berni
                                        • Berni Phillips
                                          From: Jack ... Music ... David s not but I am. But you re talking about traditional folk music and _The Road Goes Ever On_ is
                                          Message 20 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
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                                            From: "Jack" <jack@...>

                                            > David, are you a fiddler? Most fiddlers including myself do not find sheet
                                            > music all that exciting. If we did, than such tunes as Simon Jeffe's
                                            'Music
                                            > for a Found Harmonium' would never ahve come to be considered traditional
                                            > by Irish musicians!

                                            David's not but I am. But you're talking about traditional folk music and
                                            _The Road Goes Ever On_ is *art song*, a whole other genre of music.

                                            It's more like Shubert -- you must look at the original source, both text
                                            and music. See how the composer set it. In art song, the piano and voice
                                            are partners -- Schubert was really the first to make them equal partners in
                                            his lieder. Listen to his "Gretchen am Spinnrade" and you can hear the
                                            piano filling in the emotional moods in places where the text has broken.
                                            After the singer sings about his kiss, the spinning wheel accompaniment of
                                            the piano stops and makes a few tentative starts, unable to get back to
                                            business, as it were. After a few measures, both singer and piano are back
                                            on the main theme. This is the tradition which Swann is working in.

                                            Berni

                                            P.S. "Erlkoenig" is very mythopoeic, too.
                                          • Berni Phillips
                                            From: Michael Martinez ... Best book I ve read all year! -- Marion Zimmer Bradley --- seen on so many books it s become a catch
                                            Message 21 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
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                                              From: "Michael Martinez" <Michaelm@...>
                                              >
                                              > It is also an endorsement, but anyone is free to endorse anything. Idiots
                                              > and fools make endorsements on every topic every day. Experts do,
                                              > too. In almost any given field of study, you pretty much have to be
                                              > or become an expert in order to weed out the informed (unsupported)
                                              > opinions from the uninformed ones (regardless of whether the latter
                                              > offer support).

                                              "Best book I've read all year!" -- Marion Zimmer Bradley ---> seen on so
                                              many books it's become a catch phrase in the Bratman household.

                                              Berni
                                            • dianejoy@earthlink.net
                                              A wonderful writer and scholar on the Inklings. The work I know of hers best is *Splintered Light: Logos and Light in Tolkien s World.* It s published by
                                              Message 22 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
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                                                A wonderful writer and scholar on the Inklings. The work I know of hers
                                                best is *Splintered Light: Logos and Light in Tolkien's World.* It's
                                                published by Eerdman's in Grand Rapids, MI. An Amazon search may net you
                                                some of her later work.

                                                Original Message:
                                                -----------------
                                                From: Elizabeth Apgar Triano lizziewriter@...
                                                Date: Wed, 7 Jul 2004 14:41:05 -0400
                                                To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                                Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Newest Greenman Review


                                                Who is Verlyn Flieger?

                                                thanks

                                                Lizzie

                                                Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                                                lizziewriter@...
                                                amor vincit omnia






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