Saturday, 1 August 2015

Tolkien Transactions LX

July 2015

Issue no. sixty …
This should, of course, have been the fifth anniversary issue, but due to my three-month hiatus last year, the fifth anniversary was actually well-past before I discovered it.
I have – well, more or less ;-) – taken this month off from Scouting, which can probably be seen in the timeliness of publishing this, and in the thoroughness of this issue. I am afraid you shouldn't expect this state to last.
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 web-site.

This month it has suited my purposes to sort the contents under the following headlines:
1: News
2: Events
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
‘Tolkien's Silmarillion – turin and Glaurung’ by Helge Balzer
Tolkien's Silmarillion – Turin and Glaurung
by Helge Balzer

= = = = News = = = =

Shaun Gunner, Wednesday, 8 July 2015, ‘Smaug to go into space
Features discovered by NASA's New Horizons mission on Pluto and its moons will be proposed named after fictional characters and locations, including some of Tolkien's.
See also David Dickenson, Tuesday, 14 July 2015, ‘Naming features on Pluto

Troels Forchhammer, Wednesday, 8 July 2015, ‘Five years! (and a couple of months ...)
Celebrating the fact that 7 May 2015 marked the fifth anniversary of my first ‘Tolkien Transactions’ post to rec.arts.books.tolkien and alt.fan.tolkien.

Daniel Helen, Wednesday, 15 July 2015, ‘John Garth to teach Mythgard course on “Tolkien's Wars and Middle-earth”
As it says, really …. And remember that Tolkien Society members get a discount on Mythgard courses! (Unfortunately we don't get a discount on the time needed … maybe some day.)

Mythgard Institute, Wednesday, 15 July 2015, ‘Fall 2015 Courses Open for Registration
Besides the course taught by John Garth mentioned above, this offering includes an introductory course on Anglo-Saxon taught by Michael Drout and Nelson Goering, and a Star Wars course taught by Amy Sturgis.

Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Sunday, 26 July 2015, ‘The Hobbit among top primary school book list
It may say something about the national focus of this list that I only knew of five or six of these books, and have read only four of them. A Danish list might include one or two of the titles here (I think that Alice and/or Pooh might make it to the top-twenty on a similar Danish list), but probably neither Tolkien or Lewis (though fantasy would still feature on the list – it would merely be Nordic books).

CitizenNews, Wednesday, 29 July 2015, ‘Tribute to Tolkien's Hobbit farmer Maggot at Bamfurlong
Mostly for fun – but if you should happen to pass Bamfurlong Lane near Gloucester, you might want to check this tribute to Farmer Maggot (just don't start accepting any claims to literary inspiration ...)

Jeremy Hazan, Wednesday, 29 July 2015, ‘Montreal Now Has A “Hobbit” Themed Public Garden
Is that Smaug hovering over Bag End? Though more in the curious end, I am sure I'll want to visit this public garden if I visit Montreal :-)


= = = = Events = = = =

Reports from past events
18 November 2014, Merton College, Oxford, ‘Tolkien in Oxford
Amrit Sidhu-Brar, Sunday, 5 July 2015, ‘Merton Tolkien Symposium

13 June 2015, Baruch College, New York, ‘New York City Tolkien Conference’, Northeast Tolkien Society Anna Smol, Wednesday, 15 July 2015, ‘A Look Back at The New York Tolkien Conference
Myla Malinalda, Friday, 3 July 2015, ‘New York City Tolkien Conference 2015

4 July 2015, Leeds, ‘Tolkien Society Seminar 2015’, The Tolkien Society
Theme: ‘One Hundred Years of Middle-earth’

6 - 9 July 2015, Leeds, ‘International Medieval Congress 2015
Medievalist.net, Monday, 6 July 2015, ‘2015 International Medieval Congress – Day 1
Medievalist.net, Tuesday, 7 July 2015, ‘2015 International Medieval Congress – Day 2
Medievalist.net, Wednesday, 8 July 2015, ‘2015 International Medieval Congress – Day 3
Medievalist.net, Wednesday, 8 July 2015, ‘The Medieval #Twitterati at #IMC2015
Gerard Hynes, Tuesday, 14 July 2015, ‘Leeds!

17 - 19 July 2015, Internet, ‘Midsummermoot
Maria Messer, Friday, 17 July 2015, ‘For the Love of All Things that Grow: Trees and Ents in Middle-earth
Rachel Took, Saturday, 18 July 2015, ‘Midsummer Moot Day 2: Picnic Day
Valdís, Saturday, 18 July 2015, ‘Midsummer Moot Picnic Day: Food, Friends, and Fellowship
Rachel Took, Sunday, 19 July 2015, ‘Welcome to day three of the Midsummer Moot!
Myla Malinalda, Sunday, 19 July 2015, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien: The Artist, The Scholar, The Legend

17 - 19 July 2015, Spokane, Washington, USA, ‘Tolkienmoot 2015
See the schedule for all events, including recorded events available on YouTube.

Info on upcoming events (as of 1 August)
31 July - 3 August 2015, Colorado Springs, Colorado, ‘ MythCon 46’, Mythopoeic Society
Thursday, 23 July 2015, ‘Mythcon 46 Schedule
John D. Rateliff, Saturday, 25 July 2015, ‘My Schedule at MythCon

6 - 9 August 2015, The Greisinger Museum, Jenins, Switzerland, ‘Omentielva Enquea

15 - 23 August 2015, Velike Lašče, Slovenia, ‘Slovene Tolkien Society – Grand Annual Meeting

2 - 26 September 2015, Sheffield, UK, ‘Artshow: Evil in the Shining Light

3 - 4 September 2015, Budapest, Hungary, ‘5th International Tolkien Conference in Hungary’, Hungarian Tolkien Society

5 - 6 September 2015, Sarehole, Birmingham, ‘Middle Earth Festival 2015
Formerly known as ‘Middle-earth Weekend’

10 - 13 September 2015, St Antony's College, Oxford, ‘ Oxonmoot 2015’, The Tolkien Society
See also the interview by our bookings officer, Francesca Barbini, with the Oxonmoot chair, Wednesday, 29 July 2015, ‘The Tolkien Society's Oxonmoot – A Word with Elena Krysova

5 - 7 December 2015, ‘Italian Ringers Con 2015

2016 Events
21 - 25 March 2016, Seattle, WA, USA, ‘PCA/ACA National Conference, PCA/ACA
Anna Smol, Tuesday, 30 June 2015, ‘Call for papers: Tolkien Studies at PCA/ACA, March 2016

25 March 2016, Worldwide, ‘Tolkien Reading Day, The Tolkien Society

17 - 19 June 2016, Leiden | Den Haag, ‘Lustrum 2016: Unlocking Tolkien, Unquendor – The Dutch Tolkien Society

lsquo;Tuor and the Swans’ concept sketch by Jenny Dolfen
Sketch: Tuor and the Swans
by Jenny Dolfen
Another advantage of supporting Jenny Dolfen on Patreon is getting to see
sketches (and even concept drawings) of upcoming artwork. The downside
is of course having to wait for it to be finished ...

= = = = Essays and Scholarship = = = =

Jonathan Brown, Tuesday, 5 November 2013, ‘Listen! Beowulf opening line misinterpreted for 200 years
I realise the article is about 1½ years old, but still … Hwæt? Tolkien, by the way, stayed true to tradition with his translation starting “Lo! the glory of the kings of the people of the Spear-Danes in / days of old we have oft heard tell, …”.
See the actual paper here (pdf): George Walkden, English Language and Linguistics 17, no. 3(2013) : 465-488, ‘The status of hwæt in Old English

Leslie Megahey, The Tolkien Society, Wednesday, 1 July 2015, ‘Watch: Leslie Megahey talks about “Tolkien in Oxford”
Leslie Megahey was the producer of the 1968 BBC documentary Tolkien in Oxford and he was invited to talk about this at the 2015 AGM of the Tolkien Society. The video is rich in little nuggets, but at points also terribly frustrating as what seems to be some of the best has had the audio removed due to copyright (which is still owned by the BBC).

Renée Vink, Thursday, 2 July 2015, ‘The Parentage of Gil-galad
An investigation of the textual history of the parentage of Gil-galad. An article from Lembas Extra 2012.

Michael Flowers, Monday, 6 July 2015, ‘Tolkien's Hemlock Glade
The first of a series of posts on the Tolkiens' 1917-18 sojourn in East Yorkshire after he was sent home from the Somme with trench fever (and had got out of hospital). The link is to part 1: the later parts of this can be found from there. The whole series is indeed very interesting.
I have followed Flowers' arguments on the dating of the incident of Edith dancing among hemlocks near Roos in 1917, and I do think that he has now built a very strong case, and I am convinced that the period he identifies is by far the most likely.
In this series, Michael Flowers adds quite a lot of new and interesting geographical and biographical details to our knowledge about the Tolkien's stay in East Yorkshire, making this an excellent piece of biographical research.
The one blemish that, in my view, mars this series of posts is the persistent attempts to draw up random connections between this or that feature of East Yorkshire and Tolkien's work. In my firm opinion, such direct links between elements of Tolkien fiction and his various sources are generally alien to Tolkien's writing (this is a problem that is also seen in a number of source studies – even quite good source studies). The few places where such connections do exist, Tolkien either acknowledged them himself (such as Edith Tolkien dancing at Roos), or they are very obvious (the Germannic inspiration to the Rohirrim).

