Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Tolkien Transactions XLVII

March 2014

It will surely not come as a surprise to any regular reader of these transactions that the last five months have been rather busy for me — editions have been delayed and shortened. This has in part been due to my starting in a new job in September, being busy getting to know my responsibilities and learn to perform them well, and partly because of my being extra busy in Scouting. Now, however, things do seem to be lightening (and just in the right time for some highly welcome and interesting Tolkien publications!), so now I just hope that this will last.

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

These transactions are posted to the usenet newsgroups rec.arts.books.tolkien, alt.fan.tolkien, and alt.books.inklings, and the usenet version can be accessed at http://www.webuse.net/frameset.php?su=newsgroup.php&ng=rec.arts.books.tolkien
These transactions are also posted on my blog, Parma-kenta (Enquiry into the books): http://parmarkenta.blogspot.com
and on LotR Fanatics Plaza in the books forum: http://www.lotrplaza.com/forumdisplay.php?14-The-Books

This month it has suited my purposes to sort the contents under the following headlines:
1: Beowulf
2: Tolkien Reading Day
3: News
4: Essays and Scholarship
5: Commentary
6: Reviews and Book News
7: Tolkienian Artwork
8: Other Stuff
9: Rewarding Discussions
10: Web Sites
11: The Blog Roll
12: Sources
All images are used with the permission from the artist.
Joe Gilronan
Three is Company (A Starry Night In The Shire)

= = = = Beowulf = = = =

The big thing this month was of course the 19th March announcement from Harper-Collins and the Tolkien Estate that they will publish Tolkien's translation of Beowulf along with commentary and Tolkien's associated story, Sellic Spell — to be released on May 22nd.
‘Mu-um, pleeease! Is it May yet?’

Let us start with the best, shall we?
JGa, The Guardian, Saturday, 22 March 2014, ‘JRR Tolkien's translation of Beowulf: bring on the monsters’
John Garth discusses the setting and what we may expect from Tolkien's work — going a long way towards answering the question of why we should bother about this book. Two points that I found particularly interesting was about the monsters (which is based on Tolkien's famous lecture-essay on Beowulf) and about Verlyn Flieger's view on Beowulf as representing the darker, dystopic, side of Tolkien (also represented by Galadriel's statement about ‘fighting the long defeat’).

User: ‘Lord of the Rings’, Sunday, 23 March 2014, ‘Sellic Spell’
User ‘Lord of the Rings’ explains what is known about Tolkien's story Sellic Spell, which will be published in the Beowulf volume, and includes information about the philological context in which Tolkien was writing.

MD, Thursday, 27 March 2014, ‘Tolkien's Beowulf: The Real Story’
It is a pity that a scholar such as Michael Drout has to go out of his way to set things straight because journalists and others start repeating errors that had been thought sorted out years ago, but there you are. So, before reading a lot of mistakes about professor Drouts work on an edition of Tolkien's translation of Beowulf, you should read what he has to say himself.

A number of Tolkienists have, of course, posted comments about the upcoming volume with varying level of detail. I list them here with no further explanation on comments:

MB, Wednesday, 19 March 2014, "Finally: Tolkien's translation of ‘Beowulf’ to be published on May 22"

JGa, Wednesday, 19 March 2014, ‘Tolkien's Beowulf translation and Sellic Spell to be published’

AS, Wednesday, 19 March 2014, ‘What a day for Tolkien news!’
No rules without exceptions ... notice that Anna Smol also includes the news about a new on-line peer-reviewed scholarly journal about Tolkien.

PC, Wednesday, 19 March 2014, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien's Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary will be published world-wide on 22nd May 2014’

JDR, Wednesday, 19 March 2014, ‘Tolkien's BEOWULF’

JDR, Friday, 21 March 2014, ‘SELLIC SPELL’

JDR, Friday, 21 March 2014, ‘Tolkien's Beowulf postscript’

As far as I have been able to find, the news first broke on Wednesday 19 March in The Guardian and The Telegraph:
Alison Flood, Wednesday, 19 March 2014, ‘JRR Tolkien translation of Beowulf to be published after 90-year wait’

Anita Singh, Wednesday, 19 March 2014, ‘Tolkien translation of Beowulf to be published for first time’

And then the storm hit ...
(The following stories do try to add something, though not always successfully, but at least they try ...)

Nick Clark, The Independent, Wednesday, 19 March 2014, ‘JRR Tolkien's translation of Beowulf to be published after 88 years’

Lydia Smith, International Business Times, Thursday, 20 March 2014, ‘JRR Tolkien's Translation of Beowulf to be Published After 88 Year Wait’

Adela Talbot, Western News, Thursday, 27 March 2014, ‘Tolkien translation of Beowulf adds little - beyond cash’
It is a pity that Adela Talbot would choose to further her negative commentary with so many factual mistakes that it has greatly undermined the point, she appears to be trying to make, and also reflects negatively on her cited source, Jane Toswell, though we must remember that quotation marks in the hands of a journalist doesn't necessarily mean that the person actually said that. This has also spurred some interesting discussion of what scholarly value this publication will have, and the general consensus seems to be that it will indeed have great value also for research and scholarship in Old English. See also under discussions.

To give a further idea of how much has been said (in English alone) about the upcoming release, I have collected links to additional pieces in varioius news-outlets and blogs. None of these really add anything new to our knowledge that hasn't been discussed in the above, but are intended only to give an impression of the interest (these links are given without shortened forms).

19th March

20th March

21st March

22nd March

23rd March

= = = = Tolkien Reading Day = = = =

I had an absolutely magic Tolkien Reading Day! Bri (Bree), the Copenhagen Tolkien Society, had organised an event in a Copenhagen shop selling equipment for Live-action Role-playing (Faraos Cigarer — they also have nearby shops for comic books and table-top role-playing games). With a break in the middle I read from The Hobbit for two hours, and besides my companions from Bri (who didn't have much of a choice) five people, a father with a child, and a mother with two children, chose to stay for the whole reading. After the reading the mother told us that she had at first thought me a professional actor, which I took as very high praise (though surely not deserved it was nice anyway). I find that reading a good story to an attentive audience adds something extra to the enchantment of the story.

MB, Thursday, 6 March 2014, ‘Tolkien Reading 2014 — Event calendar, worldwide’
While it would be foolish of anyone to lay claim to exhaustiveness, I am sure that Marcel's calendar is the one that comes closest ...
MB, Friday, 21 March 2014, ‘A map and a calendar: Tolkien Reading Day 2014’
And Marcel followed up with a new version that included a map ...

The My Middle-earth site set up for Tolkien Reading Day:

User ‘badgaladriel’, The Grey Havens Group, Sunday, 2 March 2014, ‘TOLKIEN READING DAY’

Jean Lotus, Tuesday, 18 March 2014, ‘Middle Earth at the comic book store Tuesday’

EJ, Tuesday, 25 March 2014, ‘15 Tolkien quotes about life for Tolkien Reading Day 2014’
Chosen from more sources than the usual two or three, and with citations including book and chapter, this is how I like to see my selections of Tolkien quotations for any occasion — tack, Emil!

