Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lewis/Tolkien special journal issue

The bimonthly St. Austin Review, which calls itself “the premier international journal of Catholic culture, literature, and ideas”, has just released its January/February 2010 issue, with a special emphasis on C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. Highlights from its table of contents include:
  • Tolkien and St. Thomas on Beauty, Michael Waldstein
  • Distributism in the Shire, Matthew P. Akers (read it)
  • The New Tower of Babel: Modern Ideologies in C.S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength, Marie Cabaud Meaney
  • Harold Bloom versus C.S. Lewis: Will the Real “Dogmatist” Please Stand Up?, Louis Markos
  • Reawakening Wonder: Farther Up and Farther In with C. S. Lewis, Thomas Howard
  • Inheriting the Legacy of Tolkien and Lewis: Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle, Sophia Mason
  • Musica Donum Dei: Sibelius, Tolkien, and the Kalevala, Susan Treacy
And book reviews of:
  • The Latin Letters of C.S. Lewis, C.S. Lewis & Don Giovanni Calabria (trans./ed. Martin Moynihan)
  • Night Operation and Eager Spring, Owen Barfield
  • Mere Christians: Inspiring Stories of Encounters with C.S. Lewis, ed. Mary Anne Phemister and Andrew Lazo
  • Out of My Bone: The Letters of Joy Davidman, ed. Don W. King
I have reviewed the two Barfield novelas myself (forthcoming in Mythprint), and I have been really interested in reading the Joy Davidman letters. The Latin Letters is a very interesting (and much older) collection; I highly recommend it. I have the 1999 edition, but it has just been released in softcover, at a much better price!

All together, a good collection of reviews (though where is Tolkien in them?), and what looks to be an excellent collection of essays. Thomas Howard, in particular, always brings his A-game — he’s the only scholar whom I’ve heard convincingly work the word “punctilio” into a casual conversation! And the Susan Treacy column as especially timely, given the release of Walking Tree’s new collection, Music in Middle-earth (ed. Heidi Steimel and Friedhelm Schneidewind, 2010).

If you decide to pick up this issue, you might consider ordering the July/August 2008 back issue as well. This was a special issue on “The Catholic Genius of J.R.R. Tolkien”, featuring essays by some familiar names — Elizabeth Whittingham, Sandra Miesel, Jef Murray — and reviewing a number of books on Tolkien.

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