Sunday, 5 June 2016

Tolkien Transactions LXIX

(April &) May 2016

As I explained a month ago, I managed to overwrite the work I had been doing on my April transactions, leaving me with just a few scraps. These, then, form the basis for this month's work, along with a few other bits and pieces from April, and, of course, what I have come across during May.

As time is still in very short supply and obligations are in excess, you will find that nearly all links are given without comments. These are links I would either have liked to have time to comment upon, or even that I would have liked to have time to read in full, but which seem interesting enough to share. In other cases, my commentary will be limited. June is promising to be even more hectic, except for the last week, so I hope to be able to use that week to return to normal.

As usual, I make no claims about newness, completeness and relevance, and refuse to accept responsibility of other than my personal idiosyncracies :-)

These transactions are posted on my blog, Parma-kenta (Enquiry into the books) and on the Tolkien Society web-site.

This time it has suited my purposes to sort the contents under the following headlines:
1: News
2: A Secret Vice
3: Kalamazoo
4: Events
5: Essays and Scholarship
6: Commentary
7: Reviews and Book News
8: Interviews
9: Tolkienian Artwork
10: Other Stuff
11: Rewarding Discussions
12: In Print
13: Web Sites
14: The Blog Roll
15: Sources
The Return of Hurin and Huor
by Peter Xavier Price

News

Clive Hammond, Basingstoke Gazette, Monday, 2 May 2016, ‘New musical explores the life of JRR Tolkien

Bodleian Libraries, Tuesday, 3 May 2016, ‘Bodleian Libraries acquires rare map of Middle-earth annotated by Tolkien

Maev Kennedy, Tuesday, 3 May 2016, ‘Tolkien annotated map of Middle-earth acquired by Bodleian library
This is about the copy of CJRT's map of Middle-earth with annotations by both J.R.R. Tolkien and Pauline Baynes.
See also, Christian Holub, Entertainment Weekly, Tuesday, 3 May 2016, ‘Newly discovered Middle-Earth map, with annotations by J.R.R. Tolkien, acquired by Oxford
Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Wednesday, 4 May 2016, ‘http://www.tolkiensociety.org/2016/05/bodleian-acquires-map-of-middle-earth-annotated-by-tolkien/

La Sociedad Tolkien Espanola, May 2016, ‘Bases del certamen de ensayo "Ælfwine" - Edición 2016 (Rules for the 2016 edition of the ‘Ælfwine’ Essay Award)
English essays are allowed, and the rules can be downloaded at the site in English also.


A Secret Vice

Fingon
by Jenny Dolfen
Curiously, there has been less noise about this book, than I had expected based on my own excitement, but what I have found is listed here.

Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Thursday, 7 April 2016, ‘“A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages” published

Vivien Stocker, Monday, 11 April 2016, ‘Interview of Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins

John Garth, New Statesman, Friday, 15 April 2016, ‘Teach yourself Dwarvish: behind Tolkien's invented languages

Various, Amazon, , ‘Costumer reviews
At the time of writing this, there are five reviews, most of which are helpful, and most of which are very positive.


Kalamazoo

The annual Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo is a huge event that draws a lot of the finest Tolkien scholars from all over the world. The Tolkien track at Kalamazoo is always of a high quality, and very often there is extensive reporting. This year is no different, and therefore I have chosen to put the K'zoo news and reports under a special headline.

Anna Smol, Friday, 29 April 2016, ‘Tolkien Unbound entertainment at Kzoo

John Rateliff, Saturday, 12 May 2016, ‘Vaughn is my Hero!

Larry Swain, Monday, 16 May 2016, ‘Kzoo 2016

John Rateliff, Sunday, 22 May 2016, ‘A picture from Kalamazoo

Anna Smol, Friday, 27 May 2016, ‘Tolkien's King Sheave story
Some comments on Anna Smol's paper on Tolkien's King Sheave story, which is embedded in his Notion Club Papers.


Events

Reports & comments on past events
The Art of Elmenel: Parma Eldaliéva I, p.306
by Tsvetelina Krumova
8–10 April 2016, The Middletons Hotel, York, ‘Springmoot and AGM 2016’, the Tolkien Society
Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Sunday, 8 May 2016, ‘Watch: Alan Lee discusses his artwork at the Tolkien Society Annual Dinner 2016

8–9 April 2016, University of Vermont, USA, ‘Tolkien in Vermont 2016’, Tolkien Club of University of Vermont

26 May 2016, Pembroke College, Oxford, ‘2016 Tolkien Lecture’, Pembroke College
Daniel Helen, Tolkien Society, ‘Tolkien Lecture 2016: Terri Windling

28 May 2016, East Yorkshire, ‘Tolkien Tour: East Yorkshire’, the Tolkien Society
Michael Flowers, Sunday, 29 May 2016, ‘Inaugural East Yorkshire Tolkien Tour


Info on upcoming & on-going events (as of 1 June)
14 April–10 June 2016, Various locations, Scotland, ‘Leaf by Niggle’, Puppet State Theatre Company. You can find the tour plan from there.
See also: Mary Palmer, Daily Record, Tuesday, 1 March 2016, ‘New play based on J.R.R. Tolkien short story to tour Scotland

26 April 2016 – 27 February 2017, Various, Staffordshire, ‘Exhibition: J.R.R. Tolkien in Staffordshire 1915 – 1918’, The Haywood Society
See also: Staffordshire Newsletter, Monday, 9 May 2016, ‘Tolkien exhibition comes to Cannock
Ross, Lichfield Live, Wednesday, 11 May 2016, ‘Exhibition exploring JRR Tolkien's link to Staffordshire to visit Lichfield Library

2–5 June 2016, Taylor University, Indiana, ‘C.S. Lewis & Friends Colloquium 2016’, Center for the Study of C.S. Lewis & Friends

17–19 June 2016, Leiden | Den Haag, ‘Lustrum 2016: Unlocking Tolkien, Unquendor – The Dutch Tolkien Society
See also, Francesca T. Barbini, SciFiFantasty Network, Wednesday, 25 May 2016, ‘Lustrum – A Tolkien Gathering in The Hague


3 July 2016, Hilton Hotel, Leeds, ‘the Tolkien Society Seminar 2016’, the Tolkien Society
This year's theme will be ‘Life, Death, and Immortality’ in the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien. See also Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Tuesday, 3 May 2016, ‘Programme announced for the Tolkien Society Seminar 2016

4–7 July 2016, Leeds University, ‘
International Medieval Congress’, Institute for Medieval Studies

16 July 2016, Baruch College, New York City, ‘New York Tolkien Conference

18–20 July 2016, University of Bamberg, Bavaria, Germany, ‘International Conference on Medievalism – 2016: Tradition or Myth’, International Society for the Study of Medievalism &ndash: I am not sure if there will be anything specifically Tolkienian at this conference, but looking at the theme of the 2016 conference, I would very much expect that Tolkien will be mentioned ... more than once.

A ‘film’ of The Hobbit
by Tomás Hijo
5–8 August 2016, San Antonio, Texas, US, ‘MythCon 47’, The Mythopoeic Society. The 2016 theme is ‘Faces of Mythology: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern’
Lynn Maudlin, Mythopoeic Society, Tuesday, 15 March 2016, ‘Mythcon 47 Room & Board packages available.
Lynn Maudlin, Monday, 21 March 2016, ‘Mythcon 47 Progress Report #1 Available

8–11 September 2016, Saint Anthony's, Oxford, ‘Oxonmoot 2016’, The Tolkien Society — I have booked! :-)


Essays and Scholarship

Edmund Weiner, Friday, 1 April 2016, ‘Tolkien's English and the ‘Fiction of Authenticity’

Dimitra Fimi, The Conversation, Thursday, 7 April 2016, ‘How to invent a Tolkien-style language

Edmond Weiner, Tuesday, 12 April 2016, ‘The Words of Sixteenth Century Essex Woman and Man
The first of a number of posts about the philology of Essex ...

Michael Flowers, The Tolkien Society, Sunday, 24 April 2016, ‘Tolkien's Tinúviel: The Nightingale in Tolkien's Writings

John Garth, Wednesday, 11 May 2016, ‘Robert Quilter Gilson, TCBS – a documentary

Brenton Dickieson, Tuesday, 17 May 2016, ‘Simone de Beauvoir and the Keyspring of the Lord of the Rings

John D. Rateliff, Friday, 27 May 2016, ‘The Silmarillion at Marquette
A little something about what is hiding in the archives ...

Janet Brennan Croft, Journal of Tolkien Research, Friday, 27 May 2016, ‘Bibliographic Resources for Literature Searches on J.R.R Tolkien
I will turn to Tolkien (unsurprisingly) to express my reaction at being included in this formidable list: “There are no words left to express his staggerment since Men change the language that they learned of elves in the days when all the world was wonderful.” Apart from that, this list is an extremely valuable contribution to Tolkien scholarship, simply by guiding scholars and others on how to search for prior work on a topic.

Andrew S. Higgins, Journal of Tolkien Research, Saturday, 28 May 2016, ‘Tolkien's A Secret Vice and 'the language that is spoken in the Island of Fonway'

David Bratman, Monday, 30 May 2016, ‘Tolkien Studies 13: an announcement
And so we can start looking forward to the next volume ...

Kristine Larsen, Journal of Tolkien Research, Tuesday, 31 May 2016, ‘Medieval Cosmology and Middle-earth: A Lewisian Walk Under Tolkienian Skies

Simon J. Cook, Journal of Tolkien Research, Tuesday, 31 May 2016, ‘How to Do Things with Words: Tolkien’s Theory of Fantasy in Practice


Commentary

Azhar Chowdhury, Tuesday, 13 January 2015, ‘Tolkien's Middle Earth: Lessons for the Muslim Reader
A rather interesting alternative take on the applicativity of Tolkien.

