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I'm a new person with a question but I'm not really sure where I should put it.
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rainy-jane02
Registered User


Jan 25 2013, 8:05pm

Post #1 of 28 (789 views)
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I'm a new person with a question but I'm not really sure where I should put it. Can't Post

 So I had someone suggest to me that the message board would be a good place to get some help for my question. I'm doing a project for my tech writing class. It's supposed to be a guide to the various races of Tolkien's world (i.e. Elves, Dwarves, etc.) and I need 10 secondary sources. I'm just wondering if someone out there might have some suggestions outside of the usual books...Or maybe a book I missed in the last 10 years..... O_O Any help would be appreciated and paid back in oodles of hugs.


Magpie
Immortal


Jan 25 2013, 8:30pm

Post #2 of 28 (374 views)
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why don't you list what you consider to be 'the usual books' ... [In reply to] Can't Post

...so you are sure to get ones outside that sphere?

What races and what kind of information are you looking to include in your guide? That might help with suggestions, as well.

And, do you have access to a library? Public? university? You're going to get some book suggestions and I doubt you'll want to purchase them all.

edit to add additional thought: are you sticking strictly to what Tolkien has written and resource books that talk about what Tolkien has written? Or are you covering the film-verse? What the 'film' says about Elves isn't necessarily what Tolkien says about elves. :-)

I think providing these few pieces of info will allow for people to really give you some good suggestions. (and ones to avoid, I suspect)


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(This post was edited by Magpie on Jan 25 2013, 8:33pm)


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Jan 25 2013, 8:42pm

Post #3 of 28 (377 views)
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Welcome to TORN. :) [In reply to] Can't Post

I've moved your post to the Main discussion board as you're asking questions about Tolkien. There are plenty of people here who should be able to point you in the right direction.

When you have finished your project, would you mind posting it here? It'd be interesting to see what you come up with.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


Ataahua's stories


rainy-jane02
Registered User


Jan 25 2013, 9:24pm

Post #4 of 28 (356 views)
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That probably would have been smart to start with. [In reply to] Can't Post

I have access to the public library as well as the university library. I'm pretty sure that I can include other sources that aren't books but that would be limited to article and journal kind of thing.

Also, looking at my original post I probably should have worded that as sources that aren't the Silmarillion, the trilogy, The lays of Beleriand, The Children of Hurin (which I'm still not sure if that's going to be helpful or not), and the hobbit. I also have The Magical Worlds of the Lord of the Rings.

I have a 10-12 page max so I'll probably research the spectrum of Elves, Men, Hobbits, Orcs and goblins, The Valar, and most likely a portion on Iluvatar (read: tiny intro portion probably). I had planned to just stick to just Tolkien and resource books, but if I can find some good sources for it I would include the film aspect as well.

I think that's about it. My teacher is a lotr fan so that makes this look like it will be more fun. XD
Questions, comments, help, and/or people telling me I need a life are all welcome. Smile


Magpie
Immortal


Jan 25 2013, 10:51pm

Post #5 of 28 (356 views)
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We have a lot of well read people on these boards [In reply to] Can't Post

and I hope you have enough time to wait till they catch your request.

There are, of course, the books from the History of Middle-earth series. I can't point you to particular volumes since I haven't delved into them much.

Other books that would be worth looking through if you can find them at the library:

The History of the Hobbit by John D. Rateliff
The Annotated Hobbit, edited by Douglas A. Anderson


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Magpie
Immortal


Jan 25 2013, 11:11pm

Post #6 of 28 (349 views)
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another suggestion? [In reply to] Can't Post

I remembered a publication that many of our message board members worked on. I really had to work to track it down!

Wow, it's expensive. But maybe a library has it.

J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment [Hardcover]
Michael D.C. Drout (Editor)

http://www.amazon.com/...ssment/dp/0415969425

http://en.academic.ru/dic.nsf/enwiki/6610920

There might be something in Verlyn Flieger's books that you can use.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verlyn_Flieger

And I enjoyed what Paul H. Kocher had to say about Tolkien.
Master of Middle-Earth: The Fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien.
A Reader's Guide to The Silmarillion.


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Elizabeth
Valinor


Jan 27 2013, 7:23am

Post #7 of 28 (333 views)
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I'd interpret "secondary sources" [In reply to] Can't Post

...to be works by authors other than Tolkien. I'd particularly recommend Tom Shippey's books "The Road to Middle Earth" and "J. R. R. Tolkien, Author of the Century", Brian Rosebury's "Tolkien: A Cultural Phenomenon", Humphrey Carpenter's "J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography", and the "Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien" edited by Humphrey Carpenter. And I agree with Magpie that Verlyn Flieger's books would be helpful.

Your library should have all of these.








