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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Who would be interested in a new Reading Room project - 'favourite chapters'?
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noWizardme
Half-elven


Nov 17 2019, 3:10pm

Post #1 of 50 (1729 views)
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Who would be interested in a new Reading Room project - 'favourite chapters'? Can't Post

The Reading Room has traditionally had some kind of organised project going on, and it's unusual that we weren't able to organise anything new at the end of the 2018 Hobbit read-through. Perhaps that's why things currently seem very quiet, with few posts or posters.

How about an idea from the 'whither the Reading Room' discussion of nearly a year ago - that people should present a favourite chapter, saying why it is their favourite, and then host a discussion of that chapter for a week?

I'm imagining that the presenter each week acts like a Chapter Leader in a readthrough - that is, they write something that can start a discussion about the chapter, and they check in sometimes during the week to reply to reactions. What and how much they want to write - one post or several; long or short; deeply learned or more 'a new reader's reaction' - is up to them.

Such a scheme should be:
=>Workable even with a small number of participants (c.f a traditonal read-through that can't proceed unless a leader is found for every chapter of the book).

=>Should be inclusive - someone who has read a book even once can have a favourite chapter and be able to say why it is their favourite. And they alone are right about that, even if other people have a different opinion of the chapter. Therefore I'd hope that we'd hear from people who don't usually post, if that's because they worry about their lack of expertise. But we don't know the answers to 'lurkers, why do ye lurk?'

=>Needn't stick to a schedule. It would be best if we had a discussion each week, or some other consistent basis, in the hope of getting folks to hang out in the RR a bit more (and perhaps post other thoughts & questions). But if someone can't do their chapter on time, it shouldn't matter much. Unlike a traditonal read-through, there won't be an organiser (me on several occasions!) who has to scurry around finding a replacement, or presenting the chapter themselves at the last minute.

=> Needn't be a whole lot of work for the presenter of the chapter or for any organiser (an important point since I seem to be implicitly volunteering to organise it!)

I suggest that chapters are from one of Tolkien's most popular works: LOTR, The Hobbit or Silmarillion. Assuming that everyone has (or can get access to) those works seems like a reasonable requirement, whereas if we allow any Tolkien work then people may be excluded by not having, say A House For Mr. Baggins*.

What do you think? if you're already up for presenting a chapter, would you reply with just the chapter title, in caps, as the title of your post (e.g. A KNIFE IN THE DARK?). You can say more in your post if you want, but please use that format in your post title- That helps everyone else scanning the thread to see which chapters have been taken, and makes offers stand out from other discussion. Otherwise it becomes a little tedious to try and work out who has offered to do what

Thanks.



--

*This unpublished work was to describe Bungo Baggins' struggle to develop an authentic and self-determined life for himself, to be symbollised by the successful completion of a house. Presumably at the end he either buys or constructs Bag End. But how Bungo was to overcome the forces of fate, prophecy and the machinations of his wife's clan we never find out -- Tolkien only drafted the plot and then abdononed the idea after a furious argument with VS Naipaul.
And anyway I just made all that up.

~~~~~~
"Go down to the shovel store and take your pick." Traditional prank played on dwarves when they start down the mine.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Nov 17 2019, 3:16pm

Post #2 of 50 (1616 views)
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It's an interesting suggestion... [In reply to] Can't Post

...I don't know, though, if I could do it justice. Here's hoping for more enthusiastic responses!

#FidelityToTolkien


squire
Half-elven


Nov 18 2019, 2:24am

Post #3 of 50 (1601 views)
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I would be glad to participate [In reply to] Can't Post

Looking over my files, I see that I've already led discussions of many of my 'favorite chapters'. (All-time favorite and one of the first discussions I led in this forum: LotR IV.4 "Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit".) But there are always more!

For instance:
Lord of the Rings I.2 "The Shadow of the Past"
Silmarillion 24 "Of the Voyage of Earendil and the War of Wrath"
The Hobbit 2 "Roast Mutton"

Thanks for thinking of this approach, NoWiz.



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.


priell3
Lorien


Nov 18 2019, 3:05am

Post #4 of 50 (1596 views)
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Sounds Interesting [In reply to] Can't Post

I would participate in some fashion.

MikeP


demnation
Rohan

Nov 18 2019, 8:23am

Post #5 of 50 (1581 views)
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THE WINDOW ON THE WEST [In reply to] Can't Post

Been many years since I've participated in TORN much less a reading room discussion. Seems like the perfect opportunity to jump back in.

"It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule." Gandalf, "The Last Debate."


ElanorTX
Grey Havens


Nov 18 2019, 8:47am

Post #6 of 50 (1584 views)
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haven't chosen a chapter yet [In reply to] Can't Post

but am interested in participating. Perhaps THE STEWARD AND THE KING ?
I tend to lurk on RR because of the great minds on it. I wanted to organize a Tolkien Reader read-through at the start of 2019 but became caught up in housebuying and travel, then illness, instead.

ElanorTX

"I shall not wholly fail if anything can still grow fair in days to come."



noWizardme
Half-elven


Nov 18 2019, 12:13pm

Post #7 of 50 (1574 views)
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Thank you - those of us who have posted a lot already... [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks squire - good to have you along.

Those of us who have posted a lot already will of course have the problem of not merely repeating ourselves. For example, I don't think I'll choose Counci of Elrond, or Mount Doom, or many other chapters. Not because I don't like them, but because my thoughts and ideas haven't moved on from the last time I led a discussion of that chapter. So I'm hoping that we will have a good balance of 'usual suspects' and people who haven't posted for a while, if at all. Although it's fiun to put together my htoughts on a chapter, I already know what those are, and so it's really nice to read something or somebody new.

