Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Tolkien Transactions LXXVII

January 2017

These monthly introductions have become an outlet for my feelings of having too much to do – to some extent as an explanation of delays and reduced commentary. As can be seen, I am now (albeit slowly) catching up with respect to the delays, which is certainly a relief (and due to a general lightening of loads compared to the latter half of 2016). The commentary is still light as I am unable to read through all items (and a number of them I simply include because they look interesting), and this is likely to continue for quite a while.

Therefore I continue to make disclaimers regarding the newness, completeness, relevance, agreement or veracity (or any other implication of responsibility) of anything on this list, individually and as a whole :-)

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: The Birthday Toast
2: News
3: Events
4: Essays and Scholarship
5: Commentary
6: Reviews and Book News
7: Tolkienian Artwork
8: Story Internal (Ardalogy)
9: Other Stuff
10: Rewarding Discussions
11: Other Reading
12: Web Sites
13: The Blog Roll
14: Sources

Lúthien
by Jenny Dolfen

The Birthday Toast

Shaun Gunner, The Tolkien Society, Friday, 13 January 2017, ‘How the world celebrated Tolkien's Birthday


Tolkienists
Valdis, Middle-earth News, Monday, 2 January 2017, ‘Tolkien Birthday Toast 2017

Amy H. Sturgis, Tuesday, 3 January 2017, ‘Happy Birthday, J.R.R. Tolkien!

John D. Rateliff, Tuesday, 3 January 2017, ‘Happy Tolkien Day

Brenton Dickieson, Tuesday, 3 January 2017, ‘Toasting Tolkien's 125th Birthday #TolkienBirthdayToast

James Moffat, Tuesday, 3 January 2017, ‘Tolkien Birthday Toast 2017

Brenton Dickieson, Thursday, 5 January 2017, ‘A Brace of Tolkien Posts (125th Birthday Week)
A list of Tolkien-related posts on his blog (so, Tolkien posts come in braces ... these things are good to know ;) ).


Various
Russ Burlingame, Comicbook, Sunday, 1 January 2017, ‘Remembering JRR Tolkien On His Birthday

Duncan MacLaren, BBC Radio 4, Tuesday, 3 January 2017, ‘Prayer for the Day
A nice enough little prayer based on Tolkien's Leaf by Niggle (though I am favourably disposed towards the final sentiment of the prayer, I am not sure I agree with the way he comes from Niggle to this sentiment).

Felix Schlagwein, Deutsche Welle, Tuesday, 3 January 2017, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien - celebrating an unusual life
One of the better birhtday articles on Tolkien here.

Laura Rebello, International Business Times, Tuesday, 3 January 2017, ‘JRR Tolkien's 125th birthday: Check out The Lord Of The Rings author's biggest celebrity fans

Clark Mindock, International Business Times, Tuesday, 3 January 2017, ‘JRR Tolkien Birthday: Quotes And Facts About The 'Hobbit' And 'Lord Of The Rings' Author
The so-called ‘facts’ should have been reviewed more thoroughly, but at least the quotations seem to be OK (the pen & beak quotation is at a hearsay level, but at least we have someone claiming that Tolkien said so), though I haven't verified all of them for word order, punctuation etc.

Kate Samuelson, Time, Tuesday, 3 January 2017, ‘J. R. R. Tolkien Fans Are Toasting the Lord of the Rings Author on His 125th Birthday

Simonetta Dibbern, Deutschlandfunk, Tuesday, 3 January 2017, ‘Vor 125 Jahren: Der britische Schriftsteller J.R.R. Tolkien geboren
In German, but certainly one of the better articles!

Books News Desk, Broadway World, Wednesday, 4 January 2017, ‘J. R. R. Tolkien Fans Celebrate 125th Birthday With a Global Toast

Illyana Zeski, The Pierce Pioneer, Monday, 23 January 2017, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien Birthday

Happy Birthday from Elmenel
by Tsvetelina Krumova

News

Ben Hooper, UPI, Friday, 6 January 2017, ‘Great-grandma's St. Anthony figurine turns out to be 'Lord of the Rings' elf

Nan Spowart, The National, Tuesday, 10 January 2017, ‘JRR Tolkien's epic The Lord of the Rings 'depicts the horrors of the trenches'
One of many articles taking its outset in a book by a Simon Tolkien, No Man's Land, in which Simon Tolkien uses inspiration from his famous grandfather's life. This article is fairly representative in both its fallacies and its correct information (don't accept any statement without verifying it).

Shaun Gunner, The Tolkien Society, Wednesday, 11 January 2017, ‘25th anniversary of Sauron Defeated

Arwen Kester, Middle-earth News, Thursday, 12 January 2017, ‘Middle-earth News Celebrates 6 Years Today!
Congratulations!

Larry Eskridge, Canton Daily Ledger, Saturday, 14 January 2017, ‘Celebrating the author of the 20th Century

Kristina Lazzara, Marquette Wire, Tuesday, 24 January 2017, ‘Marquette purchases rare first edition of ‘The Hobbit’

Cité internationale de la Tapisserie, Wednesday, 25 January 2017, ‘Aubusson weaves Tolkien
Wow! Just WOW!!
See also the PDF press release.

Shaun Gunner, The Tolkien Society, Thursday, 26 January 2017, ‘Tolkien Society achieves highest ever membership
Yay! 1,287 members! Well done! No doubt the conscious on-line presence of the Tolkien Society over the past few years (e.g. with a Facebook Group with more than 25,000 members) is a strong contributing factor to the growth of the society dedicated to “educat[ing] the public in, and promote research into, the life and works” of J.R.R. Tolkien.
Congratulations to our Tolkien Society and not least to our trustees, chaired by Shaun Gunner! Well done!

Maria Sestito, Napa Valley Register, Saturday, 28 January 2017, ‘Napa Library celebrates all things Tolkien

Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Sunday, 29 January 2017, ‘Nominations open for The Tolkien Society Awards 2017
Yay! Who else are making lists :) Looking at the list of previous winners, I think it is about time we nominate the outstanding work by Christina Scull and Wayne Hammond for the “Outstanding Contribution” award! But as for the other awards, I still haven't made up my mind :)


Events

No reports or comments on past events
See the special section on the Birthday Toast.

Info on upcoming & on-going events (as of 1 January)
26 April 2016 – 27 February 2017, Various, Staffordshire, ‘Exhibition: J.R.R. Tolkien in Staffordshire 1915 – 1918’, The Haywood Society

25 March 2017, Worldwide, ‘Tolkien Reading Day 2017’, The Tolkien Society
This year's theme is ‘Poetry and Songs in Tolkien's Fiction’

8 April 2017, Burlington, Vermont, ‘Tolkien in Vermont’, Tolkien at University of Vermont
Anna Smol, Wednesday, 30 November 2016, ‘CFP: Romances in Middle-earth

21–23 April 2017, Warwick Arms Hotel, ‘Springmoot and AGM 2017’, The Tolkien Society

11–14 May 2017, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA, ‘International Congress on Medieval Studies (K'zoo)’, Western Michigan University, Medieval Institute
Geoffrey B. Elliott, Thursday, 26 January 2017, ‘Kalamazoo 2017: Updates
Anna Smol, Saturday, 28 January 2017, ‘Kalamazoo: Tolkien Symposium and ICMS Conference

1–4 June 2017, National Conference Center, Virginia, US, ‘Mythmoot IV: Invoking Wonder’, Mythgard Institute
Curtis, Signum University, Tuesday, 22 November 2016, ‘Are you ready for Mythmoot IV?
Tom Hillman, Thursday, 5 January 2017, ‘Mythmoot IV -- A New Hope

