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Re: [mythsoc] Mention of Tolkien in course on tape

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  • WendellWag@aol.com
    There s one more thing I was going to say about this course. At one point Bowers says that The Lord of the Rings has sold over 20 million copies. This is a
    Message 1 of 3 , Jan 16, 2010
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      There's one more thing I was going to say about this course.  At one point Bowers says that The Lord of the Rings has sold over 20 million copies.  This is a wild underestimate.  According to this Wikipedia entry:
      The Lord of the Rings has sold about 150 million copies.  In fact, I don't think that this is a very good Wikipedia entry.  At the 2005 Tolkien conference in Birmingham, one of the speakers (a German history grad student who was doing a Ph.D. on the American reception of The Lord of the Rings) said that in 2005 the number of books sold was already that high, according to the people at the British HarperCollins office that he had just talked to.  I would guess that, given that another five years has gone by, at least 160 million copies have been sold total.  Furthermore, it doesn't look to me that the claim on that list that A Tale of Two Cities has sold 200 million copies is very well-sourced.  I suspect that The Lord of the Rings has sold more copies that any other novel.
      Wendell Wagner
      In a message dated 1/12/2010 11:08:45 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, WendellWag@... writes:

      Has anyone else listened to the course on tape called The Western Literary Canon in Context?  The lecturer is John Bowers from the University of Nevada, Los Vegas.  It's one of the courses put out by The Teaching Company.  It's a quick ride (even though it's 18 hours long) through the great books of Western literature.  The lecturer concentrates more on how the books relate to each other than on giving plot summaries.  The interesting thing is that he spends some time on The Lord of the Rings.  This is just the sort of literary analysis that we ought to see more of.  Far too much of what's written about Tolkien either treats him as if he were one of a kind or as part of the Inklings or as a fantasy writer or a Christian writer or a Catholic writer.  Bowers considers Tolkien as part of the whole Western literary tradition.
      Wendell Wagner

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