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Tolkien Seminar - "G.B. Smith and J.R.R. Tolkien: a meaningful friendship"

18 Jan, 2023 (edited)
2023-1-18 4:46:20 PM UTC

"To celebrate the 50th year anniversary of Tolkien’s death (1892-1973), a conference dedicated to his meaningful friendship with G.B. Smith, poet and alumnus of Corpus, who died at the Battle of the Somme in 1916."

We are pleased to announce the seminar "G.B. Smith and J.R.R. Tokien: a meaningful friendship" which will be on Tuesday and Wednesday 21st / 22nd March. The venue will be Corpus Christi College, Merton Street, Oxford – the College where Smith himself was a student between 1912 and 1915, and to whom Tolkien himself originally applied for a Degree in Classics.

Organisers: Doug Anderson, Oronzo Cilli, Beppe Pezzini
Other confirmed speakers: Mark Atherton, John Garth, Grace Khuri, Stuart Lee, Kris Swank, Allan Turner, Federica Calabrese, Lucia Simonson, Ivano Sassanelli.

The relationship between G.B. Smith and J.R.R. Tolkien had enormous influence on their human and artistic development during their school and university years, and also played an important role in the development of Tolkien's imagination and legendarium after Smith's death. However, the nature, development and implications of this 'meaningful friendship' (Garth) have often been neglected by scholars (with due exceptions) and not yet fully explored. Topics that will be discussed in this exploratory workshop include the sources, content and style of Smith's poetry, Tolkien's editorial work on Spring Harvest, biographical aspects of their relationship, (literary) influence on Tolkien's work (early and later), and others.

The conference website is: ... ien-meaningful-friendship

with a link to the registration form: ... 6lAczDK3-_eN1Dog/viewform

2174_63c8223ca8fea.jpeg 1200X548 px
18 Jan, 2023
2023-1-18 7:10:08 PM UTC
I hope this leads to the publication of an edition of A Spring Harvest prepared and annotated by Doug! ?
18 Jan, 2023
2023-1-18 7:20:06 PM UTC

Éarendel wrote:

I hope this leads to the publication of an edition of A Spring Harvest prepared and annotated by Doug! ?

I'd buy that.
20 Jan, 2023
2023-1-20 3:18:26 PM UTC
...yes, would be time to replace this old version for a new edition

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20 Jan, 2023
2023-1-20 4:33:21 PM UTC

Ithildin wrote:

...yes, would be time to replace this old version for a new edition

We can switch editions then if you’d like, ithildin!
27 Jan, 2023
2023-1-27 9:46:12 AM UTC
Well, this is a conference I certainly would love to attend!
21 Mar, 2023 (edited)
2023-3-21 8:33:09 AM UTC
The sessions are available to view on Youtube.

Session 1
15.15-15.45 John Garth, ‘A Perfect Genius’: G.B. Smith among Family and Friends

15.45-16.15 Grace Khuri, ‘Geoffrey Bache Smith at Oxford and at War: A Lost History?’

16.15-16.45 Questions and discussion

Session 2
17.15-17.45 Oronzo Cilli, ‘A thousand leaves from one tree: The History of G.B. Smith's poetry’
17.45-18.15 Questions and discussion

Session 3
9.15-9.45 Allan Turner, ‘GBS, Apprentice Poet of his Time’
9.45-10.15 Stuart Lee, ‘Smith, Tolkien, and the Poetry of the First World War’
10.15-10.45 Questions and discussion

Session 4
11.15-11.45 Kris Swank, ‘The Monk and the Bird’s Song’: An archetype in poems by Longfellow, Smith, and Tolkien’
11.45-12.15 Federica Calabrese, ‘From the “dawns” to the “tides of time”. Smith and Tolkien in the mists of Glastonbury legends’
12.15-12.45 Questions and discussion

Session 5
14.15-14.45 Beppe Pezzini, ‘That we may do the things undone’: GB Smith, Tolkien’s Lost Tales and the Classics’
14.45-15.15 Mark Atherton, 'O scholar grey with quiet eyes': Smith's poem 'Rime' and its influence on Tolkien's work
15.15-15.45 Questions and discussion

Session 6
16.15-16.45 Ivano Sassanelli, ‘The TCBS was destined to testify for God and Truth”: on Tolkien’s letter n. 5 to G.B. Smith’
16.45-17.15 Lucia Simonson, ‘The Challenges of Translating a Spring Harvest into Spanish’
17.15-17.45 Questions and discussion
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