Thursday, February 4, 2010

Audio-Forums is Closing

So, I was sorry to get an e-mail a few days ago that Jeffrey Norton Publishers of Guilford, Conn. are going out of business on February 10th (i.e., a week from yesterday). While they did a lot of learn-to-speak-a-foreign-language tapes (including an interesting-looking series on Native American languages), I became aware of them because they were the North American distributors of the cassette containing J. R. R. Tolkien's 1964/65 interview with Denys Gueroult for Radio BBC -- the best single interview we have of Tolkien: not just by far the longest but also the one for which his interviewer did the most preparation and asked not just intelligent questions but follow-ups. As an added bonus, the flip side was an interview with the highly opinionated but occasionally insightful poet Basil Bunting, whose works I'd never even heard of before buying this tape.

So, I don't know if the Tolkien/Bunting cassette is among the items still available -- it was a few years ago when I wrote to them to order a back-up copy, just in case mine ever wore out -- but if you're interested in finding out you'd better act now.


--John R.

11 comments:

Jason Fisher said...

The Tolkien interview didn't come up on any searches of their inventory, and it didn't appear to be in their recent brochures. Too bad. At 65% off, I would definitely have bought one!

Andrew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew said...

I'm trying to find out how long the original interview was and whether an unedited version exists. I have two different copies, both edited of about 10-11 minute duration. Is the cassette tape version longer than this and do you think it is edited?

Ardamir said...

Hopefully the complete interview will be on the forthcoming "On Tolkien" audio book.

David Bratman said...

I haven't listened to that interview in a long time, but I recall that the tape was considerably longer than 10-11 minutes.

John D. Rateliff said...

Yes, the tape I have is 27 minutes and 40 seconds long. The full interview was obviously longer, since it starts with Tolkien responding to a question.

Ardamir: the ON TOLKIEN book might be made available as an audiobook, but I suspect it won't include all the original recordings -- gathering all the permissions for that wd be quite a feat.

In any case, it's by far the single best interview of Tolkien's we have, and a major primary source; I place it behind only the Foreword to the second edition of LotR and the Waldman letter in importance.

--John R.

Andrew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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John D. Rateliff said...

UPDATE:
I checked, and it is available on cd from Tolkienwinkle (The Tolkien Shop) for about eighteen euros, complete with the Basil Bunting. If you following this link --

http://www.tolkienshop.com/contents/en-uk/d42.html

--then scroll down; it's the fourth item from the bottom.

By the way, another interview with Tolkien (this one by Daphne Castell) has recently been posted online at the 'Festival in the Shire' site.

--JDR

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