Thursday, May 7, 2020

Kalamazoo ('Valinor in America')

So, today wd have been the first day of Kalamazoo,* had the pandemic not intervened and the Medieval Congress been deferred till next year. And I wd have given my presentation by now as part of the first set of sessions starting at ten o'clock this morning.

The title of the session I wd have been part of is

'Medieval World-Building: Tolkien, His Precursors and Legacies'

The papers making up this session, which wd have been moderated by Kristine Swank, were

• 'Tolkien, Robin Hood, and the Matter of the Greenwood' by Perry Neil Harrison

• 'Tolkien's Golden Trees and Silver Leaves: Do Writers Build the Same World for Every Reader?' by Luke Shelton,

• 'Infinity War of the Ring: Parallels between the Conflict within Sauron and Thanos' by Jeremy Byrum, and

 'Valinor in America: Faerian Drama and the Disenchantment of Middle-earth' by myself.

I still need to do a lot on my piece, though I'd already written enough to fill my allotted time; when I get done with my current deadline I need to get back to work on this.

--John R.

*that is, not counting the Tolkien Seminar, held each year the Wednesday before the conference officially starts, adjacent to the official event but not part of it.


David Bratman said...

The question "Do Writers Build the Same World for Every Reader?" particularly interests me. After reading much study of the problems of translating Tolkien, I once gave a talk on "American as a foreign language to read Tolkien in." But I had more questions than answers.

John D. Rateliff said...

Dear David

Yes, it's a great topic, and I'm sorry its presentation has been delayed.

My own thoughts on this topic derive from my reading of OFS Note E but I'd love to see Luke's exploration of and working through the subject to see what conclusion he might reach.