Zoe Mintz, International Business Times, Tuesday, 25 March 2014, ‘Tolkien Reading Day 2014: 25 Inspirational Quotes From The Books Of J. R. R. Tolkien’
Well, from The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, actually, but at least the quotations are both correct and with source, which puts them miles above the average thing you see on the 'net ...

Brigid Brown, BBC America, Tuesday, 25 March 2014, ‘Tolkien Reading Day 2014’

Graeme McMillan, Wired, Tuesday, 25 March 2014, ‘Happy Tolkien Reading Day: If You've Never Read Lord of the Rings, Today's the Day to Start’

User ‘Demosthenes’, Tuesday, 25 March 2014, ‘Today is Tolkien Reading Day. Which Tolkien book did you pull open?’

Wes Venteicher, Chicago Tribune, Thursday, 27 March 2014, ‘Devotees celebrate Tolkien reading day at Forest Park comic shop’

Sean Kirst, Friday, 28 March 2014, ‘Open invitation to our annual Tolkien Reading Day: Saturday, 11 a.m., DeWitt Community Library’
Jef Murray

Laura Amann, Oak Leaves, Monday, 31 March 2014, ‘Tolkien parody night raises funds for Opportunity Knocks’

= = = = News = = = =

Hannah Hiles, Birmingham Post, Monday, 3 March 2014, ‘Funding to expand Tolkien's favourite nature spot’
Funding has been found to do something for Moseley Bog and Joy's Wood, where Tolkien roamed as a kid in Sarehole. Hopefully this will mean that also future generations of Tolkien enthusiasts will be able to visit this tract of land.

Mythgard Institute, Friday, 14 March 2014, ‘The Lord of the Rings’
A Mythgard Institute course titled ‘The Lord of the Rings: A Cultural Studies and Audience Reception Approach’ to be taught by Robin Anne Reid.

Ethan Gilsdorf, Boing-boing, Saturday, 22 March 2014, ‘Lost Bakshi Lord of the Rings footage found’
As far as I know, Ralph Bakshi was the first to successfully adapt a part of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings for the cinema, and his adaptation is as much worth knowing as any other.

EJ, Sunday, 23 March 2014, ‘9 things you didn't know related to Tolkien's works’
The URL suggests that Emil Johansson initially included a qualification in the title — things we maybe didn't know. He did succeed in finding one item I didn't know (which, given the way I have trawled most Tolkien-related news-stories for the past four years, is probably attesting to the thoroughness of Emil's research) — I hadn't heard of that Chinese Hobbit-based Harry Potter sequel.

Tom Peacock, Tuesday, 25 March 2014, ‘From Beowulf to Gandalf: a new approach to Old English’
While I know it is quite common to take up some of his Old English and other medieval sources of inspiration when teaching Tolkien, I cannot recall having heard before of a professor taking to Tolkien as a means of mediating the Old English subject of a course on Old English. Interesting take on it.

Christina Sterbenz, Business Insider, Wednesday, 26 March 2014, ‘Here's The Epic Real-Life Inspiration For Tolkien's 'Lord Of The Rings'’
The headline promises a bit more than is kept, but there is a photo montage that includes some relevant and interesting pictures both from Sarehole and from WWI.

Shaun Gunner, TS, Friday, 28 March 2014, ‘Welcome to our new website!’
A welcome and an introduction to the new Tolkien Society web-site by TS chairman, Shaun Gunner. It's a really nice site — do take a look!

= = = = Essays and Scholarship = = = =

As usual, I don't think you need me to point out the many intriguing headlines on old Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian culture, so I will just point out ones that have stuck out more than usual for me:
‘Enter the Dragon: Legendary Saga Courage and the Birth of the Hero’ (9 Mar) — Starting out by quoting the Völsungasaga is certainly a good way to get my attention, and discussing directly the relationship of Sigurdr, Regin and Fafnír should immediately recall to us Tolkien's assessment that ‘the world that contained even the imagination of Fàfnir was richer and more beautiful, at whatever cost of peril.’
‘All the King's Men: Icelandic Skalds at Scandinavian Court’ (10 Mar) — I am reminded not just of Icelandic Skalds, but of the Anglo-Saxon skald in Tolkien's Notion Club Papers ...
‘Mordred: Treachery, Transference, and Border Pressure in British Arthurian Romance’ (12 Mar) — I haven't read this thesis, but of course it is before the publication of Tolkien's The Fall of Arthur so it cannot take that into account, though it touches on topics that are also present in Tolkien's treatment.
‘http://www.medievalists.net/2014/03/17/middle-ages-mean-much-us-today-tomorrow/’ (18 Mar) — the answer, as you may suspect, is not just ‘because it helps us understand the background of Tolkien's work a little better’, though of course Albrecht Classen's answer doesn't quite have the imperative force of mine :-)
‘What we now know about the Staffordshire Hoard’ (19 Mar) — about this fantastic Anglo-Saxon hoard, which is called the archaeological mirror of Beowulf ...
‘The Process of State-Formation in Medieval Iceland’ (22 Mar) — just because.

JGa, Wednesday, 5 March 2014, ‘Tolkien at fifteen, a warrior-to-be’
Based on the recent surfacing of a picture of the King Edward's School Cadet Corps (later known as the Officer Training Corps) in which Tolkien was a corporal. The picture is from 4 April 1907 and shows a young Tolkien in his cadet uniform. John Garth explains the context of the picture, and puts it in perspective by discussing the young boys at the school as they emerged for him from the pages of the school chronicle and other sources ... and not least by discussing the fate of this generation less than a decade after this picture was taken. If you allow yourself to stop and think, a picture and a few words in school chronicle can be a powerful spell.

= = = = Commentary = = = =

Donald T. Williams, Touchstone, November/December issue 2013, ‘The World of the Rings’
An interesting take on one of the significant differences between Tolkien's story and Jackson's — and certainly some of the explanation of why people such as myself feel that the latter feels wrong and trivial in comparison.

MB, Friday, 7 March 2014, ‘Tolkien, Anglo-Saxon England and the Viking exhibition at the British Museum’
Unless Marcel has access to insider sources, this (and his February 28 post about Beowulf in Old English) must be a nice bit of serendipidity as it ties in very well with the later news about the upcoming publication of Tolkien's translation of Beowulf. I went to see the ‘Vikings’ exhibition last summer in Copenhagen, and it really is very nice: if it comes to a place near you at some point in the coming years, I can recommend taking the time to see it.
See also the blog from the British Museum:
Gareth Williams, British Museum, Friday, 7 March 2014, ‘The Vikings are here ...’

Lynn Forest-Hill, Saturday, 8 March 2014, ‘First Saturday, March’
Discussion of the last bits of The Fall of Arthur ...

Albert Mohler, Tuesday, 11 March 2014, ‘From Father to Son — J.R.R. Tolkien on Sex’
Based mostly on letter no. 43 from The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (to Michael Tolkien, 6-8 March 1941). The context of this letter seems quite special, and Tolkien is saying things here that he contradicts elsewhere, so I would take this letter with more than a single grain of salt. Mr Mohler, however, seems to take the letter at face value, making his reading fairly straight-forward, but also not particularly interesting.

