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Re: [mythsoc] Fw: Shot From the Canon

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  • John C. Meyers
    ... Granted, I don t read much literary criticism, let alone Tolkien criticism, but I would like to see this charge expanded and refuted. Any tips on where to
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 7, 2001
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      One thing that I would like to see addressed is this charge:

      > (not to mention, badly written)

      Granted, I don't read much literary criticism, let alone Tolkien
      criticism, but I would like to see this charge expanded and refuted. Any
      tips on where to look?

      John
    • Stolzi@aol.com
      In a message dated 9/7/01 3:24:21 PM Central Daylight Time, ... Shippey, JRR TOLKIEN: WRITER OF THE CENTURY addresses the charge that LOTR is badly-written. An
      Message 2 of 6 , Sep 7, 2001
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        In a message dated 9/7/01 3:24:21 PM Central Daylight Time,
        jcmeyers@... writes:

        >
        > Granted, I don't read much literary criticism, let alone Tolkien
        > criticism, but I would like to see this charge expanded and refuted. Any
        > tips on where to look?

        Shippey, JRR TOLKIEN: WRITER OF THE CENTURY addresses the charge that LOTR is
        badly-written.

        An excellent book overall (winner of the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award, this year,
        for Inklings Scholarship).

        Diamond Proudbrook
      • Janet Croft
        I was checking out a database today and found a dissertation that might answer this question -- it s an overview of Tolkien criticism by Dan Timmons, who was
        Message 3 of 6 , Sep 12, 2001
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          I was checking out a database today and found a dissertation that
          might answer this question -- it's an overview of Tolkien criticism
          by Dan Timmons, who was at Mythcon and interviewed several of us for
          his forthcoming documentary:

          Title: MIRROR ON MIDDLE-EARTH: J. R. R. TOLKIEN AND THE CRITICAL
          PERSPECTIVES (TOLKIEN, J. R. R. )
          Author(s): TIMMONS, DANIEL PATRICK
          Degree: PH.D.
          Year: 1998
          Pages: 00271
          Institution: UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO (CANADA); 0779
          Advisor: Adviser: JOANNA DUTKA
          Source: DAI, 60, no. 01A, (1998): 0143
          Standard No: ISBN: 0-612-35342-7
          Abstract: This dissertation evaluates the commentary on J. R. R.
          Tolkien, which includes the author's self-criticism. Commonly-held
          views of Tolkien reception, such as that there is a large body
          of "hostile" criticism or that relatively few "serious" studies
          exist, are misinformed. Rather than being concerned about the
          presence of negative or adulatory views of Tolkien, scholars should
          acknowledge the potential problems in adopting Tolkien's comments on
          his own works, especially since many of these remarks are slippery or
          possibly disingenuous. Still, as the varied and numerous critical
          perspectives on Tolkien indicate, for sixty years scholars have
          recognized the literary depths and merits of the author's writings.

          The first part of the dissertation examines the elusive literary
          concept "fantasy" and the premises of "Tolkienian fantasy;" this
          analysis sets the context for the discussion of the scholarship on
          Middle-earth. Next, the study evaluates the first major period in
          Tolkien criticism, which starts with reviews of The Hobbit in 1937
          and ends at the publication of the second edition of The Lord of the
          Rings in 1965. In the years following the publication of the Middle-
          earth tales, Tolkien provided commentaries on the creative
          inspirations behind them. The dissertation assesses the initial block
          of Tolkien's self-criticism, such as his article "Tolkien on Tolkien."

          The next major period of commentary comprises studies published
          between 1966 and 1976 (the year before the initial publication of The
          Silmarillion ). The dissertation then examines another significant
          block of Tolkien's self-criticism, which includes the collection of
          his letters. The last chapter provides an assessment of the current
          state of the extensive and diverse commentary on Tolkien.

          Therefore, the customary labels for Tolkien criticism, such
          as "hostile" vs. "laudatory" or "popular" vs. "serious," are more
          misleading than representative. While there may be starkly differing
          views of Tolkien and uncertainty as to whether he is considered
          a "canonical" author, his writings remain among the most widely read
          and consistently admired works of literature of the twentieth century.



          --- In mythsoc@y..., "Michael Martinez" <michael@x> wrote:
          > --- In mythsoc@y..., "Ted Sherman" <tedsherman@h...> wrote:
          > > From the current Chronicle of Higher Education.
          >
          > I know many academics. A lot of them are aware of Tolkien and love
          > him. I don't know of any who fall into the category of anti-
          > Tolkienists that these familiar (and well-respected) names refer to
          > in the generic sense.
          >
          > For once, I'd like to see a roundup article of the other side. We
          > have people like Chris Mooney running around pretending Tolkien is
          > worth beating up on, but why can't the media find the academics who
          > turn their noses up at Tolkien?
          >
          > Can anyone suggest a recent article from the last 4-5 years where
          > several of the anti-Tolkienists are cited?
          >
          > Preferably one online, but I need to find out where Houston hides
          its
          > libraries anyway.
        • Michael Martinez
          ... for ... Very interesting. I suppose that will ignite some hearths. :)
          Message 4 of 6 , Sep 13, 2001
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            --- In mythsoc@y..., "Janet Croft" <jbcroft@o...> wrote:
            > I was checking out a database today and found a dissertation that
            > might answer this question -- it's an overview of Tolkien criticism
            > by Dan Timmons, who was at Mythcon and interviewed several of us
            for
            > his forthcoming documentary:

            Very interesting. I suppose that will ignite some hearths. :)
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