Help :) [couldn't think of a good headline]

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Help :) [couldn't think of a good headline]

Post by Norc on Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:37 am

Hi.  so i am doing this project thing in school (særemne). and it is these three weeks ( Shocked ) and i chose to work with Lord of the Rings (it took me a long while to decide.. cus i really didn't want to pick LOTR).

i want to see if i can place LOTR in a literary context, is it modernist/naturalist/traditional and so on, point out different characteristics Smile i will be mostly looking at the book, but i need to look a bit at context, where Tolkien came from and what happened in his life.

so my question is, does anyone know of any good Tolkien biographies and/or places where i can find letters written to him or by him that can be of use? or documentaries. 

the rest, i think i can figure out myself, but if you have some interesting thoughts on what kind of novel lotr is, i'd be interested in hearing your opinions and maybe have a little discussion Smile although i dunno how much time i can afford to be on the forum these weeks Razz 

please Very Happy 
- Norc the superbest sudent !! {{keep telling yourself that norc, and it might be true}}

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Re: Help :) [couldn't think of a good headline]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:50 am

Humphrey Carpenters biography is generally considered the main one I think.

http://www.amazon.com/J-R-R-Tolkien-Biography-Humphrey-Carpenter/dp/0618057021

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Re: Help :) [couldn't think of a good headline]

Post by Norc on Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:00 am

wow, thank you Very Happy (and they don't have it at our library, whaaat? Mad )
edit: no, wait they had it Very Happy

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Re: Help :) [couldn't think of a good headline]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:17 am

Its a good read too.
You might also want to consider seeing if you can get hold of a copy of Letters too (its very well indexed making it easy to find material relating to subjects you want)

http://www.amazon.com/The-Letters-J-R-R-Tolkien-J/dp/0618056998

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Re: Help :) [couldn't think of a good headline]

Post by Norc on Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:24 am

looks interesting, but they only have one book by Humphrey Carpenter, but i guess that one is based on letters as well, so maybe. I could order it, but i dunno if it is worth the bother if it doesn't arrive for like two weeks. i'll see if i can find an online version or something perhaps..

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Re: Help :) [couldn't think of a good headline]

Post by Norc on Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:28 am

and i did Very Happy
http://85.17.122.176/bookreader.php/139008/The_Letters_of_J.R.R.Tolkien.pdf

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Re: Help :) [couldn't think of a good headline]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:30 am

Ah well you can ignore my pm then with offer of same!!  Very Happy 

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Re: Help :) [couldn't think of a good headline]

Post by Norc on Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:39 am

i saw ^^ thanx though Very Happy

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Re: Help :) [couldn't think of a good headline]

Post by Bluebottle on Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:38 am

Ah, særemne. Yeah, I remember that quite well.

I like your approach. I think you can get some interesting perspectives from that. Nod

As for biographies, the books are probably good for looking up specifics, but can perhaps be a bit daunting to get through in three weeks? 

So to get an overview, maybe a good radio documentary is better? Shrugging  Someone probably knows a good one.

This looked a bit interesting:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03bqchj

And you get to spend a lot of your next three weeks of school time working on the LotRs. That can't be a bad thing. Wink

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Re: Help :) [couldn't think of a good headline]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:03 pm

The one I put on the General Tolkien news thread is not bad place to start too, and narrated by Dame Judi Dench no less.
Ill bung it here too-




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Re: Help :) [couldn't think of a good headline]

Post by Norc on Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:30 pm

wow, thanx guys ^^ well, you'd be surprised what i can do in three weeks Very Happy we get all the norwegian and history hours to do it (we have the same teacher in both subjects Very Happy ) so about ten hours a week Nod

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Re: Help :) [couldn't think of a good headline]

Post by halfwise on Tue Feb 11, 2014 12:50 pm

Wow, the letters of Tolkien are online! how cool, my dad had it banging around but I never got around to acquiring my own copy....until now. Smile

I hesitate to suggest the obvious, but the appendices to LoTR the movie does have some nice biographical stuff, and relations of life to books, with frequent comments by Humphrey Carpenter. Since you likely have it lying around it's a good place to start to get in the right head space.

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Re: Help :) [couldn't think of a good headline]

Post by Norc on Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:33 pm

haha, yeah true Very Happy

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Re: Help :) [couldn't think of a good headline]

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Feb 11, 2014 1:35 pm

Yeah the documentary on Tolkien spread across the EE's is very good. No complaints there apart from the small occasional intrusion of the Coven.
It features many of the same contributors as the vid I posted above, except, that vid being older, most of them have more hair.  Very Happy 

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Re: Help :) [couldn't think of a good headline]

Post by Eldorion on Tue Feb 11, 2014 5:42 pm

The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide by Wayne Hammond & Christina Scull is probably the best and most thorough biographical resource on Tolkien, but it's also 2300 pages long spread over two volumes, including exhaustive notes on all aspects of Tolkien's life as well as a day-by-day chronology of it. Razz

http://www.amazon.com/J-R-R-Tolkien-Companion-Guide-Volume/dp/0618391134

Assuming you don't want to slog through that, then I'll second Petty's recommendation of the Carpenter biography, which is sort of like the Silmarillion to Hammond & Scull's History of Middle-earth-sized take on Tolkien's life.
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Re: Help :) [couldn't think of a good headline]

Post by malickfan on Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:05 pm

The books by Carpenter are probably the best thing to look at from a biographical point of view There is a Third Book, The Inklings:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Inklings-Lewis-Tolkien-Friends/dp/0007748698

which may or may not be useful (I haven't read it myself, but the other two books are great)

Tolkien and The Great War by John Garth:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tolkien-Great-War-Threshold-Middle-earth/dp/0007119534/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1392140737&sr=1-1&keywords=tolkien+and+the+great+war+the+threshold+of+middle-earth

-is a brilliant book in some regards-it's basically a very well written Biography of Tolkien during the 1910's-20's exploring his WW1 service in great detail, his friendship with the TCBS, and how this implicated on his early mythology writings-The Book largely focuses on the Book of Lost Tales, explaining/arguing how the war shaped Tolkien's influences and techniques in his early writings, so it's perhaps not that useful to you, though it might help you get a grounding in his demeanor and life in general.