BC, Sunday, 23 March 2014, ‘Is it immature to regard Tolkien as a great writer?’
Well, of course it is not immature to regard Tolkien as a great writer — rather the opposite, I would say. On the other hand, it may be bit immature to insist on the existence of one single ‘greatest writer in the world’ in ‘the strict sense’ of that term.

Philip Kosloski, Wednesday, 26 March 2014, ‘Is There Occult Magic In The Lord of the Rings?’
While I do not particulary agree with the specific approach, there is nonetheless an interesting underlying question of how to convince concerned people that fantastic fiction, despite featuring magic, does not promote occult practices in the Primary World. We can shake our heads and call them nutcases, but some of these are keeping their children from some of the best literature available for completely fallacious reasons ...

Sue Brunning, British Museum, Wednesday, 26 March 2014, ‘Sutton Hoo, treasure hunters and a lucky escape’
Just because the Sutton Hoo treasure is fascinating and is often mentioned together with Beowulf of curent Tolkien topicality.

= = = = Reviews and Book News = = = =

Journal of Tolkien Research
Had it not been for the more or less simultaneous announcement of the publication of Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary, I am sure that this exciting bit of news would have gathered quite a lot more interest in the Tolkien community. It is a pity that these two things should co-incide, but such is sometimes how things go. I hope this can help spur interest, and once we start seeing articles from this journal, I am sure that much more will be made of it.

PC, Wednesday, 5 March 2014, ‘The Ideal of Kingship in the Writings of Charles Williams, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien by Christopher Scarf’
A review of Scarf's book from June 2013. The idea of a comparative study of kingship in these three Inklings authors, looking at the topic from literary, and historical as well as from a religious point of view seems intriguing.

PC, Wednesday, 5 March 2014, ‘Middle-Earth in Magic Mirror Maps... of the Wilderland in Wales... of the Shire in England by Steve Ponty’
A preview of a book that seems to take a cartographic look at Tolkien's maps. I must admit that I remain unconvinced by the descriptions here — it will take more to persuade me that this is more than another poorly researched attempt at straw-grasping source-hunting.

JF, Sunday, 9 March 2014, ‘New Tolkien collection — and a new publication credit’
Half the story of Jason Fisher's own involvement with the two volumes of the French Tolkien, le façonnement d’un monde (vol. 1 about botany and astronomy, vol. 2 about astronomy and geography), and also in part a review of particularly the latest which is newly published. French is, unfortunately, a language that is beyond me (and likely to remain so), so I will only have access to that which appears also in English.
See also PC, Sunday, 9 March 2014, ‘Tolkien, le façonnement d'un monde - vol. 2, Astronomie & Géographie’
Which is more of a review, commenting on, I think, all the contents of this volume.

MB, Mythprint, Friday, 14 March 2014, ‘J.R.R Tolkien: The True Lord of the Rings’
A review by Marcel Aubron-Bülles of a graphical biography of Tolkien, J.R.R Tolkien - The True Lord of the Rings. Given the brilliant biographical works by Carpenter and Garth and, for the more advanced students, Scull & Hammond, I think this comic-book approach is at best of value to young people whose interest for J.R.R. Tolkien's works are only just branching out into an interest also in Tolkien as a person.

JDR, Saturday, 15 March 2014, ‘Shippey Lectures’
About an audio-book with lectures by Tom Shippey on Heroes and Legends: The Most Influential Characters of Literature, which starts out with a lecture on Frodo Baggins. Given Shippey's fantastic ability to reach out to his audience, this is probably well worth the money.

Oloris Publishing, Thursday, 20 March 2014, "Pre-release Excerpt from Dr. Higgens' ‘Anglo-Saxon Community in J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Lord of the Rings'"’
See also the release notice below (25 March).

AS, Monday, 24 March 2014, ‘Dictionnaire Tolkien, ed. Ferré’
Anna Smol's review of Dictionnaire Tolkien (edited by Vincent Ferré). As with the books discussed by Jason Fisher above, I will have to hope that some of this will eventually be translated into English and made available to the wider Tolkien community (a lot of very excellent stuff is coming out in other languages — German, Spanish, French etc. — but English is, I think, likely to remain the primary language of Tolkien research).

Oliris Publishing, Tuesday, 25 March 2014, "Announcing the Release of ‘Anglo-Saxon Community in J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Lord of the Rings'’ by Dr. Deborah A. Higgens"
Announcing the release of this book. The book has of course been underway for quite a while, and so the timing with respect to the news of the release of Tolkien's Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary can only be said to be a stroke of luck — hopefully that bodes good for Oliris Publishing.

PC, Wednesday, 26 March 2014, ‘Tolkien Calendar 2015 features artwork from artist Mary Fairburn from The Lord of the Rings’
I do not normally buy the calendars (preferring art-books or prints if I want to buy Tolkien-related art), but this is darned tempting ...

PC, Thursday, 27 March 2014, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings 60th Anniversary Edition will be released in June’
About the sixtieth anniversay edition of The Lord of the Rings, which will be released in June. Personally I am hoping for a later hard-cover edition only with Tolkien's own illustrations and some well-produced maps, as I am not particularly fond of having other illustrations in my Hobbit and LotR editions (it's an idiosyncratic quirk — I like the illustrations, but I don't want them in the books ...)
See also
TS, Friday, 28 March 2014, ‘60th Anniversary Edition of The Lord of the Rings’

Kris Swank, Mythgard Institute, Thursday, 27 March 2014, ‘New CFPs — Tolkien, Whedon & Medievalism’
Calls for papers for the new Journal of Tolkien Research (see above), and for two conferences (not particularly Tolkien-related).

MB, Thursday, 27 March 2014, ‘Call for Papers: Overlooked Aspects of Middle-earth’
A call for papers issued by the Dutch Tolkien Society, Unquendor, for their Lembas Extra journal.

Wiley, Ultimo March 2014, ‘A Companion to J. R. R. Tolkien’
The publisher's page for this upcoming (May 2014) book. I hope, however, that it will become available at a somewhat lower price, as the price quoted at the Wiley site seems rather steep. Note that the list of contents, the index and chapter 1 are all available as pdf files from this page.

H&S, Monday, 31 March 2014, ‘Tolkien Notes 11’
An update on various Tolkien projects, additional information on the Beowulf and the 60th anniversary edition of LotR, a review of The Forest and the Hill and other notes of Tolkien interest. As usual these notes are densely packed with very interesting information.

= = = = Tolkienian Artwork = = = =

JM, Monday, 3 March 2014, ‘Narya’
Gandalf with Narya on his finger

Jef Murray
Meeting Bilbo
JM, Monday, 3 March 2014, ‘Meeting Bilbo’
Gandalf meeting a very young Bilbo who has crawled up a tree. ‘Not the Gandalf who was responsible for so many quiet lads and lasses going off into the Blue for mad adventures? Anything from climbing trees to visiting elves—or sailing in ships, sailing to other shores!’ Oh, yes, Bilbo. That Gandalf! Brilliant sketch by Jef Murray!