Janet Brennan Croft, Wednesday, 8 July 2015, ‘Beyond The Hobbit: J.R.R. Tolkien's Other Works for Children
An article from World Literature Today (Vol. 78, No. 1 (Jan. - Apr., 2004), pp. 67-70) introducing some of Tolkien's other children's stories: Roverandom, the Letters from Father Christmas, Farmer Giles of Ham, Mr Bliss, and Smith of Wootton Major (though I'm not sure I'd categorise the latter as a children's story, though it can, like all of Tolkien's fiction, be enjoyed by children, it is not, in my opinion, written for children).

Michael Flowers, Wednesday, 22 July 2015, ‘Sketch of Tolkien Re-discovered after 70 Years
Michael Flowers writes about a sketch of J.R.R. Tolkien by F.A. Farrell that was published in The Advocate in August 1934. The whole story of The Advocate, of Tolkien and particularly of Farrell, Glasgow's official war artist during WWI, is very interesting.
You can see the original article here The Advocate, Thursday, 9 August 1934, ‘A Letter from London
Michael Flowers' article is also available at the Tolkien Society web site as 1934 Sketch of Tolkien Discovered

Sue Bridgwater, Saturday, 25 July 2015, ‘The Steward, the King, and the Queen: fealty and love in Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and in Sir Orfeo.
Orignally published in Mythlore (no. 119/120, Fall/Winter 2012), this article discusses similarity in the narrative arcs of the Sir Orfeo poem and Tolkien's large work involving characteristics of bonding.

Sue Bridgwater, Saturday, 25 July 2015, ‘Staying Home and Travelling; Stasis versus Movement in Tolkien's Mythos
This paper stems from Middle-earth and Beyond: Essays on the World of J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Kathleen Dubs and Janka Kašcáková (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2010). I haven't had the time to read it yet (beyond skimming the introduction), but I look very much forward to reading this paper, which appears to have at least a part of its basis, or starting point, in the idea that Faërie is something you need to travel to.

Emil Johansson, Monday, 27 July 2015, ‘Tolkien might have subconsciously given Hobbits even numbered birth years because he loved them
Emil Johansson has once more been playing with the numbers that are available to us in Tolkien's work. This time he has been looking at the birth years of characters (and for Hobbits also their death years) to see if there are any discernible patterns … and isn't there, though! Some of the most noteworthy patterns are the preference for years ending in -0 – and particularly for -60 and -80. Other patters are the preference for even-numbered years, which is considerably stronger for Hobbits than for other races.
It is well known that there are psychological tendencies with respect to numbers – round numbers are, for instance, seen as more attractive at some level, and primes are ... well, my personal favourite class of numbers, but a preference I seem to share with rather few people (come on! – how can 37 not be far more attractive and interesting than 36?!?). This may account for some of Tolkien's preferences here, but the use of numbers is one that has been preciously under-studied (I know that Christopher Kreuzer did some work on it, which is in the proceedings from the 2005 conference), and so I hope that studies such as this one from Emil Johansson will help us discover and qualify the questions we can, and should, ask of Tolkien's use of numbers.


= = = = Commentary = = = =

Séamas Ó Sionnaigh, Tuesday, 19 May 2015, ‘No, Ireland Did Not Inspire Tolkien's Lord Of The Rings
“No, the Lord of the Rings was not inspired by the regions of Clare or Galway, not even in part.” – Well Said!
See also the undated article, Séamas Ó Sionnaigh, ‘J.R.R Tolkien And Ireland
An excellent summary, discussing some of the complexities of Tolkien's relations with the Irish lands, peoples, universities, myths, and language. Fine reading (though I should point out also that the history of the Rohirrim and the Dunlendings is somewhat more complex than what is described here), and there is even intelligent discussion in the comments (shock!).

James Moffett, Wednesday, 1 July 2015, ‘Tolkien's Dickensian Dreams
James Moffett here, in my opinion unsuccessfully, attempts to argue that Tolkien was inspired by a specific chapter from Dickens' Pickwick Papers. As a simple comparative study, it might have been mildly interesting, but adding the claim that “it is clear that particular aspects from the book have somehow found a way into Tolkien's own method of writing” merely makes it unconvincing.
Since, however, Moffett himself states that this on-line version is “much abbreviated from the original”, I felt obliged to find this chapter, Chapter Xxix. The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton at Project Gutenberg. Having read it, I have to say that it makes me reject the idea more strongly. There are some surface commonalities, but in every instance these evaporate on closer inspection. Both Dickens' story and Tolkien's are rooted in Victorian (and, in Tolkien's case, also Edwardian) fairy / goblin lore, but while this gives the two stories some common starting point, they quickly diverge at every point.
We cannot know if Tolkien ever read this particular chapter. We know that he disliked Pickwick (whether the character, as Moffett seems to believe, or The Pickwick Papers book, as suggested by Scull and Hammond and by the italization of the word in Letters), so he must at least have read some of the book, but we can only guess as to whether he finished it. Whether it influenced Tolkien in any way is, of course, not knowable, but the suggestions made here by James Moffett seems to me highly unlikely.

Joseph Bartram, Thursday, 2 July 2015, ‘A Tolkien Calendar – Part 2: The system of Ages
Overall I have found these articles about the calendars quite good. They are well researched, and the mathematics of the calendric systems seems to check out just fine. I did, however, find some of the ancillary matters somewhat disappointing – particularly matters of nomenclature and orthography, which I have commented upon (at length) here (thread at LotR Plaza).

Lynn Forest-Hill, Southfarthing Mathom, Tuesday, 7 July 2015, ‘June: last meeting
Managing to finish the fifth chapter of book 2, ‘The Bridge of Khazad-dûm’ at their last June meeting, the commentary and discussions of the Southampton group remain as intersting as always. Later posts bring the reports through the Lothlórien chapters, ‘Lothlórien’, ‘The Mirror of Galadriel’, and ‘Farewell to Lórien’.

‘Amarië’ by Jenny Dolfen
Amarië
by Jenny Dolfen
Troels Forchhammer, Thursday, 9 July 2015, ‘On Tolkien's Notes on “Fate and Free Will”
Inspired by a discussion in the Tolkien Society Facebook group about Tolkien's notes on fate and free will (published in Tolkien Studies 6, 2009), I decided to take some of my contributions to that discussion, clean them up and expand them a little in an attempt to spread the knowledge about this interesting document (and in the vain hope of possibly growing its readership just a bit).

Ben, Saturday, 11 July 2015, ‘Is Eru a good god? And why
I agree that the questions that Ben raises in this post are interesting to look at, when trying to understand Tolkien's Eru, the Author, as Tolkien often refers to him. However, I think that in order to undertake such a discussion, you need to look first at what is known about Tolkien's own intentions, regardless of whether you think that Tolkien (both of them, actually – father and son) actually succeeded in transferring his intention to the page. Incidentally, there is also something relating to this in Tolkien's late notes on fate and free will (see above).

Jeff LaSala, Wednesday, 15 July 2015, ‘The Unquiet Voice of Saruman
An excellent character portrait of Saruman. Though there is nothing new in this, it gathers the threads, and writes it up quite well, illustrating some of the depth of character that Tolkien (at some points eventually) created for Saruman, using Saruman to once more emphasise the important point that “nothing is evil in the beginning.”

Todd Leopold, CNN, Wednesday, 22 July 2015, ‘WWI site offers hints of J.R.R. Tolkien
Well, not really – at least not the specific site meant here (the caves at Bouzincourt), as John Garth points out when interviewed by CNN about this. Thanks to John Garth for setting setting things straight despite the obvious spin the journalist wanted to give this story.

Danièe Cybulskie, Medievalist.net, Thursday, 23 July 2015, ‘Five Ways Gawain Kicks Lancelot's Ass
Tolkien, to judge by The Fall of Arthur, would agree that Gawain was the number one of Arthur's knights.

Joseph Loconte, CNN, Thursday, 23 July 2015, ‘How C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien responded to 'environmental holocaust'
I have long been fascinated by the way Tolkien's name and writings are being used – and too often grossly abused – for promoting various ideological agendas (political or otherwise). I admit it's a strange fascination, because I usually dislike that kind of use, even when the authors seem to get Tolkien's position at least mostly right, but there you go … sometimes what repulses us also fascinates us.
The present article, trying to wrap up Lewis, Tolkien and the Pope's recent encyclical, is a fairly toned-down example of this. It doesn't attempt to present us with a strained reading of Tolkien (the reading of Lewis feels a little more strained to me, but then I am not very familiar with Lewis), even if I am certainly not the first nor the only to warn against reading Tolkien as supporting the views of the enviromental movement of our time.

Barry Stead, Tuesday, 27 July 2015, ‘The Amateur Lord of the Rings
In this piece, Barry Stead argues that Tolkien's success is due to his being “an amateur writer”, not writing for money, but writing “like a sort of literary everyman”. While the point about the money isn't entirely correct (though it wasn't Tolkien's primary source of income, he definitely was interested in that aspect), I think that Tolkien's general lack of concern for “the need to be seen and to be seen to be contemporary or relevant” did eventually contribute to the stability of his success. However, the question of Tolkien's success is far more complex, with many elements contributing (both negatively and positively) and, above all, interacting. Taking on the whole complex at once is too much, but addressing one element in isolation is not helpful either, and is likely to over-emphasise that particular element.


