Sunday, September 30, 2007

Of Sorcerers and Men

Michael Drout's lecture series Rings, Swords, and Monsters is now available at Barnes and Noble. Don't be confused by the name; it's now called Of Sorcerers and Men: Tolkien and the Roots of Modern Fantasy Literature and sells for $39.95 (much less than the $98.75 Recorded Books sells it for)!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Coming Soon: The History of the Hobbit

My friend Jason Fisher is reviewing John Rateliff's The History of the Hobbit weeks before the rest of us US readers even get to buy it! The books look wonderful and Jason's reviews are always outstanding and I'm looking forward to reading this one, as well as Rateliff's books.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Frodo and HoMe

Although I haven't posted in a long time, I've been thinking about LotR a lot. I spent my summer reading Vols. 6-9 of The History of Middle-earth hoping to see how the evidence I used in my Mythcon 37 paper "Frodo's Elvish Air" developed. The only hint of any of these scenes was in Cirith Ungol when Sam thought Frodo was dead. Since Vol. 9 stops before the final draft, I can only assume all these interesting bits came very late in the revision process. I was also surprised that at the end of Vol. 9 Strider was still Trotter, Aduril was still Branding, and Arwen's gift to Frodo had only just been added.

While I was looking through the index of Letters for something else, I made a seredipitous discovery: I found a bit about freewill that mirrors Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy that will be perfect for my paper. I'm sure Tolkien the Medievalist was familiar with this work and his quote is too similar to be coincidence.

This summer I also listened Dr. Michael Drout's Rings, Swords and Monsters: Understanding Fantasy Literature, a college course on CD which was mostly about Tolkien. It's very good. I downloaded mine from my local library's audio book section but it's also available from Recorded Books and should soon be at Barnes and Noble stores.

In the last lecture of the series, Drout mentioned that Elves and Men were closely related and that Tolkien said "Elvishness" could enter into men. This quote would be perfect for my paper! I went through Letters but couldn't find it, so I e-mailed Dr. Drout. He was very nice and is looking up the quote for me. He thought it might be in a footnote in Morgoth's Ring (HoMe Vol. 10), so I'm skimming that now. He also said to submit my finished paper to him for Tolkien Studies. That's what I had in mind but I am very pleased to hear that he is interested!