Sergiu, Tuesday, 4 March 2014, ‘Misty Mountains’
I don't know how it's made, but the title is apt, and I like it!

JGi, Monday, 17 March 2014, ‘Three is Company (A Starry Night In The Shire)’
The title says it quite well — the three hobbits are only just setting out from Bag End in this painting by joe Gilronan.

Graeme, Monday, 24 March 2014, ‘Escape to the eyrie’
Bilbo hanging on to Dori's ankles in the Eagle-assisted escape from the wolves and goblins in The Hobbit. See also the later image ‘Still escaping’ (image_id=6228 from the 25th).

JM, Monday, 24 March 2014, ‘Jef Murray Studio Tour’
A video tour of Jef Murray's studio, guided by the artist himself. The place is very nice, but Jef's explanations are, to me, at least, even more interesting.

= = = = Other Stuff = = = =

Corinne Keer, Tuesday, 18 February 2014, ‘The British Strike Again! Heros for Our Time: Frodo Baggins and Harry Potter’
A report from a lecture by Tom Shippey titled ‘Heroes for Our Time: Frodo Baggins and Harry Potter’.

Thomas Morwinsky, Other Minds, Sunday, 9 March 2014, ‘Other Minds, Issue 14 published!’
Other Minds is an on-line magazine focusing on Role Playing in Tolkien's Middle-earth.

Noah Berlatsky, Salon, Monday, 10 March 2014, ‘10 songs Tolkien fans will love’
I don't know why I should love these song, but then I prefer not to call myself a ‘fan’, so perhaps the headline doesn't apply to me ... The Tolkien references in these songs are generally trivial and uninteresting — seeming more a space for some artists to say ‘look, I read books, too’ than any genuine response to Tolkien's work. Though my taste has since mellowed, I did listen to a lot of punk-rock and heavy metal in my youth, but I still fail to see what in Tolkien's works that would inspire that kind of reaction. Not that I think that the Sally Oldfield song is much better (as Berlatsky asks, ‘Is “Three rings for the elven kings,” really supposed to sound quite so cheery?’). Of the oeuvre on offer, the Oldfield, the Sangster, and the Rahman seem to me reasonable artistic responses to Tolkien's work.
That leaves the two songs that set music and tune to Tolkienian lyrics. The Walking Song from The Hobbit is not exactly the same as the one from LotR, but it is close, and, in my opinion, more successful than both The Tolkien Ensemble (usually my favourite band for setting Tolkien's lyrics to music) and Donald Swann, and almost as successful as Shore's tune to the song for the New Line Cinema films. The last one, setting the Ring-verse to music, I am in at least two (and probably more) minds about.

EJ, Thursday, 20 March 2014, ‘The Perks of a Geeky Project’
A very personal post by Emil Johansson reflecting over his own motivation for his continued work on his LotRProject web-site. I can certainly recognise a lot of what he says, in case you were wondering what has kept me posting monthly summaries of Tolkien-related activity on the internet (mostly) for nearly four years. For my own part, I would want to add a deep yearning to learn — to increase my knowledge and understanding and to share that simply for the joy of shared knowledge in and of itself (I would, however, not be surprised if Emil is also affected by this).

MythCon, Friday, 28 March 2014, ‘Mythcon 45 Room & Board Now Available’
For those attending MythCon 45 ...

= = = = Rewarding Discussions = = = =

Mythsoc, Yahoo group: ‘Fwd: Tolkien's 1926 Translation of Beowulf To Be Published in M...’

With the new Yahoo groups interface they seem to have ditched the threaded view (a great pity), and I do not know if you can see the messages if you are not a member of the list ... But still, the discussion is certainly worth-while. Around post 50, I ask to the academic / scholarly interest in the publication of Tolkien's Beowulf translation (with commentary and Sellic Spell), and there are some very good answers to that.

= = = = Web Sites = = = =

Tolkien's Beowulf
The official home page for the book ...

The Journal of Tolkien Research
The site for the new peer-reviewed on-line journal – there you can also find how to submit articles for the journal.

The Tolkien Society
The Tolkien Society has launched its new web-site – very smart and with a nice RSS feed to keep up with new stuff on the site.

A fascinating new on-line map of Middle-earth ready for exploration.

= = = = The Blog Roll = = = =

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, but I will here note the number of Tolkien-related posts in the month covered by these transactions (while the number of posts with a vaguer relation — e.g. by being about other Inklings — are given in parentheses).

Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond (S&H), ‘Too Many Books and Never Enough’
A single Tolkien-related post in March 2014 (see above), and one post about the garden waiting for spring.

Jason Fisher (JF) — ‘Lingwë — Musings of a Fish’
1 Tolkien-related posts in March 2014 (see above).

Pieter Collier (PC), ‘The Tolkien Library’
9 Tolkien-related posts in March 2014. Besides the 6 mentioned above, there is an update from the Tolkien Library shop (detailing items for sale), an extra post on Tolkien's Beowulf and one by a guest-writer with inspirational quotations, some of which are by J.R.R. Tolkien.

Douglas A. Anderson (DAA), ‘Tolkien and Fantasy’
No posts in March 2014

John D. Rateliff (JDR) — ‘Sacnoth's Scriptorium’
4 (+1) Tolkien-related posts in March 2014, the four listed above, and the last a mere allusion to The Brief History of the Hobbit (‘cutting a 400,000 word book by about 40%’). In addition there are a number of posts on other writers of fantastic fiction, Pratchett, Lovecraft, Grahame, Dunsany etc.

Marcel Aubron-Bülles (MB), ‘The Tolkienist’
7 (+3) Tolkien-related posts in March 2014. In addition to those mentioned above, there is a post about an attempt at marketing slogans based (mostly) on Tolkien, a post about a film-promo using a picture from the real Middle-earth (the English Midlands), a Jackson-inspired wedding cake, a post about first edition Hobbits coming up for auction (for those with some thousand quid to spare ...), and a post on Middle-earth in the English Midlands, the Midlands landscape as a source of inspiration for Tolkien.

David Bratman (DB), ‘Kalimac’
and the old home:
No Tolkien-related posts in March 2014.

Jenny Dolfen (JD), ‘Jenny's Sketchbook’
No Tolkien-related paintings in March 2014

Holly Rodgers (HR), ‘Teaching Tolkien’
No posts in March 2014

Anna Smol (AS), ‘A Single Leaf’
1 Tolkien-related posts in March 2014, for which see above.

Various, The Mythopoeic Society
1 (+1) Tolkien-related posts in March 2014 — a review and the Mythcon 45 announcement. See both above.

Morgan Thomsen (MT), ‘Mythoi’
No posts in March 2014

Emil Johansson (EJ), ‘LotR Project Blog’
2 (+1) Tolkien-related posts in March 2014. All are listed above.

Michael Martinez (MM), ‘Middle-earth’
No posts in March 2014

Bruce Charlton (BC), ‘Tolkien's The Notion Club Papers’
3 Tolkien-related posts in March 2014. Beyond the one listed above, there is a list of seven books about Tolkien that Charlton does not recommend. I suppose that it is fair enough to mention that three of these books are on the Tolkien Society recommended list of books about Tolkien that I have contributed to:

= = = = Sources = = = =

New sources in March 2014
Bradford Lee Eden and Douglas A. Anderson (editors), (JTR), ‘Journal of Tolkien Research’

The Tolkien Society (TS)
In addition to the posts listed above, you can also find announcements of a number of Tolkien events around the world in 2014.

