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Tolkien's Legendarium: Essays on The History of Middle-earth (Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction & Fantasy) Hardcover – January 30, 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"[t]he first sustained to demonstrate the importance of the HOME series for the study of Tolkien's work....[p]rovides a varied though traditional selection of potential approaches to the newly available material of the HOME series. As such, it is a good start and establishes a bridgehead on the new continent that has appeared out of the Tolkien-archives. It also makes clear that much work remains to be done-be this in the area of traditional scholary research, or in the implementation of more recent critical approaches, such as the 'death of the author' or the 'unstable text'....[a] step into the right direction and it is to be hoped that the dialogue wil continue."-Fleisch La chair Flesh

"These essays are rich in complexity and detail and are recommended for college-level students of Tolkien's writings....An excellent set of technical discussions on the inviting world of Tolkien."-Reviewer's Bookwatch

"[T]hese analyses are refreshingly free of turgid prose or theoretical bias. The author's obvious appreciation for their subjects of study does not preclude either ritical acuity or scholarly rigor....[T]his is a well-produced book on acid-free paper--both its physical package and its intellectual content are designed to last."-The Monthly Bulletin of the Mythopoeic Society

"ÝT¨hese analyses are refreshingly free of turgid prose or theoretical bias. The author's obvious appreciation for their subjects of study does not preclude either ritical acuity or scholarly rigor....ÝT¨his is a well-produced book on acid-free paper--both its physical package and its intellectual content are designed to last."-The Monthly Bulletin of the Mythopoeic Society

"Ýt¨he first sustained to demonstrate the importance of the HOME series for the study of Tolkien's work....Ýp¨rovides a varied though traditional selection of potential approaches to the newly available material of the HOME series. As such, it is a good start and establishes a bridgehead on the new continent that has appeared out of the Tolkien-archives. It also makes clear that much work remains to be done-be this in the area of traditional scholary research, or in the implementation of more recent critical approaches, such as the 'death of the author' or the 'unstable text'....Ýa¨ step into the right direction and it is to be hoped that the dialogue wil continue."-Fleisch La chair Flesh

?This excellent study is aimed at the middle level of Tolkien scholarship....[A]nd should make an excellent addition to the college library.?-Beyond Bree

?These essays are rich in complexity and detail and are recommended for college-level students of Tolkien's writings....An excellent set of technical discussions on the inviting world of Tolkien.?-Reviewer's Bookwatch

?[T]hese analyses are refreshingly free of turgid prose or theoretical bias. The author's obvious appreciation for their subjects of study does not preclude either ritical acuity or scholarly rigor....[T]his is a well-produced book on acid-free paper--both its physical package and its intellectual content are designed to last.?-The Monthly Bulletin of the Mythopoeic Society

?[t]he first sustained to demonstrate the importance of the HOME series for the study of Tolkien's work....[p]rovides a varied though traditional selection of potential approaches to the newly available material of the HOME series. As such, it is a good start and establishes a bridgehead on the new continent that has appeared out of the Tolkien-archives. It also makes clear that much work remains to be done-be this in the area of traditional scholary research, or in the implementation of more recent critical approaches, such as the 'death of the author' or the 'unstable text'....[a] step into the right direction and it is to be hoped that the dialogue wil continue.?-Fleisch La chair Flesh

"This excellent study is aimed at the middle level of Tolkien scholarship....[A]nd should make an excellent addition to the college library."-Beyond Bree

About the Author

VERLYN FLIEGER is Professor of English at the University of Maryland, where she teaches courses in Tolkien, Medieval Literature, Comparative Mythology, and Fantasy and Science Fiction./e She is the author of two books on Tolkien and has published articles on Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Charles Williams, Austin Tappan Wright, and E.R. Eddison.

CARL F. HOSTETTER is a computer scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. His chief scholarly interest of the past 15 years has been the invented languages of J.R.R. Tolkien, and he has edited a journal devoted to the subject, Vinyar Tengwar, since 1989. He is also a member of a project to order, transcribe, and edit Tolkien's unpublished linguistic papers.

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Product Details

  • Series: Contributions to the Study of Science Fiction & Fantasy (Book 86)
  • Hardcover: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (January 30, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0313305307
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313305306
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,612,116 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on October 16, 2001
Good Tolkien criticism is sadly rare. Given the amount of fan fluff that's out there, this collection of 14 essays, edited by well-established Tolkien scholars Verlyn Flieger and Carl Hostetter, comes as welcome relief. The essays, all of which are based to varying degrees on the mammoth 12-volume _History of Middle-Earth_ (hereafter abbreviated as HoME) that was recently completed by Christopher Tolkien are divided up into three main sections. Section 1 deals directly with the contents of HoME and what it tells us about Tolkien's creative processes, the history of his ideas and his constantly niggling and tweaking of them. Mostly, these essays help 'make sense' out of the complex assemblage of texts, fragments, etc., that make up HoME. One essay also considers the literary value of HoME, raising the thorny question of whether it's useful only as a scholarly tool or whether there is some actual literary merit to the drafts and fragments contained within. Section 2 is rather short and has three essays on Tolkien's invented languages, focussing on how HomE contributes to our understanding of the development of those languages. The last section deals with more conventionally literary questions, specifically examining how the material in HoME sheds light on questions about plot, influences, sources, structure, etc. A particularly insightful essay here is Paul Thomas's essay on Tolkien's narrative voices in the The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, and the various drafts thereof-- noting specifically how (and speculating on why) Tolkien changed the nature of the narrative voice between drafts and final product. A few essays in this latter group revisit topics that have already been discussed near-exhaustively (e.g.Read more ›
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Verified Purchase
Superb essays by unsurpassed experts in the field.

Read the other reviews if you need more details, but presumably you wouldn't even be looking at this book if you weren't a Tolkien nerd already and didn't already recognize the all-star line-up of critics you have awaiting your page-rustling.
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By Critic on November 24, 2004
The price is pretty steep for this text, and that will scare plenty of people away from buying it from a major book distributor. Still, that should not prevent them from checking it out at their local library. The contributions from various scholars are great, particularly, for me, the chapter, "Gandalf and Odin." If I can ever use it in a class, I will. Good stuff, I say.
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