April has been a rather busy month, and I have been away for much of the first couple of weeks of May, only getting down to work on these transactions on May 15th. All of this is intended to lead up to the point that, if I am to post this before the end of May (and get at least a couple of days of calm before getting started on the next issue), I have to list a lot of the links with little or, more often, no comment. Therefore you will find this issue somewhat shorter and having rather less commentary than usual. Given my normal grumpiness and difficult-to-satisfy standards, I suppose that this is all to the best … and in any case, I hope you’ll forgive me.
The artwork this month is by Jenny Dolfen. Most of it comes from her Patreon page, where it is available to her patrons in higher resolution than I have posted here … just sayin’!
All the usual disclaimers apply about newness, completeness and relevance (or any other implication of responsibility) 🙂
This month it has suited my purposes to sort the contents under the following headlines:
3: Essays and Scholarship
5: Reviews and Book News
7: Tolkienian Artwork
8: Other Stuff
9: Rewarding Discussions
10: In Print
11: Web Sites
12: The Blog Roll
|Nienor on Haudh-en-Elleth
Sketch by Jenny Dolfen
A wonderful sketch of a key scene in the tragic story of the Children of Húrin.
Daniel Helen, Sunday, 12 April 2015, ‘Winners of the Tolkien Society Awards 2015 announced’
Congratulations all! Very well deserved!
Daniel Helen, Sunday, 19 April 2015, ‘Tolkien part of new Bodleian “Marks of Genius” exhibition’
Shaun Gunner, Wednesday, 22 April 2015, ‘Announcement: key Tolkien figure Mike Wilkes has passed away’
Daniel Helen, Thursday, 30 April 2015, ‘Tolkien Estate launches new website’
1 – 4 April 2015, New Orleans, Louisiana, ‘Popular Culture/American Culture Association National Conference’
David Bratman, Friday, 3 April 2015, ‘Tolkien Day’
David Bratman, Sunday, 12 April 2015, ‘Tolkien at the PCA’
10-12 April 2015, ‘12th Annual Tolkien at UVM Conference’
Anna Smol, Tuesday, 7 April 2015, ‘Tolkien at UVM conference April 10-12’
‘Vermont Cynic’, Wednesday, 15 April 2015, ‘Tolkien Fans Turn up Like Hobbits’
13 May 2015, ‘Tolkien Lecture 2015: Lev Grossman’
24 – 27 May 2015, Koszalin University of Technology, Poland, ‘Medieval Fantasy Symposium 2015’
Northeast Tolkien Society, 13 June 2015, Baruch College, New York, ‘New York City Tolkien Conference’
The Tolkien Society, 4 July 2015, Leeds, ‘Tolkien Society Seminar 2015’
Theme: ‘One Hundred Years of Middle-earth’
6 – 9 July 2015, Leeds, ‘International Medieval Congress 2015’
See particularly Dimitra Fimi, Sunday, 8 February 2015, ‘Tolkien, Fantasy and Medievalism at IMC Leeds 2015’
17 – 19 July 2015, Spokane, Washington, USA, ‘Tolkienmoot 2015’
6 – 9 August 2015, The Greisinger Museum, Jenins, Switzerland, ‘Omentielva Enquea’
Hungarian Tolkien Society, 3 – 4 September 2015, Budapest, Hungary, ‘5th International Tolkien Conference in Hungary’
5 – 6 September 2015, Sarehole, Birmingham, ‘Middle Earth Festival 2015’
Formerly known as ‘Middle-earth Weekend’
The Tolkien Society, 10 – 13 September 2015, St Antony’s College, Oxford, ‘ Oxonmoot 2015’
5 – 7 December 2015, ‘Italian Ringers Con 2015’
|It Ends in Flame
by Jenny Dolfen
Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond, Thursday, 2 April 2015, ‘New Addenda and Corrigenda’
Christina Scull and Wayne Hammond have updated the addenda and corrigenda pages of their web-site. This time a lot of new information has become available!
John D. Rateliff, Thursday, 2 April 2015, ‘An Improved Reading (Plot Notes D)’
Apart from the immediate value for our understanding of Tolkien’s plot-notes and, more generally, of his working manners, this also provides a cautionary tale.
Jason Fisher, Wednesday, 8 April 2015, ‘More on Tolkien and the Nobel Prize’
Who did Tolkien nominate for the Nobel Prize in Literature? Find out this and more …
John D. Rateliff, Monday, 13 April 2015, ‘Tolkien and Women: Dorothy Everett’
On Tolkien’s support for women scholars and, by implication, for women’s education.
Bradley Birzer, Wednesday, 11 March 2015, ‘Tolkien’s Hope for the Modern World’
Charming in some ways, but also frustrating in the one-sidedness of its approach to Tolkien. It is one thing to write about Tolkien from a certain perspective, whether the philological, the Norse studies’, classic, or, indeed, the Catholic perspective, as they all provide us with valuable insights, but here I get the impression that other perspectives are not refuted, but are simply ignored, which makes the whole thing appear very skewed, at least in my eyes.
by Jenny Dolfen
John Mullan, Friday, 3 April 2015, ‘The triumph of fantasy fiction’
About the fantasy genre … The article is interesting and tries to summarise, but in the end doesn’t really try to do or say anything new.
Ben ‘Aussierebel’, Saturday, 4 April 2015, ‘Why Corey Olsen harms Tolkien Studies’
I will not address the specific points of criticism either way (at least not at this point), but I do think it is important that we can discuss how to do scholarship on Tolkien – preferably making it possible to give frank, but constructive, criticism without jeopardising the sense of fellowship that exists in Tolkien scholarship.
