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Murkierwood

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  • David Bratman
    Has anyone else read the brief opening chapter available on the website? There are some strange and apparently unnecessary historical bloopers in it. I m
    Message 1 of 14 , Feb 22 1:44 AM
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      Has anyone else read the brief opening chapter available on the website?
      There are some strange and apparently unnecessary historical bloopers in it.
      I'm leaving out the stuff that might actually be necessary for the plot.

      >These creatures live to me as I am creating them. ...

      As Doug Kane observed, this supposed quote from Tolkien's Letters doesn't
      even sound remotely like him.

      >As he deplaned at what was then Idlewild Airport

      This is set in 1970, by which time the airport had been JFK for several
      years.

      >the old manwas scarcely recognizable as the chipper
      >Merton Professor of Anglo-Saxon Literature

      A hopeless amalgam of Tolkien's two separate professorial titles, the second
      one of which he'd been retired from for over a decade by 1970.

      >For a man about whose life it would be observed, "after
      >1925, nothing much happened,"

      The actual quote, from Carpenter, is the more measured, "And after this, you
      might say, nothing else really happened."

      >this lion of letters trudged in fear for the first time
      >since he was eighteen at the Battle of the Somme.

      Tolkien was 18 in 1910. The Battle of the Somme, in which Tolkien did
      fight, took place in 1916.
    • Mike Foster
      A good post, David. You express contempt with such eloquent restraint. One shiny American penny to anyone who can find in any fiction six worse consecutive
      Message 2 of 14 , Feb 22 8:03 AM
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        A good post, David.  You express contempt with such eloquent restraint.
         
        One shiny American penny to anyone who can find in any fiction six worse consecutive worse worse than “this lion of letters trudged in fear.”
         
        Cheers,
        Mike
         
        Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 3:44 AM
        Subject: [mythsoc] Murkierwood
         
         

        Has anyone else read the brief opening chapter available on the website?
        There are some strange and apparently unnecessary historical bloopers in it.
        I'm leaving out the stuff that might actually be necessary for the plot.

        >These creatures live to me as I am creating them. ...

        As Doug Kane observed, this supposed quote from Tolkien's Letters doesn't
        even sound remotely like him.

        >As he deplaned at what was then Idlewild
        Airport

        This is set in 1970, by which time the airport had been JFK for several
        years.

        >the old manwas scarcely recognizable as the
        chipper
        >Merton Professor of Anglo-Saxon Literature

        A hopeless amalgam of Tolkien's two separate professorial titles, the second
        one of which he'd been retired from for over a decade by 1970.

        >For a man
        about whose life it would be observed, "after
        >1925, nothing much
        happened,"

        The actual quote, from Carpenter, is the more measured, "And after this, you
        might say, nothing else really happened."

        >
        style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #ffff00">this lion of letters trudged in fear for the first time
        >since he was eighteen at the Battle of the
        Somme.

        Tolkien was 18 in 1910. The Battle of the Somme, in which Tolkien did
        fight, took place in 1916.

      • Croft, Janet B.
        I think we have a potential champ for the Khazad-dum Book Toss right here. Janet From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
        Message 3 of 14 , Feb 22 8:09 AM
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          I think we have a potential champ for the Khazad-dum Book Toss right here.

           

          Janet

           

          From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Mike Foster
          Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 10:03 AM
          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Murkierwood

           

           

          A good post, David.  You express contempt with such eloquent restraint.

           

          One shiny American penny to anyone who can find in any fiction six worse consecutive worse worse than “this lion of letters trudged in fear.”

           

          Cheers,

          Mike

           

          Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 3:44 AM

          Subject: [mythsoc] Murkierwood

           

           

          Has anyone else read the brief opening chapter available on the website?
          There are some strange and apparently unnecessary historical bloopers in it.
          I'm leaving out the stuff that might actually be necessary for the plot.

          >These creatures live to me as I am creating them. ...