16–18 June 2017, Waddow Hall, Clitheroe, Lancashire, ‘The Middle-earth Beer & Music Festival’, The Ale House Clitheroe

2 July 2017, Hilton Leeds Hotel, ‘Tolkien Society Seminar 2017’, The Tolkien Society – The theme this year will be “Poetry and Song in Tolkien's works”
Anna Milon, The Tolkien Society, Tuesday, 6 December 2016, ‘Call for papers: Tolkien Society Seminar 2017

Shaun Gunner, The Tolkien Society, Tuesday, 31 January 2017, ‘Book now for The Tolkien Society Seminar 2017

3–6 July 2017, Leeds, ‘International Medieval Congress’, University of Leeds, Institute for Medieval Studies
Dimitra Fimi, Wednesday, 30 November 2016, ‘Tolkien Sessions at IMC Leeds, July 2017

28–31 July 2017, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA, ‘Mythcon 48’, The Mythopoeic Society

10–13 August 2017, California State University, East Bay, Hayward Campus, USA, ‘Omentielva Otsea: The Seventh International Conference on J.R.R. Tolkien's Invented Languages’, Omentielva

21–24 September 2017, St. Anthony's College, Oxford, ‘Oxonmoot’, The Tolkien Society

The Fellowship of the Ring
by Katarzyna Chmiel-Gugulska

Essays and Scholarship

“J.R.R. Tolkien” on Academia.edu
“Tolkien Studies” on Academia.edu
A sampling of papers uploaded to Academia.edu in December & January (probably ... or thereabouts, the exact upload date is generally not available). Unsorted. Where a paper is indicated as having been previously published in a journal, this is included here: Paul Romney, Lembas Katern Iss. 76, pp. 101-114, ‘A Particular Phase of History: Time Travel, Temporal Ambiguity, and the Pattern of History in The Lord of the Rings
Robert Tally, in Tolkien in the New Century: Essays in Honor of Tom Shippey, pp. 41-56, ‘Places Where the Stars are Strange: Fantasy and Utopia in Tolkien's Middle-earth
Lars Schmeink, Participations: Journal of Audience & Reception Studies, Vol. 13, Iss. 2, pp. 430-439, ‘How Bilbo Lost His Innocence: Media Audiences and the Evaluation of The Hobbit as a 'Children's Film'
Boris Gorelik, Mallorn Iss. 55, pp. 5-10, ‘‘Africa… always moves me deeply’: Tolkien in Bloemfontein
Dina Khapaeva, chapter in The Celebration of Death in Contemporary Culture, pp. 81-85, ‘The Hobbit, the Monster's Godfather
Giovanni Costabilie, ‘Whose Salvation? True Immortality, Tolkien's Elves and the Fate of the Artist

Michael Drout, Academia.edu, ‘List of Documents
Michael Drout has uploaded a number of documents, many of which are from various issues of Tolkien Studies (e.g. own articles and reviews, biographies etc.). And of course, there are many non-Tolkien documents (e.g. on medievalism) that could also be of interest to the readers here.

Martina Juričková, Saturday, 24 December 2016, ‘A Journey of Virtues: Reflections of Advent Ideas in The Lord of the Rings

Anahit Behrooz, Medievalist.net, Sunday, 8 January 2017, ‘Good versus Evil: Representations of the Monstrous in Thirteenth Century Anglo-French Apocalypse Manuscripts
An article from Forum: University of Edinburgh Postgraduate Journal of Culture and the Arts, Issue 22 (2016). I am not entirely sure how this can be brought to relate more directly to Tolkien, but I was struck both by the concept of the monsters and by the sentence in the introduction, where Behrooz speaks of possibility of reading the Revelation “as an allegory or embodiment of the dichotomy or ‘near dualism’ of good and evil”, which seems to be to contrast somewhat with the Thomistic understanding of evil as an absence of good (I believe that lsquo;privation of good’ is the technical term).

Nelson Goering, The Tolkien Society, Tuesday, 17 January 2017, ‘The Later Quenta Silmarillion: A Reader's Map
An excellent work to help readers piece together something approaching a continuous (albeit far from consistent) narration of the Later Quenta Silmarillion. Goering stresses the constantly evolving nature of the texts (something that is also true of the published works, which were, in many ways, still ‘works in progress’ despite having been published), and his solutions also clearly show that there is no one right way to read these texts (though there may be ways that are wrong).

James Graham-Campbell, Medievalist.net, Monday, 23 January 2017, ‘The Vikings in Orkney

Natalia Klimczak, Friday, 27 January 2017, ‘Väinämöinen: The Finnish Deity and Hero Who Inspired Tolkien to Create Gandalf and Tom Bombadil
An introduction to the idea of Tolkienian inspirations from the Finnish Kalevala cycle, seemlingly designed with readers of The Lord of the Rings in mind – even if the specifics of the claims may be new also to readers familiar with The Story of Kullervo and other Kalevala-references in Tolkien. I could have wished that it went just one or two steps further – just naming the particular singing quality of all the Tom Bombadil says, and merely stating that Gandalf has some echoes of Väinämöinen feels a bit too superficial to me.

Angela Marion Smith, Medievalist.net, Sunday, 29 January 2017, ‘King Æthelstan in the English, Continental and Scandinavian Traditions of the Tenth to the Thirteenth Centuries

Once Upon A Shire
by Joe Gilronan

Commentary

Steuard Jensen, January 2017, ‘A Rings-Reader's Bridge to The Children of Húrin
An excellent guide for a reader of The Lord of the Rings to get an idea of what's going on in The Children of Húrin.

T.J. West, Friday, 6 January 2017, ‘Reading “The Lord of the Rings”: “Journey to the Cross-Roads,” “The Stairs of Cirith Ungol,” and “Shelob’s Lair”

Tom Hillman, Sunday, 8 January 2017, ‘No Laughing Matter: the Ring and the Quality of the Dúnedain
... and yet humour is involved, as Hillman shows here.

Chris Gehrz, Patheos, Tuesday, 10 January 2017, ‘Lewis, Tolkien, and the Shadow of War

Philip Seargeant, The Conversation, Wednesday, 11 January 2017, ‘Why Tolkien’s fantastic imaginary languages have had more impact than Esperanto
This has also appeared in other places with similar headline.

Bruce G Charlton, Thursday, 12 January 2017, ‘Fantasy fiction is more important than ‘real life’: completing the argument of JRR Tolkien’s essay On Fairy Stories
I am quite certain that Tolkien would have disagreed vehemently on theological, literary, and simple human groups.

Andrew Whalen, iDigitalTimes, Friday, 13 January 2017, ‘‘Lord Of The Rings’ Answer To Marie Kondo: Tolkien’s Fantasy Coinage For Those Who Like Clutter
About mathoms ….

Stephen C Winter, Monday, 16 January 2017, ‘A Cock Crow Announces the Fall of Mordor

Lynn Forest-Hill, Southfarthing Mathom, Saturday, 14 January 2017, ‘First in January (2017)

T.J. West, Thursday, 19 January 2017, ‘Reading “The Lord of the Rings”: “The Choices of Master Samwise”

Bruce G Charlton, Thursday, 19 January 2017, ‘The Romantic Theology of the Inklings (considered as a complementary group)
My own impression of the Inklings is such that Charlton's search for a more coherent, complementary, theory of something appears to me forced – a matter of forced applicability rather than the contemporary actuality of the group and its writers.

Simon J Cook, Tuesday, 24 January 2017, ‘LOTR: early drafts: Tom Bombadil in passing
Cook's investigations of the early drafts of The Lord of the Rings continue to be interesting!

