Collector's Guide Table of Contents
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|September 20, 2011 — Urulókë (Views: 4401)|
Two more scarce titles from David, available for sale at The Tolkien Bookshelf:
The Tale of Gondolin, Signed Limited Numbered Edition, #1 of 50, Full Leather Custom Clamshell Case
The Tale of Gondonlin - Assembled and revised by Alexander Lewis from the "Unfinished Tales", "The Book of Lost Tales" volume two, and "The Silmarillion" by J.R.R. Tolkien and Christopher Tolkien. Illuminated and illustrated by Ruth Lacon. Limited to fifty copies, this is Number 1 of 50 signed by the editor Alexander Lewis, and the illustrator Ruth Lacon. Preface to the assembled Tale of Gondolin, "The Tale of Gondolin is drawn from the various references to Turgon and his life throughout the Silmarillion, and sewn into the fabric of what was drawn from Unfinished Tales the chapter 'Of Tuor and his coming to Gondolin' which is reproduced as printed therein with little alteration, though where necessary, some of the notes to the Unfinished Tales were worked into the narrative where it was thought to clarify the text." "The Unfinished Tale was written by J.R.R. Tolkien in 1951 and left unaccountably unfinished; it would have given in fine detail all that appears as the brief chapter 23 of the Silmarillion, yet tragically it only reaches Tuor's entry into the Hidden City and it goes no further." "The rest of the Tale is therefore drawn from the account given in the Book of Lost Tales Volume Two. This account was first written in about 1916, or slightly later, and amended in 1920 for presentation as a paper to the Essay Club of Exeter College, Oxford, and then used as a basis for what appears in the Silmarillion (which was written between 1926 and 1930)." The first proof copies of this work were produced in 1987. The author refers to these books as the 'First Edition'. Only two copies were made...one red, leatherbound copy that was presented to Priscilla Tolkien and one clothbound copy for the authors own reference. Both books were A5 size and neither copies were signed or illustrated. The idea for an illustrated and illuminated book, to put the story into - in the style of medieval illuminated books, such as Lindisfarne Gospels etc. - came later on. The designs were presented to Priscilla Tolkien and we were given permission to produce "The Tale of Gondolin" as it now is. "The first copies of the Limited Edition were produced in 1994 & 1995. Number One originally went to Priscilla Tolkien as a thank you - and other copies went to either Tolkien Society members of members of the Mythopoeic Society in the USA. Demand for the copies diminished and production was halted with only 28 of the 50 copies complete. With the renewed interest in The Lord of the Rings from the Peter Jackson interpretation of the story....we decided to complete the print run and issue the final remaining copies in 2004." This copy is now housed in a custom designed, full Burgundy leather clamshell case, with gilt stamped "Tengwar" title, heraldic emblem, raised bands, gilt ruled edges, nothing spared to protect and show off this rare edition. This copy is in Very Good Plus condition. The burgundy cloth shows a little rubbing and the corners are bumped. The binding is a little loose, and the gutters, both front and rear, are starting to split at the bottom. There is also a bit of damp staining to the bottom of the front endpapers, this does not go into the text block and is minimal. The rear endpapers show a damp stain line across the bottom and does show lightly on the previous dozen or so pages. Not wrinkled or warped, just a light line across the bottom. There are no previous owners names or writing in the book, however there is an ink block 'N' stamp on the limitation notice, fortunately it fits very well into the design, and is not obtrusive. The overall condition of this copy is still Very Good Plus even with the minor faults. This copy is numbered 1 of 50. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire this very rare and elusive title. $2375
The Ruins of Osgiliath, Signed Limited Numbered Edition, #2 of 100, Full Leather Custom Clamshell Case
