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Shelf Esteem

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  • pxclark@aol.com
    Forwarding the following from the ChesterBelloc message group at Yahoo. The first two items deal with HarperCollins designs on Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 1, 2001
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      Forwarding the following from the ChesterBelloc message group at Yahoo. The
      first two items deal with HarperCollins' designs on Tolkien and C.S. Lewis.

      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ChesterBelloc

      ***HARPER'S BIZARRE
      No Tome Left Unturned


      "How many books make up the Lord of the Rings?" asks Mark Sanderson in the
      new edition of booksonline. Not so fast, he warns:

      "If you thought J.R.R. Tolkien had written a trilogy you should hang your
      head in shame. The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of
      the King each contains two books. Now, to tie in with the forthcoming
      Hollywood film starring Sir Ian McKellen and Cate Blanchett, HarperCollins is
      to publish the books in separate volumes because children, apparently, prefer
      shorter works. Such convenience, however, does not come cheap: the new titles
      will only be available in a seven-book boxed set for 25 pounds, whereas the
      paperback omnibus edition currently costs 14 pounds. Ten pounds is a lot of
      money for the privilege of being able to fling the unreadable appendices (the
      seventh book) straight into the bin."


      ***CROSSING THE LION
      Playing Fast and Lewis

      Not content to muck with "Lord of the Rings," HarperCollins also is preparing
      an extensive promotional blitz for a marquee property the publisher recently
      acquired: C.S. Lewis' "Chronicles of Narnia." The new Atlantic Monthly
      features an article, "In Defense of C.S. Lewis," wherein writer Gregg
      Easterbrook warns that the stakes amount to "a struggle of sorts for the soul
      of children's literature." He heaps appropriate scorn on HarperCollins'
      assurance that "no attempt will be made to correlate the stories to Christian
      imagery/theology." But Mr. Easterbrook frets about other flak from Harper's
      hacks:

      "Toy stores will be inundated with Narnia plush, and HarperCollins will
      commission new volumes for the series. Any parent who has encountered one of
      the odious Winne-the-Pooh movie produced by Disney --- sitcom and
      psychobabble invade the Hundred Acre Wood --- will gasp at the thought of the
      HarperCollins marketing department's deciding it knows better than C.S. Lewis
      did what constitutes 'The Chronicles of Narnia.' Besides, Narnia's world was
      destoyed when its dying world exploded, in the final volume of the
      Chronicles. This would seem to precluede sequels -- but hey, who wants to be
      a stickler?"


      ***MILLAY MIGNON
      The Name in Maine Strays Plainly into Fame


      St. Vincent, patron of vineyardists, was himself a teetotaler. His famous
      namesake Edna St. Vincent Millay was not, although some have suspected darker
      causes than intoxication for her fatal fall down the stairs at Steepletop.
      Miss Millay is sometimes "adopted" as a Catholic author on various lists
      (www.dtabbaa.homestead.com does so on its "Related Links," and Catholic
      Planet magazine includes her in its Pantheon), but she seems not to have
      taken the saint's patronage much to heart. Still, the name -- her family
      called her "Vincent" -- did help lead the poet to patrons of a more material
      sort. That story is retold in the new Atlantic Monthly, under a title that
      characterizes her as "Hustler with a lyric voice." Author Thomas Mallon notes
      that "the life of her uncle Charlie had been saved at St. Vincent's Hospital
      in New York, so Edna wound up with the odd beautifully dactylic name ED-na
      St. VIN-cent Mi-LAY. It would be no small contribution to her public
      success." He goes on to detail how a then-unknown Miss Millay entered poem
      "Renascence" in a contest:

      "Millay actually lost the prize, probably by conducting what [a biographer]
      calls an 'epistolary striptease' with one of the contest's judges, Ferdinand
      Earle, who began by assuming the author of 'Renascence' ('E. Vincent Millay')
      to be a young man and then nearly lost his wife over his correspondence with
      a pretty girl up in Maine. Millay was learning to work both her talent and
      her ticket."


      ***ONE TINTIN SOLDIER
      R.G.'s Pals and Gals

      The Telegraph has treated its readers to some thoughts on Michael Farr's
      "Tintin: the Complete Companion," a loving look at the life and art of George
      "Herge" Remi, whose beloved Tintin comic-strip adventures first appeared in a
      Catholic newspaper in Belgium. (The pen name "Herge" is French for "R.G.," a
      reversal of the artist's initials.) Reviewer James Delingpole indulges in
      some Remi reminiscing of his own:

      "In a career of more than 50 years, Herge produced only 24 Tintin books. Had
      he been less meticulous, he might well have been a lot more prolific, but I
      doubt he would have ended up so widely loved and admired. Picking up a Tintin
      book the other day for the first time in many years, I found myself torn
      between a narrative-driven urge to race the frames as quickly as possible and
      an impulse to linger and wallow amid the lovingly realised visual detail, the
      brilliant evocation of time and space."


