New Tolkien Book

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New Tolkien Book

Okt. 19, 2016, 8:44am

I don't know. I couldn't get into the Children of Hurin. Did others?

Bearbeitet: Okt. 19, 2016, 12:24pm

>2 timspalding:
I thought The Children of Hurin was excellent -- successfully rescuing one ot Tolkien's key tales from the somewhat hidebound Silmarillion.

It does start a bit slowly, almost sludgily, with a long introduction and a rather genealogical first chapter both of which bombard you with what may be unfamiliar names and references to Lengendarium episodes; but once it got going I found it exciting and engaging -- not to mention tragic.

From the brief description given of Beren and Luthien it looks like CT may be letting the different B&L texts stand as written, rather than homogenizing them into a compressed (Silmarillion) or expanded (C.of Hurin) product. We'll see,,,

Okt. 19, 2016, 12:56pm

>3 Crypto-Willobie:

Yeah, got trapped at the beginning. It's good to hear you say it changes.

Okt. 27, 2016, 9:41am

I'm really looking forward to the release of this title as I am with any of Tolkien's books.
>3 Crypto-Willobie: I agree with you about the slow start when I read the Children of Hurin last year, but yeah it does pick up and ended up being a great read.

Nov. 25, 2016, 5:26am

And yet another archival Tolkien volume:
It's true that as a poet Tolkien is no Yeats, but based on the excerpts I've read I think the one Amazon review so far is unduly harsh.

Nov. 25, 2016, 12:14pm

>6 Crypto-Willobie: I agree with you that the review was pretty harsh. I love reading Tolkien's stories, but have not read any of his poetry yet, so I may start branching off and reading some of his poetry. Do you have any suggestions or favorites when it comes to Tolkien's poetry you would recommend?

Bearbeitet: Nov. 26, 2016, 8:16am

Well, of course both Hobbit and LotR are full of his poetry. Then there's the stuff in Adventures of Tom Bombadil (not all about Bombadil of course). Have you dipped into History of the Middle Earth? some of the earlier renditions of Silmariliion material are written in verse. Then there is his translation of Sir Orfeo, Pearl and Sir Gawain.

The problem many people have with Tolkien's verse is that it's old-fashioned, written as if time stopped at 1910. It's rhymed, it can be a little corny, it uses trimeter and ballad meter and other verse forms that seem 'jingly' nowadays. Or it tries to evoke Saxon or medieval forms that might seem forced to us.

I have to say that although I have them I have barely dipped into Kullervo, Death of Arthur, Beowulf and some of his other unearthed poetry. What I have read I thought was ok, but then I more or less knew what to expect. I read some excerpts of Aotrou and I didn't find them as clumsy as the Amazon reviewer leads us to believe.

Nov. 27, 2016, 9:20pm

>8 Crypto-Willobie: I own the complete History of Middle Earth, but have not read them yet and plan to do so someday. I started reading The Story of Kullervo but had to put it down since I'm working on finishing my bachelor degree. I have read some of my Tolkien books and plan on reading the rest when I'm done with school.

Nov. 28, 2016, 10:47am

I agree with your assessment of Aotrou. In fact, I think the Amazon reviewer's view of Tolkien's prosody is badly mistaken. The meter is just fine. As you point out, Tolkien was very conscientious about meter, and was a capable critic of Old and Middle English prosody.

Bearbeitet: Nov. 29, 2016, 10:30am

I also enjoyed Children of Hurin, distinct from both LotR and The Hobbit in style and tone. Not a bad thing, but if anyone anticipated it to be like either of those, I think they'd be disappointed. For me, just as important is that it is much more accessible than The Silmarillion -- perhaps a function of presentation (a stand-alone book, not a story crammed into a book of miscellanea). I dip into the latter, rather than attempt to read it it cover to cover, I've found that approach works best for me.

Looking forward to the new Beren and Luthien as well!