(This post was edited by Elizabeth on Jan 27 2013, 7:24am)


FantasyFan
Rohan


Jan 27 2013, 12:55pm

Post #8 of 28 (290 views)
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The Tolkien Reader [In reply to] Can't Post

Is it still in print? This was a small paperback originally published in 1966, which I think is important specifically for the the section"Tree and Leaf" which contain Tolkien's essay "On Fairy Stories" and the short story "Leaf by Niggle", explanation and example of Tolkien's idea of subcreation. If you can't find the original paperback, the essay is I'm sure online.There are also a couple of short stories in the book.


"That is one thing that Men call 'hope.' Amdir we call it, 'looking up.' But there is another which is founded deeper. Estel we call it, that is 'trust.' It is not defeated by the ways of the world, for it does not come from experience, but from our nature and First Being. If we are indeed the Eruhin, the Children of the One, then He will not suffer Himself to be deprived of His own, not by any enemy, not even by ourselves. This is the last foundation of estel, which we keep even when we contemplate the End. Of all His designs the issue must be for His children's joy."
Finrod, Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth, HoME X Morgoth's Ring



FantasyFan
Rohan


Jan 27 2013, 1:09pm

Post #9 of 28 (281 views)
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I second taking a look at "letters" [In reply to] Can't Post

Some of these are over 10,000 words long of explanation and thought. My favorite is 181, on Frodo's failure.


"That is one thing that Men call 'hope.' Amdir we call it, 'looking up.' But there is another which is founded deeper. Estel we call it, that is 'trust.' It is not defeated by the ways of the world, for it does not come from experience, but from our nature and First Being. If we are indeed the Eruhin, the Children of the One, then He will not suffer Himself to be deprived of His own, not by any enemy, not even by ourselves. This is the last foundation of estel, which we keep even when we contemplate the End. Of all His designs the issue must be for His children's joy."
Finrod, Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth, HoME X Morgoth's Ring



Magpie
Immortal


Jan 27 2013, 2:11pm

Post #10 of 28 (290 views)
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But, keep in mind the focus of the paper [In reply to] Can't Post

It's a guide to Races in Tolkien's work and the class is technical writing so I suspect this is an exercise in how to write a guide... not an attempt to write some overall paper on Tolkien. The student/writer will be learning how to write guides and having some personal fun while they're doing it. :-)

That's why I didn't suggest the biography of Tolkien. I wasn't sure there could be much in the biography that would provide information on Races in Tolkien's fiction. I'm also not sure how much Shippey addresses Races, although perhaps I'm forgetting topics he's covered.

And the problem with Letters (although I love the book on its own) is that Tolkien can contradict himself about some points of information. That would be hard to incorporate into a guide.


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rainy-jane02
Registered User


Jan 27 2013, 2:49pm

Post #11 of 28 (274 views)
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I'm waiting to hear back from my teacher on her definition of secondary sources.... [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm highly hoping she's not to picky about it.

You are all wonderfully helpful. I figure I'll pick up everything I can from the library than weed out from there. My proposal with my annotated bibliography isn't due for another week or so. XD

The general point of the project is learning how to create a document that meets certain standards. Particular wording, punctuation, how to integrate and document sources, how the you should write the document given a certain situation, and how to research. I don't think I would have chosen this subject at all, but with the hobbit out my obsession is restarting.

Also, Magpie, that one book......goodness I wish I could afford the encyclopedia. Looks like it would be interesting........but super, super expensive. Frown


Magpie
Immortal


Jan 27 2013, 4:45pm

Post #12 of 28 (280 views)
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yes... that one book would have to be a library book! [In reply to] Can't Post

Good luck on your project. I think it would be fun if you keep us posted how it went. Maybe you can even give us a taste of what you created.

I would be careful about picking up every book you can find.

There are some books that are known to be inaccurate. David Day's books on Tolkien are notorious for that and there are a few other names I'd probably avoid. And the more popular Tolkien becomes with the release of the movies, the more books are published quickly to cash in on that popularity. You can find dozens and dozens of books about Tolkien on Amazon and I wouldn't really put much stock into a lot of them.

Also, there are some books that confuse the movie reality - much of which is made up even outside of what we see in the movies - and the book reality. I would, if I were you, avoid muddling the two up and focus only on Tolkien's original writings and the books that focus on that.

I'd say you would be safe with Shippey, Flieger, Garth, Scull and Hammond, Rateliff, Douglas A. Anderson, Foster, and Christopher Tolkien.

I would add Kocher although I don't know what the uber-scholars on the board would say about that. And I agree Carpenter's biography is worthy if you can get useful info for your paper out it.

Many of those authors have written multiple books so drawing from that list could easily top 10 if you can get access to them. (Foster's book has had multiple additions. It would be best to get the most current edition if you can)

Beyond that list of authors, to be honest, I'd do some research and see what other people think of the book in terms of accuracy. And if you find you need more info on a particular point, someone might be able to point you to another author that is well respected (there have been a lot of papers, for example, that people here would know about).

also, just fyi: thinking ahead. If you find, down the road, that you just can't collect much info on a particular race and you need some more suggestions about where to look for that particular info, I would post that request on the Reading Room board. The most serious of our scholars hang out there and don't always catch posts on other boards.