~~~~~~
"Go down to the shovel store and take your pick." Traditional prank played on dwarves when they start down the mine.


noWizardme
Half-elven


Nov 18 2019, 12:14pm

Post #8 of 50 (1570 views)
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Great to have you along - whether as a chapter leader, or as a replier! [In reply to] Can't Post

Have a think, and then let us know what you might do!

~~~~~~
"Go down to the shovel store and take your pick." Traditional prank played on dwarves when they start down the mine.


noWizardme
Half-elven


Nov 18 2019, 12:20pm

Post #9 of 50 (1580 views)
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Let us know when you decide! (and don't worry about the 'great minds' problem) [In reply to] Can't Post

It will be good to have you along.

And as regards 'great minds' - well not having a great mind never stopped me Wink And if anyone should think I have a 'great mind' then thank you, but I don't mean it to inhibit other participants.

More seriously though, I think the Reading Room is in trouble if all the posting is left to The Usual Suspects. Speaking for myself, I may have now have posted much of what I have to post, and the emergence of a new generation of regular posters would be something I'd like very much. In fact, I mean this project to be a chance for them to come forward.

I hope you're better now! Of course, circumstances such as illness and busyness can cause anyone to take a break from the Reading Room. And I don't mean to pressure anyone to take part in RR projects if they'd find it a burden. But I hope there are a good few people who haven't contributed so much recently (or ever) but would be willing to give it a go this time.

~~~~~~
"Go down to the shovel store and take your pick." Traditional prank played on dwarves when they start down the mine.


(This post was edited by noWizardme on Nov 18 2019, 12:29pm)


noWizardme
Half-elven


Nov 18 2019, 12:21pm

Post #10 of 50 (1567 views)
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Excellent choice - that's a lovely chapter. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

~~~~~~
"Go down to the shovel store and take your pick." Traditional prank played on dwarves when they start down the mine.


noWizardme
Half-elven


Nov 18 2019, 12:28pm

Post #11 of 50 (1577 views)
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Schedule? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm eager to keep the administration as simple as possible (though no simpler).

I suggest that we don't need anything more complicated that (say) - 'pick a Monday that is convenient for you and which hasn't already been taken - and that's your week.'

How quickly would folks like to get this moving? If we think we can start quickly, the remaining Mondays in 2019 are:
25-Nov
02-Dec
09-Dec
16-Dec
23-Dec

And perhaps that's far enough ahead for planning?
Or we could start in 2020:

06-Jan
13-Jan
20-Jan
27-Jan
03-Feb
10-Feb
17-Feb
24-Feb
etc.

My own preference would be to get on with it, make something happen, and then review where we are come January. But of course I'll be guided by the folks who are going to lead chapters....

~~~~~~
"Go down to the shovel store and take your pick." Traditional prank played on dwarves when they start down the mine.


noWizardme
Half-elven


Nov 18 2019, 12:32pm

Post #12 of 50 (1575 views)
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Inclusion [In reply to] Can't Post

Some of us already post a lot (though too few, I think, to keep the RR healthy)

Some of us are unable to do more than lurk for entirely understadable reasons that nobody in the RR can help with (time contraints, illness,etc)

But if anyone is thinking 'I would like to post, if only....' and there's something the RR can reasonably do to include you, then do say.

~~~~~~
"Go down to the shovel store and take your pick." Traditional prank played on dwarves when they start down the mine.


CuriousG
Half-elven


Nov 18 2019, 3:33pm

Post #13 of 50 (1570 views)
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I think this is all important enough to repeat [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Some of us already post a lot (though too few, I think, to keep the RR healthy)

Some of us are unable to do more than lurk for entirely understadable reasons that nobody in the RR can help with (time contraints, illness,etc)

But if anyone is thinking 'I would like to post, if only....' and there's something the RR can reasonably do to include you, then do say.


Long before I joined TORN and the Rdg Room, it had a reputation for being intimidating and unwelcoming except for the Chosen Few. I joined in the spirit of Sam fighting Shelob--my love of Tolkien blinded me to all danger.

But I think this is an opportunity for people who lurk because they feel like they can't write a tome or PhD thesis, to de-lurk because they want to discuss a chapter they like. Abandon the footnotes, citations of The Wise, and hesitation to appear vulnerably unlettered! Just share what you like and why you like it and don't worry about an exhaustive analysis. We're here to share our enjoyment of Tolkien, and just focus on that.


CuriousG
Half-elven


Nov 18 2019, 3:35pm

Post #14 of 50 (1561 views)
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'The Mirror of Galadriel," Nov 25 [In reply to] Can't Post

Please consider me signed up. And thanks for the fresh idea, Wiz!


noWizardme
Half-elven


Nov 18 2019, 4:05pm

Post #15 of 50 (1562 views)
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Looking forward to it already! [In reply to] Can't Post

But I can't take credit for the 'favourite chapters' idea - looking back it was one of squire's suggestions from last year's 'whither the reading room' thread:


Quote
Another would be to put out a framework, and let folks volunteer to fill just the openings they want to, without any expectation that the entire work will be covered. For instance, people could sign up to discuss their favorite chapters from The Sil, Unfinished Tales, JRRT's Letters, or even a favorite argument or point found in books of Tolkien criticism, such as those by Shippey, Garth, Flieger, not to mention Christopher Tolkien and his HoME. To repeat, full coverage would not be expected - just highlights according to each poster's preference.

squire http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=949924#949924


