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Dec. 23rd, 2014

dawn_felagund had a nice post at Tumblr looking at what books by JRRT people should read after the Hobbit and LOTR. I added my own recommendations. It's quite good, I think.

http://marta-bee.tumblr.com/post/105914484868/what-would-you-recommend-or-consider-the-most

And now I'm thinking what I really need to do is create a kind of map to Tolkien's writings - what sources connect to which stories, that kind of thing. Or something. I just don't know I'm familiar enough with the Elves stuff to do that part justice, but maybe I could lay the framework out and let other people make suggestions and add them in after I'm done.

Or maybe I'm just being a geek and this is fine. Sometimes I'm such a hobbit, wanting my books with facts laid out neatly. GFIC exchange piece first, though. 

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
shirebound
Dec. 23rd, 2014 04:13 pm (UTC)
The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien really is a must-read. And Splintered Light by Verlyn Flieger has been a wealth of inspiration to me for fic.
dreamflower02
Dec. 26th, 2014 03:53 am (UTC)
I just got the latter today from my hubby! I am looking forward to reading it!
dawn_felagund
Dec. 24th, 2014 02:32 am (UTC)
I'm a geek too--I think it sounds like a great idea! :)

When I first started working with the HoMe, the most difficult thing for me was to understand how all the different texts related to each other and, ultimately, the published versions. I'd find a cool fact, for example, in the HoMe but had trouble distinguishing what was "still good" versus what had been rejected or replaced by later revisions. Doug Kane's Arda Reconstructed probably helped the most (aside from just working with the texts, year after year) in clarifying this but ultimately looked only at how the texts were put together into the published Silm; he didn't touch TH or LotR or look too deeply at how the texts within the HoMe/UT related to each other.

I've long wanted to do a series of essays or ... something ... about the HoMe: when the different texts were written, how they relate to other texts, what kind of information they present, etc. And after our exchange on Tumblr (and here, I was particularly inspired by your breakdown of UT, which I thought was awesome), I was thinking about topical reading guides. Okay, so a person wants to learn about Wood Elves or the history of the Dunedain or the Istari: What would be the best selection of texts for them to read?

I feel like Fandom has done a good job compiling facts, i.e., the several wikis and other references that exist. And perhaps it is the teacher and the baby scholar in me, though, but what I miss is a good resource that empowers people to find information on their own (because as my post about the Arkenstone-is-Silmaril theory attests, those sources can contain bad information) and learn from the texts themselves rather than Tolkien Gateway or Encyclopedia of Arda.
dreamflower02
Dec. 26th, 2014 04:00 am (UTC)
I have to say that all of the things mentioned in the link are good and important works to read. I'd say of the volumes of HoMe that might be most accessible to the casual reader, I'd say The Return of the Shadow, with the fascinating genesis of the early drafts of LotR, and also the last volume Peoples of Middle-earth, which has so much background on the various races of Arda.

If it's not just M-e you are interested in, but would like to read a lovely children's tale that is only very peripherally related to Arda, but gives a great picture of what it might be to be a small child with JRRT as your father, I highly recommend Roverandom. It is charming and innocent and funny!

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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