          As Doug Kane observed, this supposed quote from Tolkien's Letters doesn't
          even sound remotely like him.

          >As he deplaned at what was then Idlewild Airport

          This is set in 1970, by which time the airport had been JFK for several
          years.

          >the old manwas scarcely recognizable as the chipper
          >Merton Professor of Anglo-Saxon Literature

          A hopeless amalgam of Tolkien's two separate professorial titles, the second
          one of which he'd been retired from for over a decade by 1970.

          >For a man about whose life it would be observed, "after
          >1925, nothing much happened,"

          The actual quote, from Carpenter, is the more measured, "And after this, you
          might say, nothing else really happened."

          >this lion of letters trudged in fear for the first time
          >since he was eighteen at the Battle of the Somme.

          Tolkien was 18 in 1910. The Battle of the Somme, in which Tolkien did
          fight, took place in 1916.

        • David Bratman
          ... yeah, I sort of noticed that. But I decided not to critique the chapter stylistically, or we d be here all day.
          Message 4 of 14 , Feb 22 8:46 AM
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            "Mike Foster" <mafoster@...> wrote:

            >One shiny American penny to anyone who can find in any
            >fiction six worse consecutive worse worse than “this lion
            >of letters trudged in fear.”

            yeah, I sort of noticed that. But I decided not to critique the chapter
            stylistically, or we'd be here all day.
          • John Rateliff
            ... Hi David. You re not mistaken. The chapters in which JRRT appears make no effort at all at accuracy; it s more like hollywood biopic pseudo-reality. For
            Message 5 of 14 , Feb 22 9:20 AM
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              On Feb 22, 2011, at 1:44 AM, David Bratman wrote:
              > Has anyone else read the brief opening chapter available on the website?
              > There are some strange and apparently unnecessary historical bloopers in it.
              > I'm leaving out the stuff that might actually be necessary for the plot.


              Hi David.

              You're not mistaken. The chapters in which JRRT appears make no effort at all at accuracy; it's more like "hollywood biopic" pseudo-reality. For example, a number of chapters are presented as transcriptions of audiotapes of Inklings sessions in which his friends address CSL as "Clive" (others present include "Tollers", "Charles", "Owen" and "Ian"). Hillard doesn't seem to know, or care, much about JRRT's actual life; his "Tolkien" is simply a peg to hang various attitudes and speeches on.

              I'm currently reading the book and am about a third of the way through, but it's slow going because it's such a mess structurally. Some chapters deal with our modern-day heroine and the oddballs she runs into,* some are flashbacks from her hobo grandfather's diaries, some are the transcribed Inklings meetings, some a string of snippets about a plucky girl-hobbit's adventures (torn out of Bilbo's manuscript by a misogynist Gandalf), some are brief re-writing of scenes in LotR from other points of view, some with a wraith in New York City impersonating the main character out of TAXI DRIVER. Many of them do all of these at once. The plucky girl-hobbit is supposed to be the most important part of the book, based on what Hillard says about it, but she's pretty much lost in the verbage.

              Like I said, a mess.

              I do have to say his depiction of Sauron outweirds John Boorman's, which I'd hitherto thought impossible.

              --John R.

              *the Amtrak Man, who's ridden trains continuously since 9/11; a street-person ranger; a one-eyed bartender; a slick hollywood producer who puts Peter Jackson on hold to take the heroine's calls; &c.
            • David Bratman
              ... I kind of guessed that from the more than improbable events I didn t comment on because I figured they were necessary for the plot, like Tolkien flying on
              Message 6 of 14 , Feb 22 9:48 AM
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                "John Rateliff" <sacnoth@...> wrote:

                > You're not mistaken. The chapters in which JRRT appears
                > make no effort at all at accuracy; it's more like "hollywood
                > biopic" pseudo-reality.