      ***LORD OF THE RINKS
      Soul on Ice

      Ken Dryden, former goalie for the Montreal Canadiens, has written a review of
      "Our Life with the Rocket: The Maurice Richard Story" by Roch Carrier. Mr.
      Dryden's essay, in the Globe and Mail, touches on how hockey superstar Rocket
      Richard became a symbol of Catholic Quebec's resistance to the Anglo
      Protestant establishment:

      "[Carrier] offers shiveringly real portraits of the few anglos who penetrated
      [Quebec] village life: Prime Minister MacKenzie King and his role in the
      fight over wartime conscription; Donald Gordon, who in spite of protest and
      petition, as president of the Canadian National Railway, decides to name the
      CNR's new hotel in Montreal, the Queen Elizabeth Hotel ('It would be an
      insult to Her Majesty not to use her name after obtaining her gracious
      permission,' Carrier writes, explaining Gordon's thinking); and Clarence
      Campbell, the patrician, Oxford-trained Rhodes Scholar who as President of
      the NHL -- and headmaster, unable to tolerate Richard's intemperate
      behaviour, suspends him for the final two games of the 1955 Stanley Cup."


      ***THE BABEL BELT
      Language Buriers

      The Washington Post this week published these thoughts from eminent historian
      John Keegan:

      "Knowledge of foreign languages is the best of guides to the structure and
      subtleties of one's own. It is, alas, dying out in the English-speaking
      world, which all foreigners now want to join. The result is that
      English-speaking writers don't write as well as those even of the last
      generation did, while strange varieties of English are taking form outside
      its historic heartland. The absolute certainty of touch that came so
      naturally to Rudyard Kipling and Evelyn Waugh is probably gone forever. I
      deeply regret its disappearance."


      A message group devoted to Catholic authors and literature!
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ChesterBelloc
    • Trudy Shaw
      ... From: pxclark@aol.com To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2001 6:25 AM Subject: [mythsoc] Shelf Esteem ***HARPER S BIZARRE No Tome
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 1, 2001
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: pxclark@...
        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2001 6:25 AM
        Subject: [mythsoc] Shelf Esteem


        ***HARPER'S BIZARRE
        No Tome Left Unturned

        ...HarperCollins is to publish the books in separate volumes because children, apparently, prefer shorter works. ...Ten pounds is a lot of money for the privilege of being able to fling the unreadable appendices (the seventh book) straight into the bin."

        ***CROSSING THE LION
        Playing Fast and Lewis

        Not content to muck with "Lord of the Rings," ...


        ----------------------------------------------------------------

        I've seen at least one example of a Houghton Mifflin boxed set of the separate books, and they were actually quite elegant looking. It was some months ago, but as I remember they had black (or at least dark) covers with the original (I think) Eye/Ring image on the front of each volume--certainly nothing I'd think would be printed especially for children. I wonder if the reviewer's "apparently" means he's guessing or if he checked into the reason the set was being published.

        I certainly don't see publishing LotR divided into the "books" as "mucking with Lord of the Rings." Didn't Tolkien dislike the three-volume division more, or do I recall that incorrectly? Of course, anyone who'd call the appendices "unreadable" and even consider throwing them into the trash is either looking for an argument or simply needs our pity.

        --Trudy



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Wayne G. Hammond
        ... Of course he s guessing -- and with his remark about throwing away the appendices, trying to get a rise out of Tolkien fans. HarperCollins first published
        Message 3 of 8 , Nov 1, 2001
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          Trudy Shaw wrote:

          >> ***HARPER'S BIZARRE
          >> No Tome Left Unturned
          >>
          >> ...HarperCollins is to publish the books in separate volumes
          >> because children, apparently, prefer shorter works.
          >
          >I've seen at least one example of a Houghton Mifflin boxed set
          >of the separate books, and they were actually quite elegant looking.
          >It was some months ago, but as I remember they had black (or at
          >least dark) covers with the original (I think) Eye/Ring image on the
          >front of each volume--certainly nothing I'd think would be printed
          >especially for children. I wonder if the reviewer's "apparently"
          >means he's guessing or if he checked into the reason the set was
          >being published.

          Of course he's guessing -- and with his remark about throwing away the
          appendices, trying to get a rise out of Tolkien fans. HarperCollins first
          published LR in seven volumes in 1999, as the "Millennium Edition". The new
          paperback set, under the Collins imprint (which is aimed at young readers),
          is merely its latest incarnation. The division into seven was, and is, no
          more than a publishing gimmick, though at least one that has some basis in
          the structure and history of LR. There's also a new Collins edition in
          three volumes as well.

          Wayne Hammond
        • Ted Sherman
          I believe the 7 volume slipcased edition was called/marketed as the Millenium edition. Cost $60-70 in the states. Ted ... Dr. Theodore J. Sherman, Editor
          Message 4 of 8 , Nov 1, 2001
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            I believe the 7 volume slipcased edition was called/marketed as the
            "Millenium edition." Cost $60-70 in the states.