For older sources, see http://parmarkenta.blogspot.com/p/sources.html

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Tolkien Transactions XLVI

February 2014

This issue is already horribly delayed, so I need to finish this and get it out ‘as is’. I have skipped several things that I would normally have commented upon, but given the lateness, I hope this will be acceptable ...

These transactions are posted to the usenet newsgroups rec.arts.books.tolkien, alt.fan.tolkien, and alt.books.inklings, and the usenet version can be accessed at http://www.webuse.net/frameset.php?su=newsgroup.php&ng=rec.arts.books.tolkien
These transactions are also posted on my blog, Parma-kenta (Enquiry into the books): http://parmarkenta.blogspot.com
and on LotR Fanatics Plaza in the books forum: http://www.lotrplaza.com/forumdisplay.php?14-The-Books

This month it has suited my purposes to sort the contents under the following headlines:
1: Tolkien Reading Day
2: The Great War
3: Essays and Scholarship
4: Commentary
5: Reviews and Book News
6: Interviews
7: Tolkienian Artwork
8: Other Stuff
9: The Blog Roll
10: Sources
Jef Murray: A Canticle for Elessar
Jef Murray
A Canticle for Elessar

= = = = Tolkien Reading Day = = = =

Tolkien Reading Day, 25th of March, is fast approaching, so I will include this March update from Marcel Aubron-Bülles where he lists a number of the events that are available to Tolkien enthusiasts and casual by-passers alike

MB, Thursday, 6 March 2014, ‘Tolkien Reading 2014 — Event calendar, worldwide’
Find the Tolkien Reading Day event closest to you — and attend it!

= = = = The Great War = = = =

The Great War, or the first world war, began in 1914, a hundred years ago this year. The BBC has set up a web-site a web-site, and will be transmitting programmes and adding material to this web-site throughout the four years from the centenary of the break-out of the war to the centenary of the peace:
You can find much on this site that is of interest also to understanding the general context of English society in this period.

The influence of the Great War on Tolkien's writings has been explored by John Garth in his brilliant book, Tolkien and the Great War, as well as in various essays and papers and recently also on his blog. However, we should expect that this will be explored again (not least when we come to the centenary of the Battle of Somme and, in Tolkienian circles, the centenary of his first Lost Tales), and we can hope that the explorations will add details to the publicly available knowledge of Tolkien in and after his experiences in the trenches in France.

Under this heading, then, I will collect some of the pieces that are bound to appear on this topic.

BBC, Thursday, 20 February 2014, ‘King Edward's School, Birmingham: JRR Tolkien's Schooldays’
A short piece centering on King Edward's School and Tolkien's circle of friends, the Tea Club and Barrovian Society, including a reading of a letter sent to Tolkien by the then headmaster, and father of Tolkien's friend, Rob Gilson, after Tolkien had written condolances upon the death of Rob Gilson in the war.

Andy Richardson, Birmingham Mail, Sunday, 23 February 2014, ‘Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings battle scenes were inspired by WW1 experiences’
Just a few facts, again centered about King Edward's School and the circle of friends there to which Tolkien belonged.

= = = = Essays and Scholarship = = = =

I don't think you need me to point out the many intriguing headlines on old Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian culture, so I will just point out one that have stuck out more than usual for me:
‘The very first Anglo Saxon toast?’ (12 Feb) — recorded by Geoffrey of Monmouth the idea of drinking to the ruler's health of course echoes in Éomer's joyful greeting when seeing Théoden outside Meduseld, ‘Westu Théoden hál!’ as well as in the Notion Club papers where the king in the Anglo-Saxon story greets the skald saying, ‘Westu hal, Ælfwine’

PC, Tuesday, 11 February 2014, ‘Important letter regarding the publication of The Lord of the Rings on auction’
A letter sent by J.R.R. Tolkien to one Cotton Minchin, parts of a draft of which was used for letter no. 187 in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, has been up for auction. Pieter has transcribed the letter and offers both images and transcription here (allowing the reader to catch any errors themselves, though Pieter has done an excellent job).

JGa, Thursday, 13 February 2014, ‘Sam Gamgee and Tolkien's batmen’
Reflections from John Garth following some comments from the letter discussed above. Anything John Garth writes about Tolkien's early life is definitely always worth reading.

= = = = Commentary = = = =

Fr. Angelo, Monday, 10 February 2014, ‘Is Tolkien's Fantasy Gnostic?’
It appears that an anonymous Catholic priest has argued that Tolkien's fantasy (and particularly The Lord of the Rings) is not Catholic. This, then, is a refutal of that argument by another Catholic (who would, it appears, not particularly agree with Tolkien in his views about the Faith). Though not myself a Catholic and generally very wary of overly Catholic readings of Tolkien, I nonetheless found that there are interesting elements in this measured defence of the Catholicism of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.

Alison Flood, The Guardian, Tuesday, 11 February 2014, ‘JRR Tolkien advised by WH Auden to drop romance’
An interesting letter that Tolkien wrote to to Allen & Unwin in 1955 has come up for auction. In this letter Tolkien reports from a letter he had received from W.H. Auden in which the latter urged him to drop the romance between Arwen and Aragorn, based on the galleys that Auden had been able to read before The Return of the King was finalised. Auden, however, appears not to have had access to the ‘Part of the Tale of Aragorn and Arwen’ given in appendix A, without which I think that there is a good chance that I, too, would agree with Auden's assessment.

Fr. Longenecker, Wednesday, 12 February 2014, ‘Was Tolkien an Evangelist?’
Another piece written in reaction to (but not as an explicit response to) the argument against the Catholicism of Tolkien's fantasy.

Kendall Wild, Wednesday, 19 February 2014, ‘The curse of the ring’
The foolish Roman ring theory again ... :-( I do very much wish that we could lay this idea to the grave — at least until such a time that there can actually be produced any shred of evidence that would support it. The evidence that is available very strongly suggests that Tolkien never went to the dig site of Collingwood's excavation (he is not on the list of visitors) and there is not a shred of evidence that he ever knew of the ‘Senicianus’ ring, which is not mentioned in the report for which he contributed a philological discussion of the name ‘nodens’. That something is ‘not impossible’ is a very far cry from saying that it is likely — it is, in actual fact, not impossible that the London metropolitan area will tomorrow spontaneously jump a metre into the air by a process known as quantum tunnelling, but it is, admittedly, extremely unlikely. Based on the current actual evidence (as opposed to speculation) this theory appears only marginally less unlikely.

Karl Seigfried, Thursday, 20 February 2014, ‘TOLKIEN ARCHIVES FIELD TRIP, Part One’
An interesting tale about a field trip to the Marquette with his students. Also see part 2 (linked from part one).

