Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tolkien Studies 6 on the horizon

Well, folks, it’s that time of year again. The arrival of late spring brings with it a new volume of Tolkien Studies. I have been piecing together the contents of the sixth volume for some time now, and with the help of Tolkien-Buecher.de (and their source, Michael Drout), I can now fill in the remaining gaps and give you what I think is a fairly complete table of contents. The issue is not yet available on Project Muse, let alone in the mail to subscribers, but this should satisfy your curiosity for the time being.

Front Matter

  • Editors’ Introduction
  • In Memoriam: Pauline Baynes and Derek Brewer
  • Conventions and Abbreviations


  • John D. Rateliff — “A Kind of Elvish Craft”: Tolkien as Literary Craftsman
  • Douglas A. Anderson — John D. Rateliff: A Checklist
  • Ármann Jakonsson — Talk to the Dragon: Tolkien as Translator
  • Jill Fitzgerald — A “Clerkes Compleinte”: Tolkien and the Division of Lit. and Lang.
  • Stefan Ekman — Echoes of Pearl in Arda’s Landscape
  • Judy Ann Ford and Robin Anne Reid — Councils and Kings: Aragorn’s Journey Towards Kingship in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings and Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings
  • Cynthia M. Cohen — The Unique Representation of Trees in The Lord of the Rings
  • Josh Long — Clinamen, Tessera, and the Anxiety of Influence: Swerving from and Completing George MacDonald
  • Verlyn Flieger — The Music and the Task: Fate and Free Will in Middle-earth

Notes and Documents

  • J.R.R. Tolkien [Edited by Carl F. Hostetter] — Fate and Free Will
  • Stuart D. Lee — J.R.R. Tolkien and The Wanderer: From Edition to Application
  • Christopher Gilson — Essence of Elvish: The Basic Vocabulary of Quenya

Back Matter

  • Book Reviews
  • The Year’s Work in Tolkien Studies
  • Bibliography (in English) for 2007

I know (or think I know) a few of the books being reviewed, but since the reviews comprise a much more fluid section of the volume, I have learned that it’s better not to talk too much about them before they appear. I have also heard that there is supposed to be a comprehensive index of volumes 1–5 published in this issue. We’ll see. I hope so.

If the pieces by Verlyn Flieger and Carl Hostetter sound familiar, then you were either at Mythcon last year, or you read my follow-up discussion (or both). It’s nice to see both of these published, even if Carl was unable to provide the commentary he had hoped. I still have my fingers crossed that he will find the time to write it one of these days. The lead essay by John Rateliff may also sound familiar. He delivered a version of it as the Blackwelder Lecture at Marquette University in October, 2007. I could not be there, so I’m really looking forward to reading the essay now.

Once I’ve read and digested the issue, I’ll share my thoughts about it, as I hope some of you will too. In the meantime, back to The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún


  1. Thanks for sharing that, Jase! It sounds like it's going to be another great issue. I'm particularly interested in seeing Verlyn's Fate and Free Will essay and Carl's edit of Tolkien's essay on the same, particularly since I missed Mythcon this year. And John's lead paper sounds really interesting, as do the rest of the papers.

    Hopefully there will be some interesting reviews, too (and of course David's "Year's Work" is always entertaining and informative).

    I'm definitely looking forward to it. I hope we don't have to wait too long for it!

  2. Glad to pass along the information, Doug, and thanks for the comment. I too hope we don’t have to wait too much longer; the last few weeks are always the longest! I’ll be checking Project Muse frequently; it’s likely it will appear there first.

  3. Just to confirm, since there's no name on the list in your post, that yes, I wrote "The Year's Work in Tolkien Studies" again for TS6. This year's coverage is 2006, The Year of the Encyclopedias.

  4. Yes, thanks for chiming in. I probably should have put your name in (so too, Drout et al., for the Bibliography for 2007). But yes, everyone — David Bratman wrote the Year’s Work essay, as he has done since Volume 2. This particular one sounds like it was a bear: “13.4k words, 3-4 months of sweat”, as you described it on your own blog.

  5. I am excited to hear about this latest issue! Esp. Verlyn Flieger and Carl Hostetter since the topic of free will in Middle-earth is a favorite of mine and I love Prof. Flieger's work. I look forward to getting this. If I may blow my own horn for a moment, I have my own M-e blog based on a book I am writing about LOTR: http://wwww.momentsofgracelotr.blogspot.com and the site for my book is http://www.momentsofgracelotr.com

  6. If I may blow my own horn for a moment, [...]

    You may. :)

    Welcome to Lingwë, Anne Marie, and thanks for sharing news of your new book. Congratulations! When can we expect it? Or is it out already? I didn’t see anything about that when I glanced at your blog and website (I will have to save a more thorough exploration for another day, but rest assured, I’ll give it a closer look).

  7. Thank you for your kind comments! My book is not yet out - I plan for it to be when the first Hobbit movie comes out. I hope you enjoy the blog and website. My sister designed the book site. So I might as well blow her horn too for she just started a webdesign business - http://www.radiantwebsitedesign.com. Hantanyel and I will have to look around your blog also.

    Namarie, God bless, Anne Marie :)

  8. Good luck with publishing your book. Please make sure to drop by again (or email me privately) to let me know when it’s actually available for purchase.

  9. I will! Please pray for it and me. Hantanyel.
    You have a great blog - I'll have to spend some more time here when I have a chance!

    Namarie, God bless, Anne Marie :)