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Re: [mythsoc] Re: new member introducing herself

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  • Wayne G. Hammond
    ... Daniel Grotta later expanded his surname to Grotta-Kurska, under which later editions of his book have been published. My wife and I discuss _Architect of
    Message 1 of 24 , Mar 15, 2007
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      Cristina wrote:

      >Hmmm...are we talking about the same book by Daniel Grotta, "J.R.R.
      >Tolkien: Architect of Middle EArth"? I don't remember reading the
      >tidbit about Mabel Tolkien being a missionary to the harem of the
      >Sultan of Zanzibar, but maybe I'll look at my copy to see if it's
      >there. My copy also does not have information on how to contact the
      >various Tolkien societies existing at that time, although it does
      >have the story of how the first Tolkien society started. I also
      >don't remember if the book was co-authored by Kurska.

      Daniel Grotta later expanded his surname to Grotta-Kurska, under which
      later editions of his book have been published. My wife and I discuss
      _Architect of Middle Earth_ along with other accounts of Tolkien's life in
      the "Reader's Guide" volume of our _J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide_,
      under "Biographies". Among Grotta's errors: he gives the name "Joseph
      Wrighty" for Joseph Wright, the eminent professor, whom Grotta calls
      "Tolkien's first tutor" and "a young Fellow . . . who had arrived at Oxford
      in the same year as Tolkien", i.e. 1911 (in fact Wright was at Oxford since
      1888 and a professor -- and so no longer a tutor in the Oxford sense of the
      term -- since 1901); he says that Tolkien took a Second Class in "Moderns
      (which included Anglo-Saxon as opposed to Greek and Latin)", when in fact
      Tolkien took Honour Moderations, an examination for those reading Classics;
      Grotta names Nevill Coghill as Tolkien's successor to the Merton
      Professorship of English Language and Literature, when it was actually
      Norman Davis (Coghill became the Merton Professor of English Literature in
      1957, before Tolkien retired); and Grotta says that the Ace Books _Lord of
      the Rings_ has "neither index nor appendices", when it did include the
      latter. Errors such as these remained even in later, revised printings of
      Grotta's book.

      Wayne


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • William Cloud Hicklin
      ... Daniel Grotta, J.R.R. ... Kurska. But I ll ... There s no separate Mr. Kurska: when the book was originally published in 1976, the author called himself
      Message 2 of 24 , Mar 15, 2007
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        --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Cristina A.
        Montes" <camontes_dragon2001@...> wrote:

        >
        > Hmmm...are we talking about the same book by
        Daniel Grotta, "J.R.R.
        > Tolkien: Architect of Middle EArth"? ... I also
        > don't remember if the book was co-authored by
        Kurska. But I'll
        > check again.

        There's no separate Mr. Kurska: when the book was
        originally published in 1976, the author called
        himself "Daniel Grotta-Kurska;" on reprinting, for
        some reason he dropped the hyphenation.
      • David Bratman
        ... Other way around: the first edition was signed Grotta-Kurska, the latter editions Grotta. It wasn t him, under either name, who came up with the
        Message 3 of 24 , Mar 15, 2007
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          At 09:35 PM 3/15/2007 -0400, Wayne G. Hammond wrote:

          >Daniel Grotta later expanded his surname to Grotta-Kurska, under which
          >later editions of his book have been published.

          Other way around: the first edition was signed Grotta-Kurska, the latter
          editions Grotta.

          It wasn't him, under either name, who came up with the Mabel-in-Zanzibar
          story: that comes, if I recall, from William Ready (an outstandingly bad
          book), and has been picked up by various other would-be Tolkien biographers
          since.

          Grotta does, as John Rateliff notes, have a few useful tidbits here and
          there, which makes his book of some modest value to the advanced student.
          But overall it's one of maybe a dozen extraordinarily dubious books that
          call themselves Tolkien biographies, which are best avoided. These books
          either rehash Humphrey Carpenter's biography, in which case Carpenter does
          it better, or invent new material which is simply wrong. Thus, where they
          are true, they are not original; and where they are original, they are not
          true.