                I kind of guessed that from the more than improbable events I didn't comment
                on because I figured they were necessary for the plot, like Tolkien flying
                on his own to New York and the Algonquin being a favorite Inklings hotel
                there. (Presumably for its literary connotations, which of course reminds
                me of the occasion that the infamous Inklings biographer Michael White
                confused Dorothy Sayers with Dorothy Parker.)

                > For example, a number of chapters are presented as
                > transcriptions of audiotapes of Inklings sessions in which
                > his friends address CSL as "Clive" (others present include
                > "Tollers", "Charles", "Owen" and "Ian").

                Ian? Ian who? Ian Ballantine? Ian Slater? Who?

                > I'm currently reading the book and am about a third of the
                > way through, but it's slow going because it's such a mess
                > structurally.

                It took me a while to figure out the structure of David Downing's book too,
                but once I did I got a handle on it. The hero and heroine go out in the
                country and have an adventure or two, then they go back to Oxford where an
                Inkling delivers an expository lump to them, then they go out for more
                adventures, and repeat.
              • scribbler@scribblerworks.us
                I had to chuckle at your list of points, David, because some of these details are easily researchered - like the Idlewild to JFK transformation. And the reason
                Message 7 of 14 , Feb 22 10:16 AM
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                  I had to chuckle at your list of points, David, because some of these
                  details are easily researchered - like the Idlewild to JFK transformation.
                  And the reason I'm chuckling is that last Saturday I was on a panel with
                  Harry Turtledove and Barbara Hambly about doing just THAT KIND of research
                  for writing! One point we were highlighting was that in the readership for
                  any book there is going to be SOMEONE who is an expert on whatever you're
                  talking about. Why tick them off when you don't have to.

                  It's one thing when someone is warping reality for the sake of the story,
                  shifting historical details (such as James Owen does in his books - where
                  it is always in service to the story and he is well aware where he is
                  "stepping off the path" as it were). It's something else when details are
                  gotten wrong simply because the writer couldn't be bothered to verify
                  something (I once read a story where the writer had a character, who was a
                  radio reporter, win a Pulitzer for investigative reporting! How hard is it
                  to check an almanac and find out that the broadcast awards are the
                  Peabodys?).

                  Okay... sorry, it's a hobbyhorse for me this week.

                  > Has anyone else read the brief opening chapter available on the website?
                  > There are some strange and apparently unnecessary historical bloopers in
                  > it.
                  > I'm leaving out the stuff that might actually be necessary for the plot.
                  >
                  >>These creatures live to me as I am creating them. ...
                  >
                  > As Doug Kane observed, this supposed quote from Tolkien's Letters doesn't
                  > even sound remotely like him.
                  >
                  >>As he deplaned at what was then Idlewild Airport
                  >
                  > This is set in 1970, by which time the airport had been JFK for several
                  > years.
                  >
                  >>the old manwas scarcely recognizable as the chipper
                  >>Merton Professor of Anglo-Saxon Literature
                  >
                  > A hopeless amalgam of Tolkien's two separate professorial titles, the
                  > second
                  > one of which he'd been retired from for over a decade by 1970.
                  >
                  >>For a man about whose life it would be observed, "after
                  >>1925, nothing much happened,"
                  >
                  > The actual quote, from Carpenter, is the more measured, "And after this,
                  > you
                  > might say, nothing else really happened."
                  >
                  >>this lion of letters trudged in fear for the first time
                  >>since he was eighteen at the Battle of the Somme.
                  >
                  > Tolkien was 18 in 1910. The Battle of the Somme, in which Tolkien did
                  > fight, took place in 1916.
                  >
                  >
                • Darrell A. Martin
                  ... Mike: Well, to get the trivial out of the way, it s seven words not six, just like the classically trite, It was a dark and stormy night. I hope you have
                  Message 8 of 14 , Feb 22 10:45 AM
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                    On 2/22/2011 10:03 AM, Mike Foster wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > A good post, David. You express contempt with such eloquent restraint.
                    > One shiny American penny to anyone who can find in any fiction six worse
                    > consecutive worse worse than “this lion of letters trudged in fear.”
                    > Cheers,
                    > Mike

                    Mike:

                    Well, to get the trivial out of the way, it's seven words not six, just
                    like the classically trite, "It was a dark and stormy night."