Nov. 29, 2016, 10:42am

>11 elenchus: Hello, I am also excited about getting Beren and Luthien next May as well and hope they release it in a deluxe slipcase edition too that will match the rest of my Tolkien books in my library. They seem to always release the deluxe editions a few months after the hardcover and paperbacks are released.

Feb. 17, 2017, 6:20am

Beren & Luthien has now been pushed back to June.

Nov. 23, 2020, 10:10pm

>14 Crypto-Willobie:

Certainly interesting, but from that publisher-heavy description, I can't tell if it's a book I'll want to read or not. Still have a lot of other writings to read yet, so I'm not wanting for material.

Nov. 24, 2020, 11:16am

>15 elenchus:

Looks to me like some more of the late-career writings like those that were included in some of the latter volumes of History of Middle-Earth. You've worked your way through that several times, no?

Nov. 24, 2020, 3:54pm

Oh, surrre I have. But I might, you know, re-visit just to refresh my memory. It's been awhile.

Bearbeitet: Aug. 30, 2021, 11:07am

>14 Crypto-Willobie: The Nature of Middle-earth is officially published on 2nd September 2021, but you can get a copy already. I got it yesterday. The first few sections are a fairly dense working out of the differences between the flow of time in Valinor and Middle-earth, and the aging and maturation of elves. I'm finding it interesting, though, and not too hard going.
(Edited to make some kind of sense)

Aug. 29, 2021, 11:43am

>18 Michael.Rimmer:
Thanks. I had already pre-ordered a copy but didn't think to mention it here. I should go check on the status of my order.

Aug. 30, 2021, 11:06am

>19 Crypto-Willobie: Hope you have it soon, if not already 🙂

Okt. 13, 2021, 5:50pm

>20 Michael.Rimmer: I finished The Nature of Middle-Earth a few days ago. More so than with the HoME volumes, I was torn by the content of this new book. On the one hand, there were numerous "nuggets" or pieces of narrative that were intriguing or that, as trivia, expand on our understanding of the story. But of course the "story," as we laymen know it, is the published Silmarillion from 1977, which hardly can be said to represent JRRT's finished telling of the Story.

Moreover, I found much of the content of The Nature of Middle-Earth to be very dull and un-magical. As an example, there is a good deal of painstaking manuscript writing about Elvish physiology, forming the foundation for a number of population-growth charts for the pre-Great March period, which is simply tedious. It turns out that I don't really care how old an Elf is before he or she desires to marry, or how long the gestation period is, or at what point the Elf's desire for marriage/childbearing ends. I'm therefore glad that JRRT either never finished his work on this front or never published it.

Maybe my reaction is a function of my age. When I first encountered Tolkien as a child 30+ years ago, perhaps some of the trivia in The Nature of Middle-Earth would have enchanted me. But if I now feel more moved by the Story than ever, I find I don't really care about the arcana so much.

Okt. 13, 2021, 7:32pm

>21 jfclark: I get you about the lists in the first part of the book, which I doubt JRRT ever intended for publication, but which were essential to his internal historiography. I was interested by them, but did not feel the need to do more than run my eye down the lists rather than read them, much less commit them to memory! Not going to be my specialist subject on Mastermind! (A long-running TV quiz show, if you aren't familiar with British TV :-) ) I found the other sections of the book fascinating and overall really enjoyed reading it.

I first encountered Tolkien as a child about 50 years ago, and still feel enchanted by much of the trivia :-D
That said, I was pleased that Carl F. Hostetter edited out the more academic parts of some of the chapters, as the linguitic and philolgical minutiae of elvish which is of interest to professors of anglo-saxon literature is less so for me.

Okt. 14, 2021, 3:50am

20 years ago, when I was in my most elf-linguistically interested phase, I'd been most disappointed at Hostetter editing that out.

Today, I probably won't even get the book. I mean, it seems interesting, but there's so much else that's competing for my attention.

Okt. 14, 2021, 5:54pm

And here's a review of the book from the Journal of Tolkien Research: