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Shippey article in the Daily Telegraph

Tol Eressea

Sep 24 2012, 10:57am

Post #1 of 11 (403 views)
Shippey article in the Daily Telegraph Can't Post


- and very good it is, too!



Sep 24 2012, 11:57am

Post #2 of 11 (182 views)
It is indeed. Thank you! // [In reply to] Can't Post


"Throughout The Hobbit our accomplished author often ignores the basic convention of writing to "show, not tell." Is the age of his audience the reason? The age of his sources?"
- ElanorTX

The weekly discussion of The Hobbit is back. Join us in the Reading Room for On the Doorstep!


Sep 24 2012, 3:36pm

Post #3 of 11 (181 views)
I thank you as well for this. // [In reply to] Can't Post


'Thus spake Ioreth, wise-woman of Gondor: The hands of the king are the hands of a healer, and so shall the rightful king be known.' - Gandalf the White


Sep 25 2012, 2:09am

Post #4 of 11 (185 views)
echoing the thanks -- what a great read! glad you posted this!// [In reply to] Can't Post




Sep 25 2012, 8:16am

Post #5 of 11 (149 views)
Lovely article, thanks!// [In reply to] Can't Post


Join us NOW in the Reading Room for detailed discussions of The Hobbit, July 9-Nov. 18!

Elizabeth is the TORnsib formerly known as 'erather'


Sep 26 2012, 1:12am

Post #6 of 11 (128 views)
Thank you [In reply to] Can't Post

Always like hearing what Shippey has to say.

Use Well the Days


Sep 28 2012, 12:39am

Post #7 of 11 (127 views)
A lot of fun [In reply to] Can't Post

Shippey's touch is as light as always.

But I fear he failed to keep his notes in order, as the saying goes, with that one comment about Mirkwood being "above all stiflingly airless, like the long-closed room of a very elderly relative" (my emphasis). Mirkwood is called airless, it's true:
There was no movement of air down under the forest-roof, and it was everlastingly still and dark and stuffy. Even the dwarves felt it, who were used to tunnelling, and lived at times for long whiles without the light of the sun; but the hobbit, who liked holes to make a house in but not to spend summer days in, felt he was being slowly suffocated. (Hobbit 8)
but the actual image Shippey uses is from the description of Fangorn Forest in The Lord of the Rings, an environment that Tolkien was careful to differentiate from Mirkwood:
‘Yes, it is all very dim, and stuffy, in here,’ said Pippin. ‘It reminds me, somehow, of the old room in the Great Place of the Tooks away back in the Smials at Tuckborough: a huge place, where the furniture has never been moved or changed for generations. They say the Old Took lived in it year after year, while he and the room got older and shabbier together—and it has never changed since he died, a century ago. ...But that is nothing to the old feeling of this wood. Look at all those weeping, trailing, beards and whiskers of lichen! And most of the trees seem to be half covered with ragged dry leaves that have never fallen. Untidy. I can’t imagine what spring would look like here, if it ever comes; still less a spring-cleaning.’
‘But the Sun at any rate must peep in sometimes.’ said Merry. ‘It does not look or feel at all like Bilbo’s description of Mirkwood. That was all dark and black, and the home of dark black things. This is just dim, and frightfully tree-ish.' (LotR III.4)

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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Sep 29 2012, 4:19am

Post #8 of 11 (167 views)
And he likes pizza, too! [In reply to] Can't Post

"Ring-corroded Gollum"

What a great description! And a great article!

When some sibbies met up in Peoria, Ill to listen to Tom Shippey, Douglas A. Anderson and Mike Foster speak on Tolkien, Professor Shippey went with us for pizza afterwards ;) A very neat, funny man!


I really need these new films to take me back to, and not re-introduce me to, that magical world.

TORn's Observations Lists
Unused Scenes

Tol Eressea

Sep 30 2012, 8:38am

Post #9 of 11 (135 views)
And a pint! [In reply to] Can't Post

me and mrs g. have met Prof. Shippey a couple of times - once was in a seminar held in Manchester. The underlying idea was to bring together Tolkien studies and Eng. Lit. in general. For some reason the organiser thought that serious Tolkien fans, and even more serious Eng. Lit. teachers and researchers, would not be needing a bar! And so none was laid on...

Imagine the sight at opening time! A swathe of Tolkien enthusiasts and equally thirsty academics hurtling onto the street and bearing down on the nearest pub. Within minutes Shippey, pint in hand, was holding forth among a crowd of admirers - I guess his booming voice could be heard down the street!

BTW - there was a contingent of academics from Trinity College Dublin, and this was their first experience of 'an Irish themed pub'. They seemed most intrigued at the notion.


Tol Eressea

Sep 30 2012, 8:39am

Post #10 of 11 (113 views)
That's a smashing photo, gramma! // [In reply to] Can't Post


Tol Eressea

Sep 30 2012, 8:45am

Post #11 of 11 (175 views)
Yes, Shippey can be funny - [In reply to] Can't Post

For instance, I was amused to hear Shippey's account of his talk at Cannon Hill in Birmingham (he remembers it as 1970; it was, in fact, on 30th November 1969. I know, because I have a copy of the program of events here). The event was called 'An Afternoon in Middle-earth'.

In Roots and Branches, Shippey writes of that day:

'I was down to talk on 'Tolkien and Philology'. I was the last speaker of the day. And I went on after several speakers had discussed Tolkien and philosophy, Tolkien and sociology, Tolkien and Jungian pschology (etc). By the day's end the prospect of one more -ology had the audience heading for the rear exit in droves. Fortunately it was 1970, I had been a lecturer at Birmingham University during the student 'troubles' of that era, and I was well used to dealing with mutinous audiences. I got up in front of the platform, told them to sit back down again, and told them philology was different from other -ologies, because it was based on fact...'



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