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

Michael Dirda, Washington Post, Wednesday, 1 July 2015, ‘‘The Fellowship’ explores the spiritual roots of Tolkien and the Inklings
A refreshingly critical review of the Zaleskis' book about four of the Inklings, and though I suspect that I may fall into the category of “a devotee of any of the Inklings”, what I have so far read about The Fellowship has failed to make me wish to read it. Not that I reject the influence of Tolkien's faith on his writings, but I frankly have a problem with book-length studies that apply such a very narrow perspective, and I very much prefer studies that take a more systemic view, taking the interplay of various influences into account. Oh, and Tolkien did not hate Lord Peter Wimsey until Gaudy Night – he actually quite liked Lord Peter until then (and he possibly loathed the wife that Dorothy Sayers conjured up for his detective even more).
See also a somewhat more positive review, John D. Davidson, Saturday, 11 July 2015, ‘Tolkien, Lewis, and a World Shot through with Meaning

Shaun Gunner, The Tolkien Society, Thursday, 2 July 2015, ‘New Tolkien book: The Story of Kullervo
About the new Tolkien book edited by Verlyn Flieger. It will be interesting to see what it contains besides that which appeared in Tolkien Studies 7.
See also HarperCollins Publishers, ‘The Story of Kullervo
and also Jay Johnstone, Friday, 10 July 2015, ‘Tolkien's The Kullervo Published After 100 Years
as well as Pieter Collier, Thursday, 16 July 2015, ‘The world first publication of a previously unknown work by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Story of Kullervo

‘Smaug’ by Jenny Dolfen
Smaug
by Jenny Dolfen
Shaun Gunner, Sunday, 5 July 2015, ‘Tolkien Calendar 2016 to be released this month
This year's calendar will feature artwork by Tove Jansson. For some background on Tove Jansson, I can recommend this piece by Morgan Thomsen from March 2012.
See also Pieter Collier, Tuesday, 28 July 2015, ‘Tolkien Calendar 2016: Illustrated by Tove Jansson

Deniz Bevan, Wednesday, 29 July 2015, ‘Mini Book Reviews! Garth, Claypole White, Robinson, and Novak
As it says, a mini (micro might even be more appropriate :-) ) review, in this case of John Garth's Tolkien at Exeter College (along with three other books with no Tolkien connection)

Anna Smol, Friday, 31 July 2015, ‘Teaching Tolkien's Works: new book and journal
Introducing a new book edited by Leslie Donovan, Approaches to Teaching Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Other Works (to be published on 1 August) and a new digital journal / web-site for Tolkien teachers (see Websites section.)


= = = = Interviews = = = =

Jay Johnstone, Tuesday, 7 July 2015, ‘Ted Nasmith on Life, Art, Tolkien & GRR Martin
An interview with Ted Nasmith about ... the topics stated in the headline :-)


= = = = Tolkienian Artwork = = = =

Graeme Skinner, Saturday, 4 July 2015, ‘Books, they open unexpected doors…
“‘It's a dangerous business, Frodo, goint out of your door,’ he used to say. ‘You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.’”

Tomás Hijo, Thursday, 9 July 2015, ‘Arise, arise, Riders of Théoden! Fell deeds awake: fire...
A new cutting from Tomás Hijo showing Théoden riding over Orcs at the Pelennor Fields.

John Howe, Wednesday, 15 July 2015, ‘Dear Gandalf,
It seems that John Howe's Gandalf has been straying into places where he shouldn't – and he has had the company of other of Howe's pictures and paintings. If you admire someone's work, the least you can do is to also respect the artist, regardless of the form of the art (don't put long stretches of Tolkien's work up on the internet either): the more you admire their work, the more inclined you should be to respect and support the artist. And lest anyone misunderstand about my usage here of images, I will take this opportunity to once again express my gratitute to Jenny Dolfen, Joe Gilronan, and Jef Murray, all of whom have very generously allowed me to use their images to illustrate my posts here.

Graeme Skinner, Friday, 17 July 2015, ‘It's not just a book...
... it's a Tolkien book (by the look of it), and that means a whole lot more than ‘just a book’ – it's a very nice way to show it, and it is interesting to see which words Skinner has chosen (one of the first words to come to my mind was ‘enchantment’) :)

Jenny Dolfen, Wednesday, 22 July 2015, ‘Portraits, portraits, portraits
From Smaug and Azaghâl over Legolas, Celeborn, Celegorm, Celebrimbor and Maglor to Nerdanel and Amarië – and Baldr we get Jenny's take on a number of characters.

‘Nienor upon Haudh-en-Elleth’ by Jenny Dolfen
Nienor upon Haudh-en-Elleth
by Jenny Dolfen
Jenny Dolfen, Thursday, 23 July 2015, ‘Nienor upon Haudh-en-Elleth
An absolutely wonderful illustration of one of the key scenes in the tragedy of the Narn i Chîn Húrin. No wonder Túrin fell in love ...

Carol, Saturday, 25 July 2015, ‘Princess and the Pea
Carol imagines the princess from the classic tale to be sleeping on a stack of books – good books.

Helge C. Balzer, Saturday, 25 July 2015, ‘Silmarillion – Túrin and Glaurung
“But in that moment Glaurung the fell issued from the gaping Doors of Felagund, and lay behind, between Túrin and the bridge. Then suddenly he spoke by the evil spirit that was in him, saying: ‘Hail, son of Húrin. Well met!’”
I really like the portrayal of Glaurung here – the evil spirit in him sort of shines through, and there is a hint of a massive size lurking behind the doors. Well done!

AJ Chimaera, Friday, 31 July 2015, ‘Picture Book
The description here “that the pages come alive to depict the scenes within” the book reminds me strongly of Tolkien's note E to his essay On Fairy-stories (§113, p.82 of the expanding edition).


= = = = Other Stuff = = = =

Anna Smol, Sunday, 5 July 2015, ‘Ahhh, Oxford!
Anna Smol reports on her visit to Oxford to study Tolkien papers in the Bodleian Library. Unfortunately she doesn't tell us much about the specifics of her research (only a single paragraph – without the slightest indication of whether we may expect a result from this research, and if so, where and when), but still an interesting post, not least for those of us, who haven't visited Oxford on research purposes.

Michael Martinez, Tuesday, 14 July 2015, ‘The Battle for Middle-earth Will Not be Carved in Stone
Presuming that I understand him right, I agree with less than half of it half as much as it deserves ... or, more to the point, I mostly agree or more with nearly all of it :-) I know that Michael Martinez and I agree on the problems inherent in simply finding a suitable quotation from Tolkien that you can get to say what you want it to say and then hold it up as ‘The Truth’, but as in most other cases, there is a balance to strike. Rejecting the simplistic ‘one truth’ views doesn't mean that anything goes, and there is also the question of the burden of proof, which is, in practice, very often on the person arguing for a more nuanced and pluralist explanation – simply because it is so much easier to subscribe to a simple ‘one truth’ explanation.

Karl E. H. Siegfried, Friday, 17 July 2015, ‘Tolkien Archives at Wheaton College, Part One
A tale from one of the three main scholarly centres of original Tolkien material (the others being the Bodleian and the Marquette). A wonderful tale and nice photos as well – and who wouldn't love to get a private viewing :)
Also see the second instalment, Karl E. H. Siegfried, Friday, 24 July 2015, ‘Tolkien Archives at Wheaton College, Part Two

Ian Chant, Thursday, 23 July 2015, ‘University of Iowa Libraries Begin to Digitize Decades of Fanzines
I have so far not been able to ascertain that the collection in question, the Hevelin Collection, also includes Tolkien fanzines, but I very much suspect that it does. However, the digitisation project appears to move on chronologically, and is still a goodly way from the publication of The Lord of the Rings.

Andrew Harrison, Friday, 24 July 2015, ‘Michael Moorcock: “I think Tolkien was a crypto-fascist”
I have debated whether to include this, or to ignore it. Truth be told, I had never even heard of Michael Moorcock until a few years ago when he came up as someone complaining about Tolkien – “Michael who??” was my reaction. I cannot claim to be truly widely read in science fiction or fantasy (not in the manner of many other Tolkien readers that I know). So, having never heard of Moorcock until in my forties, and never having read anything by him, I would probably be wiser to not run the risk of being snide and instead avoid commenting at all – but … :-)
Let's forget the ludicrousness of the accusation of fascism, hidden or open (there's more to fascism than a love for your country and positive view of the absolute feudal monarchy). The thing that has always irked me about this kind of criticism is not the fallacy of the accusations in themselves, but rather the idea that it matters. I heartily dislike being preached to in a book (which is why I don't enjoy Lewis' Narnia books), but Tolkien certainly isn't. And if the book avoids the traps of preaching or too obvious allegory (these often go hand-in-hand), I can enjoy good story-telling even if the book promotes a world-view that I find distasteful. This is, in my opinion, one of the great strengths of fiction literature – it enables a kind of dialogue with views that are in opposition with one's own, making it possible to get at least some kind of understanding of how the world looks from that perspective, even if one doesn't wish to adopt that view. This is something I would say that the world needs more of.
So it seems to me that Mr Moorcock is asking himself the wrong kind of questions. Why not ask why Tolkien is so very widely known and read? And why Tolkien's work became defining for decades of fantasy novels that followed (though some of them have, admittedly, been quite bad, most have not)? Look at it as literature and ask literary questions instead of viewing it as a political manifesto, which it is not.

