Now one month before for the publication of the Children of Hurin it seems all attention is focused on this new book. Next to this major news topic there is a lot of other important books being published and written. Fantastic news came my way about a reprint of Mr. Bliss, being a 25th anniversary edition, The Hobbit, Mr Baggins and the Return to bag-end: An Anniversary Collector's Edition of the Hobbit marking exactly 70 years since The Hobbit was first published. This commemorative boxed set comprises hardback gift editions of The Hobbit and the two-volume companion work which includes the very different unpublished draft version of tolkien's masterpiece, The History of the Hobbit. We will also receive a hardback edition of Tales from the Perilous Realm: Roverandom and Other Classic Faery Stories, available for the first time in A-format! More info on all these editions will follow real soon.
This month, March 2007, is no less an interesting month. We see the publication of some very interesting Inkling related books. The first is not really a new book since it has been published before in 2001, but is now for the first time available through Amazon.
Four Christian Fantasists: A Study of the Fantastic Writings of George MacDonald, Charles Williams, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.
by Richard Sturch (Author)
J.R.R.tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, it has long been recognized, was shaped and undergirded by his Christian beliefs. But he was not the only writer of fantasy to have a close relationship between his faith and his fiction. This book is a study of such relationships in four writers: Tolkien himself, his friends C.S. Lewis and Charles Williams, and, from an earlier generation, George MacDonald. It seeks to look at their use of other worlds and other beings; at their attitudes towards 'escapism'; at the presence of symbolism and myth in their writings; at the themes and ideas they had in common; and at the extent to which their fiction has a value for Christian apologetics.
The author Richard Sturch is an Anglican priest, a former lecturer in philosophy, and a long-standing member of the Tolkien and Charles Williams Societies (besides being Secretary of the latter).
The Company They Keep: C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien as Writers in Community
by Diana Pavlac Glyer (Author)
The second book on the Inklings had been announced before in december 2006. With a small delay i'm glad to say Diana Glyer's book "The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien As Writers in Community" was published on the 1st of March. Fans of Tolkien, Lewis, Charles Williams, and the other lesser-known Inklings will be excited by this book... This important study challenges the standard interpretation that Lewis, Tolkien, Charles Williams, Owen Barfield, and the other Inklings had little influence on one another’s work, drawing on the latest research in composition studies and the sociology of the creative process. Diana Glyer invites readers into the heart of the group, examining diary entries and personal letters and carefully comparing the rough drafts of their manuscripts with their final, published work.
Her analysis not only demonstrates the high level of mutual influence that characterized this writers group but also provides a lively and compelling picture of how writers and other creative artists challenge, correct, and encourage one another as they work together in community. A review of this book can be found here.
Diana Glyer is intrigued by the creative process, particularly the way that creativity thrives within small groups and creative clusters. She holds degrees in art, education, literature, and composition. She has published extensively on C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Joy Davidman, and the Inklings.
Diana Pavlac Glyer is professor of English at Azusa Pacific University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago and now lives in California. In 1997 she received the Clyde S. Kilby Research Grant. This endowed award is presented annually by the Steering Committee of the Marion E. Wade Center to a scholar engaged in a publishable project related to one of the seven Wade authors. The intention of the award is both to recognize scholarly contributions and also to assist the work of those who use the resources of the Wade Center. Glyer received the Research Grant for the book that was published begin this month, "The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien As Writers in Community".
Also, in March, there will be released an interesting softcover on Tolkien and Shakespeare.
Tolkien and Shakespeare: Essays on Shared Themes and Language
by Janet Brennan Brennan Croft (Editor), Donald E. Palumbo (Editor)
Tolkien and Shakespeare: one a prolific popular dramatist and poet of the Elizabethan era, the other a twentieth-century scholar of Old English and author of a considerably smaller body of work. Though unquestionably very different writers, the two have more in common than one might expect.
These essays focus on the broad themes and motifs which concerned both authors. They seek to uncover Shakespeare’s influence on Tolkien through echoes of the playwright’s themes and even word choices, discovering how Tolkien used, revised, updated, “corrected,” and otherwise held an ongoing dialogue with Shakespeare’s works.
The depiction of Elves and the world of Faërie, and how humans interact with them, are some of the most obvious points of comparison and difference for the two writers. Both Tolkien and Shakespeare deeply explored the uses and abuses of power with princes, politics, war, and the lessons of history. Magic and prophecy were also of great concern to both authors, and the works of both are full of encounters with the Other: masks and disguises, mirrors that hide and reveal, or seeing stones that show only part of the truth.
Janet Brennan Croft is Head of Access Services at University of Oklahoma Libraries in Norman, Oklahoma. Donald E. Palumbo is a professor of English at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. He lives in Greenville. C.W. Sullivan III is also in the English department at East Carolina University.
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