Brenton Dickieson, Wednesday, 6 April 2016, ‘The Stories before the Hobbit: Tolkien Intertextuality, or the Sources behind his Diamond Waistcoat

Tom Hillman, Sunday, 1 May 2016, ‘Gollum Could Have Been Even More Appalling -- HoMe VI.264

Joseph Pearce, The Imaginative Conservative, Thursday, 5 May 2016, ‘Is “The Lord of the Rings” an Allegory?

Michael Schaub, L.A. Times, Monday, 9 May 2016, ‘School principal: 'Harry Potter' and 'Lord of the Rings' cause brain damage
While the headline is a bit of an exaggeration, there is a very interesting underlying debate here about how to view children. Here it seems to me that Tolkien was also very modern in his views, not seeing children as innocent little, fragile things that had to be protected from the realities of the world, but rather as robust human beings with an appetite for the world. Perhaps it is this underlying attitude towards children that the principal finds hard to accept.

Lynn Forest-Hill, Southfarthing Mathom, Thursday, 12 May 2016, ‘First meeting in May

David Bratman, The Tolkien Society, Thursday, 19 May 2016, ‘oh, Stephen!

John D. Rateliff, Wednesday, 25 May 2016, ‘HERUMILLION and the Ring of Earth
Regardless of the minor transcription error (should be Heru-i-million or perhaps merely Heruimillion), this really deserves to be highlighted!

'Men proved easier to ensnare'
by Peter Xavier Price
John D. Rateliff, Saturday, 28 May 2016, ‘KEMEN, EAR, & MENEL
A follow-up on the previous post, noting the origianl names for the Three Rings of the Elves.


Reviews and Book News

Christian Kriticos, Tuesday, 5 April 2016, ‘Origin Stories: The Darker Side of J.R.R. Tolkien
Review of The Story of Kullervo

Joseph Bottum, Washington Free Beacon, Saturday, 23 April 2016, ‘Traces of Tolkien
Review of The Story of Kullervo

Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Thursday, 28 April 2016, ‘Pre-order “The Return of the Ring” proceedings today

Mark Sommer, Examiner.com, Sunday, 1 May 2016, ‘Author explores spiritual themes in Tolkien's 'Hobbit' and 'Lord of the Rings'
A review of Moments of Grace and Spiritual Warfare in The Lord of the Rings by Anne Marie Gazzolo.

Maria Messer, Middle-earth News, Sunday, 1 May 2016, ‘Exclusive Cover Reveal: Tolkien Calendar 2017
The 2017 calendar will feature Tolkien's own art. YES!!

Mark Fisher, Wednesday, 4 May 2016, ‘Leaf by Niggle review – Tolkien's lord of small things gets a one-man show
The stage production of Leaf by Niggle has been very well received by both critics and audience. It has been proposed (ahem ...) that it would be a brilliant idea to have the show set up for Oxonmoot ... I really hope this will happen!
Shaun Gunner, The Tolkien Society, Thursday, 19 May 2016, ‘Leaf by Niggle play continues to popular acclaim

David Bratman, Saturday, 7 May 2016, ‘mythopoeic scholarship
On (unnamed) books nominated for the Mythopoeic Scholarship Awards ...

Tara Creel, Deseret News, Saturday, 7 May 2016, ‘Book review: Tolkien's previously unpublished 'Story of Kullervo' is a diamond in the rough

Sue Bridgwater, Tuesday, 10 May 2016, ‘Deep-Rooted Curry
A review of Patrick Curry's Deep Roots in a Time of Frost: Essays on Tolkien

Mark Sommer, Examiner.com, Saturday, 14 May 2016, ‘Latest Tolkien title explores the roots of Middle-earth
On The Story of Kullervo.

Joseph Reninger, Patheos, Friday, 27 May 2016, ‘The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J.R.R. Tolkien

Dimitra Fimi, Journal of Tolkien Research, Sunday, 29 May 2016, ‘The Story of Kullervo (2015) by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Verlyn Flieger

David Bratman, Monday, 30 May 2016, ‘Tolkien Studies 13: an announcement
And so we can start looking forward to the next volume ...


Tolkienian Artwork

Tomás Hijo, Friday, 1 April 2016, ‘I've made my own trilogy of Hobbit films …

Joe Gilronan, Saturday, 2 April 2016, ‘Rivendell

Tsvetelina Krumova, ‘Elmenel’, Monday, 4 April 2016, ‘"TENGWARIN" ~The Art of Elmenel~ : "The Imladris Edition", Test Booklet

Elena Kukanova, Tuesday, 5 April 2016, ‘Luthien and Huan

Tomás Hijo, Wednesday, 6 April 2016, ‘Shop restocked!

Dark wings downstream
by Jenny Dolfen
Peter Xavier Price, Sunday, 10 April 2016, ‘The Return of Hurin and Huor

Jenny Dolfen, Thursday, 21 April 2016, ‘Dark wings downstream
Not Tolkien, but ...

Graeme Skinner, Saturday, 23 April 2016, ‘Laurelin

Elena Kukanova, Wednesday, 27 April 2016, ‘Earwen

Katarzyna Chmiel-Gugulska, Wednesday, 27 April 2016, ‘Is there no other way?

Joe Gilronan, Thursday, 5 May 2016, ‘Rivendell Home Of Elves

Dan Reeder, Sunday, 8 May 2016, ‘Paper Mache Smaug

Tomás Hijo, Monday, 9 May 2016, ‘The man in the moon is coming!
Tomás Hijo is making a cut based on Tolkien's poem, The Man in the Moon Stayed Up Too Late, which Frodo sings in The Prancing Pony in Bree.

Tomás Hijo, Tuesday, 10 May 2016, ‘Upper half ready!

Tomás Hijo, Tuesday, 17 May 2016, ‘YES! ‘The man in the moon’ is ready!

Joe Gilronan, Wednesday, 18 May 2016, ‘The Voyage of Eärendil

Peter Xavier Price, Sunday, 22 May 2016, ‘'Men proved easier to ensnare'

Tomás Hijo, Wednesday, 25 May 2016, ‘Thorin's Song?
Tomás Hijo writes: “This is the first step of my new project, conceived as the ‘Man in The moon’ twin. No title yet… Maybe ‘Thorin's song’?”


Other Stuff

John Howe, Sunday, 15 May 2016, ‘Journey into Wilderland

Shaun Gunner, Wednesday, 18 May 2016, ‘International Museum Day – a museum for Tolkien?
Yes, please! Preferably in, or close to, Oxford (for the closeness to all the Tolkien papers in the Bodleian Libraries). Also, I think it'd be fair to dedicate a corner to adaptations, but please without giving preference to any of the many adaptations of Tolkien's work!

Michael Livingston, TOR.com, Tuesday, 31 May 2016, ‘Robert Jordan: America's Tolkien
While I think that both Jordan and Martin would prefer to be the first of themselves, this kind of comparisons also, I think, suggest something about Tolkien's role and status within mythopoeic fiction.

Marcel Aubron-Bülles, Tuesday, 31 May 2016, ‘Support Kickstarter project “BANDERSNATCH Goes Audio!!” today


Rewarding Discussions

LotR Plaza, ‘Why was Nain I not named Durin VII?

LotR Plaza, ‘Ancalagon the Black: a case study


In Print

These two months have brought me my copy of A Secret Vice edited by Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins, which I look very much forward to reading (that will probably be in July), as well as the latest copy of Mythlore (issue 128), which is a rather Lewis-heavy issue, but still with a couple of articles that look interesting.

Amon Hen no. 259 contains reports from the Tolkien Society AGM as well as the regular columns I always read: ‘The Burning Palantír’: news from the Tolkien Society Facebook Group, ‘Behind Glass Doors’: from the board of the society, and ‘Michael's Miscellany’ which collects a lot of Tolkienian stories from the news, including a number that I either don't find or decide to skip. The high point in this issue was, however, Shaun Gunner's masterful review of the latest atrocity (as far as the text goes) from David Day, which I enjoyed reading with my daughter. It seems that one will have to find something very tasteful to cover up all the text in this book, as it is reportedly very beautifully made and illustrated.

In addition to the above, I have also found in my e-mail, the latest issue of Mythprint from the Mythopoeic Society, and two issues of Beyond Bree.


Web Sites

Consequences Generator
From the Cambridge Tolkien Society, Minas Tirith, a random generator for a bit of amusing procrastination.

The man in the moon
by Tomás Hijo

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 April 2016
Archive of posts from May 2016

John Garth, ‘John Garth
Archive of posts from April 2016
Archive of posts from May 2016

Marcel Aubron-Bülles, ‘The Tolkienist
Archive of posts from May 2016

David Bratman, ‘Kalimac's Journal
Archive of posts from April 2016
Archive of posts from May 2016

Jenny Dolfen, ‘Jenny's Sketchbook
Archive of posts from April 2016
Archive of posts from May 2016

Anna Smol, ‘A Single Leaf
Archive of posts from April 2016
Archive of posts from May 2016

Edmund Weiner, ‘Philoloblog
Archive of posts from April 2016
Archive of posts from May 2016

Various, The Mythopoeic Society
Archive of posts from 2016

Various (Bradford Eden, ed.) Journal of Tolkien Research (JTR)
Archive of contributions for the on-going volume 3, issue 1

Various, The Tolkien Society (TS)
Archive of posts from April 2016
Archive of posts from May 2016

Simon Cook, Ye Machine
Archive of posts from April 2016

Southfarthing Mathom
Archive of posts from April 2016
Archive of posts from May 2016

Sue Bridgwater, ‘Skorn
Archive of posts from April 2016
Archive of posts from May 2016

Tom Hilman, ‘Alas, not me
Archive of posts from April 2016
Archive of posts from May 2016

Michael Martinez, ‘Middle-earth
Archive of posts from April 2016
Archive of posts from May 2016

Grey Havens Group, ‘The Grey Havens Group
Archive of posts from April 2016
Archive of posts from May 2016

Bruce Charlton, ‘Tolkien's The Notion Club Papers
Archive of posts from April 2016
Archive of posts from May 2016

Various, ‘Middle-earth News
Archive of posts from May 2016

Sources

No new sources in April 2016

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

Sunday, 1 May 2016

The Ninnyhammer

“You're nowt but a ninnyhammer, Troels Forchhammer!”


