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Re: [mythsoc] Murkierwood

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  • 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 1 of 14 , Feb 22, 2011
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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 2 of 14 , Feb 22, 2011
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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 3 of 14 , Feb 22, 2011
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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 4 of 14 , Feb 22, 2011
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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 5 of 14 , Feb 22, 2011
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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 6 of 14 , Feb 22, 2011
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                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 7 of 14 , Feb 22, 2011
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                  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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