Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Another update on The Silmarillion: 30 Years On

I have just received my contributor’s copy of the new Walking Tree collection, The Silmarillion: 30 Years On, and have started leafing through it. I’ve noticed a few websites and blogs picking up the table of contents I posted (e.g., here at Tolkien Library; here, in Polish; here, in Finnish; here, in Italian; and here, in French), so I wanted to take the opportunity to provide the actual table of contents, as well as the final order (as published).

Allan Turner, Preface
Rhona Beare, A Mythology for England
Michael Drout, Reflections on Thirty Years of Reading The Silmarillion
Anna Slack, Moving Mandos: The Dynamics of Subcreation in ‘Of Beren and Lúthien’
Michaël Devaux, The Origins of the Ainulindalë: The Present State of Research
Jason Fisher, From Mythopoeia to Mythography: Tolkien, Lönnrot, and Jerome
Nils Ivar Agøy, Viewpoints, Audiences, and Lost Texts in The Silmarillion

The cover also has a beautiful watercolor illustration: Anke Eissmann’s 2006 painting “Following the Swans”, which depicts Tuor’s journey from Nevrast to Vinyamar, following “seven great swans flying south.” Heretofore, the Walking Tree covers have been rather, well, plain, so this is a very welcome change.

I do have one small gripe: there’s no index! Nor was there an index in another recent title, Ross Smith’s Inside Language: Linguistic and Aesthetic Theory in Tolkien. Why not? Both books are short (c. 175pp.), so it cannot be the constraints of length. I hope these are not harbingers of an emerging trend at Walking Tree. [Update: It does not appear so. The omission of an index in this volume was only due the tight timetable for publication, I have learned.]

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