I have just accidentally synchronised my Tolkien Transactions in the wrong direction, overwriting a full day's work ...

Attempts to recover this have proved futile.

I will not have time to recreate this – I was already planning to mostly just post links to articles that I would have liked to have time to read, and recreating it will take considerably longer than the original work (as I delete the links from my list as I put them into the transactions).

This means that there will be no Tolkien Transactions for April 2016.

Issue LXIX will be posted at the beginning of June, covering May (and perhaps what is salvageable from April ... insofar as I have time).

The gaffer's paternal word-hoard does come easily to mind at the moment ...

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Tolkien Transactions LXVIII

March 2016

Oh, what a month! I had a good, long Easter holiday, getting rested up and re-energized, and on Tolkien Reading Day there was less than a handful of Tolkien-related stories that I hadn't already dealt with, so I thought I was in good time. Then something happened, and what a great week that was. The amount of great stuff that came out over the last week of March was impressive! So if you haven't caught up yet (and I won't blame you, if you haven't), you certainly have something to look forward to.

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
"TENGWARIN" ~The Art of Elmenel~ : "The Imladris Edition", Test Booklet
by Tsvetelina Krumova – Elmenel

News

Liverpool Hope Library, Friday, 18 March 2016, ‘Unusual Provenance Discovery in Special Collections
About the discovery, in their special collections, of a Latin-English Dictionary owned by Tolkien while at King Edward's School in Birmingham. The book has previously been owned by F. Henry Dudley (Ignatius) Ryder (the book is signed by him in 1859) of the Birmingham Oratory where he died in October 1907 – young Tolkien signed the book (with all his names in full) in 1908.

‘Greywolfe359’, Daily Kos, Friday, 18 March 2016, ‘It's Over Gandalf. We Need to Unite Behind Saruman to Save Middle Earth from Sauron!
An example of people using Tolkienian (or, in this case, perhaps more rightly Jacksonian) references to carry political messages. Whether Tolkien – or the characters referred to – would have any sympathy for the political views expressed generally doesn't seem to concern such authors. From a Tolkienian point of view, this, however, does show how Tolkien's work manages to stay relevant in its applicability for the modern reader (though sometimes one might wish that they'd be just a bit more concerned also with the views of Tolkien himself …).

Alex Wheatle, The Guardian, Tuesday, 15 March 2016, ‘Alex Wheatle: I was mesmerised by Tolkien's inventiveness of language
On how one author of young adult fiction was inspired by Tolkien's ‘inventiveness of language’ and says that ‘it is that force of Tolkien's innovation that has long remained with me.’

Leek Post and Times, Tuesday, 22 March 2016, ‘Three ways to celebrate Tolkien in Staffordshire during the Easter break
Most of these will also be available after the Easter break …

Hanna Somerville, Oxford Mail, Thursday, 24 March 2016, ‘Memorial plaque for J.R.R. Tolkien set to be created at Pembroke College
About the plans for a plaque at Pembroke. There is an error in the article, though: Tolkien was a fellow at Pembroke College from 1925 when he was elected Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford until 1945 when he was elected Merton Professor of English (at which point he became a fellow at Merton College, obviously).


Events

Reports & comments on past events
22 - 25 March 2016, Seattle, WA, USA, ‘PCA/ACA National Conference, PCA/ACA
Anna Smol, Sunday, 20 March 2016, ‘Tolkien Studies at PCA 2016’ – not really a report, but a preview of what I hope to find some reporting / commentary on … and would it be too much to hope for some papers to be put on-line?

25 March 2016, Worldwide, ‘Tolkien Reading Day, Tolkien Society – the 2016 theme is “Life, Death, and Immortality”.
John Ledger, Yorkshire Post, Wednesday, 23 March 2016, ‘A precious Good Friday in store for lovers of Tolkien
Radagast the Brown
by Peter Xavier Price
Anna Swartz, Mic.com, Thursday, 24 March 2016, ‘Tolkien Reading Day 2016: Here's the Story Behind the Day Every 'LOTR' Fan Can Appreciate
Anna Smol, Friday, 25 March 2016, ‘Tolkien Reading Day 2016
Anthony Venutolo, NJ.com, Friday, 25 March 2016, ‘National Tolkien Reading Day 2016: Celebrate 'Lord of the Rings' author’ – missing an ‘Inter-’ in the title there.
Toni Betzner, Friday, 25 March 2016, ‘Life, Death, and the Immortal Four’ (thanks to Sue Bridgwater to pointing me to this!)
Christian Holub, Entertainment Weekly, Friday, 25 March 2016, ‘5 reasons to read J.R.R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion – It is Tolkien Reading Day, after all.


Info on upcoming & on-going events (as of 1 April)
27 February–9 April 2016, Mill Bridge Gallery, Skipton, ‘Dales of a Perilous Realm’, John Cockshaw, Shaun Richardson, Mill Bridge Gallery
See, John Cockshaw, YouTube, Monday, 22 February 2016, ‘INSIDE LOOK: "Dales of a Perilous Realm" Tolkien-inspired exhibition

7 March–24 April, Museum of Cannock Chase, Staffordshire, UK, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien – Soldier recruitment and Myth Maker’, The Haywood Society
‘Greendragon’, One Ring.net, Thursday, 10 March 2016, ‘‘J.R.R. Tolkien – Soldier and Myth Maker’ exhibition in the UK

31 March–2 April 2016, John Brown University, Siloam Springs, Arkansas, ‘C.S. Lewis & Inklings Society Conference 2016 – ‘Is Man a Myth?’’, John Brown University C.S. Lewis & Inklings Society
Jason Fisher, Thursday, 24 March 2016, ‘Decennial conference

8–10 April 2016, The Middletons Hotel, York, ‘Springmoot and AGM 2016’, the Tolkien Society
Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Sunday, 6 March 2016, ‘Alan Lee to be guest of honour at Springmoot
Francesca Barbini, SciFi-Fantasy Network, Saturday, 19 March 2016, ‘Alan Lee & The Tolkien Society

8–9 April 2016, University of Vermont, USA, ‘Tolkien in Vermont 2016’, Tolkien Club of University of Vermont
Anna Smol, Monday, 19 October 2015, ‘CFP: Tolkien in Vermont 2016

21&ndash22 May 2016, Hayworth, ‘ALS Weekend 2016’, The Alliance of Literary Societies
Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, ‘Alliance of Literary Societies AGM

14 April–10 June 2016, Various locations, Scotland, ‘Leaf by Niggle’, Puppet State Theatre Company. You can find the tour plan from there.
See also: Mary Palmer, Daily Record, Tuesday, 1 March 2016, ‘New play based on J.R.R. Tolkien short story to tour Scotland

6–8 May 2016, University of Jena, ‘Tolkien Conference 2016’, Deutsche Tolkiengesellschaft and Walking Tree Publishers. The 2016 theme is ‘Tolkien's Philosophy of Language’

12–15 May 2016, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, , ‘51st International Congress on Medieval Studies (K'zoo '16)’, The Medieval Institute at Western Michigan University
John D. Rateliff, Friday, 26 February 2016, ‘Kalamazoo 2016 Tolkien Events schedule

28 May 2016, East Yorkshire, ‘Tolkien Tour: East Yorkshire’, the Tolkien Society

2–5 June 2016, Taylor University, Indiana, ‘C.S. Lewis & Friends Colloquium 2016’, Center for the Study of C.S. Lewis & Friends

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

3 July 2016, Hilton Hotel, Leeds, ‘the Tolkien Society Seminar 2016’, the Tolkien Society
This year's theme will be ‘Life, Death, and Immortality’ in the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien. See also Daniel Helen, Tolkien Society, Tuesday, 19 January 2016, ‘Call for Papers: Tolkien Society Seminar 2016

4–7 July 2016, Leeds University, ‘International Medieval Congress’, Institute for Medieval Studies

16 July 2016, Baruch College, New York City, ‘New York Tolkien Conference

18–20 July 2016, University of Bamberg, Bavaria, Germany, ‘International Conference on Medievalism – 2016: Tradition or Myth’, International Society for the Study of Medievalism &ndash: I am not sure if there will be anything specifically Tolkienian at this conference, but looking at the theme of the 2016 conference, I would very much expect that Tolkien will be mentioned ... more than once.

5–8 August 2016, San Antonio, Texas, US, ‘MythCon 47’, The Mythopoeic Society. The 2016 theme is ‘Faces of Mythology: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern’
Lynn Maudlin, Mythopoeic Society, Tuesday, 15 March 2016, ‘Mythcon 47 Room & Board packages available.
Lynn Maudlin, Monday, 21 March 2016, ‘Mythcon 47 Progress Report #1 Available

8–11 September 2016, Saint Anthony's, Oxford, ‘Oxonmoot 2016’, Tolkien Society — I have booked! :-)


Essays and Scholarship

Medievalist.net, Tuesday, 1 March 2016, ‘The Medieval Magazine: Anglo-Saxon England (Volume 2 Issue 5)
If you wish to learn more about the Anglo-Saxon England that loomed so large in Tolkien's professional life and in his imagination.