John D. Rateliff, Monday, 27 July 2015, ‘"Fails the Most Elementary Test of Historical Possibility"
John Rateliff about a critical comment on his History of the Hobbit that he has found in the recent book by one ‘Elansea’ presenting what might kindly be described as a hypothetical alternative biography of Tolkien's life (though my impression is that ‘fictional’ is more accurate than ‘hypothetical’). I am inclined to agree entirely with David Bratman's comments.

Eduardo Oliveira Ferreira, Tuesday, 28 July 2015, ‘The Story of Kullervo and the Brazilian contribution to its publication
Good to see that society activities such as these can contribute to the decision of publishing a translation of a new Tolkien work. I just hope that the Brazilian publisher will keep the idea of the dual-language edition – I believe that it is crucial to study (and discuss) Tolkien in his own language (it gives, for instance, the advantage of using his own critical vocabulary).

The National Archives of Malta, Thursday, 30 July 2015, ‘Reference letter by Professor J.R.R. Tolkien
The National Archives of Malta have, on their Facebook page, published a letter of reference that Tolkien wrote for Mr Richard Hope in October 1938.


= = = = Rewarding Discussions = = = =

rec.arts.books.tolkien, , ‘Imaginary Past
A discussion of whether Tolkien was successful in sub-creating a Secondory World ‘existing’ as an imaginary time of our own world, or if it would be better to view his Secondary World as ‘existing’ in an alternative world, much like Narnia in Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia.
Also available from the Google groups web-interface.


= = = = In Print = = = =

‘Nerdanel’ by Jenny Dolfen
Nerdanel
by Jenny Dolfen
Amon Hen 254, July 2015
For members of the Tolkien Society, the chairman's report and the Secretary's report from the AGM will be of interest. Others may like the obituary for Sir Christopher Lee and the reviews of Mark Hooker's The Tolkienæum (quite positive – nudging up the list) and David Day's Tolkien: A Dictionary (not a positive review – the worst rumours are true, and this confirms my personal belief: never spend your money on a David Day product, unless you paint over the text and only enjoy the pictures). The issue is rounded off with some artwork (Jef Murray, Gordon Palmer) ‘Michael's Miscellany’, a couple of letters and some various society matters.

Beyond Bree, July 2015
I found the July issue to be better than many other recent issues – well done! An announcement of the 2016 Beyond Bree Calendar is followed by an article on one of the artists used, the late Kay Woollard. Nancy Bunting then finishes her series offering a reading of the One Ring based on the work of Arno Gruen; though I have found the series interesting and knowledgeable, I have to say that it ultimately fails in its purpose of providing a more satisfying reading of the mechanism of the Master Ring than Shippey's concept of addiction. In another intersting article, Mark Hooker writes on ‘Ignatian Spirituality in The Lord of the Rings’ inspired by a book by James Martin, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life, which Hooker criticises in strong terms, while also indicating how the topic might be addressed in a far more thoughtful manner. A review by Ryder W Miller of MacLachlan's 2012 Tolkien and Wagner: The Ring and Der Ring and the usual minor notes, lists, letters, poems, etc. fill out the remaining space along with a couple of examples of Kay Woollard's art.


= = = = Web Sites = = = =

Gerard Hynes, ‘Fantasy and Philology: Worlds out of Words
Gerard Hynes' blog, which had been up for a couple of months before I discovered it.

Leslie Donovan (editor), ‘Waymeet for Tolkien Teachers
Describing itself as “A digital journal for teaching J. R. R. Tolkien's works and life in post-secondary schools” – the amount of resources found here or linked to is already quite impressive. This is really a brilliant resource – firstly, of course, for those teaching Tolkien, but also for others (e.g. those of us trying to further the educational objectives of the Tolkien Society).


= = = = 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. 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.

John D. Rateliff -- ‘Sacnoth's Scriptorium
Archive of posts from July 2015

David Bratman, ‘Kalimac's Journal
Archive of posts from July 2015

Jenny Dolfen, ‘Jenny's Sketchbook
Archive of posts from July 2015

Anna Smol, ‘A Single Leaf
Archive of posts from July 2015

Various, The Mythopoeic Society
Archive of latest news

Various, The Tolkien Society (TS)
Archive of posts from July 2015

Simon Cook, Ye Machine
Archive of posts from July 2015

Various, Southfarthing Mathom
Archive of posts from July 2015

Emil Johansson, ‘LotR Project Blog
Archive of posts from July 2015

Taruithorn, the Oxford Tolkien Society, ‘
Archive of posts from July 2015

Michael Martinez, ‘Middle-earth
Archive of posts from July 2015

Pieter Collier, ‘The Tolkien Library
See the front page for a list of recent posts.

Ben, ‘A clearer thinking oasis
Archive of posts from July 2015

Grey Havens Group, ‘The Grey Havens Group
Archive of posts from July 2015


= = = = Sources = = = =

New sources in July 2015:
Gerard Hynes, ‘Fantasy and Philology: Worlds out of Words

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

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Five years! (and a couple of months ...)

Five years! (And two months) I have just noticed that this May (the seventh, to be precise – Danish time ...) marked the fifth anniversary of the very first example of my Tolkien Transactions, then posted to the newsgroups rec.arts.books.tolkien and alt.fan.tolkien.

When I started posting my short ... well, shorter, at least ... posts back in 2010, I had no idea they would grow into this, much less that they would be read so widely. It was originally a service for the old-time inhabitants of the Tolkien newsgroups – tried warriors of the usenet battles of old – and only listed few items; the first issue had sixteen URLs plus the shortened versions (for those whose NNTP-readers would wrap the URL, making it useless), and five sources.

Already the sixth issue became available on the World-Wide Web on a blog as professor Larry Swain kindly offered to post it on his blog, The Ruminate, but already the next month, I had started this blog (which will celebrate its fifth anniversary this coming November), inspired by another usenet poster, Steve Hayes (Khanya, Notes from underground and Notes from underground), who blogged favourably about blogging. Since then, I have posted all issues here at Parma-kenta, at the Tolkien usenet groups until the 49th, at the LotR Plaza (issues 26 through 48), and since issue 50 I have been honoured with an invitation to post them also on the new Tolkien Society website.

You can find a full list (updated as of today) of all the issues with links to at least one representation of each at my Tolkien Transactions page.

Some truly gifted artists creating Tolkien-inspired art, Jef Murray, Jenny Dolfen, and Joe Gilronan, have also agreed to let me illustrate my posts with their artwork, for which I truly am very, very grateful.

Over these five years, I have received many expressions of encouragement and recognition, for which I continue to be exceedingly grateful – really, it is knowing that the effort is appreciated that makes it worth the effort every month, so thank you! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!

Troels
8 July 2015

Tolkien Transactions LIX

June 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 web-site.

This month it has suited my purposes to sort the contents under the following headlines:
1: News
2: Events
3: Essays and Scholarship
4: Commentary
5: Reviews and Book News
6: Tolkienian Artwork
7: Other Stuff
8: Rewarding Discussions
9: In Print
10: Web Sites
11: The Blog Roll
12: Sources
Star Kindler
by Jef Murray

= = = = News = = = =

Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Wednesday, 3 June 2015, ‘Tolkien Gateway celebrates its 10th anniversary
Congratulations to the Tolkien Gateway!
I have found that the Tolkien Gateway is generally reasonably reliable – more so, certainly, than other encyclopaedic web-sites. I will still, however, caution anyone to never trust an on-line resource without double-checking with material in print (and yes, that also applies to anything written by myself).

Pieter Collier, Saturday, 6 June 2015, ‘Signed copy of the Hobbit sells for record at auction
I know that there are some serious collectors with too much money on their hands, but this is ... well ...
Let's just say that I'm astonished. But evidently I am not the only one to be impressed: the story of the record-fetching price for a first-edition Hobbit has gone around the world:
Robert Dex, The Mirror, Thursday, 4 June 2015, ‘The Hobbit first edition with Tolkien message in ELVISH sells at auction for £137k
Finnian Curran, The Irish Times, Thursday, 4 June 2015, ‘First edition of Tolkien's ‘The Hobbit’ fetches £137,000
News.com.au, Friday, 5 June 2015, ‘Rare Tolkien Book Fetches $270,000
Alison Flood, The Guardian, Friday, 5 June 2015, ‘Hobbit first edition with JRR Tolkien's inscription doubles sales record
and of course, from The Tolkien Society
Shaun Gunner, Sunday, 7 June 2015, ‘Rare Hobbit sells for £137,000

Azaghal
by Jenny Dolfen
Edward Lowton, Tuesday, 9 June 2015, ‘Searching for the science behind Tolkien's Middle-earth: Leicester University students map the hobbit metabolism
All in the spirit of good fun, I'm sure. Though why they'd use deer as a model for Elves is beyond me – Tolkien's Elves hunt deer! (And, though not the fault of the students, I start getting an allergic reaction to anyone writing about “Lembas bread”).