Be clear you're only seeking suggestions about where you should look for the info (as opposed to implying you want people to provide the info) and you'll get the best response. We get a lot of people asking for us to do their homework and that doesn't sit well with people. I thought your first post was very clear about wanting suggestions for books you should consult and I didn't feel you wanted us to do your homework. :-)


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geordie
Tol Eressea

Jan 27 2013, 5:45pm

Post #13 of 28 (276 views)
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I sincerely hope On Fairy Stories isn't available online - [In reply to] Can't Post

- because that would be a breach of copyright. Tree and Leaf was published before The Tolkien Reader, and is still available -

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tree-Leaf-Including-MYTHOPOEIA-Tolkien/dp/0007105045

There's no need to resort to illegalities.
.


geordie
Tol Eressea

Jan 27 2013, 5:52pm

Post #14 of 28 (308 views)
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Paul Kocher's 'Master of Middle earth [In reply to] Can't Post

is one of the first books I read about Tolkien, and it's one of the best - his chapters on Aragorn; and on Sauron & the nature of evil, have never been bettered IMO. Kocher also covers other topics than Middle-earth; very useful. I didn't like his book on The Silmarillion, though.

.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jan 27 2013, 6:56pm

Post #15 of 28 (281 views)
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Scull/Hammond is a good place to start. [In reply to] Can't Post

Have a look at Christina Scull and Wayne Hammond's The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion & Guide (2006). This is a two-volume work. One volume is the Chronology, which is a biography in annal format, recounting every notable event in Tolkien's life. The other volume, that you will want to peruse, is the Reader's Guide,* which is an encyclopedia whose topics are listed here. Each topic cites pertinent references, and there is an extensive bibliography. This set sold for a much lower price than the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia that Michael Drout edited in the same year (with contributions by over one hundred authors, including, as Magpie has noted, a dozen people who are or have been regular contributors to TORN's forums). You'll probably find it stocked in many more libraries.

*Be careful not to confuse the Reader's Guide with The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion by the same authors (with the order of their names reversed). That book, itself highly valuable, is a set of annotations for LOTR only.

-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-
<><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><><>
Discuss Tolkien's life and works in the Reading Room!
+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=
How to find old Reading Room discussions.


Magpie
Immortal


Jan 27 2013, 8:02pm

Post #16 of 28 (275 views)
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That's good to hear [In reply to] Can't Post

I also read Master of Middle-earth first after rereading LOTR for the first time in 30 years and I really, really liked it. I'm glad there aren't any awful errors in it or anything (I assume you would comment if that were so! :-))

I did try to read the one on the Sil and I don't know if I ever got through it.

The nice thing, imo, about Kocher is... it's not a chore to read. I appreciate a lot of what I read by other authors and they often make me think or go aha!... but I don't exactly enjoy reading them. Sometimes I have to make myself read them.

But Kocher was a joy and it made me love LOTR even more.

(ps: I'm glad you found this thread. I thought you would be a good resource)


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(This post was edited by dernwyn on Jan 28 2013, 12:57am)


squire
Valinor


Jan 27 2013, 8:38pm

Post #17 of 28 (263 views)
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Kocher also happens to have an entire chapter on the races of Middle-earth [In reply to] Can't Post

See Chapter V: "The Free Peoples". It begins thus:
[Critics like Edmund Wilson] and others are taking too narrow a view of what a Tolkien "character" is. As Tolkien conceives the matter, characters are not limited to the individuals who play parts in the war against Sauron. They include also, and perhaps even predominantly, the various races to which each person belongs. Tolkien is at least as interested in exploring the characteristic traits of elves, hobbits, dwarves, men, ents, and other intelligent species who swarm Middle-earth as he is in depicting, say, Frodo, Elrond, Aragorn, and Gimli, or in telling the events of the War of the Ring. - Kocher, P. (1972). Master of Middle-earth: The Fiction of J. R. R. Tolkien.
Since his book had already been mentioned in this thread, I didn't feel this needed to be said. But then I remembered that his book is by far the earliest of all the Tolkien criticism we are rating here, and some people might unnecessarily worry that he is somehow outdated just because he wrote before the explosion of posthumous books that so expand our understanding of Tolkien's fictional world. In my opinion, Kocher is not outdated at all but still rewards any reader who finds him. And he is now available in reprint.