Hobbit Maiden
By Jenny Dolfen
Simon J. Cook, Journal of Tolkien Research, Monday, 14 March 2016, ‘Fantasy Incarnate: Of Elves and Men
Simon Cook's essay takes its outset in Tolkien's comments, in ‘On Fairy-stories’, about the relation between language and myth as well as the ideas expressed by Friedrich Max Müller and Owen Barfield. From there, Cook moves through discussions of the capacity for ‘fantasy’ in Men and Elves. Cook's paper is interesting and intriguing, and I think that the overall thrust is going in the right direction, but the going is rough, and the paper seems to me rather uneven, appearing in places very well-thought-out with well-developed arguments, while at other places it reads more as trying out some ideas for crossing some rough ground, and at times taking unnecessary and unconvincing detours. Overall, I am convinced that Cook is moving in the right direction, and that his overall thesis is sound, but there are still elements of the argumentation that fail to convince me, and where I think it would be better to find a different path.
See also Simon J. Cook, Monday, 14 March 2016, ‘Journal of Tolkien Research

Edmund Weiner, Wednesday, 23 February 2016, ‘Tolkien and the aesthetics of philology
This post, originally a talk given to Taruithorn, the Oxford Tolkien Society, in March 2015, explores what Weiner thinks is at the heart of Tolkien's delight in language and in linguistic invention. The post moves from simple delight in the sounds of a language, through enjoying fitting relations between sounds and meaning, to more complex ideas such as Tolkien's concept of ‘native language’, grammatical arrangements, language history, and the conscious construction and controlled change of languages. Weiner ends on the idea of language as music – language not as communication, but as art in and of itself (albeit still art that conveys a meaning, but so may a painting or more conventional music). It is in this way, Weiner argues, that we should understand at least parts of Tolkien's delight in languages, both real and of his own invention.

Edmund Weiner, Friday, 25 March 2016, ‘Wan, dim, and pale: the OED and Tolkien
Weiner continues posting talks about Tolkien and various aspects of language, here a talk about Tolkien's use of words that imply a lessening of light (in amount and / or quality). The three words are all among those that Tolkien have glossed in dictionaries, wan he edited for the OED and he included it in his Glossary to Fourteenth-century Verse and Prose, pale also appears in the Glossary, as does dim. In all three cases Weiner looks at Tolkien's linguistic notes for the word before turning to Tolkien's use of the word in his own writings. I am reminded of Tolkien's comment about wishing rather to “try to wring the juice out of a single sentence, or explore the implications of one word” – here much juice is wrung out of three words.

Dimitra Fimi, Saturday, 26 March 2016, ‘Authorial control and world-building: Some thoughts on J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling, Catherine Fisher and Umberto Eco
A fascinating post by Dimatra Fimi. The discussion of the relative weight of the author's intentions and the reader's perceptions in literary criticism is certainly not new, but the attempts by authors such as Tolkien and Rowling to control the reading (or at least the critical reading) of their own works add another aspect to this discussion.
Personally I am very comfortable giving more weight to the author than to anyone else – actually, more weight than to all else combined. To this there are two reasons. First, the author's intentions is still the only interpretation of the work that is shared by all readers – this is the common starting point, and the only perspective that doesn't make criticism wholly egocentric. And that is the other reason: I would be very uncomfortable with the idea that my personal ‘filters’ should be interesting to others, and, frankly, I am not particularly interested in how you might experience it differently from me.
Also, I think the importance of this personal reconstruction of meaning has been grotesquely exaggerated. Experience shows that words generally do get the meaning across quite well – and when the writer chooses their words with some care, the intended meaning is very nearly completely reconstructed in the mind of the reader (this is obviously even more so in the sciences where mathematical notation helps in making the intended meaning unambiguous).
So I will continue to focus on Tolkien's intention and Tolkien's opinions. Not that I always agree with Tolkien (or that he always agreed with himself, for that matter), but I do think it is important to attempt to understand what he felt about his own work, and it is certainly far more interesting and relevant for me than what any of the rest of us might feel.

Edmund Weiner, Saturday, 26 March 2016, ‘Sources of Tolkien's language-making
There has long been discussions about the possible sources for Tolkien's linguistic inventions – in a number of cases, a word in one of Tolkien's (sub-)created languages is too close to a real-world word with a similar meaning for this to be accidental (Black Speech nazg for ‘ring’ and Irish nasc for ‘link’ is just one example). In this talk, given to Taruithorn on 13 November last year, Weiner discusses this question, offering numerous examples from several both real-world languages and invented languages. Weiner suggests that Tolkien worked primarily from a sense of phonological aesthetics and a sense of the fitness of the assocition of sound and meaning (see also his earlier talk to Taruithorn, ‘Tolkien and the aesthetics of philology’). All in all a very interesting post (as are, indeed, all of the posts that Weiner has so far posted to his blog).

Edmund Weiner,, Sunday, 27 March 2016, ‘A possibly unnoticed instance of echoes of G. K. Chesterton in the works of J. R. R. Tolkien
Introducing the play Magic by G.K. Chesterton that premiered and was published in November 1913, and noting some thematic parallels between the ‘fantastic comedy by G. K. Chesterton’ and the, mainly poetic, work that Tolkien was doing in the following year, such as the first evidence for his ‘nonsense fairy language’ and the Eärendel poem.

Edmund Weiner, Thursday, 31 March 2016, ‘Tolkien and Language, especially English
Another Tolkien talk that Weiner has given, this one at Nine Worlds Geekfest 11 August 2013, and drawing on an earlier talk, which he has since also published on the blog (on 1 April). Weiner notes that ‘Seasoned Tolkienists will find little here that isn't common knowledge, but it may be of interest to others.’ – doubtlessly Weiner is well aware that his blog, in the few short days since his first post, has already attracted many ‘seasoned Tolkienists’ among its readers. Still, there is a lot to know about Tolkien and language, and I, at least, was reminded of much that I had forgotten. This post works quite well in conjunction with earlier posts about Tolkien's relations to language and language invention, and Weiner here also takes in Tolkien's use of language for the telling of tales (something I suspect Tolkien would have claimed was more than mere communication).

Sauron Brought Werewolves
by Peter Xavier Price
Academia.edu – A (non-exhaustive) list of papers on Tolkienian topics uploaded to the website academia.edu in March
I have not had the time to read through all of these, and so I will merely list them here as relevant. There are likely many more papers uploaded that should appear here, but these are the ones that I have noticed.
For a full list of papers that have been tagged ‘J.R.R. Tolkien’ (without date information), please see www.academia.edu/Documents/in/J._R._R._Tolkien.
Ana María Mariño Arias, ‘Women of Middle-Earth. An approach to the role of women in The Lord of the Rings
Simon Cook, ‘The Tragedy of Cambridge Anthropology:Edwardian Historical Thought and the Contact of Peoples’ in History of European Ideas
Janet Brennan Croft, ‘The Art of the Foreword: Tolkien's Shortest Works
Michaela Eskew, ‘Judging a Cover By Its Book: A Study of the Iconography in J.R.R. Tolkien's Dust Jacket Designs for The Lord of the Rings
Andrew Higgins, , ‘Glossopoeia and World-Building: Exploring J.R.R.Tolkien's Four Key Characteristics for Art-Languages by Other Practioners of the 'Secret Vice'
Thomas Honegger, ‘Splintered Heroes – Heroic Variety and its Function in The Lord of the Rings
William Matross, ‘The Shaved Chin: Cultural Imperialism and Gender Norms in Dwarves


Commentary

Dwight Longenecker, Tuesday, 1 March 2016, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien Was a Great Catholic Evangelist
In some ways, I can understand what would make Longenecker feel the way he does, but at the same time, I have to disagree with him. In my opinion, Longenecker seems to believe that the applicability that he sees in Tolkien's work must be universal rather than accepting that this, as Tolkien pointed out, “resides in the freedom of the reader” and is not “the purposed domination of the author.” Many aspects of Tolkien's work are certainly inspired by his faith-based world-view, but the ‘arrow’ doesn't necessarily point both ways.

Tom Hillman, Sunday, 6 March 2016, ‘'Wraiths!' he wailed. 'Wraiths on Wings' -- (TT 4.ii.629-30)
A commentary & analysis of the situation where Frodo, Gollum, and Sam are passed by a Ringwraith in the Dead Marshes (book IV, ch. 2). Hillman's focus is on the changes this event brings about, particularly in Frodo and Gollum. There are some interesting ideas here, especially about the development of Frodo, though I do think that Hillman goes one or two steps too far in his analysis of Frodo's mental state at the Black Gate (IV,3).

Philip Kosloski, National Catholic Register, Wednesday, 9 March 2016, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien and St. Augustine Knew That We Are Exiles
Reading this as a comparative comment, there are some interesting thoughts. Personally I think that Kosloski applies a bit too much applicability to his reading of Tolkien, which I do not think is entirely consistent with Tolkien's concept of the Gift, but insofar as the comparison does hold, the parallels to Augustine are intersting enough.

Lynn Forest-Hill, Southfarthing Mathom 2012, Saturday, 12 March 2016, ‘First Meeting in March
Discussions of ‘The Palantír’ (book III, ch. 11) and ‘The Taming of Sméagol’ (book IV, ch. 1).

Tom Hillman, Thursday, 31 March 2016, ‘And Yet Remain Evil -- Some Parallels in Tolkien and Sassoon
Tom Hillman has been reading The Memoirs of George Sherston by Siegfried Sassoon, and has there found aspects that remind him of Tolkien, and which Hillman believes stem from the parallel experiences of the two authors in the trenches of the Great War.

