Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Tolkien notes and others

1. Hey there, all those who want to keep up with the latest posthumous Tolkien writings, look out next year for The Nature of Middle-earth (which I hope the publisher decides to spell that way). A few of the contents have already appeared in obscure scholarly sources, so I can say that, like much of the later History of Middle-earth volumes, this volume will delve into the very roots of the mountain, the basic concepts (or "nature") of Middle-earth itself. For the editing of the world-creation, this should be very cool.

2. They're looking for self-defined Tolkien fans to be interviewed for three minutes (to keep you concise, my dear) for The Tolkien Fandom Oral History Collection. You can also listen to (or read) a batch of interviews already entered. I've signed up; should you?

3. No, I don't know what this is about - I wasn't there - and the account does not clarify for me what was going on. Ergo silencio.

4. The cancellation of concerts is now infecting September-December. The San Francisco Symphony is out; so are many others. (By the way, have you noticed how to pronounce "2020-2021 season"? Twenty-twenty-twenty-twenty-one. We may be better off without it.) A few institutions have embarked on social-distance concerts; here's a review that may be behind a paywall. I think I'll pass for now, and that applies to dine-in restaurants also.

4. Looking at what we have come to in the quest to cease memorializing evil, I regret to say that the best comment is Macaulay's, "We know no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality." Unless it's American. It's disrespectful to the original protests to take them to a level of parody.

4a. But I'll make an allowance for the equestrian statue of Theodore Roosevelt, with ethnic retainers, at the American Museum of Natural History. It's located immediately in front of the main door to the museum, facing outwards. As a result, when you leave the museum, you open the door to find yourself immediately faced with the biggest bronze horse's ass you have ever seen. I always thought that was a better comment on the statue than any act of taking it down could be, but yeah, better that it should go.

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