His Silmarillion criticism feels like he rushed it out to cash in on his status as a Tolkien critic, and the book is not in the same league as Master of Middle-earth, unfortunately.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


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geordie
Tol Eressea

Jan 27 2013, 9:19pm

Post #18 of 28 (265 views)
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Yes, thanks for that - [In reply to] Can't Post

- I was running blind in my previous post; I couldn't find either of my copies of Kocher. (I do hate it when that happens!) So after reading your post on ch.5, I made another effort and behold! - I found my paperback copy, mis-placed on a different shelf to what it ought to have been. I still can't find my hardback - no doubt it'll turn up when I'm searching for something else.

I shall prob. take my paperback to work with me tomorrow - too tired to re-read it now. But I will reiterate one point which I made above - this book is excellent, not least because of Kocher's analyses of Tolkien's non-Middle-earth fiction. In the chapter 'Seven Leaves', Kocher looks at not only FGH; SWM and the Bombadil poems, etc. - but also The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth; and Imram; and also The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun, which was ever published only once (in The Welsh Review, 1945 - it took me ages to find a copy of that).

Kocher's book is one that I would recommend to anyone who may have any interest in Tolkien.

.


geordie
Tol Eressea

Jan 27 2013, 9:21pm

Post #19 of 28 (246 views)
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Thanks, Magpie. :-) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Magpie
Immortal


Jan 28 2013, 12:20am

Post #20 of 28 (262 views)
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Thanks to you, too [In reply to] Can't Post

I really do value hearing what other people think about him. I will be much more comfortable recommending him to others. I do... I just wonder if I'm doing any disservice when I do. Now I won't worry.

When I took the online Barnes and Noble University class on LOTR, my opinions were highly influenced by Kocher.


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grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jan 28 2013, 1:01am

Post #21 of 28 (254 views)
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Howdy and Welcome! [In reply to] Can't Post

You'e got Lots of great guidance here, but I wanted to poke my head in and say HI and so glad you've found your way here :)



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FantasyFan
Rohan


Jan 28 2013, 1:46am

Post #22 of 28 (261 views)
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I didn't mean to imply copyright infringement [In reply to] Can't Post

I mentioned the Tolkien Reader because I happen to have it on my shelf, and I've never looked for "On Fairy Stories" elsewhere. I believe I have only read short excepts from it online. And perhaps it doesn't touch much on her paper topic anyway, except for indirectly as to Tolkien's thoughts on creating well-realized fictional races as part of the total of his subcreation.


"That is one thing that Men call 'hope.' Amdir we call it, 'looking up.' But there is another which is founded deeper. Estel we call it, that is 'trust.' It is not defeated by the ways of the world, for it does not come from experience, but from our nature and First Being. If we are indeed the Eruhin, the Children of the One, then He will not suffer Himself to be deprived of His own, not by any enemy, not even by ourselves. This is the last foundation of estel, which we keep even when we contemplate the End. Of all His designs the issue must be for His children's joy."
Finrod, Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth, HoME X Morgoth's Ring



rainy-jane02
Registered User


Jan 28 2013, 4:11am

Post #23 of 28 (267 views)
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Thank you so much. :) [In reply to] Can't Post

Oh gosh now I really want to read Kocher's book and I'm probably going to have to buy it but that's okay. It's actually not to expensive off amazon.

My most recent good news is that my teacher is letting my use Tolkien's books for my secondary sources. If I can manage to stay on track I should have my proposal for class done this week and have all my sources. Hopefully.

Thanks also for the suggestions for which authors to stick with. And Magpie, that was my original worry with mixing the book and movie cannon. Since I have fairly large slack for what I can use for sources I'm pretty sure I'll just stick to the book verse and be happy with that.

And again you are all being so wonderfully helpful and I really appreciate it soooo much. Smile


Otaku-sempai
Half-elven


Jan 28 2013, 8:05am

Post #24 of 28 (257 views)
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Tyler [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
I'd say you would be safe with Shippey, Flieger, Garth, Scull and Hammond, Rateliff, Douglas A. Anderson, Foster, and Christopher Tolkien.

I would add Kocher although I don't know what the uber-scholars on the board would say about that. And I agree Carpenter's biography is worthy if you can get useful info for your paper out it.



To that list I would add The Complete Tolkien Companion by J.E.A. Tyler.

'There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.' - Gandalf the Grey, The Fellowship of the Ring


rainy-jane02
Registered User


Jan 28 2013, 8:46pm

Post #25 of 28 (261 views)
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Onward and upward.... [In reply to] Can't Post

I found Carpenter's biography and while very interesting I don't think it will work. I did find Tyler's book at my university library. I found this other book by Ruth Noel called "the mythology of middle earth." Not sure if its going to help but was just wondering if any of you had read it.

On another note I might be able to get Kocher's book on an interlibrary loan but lets not keep our hopes up. Also, for the happy news for my poor little fan heart, my school library has the lord of the rings, single book, trilogy. Illustrated by Alan Lee. Some older edition but I always love the illustrated books. Smile

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