David Bratman, Thursday, 11 June 2015, ‘Sir Christopher Lee will live on
On the death of Sir Christopher Lee, whose work with the Tolkien Ensemble was brilliant and very much worth celebrating. See also Shaun Gunner, Thursday, 11 June 2015, ‘Sir Christopher Lee dies, aged 93

Shaun Gunner, The Tolkien Society, Monday, 22 June 2015, ‘New bug is named after Tolkien's dragon
On the appropriate naming of the Planois Smaug – a bug that has recently been discovered in el Tierra del Fuego – the Fire Country ...
See also the original story in Entomology Today: Eduardo Faúndez, Friday, 19 June 2015, ‘Patagonian Shield Bug Named After Middle's Earth's [sic] Smaug the Dragon

Edward Elliott, Oxford Today, Monday, 29 June 2015, ‘Peter Jackson comes to Tolkien's Oxford
As I have said elsewhere, I rather suspect that Jackson strongly underestimates the vituperation of Tolkien's reaction to his films, but we are fortunately not obliged to agree with Tolkien (just spare me fools who cannot tell the two apart).

Emil Johansson, Tuesday, 30 June 2015, ‘Importance of the Hobbits to the rest of Middle-earth
Just for fun ... :-)


= = = = Events = = = =

Reports from past events
13 May 2015, ‘Tolkien Lecture 2015: Lev Grossman
Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Thursday, 4 June 2015, ‘Watch Lev Grossman deliver the 2015 Tolkien Lecture at Pembroke College

14 - 17 May 2015, Kalamazoo, Michigan, ‘International Congress on Medieval Studies
Andrew Higgins, Thursday, 4 June 2015, ‘50th International Congress of Medieval Studies – Tolkien at Kalamazoo Round-Up
Anna Smol, Sunday, 28 June 2015, ‘Kalamazoo past and future


Info on upcoming events (as of 1 July)
4 July 2015, Leeds, ‘Tolkien Society Seminar 2015’, The Tolkien Society
Theme: ‘One Hundred Years of Middle-earth’

6 - 9 July 2015, Leeds, ‘International Medieval Congress 2015

17 - 19 July 2015, Spokane, Washington, USA, ‘Tolkienmoot 2015

31 July - 3 August 2015, Colorado Springs, Colorado, ‘ MythCon 46’, Mythopoeic Society

6 - 9 August 2015, The Greisinger Museum, Jenins, Switzerland, ‘Omentielva Enquea

2 - 26 September 2015, Sheffield, UK, ‘Artshow: Evil in the Shining Light

3 - 4 September 2015, Budapest, Hungary, ‘5th International Tolkien Conference in Hungary’, Hungarian Tolkien Society

5 - 6 September 2015, Sarehole, Birmingham, ‘Middle Earth Festival 2015
Formerly known as ‘Middle-earth Weekend’

10 - 13 September 2015, St Antony's College, Oxford, ‘ Oxonmoot 2015’, The Tolkien Society

5 - 7 December 2015, ‘Italian Ringers Con 2015

2016 Events
21 - 25 March 2016, Seattle, WA, USA, ‘PCA/ACA National Conference, PCA/ACA
Anna Smol, Tuesday, 30 June 2015, ‘Call for papers: Tolkien Studies at PCA/ACA, March 2016

Tolkien Reading Day 2015
by Jef Murray
25 March 2016, Worldwide, ‘Tolkien Reading Day, The Tolkien Society

17 - 19 June 2016, Leiden | Den Haag, ‘Lustrum 2016: Unlocking Tolkien, Unquendor – The Dutch Tolkien Society


= = = = Essays and Scholarship = = = =

Stuart Lee, The Bodleian Libraries, Wednesday, 3 June 2015, ‘Writing The Hobbit: a perilous quest!
Having Tolkien's original dust jacket design for The Hobbit on display in the ‘Marks of Genius’ exhibition, the Bodleian Library has invited Stuart Lee to talk about Tolkien's writing of the book.

Carolyn Emerick, Wednesday, 3 June 2015, ‘Magic in Anglo-Saxon England
An overview article about Anglo-Saxon ideas about magic. Quite interesting.

Jason Fisher, Wednesday, 10 June 2015, ‘Tolkien and L.W. Forster
On the appearance of Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings in 1970 academic work by L.W. Forster, in which Forster makes it clear that he has been discussing the emergence of the mythology with Tolkien. Good finding, there! At another level, I cannot help but wonder if we are allowing ourselves to be blinded by Tolkien's statements about the philological / linguistic origin of his mythology. When you study the actual writings, it seems to be a more complex thing, where poetic or narrative necessity gave rise to linguistic invention, which then, again, inspired more poetic and narrative work.

Celeborn
by Jenny Dolfen
Carolyn Emerick, Wednesday, 17 June 2015, ‘The Fairy Faith: An ancient indigenous European Religion
An introductory article on the beliefs in Fairy – or Faërie – in Europe. Origins, connections, conceptions etc. “The truth is that fairy did not originally mean a ‘creature’ at all, small or large. It meant enchantment or magic, and the enchanted world or country in which marvellous people lived, great and small” – J.R.R. Tolkien, draft introduction to The Golden Key in Smith of Wootton Major: Extended edition edited by Verlyn Flieger. (Tolkien is not quoted in the article, though the origin of the word fairy is discussed.)

Stephen Mitchell, Thursday, 25 June 2015, ‘Continuity: Folklore's Problem Child?
An essay from the book Folklore in Old Norse – Old Norse in Folklore, edited by Daniel Sävborg and Karen Bek-Pedersen.

Sophie Hinger, Sunday, 28 June 2015, ‘Tolkien and the Viking Heritage
A 2014 master's thesis (Mag. Phil.) from the University of Vienna analysing “different aspects of Vikings culture and their influence on The Lord of the Rings the books and films.”


= = = = Commentary = = = =

Ernest W. Adams, Sunday, 7 June 2015, ‘Why Is Lord of the Rings [sic] Considered Such a Classic?
Let me hasten to assure everyone that the author does not claim to provide a full or exhaustive answer. What he does give is ”the two-minute version”. Unfortunately he doesn't really bring his perspective of a game design consultant into play, focusing on the depth of Tolkien's sub-creation.

Winter King
by Jenny Dolfen
David Freddoso, Thursday, 11 June 2015, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien, The Novelist Who Made Another World
Nothing new, really, and some inaccuracies along the way, but still they have at least tried to make an effort and this is no worse than most such synopses and better than many. A pity that their main source, one Tim Machan (a ‘historical linguist’; is that the same as a philologist? I am not entirely sure of the details of these distinctions), seems to be unaware of the serious Tolkien research that is going on – including Ph.D. (and other) theses focusing on Tolkien (or Tolkien's relation to something else: author, philosopher, movement, etc.).

Medievalist.net, Sunday, 14 June 2015, ‘Trees in the Middle Ages
Knowing how Tolkien felt about trees, this article caught my attention with its promise of “a few observations about the role trees played in the spiritual and cultural life of the Middle Ages.” While not deep and thorough scholarship, this might be a good starting-point for your own research into various aspects of the medieval views on trees – trees as meeting places, for instance (the party tree, anyone?)

Ben, Thursday, 11 June 2015, ‘The Children of Hurin – heimweh and suffering encapsulated.
An interesting analysis of The Children of Húrin in which Ben invokes the nostalgic pain that Michael Drout mentions in his paper, ‘The tower and the ruin: the past in J.R.R. Tolkien's works’ in J.R.R. Tolkien: the Forest and the City, and for which Drout uses the German word Heimweh (I admit that I find it a little difficult to see this word, meaning simple homesickness, used in this way – possibly because we use the same word in Danish with the same meaning). However, with the Narn specifically, I would argue that the sense of pain is immanently different as it is not, in my opinion, the pain resulting from the loss of the past, but rather a pain resulting from the loss of a future, of that which might have been rather than that which was.

Lynn Forest-Hill, Southfarthing Mathom, Sunday, 21 June 2015, ‘June: First Meeting – main report
Just in case you've fallen out of the habit of following the reports from the Southampton Tolkien Reading Group ...
The group is presently on the second book of The Lord of the Rings with this report dealing with chapter 4, ‘A Journey in the Dark’. Two briefer items precede the linked post.


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

Business Standard, Sunday, 7 June 2015, ‘Tolkien's fantasy tale to be published 100 years on
About the upcoming publication of Tolkien's Story of Kullervo edited by Verlyn Flieger.

E.L. Risden, Journal of Tolkien Research, Monday, 8 June 2015, ‘Beowulf (2014), translated by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien
E.L. Risden's review of last year's main Tolkien publication, Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary.

Shaun Gunner, Friday, 12 June 2015, ‘Gramarye 7 published
Issue 7 of Gramarye as been published by the Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairy Tales and Fantasy. Besides other material, this issue includes a review of Tolkien's Beowulf by Tom Shippey, and other reviews by Alaric Hall of J.R.R. Tolkien: The Forest and the City, and by Jane Carroll of The Riddles of the Hobbit. The article ‘They Say England Has No Folktales’ by Jacqueline Simpson may also be of particular interest to people interested in Tolkien specifically.

