So, it never rains but it pours, as they say in Bree*
Having started off this string of four posts about recent & forthcoming collections of essays about Tolkien with news of one that includes a piece of mine, I can now round it off with sharing news about another such forthcoming publication that once again includes one of my essays. Horray!
This time the book is THE BONES OF THE OX -- or, rather, it was; the title's now tentatively been changed to TOLKIEN & THE STUDY OF HIS SOURCES: CRITICAL ESSAYS, on the principle that you need to include the word 'Tolkien' in a book on Tolkien so people know, instantly, that it is indeed a book on Tolkien.** It's due to be published by McFarland (yay, McFarland) sometime this fall
Here's a listing of the contents (the numbering is mine):
Introduction by Jason Fisher
1. Why Source Criticism? by Tom Shippey
2. Source Criticism: Background and Applications by E. L. Risden
3. Tolkien and Source Criticism: Remarking and Remaking by Jason Fisher
4. The Stones and the Book: Tolkien, Mesopotamia, & Biblical Mythopoeia by Nicholas Birns
5. Sea Birds & Morning Stars: Ceyx, Alcyone, & the Many Metamorphoses of Earendil and Elwing by Kristine Larsen
6. 'Byzantium, New Rome!': Goths, Langobards, & Byzantium in LotR by Miryam Libran-Moreno
7. The Rohirrim: 'Anglo-Saxons on Horseback'?--An Inquiry into Tolkien's Use of Sources by Th. Honegger
8. Wm Caxton's The Golden Legend as a Source for JRRT's LotR by Judy Ann Ford
9. She & Tolkien, Revisited by John D. Rateliff
10. Reading Jn Buchan in Search of JRRT by Mark T. Hooker
11. Biography as Source: Niggles & Notions by Diana Pavlac Glyer & Josh B. Long
Overall, it's an interesting mix of contributors. Lately there seems to have grown up several more or less distinct groups of people publishing on Tolkien: those associated with Kalamazoo (e.g., Risden, Larsen, Ford), Walking Tree Press (e.g., Honegger), Beyond Bree (Hooker), Cambridge Scholars Publishing (Fisher), et al. This book brings folks from those various threads together into one volume. The presence of Shippey in the lead essay, and also of Diana at the end, welcome in themselves, shd attract attention to the volume.
As for my contribution, this is the piece I was invited to present at this past summer's Mythcon in Dallas: a re-working of the first piece I had published in a juried publication (MYTHLORE), way back in the Summer 1981.*** I've gotten a lot of good comments about it over the years and it seems to get cited more than most things I've done, so I welcomed the chance to go back and revisit it: I think I've gotten better as a writer since I was twenty-two, and there's vastly more information available on Tolkien and his reading now than there was then. I reined in some speculations where I thought I went too far, and added some new claims that hadn't occurred to me back then. And, of course, added a lot of footnotes. All in all, I'm v. pleased w. how it came out, and it seemed to go over well enough at the presentation in Dallas, so far as I cd tell. Once again, I'm really looking forward to the book's publication so I can read all the other essays in it. Many thanks to Jason for putting this together, and for letting me be part of it.
current audiobook: THE (FIRST) BOOK OF NEPHI
current reading: MIRKWOOD: A NOVEL and FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON
today's songs: "Dragonfly" by Danny Kirwan & "The Green Manalishi" by Peter Green Splinter Group
*whereas around here they say, 'huh. looks like rain again'.
**shades of the D&D mega-adventure about Orcus which WotC was careful not to tell anybody was about Orcus -- thus preserving the secret but also preventing most of the people who would have wanted to buy an adventure about Orcus from giving it a try.
***i.e., between my graduating from Fayetteville with the Masters and starting at Marquette on the Ph.D., appearing pretty much at the same time as my first research trip to England (the one where I got to meet Barfield and Havard and Wiseman). An exciting time for me, obviously.
UPDATE 2/13-11: It's been pointed out to me that I got the publisher's name wrong; accordingly, I've gone back in and fixed 'Macfarland' to McFarland. Thanks to Jason for catching that. --JDR