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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…)

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…)

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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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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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…)

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…)