            Ted
            ------------------------------
            Dr. Theodore J. Sherman, Editor
            Mythlore: A Journal of J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, Charles Williams, and
            Mythopoeic Literature
            Associate Professor of English
            Box X041, Middle Tennessee State University
            Murfreesboro, TN 37132
            615 898-5836 Office
            615 898-5098 FAX
            tsherman@... Office
            tedsherman@... Home

            http://www.politicsandprotest.org

            ----- Original Message -----
            From: "Trudy Shaw" <tgshaw@...>
            To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
            Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2001 6:06 PM
            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Shelf Esteem


            >
            > ----- Original Message -----
            > From: pxclark@...
            > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            > Sent: Thursday, November 01, 2001 6:25 AM
            > Subject: [mythsoc] Shelf Esteem
            >
            >
            > ***HARPER'S BIZARRE
            > No Tome Left Unturned
            >
            > ...HarperCollins is to publish the books in separate volumes because
            children, apparently, prefer shorter works. ...Ten pounds is a lot of money
            for the privilege of being able to fling the unreadable appendices (the
            seventh book) straight into the bin."
            >
            > ***CROSSING THE LION
            > Playing Fast and Lewis
            >
            > Not content to muck with "Lord of the Rings," ...
            >
            >
            > ----------------------------------------------------------------
            >
            > I've seen at least one example of a Houghton Mifflin boxed set of the
            separate books, and they were actually quite elegant looking. It was some
            months ago, but as I remember they had black (or at least dark) covers with
            the original (I think) Eye/Ring image on the front of each volume--certainly
            nothing I'd think would be printed especially for children. I wonder if the
            reviewer's "apparently" means he's guessing or if he checked into the reason
            the set was being published.
            >
            > I certainly don't see publishing LotR divided into the "books" as
            "mucking with Lord of the Rings." Didn't Tolkien dislike the three-volume
            division more, or do I recall that incorrectly? Of course, anyone who'd
            call the appendices "unreadable" and even consider throwing them into the
            trash is either looking for an argument or simply needs our pity.
            >
            > --Trudy
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
            >
            >
            > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
            >
            > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
            >
            >
          • David S. Bratman
            ... The book is _not_ of course a trilogy . That and the titles of the volumes was a fudge thought necessary for publication, owing to length and cost.
            Message 5 of 8 , Nov 2, 2001
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              At 06:06 PM 11/1/2001 , Trudy wrote:

              > I certainly don't see publishing LotR divided into the "books" as "mucking
              >with Lord of the Rings." Didn't Tolkien dislike the three-volume division
              >more, or do I recall that incorrectly?

              "The book is _not_ of course a 'trilogy'. That and the titles of the
              volumes was a fudge thought necessary for publication, owing to length and
              cost. There is no real division into 3, nor is any one part intelligible
              alone. The story was conceived and written as a whole and the only natural
              divisions are the 'books' I-VI (which originally had titles)."

              -- J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 165

              >Of course, anyone who'd call the
              >appendices "unreadable" and even consider throwing them into the trash is
              >either looking for an argument or simply needs our pity.

              "Unreadable" is factually incorrect. They have been read. Especially by
              me, who found them the best part.

              Of course, there's Harold Bloom, who claims the entire book is unreadable,
              based on the evidence of one paragraph in Book V.

              David Bratman
            • pxclark@aol.com
              ... More than what?
              Message 6 of 8 , Nov 28, 2001
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                --- In mythsoc@y..., "Trudy Shaw" <tgshaw@e...> wrote:
                >
                >Didn't Tolkien dislike the three-volume division more, or do I
                >recall that incorrectly?>>


                More than what?
              • Trudy Shaw
                ... From: pxclark@aol.com To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2001 3:34 AM Subject: [mythsoc] Re: Shelf Esteem ... More than what? More
                Message 7 of 8 , Nov 28, 2001
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                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: pxclark@...
                  To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2001 3:34 AM
                  Subject: [mythsoc] Re: Shelf Esteem


                  --- In mythsoc@y..., "Trudy Shaw" <tgshaw@e...> wrote:
                  >
                  >Didn't Tolkien dislike the three-volume division more, or do I
                  >recall that incorrectly?>>


                  More than what?


                  More than dividing LotR into six volumes(one volume per book). IIRC, a critic called the newly released set in this format "mucking around with Tolkien." [Is this a memory test? :)] -- Trudy



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                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • David S. Bratman
                  ... One physical volume per book was not an option presented to him. Had it been, he (and his publishers) could well have disliked it for making it just too
                  Message 8 of 8 , Nov 28, 2001
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                    At 04:00 AM 11/28/2001 , Trudy wrote:

                    > Didn't Tolkien dislike the three-volume division more, or do I
                    > recall that incorrectly?>>
                    > ...
                    > More than dividing LotR into six volumes(one volume per book).

                    One physical volume per book was not an option presented to him. Had it
                    been, he (and his publishers) could well have disliked it for making it
                    just too many volumes, and too much of a hassle to buy if published
                    separately at different times, as the original 3-volume edition was. I
                    view the new 7-volume edition as a gimmick, if a well-produced one, and
                    note that I've seen it offered only as a set.

                    Tolkien's dislike of the 3-volume division was based on concern that people
                    would think he'd written 3 books instead of one, as well as on the
                    artificial association of the constituent books - in particular, Books 3
                    and 4 seemed disassociated to him.

                    What would you think of a 2-volume edition: Books 1-3 and 4-6?

                    David Bratman
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