T.J. West, Thursday, 26 January 2017, ‘Reading “The Lord of the Rings”: “Minas Tirith”

Lynn Forest-Hill, Southfarthing Mathom, Sunday, 29 January 2017, ‘Last in January


Reviews and Book News

Bruce G Charlton, Sunday, 1 January 2017, ‘Review of Tales from the Perilous Realm - Brian Sibley's 1992 radio adaptations of Farmer Giles of Ham, Smith of Wooton Major, Leaf by Niggle and some Lord of the Rings scenes featuring Tom Bombadil

Jeffrey R. Humboldt, Wednesday, 4 January 2017, ‘A Few More Details About the Revised Tolkien Companion and Guide
A very few additional details on the upcoming three-volume second edition of Scull and Hammond's essential J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide.

Joseph Pearce, The Imaginative Conservative, Saturday, 7 January 2017, ‘The Best of Tolkien
I suppose one might argue that ‘The Best on Tolkien’ would have been a more accurate title, as Pearce here lists some books that are, in his opinion, among the best books about Tolkien and / or Tolkien's work. I can see that Pearce and I have largely read, and been moved by, different books about Tolkien, but we do agree on Carptenter, Shippey, Flieger and Garth, and I find it very strange not to find the works by Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull on this list (as for the rest, I suppose that is more easily explained by the large differences in perspective on Tolkien between Pearce and myself).

John D. Rateliff, Monday, 9 December 2016, ‘Clyde Kilby's Collected Essays
Rateliff provides some lovely examples from the book, particularly from the report of Kilby's meeting with Lewis in 1953. This could well be a book inclusion in the modest collection to my right as I write (see my updated ‘shelfie’ illustrating this issue).
Lynn Maudlin, The Horn of Rohan Redux, Friday, 13 January 2017, ‘Mythprint #379 Published

Nelson Goering, Journal of Tolkien Research, Sunday, 15 January 2017, ‘A Secret Vice (2016) by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins
A favourable (and wholly deserved so) review of A Secret Vice: Tolkien on invented languages.

Jeffrey H. Ryan, Tuesday, 17 January 2017, ‘Tolkien Tuesday: 2017
A summary of some of the Tolkien books known to arrive in 2017.

Bruce G Charlton, Tuesday, 17 January 2017, ‘Review of The Hobbit animated movie 1977
A review of the Rankin / Bass animated film that is somewhat more positive than mine would be …

Tom Hillman, Thursday, 19 January 2017, ‘Review: Tolkien, Race and Cultural History: From Fairies to Hobbits
Tom Hillman, Thursday, 19 January 2017, ‘Review: J.R.R. Tolkien's Lost English Mythology
Tom Hillman, Thursday, 19 January 2017, ‘Review: Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary, together with Sellic Spell
Tom Hillman, Thursday, 19 January 2017, ‘Review: The Book of Lost Tales, Part One
Tom Hillman, Thursday, 19 January 2017, ‘Review: Tolkien (the biography by Edwards)
Tom Hillman, Thursday, 19 January 2017, ‘Review: Deep Roots in a Time of Frost: Essays on Tolkien
Tom Hillman, Thursday, 19 January 2017, ‘Review: Perilous and Fair: Women in the Works and Life of J. R. R. Tolkien
Tom Hillman, Thursday, 19 January 2017, ‘Review: The History of Middle-Earth Index
Tom Hillman, Thursday, 19 January 2017, ‘Review: The History of the Hobbit
Tom Hillman, Thursday, 19 January 2017, ‘Review: 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
What Hillman himself describes as a ‘deluge’ of reviews (many more than these Tolkien-related ones). Some short, some longer, but worth checking.


Tolkienian Artwork

Matěj Čadil, DeviantArt, Monday, 12 December 2016, ‘The Road Goes Ever On

Jenny Dolfen, Sunday, 1 January 2017, ‘Lúthien

New artwork
by Tsvetelina Krumova – Elmenel
Tsvetelina Krumova, Monday, 2 January 2017, ‘Happy New Year!

Tsvetelina Krumova, Tuesday, 3 January 2017, ‘My First Artwork for this Year

Šárka Škorpíková, DeviantArt, Wednesday, 4 January 2017, ‘Bywater pool on the day of Bilbo's party

Elena Kukanova, DeviantArt, Thursday, 5 January 2017, ‘Morgoth

User ‘wildelbenreiter’, DeviantArt, Thursday, 5 January 2017, ‘the big heart of a tree

Matěj Čadil, Friday, 6 January 2017, ‘Tom and Goldberry's First Meeting

Francesca T. Barbini, SciFiFantasy Network, Saturday, 14 January 2017, ‘The Silmarillion Symphony Ep 2: The Fall of Fingolfin
A work by composer Aaron M Dunn.

Ulla Thurnell, DeviantArt, Saturday, 21 January 2017, ‘Hobbiton

Blacksanz, DeviantArt, Sunday, 22 January 2017, ‘Gimli

Antonio José Manzanedo, DeviantArt, Sunday, 22 January 2017, ‘Gwaihir the Windlord

Joe Gilronan, Thursday, 26 January 2017, ‘Once Upon A Shire

Daniel Pilla, DeviantArt, Saturday, 28 January 2017, ‘Gandalf and Bilbo

User ‘GGoya’, DeviantArt, Sunday, 29 January 2017, ‘Don't Follow the Lights

Joona Kujanen, DeviantArt, Tuesday, 31 January 2017, ‘Battle of Five Armies: King Under the Mountain


Story Internal (Ardalogy)

Michael Martinez, Tuesday, 31 January 2017, ‘Is There Any Significance to the Number of Steps at Orthanc?


Other Stuff

Michael Martinez, Tuesday, 10 January 2017, ‘DragonCon Cancels the Tolkien and Middle-earth Fan Programming Track
Obviously these are worse news to some than to others (I don't recall reading about DragonCon before this, though I probably have ...), but of course it is upsetting to those who have been heavily involved in this.

Jonathan S MacIntosh, Tuesday, 17 January 2017, ‘Entrepreneurship vs. Labor in Middle-earth

Brian Castner, KWAC, Tuesday, 24 January 2017, ‘Simon Tolkien Draws On His Famous Grandfather's Experiences In 'No Man's Land'
See also Dennis Drabelle, Washington Post, Thursday, 26 January 2017, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien’s war experiences inspire his grandson’s novel, ‘No Man’s Land’


Rewarding Discussions

LotR Plaza, ‘The Name Tolkien
Discussing the research by Derdzinski (see the section on web sites)

LotR Plaza, , ‘Alliterative Revival
Having an expert on the alliterative metre contribute can be daunting, but not when it's the kind and helpful Nelson Goering … :-)

Did Tolkien ever change the meanings of his words?
The discussion has now been closed, but an interesting topic that could do with a broader discussion (though not of whether Tolkien changed the meanings, but rather how, when, and particularly why he change the meanings of his words).


Other Reading

Among other things, I will here add some old items that have come up (in some cases I'll be reposting), and which are still worth reading. So expect rather a jumble in this section.

Rebecca Lawes, Winter 2017, ‘Tolkien & Latin

Jenny Turner, London Review of Books, Vol. 23 No. 22, 15 November 2001, ‘Reasons for Liking Tolkien
A lengthy analysis that is critical in an intelligent way. Good reading!

Christopher Howse, The Telegraph, 14 November 2014, ‘Tolkien and the Goths’ disaster
What might Tolkien have meant by saying that “the greatest disaster in history was that the Goths fell into the Arian heresy”?

Michael Caines, The Times Literary Supplement, 2 December 2015, ‘Iris Murdoch: letter-writer and eucatastrophist
The theme of this article is relating and comparing Iris Murdoch and J.R.R. Tolkien. Good stuff.

