Thursday, July 21, 2016


So, Thursday (a week ago today) I learned* of the next new Tolkien book on its way: a new edition of Tolkien's Breton Lay, THE LAY OF AOTROU AND ITROUN, edited by Verlyn Flieger (who's already done editions of SWM, OFS,** KULLERVO). And by the next day I'd already preordered a copy (due out in England on November 3rd).

Given how short this piece is -- only about five hundred lines -- and that the new book is listed as being 120 pages, I assume the volume will probably come with some extras -- introduction, notes, possibly commentary, perhaps printing the earlier (1930) draft for the first time. Since this is Tolkien's re-working of a Breton Ballad, I wouldn't be surprised if his faux-medieval source was reprinted as well, esp. given that it's quite short.  And in any case, the listing on promise a Prefatory Note by Christopher Tolkien.

All in all, a nice chance to have a piece currently available only through interlibrary loan and the like accessible in a format that fits easily on the shelf with Tolkien's other short pieces; something to be able to look forward to. It's a piece I've been interested in for a long time (cf. the section on it in my contribution to the Shippey festschrift), even having organized a dramatic reading of it at Kalamazoo several years ago.

Here's a link with a few details:

Nor is it the only short new book by Tolkien announced as forthcoming: also lists a stand-alone printing of Tolkien's little parable LEAF BY NIGGLE .. Just 64-pages long, it's apparently being released in conjunction with the dramatization of the story, which is currently on tour in the UK.  I'll be pre-ordering this one too -- though I'll have to hurry about it, since it's due out in just a week.

This little book's release means that just about all Tolkien's shorter pieces have now been released, or soon will be.

Again, here's a link for a little more information.

--John R.
--current reading: THE DERELICT by Sandy Petersen
--current music: PAGING M. PROUST by the Jayhawks (a group whose existence I just learned about on Tuesday)

*thanks to friend Andrew (Thanks Andrew).

** (w. Doug Anderson),

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