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Re: [WANTED] Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review (Volumes I - VI)
Thain
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Yes, Stu is more clearly making the point I was trying to make as well - the content is not what primarily drives us here, is it?

For book collectors, first printings of important material is a common item to collect. For more than a few volumes of Tolkien Studies, this applies.

While there is much less talk on the forums here between non-book collectors, there are significant communities of secondary material collectors - fanzines, doctoral theses, ephemera, [toys, calendars, movie props, etc.] and scholarly criticisms. Far be it from me to tell them in what form they should collect...

So to circle back on the start of the conversation - I am only disagreeing with this comment you said Khamûl: "I don't think they're worth physically collecting." I disagree, I do think they are worth physically collecting. You are not wrong in thinking as you do, which is why you don't collect them! I just happen to fall on the other side of this preferential fence.

Posted on: 1/31 17:12:07
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Re: [WANTED] Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review (Volumes I - VI)
Shirrif
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I hear what you're both saying; but, to be honest, with academic publications (& their respective content) I would have thought content is primarily what drives most buyers. People who write papers, attend conferences, perhaps teach Tolkien, etc (i.e. people who consume a huge amount of material about Tolkien) --do these people really care if they have, for example, a 5th printing of Tolkien's Legendarium? I'd say they don't --& given the choice they'd prefer not to have to pay £100 for a copy of the book, in preference for a cheaper digital version. Of course the reality is the digital version of, for example, WVUPress's Tolkien Studies, is the same price. But if it was cheaper, I don't think half the buyers of academic publications would care. Only book collectors care about this.

The secondary material you cite Urulöké, is just that; secondary. While I have no problem with people collecting it, the idea that a book a criticism should cost you more than a first edition of LR is absurd. This is currently what the market says these items are worth. For this reason alone I don't collect academic publications; they're way overpriced.

BH

Posted on: 2/1 12:24:46
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You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...


Re: [WANTED] Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review (Volumes I - VI)
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Khamûl wrote:
The secondary material you cite Urulöké, is just that; secondary. While I have no problem with people collecting it, the idea that a book a criticism should cost you more than a first edition of LR is absurd. This is currently what the market says these items are worth. For this reason alone I don't collect academic publications; they're way overpriced.

BH



You see, this is where I have less than no class. I don't avoid collecting academic material because it is overpriced, I avoid collecting it because it is dull and - for the most part - completely and utterly pointless. It adds no value to society and exists to fill pages and satisfy the ego of the author (or to meet the requirement to publish X quantity of papers).

I just can't see the academic value in examining literature to the Nth degree (or to any degree, really). Academics would be better spending their time on *scientific* endeavour, IMHO. And everyone else would be better off just reading the books if they enjoy them, and setting them aside if they don't. Stop analysing them - it has been nearly 60 years since the publication of LoTR, for example - it doesn't need anyone else to comment on "what the author meant" or "why it is culturally important".

That said, each to their own with what they do and what they collect!

Posted on: 2/1 14:32:35


Re: [WANTED] Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review (Volumes I - VI)
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Sorry guys, it wasn't my intention to start an argument about what's worth collecting and whether there is any value in secondary material. The reasons people collect things are manifold and often highly subjective. In my case, I'm primarily interested in the contents of Tolkien Studies but I also want to physically own the books I'm interested in. Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer a bound book to an e-book or a printout. However, I too am not willing to pay an unreasonable amount of money for a piece of Tolkien criticism that should have never become a collector's item in the first place. I really don't understand why WVUP let some of the volumes of Tolkien Studies go out-of-print at a time where everything Tolkien-related is sales gold but they must have had their reasons. The topic has been discussed enough. Btw, the articles of Volume 1 are freely available on Project MUSE, which is probably why Volume 1 isn't up for sale on WVUP Online.

Now to Stu. You can't just say that all academic material is "dull and - for the most part - completely and utterly pointless" as if this were objective fact. It's perfectly alright if people "just [read] the books if they enjoy them". But there is so much more to explore. Tolkien's whole life (personal experiences, academic interests, creative ideas, etc.) is - sometimes more, sometimes less apparently - woven into his legendarium. As for me, Christopher Tolkien and many gifted Tolkien scholars (including the editors of Tolkien Studies) have opened up a whole new level of enjoyment of J.R.R. Tolkien's works. That being said, I have to agree that some of the secondary material available isn't worth the paper it's printed on. Finally, the last volume of HoMe was published in 1996 and unpublished primary material is still surfacing these days. So it's not like nothing has been going on since the release of LotR.

Posted on: 2/4 12:09:26


Re: [WANTED] Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review (Volumes I - VI)
Home away from home
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NoUse wrote:
Now to Stu. You can't just say that all academic material is "dull and - for the most part - completely and utterly pointless" as if this were objective fact.


Of course it is a subjective statement. I don't generally feel the need to add a parenthetical explaining that my comments might not be objective fact! But, for the most part, I believe what I have said holds true. Analysis of Tolkien's life and influences has really been done to death at this point. Sadly, there is a whole industry based around it.

I understand that some people do get value from this stuff, and that is great. My point was partly that the authors' time could/should arguably be spent more productively. Maybe they could even create something new of their own? I know this isn't going to be a popular opinion, especially here, but I don't mean to offend anyone.

Posted on: 2/4 12:57:11



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