Thursday, October 23, 2014

ANCHORING THE MYTH (My New Publication)

So, this week I got the good news about my latest publication, the volume THE HOBBIT IN TOLKIEN'S MYTHOLOGY: ESSAYS ON REVISIONS AND INFLUENCES, edited by Brad Eden, is now out.

My contribution is my keynote speech at last year's Valparaiso conference organized by Brad Eden, the essay "Anchoring the Myth: The Impact of THE HOBBIT on Tolkien's Legendarium", which chooses Tolkien's treatment of The Dwarves as a way to trace the (sometimes surprising) ways the older legendarium and THE HOBBIT interact. I spent a lot of time in THE HISTORY OF THE HOBBIT exploring that interaction, and writing this piece helped clarify my thinking on the issue, and the way Tolkien could have contradictory things going on in different parts of his overarching legendarium -- held in suspension, as it were, until and if he made a decision one way or the other.

The volume doesn't appear to be up on the McFarland website yet (where it'll be the most recent in what's now their eight volumes of Tolkien material, of which I've contributed to four*). However, you can find a link to its listing on Amazon here:

The amazon listing doesn't give the table of contents, but fortunately that appears on Jason Fisher's blog:

As you can see from the T.o.C., I'm in good company.** In fact, the best thing about seeing this book in print, aside from my own excitement about seeing another piece of mine out there where others can read it and react to it, is that now I get to read the essays by all the other contributors. So when my copy arrives it will immediately go to the top of the 'Read This Now' pile.

Many thanks to Brad for putting together the conference, inviting me to speak at it, coming up with the idea of this book, and seeing it through to fruition. 


--John R.

current reading: TOLKIEN IN PAWNEE LAND (Echo-Hawk)

*PICTURING TOLKIEN, THE BONES OF THE OX ('Tolkien and the Study of His Sources'), TOLKIEN IN THE NEW CENTURY (the Shippey festschrift, both as a co-editor and contributor), and now THE HOBBIT IN TOLKIEN'S MYTHOLOGY

** something that can be said of everyone who shares space in a book with Verlyn Fleiger, who gave the other keynote speech.

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