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Re: [mythsoc] Shelf Esteem

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  • 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 1 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
    • 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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          • 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 5 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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