          The list of WORTHWHILE books on Tolkien's life is very small and consists of:
          1. Humphrey Carpenter, Tolkien: A Biography (and, supplementarily, his The
          Inklings)
          2. John Garth, Tolkien and the Great War
          3. Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond, J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide
          4. John and Priscilla Tolkien, The Tolkien Family Album

          That's the good stuff; that's it. A few of the better critical books also
          have reliable biographical material, but that's secondary to their function.

          David Bratman
        • Wayne G. Hammond
          ... Yes, of course. ... It was indeed Ready who made this claim, which has no foundation. Wayne [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          Message 4 of 24 , Mar 16, 2007
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            David wrote:

            >Other way around: the first edition was signed Grotta-Kurska, the latter
            >editions Grotta.

            Yes, of course.

            >It wasn't him, under either name, who came up with the Mabel-in-Zanzibar
            >story: that comes, if I recall, from William Ready (an outstandingly bad
            >book), and has been picked up by various other would-be Tolkien biographers
            >since.

            It was indeed Ready who made this claim, which has no foundation.

            Wayne


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Kim Jaudon
            Hello all! I ve not been a member of this group for long. I ve been unable to find a local group of individuals willing to enter into the discussions that
            Message 5 of 24 , Mar 16, 2007
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              Hello all! I've not been a member of this group for long. I've been unable to find a local group of individuals willing to enter into the discussions that this wise group does, and so I am enjoying reading your posts a great deal.

              I have a question. There is a new book out, The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community, by Glyer, that looks fairly good. I'm wondering if anyone has read it yet, and if you could give a recommendation about purchasing it?

              I've read both Carpenter's books and loved them, and must confess that I "use" more than simply read Christina Scull and Wayne Hammond's wonderful set (although - why did it take Amazon so long to get me my copies?). I would like to avoid spending precious time with books that aren't first rate. Any guidance would be appreciated.

              Thanks!

              Kim Jaudon

              David Bratman <dbratman@...> wrote:
              At 09:35 PM 3/15/2007 -0400, Wayne G. Hammond wrote:

              >Daniel Grotta later expanded his surname to Grotta-Kurska, under which
              >later editions of his book have been published.

              Other way around: the first edition was signed Grotta-Kurska, the latter
              editions Grotta.

              It wasn't him, under either name, who came up with the Mabel-in-Zanzibar
              story: that comes, if I recall, from William Ready (an outstandingly bad
              book), and has been picked up by various other would-be Tolkien biographers
              since.

              Grotta does, as John Rateliff notes, have a few useful tidbits here and
              there, which makes his book of some modest value to the advanced student.
              But overall it's one of maybe a dozen extraordinarily dubious books that
              call themselves Tolkien biographies, which are best avoided. These books
              either rehash Humphrey Carpenter's biography, in which case Carpenter does
              it better, or invent new material which is simply wrong. Thus, where they
              are true, they are not original; and where they are original, they are not
              true.

              The list of WORTHWHILE books on Tolkien's life is very small and consists of:
              1. Humphrey Carpenter, Tolkien: A Biography (and, supplementarily, his The
              Inklings)
              2. John Garth, Tolkien and the Great War
              3. Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond, J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide
              4. John and Priscilla Tolkien, The Tolkien Family Album

              That's the good stuff; that's it. A few of the better critical books also
              have reliable biographical material, but that's secondary to their function.

              David Bratman






              ---------------------------------
              Be a PS3 game guru.
              Get your game face on with the latest PS3 news and previews at Yahoo! Games.

              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Bonnie Callahan
              Hi to Kim & all of you: For those of you who are in Los Angeles County, we have the Mydgard branch, which traces its roots clear back to 1970. The SF Bay area
              Message 6 of 24 , Mar 16, 2007
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                Hi to Kim & all of you:

                For those of you who are in Los Angeles County, we
                have the Mydgard branch, which traces its roots clear
                back to 1970. The SF Bay area has Khazad-Dum.

