Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Tolkien weblog

Three things I've seen online of interest lately.

1. Review of the Carpenter and Grotta biographies. Perhaps not many people who aren't Tolkien specialists would read two biographies of him in short order. Would this intelligent reader pick up on the relative value of these two books? He would.
(Note this was written in 2008, so probably he was not aware of the then-recent publication of Scull & Hammond's Companion & Guide, which deserves mention in any consideration of the best single source on Tolkien's life, albeit it is not a narrative biography. Note also that it is the second and slightly less horrible edition of Grotta that is being read.)
Also embedded in this is another review of Carpenter by a reader not personally interested in Tolkien's work at all, but who found his an interesting life to read about. An intriguing perspective to have.

2. Media article on misconceptions about Tolkien's sub-creation. Most such articles are from the perspective of the Jackson movies; this one is largely a defense of the book The Lord of the Rings from misconceptions generated by the movies, of which "Sauron the helpless giant eyeball" is the one I was most pleased to see debunked. But at least one misconception predates the movies, the perennial favorite "why didn't the Eagles just ...?"
Perhaps it is condescending of me to compliment a media site writer for knowing Tolkien's writings pretty well, but this is better in that regard than most such articles I've seen. However, it's not good enough to have prevented two of the entries from having factual clangers in them, one fairly obscure but one extremely major. Can you find them?

3. A friend sent me this, though one might sardonically wonder what conception of friendship would make them send you this. (Only sardonically, T.: thanks for the links.) It's The Lord of the Rings told backwards. Backwards? Yeah, read it for yourself, and prepare to be stunned. Then brought back to life. One. Two. Three.

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