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Would You Be Interested In A JRR Tolkien Month On The Blog?

JRR Tolkien

Mr. Tolkien, smoking up and reading. Good times.

Today I would like to feel you up on something–wait, no, feel you out–on something that I’ve been thinking about doing for a while. I’ve been reading a lot about JRR Tolkien and some scholarly work about his writing. It has all been fascinating for me, but I grew up reading The Lord Of The Rings every other day and haven’t ever really known a life without Tolkien’s work in it.

I am considering dedicating September to Tolkien, his books, linking to various articles about him that I think are worth reading, and whatever else I can find to say about him.

For instance, did you know that Frodo was originally going to be called Bingo? And that Strider was going to be called Trotter? Bingo and Trotter? I’m glad that didn’t pan out. It would also give me/us a chance to talk in more depth about the history, purpose, pros and cons of fantasy literature, as well as the challenges Tolkien has created for other fantasy writers seeking to carve out their own niche in the genre.

It is almost impossible to escape Tolkien’s shadow when discussing works by subsequent authors, or even games like Dungeons & Dragons.

I’d love to hear whether this idea intrigues you, repels you, or whether you’re totally indifferent. If I decide to do it I’ll do it regardless of the feedback, but I am curious.

October is the annual horrorfest, so that entire month is blocked out in honor of great darkness and ghost stories, but I’ve never blocked out a month for anything else like I’m considering with Tolkien.



Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Heather August 17, 2011, 10:45 am

    Hmmmmmm. . . . Tolkein’s world-building stuff is pretty intense. Difficult to follow if you’re a novice or a slacker, too. I’ve only ever been able to read The Hobbit, BUT–you need to know a little bit about Norse mythology to really ge tinto the stuff about Middle Earth, Smaug the Dragon, and my personal favorites, The Orcs. But I have no problems with this. I also have some reviews ready–or, rather, they will be–for HorrorFest (WOO-HOO! I HEART HORRORFEST!)

  • Caroline August 17, 2011, 11:36 am

    Count me in(trigued). I don’t know much of anything about Norse mythology (except that some of the days of the week are derived from Norse gods’ names), and I have devoured the books a la Smaug for over 30 years now. September is an awesome choice b/c it is of course the birthday party month, when all adventures begin (and includes “Hobbit Week”, which I didn’t even know about!). That’s a lot of words when all I want to do is vote “yes”. 🙂

  • Misty August 17, 2011, 11:53 am

    I’d definitely love to read about it, and I’d put it on my Facebook and whatnot because a lot of my friends are into Tolkien and might be interested in this aspect.

  • Andrew Hamblin August 17, 2011, 12:13 pm

    I’d love to see your thoughts on him, and a whole month on the topic would be awesome 🙂

  • Pieter Collier August 17, 2011, 1:14 pm

    One month is much too little time to spend on Tolkien… and I’m someone who can know!

    • Josh Hanagarne August 17, 2011, 1:24 pm

      Well, I suppose I’ll need your help then, Pieter. Let me know if you’d like to write anything as we go.

      • Pieter Collier August 17, 2011, 1:29 pm

        always happy to help out! And always something to tell about Tolkien!

        • Josh Hanagarne August 17, 2011, 4:11 pm

          Wonderful. I’m going to cover as much as I can, but it’s all going to be from a passionate amateur’s perspective. Happy to have experts and geniuses around.

          • Pieter Collier August 17, 2011, 4:15 pm

            expert… I could live with that, genius is a bit over the top! But it might be a nice idea to invite some of my friends to contribute, i’m thinking about Dimitra Fimi and Tom Shippey. We could write them. What are the topics you wish to cover?

  • Sarah August 17, 2011, 1:16 pm

    I’m all for a month long discussion of Tolkien! I even took a class all about him and his works in college, so I can’t wait to hear what you and everyone else has to say!

    • Josh Hanagarne August 17, 2011, 4:11 pm

      I’m jealous.

      • Sarah August 18, 2011, 7:16 am

        It was pretty awesome…The Silmarillion, The Hobbit and the LOTR. We didn’t study Tolkien’s life very much, so I’m excited to learn more about it!

  • John Sifferman August 17, 2011, 1:34 pm

    I read the LOTR trilogy years ago, and am just returning to The Hobbit this week. I’d love a month of WSL devoted to Tolkien!

    • Josh Hanagarne August 17, 2011, 4:10 pm

      Awesome. I look forward to any and all contributions you can offer.

  • Gustavo| Frugal Science August 17, 2011, 4:35 pm

    I could make some drawings, if relevant.

  • Paul Andrew Russell August 17, 2011, 5:37 pm

    I like the idea, Josh. I too grew up reading Tolkien.

  • Middle-earth News August 17, 2011, 6:03 pm

    We side with Pieter on this one. One month is just not enough. 😉

    This is an awesome idea since September 22 holds a special meaning in a Tolkienist’s heart. Anything we can do to help let us know- such as Corey Olsen (The Tolkien Professor) or Ted Nasmith and Jef Murray for Tolkien-related art or posting links to our news feeds.

  • Spencer August 18, 2011, 9:41 am

    I’m in. The links to articles etc. that you are referencing would be especially useful. I was interested in what you were talking about re: nostalgia. I could talk about that topic alone for at least a month.

  • Josh Arnold August 19, 2011, 1:02 pm

    Like Heather I too have only read the hobbit, but I have LOTR in one volume on my bookshelf and would like to get into it soon. A whole month of extras from the experts would be an awesome prospect!

  • Howard Hardesty September 6, 2011, 2:09 pm

    A good idea; worthy of at least a month.