                    I hope you have a roll of pennies, only because as bad as TLOLTIF is, I
                    cannot imagine there not being many worse (although I tend not to keep
                    books in which examples occur). There is a glimmer of literary light in
                    the alliteration of "lion" and "letters"; and the mental picture of a
                    lion trudging in fear, although awkward, has some pretense to meaning.

                    In the end, to the charge that I am "damning with faint praise," I will
                    plead guilty.

                    Darrell
                  • Michael Cunningham
                    I was happy to review this title with an objective frame of mind, however the author included several caveats: Mirkwood was never intended to be read in a
                    Message 9 of 14 , Feb 22 11:17 AM
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                      I was happy to review this title with an objective frame of mind, however the author included several caveats:
                       
                      'Mirkwood was never intended to be read in a 'Tolkien purist' light...' (fair enough, it's doesn't appear to be a forensic literary analysis of another person's work).
                       
                      'An honest critique of a few sentences (or more) is great. If, on the other hand, you simply dislike the book (i.e.can give it only one or two [Amazon] stars), I might suggest not posting a review''
                       
                      So what's the point of sending out review copies? If you can't say anything..?
                       
                      The title on the cover, though, 'Mirkwood: A novel about JRR Tolkien' sounds biographical and may be deliberately misleading, until one opens the book and sees the full title.
                       
                      Michael
                       
                       
                       
                      ----- Original Message -----
                      Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 6:16 PM
                      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Murkierwood

                       

                      I had to chuckle at your list of points, David, because some of these
                      details are easily researchered - like the Idlewild to JFK transformation.
                      And the reason I'm chuckling is that last Saturday I was on a panel with
                      Harry Turtledove and Barbara Hambly about doing just THAT KIND of research
                      for writing! One point we were highlighting was that in the readership for
                      any book there is going to be SOMEONE who is an expert on whatever you're
                      talking about. Why tick them off when you don't have to.

                      It's one thing when someone is warping reality for the sake of the story,
                      shifting historical details (such as James Owen does in his books - where
                      it is always in service to the story and he is well aware where he is
                      "stepping off the path" as it were). It's something else when details are
                      gotten wrong simply because the writer couldn't be bothered to verify
                      something (I once read a story where the writer had a character, who was a
                      radio reporter, win a Pulitzer for investigative reporting! How hard is it
                      to check an almanac and find out that the broadcast awards are the
                      Peabodys?).

                      Okay... sorry, it's a hobbyhorse for me this week.

                      > Has anyone else read the brief opening chapter available on the website?
                      > There are some strange and apparently unnecessary historical bloopers in
                      > it.
                      > I'm leaving out the stuff that might actually be necessary for the plot.
                      >
                      >>These creatures live to me as I am creating them. ...
                      >
                      > As Doug Kane observed, this supposed quote from Tolkien's Letters doesn't
                      > even sound remotely like him.
                      >
                      >>As he deplaned at what was then Idlewild Airport
                      >
                      > This is set in 1970, by which time the airport had been JFK for several
                      > years.
                      >
                      >>the old manwas scarcely recognizable as the chipper
                      >>Merton Professor of Anglo-Saxon Literature
                      >
                      > A hopeless amalgam of Tolkien's two separate professorial titles, the
                      > second
                      > one of which he'd been retired from for over a decade by 1970.
                      >
                      >>For a man about whose life it would be observed, "after
                      >>1925, nothing much happened,"
                      >
                      > The actual quote, from Carpenter, is the more measured, "And after this,
                      > you
                      > might say, nothing else really happened."
                      >
                      >>this lion of letters trudged in fear for the first time
                      >>since he was eighteen at the Battle of the Somme.
                      >
                      > Tolkien was 18 in 1910. The Battle of the Somme, in which Tolkien did
                      > fight, took place in 1916.
                      >
                      >

                    • Mike Foster
                      Besides the almanac, simply going through the New York newspapers for the time-frame of the story’s setting would have been a basic research essential. As to
                      Message 10 of 14 , Feb 22 11:54 AM
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                        Besides the almanac, simply going through the New York newspapers for the time-frame of the story’s setting would have been a basic research essential.
                         
