RE: [mythsoc] Re: Lawsuit in Texas
I approached HarperCollins with the book proposal (before looking into permissions) and they took it to the Estate for approval; I got the impression they meet periodically to review proposals like this. I wanted to print the entire play and essay with annotations, the Maldon fragment for comparison, critical commentary and some previously published essays by scholars, annotated bibliographies on scholarship on “Homecoming” and Maldon, and maybe a few other things. (Since my proposal, there was that excellent article in TS about the original manuscript – that’s an example of one I’d like to include.) I also wanted to produce the play and include notes on the production and any other productions I can locate; I’ve long wanted to do a double bill of “Homecoming” with Christopher Fry’s “A Sleep of Prisoners.” It IS a play, after all, and seeing how it works on stage is part of understanding it.
Jason, I could consider just doing all this without reproducing the text – that might work. Good idea!
I’m not really sure WHO has the rights to the audio recording. I’ve never been able to obtain a copy. Probably the estate. I’d love to hear it in order to know how Tolkien pronounced the names.
Who actually denied you permission, Janet? And what exactly were you requesting? If you wanted to publish unpublished drafts or notes, then this would be the Tolkien Estate's purview. If you wanted to reprint The Homecoming itself (and the accompanying essay), this would be either Oxford University Press ( < Clarendon Press), the publisher of Essays and Studies by Members of the English Association, in which the work was first published; or -- depending on its acquisition of rights or the arrangements they had to reprint it -- HarperCollins (< George Allen & Unwin) and/or Random House (< Ballantine Books) ... if I have all this right in my head. It quickly becomes very sticky, doesn't it?
Of course, any critical commentary you wished to produce would be fine. You could always proceed without reprinting the raw material, but key your commentary to the first edition and/or subsequent reprint editions. And there is, as you know, the audio recording Tolkien made of The Homecoming (with variant readings at several points). Who holds the rights to that? Probably the Tolkien Estate?
I once approached the Tolkien Estate about doing a complete variorum edition of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, but they didn't think this was a financially viable project either. Perhaps they're right. But one of these days, I may try again -- even though the number of rights holders to track down for permissions is a bit dizzying. Many of them are defunct now, I expect.
- Doug,You are excused, sir. I’ve hoped to see Michael Drout’s edition for about ten years now. I imagine Michael has, too.Is there any progress on an edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s poetry with commentary? Such a thing has been spoken of since Peter Jackson was a sunspot on the far horizon.MikeWhoops! That was meant to be a private message. Sorry about that."Let's hope Tolkien's Beowulf will follow."Dreamer! If there is one action of the Tolkien Estate that I really don't understand, it is blocking Drout's work on this. But have you seen any indication that they have reversed course?Doug
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