There is more to both Rings than their common roundness, and the resemblance between Tolkien and Wagner goes beyond a Ring of Power and some narrative elements: they shared a number of preoccupations and interests - Nature, nation, the North, death and immortality, language and above all, myth. This is a book about the two great mythmakers of their times, and about what they have in common despite everything that separate them.
This is a book I just need to read and I secretly hope it will be read by many, including professor Tom Shippey. And who knows he sends us over a small review to put online here?! And there we would have it, the circle closed again - another ring to add to the collection!
About the author
Renée Vink was born in Amsterdam and studied Scandinavian languages at the Universities of Leiden (The Netherlands) and Göteborg (Sweden). She has been working as a translator from Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, English and German into Dutch since the 1980s, translating among other things the poetry in Tolkien's The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún.
Being a long-time Tolkien fan and scholar, she has also published a number of articles in various Tolkienrelated magazines from 1982 onwards. Her other main interest is the work of Richard Wagner.
Table of contents
The Master and the Professor - Wagner and Tolkien
Part One, Two Round Rings
Chapter 1, A Conspiracy Unmasked?
1.1. A Ring of Power
1.2. Two round rings
1.3. How well did Tolkien know Wagner?
Chapter 2, Searching for Sources
2.1. A list of similarities
2.2. 'Faint and disparate echoes'
2.3. Common sources
Chapter 3, What has it got in its pocketses?
Birzer / Bratman / Spear / Müller / Scott Rohan / Ridpath
Hillard / Shippey / Haymes / Bayreuth and sundry / Ross, Kasper, and sex / The racism card, Schwartz & Arvidsson / Hate-speak
Hall / O'Donoghue / Spengler / 'Thief Tolkien'
Chapter 4, Other Approaches
4.1. The evils of power
Werner / Luke, and Ross again / What power? / Views of evil / Fear of the end
4.2. A poisoned imagination?
Chism and the poisoned sources / From myth to history
Chapter 5, Conclusion
Part Two, Myths, Fairy Tales and Endings
Chapter 6, Romanticism and Mythmaking
6.2. National myths
Tolkien in England / Wagner in Germany
6.3. Modern myth
Chapter 7, Nature and its Defilement
Chapter 8, A World too Much? Fantasy versus (Stage) Drama
8.1. Myth and drama
Dramatic narrative / Faërian drama / Visual representation
8.2. Fantasy drama
8.3. Music, words and the invisible stage
Chapter 9, Tragedy, Elegy, Eucatastrophe
9.1. Tragedy versus comedy
9.2. Revolution versus restoration
9.3. The end of myth
9.4. The end of the world?
Chapter 10, Conclusion
Part Three, The Amateur and the Professional
Chapter 11, Sources and Resources
11.1. Pure and adulterated northernness
11.2. Sigurd versus Siegfried
Chapter 12, Language
12.1. Words, grammar and syntax
tolkien's archaisms / Attack and defence / Wagner's archaisms / Wordplay / Philological jests / Kennings
Stave rhyme rediscovered / Some technicalities / Wagner's verse / tolkien's development / Rhythm and patterns
Chapter 13, Narrative Elements
13.1. The Ring and the Legend - correspondences
Introduction / From the beginning to Ragnarök / Baldr / The solar hero and the Saviour / Odin and Wotan
13.2. The Ring and the Legend - differences
Assorted differences / Characteristic choices / Half-brother and full brothers
13.3. Solving a conundrum: The ring at the core
The sources / The botched tradition / The ring of fire / Did they do it?
Chapter 14, Conclusion
Index of fiction
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