Friday, August 2, 2019

Tolkien Oral History Project

So, I was pleased to take part in Marquette's new oral history project, where they encourage Tolkien fans and scholars to record brief reminisces as to how each came to discover Tolkien, what attracted them in his work, and what Tolkien has meant to them.

Here's my own entry --somewhat shorter than the average, but it was either stop where I did or talk for days:

And here's a link to the main site, with the first set of two hundred and fifty interviews (out of what they hope will be a total of six thousand):

A brainchild of Marquette's Tolkien Archivist Wm Fliss, this is quite unlike the oral history project Lyle Dorsett launched at Wheaton in the 'eighties, where he sought out people who had known Lewis and Tolkien and got their memories down on film. Instead the Marquette recordings are anonymous, asking only the person's age and what part of the country they're from. The effect is a kaleidoscope of voices, young or old, male or female, dedicated scholar or devoted fan, that memorably brings to life the vast range of Tolkien's audience. I found listening to a generous selection quite moving and hope the ongoing project also picks up international voices as well.

It's off to a v. good start.

Here's hoping there will be much more to come.

--John R.
current viewing: SMILEY'S PEOPLE (Alec Guinness)

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