Saturday, July 6, 2019

Reliques of WisCons Past

So, more time spent straightening in the Box Room means more things turn up. Some I'm deliberately searching for (I have a shortlist of four or five so far elusive items), others I'd forgotten about until they show up mixed in with other unrelated stuff in one of a multitude of miscellaneous boxes. An example of the latter is a cassette tape recording a panel at the 1986 WisCon over in Madison. The topic was Tolkien's Posthumously Published Work, which we seem to have divided into scholarly works (translations and editions of medieval texts), children's works (Mr. Bliss, Fr. Xmas), and items belonging to the legendarium (The Silmarillion and all that).

While the topic is of perennial interest, more interesting to me in this particular case are the participants: Jared Lobdell, Verlyn Flieger, Richard West, and me.

Haven't had a chance yet to do more than make sure the tape's not mislabeled and that it's still playable (happy to say the answer is good on both counts).  Once I've had a chance to listen to it all the way through a time or two I shd be making another post commenting on this relique of a nearly vanished past: the years from about 1982 through 1989 when Tolkien scholars gathered from all over the area to spend a weekend in camaraderie in conjunction with that year's WisCon. Good times and, on the whole, fondly remembered.

--John R.

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