                        As to JRRT travelling to the USA in 1970, very loud chuckles.  Anyone’s who read Tolkien’s correspondence with Marquette regarding the U’s efforts to get him to visit Milwaukee in 1958 knows that the mere premise that Tolkien would fly to Noo Yawk torpedoes willing suspension of disbelief.
                         
                        Six words, seven words: when it’s as bad as that sample David quoted, the counter goes off.
                         
                        Maybe the Stewards should consider The Drinking Fountain Of Khazad-dum, wherein participants would read the worst line they came across this year.
                         
                        Back to Phantastes for Far Westfarthing smial pubmoot on Friday.  Re-reading it for the first time in 40 years, I find myself more attuned to Tolkien’s view of MacDonald than CSL’s.  But as a nap-inducer on a cold Midwestern afternoon, it’s hard to top.
                         
                        Cheers,
                        Mike
                         
                        Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 12:16 PM
                        Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Murkierwood
                         
                         

                        I had to chuckle at your list of points, David, because some of these
                        details are easily researchered - like the Idlewild to JFK transformation.
                        And the reason I'm chuckling is that last Saturday I was on a panel with
                        Harry Turtledove and Barbara Hambly about doing just THAT KIND of research
                        for writing! One point we were highlighting was that in the readership for
                        any book there is going to be SOMEONE who is an expert on whatever you're
                        talking about. Why tick them off when you don't have to.

                        It's one thing when someone is warping reality for the sake of the story,
                        shifting historical details (such as James Owen does in his books - where
                        it is always in service to the story and he is well aware where he is
                        "stepping off the path" as it were). It's something else when details are
                        gotten wrong simply because the writer couldn't be bothered to verify
                        something (I once read a story where the writer had a character, who was a
                        radio reporter, win a Pulitzer for investigative reporting! How hard is it
                        to check an almanac and find out that the broadcast awards are the
                        Peabodys?).

                        Okay... sorry, it's a hobbyhorse for me this week.

                        > Has anyone else read the brief opening chapter available on
                        the website?
                        > There are some strange and apparently unnecessary
                        historical bloopers in
                        > it.
                        > I'm leaving out the stuff that might
                        actually be necessary for the plot.
                        >
                        >>These creatures live to
                        me as I am creating them. ...
                        >
                        > As Doug Kane observed, this
                        supposed quote from Tolkien's Letters doesn't
                        > even sound remotely like
                        him.
                        >
                        >>As he deplaned at what was then Idlewild
                        Airport
                        >
                        > This is set in 1970, by which time the airport had been
                        JFK for several
                        > years.
                        >
                        >>the old manwas scarcely
                        recognizable as the chipper
                        >>Merton Professor of Anglo-Saxon
                        Literature
                        >
                        > A hopeless amalgam of Tolkien's two separate
                        professorial titles, the
                        > second
                        > one of which he'd been retired
                        from for over a decade by 1970.
                        >
                        >>For a man about whose life it
                        would be observed, "after
                        >>1925, nothing much
                        happened,"
                        >
                        > The actual quote, from Carpenter, is the more
                        measured, "And after this,
                        > you
                        > might say, nothing else really
                        happened."
                        >
                        >>this lion of letters trudged in fear for the first
                        time
                        >>since he was eighteen at the Battle of the
                        Somme.
                        >
                        > Tolkien was 18 in 1910. The Battle of the Somme, in which
                        Tolkien did
                        > fight, took place in 1916.
                        >
                        >

                      • Jason Fisher
                        I noticed the same caveats in the review copy the author sent me. They struck me as presumptuous and/or defensive, right off the bat. The kinds of things a
                        Message 11 of 14 , Feb 22 12:00 PM
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                          I noticed the same caveats in the review copy the author sent me. They struck me as presumptuous and/or defensive, right off the bat. The kinds of things a self-published author representing himself would ask — and which traditional publishers know better than to expect.
                           
