So yesterday came a long-expected package with three books on Tolkien I'd had on order since May.
#1, THE FRODO FRANCHISE by Kristin Thompson. I've been really looking forward to this book on the making of the Peter Jackson films ever since I found out Kristin was at work on it, having read her excellent article in the journal LIGHTHOUSE a while back. Only a few pages into it so far, but it promises to fulfill all expectations. More on this one later.
#2, TOLKIEN & SHAKESPEARE, edited by Janet Brennan Croft. Somehow I'd gotten it into my head that this was the latest release from the Mythopoeic Press, along the lines of their TOLKIEN ON FILM, also edited by JBC. Not so, it turns out. Some familiar names among the contributors (the late Dan Timmons, Anne Petty, Judith Kollmann, Jessica Burke, and Croft herself) and others that are not so familiar (to me at least). It's an interesting concept, comparing Tolkien's work to various plays by an author he greatly disliked; be interesting to see how they pull it off.
#3, TREE OF TALES: TOLKIEN, LITERATURE, AND THEOLOGY, edited by Trevor Hart & Ivan Khovacs. This one I ordered cold, not knowing anything about its contents. It's a slim little volume (only 132 pages, with notes, bibliography, and index accounting for thirty pages of that) of seven essays; Colin Duriez, who I met at the Centenary Conference in Oxford in '92, is the only one of the authors I'm familiar with. From the subtitle I'd assumed this would be yet another book on Tolkien & religion. In fact, its focus is much broader than that -- for example, the first piece is about Tolkien's 1947 St. Andrews lecture which became 'On Fairy-Stories'; as an added bonus, it reproduces a previously unpublished Tolkien letter in facsimile.
All in all, a nice bundle of new reading material that'll keep me going for some time to come.
current reading: OWEN BARFIELD by Simon Blaxland de Lange; THE FRODO FRANCHISE by Kristen Thompson
current anime: THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME.
current project: just completed the draft of my Marquette talk; now for tightening up and fleshing out, as appropriate.
3 days ago