Lynn Garrett, Publisher's Weekly, Wednesday, 24 June 2015, ‘C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien: Their Faith, Their Friendship, and the Worlds They Created
A listing, more than a note but less than a review, of three recent titles on C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams by Philip and Carol Zaleski, A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War: How J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis Rediscovered Faith, Friendship, and Heroism in the Cataclysm of 1914-18
by Joseph Loconte, and C.S. Lewis & His Circle: Essays and Memoirs from the Oxford C.S. Lewis Society edited by Roger White, Judith Wolfe, and Brendan A. Wolfe.

Nerine Dorman, Monday, 29 June 2015, ‘Must-read for Tolkien fans
Though the title, despite its succinct phrasing, manages to light up two of my red lights (“must-read” and “Tolkien fans”), I find that this review from a Tolkien reader of The Children of Húrin is written with a fine balance of passion and humour.


= = = = Tolkienian Artwork = = = =

Legolas
by Jenny Dolfen
I like this Legolas quite a lot, even if Jenny,
IMO, not quite captures how incredibly tough
and strong Legolas really was; the hardiest of
all the Company of the Ring.
Jef Murray, Thursday, 4 June 2015, ‘Star Kindler
Varda – Tintallë (O! Elbereth Gilthoniel!)

Jef Murray, Friday, 5 June 2015, ‘Tolkien Reading Day 2015
Jef Murray's illustration for the 2015 Tolkien Reading Day on March 25th with the theme ‘Friendship’.

Lynn Edwards, Taruithorn, Saturday, 6 June 2015, ‘Finduilas of Nargothrond
Another of the women from Túrin's life (remember Jenny's picture of Nienor from last month).

Oh, and I won an A4 print in the June monthly raffle on Jenny Dolfen's Patreon page! Go Jenny! Go me! :-) To have your own chance of winning delicious Dolfen designs, support Jenny at Patreon.com.


= = = = Other Stuff = = = =

Larry Swain, Saturday, 6 June 2015, ‘Tolkien Class
Descriptions, objectives, schedule and more for a summer class at Bemidji State University. Seven chapters from Splintered Light in a single week ... personally I think I digested it at a slightly more leisured pace.

Jason Fisher, Tuesday, 9 June 2015, ‘News and updates
a bit of a mixed post, with no clear place to put it ...
Jason Fisher has been been blogging on Lingwë for 8 years. A healthy dose of gratitude goes to Jason for his effort, which has produced many highly interesting posts! Then there are news about books and awards (Fisher has become a fixture as a contributor to finalists for the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies – congratulations on that, it is very well deserved!), and about “a special conference next spring”.
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, Friday, 19 June 2015, ‘What J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and the Pope's New Encyclical Have in Common
Probably a bit outside the normal scope of these transactions, but an excellent example of how Tolkien is being used in various contexts to promote various viewpoints. I rather suspect that Tolkien would not mind being used to promote a papal encyclical, though.

Celebrimbor
by Jenny Dolfen
Andrew Higgins, Sunday, 21 June 2015, ‘When Elvish Met Klingon - An Interesting Exchange of Two Art-Langs
A short note on a curious exchange in early Vinyar Tengwar involving Klingon ...

Emil Johansson, Sunday, 28 June 2015, ‘Hand Drawn Weathered Map of Middle-earth
Emil Johansson has made a very fine hand-drawn map of Middle-earth based on Christopher Tolkien's original artwork.

Ben, Tuesday, 30 June 2015, ‘A bizarre and occasionally insightful essay on ISIS (which mentions Tolkien!)
Ben here comments on another case of Tolkien being used to make a point that has nothing whatsoever to do with his work or person (neither his biography, scholarhip, fiction, poetry or artwork).


= = = = Rewarding Discussions = = = =

LotR Plaza, , ‘Sub-creation
An interesting discussion what the details of Tolkien's use of ‘Sub-creation’ (and the related ‘sub-create’ and ‘sub-creator’)


= = = = In Print = = = =

Parma Eldalamberon 22: The Feanorian Alphabet, Part 1 and Quenya Verb Structure by J.R.R. Tolkien
I have not yet had time to perouse this latest issue of Parma Eldalamberon, but I will look forward to having a look. Though, admittedly, much of the linguistic contents of the Parma Eldalamberon tends to go over my head, but not only is there usually some interesting tidbits hiding in the linguistic discussions, but getting some sense of Tolkien's linguistic / philological preoccupations is, I firmly believe, necessary for me to increase my understanding of the great author.

Mythprint vol. 52 no. 2, Summer 2015, Whole no. 373
This issue with information about the upcoming Mythcon (q.v.) and a report from the annual Tolkien in Vermont conference by Gerry Blair, and on the University of New Mexico Hobbit Society's annual spring colloquium, Intellectual Hooliganism, on 1 April 2015. The reviews in this issue are not Tolkien related.

Beyond Bree, June 2015
The item in this issue that stood out for me was the forteenth installment in Dale Nelson's series on the Days of the Craze – this time subtitled ‘WH Auden on Tolkien's “Hideous” House’.


= = = = Web Sites = = = =

Carolyn Emerick, Folklore, fairies, and mighty battle maidens
http://www.carolynemerick.com/
From an article on Medievalist.net to her web-site. There are a number of interesting articles and other stuff here, so go look around.


= = = = 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. 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.

Jason Fisher, ‘Lingwë -- Musings of a Fish
Archive of posts from June 2015 (Yay! Jason Fisher is back :-) )

John D. Rateliff -- ‘Sacnoth's Scriptorium
Archive of posts from June 2015

David Bratman, ‘Kalimac's Journal
Archive of posts from June 2015

Anna Smol, ‘A Single Leaf
Archive of posts from June 2015

Various (Bradford Eden, ed.) Journal of Tolkien Research (JTR)
Archive of contributions for the on-going volume 1, issue 1

Various, The Tolkien Society (TS)
Remember to check out the full archive of posts from June 2015!

Southfarthing Mathom
Archive of posts from June 2015

Emil Johansson, ‘LotR Project Blog
Archive of posts from June 2015

Taruithorn, the Oxford Tolkien Society, ‘
Archive of posts from June 2015

Michael Martinez, ‘Middle-earth
Archive of posts from June 2015

Pieter Collier, ‘The Tolkien Library
See the front page for a list of recent posts.

Ben, ‘A clearer thinking oasis
Archive of posts from June 2015

Grey Havens Group, ‘The Grey Havens Group
Archive of posts from June 2015

Bruce Charlton, ‘Tolkien's The Notion Club Papers
Archive of posts from June 2015

= = = = Sources = = = =

No new sources in June 2015

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

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Tolkien Transactions LVIII

May 2015

As I have become more involved with Scouting and Guiding (it's the same thing, anyway) both at the national and the international level, my obligations there are keeping me busy. There is no complaint from me because of this – I just wish to mention it to acknowledge that this blog, and my Tolkien writings in general, for me are at a lower priority than my Scouting, and so delays must be expected, as also this month.
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 web-site.

This month it has suited my purposes to sort the contents under the following headlines:
1: News
2: Events
3: Essays and Scholarship
4: Commentary
5: Reviews and Book News
6: Tolkienian Artwork
7: Other Stuff
8: Rewarding Discussions
9: Web Sites
10: The Blog Roll
11: Sources

The Oath Has Been Awakened
by Jenny Dolfen

= = = = News = = = =

Sarah Wells, Friday, 15 May 2015, ‘Taruithorn's 25th
On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Taruithorn, the Oxford Tolkien Society, the society's blog, the Miruvor, has been very active throughout May. Do take a look (see the blog roll below) and find some of the interesting articles. And of course, warm congratulations to Taruithorn, may you find yourselves even stronger for the 50th anniversary.

Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Wednesday, 20 May 2015, ‘Rare first edition presentation copy of The Hobbit to be auctioned
Also see John D. Rateliff, Monday, 25 May 2015, ‘I'm Cited by Sotheby's
The story of a presentation copy of the first edition of The Hobbit being up for sale at Sotheby's.

Simon Sharwood, The Register, Friday, 22 May 2015, ‘ZX Spectrum ‘Hobbit’ revival sparks developer dispute
The dispute is perhaps not particularly interesting to readers of this, but some may remember the old ZX Spectrum game fondly and thus be interested in the news of its revival.

David Oberhelman, Saturday, 30 May 2015, ‘2015 Mythopoeic Awards finalists announced
The field for the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies has two titles focusing on C.S. Lewis and three titles focusing on Tolkien, including Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary. Together with Sellic Spell by J.R.R. Tolkien and edited by Christopher Tolkien. Knowing full well (from experience) that I am entirely unable to foresee the winner, I will eagerly await the announcement of the winners.


= = = = Events = = = =

Past Events
1 - 3 May 2015, Aachen, Germany, ‘Tolkien Seminar’, Deutsche Tolkien Gesellschaft (German Tolkien Society)
Marie-Noëlle Biemer, Monday, 11 May 2015, ‘Tolkien Seminar Tag 1: Eukatastrophische Wünsche
A short report (in German) on the first day of the DTG Tolkien Seminar.