                          Jason


                          From: Michael Cunningham <vargeisa@...>
                          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Tue, February 22, 2011 1:17:19 PM
                          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Murkierwood

                           

                          I was happy to review this title with an objective frame of mind, however the author included several caveats:
                           
                          'Mirkwood was never intended to be read in a 'Tolkien purist' light...' (fair enough, it's doesn't appear to be a forensic literary analysis of another person's work).
                           
                          'An honest critique of a few sentences (or more) is great. If, on the other hand, you simply dislike the book (i.e.can give it only one or two [Amazon] stars), I might suggest not posting a review''
                           
                          So what's the point of sending out review copies? If you can't say anything..?
                           
                          The title on the cover, though, 'Mirkwood: A novel about JRR Tolkien' sounds biographical and may be deliberately misleading, until one opens the book and sees the full title.
                           
                          Michael
                           
                           
                           
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 6:16 PM
                          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Murkierwood

                           

                          I had to chuckle at your list of points, David, because some of these
                          details are easily researchered - like the Idlewild to JFK transformation.
                          And the reason I'm chuckling is that last Saturday I was on a panel with
                          Harry Turtledove and Barbara Hambly about doing just THAT KIND of research
                          for writing! One point we were highlighting was that in the readership for
                          any book there is going to be SOMEONE who is an expert on whatever you're
                          talking about. Why tick them off when you don't have to.

                          It's one thing when someone is warping reality for the sake of the story,
                          shifting historical details (such as James Owen does in his books - where
                          it is always in service to the story and he is well aware where he is
                          "stepping off the path" as it were). It's something else when details are
                          gotten wrong simply because the writer couldn't be bothered to verify
                          something (I once read a story where the writer had a character, who was a
                          radio reporter, win a Pulitzer for investigative reporting! How hard is it
                          to check an almanac and find out that the broadcast awards are the
                          Peabodys?).

                          Okay... sorry, it's a hobbyhorse for me this week.

                          > Has anyone else read the brief opening chapter available on the website?
                          > There are some strange and apparently unnecessary historical bloopers in
                          > it.
                          > I'm leaving out the stuff that might actually be necessary for the plot.
                          >
                          >>These creatures live to me as I am creating them. ...
                          >
                          > As Doug Kane observed, this supposed quote from Tolkien's Letters doesn't
                          > even sound remotely like him.
                          >
                          >>As he deplaned at what was then Idlewild Airport
                          >
                          > This is set in 1970, by which time the airport had been JFK for several
                          > years.
                          >
                          >>the old manwas scarcely recognizable as the chipper
                          >>Merton Professor of Anglo-Saxon Literature
                          >
                          > A hopeless amalgam of Tolkien's two separate professorial titles, the
                          > second
                          > one of which he'd been retired from for over a decade by 1970.
                          >
                          >>For a man about whose life it would be observed, "after
                          >>1925, nothing much happened,"
                          >
                          > The actual quote, from Carpenter, is the more measured, "And after this,
                          > you
                          > might say, nothing else really happened."
                          >
                          >>this lion of letters trudged in fear for the first time
                          >>since he was eighteen at the Battle of the Somme.
                          >
                          > Tolkien was 18 in 1910. The Battle of the Somme, in which Tolkien did
                          > fight, took place in 1916.
                          >
                          >

                        • Mike Foster
                          Jason, I agree. Only positive reviewers need apply. ?: Weren’t you tempted to write back and say, “Don’t worry. I know it’s your first time. I’ll
                          Message 12 of 14 , Feb 22 12:16 PM
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                            Jason,
                            I agree.  Only positive reviewers need apply.
                             