An offering of the very hard to come by, The Ruins of Osgiliath. This copy was assembled and revised by Alexander Lewis in 1995. Limited to fifty copies, The Tale of Gondolin is Number 2 of 50 signed by the editor Alexander Lewis. This is one of the original copies published in 1995. This copy is in Near Fine/Very Good Plus condition. The cloth exterior shows no soiling, clean and bright. It does have a couple of bumped corners and a little rubbing to the edges. The interior is clean and bright, no previous owners names or any writing noted. Overall a Near Fine copy of this elusive title. The Ruins of Osgiliath, 1st printing, 1995. This is the one volume folio size hardback, Limited to 100 copies worldwide, and a beautiful companion to The Tale of Gondolin (50 copies worldwide). The Complete Tales of the First City of Gondor. This collection of stories drawn and blended from the fabric of Middle-Earth by JRR Tolkien was first issued in a series of 3 comprehensive booklets for members of the Tolkien Society in 1990. Now they have been expanded and beautifully bound. This book is individually hand tipped and signed by Alex Lewis. This is a beautifully bound large book, and sure to be a real investment. With only 100 copies ever produced most of these are in the hands of Tolkien Completist's and are very hard to find. This copy is numbered 2 of 100. This very scarce book is a once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire this very rare and elusive title. A custom clamshell case, full black leather with silver stamping to front, raised bands with silver stamping to spine, is included to protect and display this wonderful book. $2375
|September 19, 2011 — Urulókë (Views: 1777)|
Dominic Winter Book Auctions
Wednesday 21 September 2011 commencing at 11.00am
Mallard House, Broadway Lane, South Cerney, Cirencester, GL7 5UQ
Tel: 01285 860006 / Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
642 Tolkien (J.R.R.). Fellowship of the Ring, 1st ed., 4th imp., 1955; The Two Towers, 1st ed., 2nd imp., 1955; The Return of the King, 1st ed., 1st issue, 1955, folding map to rear of each, all orig. cloth in d.j.s, spines darkened with some fraying to spine ends, first vol. with small stain to upper wrapper, 8vo
(Plus a buyer's premium of 17.5% of the hammer price)
Sold for: Ł420.00
|September 15, 2011 — Urulókë (Views: 1667)|
David sends along the following four new items to share:
The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, 2nd Impression UK 1st Edition, with Clamshell Case The Hobbit or There and Back Again. Published by Allen & Unwin, a UK 1st Edition, 2nd impression was published in 1937, the same year as the original 1st impression. The exterior of this copy is lightly soiled, whereas the interior is very clean and bright, with no foxing or faults whatsoever. Decorative map endpapers are in excellent condition, clean and bright with small previous owners name on top ffep margin. Has the 4 color and 9 mono plates all in Near Fine condition, no tears, no foxing, no faults. The second impression is important for the addition of the 4 color illustrations by the author. This is the 1st and only early UK Editions that was published with four of Tolkien's color illustrations. One of only 1877 copies of the original 2300 that survived the bombing of London in November 1940. This copy shows light soiling to the covers, with a small repair to a 1/4" area of fraying and/or loss at the bottom of the spine. The repair was made with remnants from another 2nd imp UK Hobbit that was rebound. The exterior also has a minor bump to the front lower corner. Some light shelfwear, but in very good plus condition overall. The text block is clean and bright, binding still tight. Has absolutely no foxing, soiling, or markings in the text block. Features Tolkien's orignal 'Mountains and Dragon' design stamped in blue on the boards and spine. A beautiful copy, furnished with a facsimile of the original 2nd impression UK Dustjacket. This copy is housed in a beautiful Quarter Leather and Marbled Paper Clamshell Case with a gilt stamped Leather Spine that features the 'Mountains', Title, Author, JRRT Monogram, Publisher and date published. A beautiful presentation to house and protect this highly collectable copy, of this timeless classic. $4750