Apart from these, I am still working my quiet way through Tolkien's Beowulf, while also keeping up with various non-Tolkienian reading (I've recently bought a couple of books by Lord Baden-Powell, Rovering to Sucess and Lessons from the Varsity of Life, and I also still have some books in Danish from my birthday to get through – one a Danish translation of I am Malala). Good days ahead :)

Web Sites

Ryszard Viajante Derdzinski, ‘Tolknięty
A blog on the genealogy of Tolkien. Derdzinski believes to have traced the family of J.R.R. Tolkien to Danzig (modern day Gdansk) in what was, at the time, eastern Germany. I haven't had time to read the most recent posts, but he has promised to post some more convincing evidence of the link from London to Danzig, and I look forward to seeing more from this very interesting research.

Elrond and Elros
by Jenny Dolfen

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 January 2017

Jonathan S. McIntosh, ‘The Flame Imperishable
Archive of posts from January 2017

David Bratman, ‘Kalimac's Journal
Archive of posts from January 2017

Jenny Dolfen, ‘Jenny's Sketchbook
Archive of posts from January 2017

Anna Smol, ‘A Single Leaf
Archive of posts from January 2017

Annalisa Palmer, her blog
Archive of posts from September 2016

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

Various, The Tolkien Society (TS)
Archive of posts from January 2017

Simon Cook, Ye Machine
Archive of posts from January 2017

Southfarthing Mathom
Archive of posts from January 2017

Various, The Mythopoeic Society, ‘The Horn of Rohan Redux
Archive of posts from January 2017

Sue Bridgwater, ‘Skorn
Archive of posts from January 2017

Tom Hilman, ‘Alas, not me
Archive of posts from January 2017

Michael Martinez, ‘Middle-earth
Archive of posts from January 2017

Grey Havens Group, ‘The Grey Havens Group
Archive of posts from January 2017

Bruce G Charlton, ‘Tolkien's The Notion Club Papers
Archive of posts from January 2017

Various, ‘Middle-earth News
Archive of posts from January 2017

Jeffrey R. Hawboldt, ‘Expressions of Substance
Archive of posts from January 2017

Sources

New sources in January 2017
Ryszard Viajante Derdzinski, ‘Tolknięty
Archive of posts from January 2017


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

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Tolkien Transactions LXXVI

December 2016

Happy New Year!

Yup, I know: I'm late ... again.
Still, not as much as last month, and things are looking up, and I am now gnawing away slowly at the backlog – the ‘Mountain of Neglects’, as I joined Brenton Dickieson in quoting Tolkien last month. There are still old neglects to catch up on, but they are fewer than they were.

Some of the artworks this month show that I often like my illustrations to try out new routes; to add something new to our perception of Tolkien's work, even if – and perhaps particularly if – it doesn't fit withour usual perceptions or (to be honest) with Tolkien's text. This is also the main reason why I am saddened by the many illustrations trying merely to recreate someone else's vision – it doesn't give us anything personal, just an imitation (which might be flattering to the imitated, but not very interesting), and I am quite unlikely to include such pieces.

Another thing about the images this month is that three of the pictures are of pictures on my wall. For my birthday, my mother gave me a framing of three of my Tolkien pieces, and I have now finally managed to hang them (there have been a bit of problems with the frames and the wall etc.) and I want to show them off. But I do feel that I need to apologise to the artists – not for the frames, nor for wanting to have their art on my wall, but for my poor photography skills. Please believe when I insist that these pictures look much better when seen for real (the photographs were not improved by the fact that I had to take the photos quite close due to my Tolkien book case being about 1.5 metres from the wall). Still, I wanted to share my joy (and, I admit it, pride) in these pictures.

Middle-earth map by Elmenel (Tsvetelina Krumova)
This wonderful map of Middle-earth is astonishing! I am deeply sorry
about the reflections, but I am immensely happy for this wonderful map

As usual, I make or accept no claims 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: Story Internal (Ardalogy)
8: Other Stuff
9: Rewarding Discussions
10: Other Reading
11: Web Sites
12: The Blog Roll
13: Sources

Marrer of Middle-earth ...!
by Peter Xavier Price

News

Anabelle Williams, The Times, Friday, 9 December 2016, ‘The story of Lydbrook Farm House
— “A Georgian property with connections to the Tolkien family is for sale”. As is so often seen, the connection to J.R.R. Tolkien quickly becomes rather weak, or even tenuous, but I suppose one cannot blame the seller for trying to cash in a bit on the connection ...
See also Alex Matthews, Daily Mail, Friday, 9 December 2016, ‘It's not quite Middle Earth: House where JRR Tolkien lived in the 1940s goes on sale for £2million

BroadwayWorld, Tuesday, 20 December 2016, ‘Marquette Purchases Rare First Edition, First Printing Of 'The Hobbit'
See also Judith Siers-Poisson, Wisconsin Public Radio, Thursday, 22 December 2016, ‘Rare Edition Of 'The Hobbit' Added To Marquette University Collection

Clive Hammond, Basingstoke Gazette, Thursday, 29 December 2016, ‘Basingstoke composer Joseph Purdue completes dream to take 'Tolkien' to the West End


Events

Reports & comments on past events
14 April–10 June 2016, Various locations, Scotland (and 10 September, St. Anthony's College, Oxford), ‘Leaf by Niggle’, Puppet State Theatre Company.
Elspeth, The Puppet State Blog, Monday, 12 December 2016, ‘Leaf by Niggle Reflections
Reflections on the stage play of Leaf by Niggle which conquered the Tolkien Society at Oxonmoot this year. It was truly a privilege to be able to watch this play, and not least to be able to do so in the company of my Tolkien Society friends. Thanks to the Puppet State Theatre and to all those from the Society involved in getting this enchanting experience to Oxonmoot. Thank you!


Info on upcoming & on-going events (as of 1 January)
Bilbo and the Red Book by Jay Johnstone
Another piece that I am very pleased with. I
bought it early in 2016, and now I can finally
do it justice, having put it in a proper frame.
26 April 2016 – 27 February 2017, Various, Staffordshire, ‘Exhibition: J.R.R. Tolkien in Staffordshire 1915 – 1918’, The Haywood Society
Staffordshire Newsletter, Wednesday, 28 December 2016, ‘JRR Tolkien exhibition comes to Stafford
Deniz Bevan, Wednesday, 28 December 2016, ‘Tolkien in Staffordshire and Birthday Toast
Jon Cook, A Little Bit of Stone, Thursday, 29 December 2016, ‘Tolkien exhibition celebrates link with Staffordshire

3 January 2017, World-wide, ‘Tolkien Birthday Toast 2017’, The Tolkien Society

3 January 2016 and later, Lord of the Rings Online, ‘Explore "The Lord of the Rings" – On Location’, Signum Univiersity
8 April 2017, Burlington, Vermont, ‘Tolkien in Vermont’, Tolkien at University of Vermont
Anna Smol, Wednesday, 30 November 2016, ‘CFP: Romances in Middle-earth

11–14 May 2017, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA, ‘International Congress on Medieval Studies (K'zoo)’, Western Michigan University, Medieval Institute
Anna Smol, Tuesday, 29 November 2016, ‘New! Tolkien Symposium in Kalamazoo

1–4 June 2017, National Conference Center, Virginia, US, ‘Mythmoot IV: Invoking Wonder’, Mythgard Institute
Curtis, Signum University, Tuesday, 22 November 2016, ‘Are you ready for Mythmoot IV?

