Friday, September 2, 2011


So, Monday I found out the unwelcome news that Kristin Thompson's excellent Tolkien film blog, THE FRODO FRANCHISE, is shutting down, apparently effective immediately (or, rather, a couple of days ago):

Apparently Kristin's plan all along was to write a follow-up book to THE FRODO FRANCHISE, one which I assume would have included the making of THE HOBBIT and the events of its release, impact, and aftermath. And the ongoing posts on THE FRODO FRANCHISE would presumably be incorporated into that book, or at least serve as part of the ongoing research into its creation.

That such a book will now never be written is a real loss to Tolkien Studies. Kristin's was the best of all the books that dealt with the movies,* and I'd have to say that hers is the best of the essays in the new PICTURING TOLKIEN that I've read so far.

The good news is that she's not disappearing: she'll be posting occasionally over at TheOneRing.Net and has two book projects in the works. The first she describes as "a book-length analysis on stylistic and narrative techniques in Tolkien's two hobbit novels"; this wd presumably be the same book mentioned to the endnotes of her PICTURING TOLKIEN piece, where it's described as "a book about The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings where I will discuss such points as who the protagonists of LOTR are" [page 43, Nt 10]. Being a great fan of her earlier book on the Wooster & Jeeves series, I'll be looking forward to this one.

The same applies to her other in-progress project, though that one's further afield: "a large book project on the statuary of the Amarna period" -- i.e., Egyptian art from the time of Akhenaten, the most famous piece of which is the bust of Nefertiti. Having a longstanding interest in ancient Egypt myself, I'll certainly be looking forward to this one as well, though it's outside my field of expertise.

And so passeth a Tolkien blog. It's not one that I checked daily -- more like a place I'd go once a month and read up on what'd happened lately -- but it was a reliable source of information about a specific field in Tolkien studies, one that's not my own main focus. It will be missed.

--John R.
current reading: PICTURING TOLKIEN
current audiobook: OCCULT AMERICA y Mitch Horowitz (just finished)

*of the ones I've seen, anyway -- a few are so prohibitively expensive that I haven't picked them up yet.

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