Swords & Sorcery, Intro By L. Sprague De Camp, Signed By J.R.R. Tolkien, and a Seperate Handwritten Critique By J.R.R. Tolkien A pair of items is offered, which include a lengthy handwritten critique by J.R.R. Tolkien, and the related paperback novel, Swords & Sorcery, with the introduction by L. Sprague de Camp. The copy of Swords & Sorcery has a notation, penned by Tolkien on the inside front cover: 'J.R.R. Tolkien from L. Sprague de Camp July 1964' The more significant item, is a sheet of stationary from the Hotel Miramar, East Overcliff, Bournemouth. On the verso, Tolkien has written in pencil, and overwritten the latter part in ink, a lengthy criticism of a story by Lord Dunsany, originally published in 1912 and entitled: "Distressing Tale of Thangobrind the Jeweler", which is included in the book. A not very complementary critique, but a wonderful example of his cryptic handwriting. A fantastic pair of items, written or signed by the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. These are both housed in a custom Dark Blue Leather Clamshell Case. The case has a recessed tray for the book, and a matching dark blue cloth folder fits on top of the tray to house the handwritten critique, protected in mylar. Marbled paper endpapers to complement the full leather binding and blue cloth interior and folder. A wonderful case to protect and show the two items. $7600
The Lord of the Rings, 1st UK Edition, 1st Impressions with Original Dustjackets, and a Full Leather Custom Clamshell Case. George Allen & Unwin, published in 1954, 1954, and 1955, the 1st UK Edition, 1st impressions. The Fellowship of the Ring is a 1st impression published July 29th, 1954. One of 1500 printed for the UK. The Two Towers is a 1st impression published November 11th, 1954. One of 2250 printed for the UK. The Return of the King is a 1st impression published October 20th, 1955. This copy is the 1st State, as per Hammon & Anderson, with the signature mark '4' and having the slipped type on page 49. Correspondence with Wayne Hammond has indicated he has revised his original definition of the 1st state, from what was described in the Tolkien Bibliography, making this the later state. All original maps are present and in Near Fine condition, no tears or extra folds. All three books are in their original dustjackets, and all three have the same previous owners name and address to the front endpaper, mostly hidden by the dustjacket flap. No other markings or writing. The front endpapers show a moderate amount of offsetting and foxing on all three books. The only other foxing noted in any of the books, is to the outside edges of the textblock, a few spots to the last page in a couple of the books. but none to the interior of any of the books. The dustjackets are not price clipped, and they have minor rubbing and splits or loss to a few area's, mostly around the folds. The text blocks are all clean, bright and tight, without any internal foxing or markings. A beautiful, collectable set of first editions of this classic of fantasy literature. The Fellowship of the Ring is a 1st UK Edition, 1st impression with the book in Very Good Plus condition. Previous owner's name and address (same in all three books) to the front endpaper. The gilt is slightly dulled but untarnished on the spine. The boards are very clean and bright, with virtually no shelf wear on the bottom edge, A couple of lightly bumped corners and a little spine lean the only faults. The dustjacket is unclipped and shows beautifully, with very little tanning, some light fading to the red lettering of the spine and only moderate soiling. A beautiful, correct 1st impression dustjacket. The Two Tower's - 1st UK Edition, 1st impression, has the date (1954) on the title page, and no other printings listed, which would indicate a true 1st imp. Book is in Very Good Plus condition. Same previous owner's name, no other writing. and with some moderate offsetting on the endpapers. The boards are very clean and bright, without any bumps to the corners, very little shelf wear on the bottom edges, and no noticeable wear to the spine tips. Gilt is still clean and bright. The dustjacket is not clipped, and has very light tanning and some fading of the red lettering on the spine, and again is lightly soiled. No chips or wear to the edges, and only the smallest loss to the fold area's. The original map is present, without any tears or extra folds, also has the 1st state point with the red dot off coast of Umbar. A lovely copy, in its correct and original 1st impression dustjacket. The Return of the King - 1st UK Edition, 1st impression, the later state with the slipped type and signature mark '4' on page 49, as per Wayne Hammond's revised opinion. Same previous owners name and 1955 date, a very moderate bit of foxing/offsetting on the endpapers. The boards are very clean and bright, no bumped corners, and no