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Re: [mythsoc] Fw: Shot From the Canon

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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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