Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Back from Kalamazoo

So, after a week away I'm now back from Kalamazoo and back at work at my desk again -- much to the cats' satisfaction, as they like to be able to keep track of me.

It was a busy week -- one of those times when I'm too busy doing something to blog about it. Time to make up the arrears before memories of the details begin to fade.

First off, I took part in the Tolkien Day event, where we take advantage of so many Tolkienists gathering for the Medieval Congress, where there aren't enough slots for us all to present in, to hold what is essentially a one-day conference. I did my "Tolkien's Meteorite" piece there last year and this year teamed up with Marquette Tolkien Archivist Bill Fliss to tell folks about the manuscript reprocessing project, showing them the new organization I've been working on these last few years, whereby every draft of every chapter of the LotR manuscripts and typescripts is placed in relation to where it goes in the sequence of composition (the horizontal axis) and also in the development of that specific chapter (the vertical axis). Essentially it's like a giant flow chart. Since it has to cover some ten thousand pages, it's pretty large: the mock-up we had for show-and-tell at the presentation is a banner about twenty-four feet long, and that doesn't include the Front Matter (foreword, preface, title pages, tables of contents, ring-verse) and Appendices (which have their own separate line of development). This being a Tolkien project, in homage to the Professor we call it The Tree.

By the way, several people took pictures of us holding up the banner; if you're one of them, please send me a copy.

Tolkien Day was followed by The Film. That is, the organizers had arranged for a special showing of the new biopic on Tolkien (called, with admirable directness, TOLKIEN). More on this in a separate post tomorrow.

--John R.

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