16–18 June 2017, Waddow Hall, Clitheroe, Lancashire, ‘The Middle-earth Beer & Music Festival’, The Ale House Clitheroe
2 July 2017, Hilton Leeds Hotel, ‘Tolkien Society Seminar 2017’, The Tolkien Society – The theme this year will be “Poetry and Song in Tolkien's works”
Anna Milon, The Tolkien Society, Tuesday, 6 December 2016, ‘Call for papers: Tolkien Society Seminar 2017


3–6 July 2017, Leeds, ‘International Medieval Congress’, University of Leeds, Institute for Medieval Studies
Dimitra Fimi, Wednesday, 30 November 2016, ‘Tolkien Sessions at IMC Leeds, July 2017

28–31 July 2017, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA, ‘Mythcon 48’, The Mythopoeic Society


Essays and Scholarship

Eleanor Parker, Friday, 20 December 2013, ‘The Anglo-Saxon O Antiphons: O Oriens, O Earendel
Retweeted for the holiday, and thus I saw it ... :-)

John Garth, The Telegraph, Thursday, 8 December 2016, ‘When JRR Tolkien bet CS Lewis: the wager that gave birth to The Lord of the Rings
A very interesting article written with John Garth's usual clear and approachable style, pinning down the wager between Lewis and Tolkien that directly gave us Out of the Silent Planet as well as The Lost Road and, as Garth argues, indirectly led to The Lord of the Rings. I am very much looking forward to see John Garth's upcoming Tolkien book, Tolkien's Mirror: Creation in the Catastrophic 20th Century.

John Garth, Friday, 9 December 2016, ‘Tanks at Gondolin
An excerpt from John Garth's superb Tolkien and the Great War. If you haven't got that book yet, read here to get a sampling of John Garth's ability to present his research in a very readable and engaging form.

Amanda Gilmore, Medievalist.net, Sunday, 11 December 2016, ‘Trees as a Central Theme in Norse Mythology and Culture
Trees and Old Norse mythology – how could that not have Tolkienian relevance :)

Matthew Firth, Medievalist.net, Sunday, 11 December 2016, ‘Allegories of Sight: Blinding and Power in Late Anglo-Saxon England

Dimitra Fimi, Saturday, 31 December 2016, ‘“Twas the Night Before Christmas” and J.R.R. Tolkien's Tinfang Warble
A comparison of two poems covering metre, imagery, phrasing and other elements. Very interesting, indeed!

Tom Bombadil by Anke Eissmann
I bought this piece at Oxonmoot after wavering back and forth about this
work and one or two others. Fortunately I had brought my daughter, who was
not in doubt, and so I bought this wonderful piece by Anke Eissmann.

Commentary

T.J. West, Tuesday, 6 December 2016, ‘The Pleasures of Reading Tolkien Criticism
Some thoughts on Tolkien criticism ...

Lynn Forest-Hill, Southfarthing Mathom, Saturday, 10 December 2016, ‘December
Discussing ‘The Pyre of Denethor’ (V,7).

T.J. West, Monday, 12 December 2016, ‘Why Are Tolkien's Villains So Compelling?
T.J. West, Thursday, 15 December 2016, ‘Reading “The Lord of the Rings”: “The Taming of Smeagol,” “The Passage of the Marshes,” and “The Black Gate is Closed”
T.J. West, Monday, 19 December 2016, ‘Reading “The Lord of the Rings”: “Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit.”
These are some of the reflections by T.J. West during his ‘Tolkien Appreciation Month’ as he re-read The Lord of the Rings. You will find more on his blog.
Simon J. Cook, Monday, 19 December 2016, ‘the week before christmas – the story of the Ring begins
On the 79th anniversary (at the latest) of Tolkien setting pen to paper to begin the ‘second Hobbit’.

Tom Hillman, Monday, 19 December 2016, ‘The Price of Ilúvatar's Gift?
An interesting juxtaposition of On Fairy-stories and the Ainulindalë. I am not convinced (meaning, of course, that I am somewhat sceptical) that ideas and concepts expressed in On Fairy-stores can be ported to Tolkien's Silmarillion sub-creation in quite the way that Hillman, at least as I read it, proposes here, but I quite agree that it could be interesting to see where such enquiries might lead.

Number 3 Bagshot Row
by Joe Gilronan
Simon J. Cook, Tuesday, 20 December 2016, ‘LOTR – the very first pages
Cook continues his exploration of the earliest writings on The Lord of the Rings, and adds some very interesting comments along the way. When, for instance, he notes that “At this point in time, we must remember, Tolkien was very much in the world of The Hobbit and not at all in that which we now know as The Lord of the Rings.”, he also, almost incidentally, points out the vast difference between the worlds of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings – differences that Tolkien ‘solved’ by the expedient, but brilliant, way of just ignoring them and ultimately only merging / importing those aspects of The Hobbit that were consistent with his Silmarillion world and The Lord of the Rings (a few hints of something else can, as Simon points out, be found in the early chapters – the thinking fox is an example of that).

Elin Nyberg, ScienceNordic, Tuesday, 20 December 2016, ‘The names of Tolkien's universe explained
A bit of etymology for a few of the names we meet in Tolkien's works.

Simon J. Cook, Wednesday, 21 December 2016, ‘LOTR: January & February 1938
Simon J. Cook, Saturday, 25 December 2016, ‘LOTR: Christmas 1937 to March 1938
Cook continues his explorations of the earliest work on The Lord of the Rings as the story slowly and with many false starts evolves ...

Edmund Weiner, Wednesday, 21 December 2016, ‘Hope and Leadership in The Lord of the Rings
Philogist Edmund Weiner has posted a blog post on the hard choices facing Aragorn from the fall of Gandalf in book 2 to Gandalf's return in book 3. Having been lucky enough to hear Liz Wright speak about Aragorn's leadership at Oxonmoot this year I couldn't help but compare the two approaches. Where Wright based her talk on modern leadership theory, Weiner is mainly focused on words, focusing on how Tolkien uses the word ‘hope’.

Bruce Charlton, Wednesday, 28 December 2016, ‘Tolkien and Barfield, Fantasy and Imagination - unexplored links

Tom Hillman, Wednesday, 28 December 2016, ‘The Uncouth Name of Shire
What, Hillman asks, is so ‘uncouth’ about the Shire?


Reviews and Book News

Dennis Wise, Friday, 2 December 2016, ‘3 1/2 Straussian readings of Tolkien!!!!
Mostly a review (sort of) of an article by Mary Keys

Brenton Dickieson, Monday, 19 December 2016, ‘Christmas With J.R.R. Tolkien: The Father Christmas Letters

John D. Rateliff, Thursday, 22 December 2016, ‘My Latest Publication (on THE FALL OF ARTHUR)
On Rateliff's essay, ‘“That Seems to Me Fatal”: Pagan and Christian in The Fall of Arthur’ in Tolkien Studies vol. 13.

Dennis Wise, Saturday, 24 December 2016, ‘And the newest issue of Tolkien Studies is out!


Tolkienian Artwork

The wall behind me as I sit at my computer
writing up these transactions ... I have just
to swirl my chair to find this kind of inspiration.
Peter Xavier Price, Saturday, 3 December 2016, ‘Marrer of Middle-earth ...!
Húrin cursing the Morgoth ...

