Thursday, May 5, 2022


So, while I've been working away trying to wrap up a big long-term project, all kind of Tolkien events have been announced. 

Coming up soon, there's the first Annual Tolkien Lecture at the University of Birmingham, being held Friday May 27th --just three weeks away. The speaker is Dimitra Fimi (a good choice); the topic "I HOLD THE KEY: J. R. R. Tolkien through interviews and reminiscences" (also a good choice).

Here's a short abstract posted online:

“This lecture will meander through several interviews Tolkien gave during his lifetime, as well as reminiscences of people who knew him well (family, colleagues, publishers, friends). Though this material remains uncollected and scattered in various (often obscure) publications, it often reveals fascinating facets of Tolkien's inspirations, creative process, and the construction of a "biographical legend".

I/ve long been interested in this material and so checked to see if I cd watch this remotely, and found that it's an in-person event. And so far as I cd find there aren't any plans to make it available online afterwards. Considering how valuable the material is, and how hit-and-miss peoples' use of it has been, let's hope her lecture gets published at some point down the road.

There's another Tolkien-related event I've just recently learned about, but I'll avoid discussing it because I don't think there's been an official announcement on this one yet.

A big event now close enough to be described as looming is this year's  Medieval Congress at Kalamazoo, starting on the 9th (i.e., the beginning of next week) -- even earlier, for those attending the pre-con Tolkien event on Saturday the 7th.  The Tolkien panels at the Congress itself shd run through Saturday the 14th, so I'm hoping to see quite a few of them on Zoom.

Also there's the Flieger Silmarillion classes starting on the 15th (of May; first of four sessions).

And, a little further out, the Marquette Tolkien exhibit in August.

And after that the Watership Down conference in early September:

To sum up:  a lot of good things coming up for the Tolkienist (and fantasist in general) over the next few days, weeks, and months.

--John R. 

current reading: THE SECRET COMMONWEALTH (Pullman), & finding it so far a slog.

I may give up and switch instead to re-reading one of Thorne Smith's screwball comedies in novel form.

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