Thursday, June 7, 2018

More on the Oxford Exhibit

So, David B. has posted a detailed and appreciative description of the Tolkien Exhibit at the Bodleian:

And John Garth has published a review of the exhibit and relates the thoughts it evoked for him about the interconnectivity of all Tolkien's work.

In addition to the exhibit itself, the Special Events that will accompany it throughout its run have begun:

I don't know the first of the three named speakers (whose name has now rotated out of the updated site), but I'm told by someone who was there that Verlyn and Dimitra were "were brilliant as ever". I don't doubt it.

Reading through David's and Garth's piece has started me thinking that with Tolkien everything we have is at the cost of something else. We wd like there to be more paintings, but we shd know that they'd be at the cost of more stories. Or more stories, but that wd come at the cost of some scholarship. Or more scholarship, but that wd cost us more on the languages. It's all connected, and each piece we have is at the cost of something we don't have.

Or, to put it another way: what we don't have (e.g. SILMARILLION) we don't have because we do have something else (e.g., THE LORD OF THE RINGS).

--John R.
--waiting in the airport for my flight to Dallas and an Old School rpg convention: NTrpgCON

1 comment:

Paul W said...

Love the last couple paragraphs. I recently acquired the Companion by Scull & Hammond, I'm reading the Chronology from the beginning, and this comments mirrored a comment in the Preface about how busy he always was, that he had many duties we perhaps forget about when we bemoan unfinished works.

Myself, I mostly 'regret' some of Christopher Tolkien's choices. My impression is that his father intended that he finish the Silmarillion works. that he hoped Christopher would turn Beren and Luthien, and Fall of Gondolin, into complete narratives like Children of Hurin, as a co-author. Rather then the schoalrly examinations of the various versions.

That said, it was his father; Christopher undoubtedly knows all of this far better then I, and it is quite properly his choices to make. I'm grateful for all that he has done.