= = = = Reviews and Book News = = = =

HG, Wednesday, 12 February 2014, ‘Science of Middle-Earth: New Paperback Edition’
What it says, really. The second edition of Gee's The Science of Middle-earth, hitherto only published as e-book, will now also become available in paperback. My review of the book is available on my blog:

JF, Friday, 14 February 2014, ‘A Brief History of The Hobbit’
Announcing an abbreviated edition of Rateliff's History of the Hobbit ...
See also JDR, Friday, 28 February 2014, ‘A brief history of 'The Hobbit'’
Where John Rateliff tells about this upcoming book.

JGa, Monday, 17 February 2014, ‘The Tolkien brothers in Bumble Dell’
John Garth's review of Black and White Ogre Country by Hilary Tolkien, little brother of JRRT, reproduced on the occasion of 120 anniverary of Hilary Tolkien's birth. Garth's appreciation of the hints of a lost world that lie hidden in the reminisces of Hilary Tolkien is evident, and having tried myself to relate to my own children the sense of growing up in a world before the internet where homes without television sets were not uncommon, I, too, can appreciate that sense of a long lost world that lies in these ‘Lost Tales of Hilary Tolkien’.

AS, Monday, 17 February 2014, ‘The Tolkien Encyclopedia & Reader's Diary: A Look Back’
Occasioned by the release of ‘The Tolkien Encyclopedia’ in a paperback edition, Anna Smol takes a look back on contributing to the encyclopedia itself, and on the high-quality reader's diary that is an indispensable additional resource when using the encyclopedia.

= = = = Interviews = = = =

Susan Cahill, Talking Books, Newstalk, Monday, 17 February 2014, ‘Conjuring fantastical worlds’
Ronan Breathnach, Saturday, 15 February 2014, ‘Hobbits and high fantasy’
Starting about 21'50" is an interview with Helen Conrad-O'Briain, Gerard Hynes and Darryl Jones who have edited (Conrad-O'Briain and Hynes) and contributor (Jones) to the book J.R.R. Tolkien: the Forest and the City, presenting the papers from the homonymous conference in Dublin in the autumn of 2012. Well worth the roughly 20+ minutes with many astute observations.

= = = = Tolkienian Artwork = = = =

Joe Gilronan: Evening in the Shire
Joe Gilronan
Evening in the Shire
JGi, Friday, 7 February 2014, ‘The House Of Tom Bombadil’
Four hobbits approaching the house where Tom stands waiting ...

JGi, Sunday, 9 February 2014, ‘Evening In The Shire.’

Jef Murray, Wednesday, 26 February 2014, ‘The Arkenstone’
Bilbo presenting the Arkenstone to Bard and the Elvenking.

Jef Murray, Wednesday, 26 February 2014, ‘A Canticle for Elessar’
A beautiful painting — I suppose of Arwen in Lothlórien haunted by the memory of her dead husband, Elessar.

= = = = Other Stuff = = = =

MB, Tuesday, 25 February 2014, ‘Update your blogroll to include some great Tolkienists’
A select list of Tolkien blogs that I am both humbled and extremely proud that my own Parma-kenta has been deemed worthy to be included in.

= = = = The Blog Roll = = = =

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. This month I have (due to the lateness of my posting) decided to skip the usual summaries — try reading also the other posts: you are almost guaranteed to find something interesting there.

Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond (S&H), ‘Too Many Books and Never Enough’

Jason Fisher (JF) — ‘Lingwë — Musings of a Fish’

Pieter Collier (PC), ‘The Tolkien Library’

Douglas A. Anderson (DAA), ‘Tolkien and Fantasy’

John D. Rateliff (JDR) — ‘Sacnoth's Scriptorium’

Marcel Aubron-Bülles (MB), ‘The Tolkienist’

David Bratman (DB), ‘Kalimac’
and the old home:

John Garth (JGa), ‘John Garth’

Jenny Dolfen (JD), ‘Jenny's Sketchbook’

Holly Rodgers (HR), ‘Teaching Tolkien’

Anna Smol (AS), ‘A Single Leaf’

Various, The Mythopoeic Society

Morgan Thomsen (MT), ‘Mythoi’

Emil Johansson (EJ), ‘LotR Project Blog’

Michael Martinez (MM), ‘Middle-earth’

Bruce Charlton (BC), ‘Tolkien's The Notion Club Papers’

= = = = Sources = = = =

No new sources in February 2014

For older sources, see http://parmarkenta.blogspot.com/p/sources.html

Sunday, 9 February 2014

Tolkien Transactions XLV

January 2014

I cannot help a nagging feeling that there is something important that I have forgotten to include in this month's transactions, but I cannot pass^w remember what on earth it might be and I do wish to get this issue on-line tonight before a new week starts, so ...

Having said already that I think that I have not even included what I wished to include, it would appear almost superfluous to add that all the usual disclaimers of course apply about newness, completeness and relevance (or any other implication of responsibility) :-)

These transactions are posted to the usenet newsgroups rec.arts.books.tolkien, alt.fan.tolkien, and alt.books.inklings, and the usenet version can be accessed at http://www.webuse.net/frameset.php?su=newsgroup.php&ng=rec.arts.books.tolkien
These transactions are also posted on my blog, Parma-kenta (Enquiry into the books): http://parmarkenta.blogspot.com
and on LotR Fanatics Plaza in the books forum: http://www.lotrplaza.com/forumdisplay.php?14-The-Books

This month it has suited my purposes to sort the contents under the following headlines:

1: The Birthday Toast
2: News
3: Essays and Scholarship
4: Commentary
5: Reviews and Book News
6: Interviews
7: Tolkienian Artwork
8: Other Stuff
9: Rewarding Discussions
10: In Print
11: Web Sites
12: The Blog Roll
13: Sources
Joe Gilronan
Treebeard Wellinghall

= = = = The Birthday Toast = = = =

As you are probably all aware, January 3rd was Tolkien's birthday — his twelfty-second as the Tolkien Society ingenously calls it.
I will forgo a long list of articles and other celebrations and just add this: ‘The Professor!’

= = = = News = = = =

Suzanne Camfield, Focus Film, Thursday, 9 December 2013, ‘Fox Searchlight Developing J.R.R. Tolkien Biopic’
Sigh! So now Tolkien ‘was a code breaker during the Second World War’ (no he wasn't!) and ‘is believed to have been a large factor is Lewis' conversion from atheism to Christianity’ (the word is ‘_known_’, not ‘believed’). I am still extremely sceptical of the idea of a Tolkien ‘biopic’ — mainly because I am convinced it will not only get things wrong, but it will also emphasize some events / experiences out of proportion because they make for good drama. And these concerns are essentially my best-case scenario.

JF, Friday, 3 January 2014, ‘Stepping down from Mythprint’
On Jason Fisher's decision to step down as editor of Mythprint, the quarterly bulletin of the Mythopoeic Society.

MB, Friday, 3 January 2014, ‘Middle-earth meetings of this year’
Being a list of Tolkien-related events in 2014 that Marcel has gathered. A big ‘Thank you’ to the Tolkienist for this excellent work!

