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Before the Music of the Ainur and the creation of Arda took place, Ilúvatar and the Ainur resided in the Void; but soon, “the echo of the music went out into the Void, and it was not void” (The Silmarillion, ‘Ainulindalë’).

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Having had some time to read through Tolkien’s Beowulf in the wake of the Tolkien Society’s launch party, I can see where in my unfamiliarity with the book I confused some points. It didn’t help me that Christopher’s comments were sometimes mixed in with his father’s footnotes but I take full responsibility for mixing up names and attributions liberally in the excitement of discussing the book.
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April 2014

This issue of my Tolkien Transactions is already much delayed, and there is, I think, no reason to delay it any further. It does seem to me that I must have missed some things at the start of the month, but though I have tried to look back, it is a feature of my RSS reader that posts that I have marked as unread nonetheless disappear from sight after little more than a month.

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Mae Govannen

Last week my Tolkien travels took me to the far off land of Kalamazoo [see linguistic note at end]* in Michigan to the 49th International Congress on Medieval Studies. (more…)

You never really know when J.R.R. Tolkien was joking in some subtle, philological way or if serendipity guided his choice of words. We have found so many interesting stories and associations behind his words that whole generations of future scholarship may have yet to unveil many of the secret references that influenced Tolkien’s writing.

As someone with only minimal training in etymological research I strive to avoid the more complicated discussions about which words arose when, but I cannot help but fall off the cliff into the seas of speculation from time to time when I come across something interesting.

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Mae Govannen

My travels up and down the Oloremalle this week have been quite busy!  On ‘my day’ job front we are on stage rehearsing the opening two productions of the 2014 Glyndebourne Festival Der Rosenkavalier (Strauss) and Eugene Onegin (Tchaikovsky) with the opening Festival weekend looming in middle May (when yours truly puts on his DJ (tuxedo for Americans!) and spends the summer thanking, and thanking and thanking all of the supporters who make the Glyndebourne Festival possible).  There is nothing like being on a train from Brighton at 1am in your DJ and I-pad!

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