Monday, December 25, 2006

A Very Tolkien Christmas

Ná merye i turuhalmeri! (Merry Christmas!)

I am very pleased with my two LotR-related Christmas gifts: A Gateway To Sindarin: A Grammar of an Elvish Language from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings by David Salo and The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull.

A Gateway To Sindarin: A Grammar of an Elvish Language from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings is by David Salo, one of the language consultant for Jackson's films and moderator of Elfling (the Elvish Linguistics mailing list, dedicated to the study of Tolkien's languages). I am thrilled with this book because it puts everything I want to know about Sindarin in one place. (I don't yet own all of the HoMe books, so this is really handy.) In addition to all the linguistic history and analysis, which are sometimes over my head, the book has lots of practical info: pronunciation, syntax, extant texts, a glossary, a list of Sindarin names, etc. It's expensive but a valuable source to scholars who want to better understand this language which influence so many words in LotR.

The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion won the Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies for 2006 and I've been dying to read it ever since! The authors claim their goal was to keep this book shorter than LotR and the manage to do so, but just barely. I haven't read much yet, but it looks very informative. The first thing I did was look up passages that relate to my paper on Frodo's Elvish air but they didn't mention any of the things I noticed. As all scholars know, it's simultaneously thrilling and terrifying to discover that no one has published anything on your topic! Even so, this book looks like a great resource!

I'm just disappointed that the new semester starts Jan. 8, giving much less time off than I'd like to spend with my new books!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tolkien Audio Collection

I bought myself a Christmas present: The J.R.R. Tolkien Audio Collection. I have it on cassette and was going to put this CD version on my Christmas wish list when I realized it was easier to buy it for myself than to try to explain it my family! ("No, not the audio books, the audio collection...")

This collection features J. R. R. T. reading bits from LotR and Christopher reading selections from Silm. If you follow the link to Amazon, this work is described as abridged but it includes more than my old cassette version! The quality of some of the recordings (made in the 50s) isn't great but that's a minor complaint. It's worth the inconvenience to hear J. R. R. T. himself reading. A bonus: the set includes the unpublished poem "The Mirror of Galadriel," which was edited out of LotR.

I highly recommend this CD for anyone who like the audio books or is interested hearing J. R. R. T.'s interpretation and pronunciation.