or, what Tolkien was doing when you weren’t paying attention.
I’ve been keeping an annotated bibliography of the Inklings in fiction, that is, their appearances as characters in stories by other writers. Many of these novels and stories I’ve read. For some of those I had not, the descriptions were sketchy and uninformed. I decided to correct this and read three of those I could easily get. I put succinct summaries in my annotations, but now I’m going to describe them in more detail here. I read these so you don’t have to, though one I’d recommend anyway. Call that one the good; the others are the bad and the ugly. Let’s start with those and end with the palate-cleanser.
(April &) May 2016
As I explained a month ago, I managed to overwrite the work I had been doing on my April transactions, leaving me with just a few scraps. These, then, form the basis for this month’s work, along with a few other bits and pieces from April, and, of course, what I have come across during May.
So last fall I wrote about TV host Stephen Colbert, his Tolkien trivia mastery, and the pitfalls thereof. Though I came to critique, Colbert’s show persona is clear: nobody bests him at Tolkien trivia.
Today, 18th May, is recognised worldwide as Internation Museum Day which aims to promote museums and educate the public about the challenges museums face. But one of the questions I am most frequently asked is “Why isn’t there a museum to J.R.R. Tolkien?” (more…)
All Nightingale photos (c) 2016 Michael Flowers
When writing my recent piece on Nightingales in Tolkien’s writings, I compiled a list of places in Arda which were, or could have been, associated with the species. This was originally intended as another appendix to the essay, however, as the tone was so different, I decided against including it with the main essay. Despite this, I am including this now as a more light-hearted piece, which I trust will be taken in that spirit, and possibly a point of discussion.
In late-April Nightingales are still returning to southern Britain, so this seems an appropriate time to recall Tolkien’s treatment of this exquisite songster. Tolkien refers to nightingales (mainly in passing) in a surprisingly high number of his works, but I’m not going to refer to them all here. Instead, I list all the titles of his books in which I’ve been able to locate an allusion to this species in the almost obligatory appendix. (I tried to time this blog post to coincide with the arrival of this species in the UK, so apologies for any rushed elements).
In the 18 days leading up to the publication of A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages yesterday, co-editors Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins tweeted sneak previews from the book. Here are just some of the reason why you should read the new critical edition of one of Tolkien’s most important essays.
Oh, what a month! I had a good, long Easter holiday, getting rested up and re-energized, and on Tolkien Reading Day there was less than a handful of Tolkien-related stories that I hadn’t already dealt with, so I thought I was in good time. Then something happened, and what a great week that was. The amount of great stuff that came out over the last week of March was impressive! So if you haven’t caught up yet (and I won’t blame you, if you haven’t), you certainly have something to look forward to.
February was a month where I tried something new for the very first time in my life! Our oldest moved out, leaving us to reorganise the house, which has included setting up a nice office space, where I have been able to gather my Tolkien matters right next to my desk. Being quite satisfied with the set-up, I share a few pictures of my new ‘Troels den’ below.