                I encourage anyone in the rest of the country to
                consider organizing groups. We could really use them
                in places like Boston & NYC, the heartland places like
                Denver, etc. We longtime members are glad to mentor
                anyone in such efforts!

                I saw how simple (if ambitious) it was to organize
                branch after branch in 1968-71, and even recorded
                minutes for the nonprofit status organizational
                meetings of the Mythsoc.

                Here's to you all!

                Cheers,
                Bonnie Callahan
                *********

                --- Kim Jaudon <kim4fsu@...> wrote:

                > Hello all! I've not been a member of this group for
                > long. I've been unable to find a local group of
                > individuals willing to enter into the discussions
                > that this wise group does, and so I am enjoying
                > reading your posts a great deal.
                >
                > I have a question. There is a new book out, The
                > Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as
                > Writers in Community, by Glyer, that looks fairly
                > good. I'm wondering if anyone has read it yet, and
                > if you could give a recommendation about purchasing
                > it?
                >
                > I've read both Carpenter's books and loved them,
                > and must confess that I "use" more than simply read
                > Christina Scull and Wayne Hammond's wonderful set
                > (although - why did it take Amazon so long to get me
                > my copies?). I would like to avoid spending
                > precious time with books that aren't first rate.
                > Any guidance would be appreciated.
                >
                > Thanks!
                >
                > Kim Jaudon
                >
                > David Bratman <dbratman@...> wrote:
                > At 09:35 PM 3/15/2007 -0400, Wayne G.
                > Hammond wrote:
                >
                > >Daniel Grotta later expanded his surname to
                > Grotta-Kurska, under which
                > >later editions of his book have been published.
                >
                > Other way around: the first edition was signed
                > Grotta-Kurska, the latter
                > editions Grotta.
                >
                > It wasn't him, under either name, who came up with
                > the Mabel-in-Zanzibar
                > story: that comes, if I recall, from William Ready
                > (an outstandingly bad
                > book), and has been picked up by various other
                > would-be Tolkien biographers
                > since.
                >
                > Grotta does, as John Rateliff notes, have a few
                > useful tidbits here and
                > there, which makes his book of some modest value to
                > the advanced student.
                > But overall it's one of maybe a dozen
                > extraordinarily dubious books that
                > call themselves Tolkien biographies, which are best
                > avoided. These books
                > either rehash Humphrey Carpenter's biography, in
                > which case Carpenter does
                > it better, or invent new material which is simply
                > wrong. Thus, where they
                > are true, they are not original; and where they are
                > original, they are not
                > true.
                >
                > The list of WORTHWHILE books on Tolkien's life is
                > very small and consists of:
                > 1. Humphrey Carpenter, Tolkien: A Biography (and,
                > supplementarily, his The
                > Inklings)
                > 2. John Garth, Tolkien and the Great War
                > 3. Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond, J.R.R.
                > Tolkien Companion and Guide
                > 4. John and Priscilla Tolkien, The Tolkien Family
                > Album
                >
                > That's the good stuff; that's it. A few of the
                > better critical books also
                > have reliable biographical material, but that's
                > secondary to their function.
                >
                > David Bratman
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > ---------------------------------
                > Be a PS3 game guru.
                > Get your game face on with the latest PS3 news and
                > previews at Yahoo! Games.
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been
                > removed]
                >
                >
              • WendellWag@aol.com
                In a message dated 3/16/2007 8:25:02 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, kim4fsu@yahoo.com writes: I have a question. There is a new book out, The Company They Keep:
                Message 7 of 24 , Mar 17, 2007
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                  In a message dated 3/16/2007 8:25:02 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
                  kim4fsu@... writes:

                  I have a question. There is a new book out, The Company They Keep: C.S.
                  Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community, by Glyer, that looks fairly
                  good. I'm wondering if anyone has read it yet, and if you could give a
                  recommendation about purchasing it?