                            ?: Weren’t you tempted to write back and say, “Don’t worry.  I know it’s your first time. I’ll be very gentle.”
                             
                            Mike
                             
                            Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 2:00 PM
                            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Murkierwood
                             
                             

                            I noticed the same caveats in the review copy the author sent me. They struck me as presumptuous and/or defensive, right off the bat. The kinds of things a self-published author representing himself would ask — and which traditional publishers know better than to expect.
                             
                            Jason
                             

                            From: Michael Cunningham <vargeisa@...>
                            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Tue, February 22, 2011 1:17:19 PM
                            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Murkierwood

                             

                            I was happy to review this title with an objective frame of mind, however the author included several caveats:
                             
                            'Mirkwood was never intended to be read in a 'Tolkien purist' light...' (fair enough, it's doesn't appear to be a forensic literary analysis of another person's work).
                             
                            'An honest critique of a few sentences (or more) is great. If, on the other hand, you simply dislike the book (i.e.can give it only one or two [Amazon] stars), I might suggest not posting a review''
                             
                            So what's the point of sending out review copies? If you can't say anything..?
                             
                            The title on the cover, though, 'Mirkwood: A novel about JRR Tolkien' sounds biographical and may be deliberately misleading, until one opens the book and sees the full title.
                             
                            Michael
                             
                             
                             
                            ----- Original Message -----
                            Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 6:16 PM
                            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Murkierwood
                             
                             

                            I had to chuckle at your list of points, David, because some of these
                            details are easily researchered - like the Idlewild to JFK transformation.
                            And the reason I'm chuckling is that last Saturday I was on a panel with
                            Harry Turtledove and Barbara Hambly about doing just THAT KIND of research
                            for writing! One point we were highlighting was that in the readership for
                            any book there is going to be SOMEONE who is an expert on whatever you're
                            talking about. Why tick them off when you don't have to.

                            It's one thing when someone is warping reality for the sake of the story,
                            shifting historical details (such as James Owen does in his books - where
                            it is always in service to the story and he is well aware where he is
                            "stepping off the path" as it were). It's something else when details are
                            gotten wrong simply because the writer couldn't be bothered to verify
                            something (I once read a story where the writer had a character, who was a
                            radio reporter, win a Pulitzer for investigative reporting! How hard is it
                            to check an almanac and find out that the broadcast awards are the
                            Peabodys?).

                            Okay... sorry, it's a hobbyhorse for me this week.

                            > Has anyone else read the brief opening chapter available on the website?
                            > There are some strange and apparently unnecessary historical bloopers in
                            > it.
                            > I'm leaving out the stuff that might actually be necessary for the plot.
                            >
                            >>These creatures live to me as I am creating them. ...
                            >
                            > As Doug Kane observed, this supposed quote from Tolkien's Letters doesn't
                            > even sound remotely like him.
                            >
                            >>As he deplaned at what was then Idlewild Airport
                            >
                            > This is set in 1970, by which time the airport had been JFK for several
                            > years.
                            >
                            >>the old manwas scarcely recognizable as the chipper
                            >>Merton Professor of Anglo-Saxon Literature
                            >
                            > A hopeless amalgam of Tolkien's two separate professorial titles, the
                            > second
                            > one of which he'd been retired from for over a decade by 1970.
                            >
                            >>For a man about whose life it would be observed, "after
                            >>1925, nothing much happened,"
                            >
                            > The actual quote, from Carpenter, is the more measured, "And after this,
                            > you
                            > might say, nothing else really happened."
                            >
                            >>this lion of letters trudged in fear for the first time
                            >>since he was eighteen at the Battle of the Somme.
                            >
                            > Tolkien was 18 in 1910. The Battle of the Somme, in which Tolkien did
                            > fight, took place in 1916.
                            >
                            >

