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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
One-stop shopping for all the best critical essays on Tolkien - a nice 4 volume set for only $1200

squire
Half-elven


Jun 21 2017, 12:05pm

Post #1 of 15 (2842 views)
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One-stop shopping for all the best critical essays on Tolkien - a nice 4 volume set for only $1200 Can't Post

Are you ready? I'm not sure I am. If nothing else, Routledge left a sour taste in my mouth with their half-***ed job on the (similarly high-priced) 2007 JRRT Encyclopedia.

But maybe this will be better. The contents (listed on the second tab) look pretty good, and the premise is surely right that out-of-print or rare editions should be more readily available in the libraries. Though how can any one collection really be all a scholar needs?

I notice that, of the five pieces specifically on The Lord of the Rings in vol. III, all but one are dated before 1983. Hmmm... maybe because it was the first work he published to get critical attention, nothing much new or important has been written about the actual epic since then?



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'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Jun 21 2017, 5:37pm

Post #2 of 15 (2790 views)
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I don't think it actually has been released yet [In reply to] Can't Post

So far as I know, negotiations regarding copyright permissions are still ongoing.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


geordie
Tol Eressea

Jun 21 2017, 5:52pm

Post #3 of 15 (2788 views)
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I've got most of these already - [In reply to] Can't Post

- I don't feel tempted to shell out £900 for the others.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jun 21 2017, 9:47pm

Post #4 of 15 (2777 views)
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Halfast's job and "The Advantage of Being a [Completist]" [In reply to] Can't Post

See Wayne Hammond and Christina Scull on that subject, as it pertains to this collection, in this blog post.

See also here for a few brief notes by others on the contents, as well as, for more extensive thoughts from one contributor, item #7 on this list.

There are four lights.

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

(This post was edited by Altaira on Jun 22 2017, 1:07am)


squire
Half-elven


Jun 21 2017, 10:40pm

Post #5 of 15 (2771 views)
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And in the semi-finals, it's geordie vs. Findegil! [In reply to] Can't Post

I see I am rather late for the party. That's what happens when you leave the room for just a bit.

But here are the entries. Who is the ultimate non-customer for this new four volume extravaganza?

geordie:
"I've got most of these already - I don't feel tempted to shell out £900 for the others."

Findegil (Hammond & Scull):
"For ourselves, we were very pleased to find that every one of the writings chosen for this set is already on our shelves or in our files – hence, the advantage of being completist Tolkien collectors!"

As per NEB's links, we have this cogent commentary to the competition by Voronwe the Faithful, over at the Hall of Fire:
"It seems to me that the vast majority of the people that would be interested enough to own this also similarly have already collected the various previous publications that they appeared in."

And David Bratman, who knows a thing or two about collections of Tolkien critical literature, has weighed in along much the same lines, with a bit of 'follow the money' logic:
"...this is a rather unnecessary set as any libraries that can afford or would want it probably already have everything in it in their original publications, and is mostly intended to cadge money out of unwary collection development librarians."



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'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Jun 22 2017, 1:08pm

Post #6 of 15 (2748 views)
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I vote for David Bratman [In reply to] Can't Post

For his typically pithy yet insightful "follow the money" observation.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


Eruonen
Valinor


Jun 24 2017, 9:30pm

Post #7 of 15 (2708 views)
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No way would I pay that much for critical assessments. [In reply to] Can't Post

First of all, there is a plethora of such material for free online and numerous other books that cover all you need to know beyond your own personal insight for far less $$.


squire
Half-elven


Jun 24 2017, 10:44pm

Post #8 of 15 (2700 views)
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Not so fast [In reply to] Can't Post

Although I agree that the cost is fantastic to the average Tolkien fan, it's not necessarily so that the free commentary online or the books still in print are of the same quality as the articles and chapters in this publication. I've read some of these pieces, and they are both very important in their insights into the Tolkien phenomenon, and hard to find without digging deep.

The key, I suppose, is our own individual estimation of "all you need to know", and as with any question in this regard, how can I say I don't need to know something that I don't know I don't know?



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'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Eruonen
Valinor


Jun 25 2017, 2:51am

Post #9 of 15 (2685 views)
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Decisions such as this come down to personal means and desires [In reply to] Can't Post

Looking over the content much of it seems similar to other sources that cite the same historic sources etc. Many of the articles are available online.

IF they had more reasonably priced the volumes they would sell far more of them and ultimately earn more in profit. As it appears, this will appeal to a small segment of an even smaller segment of readers who are passionate about Tolkien.

But, I am sure if cost is no objection one will find many interesting things to read and think upon.


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jun 25 2017, 6:48am

Post #10 of 15 (2666 views)
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"For far less $$"? [In reply to] Can't Post

I wonder.

To purchase all the original sources included in that collection would likely cost more than purchasing the collection. With 80 items, you'd just need to average $15 per item. And for starters, I see items from several volumes of Tolkien Studies in there; that journal costs at least $60 per issue. Even if you believe (as I do) that some of what's included in the collection is not essential, you can easily make up the cost with other, more essential, items that the collection does not include.

There are four lights.

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


Eruonen
Valinor


Jun 25 2017, 1:56pm

Post #11 of 15 (2622 views)
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Only if you want all of the items. [In reply to] Can't Post

But, again, it is a personal choice.


geordie
Tol Eressea

Jun 25 2017, 6:09pm

Post #12 of 15 (2588 views)
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Findegil wins! :-) // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Jun 27 2017, 2:05am

Post #13 of 15 (2544 views)
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Quite so. [In reply to] Can't Post

And even if one does want every piece of important writing about Tolkien, most of us can't afford it whether packaged as in this collection or not.

There are four lights.

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


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Jun 27 2017, 4:15pm

Post #14 of 15 (2526 views)
Shortcut
Clarification [In reply to] Can't Post

I previously wrote that "negotiations regarding copyright permissions are still ongoing" but I can now say that to the extent that it affects me that is no longer true. For what it is worth.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


Alveric
Bree


Jun 27 2017, 4:32pm

Post #15 of 15 (2522 views)
Shortcut
academic publishing, innit? [In reply to] Can't Post

The way academic publishing is going these days, presses sometimes release a hugely overpriced edition, figuring they'll make more money selling 10 copies of this than a few hundred if it were priced much lower. I had an early article published in a 4-volume set of books that currently retails over a thousand US$.

 
 

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