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Browsing this Thread:   1 Anonymous Users



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Re: [WANTED] Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review (Volumes I - VI)
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I have no problem with controversy and don't take offense easily. In fact, I agree that the body of secondary material has grown far too fast during the last couple of years. But since you attach no value at all to literary criticism, Stu, it is really hard to argue. After all, we are talking about a whole academic field here (a very old one, indeed, and one Tolkien himself was engaged in). "[Creating] something new of their own" is also a delicate matter. A good scholar is not automatically a good creative writer, and vice versa. Personally, I'd rather read a good piece of Tolkien criticism than a bad novel.

But let's not drift too far from the original topic. Some of the available secondary material is certainly very expensive for the interested but casual reader (like me) but that's because it's academic specialist literature. Academic publications really shouldn't become collector's items though. I like Khamûl's point that secondary material shouldn't be way more expensive than primary material (or collector's editions of primary material at least). It think, I better give up on the idea of getting the out-of-print volumes of Tolkien Studies at reasonable prices and instead spend my money on something else.

Posted on: 2/4 15:21:20


Re: [WANTED] Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review (Volumes I - VI)
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NoUse wrote:
I have no problem with controversy and don't take offense easily. In fact, I agree that the body of secondary material has grown far too fast during the last couple of years. But since you attach no value at all to literary criticism, Stu, it is really hard to argue. After all, we are talking about a whole academic field here (a very old one, indeed, and one Tolkien himself was engaged in). "[Creating] something new of their own" is also a delicate matter. A good scholar is not automatically a good creative writer, and vice versa. Personally, I'd rather read a good piece of Tolkien criticism than a bad novel.



I have been meaning to reply to this for ages. I think that you misread what I wrote (at least in my second post where I was a bit clearer). I don't see anywhere that I said that I attached "no value at all" to literary criticism.

What I said is that it has "been done to death" at this point. My view is that there isn't that much room for further investigation into Tolkien and his life and work, as it has been covered very, very extensively. There has been some extremely high quality work done by CT, Wayne and Christina and many others, but the stream of books and papers is seemingly never-ending (and much of it completely subjective in nature).

It seems a little bizarre to me that we have the situation where the amount of man-hours spent analysing Tolkien's life and products almost certainly vastly exceeds the man-hours he, himself expended creating them. That said, everyone is quite free to spend their time in whatever manner they choose, and no harm is done in either the creation or consumption of these academic works (well, depending on who funds them, I guess).

Posted on: 3/1 18:39:42


Re: [WANTED] Tolkien Studies: An Annual Scholarly Review (Volumes I - VI)
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NoUse wrote:
... I better give up on the idea of getting the out-of-print volumes of Tolkien Studies at reasonable prices and instead spend my money on something else.


About a year ago I stumbled upon a sale of four out-of-print volumes of Tolkien Studies (that I didn't have in my collection). I got the whole bunch for ca £60 + shipping. Admittedly it's not often you find such bargains, but with some patience and luck an opportunity will appear.

Posted on: 3/2 3:49:42



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