                  Diana Glyer is a long-time member of the Mythopoeic Society, and she has
                  presented bits of this book as talks at Mythcon. I've been asking her for
                  several years now when this book will come out. I haven't read it yet, but from
                  what I know of it I think it's going to be a great book.

                  Wendell Wagner



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                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • WendellWag@aol.com
                  In a message dated 3/15/2007 6:25:11 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, sacnoth@earthlink.net writes: Well, for one thing Tolkien s mother was never a missionary to
                  Message 8 of 24 , Mar 17, 2007
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                    In a message dated 3/15/2007 6:25:11 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
                    sacnoth@... writes:

                    Well, for one thing Tolkien's mother was never a missionary to the
                    harem of the Sultan of Zanzibar.
                    Grotta-Kurska is very readable, and he deserves points for
                    including information in the back about how to contact the various
                    Tolkien societies existing at the time. But unlike Carpenter, who had
                    access to more biographical information than he could fit into one
                    book, Grotta-Kurska'book, Grotta-Kurska'<WBR>s unauthorized effort had to
                    he could from public sources such as old interviews, with all the
                    hazards than implies. He's better than HC on the Leeds period and
                    also does a good job giving background on things Carpenter didn't
                    think needed explaining (e.g., how Oxford University differs from an
                    American college), but HC trumps him on just about every other point.
                    So if you're only going to read one biography of JRRT, Carpenter's is
                    the way to go.
                    Of course, given your interest in CSL as well, you'd probably
                    enjoy Carpenter's follow-up book, THE INKLINGS, which covers Lewis
                    and Charles Williams. And, although harder to find, Warnie Lewis's
                    diaries BROTHERS & FRIENDS is an excellent read and gives a vivid
                    "you are there" window into Inkling meetings, life at the Kiln, and
                    much more.
                    One older but still excellent book on Tolkien's work is Paul
                    Kocher's MASTER OF MIDDLE-EARTH; Verlyn Flieger's recent INTERRUPTED
                    MUSIC is also superb.



                    Thanks, John. I've read (although it's been a long time now) the Grotta
                    book, both Carpenter books, and the Kocher book you mention. I've got the
                    Warnie Lewis book and the Flieger book but haven't read them yet.

                    Wendell Wagner



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                  • Sara Ciborski
                    Dear Kim, If you have the Scull and Hammond Companion and Guide you have access to good guidance from trustworthy judges about what books are first rate: in
                    Message 9 of 24 , Mar 17, 2007
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                      Dear Kim,
                      If you have the Scull and Hammond Companion and Guide you have access to
                      good guidance from trustworthy judges about what books are first rate: in
                      the "Works Consulted" section you will find daggers by selected entries;
                      these are the ones they "consider...particularly useful for an appreciation
                      of Tolkein's life and works." You won't waste your time with any of these.
                      Sara Ciborski




                      ----- Original Message -----
                      From: "Kim Jaudon" <kim4fsu@...>
                      To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                      Sent: Friday, March 16, 2007 7:18 PM
                      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: new member introducing herself


                      > Hello all! I've not been a member of this group for long. I've been
                      unable to find a local group of individuals willing to enter into the
                      discussions that this wise group does, and so I am enjoying reading your
                      posts a great deal.
                      >
                      > I have a question. There is a new book out, The Company They Keep:
                      C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community, by Glyer, that looks
                      fairly good. I'm wondering if anyone has read it yet, and if you could give
                      a recommendation about purchasing it?
                      >
                      > I've read both Carpenter's books and loved them, and must confess that I
                      "use" more than simply read Christina Scull and Wayne Hammond's wonderful
                      set (although - why did it take Amazon so long to get me my copies?). I
                      would like to avoid spending precious time with books that aren't first
                      rate. Any guidance would be appreciated.
                      >
                      > Thanks!
                      >
                      > Kim Jaudon
                    • WendellWag@aol.com
                      In a message dated 3/16/2007 8:25:02 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time, kim4fsu@yahoo.com writes: Hello all! I ve not been a member of this group for long. I ve been
                      Message 10 of 24 , Mar 17, 2007
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                        In a message dated 3/16/2007 8:25:02 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
                        kim4fsu@... writes:

                        Hello all! I've not been a member of this group for long. I've been unable
                        to find a local group of individuals willing to enter into the discussions
                        that this wise group does, and so I am enjoying reading your posts a great deal.


