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The Hobbitonian Anthology: of Articles on J.R.R. Tolkien and his Legendarium (The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings) Paperback – June 17, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark T. Hooker is a specialist in Comparative Translation at Indiana University. Retired, he conducts research for publication. His articles on Tolkien have been published in English, in Dutch, in Polish in Ancalim, in Brazilian-Portuguese, and in Russian. He has presented papers at a number of MythCons and at the fourth and fifth Lustrums of the Dutch Tolkien Society. He is the author of Tolkien Through Russian Eyes (Walking Tree, 2003), A Tolkienian Mathomium (Llyfrawr, 2006), The Hobbitonian Anthology (Llyfrawr, 2009), and Implied, but not Stated: Condensation in Colloquial Russian.

One of his essays is included in the J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” volume of Dr. Harold Bloom’s Modern Critical Interpretations series, billed as “the most comprehensive collection of literary reference in the world.” Dr. Bloom is currently the Sterling Professor of the Humanities and English at Yale University.

The review of A Tolkienian Mathomium in Tolkien Studies says, because Hooker’s “breadth of expertise is somewhat unusual for Tolkienian linguists, most of whom come from the Old English/Old Norse quadrant, Hooker has a wide variety of things to say that have not been heard before.”

He contributed the article "Reading John Buchan in Search of Tolkien" in Tolkien and the Study of his Sources, edited Jason Fisher (McFarland, 2011), which was a finalist for the 2012 Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies.

Hooker is a member of the Walking Tree Publishers Board of Advisors.

Hooker is the laureate of the Fifth Beyond Bree Award (2012), which was presented at The Return of the Ring in Loughborough, England. Unlike previous Beyond Bree Award votes, this time there was a single clear winner.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 4th edition (June 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1448617014
  • ISBN-13: 978-1448617012
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,097,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Wilson on August 7, 2009
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. . . is that I don't know any Slavic languages, so can't properly appreciate many of the articles.

JRRT used language very specifically. He used some rather unusual words and constructions with very specific shades of meaning; shades which even an educated native speaker of English may not notice consciously, although when a particular passage is re-worked using more 'normal' phrasing, one instantly realizes the difference. JRRT's background in paeleo-English, Norse, Gothic, Old High German, and related languages came into play in personal and place names in The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings; again, even an educated English speaker may not realize the significance of the names, although they may affect him on an almost subliminal level. Having these layers and shades of meaning pointed out increases ones appreciation of the work.

All of this makes The Hobbit/LOTR very difficult to translate. How to preserve these subtle shades is tricky, and it is very easy to stumble and fall. Indeed, JRRT himself said that translators should NOT attempt to translate personal and place names, but not doing so would remove so much of the affective aspect of the reading. The author analysis several Dutch, German, and Slavic translations' approaches to the problem.

My Dutch and German are rudimentary, although enough to follow the articles, however stumblingly. I don't know any Slavic languages, and therefore found those articles a bit of a slog. However, I did come away with appreciation of the cleverness of the translators' efforts.

The essay on the translations of "Leaf by Niggle" was particularly interesting.
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I bought this book because I'd read another of his books and truly enjoyed it. This book is a must for Tolkien fans who want to go beyond the surface for an in depth study of Tolkien's works. Well researched and well written!
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By Sye Keene on October 21, 2014
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Full of useful and interesting information and insights.
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