13 May 2015, ‘Tolkien Lecture 2015: Lev Grossman

14 - 17 May 2015, Kalamazoo, Michigan, ‘International Congress on Medieval Studies
Anna Smol, Sunday, 10 May 2015, ‘K'zoo 2015 sessions on Tolkien and medievalisms
John D. Rateliff, Tuesday, 12 May 2015, ‘Off to Kalamazoo!
Emily Monacelli, Thursday, 14 May 2015, ‘Western Michigan University hosts 50th Medieval Congress today through Sunday
John D. Rateliff, Friday, 15 May 2015, ‘Christopher Tolkien Roundtable (The Saga of King Heidreks the Wise)
Medievalist.net, Friday, 15 May 2015, ‘50th International Congress on Medieval Studies – Day 1
Medievalist.net, Friday, 15 May 2015, ‘50th International Congress on Medieval Studies – Day 2
Medievalist.net is serving up a wealth of tweets related to the Kalamazoo Medievalist congress.
Medievalist.net, Monday, 18 May 2015, ‘50th International Congress on Medieval Studies – Day 3
Medievalist.net, Monday, 18 May 2015, ‘50th International Congress on Medieval Studies – Day 4

24 - 27 May 2015, Koszalin University of Technology, Poland, ‘Medieval Fantasy Symposium 2015

30 - 31 May 2015, Geldern, Germany, ‘Tolkien Tag 2015’, Deutsche Tolkien Gesellschaft (German Tolkien Society)
Marie-Noëlle Biemer, Wednesday, 6 May 2015, ‘Tolkien Tag 2015 im Dorf des Drachen
RP Online, Saturday, 9 May 2015, ‘Tolkien-Tag: Ringgeister erobern das Gelderland (In German) Ringwraiths conquering Gelderland ...
RP Online, Thursday, 28 May 2015, ‘Tolkien-Tag ist Ponter Logistik-Wunder (In German)
RP Online, Sunday, 31 May 2015, ‘Die Tolkien-Hauptstadt im Dorf Pont (In German)


Upcoming Events
13 June 2015, Baruch College, New York, ‘New York City Tolkien Conference’, Northeast Tolkien Society

4 July 2015, Leeds, ‘Tolkien Society Seminar 2015’, The Tolkien Society
Theme: ‘One Hundred Years of Middle-earth’

6 - 9 July 2015, Leeds, ‘International Medieval Congress 2015

17 - 19 July 2015, Spokane, Washington, USA, ‘Tolkienmoot 2015

31 July - 3 August 2015, Colorado Springs, Colorado, ‘ MythCon 46’, Mythopoeic Society


6 - 9 August 2015, The Greisinger Museum, Jenins, Switzerland, ‘Omentielva Enquea

3 - 4 September 2015, Budapest, Hungary, ‘5th International Tolkien Conference in Hungary’, Hungarian Tolkien Society

5 - 6 September 2015, Sarehole, Birmingham, ‘Middle Earth Festival 2015
Formerly known as ‘Middle-earth Weekend’

10 - 13 September 2015, St Antony's College, Oxford, ‘ Oxonmoot 2015’, The Tolkien Society

5 - 7 December 2015, ‘Italian Ringers Con 2015

= = = = Essays and Scholarship = = = =

Simon Cook, Sunday, 3 May 2015, ‘On the shores of the shoreless sea
In this essay Simon Cook takes a look at connections involving the shoreless / sundering sea between Tolkien's legendarium and ancient northern myths and legends. In this essay Cook focuses on the ideas of arriving from and departure across the Sea, particularly of rulers, but also of the vistas of what may lie beyond the Sea. Old English and Danish myths and legends are vowen together in Beowulf and in Tolkien's Middle-earth writings, from the early Book of Lost Tales through The Notion Club Papers and The Lord of the Rings. The essay form suits Cook's explorations eminently – it doesn't pretend to be exhaustive or the final word on the matter, but explores a particular potential connection, trying to follow that particular stream back to see where it leads (and, if possible, to its spring), ignoring other streams that contribute to the creek, but without dismissing their existence.

Medievalist.net, Thursday, 7 May 2015, ‘12th-century copy of Consolation of Philosophy was written in Scotland, scholar finds
Boëthius' Consolation of Philosophy is often mentioned in connection with Tolkien as one of the possible sources for some of the philosophical ideas unpinning Tolkien's work (or at least as a, to modern readers, fairly accessible medieval representative of these ideas), and so the provenance of early copies of Boëthius from the British Isles is also interesting in a Tolkienian context.

Medievalist.net, Thursday, 7 May 2015, ‘Scandinavian trade “triggered” the Viking Age, researchers find
Well ... just because! ;-)

Andreth
by Jenny Dolfen
Holly Ordway, Sunday, 17 May 2015, ‘Tolkien, Morris, and the Dead Marshes: An Unrecognized Connection
When reading this, there is, to some extent, a sense of seeing someone re-invent the wheel and then cry out Eureka!. Professor Ordway is, to a large extent, battling some very aged wind-mills when she claims that Tolkien's modern sources are largely unrecognised, or in her discovery of Morris' influence on Tolkien. However, though there is nothing new about the connection between the Dead Marshes and Morris' “ Huns and Romans, as in The House of the Wolfings or The Roots of the Mountains.” (Letters no. 226), I cannot recall seeing this particular connection analysed to the extend that Ordway does, and does interestingly, here.
So, all in all, a more detailed and thorough study than previously seen of a very much recognised connection.

Robert Busek, Medievalist.net, Tuesday, 19 May 2015, ‘Defenders of the Faith: Augustine, Aquinas, and the Evolution of Medieval Just War Theory
Unfortunately I haven't had time to read through this paper myself, but both St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas are often mentioned among Tolkien's philosophical inspirations, and I cannot help but wonder how this paper will line up with e.g. Faramir's wonderful speech about not loving “the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory.” (LotR, book IV, ch. 5).

John Garth, Monday, 25 May 2015, ‘A friend of Tolkien's TCBS tells a neglected truth of war
Possibly a bit tangential to the normal topics of these transactions, but the story of George Henry Bonner does, as John Garth implies in the title, tell another bit of the story of the Great War and what it did to that generation of young men to which Tolkien also belonged. The tragedy did not end in 1918.


= = = = Commentary = = = =

Lynn Forest-Hill, Southfarthing Mathom, Saturday, 2 May 2015, ‘Our only meeting in April
The Southampton Tolkien Reading Group has now reached book II of The Lord of the Rings and used a whole meeting (with everyone present) to discuss the first chapter, ‘Many Meetings’.
A few points caught my attention. Gandalf's concern about the situation in the barrow, which he appears to take more seriously than the attack at Weathertop, is puzzling, indeed. A discussion about the differences in the sitations with the Master Ring in Tom Bombadil's house and Rivendell appears to have focused on place rather than people, which made me curious. Also there are some bits that appear, at least to me, to assign a greater sense of agency to the Master Ring than I feel is entirely justified, though Tolkien has managed to make this inanimate object appear almost as an independent character in the story, reflecting the personification that the actual characters apply to it.

Philip and Carol Zaleski, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Friday, 8 May 2015, ‘Oxford's Influential Inklings
It seems that writers of books about the inklings have begun to write lengthy articles based on their books as part of the promotion of the book. So the Zaleskis here produce a lengthy article based on their new book about the inklings, The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams. Most intelligent commentary on both article and book can be found in the Mythsoc e-mail list on Yahoo groups (see under discussions)
See also: Sarah Seltzer, Monday, 11 May 2015, ‘Fathers of Fantasy: Celebrating J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis' Friendiversary,
Bruce Charlton, Thursday, 14 May 2015, ‘Review of The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings by Philip Zaleski and Carol Zaleski (2015)
Elizabeth Hand, Los Angeles Times, Friday, 29 May 2015, ‘Review: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and 'The Fellowship' of fantasy writers

The Two Captains
by Jenny Dolfen
Michael Martinez, Tuesday, 19 May 2015, ‘Please Stand Here, Mister Tolkien, While We Take a Few Measurements
This is one of the – over the past few years quite rare – instances where I have to say that I mostly disagree with Martinez.
First of all, I think his understanding of scientists' approach to Tolkien's work is, at least, insufficient – scientists are analysing Tolkien's work from a lot of different perspectives and for a number of reasons. In many cases, the scientist is more concerned with helping the reader to understand their science than they are with understanding Tolkien (see for instance Henry Gee's excellent The Science of Middle-earth), in some cases the primary concern is a type of source study, where Tolkien's understanding of the Primary World is seen as a source, and many other concerns are also seen, but I doubt that the desire for Middle-earth to be real a factor for many scientists – if for any at all.
Secondly, I firmly agree with Verlyn Flieger when she states that “for a major fantasy [The Lord of the Rings] has suprisingly few actual fantastic elements in it” (for a more thorough understanding, read Flieger's essay ‘Fantasy and Reality: J.R.R. Tolkien's World and the Fairy-Story Essay’ in Green Suns and Faërie: Essays on J.R.R. Tolkien), and with the realisation that in Tolkien's work the fantastic element is actually quite exceptional, I have to reject one of the basic assumptions in Martinez' post.
Finally, speaking as a physicist, I tend to disagree with Martinez' exposition about the relation between science and the spiritual (incl. the divine). The divine is inherently outside the scope of science and thus any idea of scientifically testing the divine inherently nonsensical from a scientific viewpoint (this, obviously, has nothing to do with testing much of the nonsense that is proposed that is within the scope of science, but trying to argue based on the divine, which is outside – such can generally be summarily dismissed).