                          • Darrell A. Martin
                            ... Mike: Does the Far Westfarthing smial meet regularly? Or is this Friday (if that is correct) a special event? Peoria area? Drowned in the Drinking
                            Message 13 of 14 , Feb 22 4:36 PM
                            • 0 Attachment
                              On 2/22/2011 1:54 PM, Mike Foster wrote:
                              >
                              >
                              > Besides the almanac, simply going through the New York newspapers for
                              > the time-frame of the story’s setting would have been a basic research
                              > essential.
                              > As to JRRT travelling to the USA in 1970, very loud chuckles. Anyone’s
                              > who read Tolkien’s correspondence with Marquette regarding the U’s
                              > efforts to get him to visit Milwaukee in 1958 knows that the mere
                              > premise that Tolkien would fly to Noo Yawk torpedoes willing suspension
                              > of disbelief.
                              > Six words, seven words: when it’s as bad as that sample David quoted,
                              > the counter goes off.
                              > Maybe the Stewards should consider The Drinking Fountain Of Khazad-dum,
                              > wherein participants would read the worst line they came across this year.
                              > Back to /Phantastes/ for Far Westfarthing smial pubmoot on Friday.
                              > Re-reading it for the first time in 40 years, I find myself more attuned
                              > to Tolkien’s view of MacDonald than CSL’s. But as a nap-inducer on a
                              > cold Midwestern afternoon, it’s hard to top.
                              > Cheers,
                              > Mike

                              Mike:

                              Does the Far Westfarthing smial meet regularly? Or is this Friday (if
                              that is correct) a special event? Peoria area?

                              "Drowned in the Drinking Fountain of Khazad-dum" sounds like an
                              interesting if uncomplimentary epitaph, whether you consider it seven
                              words or eight [grin].

                              Darrell
                            • Mike Foster
                              Yes, Darrell. Mike From: Darrell A. Martin Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 6:36 PM To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Subject: [mythsoc] Far Westfarthing smial
                              Message 14 of 14 , Feb 22 5:01 PM
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Yes, Darrell.
                                 
                                Mike
                                 
                                Sent: Tuesday, February 22, 2011 6:36 PM
                                Subject: [mythsoc] Far Westfarthing smial pubmoot?
                                 
                                 

                                On 2/22/2011 1:54 PM, Mike Foster wrote:
                                >
                                >
                                > Besides the almanac, simply going through the New York newspapers for
                                > the time-frame of the story’s setting would have been a basic research
                                > essential.
                                > As to JRRT travelling to the USA in 1970, very loud chuckles. Anyone’s
                                > who read Tolkien’s correspondence with Marquette regarding the U’s
                                > efforts to get him to visit Milwaukee in 1958 knows that the mere
                                > premise that Tolkien would fly to Noo Yawk torpedoes willing suspension
                                > of disbelief.
                                > Six words, seven words: when it’s as bad as that sample David quoted,
                                > the counter goes off.
                                > Maybe the Stewards should consider The Drinking Fountain Of Khazad-dum,
                                > wherein participants would read the worst line they came across this year.
                                > Back to /Phantastes/ for Far Westfarthing smial pubmoot on Friday.
                                > Re-reading it for the first time in 40 years, I find myself more attuned
                                > to Tolkien’s view of MacDonald than CSL’s. But as a nap-inducer on a
                                > cold Midwestern afternoon, it’s hard to top.
                                > Cheers,
                                > Mike

                                Mike:

                                Does the Far Westfarthing smial meet regularly? Or is this Friday (if
                                that is correct) a special event? Peoria area?

                                "Drowned in the Drinking Fountain of Khazad-dum" sounds like an
                                interesting if uncomplimentary epitaph, whether you consider it seven
                                words or eight [grin].

                                Darrell

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