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Tolkien Transactions LXVI

January 2016

Another busy month …
I have said often enough that the two primary criteria for something to make it to these transactions is 1) that I actually see it, and 2) that I find it interesting or relevant or otherwise worthy enough to spend time on sharing it with you.
I am sure that many things that would meet the second criterion never makes the first, but the reverse is also true: I see a lot of stuff that fails to meet the second criterion – this month including, among other things, spurious and foolish claims about that chimney and folly in Birmingham, the possible auditioning of an acclaimed musician (however much I like his music) in connection with the Jackson films (the Beatles’ bid for a The Lord of the Rings film is more interesting in a Tolkienian context), and what appears to be violations of the copyrights of the Tolkien Estate. You will find no trace of any of these below.

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Tolkien Transactions LXV

December 2015

First of all:
Happy New Year!

Now, with that out of the way, it is appropriate to highlight the Tolkien Birthday Toast on the evening of January 3rd (21:00 – or 9 PM – local time). For more information on the Birthday Toast, please refer to the Tolkien Society web-site.

Christmas this year marked the end (hopefully) of a very busy period for me, but fortunately I seem to have been able to catch up at least with my transactions over the holiday period (and still have completed other tasks), making me once again on time with this post. No promises can or will, of course, be made as for next month :-)

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Yes, Virginia, The Hobbit IS Long Enough for Three Movies

Is The Hobbit too long or short for three movies?I am still amazed at the ill logic people resort to when throwing down the gauntlet at Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit” trilogy.  I am on record as trashing the second movie and barely acknowledging the third, so I feel like I have earned my spurs in this charade of film criticism that has dominated many fannish and armchair critic discussions.  But I will summarize my feelings again just so we’re clear on where I stand: I LOVED the first movie, HATED the second one, and prefer the third to the second. (more…)

10 of the best Christmas gift ideas for Tolkien fans

If you rush down to the shops tomorrow morning – or Amazon this evening – you might just able to get some of these by Christmas Day on Friday. Failing that, there’s always some post-Christmas presents to oneself… or perhaps next year! In any case, here is my list of 10 of the best gifts out there, with a little something for everyone! (more…)

Tolkien Transactions LXIV

November 2015

All the usual disclaimers apply about newness, completeness and relevance (or any other implication of responsibility) :-)

These transactions are posted on my blog, Parma-kenta (Enquiry into the books) and on the Tolkien Society website.

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ah, the crafty Tolkien Society is at it again

Remember how we were accused of somehow having rigged all the popular polls that chose The Lord of the Rings as the most popular novel, or even one of the most popular novels, of the last century?

Well, it looks like the crafty Tolkien Society must have suborned 81 distinguished foreign critics choosing the 100 greatest British novels of all time, because there it is, in no. 26, not an undistinguished place.

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Give the gift of Tolkien Society membership this Christmas

As the festive season approaches, some people are looking for Tolkien-inspired gifts to give their friends and families this year (or perhaps buying a little Christmas gift for themselves!) It sometimes comes as a surprise that the Tolkien Society isn’t just a Twitter account and a Facebook group, but a real charity you can join and support just like the National Trust or the Boy Scouts. We even offer gift membership you can give people as a Christmas present.

The Tolkien Society has well over 1,000 members in over 30 different countries, many of whom play a full and active role in the Society. So, here are some of the reasons why you should buy your loved-ones the gift of membership today. (more…)

Taboo Tolkien: The Nordicist Claim on Middle-earth Refuted

I have in this war a private grudge ... against the ruddy little ignoramus Adolf Hitler.I can’t possibly read all the defenses of Tolkien’s works against racism.  Too many people have been drawn into this neverending story of racist bias in The Lord of the Rings.  The accusations of racism resonate strongly with all of us, and I have even read a scholarly paper that attempts to break down the pro and con views into categories or types.  So I apologize to those of you who have raised the anti-Nordicist defense but I blame Google for making it impossible to find such arguments.

Nordicism is one of those words I only rarely stumble across.  I have no sympathies with people who think in terms of “race” and “purity” and other primitive rules of distinction.  I will have to teach myself to use words like Nordic, Nordicism, and Nordicist because these are terms that you can easily find in accusations made against Tolkien, or discussions of the accusations made against him. (more…)

seeking rapport with Colbert

You’ve seen Stephen Colbert on The Late Show criticizing the scientist who named a species of spider after Sméagol? It should have been Gollum, Colbert says, or better yet, how about Shelob? “This is sad,” Colbert concludes. It is, but the problem lies more with him.

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Oxonmoot 2015 in Videos

This year’s Oxonmoot, held 10–13 September at St Antony’s College Oxford, was a great success. If you missed it, or you simply want to relive part of the experience, here are a few videos to whet your appetite.

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