Sarah Hoffman, Friday, 17 January 2014, ‘The Hobbit: an unexpected lawsuit - breach of contract?’
An article about a lawsuit by Miramax LLC against Warner and New Line for a bigger slice of the cake. The case is not really interesting in itself, but as an illustration of the legal complexities and the intricate squirming involved in these cases of rights it is nonetheless enlightening.

= = = = Essays and Scholarship = = = =

I don't think you need me to point out the many intriguing headlines on old Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian culture, so I will just point out a few that have stuck out more than usual for me:
‘Beowulf in 100 Tweets’ (19 Jan) — though a funny idea, and one that can surely be enjoyed by those who know the poem, I am not convinced that it is always a good idea to deprive old tales of the characteristics that give them their particular and individual power and force.
‘'The Torrent of the Human Race:' The Concept of Movement in the Works of Saint Augustine and Its Impact on the Medieval Imagination’ (22 Jan) — St. Augustine has been mentioned as one of the church fathers likely to have influenced Tolkien's personal philosophies, or at least his philosophical considerations.
‘The Canterbury Tales as Framed Narratives’ (25 Jan) — Tolkien famously worked with Chaucer both as a scholar and a teacher (the failed Clarendon Chaucer and Tolkien's essay ‘Chaucer as a Philogist: The Reeves Tale’ are probably the best known examples). And of course the idea of framed tales is also central to all of Tolkien's Middle-earth writings (I do not mean to suggest a causal connection here — just a curious parallel).
‘http://www.medievalists.net/2014/01/25/st-brendan-and-his-miraculous-food-heavenly-meals-for-a-legendary-voyage/’ (25 Jan) — St. Brendan ... Imran ... ‘The Notion Club Papers’ ... read here for a bit of extra background.
‘Figures of Evil in Old English Poetry’ (25 Jan) — One of the things that have occupied me in my studies of Tolkien is the philosophical underpinnings of his work, and this title recalls Tom Shippey's excellent essay on Tolkien's ‘images of evil’.
‘Medieval English for Dummies’ (30 Jan) — a half-hour video of a presentation about medieval English, from the language of Beowulf over practical pronunciation exercises of Middle English to an interesting comment about the modern status of English as a global Lingua Franca (yes, I do realise the irony here) as preventing any basic change.

JDR, Wednesday, 22 January 2014, ‘2014 Tolkien at Kalamazoo schedule’
Tolkienian events at K'zoo — followed up in the following post (fittingly named ‘More Tolkien at 2014 Kalamazoo’).

Jef Murray
Gandalf Meets Bilbo
JGa, Saturday, 25 January 2014, ‘100 years of Middle-earth’
In celebration of the hundredth anniversary of ‘the first known public reading of Tolkien’s epic prose.’ The title introduces a series of posts on the origins, history and evolution of Tolkien's legendarium (I first, erroneously, took it to be a tongue-in-cheek naming of this report of a meeting in the Stapledon Society the beginning of Middle-earth, which might be stretching it just a bit). It is interesting to see that there are certain elements of the narrative style that can, in more mature versions, be traced on to the epic prose of Tolkien's legendarium.

Sørina Higgins, Monday, 27 January 2014, ‘Arthurian Geographies in Tolkien, Williams, and Lewis’
A talk that Sørina Higgins gave at New York C.S. Lewis Society on January 10th ‘about The Fall of Arthur and an imaginary, composite, Inklings Arthuriad’. The video shows the slides with the talk, but unfortunately not any subsequent questions and answers (I doubt that this is because there were no questions). Though I am still sceptical of Sørina Higgins' use of a a conglomerate Inklings Arthurian mythology as a device for investigating their Athurian excursions, I do find her comparative work intriguing.

JGa, Wednesday, 29 January 2014, ‘Tolkien, the Somme and scholarship’
On the question of Tolkien's experiences in the Great War. Did he share the view that the soldiers in the trenches were ‘lions led by donkeys’, or did he hold the military leaders in greater regard than that? And did his perception of the military leaders in the Great War influence not just his fictional writing, but also his scholarship? (The latter is, of course, far less likely than the former.)

Tolkienseminariet, Thursday, 30 January 2014, ‘17 oktober 2013’
For those who can read Swedish (or make do with e.g. a Google translation), the reports from the Swedish Tolkienseminariet are always gold-mines of information.

= = = = Commentary = = = =

DB, Wednesday, 15 January 2014, ‘stupid hobbit tricks’
I try not to spend much (if any) space here on the film-adaptations of Tolkien's work — I agree with what Corey Olsen said of Peter Jackson's films (at the time, I think it was the LotR films only), that one needs to see them as something wholly distinct from Tolkien's work; it is a different story happening to different characters in a different world. Lately, however, there has been some nonsense going about that the changes to The Hobbit are really based on what Tolkien would have wanted, and I have suggested that I might write something up about it. It turns out, however, that David Bratman has already written this, and as usual much better than I could.

Il, Saturday, 25 January 2014, ‘The Nature of Morgoth’
Morgoth, Xena the Warrior Princess, Greek legend ... There are some curious parallels that Ilverai points out in this post, but ultimately, I am not sure if it leads anywhere — or if it is intended to lead anywhere but to the pointing out of some curious parallels.

= = = = Reviews and Book News = = = =

H&S, Wednesday, 15 January 2014, ‘New Tolkien Projects, Part One’
In which Christina Scull and Wayne Hammond tell of upcoming book releases — Farmer Giles of Ham and The Adventures of Tom Bombadil with illustrations by Pauline Baynes and a Harper Collins hardback edition of the Reader's Companion, all updated and corrected. Another dent in my purse, I'm afraid :-)

JDR, Wednesday, 15 January 2014, ‘A Forthcoming Publication (Tolkien and Magic)’
About a chapter by John Rateliff that is to appear in The Kobold Guide to Magic. The book itself is focused on the magic systems of role-playing games, but Rateliff will be writing on magic in Tolkien's works. I am sorely tempted to find myself a copy of this book — having played also my share of role-playing games, it would also be fun to see the discussions of RGP-magic, though I cannot imagine that Rateliff's approach will be to look at Tolkienian magic in the game-mechanics discourse typically used in RPG contexts — such an approach would, in my view, not be conducive for an understanding of magic in Tolkien.

BC, Wednesday, 15 January 2014, ‘Review of JRR Tolkien audiobook Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, Orfeo - read by Terry Jones (1997)’
What it says, really ...

= = = = Interviews = = = =

JGi, Thursday, 9 January 2014, ‘Finding My Way to Middle-earth’
I am not entirely sure where this bit best fits in. Joe Gilronan calls it an ‘interview’ on his own blog, and it is in reference to his article ‘Finding My Way to Middle-earth’ in Silver Leaves issue 5, but it sports a number of his delightful pictures of Shire scenery. In the end I have let Gilronan decide and thrown it in here with the interviews :-)

Wander, Edinburgh Book Review, Wednesday, 22 January 2014, ‘Interview with Jemima Catlin’
An interview, as the title says, with Jemima Catlin, the celebrated new Hobbit illustrator.

= = = = Tolkienian Artwork = = = =

Julia Lyazgina
A collection of very good pictures (pencil, I believe) based on The Silmarillion. The text is in Russian, but an automated translation is good enough to identify the topics quite well.

