few new books
- As anyone seen, or heard anything about, these two books, which I
just came across on amazon?
THE LORD OF THE RINGS: POPULAR CULTURE IN GLOBAL CONTEXT by Ernest
Mathijs (due to be published on Jan.30th),
FROM HOBBITS TO HOLLYWOOD: ESSAYS ON PETER JACKSON'S LORD OF THE
RINGS (CONTEMPORARY CINEMA 3) (published back on August 24th).
Both books seem to be horribly expensive ($75 and $115 hardcover, $25
& $52 paperback, respectively), which makes me suspect they're
intended for use in courses on contemporary cinema by film students
(e.g., effectively textbooks). I haven't heard of Mathijs before, nor
any of the contributors to the second book (unless the "Kirsten Moana
Thompson" in the latter is Kristen Thompson, longtime Univ. of Wisc.
Tolkien Society member who's writing a book about the films, which
seems unlikely), but then it's not my field. At any rate, those who
found TOLKIEN ON FILM interesting might want to check these out.
Also finally getting a chance to glance through A. N. Wilson's
BETJEMAN, which arrived some time ago. Surprised to find how
important the quarrel with Lewis was for Betjeman, who maintained for
years afterwards (with some justice) that CSL ruined his life. Hard
not to agree with Wilson's assessment that it's a pity the two men
ever crossed each other's path; they seem to have brought out the
worst in each other.
Finally, saving the best for last, I've now begun reading OWEN
BARFIELD: A BIOGRAPHY by Simon Blaxland de Lange, the best of this
year's Christmas presents. It's the first time anyone's ever written
about Barfield from a point of view sympathetic to Anthroposophy,
which wd be rather like CSL being approached for the first time at
this late date by a critic who thought the role Christianity played
in his work was worth taking seriously. Best thing about it, from my
point of view, is that one chapter gives a detailed (forty-page)
summary and discussion of ENGLISH PEOPLE, the great lost Inklings novel.