                        Where do you live? Tell us and we'll be able to tell you if there are any
                        Mythopoeic Society discussion groups near where you live.

                        Wendell Wagner



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                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Kim Jaudon
                        I live in Des Moines, Iowa. It s actually quite a nice city despite the horrid weather. I couldn t find any groups on the Mythopoeic site (I recently joined
                        Message 11 of 24 , Mar 17, 2007
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                          I live in Des Moines, Iowa. It's actually quite a nice city despite the horrid weather. I couldn't find any groups on the Mythopoeic site (I recently joined that society). It would be great if there was an existing group nearby.

                          I assumed starting a group would be tough to do, however, if there's nothing in the area right now I'm more than willing to give it a go. I must admit to a certain..trepidation...though. I feel I have far more to learn than to offer at this point. Still, there may be others in the area with the same desires I have. Any help you folks are willing to give would be greatly appreciated.

                          Thanks so much!

                          Kim



                          WendellWag@... wrote:

                          In a message dated 3/16/2007 8:25:02 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
                          kim4fsu@... writes:

                          Hello all! I've not been a member of this group for long. I've been unable
                          to find a local group of individuals willing to enter into the discussions
                          that this wise group does, and so I am enjoying reading your posts a great deal.

                          Where do you live? Tell us and we'll be able to tell you if there are any
                          Mythopoeic Society discussion groups near where you live.

                          Wendell Wagner

                          ************************************** AOL now offers free email to everyone.
                          Find out more about what's free from AOL at http://www.aol.com

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






                          ---------------------------------
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                          with theYahoo! Search movie showtime shortcut.

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                        • David Emerson
                          ... Well, you re halfway between the Far Westfarthing Smial in Peoria, and Rivendel in Minneapolis/StPaul, if you don t mind a 4-hour drive either way... :-)
                          Message 12 of 24 , Mar 17, 2007
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                            >I live in Des Moines, Iowa. ... It would be great if there was an existing group nearby.

                            Well, you're halfway between the Far Westfarthing Smial in Peoria, and Rivendel in Minneapolis/StPaul, if you don't mind a 4-hour drive either way... :-)

                            Naw, go ahead and start one of your own. It'll be fun!



                            emerdavid

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                            PeoplePC Online
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                          • alexeik@aol.com
                            ... From: WendellWag@aol.com To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Sat, 17 Mar 2007 4:08 AM Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: new member introducing herself In a message
                            Message 13 of 24 , Mar 17, 2007
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                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: WendellWag@...
                              To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Sat, 17 Mar 2007 4:08 AM
                              Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: new member introducing herself


                              In a message dated 3/16/2007 8:25:02 P.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
                              kim4fsu@... writes:

                              I have a question. There is a new book out, The Company They Keep: C.S.
                              Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as Writers in Community, by Glyer, that looks fairly
                              good. I'm wondering if anyone has read it yet, and if you could give a
                              recommendation about purchasing it?

                              Diana Glyer is a long-time member of the Mythopoeic Society, and she has
                              presented bits of this book as talks at Mythcon. I've been asking her for
                              several years now when this book will come out. I haven't read it yet, but from
                              what I know of it I think it's going to be a great book.

                              Wendell Wagner <<
                              I just got my copy a few days ago. It's quite an exciting and insightful book, as it looks at a lot of familiar material in a completely fresh way. Alexei


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