Bradley Birzer, The Imaginative Conservative, Tuesday, 29 March 2016, ‘Tolkien & Anglo-Saxon England: Protectors of Christendom
The first parts of this article gives a fine, albeit popularised, account of the origins of Tolkien's legendarium, moving through his fascination with Anglo-Saxon language and culture (though I think his antipathy to things French has been exaggerated), through his academic endeavours to keep language, and not least Old and Middle English, on the syllabus of the Oxford English school. From there Birzer moves on through Tolkien's friendship with C.S. Lewis to his work on his sub-created mythology.
Unfortunately Birzer, from this point, moves on to a special kind of applicability, but presented as if it was the intention of the author – something for which there is no evidence. Specifically, Tolkien's mythology remained very much an English mythology (though the aspect of it being about England largely disappeared). Tolkien is also careful never to preach – the spiritual elements of e.g. The Lord of the Ringscan easily be understood from a Catholic perspective, but they do not force that perspective upon the reader, leaving the reader free to understand the spirituality of the book through whatever religious (or non-religiously spiritual) applicability they would prefer.


Reviews and Book News

John D. Rateliff, Tuesday, 1 March 2016, ‘Flieger Day
On collecting contributions for the upcoming Flieger festschrift, A Wilderness of Dragons. I look forward to see this book, even if one should, of course, remember that the people who contribute to such a festschrift are not the scholar they celebrate. Still, if the Shippey festschrift is anything to go by, there is a very good chance of some first-class papers here.

David Bratman, Sunday, 6 March 2016, ‘at work
I am ... intrigued! My best guess right now would be to look forward to seeing the a list of contents for the Flieger festschrift, and otherwise there might be other projects about that I haven't heard of, which might be an even better thing.

Smaug
by Jenny Dolfen
Eric Metaxas, Christian Post, Tuesday, 8 March 2016, ‘What Hobbits and Wardrobes Teach About Faith Amid Tragedy
Not really sure what to do with this one ….
This article is an advertisement for a now book, A Hobbit, a Wardrobe, and a Great War, by one Joe Loconte, who writes about C.S. Lewis' and J.R.R. Tolkien's experiences in the Great War. I don't recall hearing about this book elsewhere (anyone who has heard about it?), and I have to admit that I find it rather weakens my confidence to find it advertised like this by a writer who calls the book's author ‘my good friend’ – and the description doesn't really begin to rebuild my interest. I wonder what the author might have to say about Tolkien's WWI experiences that hasn't already been discussed better by John Garth and others. I will certainly steer clear of this book unless it comes with very favourable reviews by reviewers whose good opinion I trust.
Mark Sommer, The Examiner, Saturday, 12 March 2016, ‘A definitive Tolkien biography for a new generation
A very positive review of Colin Duriez' book, J.R.R. Tolkien: The Making of a Legend. It is extremely frustrating to see the reviewer ignore Carpenter's authorised biography and the original research presented by Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond in their J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide and the recent (2014) biography by Raymond Edwards, Tolkien, and say that “no comprehensive biography on Tolkien had come forth until now” – an easily refutable claim.
For a different take on Duriez' book, see the December 2015 review by Christina Scull, ‘Tolkien Biographies Continued, Part One

Andrew Higgins, Saturday, 12 March 2016, ‘Tolkien by Raymond Edwards
A review of Edwards' new Tolkien biography at the Goodreads site. Higgins is positive, as are most other readers, ranking the book with Carpenter's authorised biography and Garth's Tolkien and the Great War.

Jenny Dolfen, Wednesday, 23 March 2016, ‘Artbook update!
The forthcoming artbook by Jenny Dolfen, Songs of Sorrow and Hope has been delayed. Not that we're impatient to get it in hand … oh, no, not at all … just get it out yesterday, will you?

Sue Bridgwater, Monday, 28 March 2016, ‘Perilous and Fair
A ‘brief review’, as Bridgwater points out, of the collection Perilous and Fair: Women in the Works and Life of J.R.R. Tolkien edited by Janet Brennan Croft and Leslie A. Donovan. Brief as it is, Bridgwater manages to sneak in phrases such as ‘an outstanding book’ and ‘a turning point in the study of women in Tolkien's life and writing’. High words, indeed, from a well-respected Tolkienist.

John Garth, Wedesday, 30 March 2016, ‘A turbulent darkness: Tolkien's first story
A reproduction of Garth's review of Tolkien's The Story of Kullervo (ed. Verlyn Flieger) from the Mail on Sunday. As Garth points out, “1914 was the Big Bang for Tolkien’s imagination, and in The Story of Kullervo you can just about sense Middle-earth waiting to take shape just months later.” Very perceptive, and I certainly agree.


Tolkienian Artwork

Katarzyna Chmiel-Gugulska, Sunday, 15 March 2015, ‘Lúthien & Beren
Starting out with a year old picture by Katarzyna Chmiel-Gugulska. This image was one of my top-three candidates for nominating for this year's Tolkien Society Award for Best Artwork (the other two were Cuiviénen by Jenny Dolfen and The Battle of the Pelennor Fields by Tomás Hijo), so when I realised that I hadn't included this work at the time, I just had to.

Katarzyna Chmiel-Gugulska, Thursday, 3 March 2016, ‘You are not helping me, master Peregrin!
Boromir carrying Pippin through the snow at Caradhras.

Peter Xavier Price, Thursday, 10 March 2016, ‘Radagast the Brown
A glimpse of Radagast seen through the trees.

‘Wait for me beyond the Western Sea ...’
by Peter Xavier Price
Peter Xavier Price, Thursday, 17 March 2016, ‘Wait for me beyond the Western Sea ...
Lúthien's farewell to Beren after Carcharoth's death.

Peter Xavier Price, Monday, 21 March 2016, ‘Sauron Brought Werewolves

Jenny Dolfen, Thursday, 24 March 2016, ‘Smaug
A wonderful picture of Smaug on his hoard (though to my eyes a rather excessive hoard)


Other Stuff

TOR.com, Tuesday, 15 March 2016, ‘Show Off Your Love of Dragons with Wallpaper by Todd Lockwood!
Not really Tolkien, I know … but … but … dragons! :-)

Ellen Cheeseman-Meyer, TOR.com, Tuesday, 15 March 2016, ‘A Horse-lovers' Guide to The Hobbit
While I would certainly agree that it is possible to level some unfavourable criticism at The Hobbit (see for instance Verlyn Flieger's brilliant essay, ‘Tolkien on Tolkien: “On Fairy-Stories,” The Hobbit, and The Lord of the Rings’ in Green Suns and Faërie: Essays on J.R.R. Tolkien), and I also acknowledge that people can find any or all of Tolkien's works to be entirely outside their sympathies – unreadable, even – this piece is merely nonsensical. It's like complaining that Bilbo and the dwarves apparently do not use the toilet – pointless.

John D. Rateliff, Sunday, 20 March 2016, ‘Birmingham's Folly (Perriot's Tower)’ [sic]
On the latest round of folly about Perrotts Folly in Birmingham. I would certainly support that Kickstarter without hesitation :-)

‘A Clerk of Oxford’, Wednesday, 23 March 2016, ‘'This doubtful day of feast or fast': Good Friday and the Annunciation
In J.R.R. Tolkien: Author of the Century, Tom Shippey notes that 25 March was once believed to be the original date of the crucifixion, and thus the original Good Friday, as well as the Annunciation. Having also noted that the Company of the Ring sets out from Rivendell on 25 December, he comments that “The main action of _The Lord of the Rings_ takes place, then, in the mythic space between Christmas, Christ's birth, and the crucifixion, Christ's death.” (p. 208-9)
Having this idea in mind about the symbolism embedded in The Lord of the Rings, I found this article that deals with the Christian symbolism of this date highly interesting. I do not doubt that Tolkien would have known at least the majority of the texts referenced in the article.
Eric, Monday, 28 March 2016, ‘Four dragons
Dragons and intricate devices … though not explicitly Tolkienian, there's enough right there to put it here :-)


Rewarding Discussions

LotR Plaza: ‘Ēarendil and Auzandil
A philological comment …
A philologist in Lejre –Nelson Goering at the site
of the earliest hall found (so far) in Lejre
Photo: Troels Forchhammer

In Print

Amon Hen 258, March 2016
Amon Hen is, to a large extent, the glue that holds our far-flung Tolkien Society together – a large part of our Zusammenhangskraft (or cohesive force). This is where we tell each other what is going on in the society, such as in the column ‘Behind Glass Doors’ (always my first read), ‘The Burning Palantír’ and ‘Mathom’, the newsletter from the Smials. This bulletin is also where members can try out new ideas, as in Anne Marie Gazzalo's piece, ‘The Effect of War on Tolkien's Mythology’ and Ellen Walker's ‘Whatever became of the Stone Giants’. The wider Tolkien world also has a place in Amon Hen, not least in Michael Flowers' collection of Tolkien-releated clippings from both paper and digital editions, ‘Michael's Miscellany’. Thank you, Andrew, for an always enjoyable read!
Beyond Bree, March 2016
The March issue of Beyond Bree has the 21st instalment in Dale Nelson's tale, Days of the Craze, this one subtitled ‘Lord of the Flies: The First Fan-organized Tolkien Conference, Belknap College, 1968, and Beyond’. An article on people trying to (ab)use Tolkien when peddling their pipes and tobacco and some comments on earlier articles completes what has not been dealt with in greater detail elsewhere.

Web Sites

Tsvetelina Krumova, , ‘Elmenel
Please consider supporting Tsvetelina Krumova's work to bring out books of beautiful Elvish calligraphy. I would very much like to think that Tolkien's dream of publishing his book in Elvish would today be possible as a project of art.


