Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I Am Reviewed (in Dutch)

So, thanks to McFarland (thanks Lori) I've now seen the interview of the Shippey festschrift (AUTHOR OF THE NEW CENTURY) that appeared in LEMBAS (vol. 35, whole number 168, March 2015, pages 32-25), the journal of the Dutch Tolkien society, Unquendor.

In addition to being one of the five editors of this collection, I am myself one of contributors as well, so I was curious what they thought of my piece as well as the book as a whole.

As it happens, I cannot read Dutch, beyond recognizing that a passage is (probably) Dutch and not, say, German or Danish.

In any case, not having a Dutch dictionary handy, I decided to see what Google translation would make of it.

Here's the original Dutch text, as transcribed by me from a pdf of the review

Auteur: John D. Rateliff
   Titel: Inside Literature. Tolkien's Explo-
   rations of Medieval Genres
   Inhoud: Overzicht van allerlei manieren waarop
Tolkien vootborduurde op Middeleeuwse teksten,
en dan met name buiten zijn bekende legendarium
   Kerncitaat: "Door de kunst te leren nieuwe ste-
nen te maken in de vorm en stijl van de oude exem-
plaren, was Tolkien in staat zijn eigen Toren te bou-
wen" (145, paragrase). 3
   Mening: Heel verfrissend om eens in kort bestek
te lezen hoe Tolkien allerlei Middeleeuwse voorbeel-
den vormgaf, om dat later in zijn beste werk succosvol
te gebruiken. Een extra woord van lof voor de noten,
die alleen al fascinerend leesvoer vormen.

3) Uiteraard gemodelleerd naar Tolkien's befaamde allegorie van de Toren die op zee uitkijkt, uit zijn Beowulf-lezing..

And here's an English translation, as provided by an online translation site:

Contents: Overview of all the ways Tolkien voot embroidered on medieval texts, and especially outside its known legendarium to.

Key Quote: "By learning the art to make new bricks in the shape and style of the old ones, Tolkien was able to build its own tower" (145 paragrase).

Opinion: Very refreshing to once briefly read how Tolkien vormgaf kinds medieval examples, so later in his best work succosvol to use. An additional word of praise for the nuts, which alone make fascinating reading.

3) Of course, modeled on Tolkien's famous allegory of the Tower overlooking the sea, from his Beowulf lecture ..

--it's nice to see that they liked it.

I will observe that the 'nuts' they particularly liked were probably the 'notes' (noten) -- wh. pleases me, since I always put a lot into the notes of each of my pieces (one in this essay shows how we know C. S. Lewis wrote JRRT's obituary)


today's song: Shooting Shark by Blue Oyster Cult


Ad Poirters said...

Dutch happens to be my native language, and I would translate the review as follows:

Contents: Survey of various ways in which Tolkien elaborated upon medieval texts, especially outside his well-known legendarium.

Key Quote: 'By mastering the art of making new building blocks in the shape and style of the old ones, Tolkien was able to build a Tower of his own' (145, paraphrase). 3

Opinion: Very refreshing to read in brief how Tolkien handled various medieval examples, a skill he would come to use successfully in his best work later on. A special word of praise for the notes, which are a fascinating read in their own right.

3) Obviously modeled on Tolkien's famous allegory of a Tower overlooking the sea, from his lecture on Beowulf.

I hope that is helpful.

John D. Rateliff said...

Thanks for the clarification, Ad. Much appreciated.
--John R.