AD, Thursday, 2 January 2014, ‘Silmarillion Chapter 7: Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor’
Chapter illustration for The Silmarillion chapter 7, ‘Of the Silmarils and the Unrest of the Noldor’ (the title text is an error — it is correct in the illustration, though).

AD, Monday, 6 January 2014, ‘Silmarillion Chapter 8: Of The Darkening of Valinor’

Jenny Dolfen
Lauren Davis, Tuesday, 7 January 2014, ‘_Dresden Codak_ creator illustrates each chapter of _The Silmarillion_’
This article made me aware of the work of Aaron Diaz on illustrating The Silmarillion — a project that uses a style / approach that I do not recall seeing before (of course, I am not as well-versed in Tolkienian art as many others ...)

JGi, Tuesday, 14 January 2014, ‘Gossip at the gate.’

AD, Thursday, 16 January 2014, ‘Silmarillion Chapter 9: The Flight of the Noldor’

JGi, Thursday, 23 January 2014, ‘Treebeard Wellinghall’
Treebeard is seen walking towards Merry and Pippin in his Wellinghall on the morning of the Entmoot.

= = = = Other Stuff = = = =

Matthew Francis, Wednesday, 1 January 2014, ‘The Road goes ever on and on’
OK, so this has nothing to do with Tolkien (except for the title and a longer quotation), but it's about science, and scientists, and, implicitly, about their love for Tolkien (on which I have commented also at other times). And ultimately this is my list and so _I_ decide what goes on it ;-)

= = = = Rewarding Discussions = = = =

‘The LotR Book Club’
At the LotR Plaza we have started a ‘chapter of the week’ discussion of The Lord of the Rings, beginning, of course, at the very beginning: the author's foreword ...

= = = = In Print = = = =

Oloris Publishing, Friday, 24 January 2014, ‘Music in Middle-earth: Call for Submission for Issue 6 of Silver Leaves’
Well, not in print yet, but it will be :-) A call for submissions to issue 6 of Silver Leaves.

= = = = Web Sites = = = =

John Garth (JGa), ‘John Garth’
John Garth has created a blog. If you have missed this so far (shame on you), you now have the chance to catch up — make sure to subscribe by your preferred method (mail, RSS, atom, Wordpress account ...) to get new posts while the digital ink is still drying ...

‘The Silmarillion Project’
‘Every chapter of J.R.R. Tolkien's Silmarillion, as illustrated by Dresden Codak author Aaron Diaz.’ Diaz describes his motivation as creating ‘a Middle-Earth visually unique from the style of the Peter Jackson films,’ adding that he likes the films, but misses ‘the days when there was more diversity and interpretation to Tolkien illustrations.’ The visual representation he creates is certainly different from most of what I have otherwise seen, but very fascinating in its unique expression.

= = = = The Blog Roll = = = =

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, but I will here comment very shortly on any Tolkien-related posts in the month covered by these transactions.

Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond (S&H), ‘Too Many Books and Never Enough’
One Tolkien-related posts in January 2014, cited above.

Jason Fisher (JF) — ‘Lingwë — Musings of a Fish’
One post in January 2014 — see above.

Pieter Collier (PC), ‘The Tolkien Library’
Six Tolkien-related posts on the Tolkien Library in January 2014 — three small articles and tree on books, a call-for-papers (Sørina Higgins' The Inklings and King Arthur), an announcement (facsimile edition of the first edition Hobbit) and a review (Devin Brown's Hobbit Lessons).

Douglas A. Anderson (DAA), ‘Tolkien and Fantasy’
No posts in January 2014

John D. Rateliff (JDR) — ‘Sacnoth's Scriptorium’
Seven Tolkien-related posts from John Rateliff in January 2014. One on the occasion of Tolkien's birthday, one relating to Bernal (‘The Thought Police’ from 7 Jan), announcing the arrival of The History of the Hobbit for Kindle, the post on Tolkien and magic (see above), one on what, at the face of it, looks a very far-fetched attempt to link Tolkien's Middle-earth to Abyssinia, and the two posts on the Kalamazoo Tolkien-programme referred to above.

Marcel Aubron-Bülles (MB), ‘The Tolkienist’
5 (more or less) Tolkien-related posts in January 2014. In addition to the most excellent list of Tolkien-related events (see above), Marcel has also proven that ‘It simply isn’t an adventure worth telling if there aren’t any dragons’ and ‘Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory.’ are NOT by Tolkien — let's take that again: those quotations, though often MISattributed to Tolkien, are NOT by him at all. (Ah! That feels better!) Oh, and there are also a couple of other fan-activity-related posts.

Joe Gilronan
Gossip at the Gate
David Bratman (DB), ‘Kalimac’
and the old home:
Two distinctly Tolkien-related posts in January 2014 — on the day following Tolkien's birthday, Bratman posted on the Wikipedia treatment of the story of Tolkien's brief encounter with the secret world of code-breaking during WWII, and then there is the post on Peter Jackson's Hobbit films listed above. I will also recommend the January 2nd post on Isaac Asimov's predictions for 2014 (Tolkien expressed a fondness of Asimov's work), and the ‘world according to cat’ series. The post ‘Maia’ is, despite the name (and the appearance of Pippin), not about Tolkien ...

John Garth (JGa), ‘John Garth’
2 Tolkien-related posts in January 2014 — both referred to above.

Jenny Dolfen (JD), ‘Jenny's Sketchbook’
One Tolkien-related painting in January 2014 — a tutorial featuring a role-playing character from Tolkien's work.

Holly Rodgers (HR), ‘Teaching Tolkien’
No posts in January 2014.

Anna Smol (AS), ‘A Single Leaf’
Two posts in January 2014, one spreading the word on the call-for-papers for Humour in and around the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien (Walking Tree) where the deadline has been extended to March 3rd, and one referring to Marcel Aubron-Bülles' list of Tolkien-related events and John Rateliff's posts on the Tolkien at K'zoo programme.

Various, The Mythopoeic Society
No posts in January 2014.

Morgan Thomsen (MT), ‘Mythoi’
No posts in January 2014.

Lynn Forest-Hill (and others), ‘Southfarthing Mathom’ SM
2 Tolkien related posts in January 2014. The Southampton Reading Group has had their usual two meetings in January, first ending their reading of Sigurd and Gudrún and then starting on The Fall of Arthur. As always the reports of their discussions are very much worth reading (if ever I'm in the area in time for a meeting, I will certainly be begging to be allowed to sit in on it).

Emil Johansson (EJ), ‘LotR Project Blog’
No posts in January 2014

Michael Martinez (MM), ‘Middle-earth’
Eight story-internal Tolkien-related posts in January 2014 (and two relating to the Peter Jackson films).

Bruce Charlton (BC), ‘Tolkien's The Notion Club Papers’
2 Tolkien-related posts in January 2014: the review linked to above and a brief mention of Charlton's own first encounter with Tolkien's work.

= = = = Sources = = = =

New sources in January 2014

John Garth (JGa), ‘John Garth’

Aaron Diaz (AD) ‘The Silmarillion Project’

For older sources, see http://parmarkenta.blogspot.com/p/sources.html