~~~~~~
"Go down to the shovel store and take your pick." Traditional prank played on dwarves when they start down the mine.


noWizardme
Half-elven


Nov 18 2019, 4:08pm

Post #16 of 50 (1557 views)
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When could you do it, demnation? [In reply to] Can't Post

CuriousG has just volunteered to do a chapter starting Nov 25th (next Monday), so could you take the next week (posting on Monday December 2nd)?

No worries if that is too soon though: quite likely someone else can do that week with their chapter.

~~~~~~
"Go down to the shovel store and take your pick." Traditional prank played on dwarves when they start down the mine.


CuriousG
Half-elven


Nov 18 2019, 4:47pm

Post #17 of 50 (1561 views)
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In the spirit of seeing both sides of an issue [In reply to] Can't Post

I am certain you will also launch a feature, "Things I Really Hate About Tolkien, Books in General, and Everyone on the Internet." You know, fair & balanced, otherwise we'll devolve into a silly echo chamber of Tolkien fans.


demnation
Rohan

Nov 18 2019, 5:19pm

Post #18 of 50 (1547 views)
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December 2nd works great for me! [In reply to] Can't Post

 

"It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule." Gandalf, "The Last Debate."


squire
Half-elven


Nov 18 2019, 6:41pm

Post #19 of 50 (1540 views)
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I would be glad to do 'Roast Mutton' (The Hobbit Ch. 2) on December 9. [In reply to] Can't Post

Partly because I do want to talk about it and partly to mix it up and remind us all that this needn't just be Lord of the Rings.

And as others have said, thanks for moving this forward, NoWiz.



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.


noWizardme
Half-elven


Nov 18 2019, 7:43pm

Post #20 of 50 (1527 views)
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Excellent! Thanks [In reply to] Can't Post

 

~~~~~~
"Go down to the shovel store and take your pick." Traditional prank played on dwarves when they start down the mine.


noWizardme
Half-elven


Nov 18 2019, 7:54pm

Post #21 of 50 (1529 views)
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Spendid! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

~~~~~~
"Go down to the shovel store and take your pick." Traditional prank played on dwarves when they start down the mine.


noWizardme
Half-elven


Nov 18 2019, 8:02pm

Post #22 of 50 (1532 views)
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We're on our way - I've made a sepearate thread to list the schedule [In reply to] Can't Post

It's here: http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=967482#967482

My massster plan ('nice masster; nice plan!') is that people just add contentless posts to that, so that the subject lines become a listing of the schedule. (If you take a look at the thread I hpe you'll see what I mean)

I'm hoping this will save me repeatedly uploading new 'latest schedule' tables, which quickly becomes confusing and quite frankly a pain in the Asfolath for everybody.

So please speak up for your chapter here if you wish, or simply pop yourself on the list over there, using the same format as the existing entries so that the schedule stays easy to read. Thanks.

Thanks to everyone who has already spoken for a chapter - lets see is we can fill the scheule for the rest of 2019!

~~~~~~
"Go down to the shovel store and take your pick." Traditional prank played on dwarves when they start down the mine.


noWizardme
Half-elven


Nov 18 2019, 8:16pm

Post #23 of 50 (1534 views)
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might you do your suggested THE STEWARD AND THE KING on 16 December? [In reply to] Can't Post

But please take this to be the most gentle of arm-twists, and don't do it if that date would be inconvenient (or if you've decided you'd rather do a different chapter etc.)

~~~~~~
"Go down to the shovel store and take your pick." Traditional prank played on dwarves when they start down the mine.


ElanorTX
Grey Havens


Nov 18 2019, 10:41pm

Post #24 of 50 (1510 views)
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yes, thank you, the semester will be over then // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

"I shall not wholly fail if anything can still grow fair in days to come."



noWizardme
Half-elven


Nov 19 2019, 9:06am

Post #25 of 50 (1491 views)
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Fantastic - just one possible vacancy left in 2019 (23 December), unless... [In reply to] Can't Post

Fantastic - just one possible vacancy left in 2019 (23 December), unless that's too close to Christmas, in which case we can start taking bookings for January 2020!

~~~~~~
"Go down to the shovel store and take your pick." Traditional prank played on dwarves when they start down the mine.

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