In the wake of information released by a British government agency last week, news media globally have been reporting on the supposed “spy” career of author and philologist JRR Tolkien.
If it’s hard to imagine the introverted, scholarly Oxford professor traveling the world, assassinating Nazis and bedding beautiful French Resistance fighters between swigs of a martini, shaken – not stirred, you are right to be skeptical.
Type “pronounce tolkien” into Google, and you’ll find a lively debate on how to pronounce the surname of the beloved author of The Lord of the Rings. There are two main camps. One insists on “tol-kenn.” The other will argue that “Tolkien” is a German name, properly pronounced “Tolk-een.”
They’re both wrong.
A suit filed against New Line Cinema, producers of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings film trilogy, by the heirs of author JRR Tolkien will be decided by a jury, a state court judge has ruled.
On Salon today, a review by Andrew O’Hehir of Arika Okrent’s book In the Land of Invented Languages. The book seems very entertaining, but O’Hehir points out a bizarre flaw — it barely mentions Tolkien.
The Mythopoeic Society has announced its 2009 finalists for the The Mythopoeic Scholarship Award in Inklings Studies. The award is given to books on J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, or Charles Williams that make significant contributions to Inklings scholarship. The Inklings was an informal literary discussion group at the University of Oxford in the 1930s and 40s.
I got an email today, that I can pre-order the latest book written by the ghost of JRR Tolkien through the mediumship of Christopher Tolkien — The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun. It collects translations of “The Saga of the Völsungs” written while Tolkien was Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford in the 1920s and ‘30s.
Now they’re ripping up the house and selling off the pieces. Of the house. Like they’re relics, and the proximity of this random piece of wood or rock has somehow been magically imbued with a Tolkienian essence. What’s next, finger bones?
On his web site, aclaimed British actor and prominent gay rights activist Ian McKellen, who of course portrays the cinematic Gandalf, answers email questions from fans. But one correspondent goes after McKellen for comments quoted on a right-wing Christian web site.