Wednesday, 8 July 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Troels
8 July 2015

Tolkien Transactions LIX

June 2015

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

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

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

= = = = News = = = =

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


= = = = Events = = = =

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 - 7 December 2015, ‘Italian Ringers Con 2015

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

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

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


= = = = Essays and Scholarship = = = =

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

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

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

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

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

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


= = = = Commentary = = = =

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


= = = = Tolkienian Artwork = = = =

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

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

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

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


= = = = Other Stuff = = = =

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

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

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

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

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


= = = = Rewarding Discussions = = = =

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


= = = = In Print = = = =

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

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

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


= = = = Web Sites = = = =

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


= = = = The Blog Roll = = = =

These are blogs you really should be following yourself if you're interested in Tolkien ...
Contents from these blogs will only be reported here if there is something that I find particularly interesting, or posts that fit with a monthly theme. However, you will find below links to monthly archives of posts for months where the blog has featured interesting posts with at least some Tolkien connection. In some cases you may find a headline for a post, if I wish to recommend it particularly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Southfarthing Mathom
Archive of posts from June 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

= = = = Sources = = = =

No new sources in June 2015

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

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Tolkien Transactions LVIII

May 2015

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

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

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

The Oath Has Been Awakened
by Jenny Dolfen

= = = = News = = = =

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

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

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

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


= = = = Events = = = =

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

13 May 2015, ‘Tolkien Lecture 2015: Lev Grossman

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

5 - 7 December 2015, ‘Italian Ringers Con 2015

= = = = Essays and Scholarship = = = =

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

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

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

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

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

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


= = = = Commentary = = = =

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


= = = = Tolkienian Artwork = = = =

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

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

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

The Drawing of the Sword
by Jenny Dolfen

= = = = Other Stuff = = = =

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

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


= = = = Rewarding Discussions = = = =

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


= = = = Web Sites = = = =

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

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

= = = = The Blog Roll = = = =

These are blogs you really should be following yourself if you're interested in Tolkien ...
Contents from these blogs will only be reported here if there is something that I find particularly interesting, or posts that fit with a monthly theme. However, you will find below links to monthly archives of posts for months where the blog has featured interesting posts with at least some Tolkien connection. In some cases you may find a headline for a post, if I wish to recommend it particularly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Various, The Mythopoeic Society
Archive of posts from May 2015

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

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

Simon Cook, Ye Machine
Archive of posts from May 2015

Southfarthing Mathom
Archive of posts from May 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

= = = = Sources = = = =

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

Ben, ‘A clearer thinking oasis

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

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Tolkien Transactions LVII

April 2015


April has been a rather busy month, and I have been away for much of the first couple of weeks of May, only getting down to work on these transactions on May 15th. All of this is intended to lead up to the point that, if I am to post this before the end of May (and get at least a couple of days of calm before getting started on the next issue), I have to list a lot of the links with little or, more often, no comment. Therefore you will find this issue somewhat shorter and having rather less commentary than usual. Given my normal grumpiness and difficult-to-satisfy standards, I suppose that this is all to the best ... and in any case, I hope you'll forgive me.

The artwork this month is by Jenny Dolfen. Most of it comes from her Patreon page, where it is available to her patrons in higher resolution than I have posted here ... just sayin'!

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

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

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

Nienor on Haudh-en-Elleth
Sketch by Jenny Dolfen
A wonderful sketch of a key scene in the tragic story of the Children of Húrin.

= = = = News = = = =

Daniel Helen, Sunday, 12 April 2015, ‘Winners of the Tolkien Society Awards 2015 announced
Congratulations all! Very well deserved!

Daniel Helen, Sunday, 19 April 2015, ‘Tolkien part of new Bodleian “Marks of Genius” exhibition

Shaun Gunner, Wednesday, 22 April 2015, ‘Announcement: key Tolkien figure Mike Wilkes has passed away

Daniel Helen, Thursday, 30 April 2015, ‘Tolkien Estate launches new website


= = = = Events = = = =

Past Events
1 - 4 April 2015, New Orleans, Louisiana, ‘Popular Culture/American Culture Association National Conference
David Bratman, Friday, 3 April 2015, ‘Tolkien Day
David Bratman, Sunday, 12 April 2015, ‘Tolkien at the PCA

