Friday, September 3, 2021

Establishing Context (The Marquette Archives)

So, I haven't blogged this past week because I've been too busy doing what I came for: working my way through a list of things I wanted to look up in the Marquette Archives. A lot of these are things I've looked at before on previous visits but found out afterwards I hadn't made adequate notes on (as in, notes that made sense when I didn't have the originals in front of me), accompanied by a bit of context when needed. Among the things I've looked at include the King's Letter, the Epilogues to THE LORD OF THE RINGS, the Scouring of the Shire (still a work in progress), Tolkien's doodling about the Muar River (in which he jots down words and phrases from a wartime radio broadcast while drafting the death of Boromir), &c. And there's still lots to go, if there's time, like seeing just how much of the mythology appears in the differing drafts of the Earendil poem. It'd be interesting, for example, to work out which text Tolkien showed to Clyde Kilby in 1964 -- it was one of the ones that (a) didn't come to Marquette in the fifties but was still in Tolkien's possession in the sixties, and (b) describes Earendil's killing of Ungoliant). 

Let's see what I can get through in week two. Though once I get my hands on a copy of THE NATURE OF MIDDLE-EARTH my evening reading will be locked up for some time to come . . .

--John R.

--current reading: collection of Averoigne pastiche (nearing the end), COME GO WITH ME (a fascinating unfinished novel by Shirley Jackson), and a biography of Douglas Adams.

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