Michael Martinez, Tuesday, 14 April 2015, ‘Middle-earth: The Thing In Itself’
An intriguing and thought-provoking (in the good sense) post by Michael Martinez. He addresses in part the idea of complexity / simplicity and how these ideas are abused in making highly subjective statements in literary criticism, and in part the syllogistic nature of the concept of the ‘myth of Middle-earth’. If anything, I could have wished that Martinez had taken his two main themes and made a blog post of each.
David Bratman, Wednesday, 15 April 2015, ‘what I’m not doing this weekend’
All I can say is, ‘Well said, Bratman! Thank you!’
John D. Rateliff, Friday, 17 April 2015, ‘A Crackpot vents on Tolkien’
Ben ‘Aussierebel’, Thursday, 23 April 2015, ‘Tolkien, Ishiguro and Genre’
I think Ishiguro’s new book, The Buried Giant, has done much good to make people question their ideas about a ‘fantasy genre’ (I am using scare quotes here to imply that I am not entirely sure that it appropriate to speak of such a thing). Ben’s piece here is a good point in that case.
Harvard Magazine, Wednesday, 15 April 2015, ‘An Oxford Efflorescence’
About a new book, The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams by Philip and Carol Zaleski.
John D. Rateliff, Friday, 24 April 2015, ‘Jo Walton’s Two Thoughts on Tolkien’
A couple of points brought up by Jo Walton in What Makes This Book so Great that John Rateliff found interesting. Personally I don’t know if I think of The Hobbit as ‘mere a ldquo;journyman work”’, but I would certainly say that while it is a good children’s book, it is far from being a masterpiece of children’s literature.
John D. Rateliff, Wednesday, 29 April 2015, ‘I Am Reviewed (in Dutch)’
Rateliff’s own contribution to the Shippey festschrift has been reviewed in Lembas, the newsletter of Unquendor, the Dutch Tolkien Society.
David Bratman, Thursday, 30 April 2015, ‘Tolkien studied’
On Bratman’s contribution, and the completion thereof, to ‘The Year’s Work in Tolkien Studies’ for Tolkien Studies – also this year.
David Kettle, Saturday, 18 April 2015, ‘Interview: Violinist Josef Špacek talks Tolkien’
Not least some very intersting reflections on how such things as ‘Englishness’ can be detected across so different media as the long romance literature and classical music.
Jenny Dolfen, Sunday, 19 April 2015, ‘Aurë entuluva’
Jenny Dolfen, Sunday, 19 April 2015, ‘Finrod Felagund’
by Jenny Dolfen
John D. Rateliff, Wednesday, 1 April 2015, ‘Tolkien Spotting (A. S. Byatt)’
Spotted in the new Pratchett book, A Blink of the Screen, in the foreword by A.S. Byatt.
Ben ‘Aussierebel’, Thursday, 9 April 2015, ‘Picked up by Parmar-kenta’
Admittedly, it is flattering to see the name of my blog in the headline of another 🙂
Otherwise my comments to this are available at the blog itself.
LotR Plaza, ‘Some surprising facts’
A couple of oft-forgotten points of obscure law are touched up …
LotR Plaza, ‘Book of Lost Tales Readthrough?’
An on-going (and at an appropriately quiet pace to allow even busy folk to keep up … almost) read-through discussion of The Book of Lost Tales.
Thomas, Other Minds, Monday, 20 April 2015, ‘Other Minds, Issue 15 published’
Well … print and print, seeing that Other Minds is an on-line magazine published digitally in PDF format, but so is e.g. Beyond Bree and (at least the way I get it) Mythlore, so I think it is OK here. Other Minds magazine has a focus on the story-internal angle and particularly on Middle-earth as a setting for role-playing.
‘Patreon: Jenny Dolfen’
Patreon is a new kind of crowdsourcing site. Here, instead of paying one (large) lump-sum for some future delivery, you pledge yourself for a given amount every month. Jenny Dolfen now only teaches part-time in order to get more time for painting, but this also means that she needs a different source of income, and here Patreon comes in very nicely. So, if you want to contribute to Jenny having more time to do those wonderful paintings we have come to love, you should really consider signing up for a small sum every month – every bit matters, and you get get some wonderful perks as well!
All the paintings that illustrate this month’s transactions are available in higher resolution for Jenny’s patrons …
‘The Tolkien Estate’
The Tolkien Estate has relaunched their website with much educational contents (see news above). Of course, as in all such large projects, there are some minor glitches (some of them to do with using developers that are not native speakers of English, the primary language of Tolkieniana), but overall this is an exciting and promising new site.
These are blogs you really should be following yourself if you’re interested in Tolkien …
Contents from these blogs will only be reported here if there is something that I find particularly interesting, or posts that fit with a monthly theme. However, you will find below links to monthly archives of posts for months where the blog has featured interesting posts with at least some Tolkien connection. In some cases you may find a headline for a post, if I wish to recommend it particularly.
by Jenny Dolfen
Various, The Mythopoeic Society
No new sources in April 2015
For older sources, see http://parmarkenta.blogspot.com/p/sources.html
Being either among the last of the baby boomers or first of the generation X'ers, I have now grown to become a father of four, an active Scouter, a physicist working as test and quality engineer ... and of course an amateur Tolkienist.