10-12 April 2015, ‘12th Annual Tolkien at UVM Conference
Anna Smol, Tuesday, 7 April 2015, ‘Tolkien at UVM conference April 10-12
‘Vermont Cynic’, Wednesday, 15 April 2015, ‘Tolkien Fans Turn up Like Hobbits

13 May 2015, ‘Tolkien Lecture 2015: Lev Grossman


Upcoming Events
14 - 17 May 2015, Kalamazoo, Michigan, ‘International Congress on Medieval Studies
See also: John D. Rateliff, Wednesday, 11 March 2015, ‘KALAMAZOO! (Tolkien at Kalamazoo)

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

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

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

6 - 9 July 2015, Leeds, ‘International Medieval Congress 2015
See particularly Dimitra Fimi, Sunday, 8 February 2015, ‘Tolkien, Fantasy and Medievalism at IMC Leeds 2015

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

Mythopoeic Society, 31 July - 3 August 2015, Colorado Springs, Colorado, ‘ MythCon 46
Thursday, 2 April 2015, ‘Mythcon 46 Progress Report #1


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

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

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

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

5 - 7 December 2015, ‘Italian Ringers Con 2015

It Ends in Flame
by Jenny Dolfen

= = = = Essays and Scholarship = = = =

Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond, Thursday, 2 April 2015, ‘New Addenda and Corrigenda
Christina Scull and Wayne Hammond have updated the addenda and corrigenda pages of their web-site. This time a lot of new information has become available!

John D. Rateliff, Thursday, 2 April 2015, ‘An Improved Reading (Plot Notes D)
Apart from the immediate value for our understanding of Tolkien's plot-notes and, more generally, of his working manners, this also provides a cautionary tale.

Jason Fisher, Wednesday, 8 April 2015, ‘More on Tolkien and the Nobel Prize
Who did Tolkien nominate for the Nobel Prize in Literature? Find out this and more ...

John D. Rateliff, Monday, 13 April 2015, ‘Tolkien and Women: Dorothy Everett
On Tolkien's support for women scholars and, by implication, for women's education.


= = = = Commentary = = = =

Bradley Birzer, Wednesday, 11 March 2015, ‘Tolkien's Hope for the Modern World
Charming in some ways, but also frustrating in the one-sidedness of its approach to Tolkien. It is one thing to write about Tolkien from a certain perspective, whether the philological, the Norse studies', classic, or, indeed, the Catholic perspective, as they all provide us with valuable insights, but here I get the impression that other perspectives are not refuted, but are simply ignored, which makes the whole thing appear very skewed, at least in my eyes.

The Elvenking
by Jenny Dolfen
John Mullan, Friday, 3 April 2015, ‘The triumph of fantasy fiction
About the fantasy genre ... The article is interesting and tries to summarise, but in the end doesn't really try to do or say anything new.

Ben ‘Aussierebel’, Saturday, 4 April 2015, ‘Why Corey Olsen harms Tolkien Studies
I will not address the specific points of criticism either way (at least not at this point), but I do think it is important that we can discuss how to do scholarship on Tolkien – preferably making it possible to give frank, but constructive, criticism without jeopardising the sense of fellowship that exists in Tolkien scholarship.

Michael Martinez, Tuesday, 14 April 2015, ‘Middle-earth: The Thing In Itself
An intriguing and thought-provoking (in the good sense) post by Michael Martinez. He addresses in part the idea of complexity / simplicity and how these ideas are abused in making highly subjective statements in literary criticism, and in part the syllogistic nature of the concept of the ‘myth of Middle-earth’. If anything, I could have wished that Martinez had taken his two main themes and made a blog post of each.

David Bratman, Wednesday, 15 April 2015, ‘what I'm not doing this weekend
All I can say is, ‘Well said, Bratman! Thank you!’

John D. Rateliff, Friday, 17 April 2015, ‘A Crackpot vents on Tolkien

Ben ‘Aussierebel’, Thursday, 23 April 2015, ‘Tolkien, Ishiguro and Genre
I think Ishiguro's new book, The Buried Giant, has done much good to make people question their ideas about a ‘fantasy genre’ (I am using scare quotes here to imply that I am not entirely sure that it appropriate to speak of such a thing). Ben's piece here is a good point in that case.


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

Harvard Magazine, Wednesday, 15 April 2015, ‘An Oxford Efflorescence
About a new book, The Fellowship: The Literary Lives of the Inklings: J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Owen Barfield, Charles Williams by Philip and Carol Zaleski.