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.

Dimitra Fimi, ‘Dr. Dimitra Fimi
Archive of posts from March 2016

Jason Fisher, ‘Lingwë -- Musings of a Fish
Archive of posts from March 2016

John D. Rateliff´, ‘Sacnoth's Scriptorium
Archive of posts from March 2016

John Garth, ‘John Garth
Archive of posts from March 2016

David Bratman, ‘Kalimac's Journal
Archive of posts from March 2016

Jenny Dolfen, ‘Jenny's Sketchbook
Archive of posts from March 2016

Andrew Higgens, ‘Wotan's Musings
Archive of posts from March 2016

Anna Smol, ‘A Single Leaf
Archive of posts from March 2016

Edmund Weiner, ‘Philoloblog
Archive of posts from March 2016

Various, The Mythopoeic Society
Archive of news

Various (Bradford Eden, ed.) Journal of Tolkien Research (JTR)
Archive of contributions for the on-going volume 2, issue 1

Various, The Tolkien Society (TS)
Archive of posts from March 2016

Simon Cook, Ye Machine
Archive of posts from March 2016

Southfarthing Mathom
Archive of posts from March 2016

Sue Bridgwater, ‘Skorn
Archive of posts from March 2016

Tom Hilman, ‘Alas, not me
Archive of posts from March 2016

Michael Martinez, ‘Middle-earth
Archive of posts from March 2016

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

Bruce Charlton, ‘Tolkien's The Notion Club Papers
Archive of posts from March 2016

Sources

New sources in March 2016:
Sue Bridgwater, Skorn: A world of wanderers, wizards, deserts, seas, forests – and adventure.

Edmund Weiner, ‘Philoblog
Philogist at the Oxford English Dictionary, co-author of The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary.

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

Friday, 4 March 2016

Tolkien Transactions LXVII

February 2016

February was a month where I tried something new for the very first time in my life! Our oldest moved out, leaving us to reorganise the house, which has included setting up a nice office space, where I have been able to gather my Tolkien matters right next to my desk. Being quite satisfied with the set-up, I share a few pictures of my new ‘Troels den’ below.

As usual, I make no claims that any of this is new or relevant to anyone, and I certainly do not claim to be complete (given the many things I choose to ignore, that would be silly, indeed).

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

Swan's wings and seafoam
Eärwen by Jenny Dolfen

News

Justyna Tomtas, Wednesday, 3 February 2016, ‘Old Toby's in Chehalis Gets Stained Glass Windows
I am not sure how keen Tolkien would have been on being associated with a ‘Recreational Marijuana Dispensary’ such as Old Toby's in Chehalis, Washington, but there is a part of me finding this an almost nostalgic reminder of an earlier view of Tolkien – see especially Dale Nelson's series Days of the Craze about the reception of Tolkien's work in the 1960s USA.

Jim Durkin, the Bournemoth Daily Echo, Thursday, 18 February 2016, ‘Rare JRR Tolkien signature to go under the hammer
On the auctioning of a signature card Tolkien signed for Mrs. Gould in Bournemouth for insertion into her book.
See also Martin Lea, the Dorset Echo, Monday, 22 February 2016, ‘It's a lot of Tolkien - Rare letter by Lord of the Rings author goes under hammer

Troels Forchhammer, Monday, 22 February 2016, ‘“The Shadow Man” and “Noel” – the longer story ...
About the whole business with these two poems and their discovery in the 1936 Annual of Our Lady's School in Abingdon, and not least of the school finding their own copy of said annual. This post also has references to nearly all the posts and articles I have seen about this (omitting only a couple of duplicates). Two blog posts by Tolkien scholars provide additional information that is not in my post:
John D. Rateliff, Saturday, 20 February 2016, ‘The Shadow Man
Douglas A. Anderson, Wednesday, 24 February 2016, ‘Some Tolkienian updates: "lost" poems and secret vices
In which Anderson also comments on the upcoming annotated edition of A Secret Vice, and on a review of Grevel Lindop's biography about Charles William by A.N. Wilson.


Events

Info on upcoming events (as of 1 March)
27 February–9 April 2016, Mill Bridge Gallery, Skipton, ‘Dales of a Perilous Realm’, John Cockshaw, Shaun Richardson, Mill Bridge Gallery
See, John Cockshaw, YouTube, Monday, 22 February 2016, ‘INSIDE LOOK: "Dales of a Perilous Realm" Tolkien-inspired exhibition
For more information, see Francesca Barbini, SciFiFantasy Network, Sunday, 21 February 2016, ‘Dales Of A Perilous Realm – A Tolkien-Inspired Exhibition

5 March 2016, Pembroke College, Cambridge, UK, ‘Minas Tirith Smial Annual Dinner’, Minas Tirith, the Cambridge Tolkien Society

7 March – 24 April 2016, Museum of Cannock Chase, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien in Staffordshire’, The Haywood Society
Staff, the Staffordshire Newsletter, Tuesday, 16 February 2016, ‘JRR Tolkien in Staffordshire 1915 – 1918 exhibition

22 - 25 March 2016, Seattle, WA, USA, ‘PCA/ACA National Conference, PCA/ACA

My Tolkien shelves
Photo: Troels Forchhammer
24 March 2016, Oslo, Norway, ‘ArtheCon 2016’, Arthedain

25 March 2016, Worldwide, ‘Tolkien Reading Day, Tolkien Society – the 2016 theme is “Life, Death, and Immortality”.
Lily Milos, Middle-earth News, Thursday, 25 February 2016, ‘Celebrate Tolkien Reading Day With Middle-earth News and Around the World!
Lily Milos, Thursday, 25 February 2016, ‘Celebrate Tolkien Reading Day 2016 With The Brisbane Tolkien Fellowship

8–10 April 2016, The Middletons Hotel, York, ‘Springmoot and AGM 2016’, the Tolkien Society

8–9 April 2016, University of Vermont, USA, ‘Tolkien in Vermont 2016’, Tolkien Club of University of Vermont
Anna Smol, Monday, 19 October 2015, ‘CFP: Tolkien in Vermont 2016

14 April–10 June 2016, Various locations, Scotland, ‘Leaf by Niggle’, Puppet State Theatre Company. You can find the tour plan from there.
See also: Shaun Gunner, Tolkien Society, Monday, 29 February 2016, ‘Stage play of Leaf by Niggle to tour Scotland

6–8 May 2016, University of Jena, ‘Tolkien Conference 2016’, Deutsche Tolkiengesellschaft and Walking Tree Publishers. The 2016 theme is ‘Tolkien's Philosophy of Language’

12–15 May 2016, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, , ‘51st International Congress on Medieval Studies (K'zoo '16)’, The Medieval Institute at Western Michigan University
John D. Rateliff, Friday, 26 February 2016, ‘Kalamazoo 2016 Tolkien Events schedule

28 May 2016, East Yorkshire, ‘Tolkien Tour: East Yorkshire’, the Tolkien Society

2–5 June 2016, Taylor University, Indiana, ‘C.S. Lewis & Friends Colloquium 2016’, Center for the Study of C.S. Lewis & Friends

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

3 July 2016, Hilton Hotel, Leeds, ‘the Tolkien Society Seminar 2016’, the Tolkien Society
This year's theme will be ‘Life, Death, and Immortality’ in the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien. See also Daniel Helen, Tolkien Society, Tuesday, 19 January 2016, ‘Call for Papers: Tolkien Society Seminar 2016

4–7 July 2016, Leeds University, ‘International Medieval Congress’, Institute for Medieval Studies

16 July 2016, Baruch College, New York City, ‘New York Tolkien Conference

18–20 July 2016, University of Bamberg, Bavaria, Germany, ‘International Conference on Medievalism – 2016: Tradition or Myth’, International Society for the Study of Medievalism &ndash: I am not sure if there will be anything specifically Tolkienian at this conference, but looking at the theme of the 2016 conference, I would very much expect that Tolkien will be mentioned ... more than once.

5–8 August 2016, San Antonio, Texas, US, ‘MythCon 47’, The Mythopoeic Society. The 2016 theme is ‘Faces of Mythology: Ancient, Medieval, and Modern’

8–11 September 2016, Saint Anthony's, Oxford, ‘Oxonmoot 2016’, Tolkien Society — I have booked! :-)


Essays and Scholarship

Bradford Lee Eden, Journal of Tolkien Research, Monday, 1 February 2016, ‘Michael H.R. Tolkien (1920-84): a research travelogue
Though I am normally not particularly interested in the details of the lives of the Tolkien children (or grand-children), Bradford Lee Eden manages to tell the story of his research into Tolkien's second son, Michael Hilary Reuel Tolkien, in a way that is engaging and interesting. I fully understand the curiosity that drives this kind of exploration, and Eden's way of narrating the process of discovery rather than the dry facts of the results helps to make this article a worthwhile read. What unfortunately remains unexplored is what, if anything, this can tell us about J.R.R. Tolkien and his work, and thus it remains unclear why this story is relevant in a journal focusing on the father.

