Tolkien Gleanings #78

Tolkien Gleanings #78.

* More details are emerging about the forthcoming “expanded” book of Tolkien’s letters. Turns out it really is being expanded with a substantial amount of letters from Tolkien, and not just three or four. To be… “revised and expanded, with ~150 new letters and additional material restored to existing letters”. Sounds good, and hopefully they won’t all be about how to pay the bills or his work on academic committees. The new expanded edition is due in November 2023. The Tolkien Guide is also making an online discovery tool to aid researchers.

* The new blog post “Introduction to Tolkien’s Metaphysics” has thoughts on the book The Flame Imperishable: Tolkien, St. Thomas, and the Metaphysics of Faerie.

* Tolkien: Medieval and Modern: Syllabus 2023. I wasn’t unaware of this online course and see that it has just completed classes. The detailed course schedule and outline is still online, and it looks like 2023’s final student essays are now being posted on the blog. Such as “Invocation and Worship: Reverence for Elbereth”.

* In Spanish, with English abstract, ““The chanting becomes loud and clear”: J.R.R. Tolkien’s poetry, Anglo-Saxon epics and medieval liturgy on those who have fallen in battle” (2023). In open access.

* And finally, new on, Christopher Isherwood’s diaries…

[May 1967] “Wystan [Auden] was wearing a sweater with the word GIMLI on it. [… He] remarked that the book on Tolkien which he has been writing has been held up, or maybe abandoned, because Tolkien didn’t like having the sources of some of his material revealed.”

The editor’s footnote suggests Auden later destroyed the entire text, after objections by Tolkien. Auden had apparently also been rather catty about the humdrum appearance of Tolkien’s house, which didn’t help matters.

Just the weather, thanks…

The only thing I see from the BBC these days is the 10-day weather, on a desktop PC. And even that’s becoming alarmist and naggy and click-baity, if it’s not filtered and blocked. Here’s how to clear all that guff off, in one go, and just leave yourself with what you came for… the likely weather plus sunset/sunrise times.

Just copy-paste my personal list of blocks into your Web browser’s uBlock Origin filter list (Icon | Dashboard (cog-wheel icon) | ‘My Filters’)…

! Hide all the alarmist, political, nagging and video stuff on the 10-day BBC Weather forecast[contains(@class,"wr-c-environmental-data__item wr-c-environmental-data__item--pollution")])[contains(@class,"wr-c-environmental-data__item wr-c-environmental-data__item--pollen")])[contains(@class,"wr-c-environmental-data__item wr-c-environmental-data__item--uv")]) > ul > .gel-wrap > .wr-c-environment-day-wrapper--active.wr-c-environment-day-wrapper--day-1.wr-c-environment-day-wrapper > .wr-c-environmental-data > .wr-c-environmental-data__item--pollution.wr-c-environmental-data__item > .gel-pica.wr-c-warnings-issued__banner > .gel-pica-bold.wr-c-warnings-issued__banner\+\ > .gel-wrap\+\ > .gel-wrap > .orb-footer-inner\?country\=gb\&language\=en\&service\=weather[class*="wr-time-slot-primary__precipitation wr-time-slot-primary__precipitation--grey gel-brevier"][class*="wr-time-slot-primary__precipitation wr-time-slot-primary__precipitation--blue gel-brevier"]

The result, clean and simple…

You’re welcome.

What I can’t do anything about is this subtly depressive slight-of-hand. The worst possible weather for the day is always chosen to represent it on the main single-icon. The single-icon is thus usually deeply unrepresentative of the day’s likely weather…

Tolkien Gleanings #77

Tolkien Gleanings #77.

* New and free in Hektoen: Journal of the Medical Humanities, “The Medical Inkling: R.E. Havard, C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien”. On Tolkien’s doctor, who was also an Inkling….

“Lewis quickly introduced Havard to Tolkien, who also became one of Havard’s closest friends — and patients. In praising his medical acumen, Tolkien contrasted Havard with physicians who were “mere ‘doctors’ [and] tinkerers with machinery””.

* The Legendarium Podcast hits #400 (congratulations). The episode is a new 50-minute interview with the author of the book Tolkien Dogmatics (2022), discussing “J.R.R. Tolkien’s Theology”. This is a different interview to the one I linked in Gleanings #72.

* In The Stanford Review, “Decline Without Fall: Tolkien and the Long Defeat”.

* In The Imaginative Conservative, “Faith & Fantasy: Chesterton, Tolkien, Lewis, Rowling & Other Tellers of Tall Tales”.

* Open access in the latest ANQ: A Quarterly Journal of Short Articles, Notes and Reviews, a short note on “The Relevance of Rivendell’s Growing Cultural Value from The Hobbit to The Lord of the Rings”. Don’t overlook the additional comments in the Notes.

* And finally, help fund John Garth’s work on Tolkien. He’s using a crowdfunder service that’s new to me, Steady HQ.

Tolkien Gleanings #76

Tolkien Gleanings #76.

* Signum University’s Mythmoot X conference, themed as “Homeward Bound”. 22nd-25th June 2023, in Virginia USA. $75 for an online ticket, booking now.

* Coming in August 2023, the new book Theology, Fantasy, and the Imagination. An edited collection, for which Amazon UK doesn’t yet have the TOCs. But I tracked them down and the book has only one Tolkien chapter, titled “Between Tolkien and the Philosophers: Greek and Scholastic Theories of Phantasia“.

* An older article that some may have overlooked, to be found in the British open access journal Writing in Practice. This is “The Grounds of Tolkien: unmappable, unbookable” (2018)… “setting Tolkien in the context of other creative writers of his time and the present day, draws on documentation of his creative practices”. Interesting, and especially in the substantial section on maps and mapping. But it’s perhaps equally interesting for demonstrating what is lost, when the academy’s ‘theory’ is unable to even mention religion.

* A short but perceptive review of the book Tolkien Dogmatics (2022) in March 2023, for the English Churchman newspaper… “One of the most interesting excurses in the book is on the topic of whether Tolkien considered himself to be writing inspired [i.e. ‘by God’] literature. Alarming though this proposition may sound, the reality of what he actually meant by it is benign.”

* And finally, “J.R.R. Tolkien and Imre Makovecz: Those Who Wage War Against the Death of God”. A new article in English, comparing Tolkien and an architect well-known in Hungary… “Both figures knew that they could not resurrect the dead, or bring the long-lost past back to life, but they could reimagine it in a way particular to them and the unique talents they possessed”.