John D. Rateliff, Friday, 24 April 2015, ‘Jo Walton's Two Thoughts on Tolkien
A couple of points brought up by Jo Walton in What Makes This Book so Great that John Rateliff found interesting. Personally I don't know if I think of The Hobbit as ‘mere a ldquo;journyman work”’, but I would certainly say that while it is a good children's book, it is far from being a masterpiece of children's literature.

John D. Rateliff, Wednesday, 29 April 2015, ‘I Am Reviewed (in Dutch)
Rateliff's own contribution to the Shippey festschrift has been reviewed in Lembas, the newsletter of Unquendor, the Dutch Tolkien Society.

David Bratman, Thursday, 30 April 2015, ‘Tolkien studied
On Bratman's contribution, and the completion thereof, to ‘The Year's Work in Tolkien Studies’ for Tolkien Studies – also this year.


= = = = Interviews = = = =

David Kettle, Saturday, 18 April 2015, ‘Interview: Violinist Josef Špacek talks Tolkien
Not least some very intersting reflections on how such things as ‘Englishness’ can be detected across so different media as the long romance literature and classical music.


= = = = Tolkienian Artwork = = = =

Jenny Dolfen, Thursday, 2 April 2015, ‘Patreon!
About Jenny's new Patreon page (see under websites)

Jenny Dolfen, Sunday, 19 April 2015, ‘Aurë entuluva

Jenny Dolfen, Sunday, 19 April 2015, ‘Finrod Felagund


= = = = Other Stuff = = = =

The Wanderer
by Jenny Dolfen
John D. Rateliff, Wednesday, 1 April 2015, ‘Tolkien Spotting (A. S. Byatt)
Spotted in the new Pratchett book, A Blink of the Screen, in the foreword by A.S. Byatt.

Ben ‘Aussierebel’, Thursday, 9 April 2015, ‘Picked up by Parmar-kenta
Admittedly, it is flattering to see the name of my blog in the headline of another :-)
Otherwise my comments to this are available at the blog itself.


= = = = Rewarding Discussions = = = =

LotR Plaza, ‘Some surprising facts
A couple of oft-forgotten points of obscure law are touched up ...

LotR Plaza, ‘Book of Lost Tales Readthrough?
An on-going (and at an appropriately quiet pace to allow even busy folk to keep up ... almost) read-through discussion of The Book of Lost Tales.


= = = = In Print = = = =

Thomas, Other Minds, Monday, 20 April 2015, ‘Other Minds, Issue 15 published
Well ... print and print, seeing that Other Minds is an on-line magazine published digitally in PDF format, but so is e.g. Beyond Bree and (at least the way I get it) Mythlore, so I think it is OK here. Other Minds magazine has a focus on the story-internal angle and particularly on Middle-earth as a setting for role-playing.


= = = = Web Sites = = = =

Patreon: Jenny Dolfen
Patreon is a new kind of crowdsourcing site. Here, instead of paying one (large) lump-sum for some future delivery, you pledge yourself for a given amount every month. Jenny Dolfen now only teaches part-time in order to get more time for painting, but this also means that she needs a different source of income, and here Patreon comes in very nicely. So, if you want to contribute to Jenny having more time to do those wonderful paintings we have come to love, you should really consider signing up for a small sum every month – every bit matters, and you get get some wonderful perks as well!
All the paintings that illustrate this month's transactions are available in higher resolution for Jenny's patrons ...

The Tolkien Estate
The Tolkien Estate has relaunched their website with much educational contents (see news above). Of course, as in all such large projects, there are some minor glitches (some of them to do with using developers that are not native speakers of English, the primary language of Tolkieniana), but overall this is an exciting and promising new site.

= = = = 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.
Ossiriand
by Jenny Dolfen

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

Jason Fisher, ‘Lingwë -- Musings of a Fish
Archive of posts from April 2015

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

Jonathan S. McIntosh, ‘The Flame Imperishable
Archive of posts from April 2015

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

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

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

Various, The Mythopoeic Society
Archive of posts from April 2015

Morgan Thomsen, ‘Mythoi
Archive of posts from April 2015

Various (Bradford Eden, ed.)Journal of Tolkien Research (JTR)
Archive of news

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

Simon Cook, Ye Machine
Archive of posts from April 2015

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

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

= = = = Sources = = = =

No new sources in April 2015

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