Jane Beal, Journal of Tolkien Research, Thursday, 4 February 2016, ‘Why is Bilbo Baggins Invisible?: The Hidden War in The Hobbit
This is a very interesting article with a solid overall thrust, but also with some problems that make me rather torn about it. Beal looks at the concept of invisibility as developed in The Lord of the Rings, and applies a number of critical techniques to this, giving the article a well-rounded approach to the topic.
Comparing Bilbo's role in conveying the messages of the leader (Thorin) while the Dwarves are captives of the Elves in The Hobbit to Tolkien's rank as signalling officer is well spotted, as is the idea of soldiers feeling in some sense ‘invisible’ on the battle-field, but other biographical comparisons do not work as well as these, and attempts to link Tolkien's role as signalling officer with the concept of invisibility feel particularly unconvincing.
Beal's discussions of the moral, literary, and theological aspects of invisibility in the context of this power of the Master Ring as it evolved in The Lord of the Rings are masterful, but attempts to apply this to aspects of the earlier story (outside of the opdated ‘Riddles in the Dark’ chapter) are, in my considered opinion, mistaken – here Beal tries to force something into the earlier book that simply isn't there.
A minor weakness, which I suppose primarily concerns me qua my education in physics, is the references to optical theory that are just simply incorrect from a physical point of view, and which therefore, to my physicist's mind, weaken the argument.
Overall, however, I do think it is very much worth your while to read this article, though it would have benefitted much from some additional editing, cutting away the weaker arguments (cutting it by, perhaps, a third) would leave the strengths so much clearer.

Hiding behind the door ...
fortunately the door is usually kept
closed, so that I can enjoy these.
Photo: Troels Forchhammer
Simon J. Cook, Sunday, 7 February 2016, ‘War of the Ghosts
In this post, Cook makes an important point about the scholarly context in which Tolkien worked. Cook points out that,
“The context of intellectual debate was different back then. Disciplinary divisions counted for less, and the scholarly mind roamed over a much larger intellectual terrain. Scholars from a wide variety of specialized fields were engaged in the same or similar conversations.”
This is important in order to understand that Tolkien would, in his scholarly work, be interested in, and work with, questions that would, by modern standards, belong to other disciplines. The example Cook uses here is the relationship of memory (and hence forgetfulness) and story (including folk-lore, and probably also fairy story) in the creation (I nearly wrote sub-creation) and transmission of history.
All in all an excellent post!

Li Tang, University of Iceland and Medievalist.net, Wednesday, 17 February 2016, ‘Number Symbolism in Old Norse Literature
Presenting a Master's Thesis from the University of Iceland, Number Symbolism in Old Norse Literature: A Brief Study. This 50-page thesis should go very well together with Christopher Kreuzer's paper, ‘Numbers in Tolkien’, in The Ring Goes Ever On: Proceedings of the Tolkien 2005 Conference, which are still available from the Tolkien Society.

Karl E.H. Seigfried, Monday, 29 February 2016, ‘The Wanderer: An Old English Poem
Karl Seigfried here provides his own prose translation (following the example of e.g. Tolkien's prose translation of Beowulf) of the Old English poem, The Wanderer. The poem is often cited as an important source for Tolkien, not least the Lament for the Rohirrim recited by Aragorn (“Where now the horse and the rider?   Where is the horn that was blowing? […]”), and Seigfried touches on this and a number of other parallels in his commentary / annotations. Instead of here trying to summarise all the Tolkien-relevant parts of Seigfried's comments (risking to overlook something), I invite you to read through the whole article.


Commentary

John D. Rateliff, Wednesday, 3 February 2016, ‘Blurbs That Never Were (Richard Burton on Tolkien)
More from the 1966 Diplomat magazine with its Tolkien theme. Interesting, to say the least.

Henry Karlson, patheos, Tuesday, 9 February 2016, ‘Tolkien and Kullervo
In this excellent post, Karlson addresses comments, e.g. by Garth and Flieger, that Tolkien's fascination with the story of Kullervo from Lönnrot's Kalevala was strange in the context of his faith, suggesting that it was inconsistent with his Roman Catholic faith. Karlson disagrees with this assessment, and instead finds that Tolkien “shows us that what might seem impossible if we rely upon a fundamentalist mindset is possible, and not because of lack of faith, but in and with it.” Tolkien, according to Karlson, was a twentieth century representative of a Roman Catholic tradition of entering into dialogue with “the followers of other religions” (or in this case, their myths and beliefs) and find what is good and true and valueable therein.
Though I do not know if this is Karlson's intention, this also, to me, offers a frame for understanding both why it is important to take Tolkien's Roman Catholic faith into account when trying to understand him, but also why it is insufficient in itself. There is much more to Tolkien's life and work that one needs to take into account, but his faith is a part of the metaphorical lens through which he saw and understood the world (as was his philological training, his war-time experiences, and much else).

Tom Hillman, Thursday, 11 February 2016, ‘"We will burn like heathen kings before ever a ship sailed hither from the West." (RK 5.iv.825)
A very fine analysis of Tolkien's use of heathen twice in The Lord of the Rings. Though I suspect that Hillman puts too much into the word ‘back’ in the statement from the ‘Akallabêth’ that Ar-Pharazôn “turned back to the worship of the Dark”, this is, overall, probably the finest analysis I have seen of Denethor and Gandalf's use of ‘heathen’.

Alina H, SciFiFantasy Network, Sunday, 14 February 2016, ‘JRR Tolkien's Writing Credibility: The One Trait that Makes It All Believable
Asserting that Tolkien's writing style is more reminiscent of the myths and legends of ancient days, Greek histories, Norse sagas or the Middle-eastern Bible, is of course not new. Alina H here also claims that this is a essential ingredient in making the work believable – what I might have called establishing that inner consistency of reality that induces literary belief. I think this is, to some extend, correct, but I would also say that the validity of this argument goes along with the metafiction of ‘Tolkien the translator’. A more traditional work of fiction without this metafictional transmission would, by the logic of this argument, not benefit from Tolkien's writing style – and that statement probably highlights what I think is the greatest weakness in Alina H's analysis.

Simon J. Cook, Tuesday, 16 February 2016, ‘Faërie as Nature
Simon Cook is entirely right when claiming that Tolkien's Faërie is not just some magical otherworld of make believe. Faërie is not just Valinor, reachable only on the mystical ships of the Elves, but it is far more present. He is also right in pointing out the connections between Faërie and the natural world, but identifying the two as the same thing is an error. Smith goes into the woods to reach Faërie, but he moves through the woods and at some point reaches Faërie. Faërie is more than just the natural world – even “as experienced by those who truly belong to it” – but it is connected to the natural world, and I suspect that Tolkien might say that Faërie can only be reached through the natural world (except by enchantment, as when reading a good story).

Tom Hillman, Wednesday, 17 February 2016, ‘Boromir, Fear, and the Pity of Frodo (FR 2.x.396-402)
Excellent post, well worth reading!
One minor point is that Christopher Tolkien does, in The War of the Ring p.97, state that the differences between the versions of Gandalf's words in book I, ch. 2 and book IV, ch. 1 “remain different in detail of wording, perhaps not intentionally at all points.” I would say that the final words, which I have emphasised, are precisely an acknowledgement that the differences are intentional at some points, and Christopher Tolkien's discussion of the words Hillman stresses, “fearing for your own safety”, strongly suggests that he thinks that this is indeed intentional.
A further discussion of these points, taking Tolkien's discussions in various letters into account, would be very welcome, indeed!
Right behind the desk -- the
largest free wall space in the room
Photo: Troels Forchhammer


Morangles, Medievalist.net, Wednesday, 17 February 2016, ‘Of Myths, Fairy Tales, and TV series
Not explicitly Tolkien, but combining myth, fairy stories and modern viking stories (in this case the History Channel TV-series, Vikings) can never be wholly disconnected from Tolkien.

Tom Hillman, Thursday, 18 February 2016, ‘An Observation on The Ring Verse (FR 1.ii.50)
An excellent point, really. It is, however, typical of the more anthropocentric view of The Lord of the Rings that the focus is on death rather than on the key part of the Gift (or Doom): freedom. Freedom to shape their lives beyond the Music, and thus to shape it beyond, or around, their Doom of death. I would argue that it is only Men who could do this, not because the other races cannot die, but because only Men have the power to, as Flieger suggest, actually reshape the Music (“the free choices of Men will have the power to alter the destinies of Elves.” Splintered Ligh, ch. 15).

Michael Martinez, Monday, 22 February 2016, ‘Did Ofermod Influence Frodo's Decision to Claim the One Ring?
As Martinez says, “great question”! And a fine answer.
Adding to this, I think that Tolkien's assertion than Frodo's was not a moral failure, particularly in the context of Tolkien's explications of this moment in this and other letters, suggests that Frodo was not acting with free will in this moment – that his choice to claim the Master Ring for his own was not made as a free choice.
At a minor point, I disagree with the implication that the Master Ring has a ‘will’ as such – the Master Ring is, in my considered opinion, not sapient in any way.


Reviews and Book News

Roz Kaveney, Thursday, 24 February 2016, ‘Tolkien's English mythology
I strongly suspect that nobody will ever see me complain too much about a Tolkien piece where the main message appears to be that “it's not quite that simple” …
Roz Kaveney opens with the question of whether “Can we accept, perhaps, that The Lord of the Rings is a good, intelligent, influential and popular boo but not a transcendent literary masterpiece or a work of supreme wisdom?” I see it as a rhetorical question – possibly a tongue-in-cheek warning that if you do believe that The Lord of the Rings is “a transcendent literary masterpiece or a work of supreme wisdom”, then you might not want to read the review.
Personally I hope that nobody, myself included, will ever trust me to identify supreme wisdom, and much less transcendent literary masterpieces. I can recognise what I, personally, like when I meet it, but I'll keep it at that!
As for the rest of the review, I think that Kaveney exaggerates the reflexive fan-boyish defensiveness of some academic Tolkien scholarship (not that this doesn't exist at the level she implies, and worse than that, but not really in academic scholarship, I would say), but the overall call is precisely to avoid the simplistic binary thinking inherent also in Tolkien's own poetic comment that, “The Lord of the Rings / Is one of those things: / If you like you do: / If you don't, then you boo!”
The human mind apparently likes to keep things simple, but reality rarely is, and I think Kaveney should be lauded for trying to point out that things are more complex, really.
See also LotR Plaza, ‘TLS Review,
and Mythsoc Yahoo group, , ‘"An English mythology": Review in TLS of JRRT books

Johnathan Svendsen, Narnia Fans, Friday, 5 February 2016, ‘Tumnus' Bookshelf: The NarniaFans Book Reviews: Bandersnatch: CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, and the Creative Collaboration of the Inklings
A review of Diana Pavlac Glyer's 2015 book, Bandersnatch: CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, and the Creative Collaboration of the Inklings. Svendsen is clearly very enthusiastic, praising also the illustrations and the accessiblity of the book. One sentence probably highlights the differences in Svendsens and my approaches. He writes, “She admitted that the earlier book was more for scholars, but this was for general readers.” If I had written that, I would probably have said that Glyer had admitted that this was a reworking of her earlier book for the general public. Personally I much prefer the language and structure of scholarly works that require their readers to think and reflect, and this seems to be no exception.