‘aegeri’, DeviantArt, Sunday, 4 December 2016, ‘Steward of Gondor

Joe Gilronan, Monday, 5 December 2016, ‘Number 3 Bagshot Row

‘Alystraea’, DeviantArt, Tuesday, 6 December 2016, ‘Glorfindel With Battle Hair

‘Yeldabon’, DeviantArt, Saturday, 10 December 2016, ‘The Brandywine Bridge

‘Alystraea’, DeviantArt, Monday, 12 December 2016, ‘When Eowyn met Glorfindel

Tim Catherall, DeviantArt, Wednesday, 14 December 2016, ‘Wood elf

‘Szpondi’, DeviantArt, Thursday, 15 December 2016, ‘Unwanted guest

Gonzalo Kenny, DeviantArt, Friday, 16 December 2016, ‘Between the Nazgul and his prey

Tomás Hijo, Monday, 19 December 2016, ‘Work in progress
Not sure entirely which Tolkienian tower this is, but I look forward to seeing more.

Peter Xavier Price, DeviantArt, Saturday, 24 December 2016, ‘Young Turin and Beleg

‘AncaXBre’, DeviantArt, Sunday, 25 December 2016, ‘Bilbo and Lindir

‘Chechula’, DeviantArt, Monday, 26 December 2016, ‘Caradhras

‘Blacksanz’, DeviantArt, Tuesday, 27 December 2016, ‘The Great Horn

Elena Kukanova, DeviantArt, Wednesday, 28 December 2016, ‘The Swan-Maiden of Alqualonde

Magda Zwierzchowska, DeviantArt, Thursday, 29 December 2016, ‘Smaug


Story Internal (Ardalogy)

Michael Martinez, Monday, 5 December 2016, ‘What Happened to the Dúnedain after the War of the Ring?

Hawke, Monday, 12 December 2016, ‘Preview Review of Adventures in Middle-earth Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition Player's Guide

Michael Martinez, Friday, 16 December 2016, ‘Did Sauron Really Believe the One Ring Had been Destroyed?
One of the great discussions, and one that requires a bit of careful tracking of who knew what when in order to discuss. Martinez, in my opinion, does a good job (of course it also helps that I agree with his conclusion :) )

Jeff LaSala, Wednesday, 21 December 2016, ‘The Eagles of Middle-earth: Tolkien’s Special Ops
Possibly the most irritating of the Great Debates for me – why bother with something nobody would actually want to happen, when there are so many (and, frankly, quite obvious) reasons it would not be a good idea? Still, LaSala does a quite good job at it, including the role of the Eagles in the wider legendarium.


Other Stuff

T.J. West, Saturday, 3 December 2016, ‘Reading Tolkien in the Time of Trump
Starting his annual ‘Tolkien Appreciation Month’ at his blog, Queerly Different (likely to extend a bit into January), West shares some thoughts on setting out on his re-reading of The Lord of the Rings. As for the political application ... well, I suppose you all know where I stand with regards to mapping Tolkien to contemporary political questions and divisions.
This goes into my collection of articles tagged “Political Tolkien” that I created at one point when I dreamed of one day having something intelligent to say about the use of Tolkien or his works to promote this or that modern political point of view (beyond the fairly basic ‘such is a pointless exercise in futile foolishness’). I no longer have such ambitions, but I do maintain the list. I have found that regardless of whether I agree or disagree with the political opinion being argued, I invariably disagree with the reading of Tolkien used to make him relevant to the specifics of the argument (I am all for the relevance of Tolkien and his applicability to modern life in a far broader sense).

Dan Trynoski, Medievalist.net, Saturday, 3 December 2016, ‘Want a new Medieval LEGO kit? Vote now!
Just because ... :-) (and it is, indeed, a very nice set!)

Stephen C Winter, Tuesday, 6 December 2016, ‘The Siege of Gondor: A Word to Those For Whom Hope Has Gone
This is a bit too ‘preachy’ for my tastes, but I'll leave it here for those who like this sort of thing ...

Young Turin and Beleg
by Peter Xavier Price
Eric Grundhauser, Altas Obscura, Wednesday, 7 December 2016, ‘Why do Dwarves Sound Scottish and Elves Sound Like Royalty?
Though the author advices us to “Blame Tolkien and time”, I cannot see what Tolkien has to do with it (look at Khuzdul – does that look like something that would yield a Scottish accent? And does Royalty sound Welsh? Because then I might understand it ...). I think it is better to look elsewhere, and ‘the times’ gets blamed for so much that a little more won't make much of a difference ...

Dimitra Fimi, Monday, 12 December 2016, ‘First impressions count? On academic book covers
I was not surprised to see this call for getting engaged from Dimitra Fimi. Her own enthusiasm and engagement is certainly contagious (not least in person), and her caring about the impression her book covers give rhymes well with my impression of a genuinely warm and caring person (which, in the end, is more important than being a brilliant scholar – which she of course also is).

John D. Rateliff, Monday, 19 December 2016, ‘Tollers and Jack
Follow-up on the earlier post about a stage play focusing on the friendship between Tolkien and Lewis.

Michael Martinez, Thursday, 22 December 2016, ‘Did Tolkien's Legendarium Have Anything to do with the Occult?
I cannot help but wonder about the specific questions and talking points – and the reason for asking. But that is not really relevant, and I think Michael Martinez does an excellent job at an explanation, with which I agree.

Nico Salvatori, Erie Times, Friday, 23 December 2016, ‘Nico Salvatori: Christmas with Tolkien


Rewarding Discussions

Tolkien Collector's Guide, ‘Collecting and sales
A question from Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull in preparation for the upcoming (is it September soon?) new edition of their J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide.

LotR Plaza, ‘Humour in 'The Silmarillion'
On examples of wit and humour in Tolkien's Silmarillion tradition (not all in the published Silmarillion).

Other Reading

J.R.R. Tolkien, Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary
It is taking me quite a bit of time to get through Tolkien's Beowulf as I am, almost exclusively, reading on my Kindle in my lunch breaks, which means some 20 minutes per day (unless someone is keeping me company). Still, the pace suits me well, and allows time for reading other things when at home. I have finished the translation itself and am now reading Tolkien's comments.

Nancy Bunting, ‘Tolkien and the Boy Scouts’ in Lembas Extra 2015, edited by Cécile van Zon and Renée Vink.
Renée kindly pointed out this essay for me, and of course I had to get the collection for that :-)
The essay sums up what little is known about Tolkien's stint with the Boy Scouts (very little) and recounts a few things about the history and ideals of the early Scout Movement (probably good thing it wasn't me writing that essay – I probably would have had a bit more to say on those ;-) ). Bunting also tries to show how the Boy Scout motto, ‘Be Prepared’, can be seen as an undercurrent in Tolkien's work. Though I do not think we should look for a source connection here, I think that it would be worth doing more on the parallels between Tolkien and Baden-Powell simply seeing the latter as an exponent for some more general trends – after all, the Scout movement got a lot of early and eager support from all parts of society, which seems to indicate that Baden-Powell managed to connect to the zeitgeist of pre WWI England.


Web Sites

Baillie Tolkien, Tolkien Estate, ‘Letters from Father Christmas
An article by Baillie Tolkien about the Letters from Father Christmas, which she prepared. Note to self: remember to browse the Estate website more often ...


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 December 2016

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

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

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

Jonathan S. McIntosh, ‘The Flame Imperishable
Archive of posts from December 2016

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

Edmund Weiner, ‘Philoloblog
Archive of posts from December 2016

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

Simon Cook, Ye Machine
Archive of posts from December 2016

Southfarthing Mathom
Archive of posts from December 2016

Sue Bridgwater, ‘Skorn
Archive of posts from December 2016

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

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

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

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

Jeffrey R. Hawboldt, ‘Expressions of Substance
Archive of posts from September 2016

Sources

No new sources in December 2016

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

Thursday, 22 December 2016

Tolkien Transactions LXXV

November 2016

I will start this month with a post that I felt that I could have written myself, except for the details of the neglects
Brenton Dickieson, Tuesday, 22 November 2016, ‘Battling a Mountain of Neglects with J.R.R. Tolkien
The fact that it is (at the point of writing this) less than a week until Christmas is, I suppose, telling of my own situation. I have often enough thought of Tolkien's letters when writing these introductions, and Dickieson's clever use of Tolkien's phrase, and his elegant weaving together of his own situation and Tolkien's struck me as particularly apt.
For this reason, you will probably find that more of the links are given without comment than I usually do – even in months when I have been busy, but I hope you will nontheless find them interesting. This month I have also re-used a few of the best pieces of art-work that I have been permitted by the artists to use this year.

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: Story Internal (Ardalogy)
8: Web Sites
9: The Blog Roll
10: Sources

The Rescue of Maedhros
by Peter Xavier Price

News

David Oberhelman, Tuesday, 1 November 2016, ‘Mythopoeic Awards 2017: Call for Nominations
Also, The Mythopoeic Society, Tuesday, 1 November 2016, ‘Mythopoeic Awards 2017: Call for Nominations

The Bodleian Libraries, Thursday, 3 November 2016, ‘Editor and Scholar Christopher Tolkien awarded Bodley Medal
Once more, my heartfelt gratitude and warm congratulations to Christopher Tolkien!

Mike Fleming Jr, Deadline, Monday, 7 November 2016, ‘James Strong Set To Direct J.R.R. Tolkien Biopic ‘Middle Earth’; Bob Shaye, Michael Lynne Producing
I have been debating with myself what to do with this. It has been carried by countless news outlets, and they all seem to be purporting the same errors, so presumably errors are by the film producers, and not the individual journalist's (though many do quote this article).
There is also the commentary by John D. Rateliff, Friday, 11 November 2016, ‘Another Tolkien BioPic Project
Noting that the very short paragraph from the above about the plot “bears only a passing similarity to reality”. Yes, exactly.
However, see also Adam King, Ohio State Univdersity, day, 12 February 2015, ‘Telling Tolkien's story
This does sound a little more promising, and we may hope that the other stuff is just a garbled version of something that is more historically correct ... However, to tell the truth, I rather think I'll lean back and await the reviews by other Tolkienists with a solid knowledge of Tolkien's biography before changing my mind and going to see this film.

Callum Keown, Oxford Mail, Wednesday, 9 November 2016, ‘Son of JRR Tolkien welcomes highest honour of the Bodleian Libraries

Amy Stumpfl, The Tennessean, Sunday, 13 November 2016, ‘David Payne launches inaugural 'Lewis-Tolkien Festival'
On the Z. Alexander Looby Theater in Nashville staging a couple of Lewis & Tolkien inspired plays starring David Payne.


Events

Reports & comments on past events
29 November 2016, Pembroke College, Oxford, ‘A Secret Vice: 85 Years On’, Pembroke College
Gabriel Schenk, Pembroke College, Thursday, 30 November 2016, ‘J.R.R. Tolkien's 'A Secret Vice': 85 Years On


Middle-earth Beer & Music Festival
by Tomás Hijo
Info on upcoming & on-going events (as of 1 December)
26 April 2016 – 27 February 2017, Various, Staffordshire, ‘Exhibition: J.R.R. Tolkien in Staffordshire 1915 – 1918’, The Haywood Society

3 December 2016, The Old Contemptibles, Birmingham, ‘Yulemoot 2016’, The Tolkien Society

3 January 2017, World-wide, ‘Tolkien Birthday Toast 2017’, The Tolkien Society

8 April 2017, Burlington, Vermont, ‘Tolkien in Vermont’, Tolkien at University of Vermont
Anna Smol, Wednesday, 30 November 2016, ‘CFP: Romances in Middle-earth

11–14 May 2017, Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA, ‘International Congress on Medieval Studies (K'zoo)’, Western Michigan University, Medieval Institute
Anna Smol, Tuesday, 29 November 2016, ‘New! Tolkien Symposium in Kalamazoo

1–4 June 2017, National Conference Center, Virginia, US, ‘Mythmoot IV: Invoking Wonder’, Mythgard Institute
Curtis, Signum University, Tuesday, 22 November 2016, ‘Are you ready for Mythmoot IV?

16–18 June 2017, Waddow Hall, Clitheroe, Lancashire, ‘The Middle-earth Beer & Music Festival’, The Ale House Clitheroe

3–6 July 2017, Leeds, ‘International Medieval Congress’, University of Leeds, Institute for Medieval Studies
Dimitra Fimi, Wednesday, 30 November 2016, ‘Tolkien Sessions at IMC Leeds, July 2017

28–31 July 2017, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, USA, ‘Mythcon 48’, The Mythopoeic Society


Essays and Scholarship

Tolkien on Academia.edu
A sampling of papers uploaded to Academia.edu in November (probably ... or thereabouts, the exact upload date is generally not available). Where a paper is indicated as having been previously published in a journal, this is included here:
Sara Brown, , ‘Stirring the Alembic. Alchemical Resonances in The Lord Of The Rings
Thomas Honegger, , ‘Laughter in Middle-earth: Humour in and around the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien
Thom Foy, , ‘Leaf by Niggle by J.R.R. Tolkien adapted for Readers' Theater by Thom Foy

The full list of papers tagged “J.R.R. Tolkien’ includes many that are not in English and some highly interesting papers for which only the abstract is uploaded (I've just ordered Hither Shore no. 12 as a result of one of these ...), so I can recommend taking a look at the list.
Edmund Weiner, Sunday, 13 November 2016, ‘Diction and narrative in The Lord of the Rings
“A paper given at the Tolkien Day, Liverpool Hope University, 11 November 2016”

Thijs Porck, Sunday, 13 November 2016, ‘The Medieval in Middle-earth: The Anglo-Saxon Habits of Hobbits

Trish Lambert, Thursday, 17 November 2016, ‘Friendship over Family in the Lord of the Rings
Some very interesting musings of the loyalties, and love, of friendship and family in The Lord of the Rings. I am not entirely sure that I agree entirely, though. Family ties play an important role in motivating characters in The Lord of the Rings, but there are no (close) family relations between the primary characters of the Company of the Ring, and therefore family ties do not appear so much in the forefront of the plot.

Juričková Martina, Saturday, 19 November 2016, ‘Boromir: The Misunderstood Hero?

Sverre Bagge, Sunday, 27 November 2016, ‘The Making of a Missionary King: The Medieval Accounts of Olaf Tryggvason and the Conversion of Norway

Karl E. H. Seigfried, Wednesday, 30 November 2016, ‘Wyrd Will Weave Us Together
As the Old Norse wyrd is among the inspirations for Tolkien's multi-faceted use of fate, I thought it appropriate to include this piece here.


Commentary

Bilbo and the Red Book
by Jay Johnstone
Dennis Wise, Tuesday, 1 November 2016, ‘Tolkien and Longfellow's Song of Hiawatha
Following on from John Garth's excellent piece ...

Emily Asher-Perrin, TOR.com, Friday, 4 November 2016, ‘We Can Probably Blame the Tarantula That Bit J.R.R. Tolkien For Most Giant Spiders in Fantasy
As a good friend often says, “He could of!” I'm afraid that I find this kind of amateur pseudopsychological jumping to conclusions to be examplifying poor critical thinking. The problem is that they move from "proposition A cannot be refuted" to "proposition A is true" with only a brief detour to "I would like proposition A to be true".

Lynn Forest-Hill, Saturday, 12 November 2016, ‘First meeting in November
Lynn Forest-Hill, Saturday, 26 November 2016, ‘Last meeting in November
Taking two meetings to get through ‘The Battle of the Pelennor Fields’ seems to me entirely justified.