shelf wear is evident. Gilt is again clean and bright. The dustjacket is not clipped, and is lightly tanned, and shows very little fading to the red lettering on the spine, and again is only moderately soiled. The map is present and in Near Fine condition, no extra folds or tears noted. A lovely example of the 1st impression book and original dustjacket. A fantastic set of First Editions of this classic of fantasy literature, with a custom full leather clamshell case, to protect and house these 'precious' books. The full Red Leather Clamshell features the Gates of Moria design to the triple spined case, with Tengwar title and Author to the front panel, with the large Ring and Eye design from the original dustjackets. The rear features the Ring Poem in Tengwar script $11,970
A Two Page Hand Written Letter from J.R.R. Tolkien, with hand addressed envelope, contains reference to Lord of the Rings Autographed, 2 page (front & back) hand written letter and envelope to Ingrid Pridgeon, on his 'Professor J.R.R. Tolkien' letterhead, with Sandfield Road, Headington, Oxford address crossed out and 'c/o Messers Geo. Allen and Unwin, 40 Museum St. Condon WC 1, typed in. "Dear Ingrid, Thank you very much for your letter. I am sorry that I cannot answer it more fully.; I am having rather a bad time. I have left Oxford, and in the middle of a move I fell downstairs and damaged my right leg so badly that it is in plaster from toe to hip, and I am on crutches. That makes everythig very difficult. Crutches also make one's hands v. tired, and writing is laborious (and wobbly). pg 2. I notice Spire Hollin : very shire-like. hollin is (northern, for of holly: used in Book I of L.R.: I lived for a while in Leeds in a Hollin Lane. I am v. glad to know that you liked and enjoyed my books. I hope soon, when the mess of moving (my books and papers are still piled in boxs) is past, and I am recovered to get on with more books. Yours Sincerely J.R.R. Tolkien. The address (to my publishers) will always find me. I have a secretary there." Envelope hand addressed and canceled from Bournemouth-Poole in 1968 and addressed to: Miss Ingrid Pridgeon, 15 Spire Hollin, Glossop Derbyshire Housed in a Custom Terra Cotta Leather Binder lined with beautiful handmarbled papers by Joan Ajala of Australia. Features two mylar folders to hold the letter and envelope for easy viewing. $9500
|September 3, 2011 — Urulókë (Views: 3495)|
2011 September Beverly Hills Signature Rare Books Auction #6058
Heritage Auctions - Beverly Hills
9478 West Olympic Blvd., 1st Floor
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Auction Dates:September 13-14, 2011
Lot Viewing:September 11-13, 2011 Beverly Hills, CA
There are many photos of the item available at ha.com, so follow the link to the book if you are interested.
Lot 37138: J. R. R. Tolkien. The Hobbit, or There and Back Again. London: George Allen & Unwin, . First edition, second impression. Octavo. 310 pages. With illustrations by the author. Publisher's green cloth with black designs and lettering. Map endpapers. Publisher's green stain to top edge. Binding slightly cocked, rear board bowed. Some foxing to cloth, with occasional puckering. Top stain mottled; foxing to fore-edge and bottom edge. A few leaves with thin brown stain to bottom edge, with minimal intrusion onto pages. Some pages with mild foxing and with shallow bends; one leaf wrinkled. Inconspicuous British bookstore sticker to front pastedown. Original dust jacket is price-clipped, with "Second Impression" at bottom of front flap. Jacket has a few chips, particularly to the base of the spine, a few short tears, some mild foxing, and moisture waves to front panel. An about very good copy.
The first impression to contain Tolkien's color illustrations. 2,300 copies of the second impression were printed, 423 of which were destroyed in the bombing of London in 1940. Estimate: $5,000 - up.
Sold for: $5,676.25 including buyers premium
Also a 1946 Hobbit (thanks garm)
2011 September Beverly Hills Signature Jerry Weist Collection of Science Fiction & Fantasy Art and Books Auction #6069
J. R. R. Tolkien. The Hobbit, or There and Back Again. London: George Allen & Unwin, . Fourth impression. Green cloth over boards. Black lettering and designs to boards and spine. Map endpapers. The price-clipped dust jacket with four shallow closed tears is otherwise bright and fresh. Overall, a near fine copy of this classic. From the Jerry Weist Collection.