Joe Gilronan, Tuesday, 16 February 2016, ‘From the Shire to the Sea: The Art of Joe Gilronan (PRE-ORDER).
The art book by Joe Gilronan from Oloris Publishing, From the Shire to the Sea is now available for pre-order!

Rizal Johan, Star2, Sunday, 21 February 2016, ‘Tolkien's first prose work is full of magic and bruality
A review of Tolkien's The Story of Kullervo edited by Verlyn Flieger that gives the book 8 out of 10.Most of the review is a summary of the story of Tolkien's Kullervo retelling, and the reviewer does not really engage with Tolkien's Kalevala essay.

Daniel Helen, Tolkien Society, Friday, 19 February 2016, ‘Extended version of Tolkien's “A Secret Vice” to be published in April
About the upcoming release of this extended edition, A Secret Vice: Tolkien on Invented Languages edited by Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins. I'm certainly looking forward to that one!


Tolkienian Artwork

Graeme Skinner, Monday, 1 February 2016, ‘Meanwhile in Moria ….
Gandalf lighting up a pipe in Moria.

Elena Kukanova, Deviant Art, Sunday, 7 February 2016, ‘Finrod Galadriel Orodreth- fragment
This is a fragment from the next picture, Lord of the Third House in Middle-Earth.

Elena Kukanova, Deviant Art, Sunday, 7 February 2016, ‘Lord of the Third House in Middle-Earth
Portraying “Finarfin's farewell to his children”.

Elena Kukanova, Deviant Art, Monday, 15 February 2016, ‘Somewhere under the same sky
Presumably Andreth thinking of Aegnor ...

Elena Kukanova, Deviant Art, Monday, 15 February 2016, ‘Finrod and Aegnor. The last conversation

Ebe Kastein, Deviant Art, Wednesday, 17 February 2016, ‘Young Nerdanel

Peter Xavier Price, Deviant Art, Sunday, 21 February 2016, ‘Turin Journeys to Dor-Lomin
I think this piece excellently captures some of the atmosphere of the Narn – the sense of dark doom and a single man against the world ...
See also his Gloomy Woods II piece from 29 February. Though not made to illustrate Tolkien's Middle-earth, this piece could also easily portray one of the gloomy forests of Tolkien's world.

Ebe Kastein, Deviant Art, Thursday, 25 February 2016, ‘Young Nerdanel in colour

Ebe Kastein, Deviant Art, Saturday, 27 February 2016, ‘Haudh-en-Elleth
The ghost of Finduilas on her mound, the Haudh-en-Elleth.


Other Stuff

Chris Lough, TOR.com, Tuesday, 2 February 2016, ‘The Earth Isn't Flat, But Middle-earth Is
This piece is not more wrong than most of what you see, and it's more right than many. Still, I do wish that writers would do a bit of research before making such blanket statements – if the author would just have limited his piece to apply to the published Silmarillion, the more serious problems would have disappeared (there would still be some minor issues for readers to nitpick).

Ben, Aussierebel, Wednesday, 3 February 2016, ‘George R.R. Martin's inane commentary on Tolkien
Addressing some relevant questions pertaining to Martin's comments on the lack of information about Aragorn's tax policies. Well said!

James Moffet, Friday, 5 February 2016, ‘My decade-old Tolkien book
It is always good to hear of someone who loves their old Tolkien books and keep them around. I haven't thrown out any of my Tolkien books, though the Danish paper-back book club edition of The Lord of the Rings, Ringenes Herre from Gyldendals Bogklub, that I got for my 18th birthday (more than three decades ago) is in tatters.

Steve Hayes, Tuesday, 9 February 2016, ‘The One Ring
I know I am not the only one with an interest in how references to Tolkien is used in modern political argumentation, and clearly Hayes has given this some thought, here offering some reflections on a specific way of using Tolkien references (specifically to the Master Ring) to make a political point.
Incidentally, I think Hayes is spot on with his comment that “even attempting to answer [a question posted in a Tolkien newsgroup] would indicate that one had missed a central point of the story.” This could be extended to a great many of the questions I see asked in various Tolkien fora.

Francesca Barbini, SciFiFantasy Network, Saturday, 20 February 2016, ‘The Greek TS At The Greisinger Museum
On the visit of the Greek Tolkien Society, The Prancing Pony, to the Greisinger Tolkien Museum in Switzerland.

Michael Martinez, Tolkien Society, Thursday, 18 February 2016, ‘Mythmaking in the Golden Age of Tolkien
In this post, Martinez seems to me to discuss the relations of fan receptions, scholarly receptions, and scholarship on fan receptions (all of Tolkien's work – both his own scholarship and his fiction). I am not entirely sure what Martinez is trying to say here. At one point he sets up two worlds, one of scholarship and one of fiction, that he appears to think of as entirely separate things (which I don't think they are), and at another point, he seems to suggest that future scholarship will treat Tolkien's own work and the fan receptions as one and the same (which I doubt). In both cases, I actually think that my reading is flawed, but I am not sure what Martinez' intention is.


Rewarding Discussions

LotR Plaza: ‘One Ring to Rule Them All - Who?
About whom, or what, the Master Ring was intended to rule.

LotR Plaza:, , ‘Tolkien Trivia Time!
The Plaza has managed to get a nice thread of trivia game running ...

Rec.arts.books.tolkien: ‘Orcs and Hobbits
A long thread with many side-tracks that takes its starting point in the simple question of how on Middle-earth Treebeard could have mistaken Merry and Pippin for small orcs?


In Print

Beyond Bree, February 2016
Dale Nelson is officially my favourite regular contributor to Beyond Bree! This month, he has contributed a new instalment of his ‘Days of the Craze’ series as well as notices on

Web Sites

The Last Alliance, The University of Alberta Tolkien Society
The web site features a podcast series by the society, which includes both lectures by scholars, both resident and visiting, and the society's own discussions of Tolkien's works. From February 2016 you can find e.g. The Cycle of Order and Chaos in the Lord of the Rings by Dr Natalie Van Deusen, and Dr. William Thompson's lecture, Of Hobbits, Elves, and Talking Dragons: J.R.R. Tolkien and the Journey into Faerie.

Confirming J.R.R. Tolkien Quotations
A new public Facebook group aiming at confirming – or more likely disconfirming – quotation attributed to professor J.R.R. Tolkien, and if possible discover the true source, when this is not Tolkien.

A couple of old posts from the Oxford Dictionaries blog should have been included long ago, but will now have to be included here:
Peter Gilliver, Jeremy Marshall, and Edmund Weiner, 7 January 2013, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien and the definition of ‘hobbit’ – An excerpt from the book The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary
Jonathan Dent, 5 March 2013, ‘Whale-horses and morses: Tolkien and the walrus in the OED – About Tolkien's work on the entry for ‘walrus’.
Tim William Machan, 13 November 2013, ‘Why did Tolkien use archaic language? – About Tolkien's archaisms and why some people may see them as problematic, but unfortunately Machan doesn't really attempt to answer his titular question.


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.
Dimitra Fimi, ‘Dr. Dimitra Fimi
Archive of posts from February 2016

Douglas A. Anderson, ‘Tolkien and Fantasy
Archive of posts from February 2016

John D. Rateliff -- ‘Sacnoth's Scriptorium
Archive of posts from February 2016

David Bratman, ‘Kalimac's Journal
Archive of posts from February 2016

Laerminuial and Estel
a work in progress by Jenny Dolfen
Jenny Dolfen, ‘Jenny's Sketchbook
Archive of posts from February 2016

Andrew Higgens, ‘Wotan's Musings
Archive of posts from February 2016

Anna Smol, ‘A Single Leaf
Archive of posts from February 2016

Various (Bradford Eden, ed.) Journal of Tolkien Research (JTR)
Archive of contributions for the on-going volume 2, issue 1

Various, The Tolkien Society (TS)
Archive of posts from February 2016

Simon Cook, Ye Machine
Archive of posts from February 2016

Southfarthing Mathom
Archive of posts from February 2016 – the group's discussions this month cover III,8 ‘The Road to Isengard’

Tom Hilman, ‘Alas, not me
Archive of posts from February 2016

Michael Martinez, ‘Middle-earth
Archive of posts from February 2016

Ben, ‘A clearer thinking oasis
Archive of posts from February 2016

Grey Havens Group, ‘The Grey Havens Group
Archive of posts from February 2016

Bruce Charlton, ‘Tolkien's The Notion Club Papers
Archive of posts from February 2016

Various, ‘Middle-earth News
Archive of posts from February 2016

Sources

New sources in February 2016
Tom Hilman, ‘Alas, not me
description


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


Updated 2016-03-05 to correct errors. Thank you to Ian Collier for spotting a misspelled name :)