Lord of the Rings: Supplemental Reading

Dec 9, 03:03 by IROSF
Thread for the discussion of Lord of the Rings: Supplemental Reading, or the review by David Soyka.

The article is here.
Dec 9, 09:00 by David Bratman
Nice review of these two fine scholarly works. It's worth remembering that Kocher's book dates from 1972 and thus he lacked access to all the since-published letters and posthumous works that Shippey had. His insights are so good, however, that the book is still valuable.

Of course these books don't discuss Tolkien's shortcomings. They are intended as in-depth explorations of his achievement, not as pro-and-con evaluations. Critique would only get in the way. Also, hard as it may be for someone like yourself who finds LOTR tedious to believe, people like Shippey and Kocher don't consider Tolkien's shortcomings to be very large or significant.

If you want an evaluative critical study of Tolkien that is generally admiring while discussing flaws in his prose style, try Brian Rosebury's Tolkien, A Cultural Phenomenon, which also does a superb job of placing him in context as a modern writer and (as Shippey does) dismissing the more ignorant negative criticism.

Lastly - I know this isn't part of your article, but could whoever wrote the blurbs for the title page please, PLEASE learn to SPELL TOLKIEN'S NAME RIGHT! Sheesh.
Dec 9, 09:43 by Bluejack
Thanks dbratman, fixed. I have to say, our editing of the surrounding material has always been a weakness. We'll work harder on that.
Dec 11, 20:35 by Stephen Maire
A fine article.

With the release of the first movie, The Fellowship of the Ring, I decided it was time to return to the source for, among other reasons, to see how true the movie was to the book. Thus, came my third (or, fourth?) reading of the LOTR.

I have read none of the critical work on Tolkien and can comment little beyond my own appreciation of a tale well told. Allegory? Myth? Timeless tale of adventure? It would seem all of the above and more.

Yet, in this reading I did pick up a copy of Karen Wynn Fonstad's "The Atlas of Middle-Earth" which I recommend as a good reference of the maps and routes for those who find the maps in the books limiting.
Dec 12, 09:08 by David Bratman
Stephen, if you want good critical work on Tolkien you could do very well reading the two fine books reviewed in this article. Fonstad's atlas is good, but it's a subcreational analysis, not a critical study.

Thank you for making the correction, Bluejack. Tolkien, Tolkien, Tolkien. Drive that spelling right through your brain.
   

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