Estimate: $300 - $400.
Sold for: $1,792.50 including buyers premium
Auction Dates:September 12, 2011
|August 27, 2011 — Urulókë (Views: 4310)|
Thornton's Bookshop (www.thorntonsbooks.co.uk) has just released Catalog #1087 [pdf] which contain some nice Tolkien editions as listed below.
 TOLKIEN, J R R. Tolkien, Christopher (ed.). The History of Middle Earth. 3 Volumes on India Paper. HarperCollins, 2001, Designed to match the previous deluxe editions of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings this set brings together all the volumes of The History of Middle Earth into three volumes. Set in matching black slipcase, this collector's hardback is limited to 1000 copies and has been printed on fine India paper in order to bring the pages of material down to manageable-sized books. Half black leather in slip cases still in shrink wraps. ISBN for volume 2 is ISBN 10: 0007105061 - ISBN 13: 9780007105069 and for volume 3 000710507X, we can't check the other volume as they are all still shrink wrapped. Ł1,250.00
[F0176-B] TOLKIEN, J.J.R. The Silmarillion. One of the Folio Society's hand numbered limited edition of 1750 copies. Quarter-bound in Moroccan goatskin leather, with sides of hand-woven pure Indian silk. Illustrations drawn by Eric Fraser from original designs by Ingahild Grathmer (pseud. of the Queen of Denmark). Gilded top edges, with ribbon markers. Calligraphy on spines and slipcase by John Andrew. Slipcase bound in full Moroccan goatskin leather, with scalloped edges. (2004 ) Illustrated by Francis Mosley, printed at the Bath Press, 420 pages. Book size: 9"x 5 3/4" Ł275.00
[F0176] TOLKIEN, J.J.R. The Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit. The Silmarillion 5 Volumes.. 2002 (2001 ?) /2004. One of the Folio Society's hand numbered limited edition of 1750 copies. Quarter-bound in Moroccan goatskin leather, with sides of hand-woven pure Indian silk. Illustrations drawn by Eric Fraser from original designs by Ingahild Grathmer (pseud. of the Queen of Denmark). Gilded top edges, with ribbon markers. Calligraphy on spines and slipcase by John Andrew. Slipcases bound in full Moroccan goatskin leather, with scalloped edges. 1328 pages in total for The Lord of the Rings. Together with The Hobbit (2003) and The Silmarillion (2004 ) Illustrated by Francis
Mosley, printed at the Bath Press. Ł1,250.00
Tolkien, J[ohn] R[onald] R[euel]. THE LORD OF THE RINGS. 3 volumes. First edition, first Impressions. George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1954-1955 First editions, first impressions, Volume one: The Fellowship of the Ring, 1954, 424pp., + folding map in the rear. 3000 copies were printed . Volume two: The Two Towers, 1954, 353pp., + folding map in the rear. 3250 copies were printed. With the errors on pp. 111 and 350. (Hammond-Anderson p. 98) Volume three The Return of the King, 1955, 416pp., + folding map in the rear. 7000 copies were printed. With the signature mark '4' and the slipped type on page 49 and the errors on pp. 31 101 and 209 (Hammond-Anderson p. 98 ) Octavo, In a splendid new full maroon leather binding by the Temple Bindery of Oxford (Ian Barnes) 5 traditional raised bands, panelled spines double-ruled in gilt, gilt ring and eye embossed devices to the front boards, Gilt inner dentelles. 2 black leather title labels on the spines, top edges stained red. The 2 first volumes were Philip Toynbee's personal copies and he must have referred to them in his now infamous 1961 Observer "In our time" article, where a.o. he wrote: "...most of his more ardent supporters were soon beginning to sell out their shares in Professor Tolkien, and today those books have passed into a merciful oblivion." Housed in a custom-made dark red velvet lined cloth slip case. An exquisite set. With letter by previous owner David Snowdon who received the volumes 1 and 2 as a gift from Philip Toynbee in 1977. David is mentioned several times in Toynbee's book "Part of a journey" (1981) which covers a period between 1977 and 1979 when both were members of "The Barn House Community" Ł5,950.00
[Addenda] TOLKIEN, J.R.R. The Hobbit. Illustrated by Alan Lee. Published exclusively for Hatchard's of London in 1997 in a limited edition signed by the illustrator. Half leather in slip-case. Gilt lettering on spine. Splendid copy in new condition. numbered copy. One of only 600 issued. Ł375.00
|August 21, 2011 — Jlong (Views: 4460)|
What forms can religious experience take in a world without cult or creed? Organized religion is notably absent from J. R. R. Tolkien's Secondary Universe of elves, dwarves, men and hobbits despite the author's own deep Catholic faith. Tolkien stated that his goal was 'sub-creating' a universe whose natural form of religion would not directly contradict Catholic theology. Essays in Light Beyond All Shadows examine the full sweep of Tolkien's legendarium, not only The Lord of the Rings but also The Hobbit, The Silmarillion and The History of Middle-Earth series plus Peter Jackson's film trilogy. Contributions to Light Beyond All Shadows probe both the mind of the maker and the world he made to uncover some of his fictional strategies, such as communicating through imagery. They suggest that Tolkien's Catholic imagination was shaped by the visual appeal of his church's worship and iconography. They seek other influences in St. Ignatius Loyola's meditation technique and St. Philip Neri's 'Mediterranean' style of Catholicism. They propose that Tolkien communicates his story through Biblical typology familiar in the Middle Ages as well as mythic imagery with both Christian and pagan resonances. They defend his 'comedy of grace' from charges of occultism and Manichaean dualism. They analyze Tolkien's Christian friends the Inklings as a supportive literary community. They show that within Tolkien's world, Nature is the Creator's first book of revelation. Like its earlier companion volume, The Ring and the Cross, edited by Paul E. Kerry, scholarship gathered in Light beyond All Shadows aids appreciation of what is real, meaningful and truthful in Tolkien's work.
|August 8, 2011 — Urulókë (Views: 5178)|
Henk Brassien, a Dutch Tolkien collector for many years, has opened a web storefront to sell off his duplicates and extras from his very large international Tolkien collection. There are some real gems here, including a very nice set of the first Dutch Lord of the Rings hardcovers, the first published translations of that work. Here is what Henk has to say in his announcement:
What will you find in my webshop?
As a collector, since many years, of books by and on Tolkien I also collected many double copies. So far I had no time to sell them. But, since I ended my working life in 2010 (prepension) I finally have all the time I needed. Now these books are for sale in my webshop www.hobbithunterbookshop.com. Not all my more than 1.300 double copies are already on this site. I start now with 137 items. The rest will follow, sooner or later.
So, if you are looking for an item which you can not find on the site, please contact me (use tab “contact” on the site).
All items are used, but in good condition, unless otherwise described.
Books will be shipped after payment has been received (in the Netherlands and Europe (EEC) by bank, in rest of the world by Paypal).
|August 1, 2011 — Urulókë (Views: 6015)|
An important work in Tolkien Scholarship has just been published, and is even now shipping to eager readers. I don't have my own copy yet, but that hasn't stopped me from reading the book and asking the editor Jason Fisher a few questions about the genesis and growth from idea to book. In my own humble opinion, this is a very strong contender for the Mythopoeic Award for scholarship in 2012 (where I certainly plan on meeting Jason face to face for the first time, which seems amazing as we have been corresponding for years).
Jeremy: In the preface, you mention that source study has emerged as one of the most popular approaches in Tolkien studies, but this is the first collection specifically focused on it. Can you talk a little bit about your personal approach, what gave you the idea to put this collection together, some of the trials and tribulations you went through, and why you think this is such a successful culmination of your efforts?
Jason Fisher: There can be no doubt source criticism is one of the most popular approaches to Tolkien’s work — the proof is in the number of published essays that clearly fall under the umbrella — but for the most part, the work has been confined to journals. Many of these are small, with very limited circulations; consequently, the findings of source scholars have a tendency to disappear. Even when we can see their tantalizing titles or abstracts preserved in Tolkien bibliographies, it can be very difficult to lay hands on some of the essays themselves.
There have been a few books published before now that could loosely be termed source criticism. The most important is Tom Shippey’s The Road to Middle-earth — but this books is much more besides a collection of source studies. There is also Stuart Lee and Elizabeth Solopova’s collection of primary materials known to have influenced Tolkien (The Keys of Middle-earth), along with accompanying essays. Both are essential reading, but neither lays out the methodology behind source criticism (in fact, Lee and Solopova take great pains to deny that their book is really about source criticism at all), and that’s one of the main things I felt was lacking in a single collection on the subject. Moreover, both these books take as their primary focus Tolkien’s medieval influences (though not the exclusive focus in Shippey’s case). I wanted to bring together source studies covering the whole gamut, from biblical mythopoeia all the way up to Tolkien’s own lifetime and just about every period in between. That’s a tall order, I know, but I think I’ve done it.
How did I get the idea? Well, source criticism tends to be my own approach, and from time to time people ask me how I go about it as well as how I justify it, both in the face of Tolkien’s own dismissals and frequent condescension or outright hostility from some corners of the academy today. I have wished there was a collection I could recommend to these younger scholars and devotees, so it gradually dawned on me that I was going to have to assemble it myself. It’s a bit like the bargain between Jack and Tollers: there wasn’t really a single convenient collection of the kind I wanted to read and recommend, so I did it myself. Well, not all by myself, certainly! As you know, I have had the enthusiastic support and encouragement of many fine scholars, of which a dozen or so were moved to contribute to the collection directly. These include Tom Shippey — the man who started it all, in my view — along with John Rateliff, Diana Glyer, Thomas Honegger, Kristine Larsen, and others.
The trials and tribulations mainly involved the glacial pace with which the collection took shape. The first inklings (forgive the unavoidable pun) that I had of assembling something like this came in the wake of Mythcon 39 in Connecticut in 2008, and it took three years to finish the manuscript. This was largely because I had a dozen people’s schedules to take into account. Many of them are teachers, meaning their availability is limited to summers or sabbaticals. The editing was also quite a lengthy process. One of the things that sometimes bothers me about scholarly collections is the often random, disconnected nature of the essays included. None of the contributors seem to be aware of one another, and of course, often they are not — but the editor is. I wanted to ensure that the essays worked well together, that each filled in gaps left by others, that they did not overlap unnecessarily, that the complemented and conversed with one another. A bit like the great chain of reading, if I may make so bold. You will find references among the essays to others in the collection. This harmonizes the various parts of the book as a cogent whole. I also made a point of encouraging contributors to survey the larger body of critical work that has laid the groundwork for their studies, where appropriate, and I have in many places supplemented their surveys with additional references. The book collectively refers to more than 300 other works, both primary and secondary, which I daresay is just a bit more comprehensive than most essay collections on Tolkien.
What were you most surprised by when you were working on putting this book together?
JF: One surprise was just how interested people are in the subject! Scholars always flatter themselves that their field is the most important or interesting, but in this case, there really has been a great deal of interest — both on the part of readers and even on the part of the scholars I approached about contributing. All but one of the essays in the book were written at my personal invitation, and I think it says a lot that these invitations were accepted so eagerly. People seem to have a lot to say about sources and source criticism, and a lot of people want to read about them as well. Again, at the risk of belaboring the point, source criticism has always been one of the most popular approaches to Tolkien, and when it is done well, I think it is also one of the most fruitful.
Some critics have dismissed this approach as "source hunting". What is the difference, if there is any difference at all, between source criticism and source hunting?
