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Re: [mythsoc] Tolkien speaks!

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  • David S. Bratman
    Mary - I wrote to info@mp3lit.com, an address I found on their About Us page. I had wanted to write specifically about the phantom poem - the mistake that
    Message 1 of 4 , Jun 22, 2000
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      Mary -

      I wrote to info@..., an address I found on their "About Us" page.

      I had wanted to write specifically about the phantom poem - the mistake
      that the poem was unpublished has been on the liner notes ever since the
      record was first issued by Caedmon 25 years ago, and has never been
      corrected - and now mp3lit has attached the mistake to the wrong poem,
      thus compounding the error.

      I hadn't even noticed the typo in the name at first (I'm not a great
      proofreader, though I do know how to spell "Reuel"), but if you're going
      to write about that, there's a raft of errors and misleading statements
      in the descriptive paragraphs, to wit:

      >John Ronald Reul Tolkien

      Reuel.

      > was Merton Professor of English language
      >and literature for more than a decade

      And before that, he was Rawlinson & Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon for
      two decades. This was chopped liver? Also, capitalize Language and
      Literature; they're part of the title. And one might mention that the
      position was at Oxford University; most casual readers won't know offhand
      what a "Merton Professor" is, except that it sounds impressive.

      >and was recognized as an authority
      >on Old and Middle English. He is perhaps best known for the popular
      >novels based on his own mythology

      Perhaps?????!!?? (I'm not even going to get into "based on his own
      mythology"--true but misleading)

      >--"The Hobbit" and "The Lord of
      >the Rings" trilogy

      Not a trilogy!!!!

      >--however, in addition Tolkien published a number of
      >philological and critical studies.

      And other stories during his lifetime, not to mention all sorts of
      interesting posthumous fictions. Chopped liver again? (The prose in
      this phrase is not exactly limpid, either.)

      >This audio is from a tape recording that Tolkien made in August 1952.
      >"The Lord of the Rings," on which he'd worked for over 14 years, had
      >been refused by publishers and he had almost given up hope of ever
      >seeing it in print. But this recording made him believe in it enough
      >again to prompt him to send it to a former pupil who had become a
      >publisher. The result was that even during his lifetime over three
      >million copies were sold.

      Swotted up from George Sayer's notes. Oversimplified, but that's Sayer's
      problem, not theirs.

      >Listen to two rare recordings featuring Tolkien himself reading from

      How "rare", exactly? These recordings are easily found. Possibly they
      meant that Tolkien recorded rarely.

      >"The Two Towers." The second piece, is an unpublished poem that was

      Ungrammatical comma.

      >apparently originally intented for inclusion in Part One of "The Lord of
      >the Rings" in Book Two, Chapter VII, "The Mirror Of Galadriel." All

      "Part One ... Book Two" -- this will baffle anyone who doesn't already
      know their way around the work. Suggest sticking in "The Fellowship of
      the Ring" title in there too.

      >this and more can be found on the audio release of "J.R.R. Tolkien
      >Reads" by HarperAudio.

      can ... by -- probably should be may ... from.

      But correcting errors about Tolkien, let alone on other topics, is an
      endless job, especially on the web.


      David Bratman
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