If you are looking at placing Tolkien in a literary sense, or explaining/exploring his methods and influences, there are literally dozens of books about his writing:

http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Category:Scholarly_books


-so my advice is simple, Browse Amazon!

Tom Shippey and Verlyn Flieger are widely acclaimed authors on books about Tolkien, 'The Road to Middle Earth' by Tom Shippey is probably the best piece of literary criticism I have ever read:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Road-Middle-earth-Tolkien-created-mythology/dp/0261102753/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1392140737&sr=1-2&keywords=tolkien+and+the+great+war+the+threshold+of+middle-earth

(There are 3 different editions, the most recent was updated in 2004) Author of the Century covers similar ground but is more dummed down I.M.O.

There is also this enormous two volume set by Hammond and Scull:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/J-Tolkien-Companion-Guide-Chronology/dp/0007169728/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1392141488&sr=1-2&keywords=jrr+tolkien+companion+and+guide

I haven't read it, and it's gotten bloody expensive! (maybe your local library may have a copy) but it's viewed very very highly by Tolkien scholars.

At the risk of sounding a bit arrogant/slighty racist, many of the above books are written by British/American scholars, so I'm not sure whether the often rather formal writing style may be a bit confusing or hard to get into for someone with English as a 2nd language, I'm not sure whether any have been translated or not. Bare in mind quite a few of the above books are aimed at hardcore fans/scholars, so they can be quite hard to follow if you aren't as geeky as the authors assumed.

And be warned...reading about LOTR isn't always as fun as reading LOTR!

Elthir where are you?


*Edit, Eldo have you actually read the Companion and Guide? It's loooooong! and pretty bloody expensive (typical the month I can finally justify getting it, I can no longer bloody afford it....)

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Re: Help :) [couldn't think of a good headline]

Post by Eldorion on Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:09 pm

No, my recommendation is based off reports I've heard from people I know who have read it. When I was still actively collecting Tolkien books it was too expensive for me, and now a greater portion of my disposable income is going towards building up my anime DVD/Blu-ray collection than getting even more books about Tolkien. Razz
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Re: Help :) [couldn't think of a good headline]

Post by malickfan on Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:14 pm

My attitude to Tolkien books is ironically shared by the Authors of the Companion and Guide:

Too Many Books And Never Enough!

(The title of their weblog)

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Re: Help :) [couldn't think of a good headline]

Post by Norc on Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:12 pm

Eldorion wrote:The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide by Wayne Hammond & Christina Scull is probably the best and most thorough biographical resource on Tolkien, but it's also 2300 pages long spread over two volumes, including exhaustive notes on all aspects of Tolkien's life as well as a day-by-day chronology of it. Razz

http://www.amazon.com/J-R-R-Tolkien-Companion-Guide-Volume/dp/0618391134

Assuming you don't want to slog through that, then I'll second Petty's recommendation of the Carpenter biography, which is sort of like the Silmarillion to Hammond & Scull's History of Middle-earth-sized take on Tolkien's life.
haha, wow, no.. thanx, i am good Razz 

the carpenter (and another one i just grabbed) are (i want to say bought and paid for) but borrowed and not payed for Very Happy 

but thanx guys^^ this gives me hope

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Re: Help :) [couldn't think of a good headline]

Post by halfwise on Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:26 pm

I would recommend against Verlyn Fleiger.  Though I love her in person (she was a professor at the school I went to grad school) her writing is very high falutin' and not very illuminating.  Literary analysis claptrap.  If I didn't like her as a person I'd say she was a BS artist based on her writing.

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Re: Help :) [couldn't think of a good headline]

Post by halfwise on Wed Feb 12, 2014 1:24 am

Listening to the video Petty posted.  The long sections with Christopher Tolkien are quite wonderful - I find myself drawn to him far more than I ever expected.

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Re: Help :) [couldn't think of a good headline]

Post by halfwise on Wed Feb 12, 2014 2:37 am

Holy crap.  2/3 of the way through the video (and 2/3 of the way through a delightful pinot grigio) I come across a young Verlyn Fleiger.  To me she is an elderly lady, tall and slender on the cusp of frail, gray of hair, doting on undergrad students as though they are her grandchildren....more eager to hear what they have to say than to make her own pronouncements.

Contrast that with the slightly brash, dark of hair (halfway, almost coquetishly covering one eye) Verlyn of early middle age - she seems young and sprightly to me.  A total revelation.  But I feel age myself, the way I'll let those younger than me talk just to hear the music of their thoughts; what a strange thing life is.  How short our time is, how it drags when we are young and rushes as we grow old.

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Re: Help :) [couldn't think of a good headline]

Post by Norc on Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:09 am

hi. i just wanted to let u know that i got top grade on this presentation Very Happy they had nothing negative to say about it, and said i should study literature later in life Very Happy !!!!!! and i got cinnamon bakery thing from the teacher Very Happy !! i can die happy now.

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Re: Help :) [couldn't think of a good headline]

Post by azriel on Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:21 am

Brilliant ! well done Norc ! you must feel proud of yourself !  cheers  flower

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Re: Help :) [couldn't think of a good headline]

Post by Norc on Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:30 am

thanx Very Happy i am extatic!

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