JF: To me, this is a false dichotomy. I really see no productive distinction between the terms. In the nineteenth-century jargon of philology and literary criticism, the Germans called source criticism Quellenforschung, and this just means "source-hunting". It's a straightforward idea, because this is exactly what we are doing. Admittedly, the "hunting" can sometimes become overzealous, but all methodologies are prone to various kinds of abuse. Some argue that we shouldn't be actively hunting for sources, but rather simply noticing them, in a more passive sense. This is a legitimate position in the debate, but one I do not hold myself. To me, literary research is not a passive process. Criticism is not something that happens to you, but something you undertake with deliberation. We may all have passive, serendipitous insights from time to time, but even when these occur, they are just the beginning of the process. After that comes the real work! Some critics today — either defenders of source criticism who seek to rename the poorer examples to differentiate them from the good, or enemies of source criticism altogether — may use "source hunting" in a derogatory sense. But again, I think there is no need for such a distinction. It merely serves to rob source criticism of its integrity. There are poor examples in all approaches to literature, but most of these disciplines have not attracted their own denigrating names. You just say an essay is a "bad post-colonial argument" or a "poor application of queer theory" or "New Historicism run amok" or something like that. You don't break out the mock-quotes and deride the discipline with a sarcastic variation on its name. In fact, I'd like to reclaim "source hunting" for source scholars, because this name conveys some of the sense of excitement in the discovery of new or hitherto overlooked sources!
Do you think your book tries to address these dismissals - in other words, do you attempt to respond to opponents of the methodology? Are there any skeptical papers in the collection that specifically try to address questions about the validity of source criticism?
JF: I find that most opponents of source criticism know very little about the methodology; more often, they object on principle and just throw the baby out with the bathwater. Or they cite Tolkien's objections, and again, disqualify the whole discipline. But yes, my book does seek to address these dismissals. In fact, I also tackle Tolkien's own statements against the discipline. Anyone who wishes to undertake source criticism must address these opposing viewpoints. In the case of Tolkien's own statements, these are well articulated and require careful rebuttal. In my book, objections are not simply dismissed, but are taken seriously and actively engaged. This is partly the purpose of the first part of the collection, especially in the essays by Tom Shippey, Ed Risden, and me.
There are no skeptical papers in this collection, unless you count portions of my own essay, pointing out the pitfalls of careless source criticism; but I did put together a panel discussion on source criticism at Mythcon 41 in Dallas last summer which gave equal time to the skeptics. The panelists were myself, John Rateliff, and — representing the more skeptical viewpoint — David Bratman. Merlin DeTardo moderated the panel impartially, and some difficult questions were raised, and the argument for and against source criticism was spirited and rewarding.
Please note that Amazon.com still lists the book as not available until November (as of my writing this) but the book is definitely in print, and Amazon should be able to ship copies as soon as they make it through their warehouse system.
|July 28, 2011 — Jlong (Views: 5289)|
Jason Fisher writes,
Introduction: Why Source Criticism?
Source Criticism: Background and Applications
E. L. Risden
Tolkien and Source Criticism: Remarking and Remaking
The Stones and the Book: Tolkien, Mesopotamia, and Biblical
Sea Birds and Morning Stars: Ceyx, Alcyone, and the Many
Metamorphoses of Eärendil and Elwing
“Byzantium, New Rome!” Goths, Langobards, and Byzantium
in The Lord of the Rings
The Rohirrim: “Anglo-Saxons on Horseback”? An Inquiry into
Tolkien’s Use of Sources
William Caxton’s The Golden Legend as a Source for J.R.R.
Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings
Judy Ann Ford
She and Tolkien, Revisited
John D. Rateliff
Reading John Buchan in Search of J.R.R. Tolkien
Mark T. Hooker
Biography as Source: Niggles and Notions
Diana Pavlac Glyer and Josh B. Long
|June 29, 2011 — Urulókë (Views: 7068)|
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