Evan Puschak, ‘the Nerd Writer’, Thursday, 21 May 2015, ‘The Perils of Worldbuilding
I could wish that I had the time for a sustained critique of Mr Puschak's points here. Not that I entirely disagree with everything he says, but I feel that he also misses a lot of important points about stories and story-telling that are pertinent to the points he tries to make. But read and watch this for yourself and instead of merely fully rejecting or fully accepting each claim, you might spend a few seconds considering the circumstances in which the claim is true and false respectively.

Thomas Van, Thursday, 21 May 2015, ‘Was Lewis “basically Catholic”?
A short piece referring to a 2007 article from Mythlore, that addresses Lewis' relation with Catholicism by way of his friendship and differences with Tolkien. Published on a Catholic web-site (CatholicCulture.org).

John D. Rateliff, Friday, 22 May 2015, ‘Tolkien and E. M. Forster
Reactions and further thoughts on Jason Fisher's April post about Tolkien and the Nobel prize.

Dylan Leavitt, Monday, 25 May 2015, ‘Tolkien's Middle Earth Travels to the Midwest
About a letter sent by Tolkien to William B. Ready at the Marquette in 1957, including a transcript of the letter.
See also John D. Rateliff, Tuesday, 26 May 2015, ‘The Ready Letter

Tosin Thompson, Thursday, 28 May 2015, ‘From Aragorn's blood pressure to Gollum's vitamin D levels: the science of The Lord of the Rings
Though I find expressions such as ‘infatuated and besotted’ a rather offensive way to describe the enchantment of Tolkien's work (and other expressions have that same slightly mocking air), the list of serious applications of scientific models to Tolkien's sub-creation is intriguing. The climate scientist, professor Dan Lunt, points out that ’The serious point to the study was that it showed that climate models are not just statistical models tuned to observations, but are based on fundamental physics and thus can be applied to any planet, real or imagined.’ The same can be said for the other pieces of research: the point is to take the models, that are based on fundamental science, and show that they can be applied broadly to the human experience.

Laura Miller, Sunday, 31 May 2015, ‘Love “Game of Thrones?” Thank “unfashionable” Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, who went against the grain and conquered pop culture
Starting with the sub-title, “It wasn't Christianity that gave a pack of old fogeys like the Inklings the power to rule the world”, it is quite clear that the agenda is a criticism of the narrow perspective of Christian analyses of the Inklings; most recently, and the seeming trigger for this article, the book by the Zaleskis. I might put things differently – attempting a more balanced approach – but overall I think it is important to provide a corrective to the large number of critical analyses that offer a specifically Christian reading of Tolkien.


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

David Bratman, Tuesday, 5 May 2015, ‘buried in bibliography
Working on the bibliography for the next Tolkien Studies, covering 2013, Bratman has a few reflections both on what is covered, but also what is not covered by the journal's annual bibliography listing. I think I might be able to identify some work published only on the internet, that would probably be worth including in a more comprehensive bibliography. I am less certain about non-English ... as I see it, there is a limit to how much you can do with Tolkien scholarship in other languages, because, among other things, you need to be able to work with Tolkien's own critical vocabulary, even if you do not adopt it as your own – trying to translate this vocabulary of complex concepts and ideas simply do not work well enough for the detailed understanding needed for scholarship at the level of the forefront of modern Tolkien studies.

John D. Rateliff, Saturday, 16 May 2015, ‘Verlyn Flieger Festschrift (A Call for Papers)
Oooohhhhh!!!

David Bratman, Thursday, 21 May 2015, ‘Tolkien Studies 12: an announcement
Announcing a change in format (from hardcover to softcover) the contents of Tolkien Studies 12 ... even more ‘Oooohhhhh!!!’

Kelley M. Wickham-Crowley, Journal of Tolkien Research, Friday, 22 May 2015, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien: the Forest and the City (2013), edited by Helen Conrad-O'Briain and Gerard Hynes
A thorough and excellent review of this volume, applauding the diversity of voices in the collection, while pointing out some of the weaknesses.

Andrew Higgins, Tuesday, 26 May 2015, ‘Tolkien's Poetry (2013), edited by Julian Eilmann and Allan Turner
Andrew Higgins reviews the 2013 Cormarë volume on Tolkien's poetry. Quite possibly merely a result of differing interests and tastes, but Higgins' descriptions of the essays that make up this collection made me reconsider whether I would buy it or not, putting it back on the list of ‘let me try it from the library first’ books. But that, too, is one of the reasons for reviews, and quite possibly to be more grateful for than an enthused review that makes you want to rush out and buy the book.

Eleanor Simmons, Thursday, 28 May 2015, ‘Raymond Edwards' "Tolkien" – A Review
A review of the 2014 biography, Tolkien, by Raymond Edwards. While I appreciate the comparison to Carpenter, I lack an analysis of what this biography has to add to what is already available from e.g. John Garth and from Christina Scull and Wayne Hammond (and an evaluation of how reliable such additional material appears ...)

Douglas A. Anderson, Sunday, 31 May 2015, ‘The Journal of Tolkien Research
Announcing the reviews that have appeared in the journal (see above), and promising that he expects “to have enough for new ones to appear weekly through most of June.” ... ‘Oooohhhhh!!!’ again :-)


= = = = Tolkienian Artwork = = = =

Graeme Skinner, Tuesday, 5 May 2015, ‘Going Underground
The tube map of Moria ...

Joe Gilronan, Tuesday, 5 May 2015, ‘Rivendell. The Last Homely House

Jenny Dolfen, Wednesday, 27 May 2015, ‘The Two Captains
Beleg and Túrin.

The Drawing of the Sword
by Jenny Dolfen

= = = = Other Stuff = = = =

Steve McKenna, Monday, 11 May 2015, ‘Fact and fantasy on Tolkien trail
A quite nice article about Tolkien's relationship to Birmingham. Overall a very good article, though the usual tower-myth does get aired (with the ‘the possible inspiration’ qualifier, which seems to be journalist-speak for ‘there's absolutely nothing to support this, but people like to believe it anyway’).

Joe Bartram, Sunday, 24 May 2015, ‘A Tolkien Calendar: Part 1
First part of a series offering a detailed analysis of the calendars of Tolkien's Middle-earth.


= = = = Rewarding Discussions = = = =

Mythsoc, Yahoo group, ‘Article in The Chronicle of Higher Education and a new book about the Inklings
Undoubtedly the most knowledgeable and intelligent discussion that I have seen anywhere of the article and book by the Zaleskis.


= = = = Web Sites = = = =

The Tolkien Estate
I repeat the link to the Tolkien Estate web-site, which saw the launch of a major re-design last month, which is now being commented and reviewed by various Tolkienists.
John D. Rateliff, Monday, 4 May 2015, ‘Tolkien Estate Website
John D. Rateliff, Tuesday, 5 May 2015, ‘And The Answer Is: Oysters Served With Lemon
Christina Scull & Wayne G. Hammond, Wednesday, 6 May 2015, ‘Tolkien Estate Website Revised
John D. Rateliff, Thursday, 7 May 2015, ‘Tolkien Estate's New Website (quick guide)

Tolkien Main Page – Library of Birmingham Discover Tolkien from the Library of Birmingham. Gallery, videos, and other material relating Tolkien's early life in Birmingham.

= = = = 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. 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.

Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond, ‘Too Many Books and Never Enough
Archive of posts from May 2015

The Last Homely House
by Joe Gilronan
Douglas A. Anderson, ‘Tolkien and Fantasy
Archive of posts from May 2015

John D. Rateliff -- ‘Sacnoth's Scriptorium
Archive of posts from May 2015

John Garth, ‘John Garth
Archive of posts from May 2015

David Bratman, ‘Kalimac's Journal
Archive of posts from May 2015

Jenny Dolfen, ‘Jenny's Sketchbook
Archive of posts from May 2015

Anna Smol, ‘A Single Leaf
Archive of posts from May 2015

Various, The Mythopoeic Society
Archive of posts from May 2015

Various (Bradford Eden, ed.)Journal of Tolkien Research (JTR)
Archive of contributions for the on-going volume 1, issue 1

Various, The Tolkien Society (TS)
Archive of posts from May 2015

Simon Cook, Ye Machine
Archive of posts from May 2015

Southfarthing Mathom
Archive of posts from May 2015

Taruithorn, the Oxford Tolkien Society, ‘
Archive of posts from May 2015

Michael Martinez, ‘Middle-earth
Archive of posts from May 2015

Pieter Collier, ‘The Tolkien Library
See the front page for a list of recent posts.

Ben, ‘A clearer thinking oasis
Archive of posts from May 2015

Grey Havens Group, ‘The Grey Havens Group
Archive of posts from May 2015

Bruce Charlton, ‘Tolkien's The Notion Club Papers
Archive of posts from May 2015

= = = = Sources = = = =

New sources in May 2015
Taruithorn, the Oxford Tolkien Society, ‘

Ben, ‘A clearer thinking oasis

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