Wednesday, January 23, 2008

I’ve been reviewed ... a bit

Up to this point, I haven’t seen any of my publications on Tolkien and the Inklings reviewed — with only one exception: reviews of my entries in The J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia by fellow Diarists Squire and N.E. Brigand. But I just came across a short review (or perhaps it would be more accurate to call it a short summary with a brief qualitative assessment) of The Silmarillion: Thirty Years On over at the Tolkien Collector’s Guide. The reviewer, calling himself Khamul [sic]*, describes each of the book’s six chapters in a paragraph.

Here’s what he had to say about my chapter:
Jason Fisher’s From Mythopoeia to Mythology: Tolkien, Lonnrot [sic], and Jerome is the first article (that I’ve read) that directly & openly discusses Christopher Tolkien’s role as author in the writing of The Silmarillion. As often as he is praised for his editorial role in the book’s assembly, not many people discuss in detail his role as (essentially) author. Fisher states ‘without Christopher, we might have had a ‘Silmarillion’, in the loosest sense of that term, but we would not have had The Silmarillion’. The Kalevala & The Latin Vulgate Bible are (as is implicit in the title) also disussed.
I take this as favorable, though the reviewer doesn’t go into a lot of detail on what he liked or didn’t like. He did call the book “good scholarship” at the outset; and in his closing, he complimented it as “a very good selection of articles; and very current (CoH is mentioned).” The mention of The Children of Húrin, moreover, was mine. In discussing one text painstakingly assembled by Christopher Tolkien, it seemed appropriate to herald the arrival of another. :)

I must say it’s nice to learn that people out there are reading the book! If you are, let me know!

* Was my "[sic]" pretentious? His namesake is actually Khamûl, and I am such a Type A Nitpicker that I couldn’t let it go unmarked. Apologies for my Diacritical OCD. ;)


  1. Had a bit of a chuckle here. My first impulse was to write a review of your review of Khamul's review of your book.

    My second impulse is to go read a copy of Thirty Years On. I think I'll stick with that.

  2. Hahae, reviewing reviews? I can definitely relate to that impulse! Please drop back by (or email) with any thoughts on the book — or with a review of my review of Khamul’s review. ;)

  3. Greetings,

    Galadhorn has said me that you were interested in my review of the "Thirty Years On", so I've translated it into English and posted here:

    Best regards,
    Hyalma from Moscow

  4. Привет! :) Thanks for taking the time to do that, Hyalma. I actually made a very rough attempt to translate both the Russian and Polish posts myself — with almost readable results, hahae. Then I enlisted my friend Mark Hooker to help me with both. I asked Galadhorn via email if he could translate the Polish, but as you may know, he’s currently travelling. And now here you are to help! That’s wonderful — thank you so much!

    I am planning to put together a blog post about this, hopefully later today, so keep an eye out. I’m very happy to know people are reading the book, and I welcome any further thoughts you may have on it (and on my chapter in particular). Even critical comments are much better than silence, I think. :)

  5. Ask and ye shall receive (or something like that). Ran across another review of your article here:

  6. I just heard from Andy about his review. Thanks for popping up to point it out too. Just in case I was snoozing. :)