Tom Hillman, Monday, 21 November 2016, ‘The Fairy King's Honor and the Elven King's Shame
A comparison on one aspect of the Fairy King in Sir Orfeo and Tolkien's Thingol.

Jonathan McIntosh, Monday, 28 November 2016, ‘Ilúvatar's critique of socialism
Leaving aside the erroneous coupling of socialism with centralised totalitarianism, there is no doubt that was very much opposed to the idea of ‘governing’ as a central power dominating the minds of the subjects.


Reviews and Book News

C.R. Wiley Patheos, Tuesday, 1 November 2016, ‘Tolkien's Leaf by Niggle: What Will Become of Our Work?

Daniel Helen, The Tolkien Society, Thursday, 3 November 2016, ‘The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun published

John D. Rateliff, Tuesday, 8 November 2016, ‘The New Arrival: THE LAY OF AOTROU & ITROUN
John Rateliff likes The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun ... which is, of course, not a huge surprise, but still ... :)

John D. Rateliff, Saturday, 12 November 2016, ‘a second Tolkien film (TOLKIEN'S ROAD)
A review of a half-hour amateur ‘biopic’ of Tolkien. Let's just say that it does not come with Rateliff's recommendation.

Dennis Wise, Saturday, 12 November 2016, ‘REVIEW (Part 1): Special Issue of Journal of Tolkien Research 3.3
And Dennis Wise, Monday, 14 November 2016, ‘REVIEW (Part II): Special Issue of Journal of Tolkien Research 3.3
I am very grateful to Dennis Wise for providing a review of this issue of the Journal of Tolkien Research from a far more sympathetic view point than I would be able to. The first part deals with what Wise describes as “what may be one of the best -- if not the best -- article on Tolkien written this year” (till date). I will certainly look into ‘Attainable Vistas: Historical Bias in Tolkien’s Legendarium as a Motive for Transformative Fanworks.’ by Dawn M. Walls-Thumma (at least the first half). The second part of Wise's review is dedicated to rather shorter reviews of the other articles belonging to this special issue.

James Moffat, Saturday, 12 November 2016, ‘Approaching Tolkien: The Lay of Aotrou & Itroun
A favourable review of The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun by a young reader whose approach to Tolkien appears to be mainly through his enthusiasm for the New Line Cinema films (also seen in few mistakes regarding the nature and editor of the present book).

John Garth, The Telegraph, Wednesday, 16 November 2016, ‘Unseen Tolkien: sex, infertility, adultery and the birth of Galadriel
An excellent review by John Garth of The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun. I have not had the time to read this work yet, and so I cannot agree or disagree about specific points. I look forward to seeing how the link is presented between the Corrigan of the Lay and the Noldorin noble-woman, Galadriel. John Garth's phrasing (“The Corrigan [...] leads us all the way to Galadriel herself”) seems carefully guarded, as there can be many ways to lead the way, not all of which imply a direct causal connection.

Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull, Thursday, 24 November 2016, ‘Tolkien Notes 14
News of Tolkien items at auction, of a new four volume set of critical essays on Tolkien (reprinted from older works) and a note on a reduced price on The Art of The Lord of the Rings on Amazon UK (though the reduced price seems to have expired as the price is now £17).

Lee, Tuesday, 29 November 2016, ‘The Story of Kullervo


Tolkienian Artwork

Elena Kukanova, DeviantArt, Tuesday, 1 November 2016, ‘Return
A vision of Finrod and Amarië after his return from Mandos.

Smaug
by Jenny Dolfen
Peter Xavier Price, DeviantArt, Saturday, 5 November 2016, ‘The Rescue of Maedhros

Peter Xavier Price, Monday, 7 November 2016, ‘Taniquetil

Francesca Baerald, DeviantArt, Monday, 7 November 2016, ‘The Shire - Lord of the Rings
A map of the Shire that seems to me wonderfully appropriate for the myopic and insular self-satisfied views of the Hobbits, but therefore also, despite the hint of danger represented by a single dragon lurking in a corner, to represent all the ... I don't know ... ‘tweeness’ or ‘cutesy’ that frustrate me so much about the Shire …. All in all, very well done!

Elena Kukanova, Monday, 21 November 2016, ‘Fen of Serech
An illustration of Finrod in the Fen of Serech

Miruna Lavinia, DeviantArt, Tuesday, 22 November 2016, ‘Black Riders
I quite like this piece. It hints without being too definite in shaping the viewers ideas.

Fiona Dahmen (Alagvaile), DeviantArt, Friday, 25 November 2016, ‘Bilbo

Janet Georgiou West (Rearda), DeviantArt, Sunday, 27 November 2016, ‘Sam's shears


Story Internal (Ardalogy)

Michael Martinez, Monday, 14 November 2016, ‘Do the Nazgûl, Barrow wights, and Dead Men of Dunharrow have Physical Bodies?
Interesting reflections from Michael Martinez on this question. Personally I disagree with his assessment of the Ringwraiths, who certainly did have physical bodies, and while they may not have been ‘living’ in the normal sense, they were definitely not ‘dead’ in any sense (I even presented at the Oxonmoot on this very topic). As for the Barrow-wights, I think they are, to some extent, caught up between the earlier tradition in the independent poem about Tom Bombadil, and the later tradition making them servants of the Witch-king. The Dead Men of Dunharrow were indeed dead and had no physical bodies. Thus they could simply float across the water at Pelargir contrary to the Ringwraiths at the Ford of Bruinen where there physical bodies were caught in the flood.

Michael Martinez, Thursday, 17 November 2016, ‘What Were the Seven Stars Elendil brought to Middle-earth?
An interesting heraldic discussion ...

Michael Martinez, Monday, 21 November 2016, ‘Could Sauron have Unmade the One Ring?
I do recommend these posts by Michael Martinez, whose knowledge of Tolkien's writings, as well as of Tolkien criticism, is very great. Quite often Michael's answers fall in that category where the story internal, or Ardalogical, answer requires an amount of acute critical reading as well, and thus these small essays are not just relevant for those wanting to know ‘what really happened’.


Web Sites

Tom Harper, British Library: Maps, ‘What is a fantasy map?
Brilliant article on fantasy maps. And yes, Tolkien does of course get a mention.

Richard Derdzinski (galadhon), ‘Tolknięty
Derdzinski is pursuing Tolkien's German roots in Danzig (now Gdansk in Poland). While this blog in general is in Polish, the posts on Tolkien's ancestry are in English and can be found using the tag “Tolkien Ancestry”.


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.

Taniquetil
by Peter Xavier Price
Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond, ‘Too Many Books and Never Enough
Archive of posts from November 2016

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

John D. Rateliff -- ‘Sacnoth's Scriptorium
Archive of posts from November 2016 – Rateliff has recently been investigating biographical dramatizations of Tolkien's life, and there are some further posts on this topic that are not listed in the above.

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

Jonathan S. McIntosh, ‘The Flame Imperishable
Archive of posts from November 2016

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

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

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

Edmund Weiner, ‘Philoloblog
Archive of posts from November 2016

Robin Anne Reid, her blog
Archive of posts from November 2016

Various, The Mythopoeic Society
News archive

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

Simon Cook, Ye Machine
Archive of posts from November 2016

Southfarthing Mathom
Archive of posts from November 2016

Various, The Mythopoeic Society, ‘The Horn of Rohan Redux
Archive of posts from November 2016

Sue Bridgwater, ‘Skorn
Archive of posts from November 2016

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

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

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

Jeffrey R. Hawboldt, ‘Expressions of Substance
Archive of posts from September 2016

Sources

New sources in November 2016

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