Apr 25 2011 1:31pm

LotR re-read: Concluding Thoughts

The Lord of the Rings reread by Kate NepveuNow that the Lord of the Rings reread is complete, I wanted to talk briefly about the experience as a whole: what I’ve learned from it, what surprised me, and generally what was good and bad about it. Spoilers and navel-gazing after the jump.

What I Learned About the Book

I’m really delighted to say that the re-read showed me that LotR is a much better book than I had recognized.

The main revelation to me was the prose, which previously I had not noticed and had vaguely assumed was nothing to write home about. Every time I found that I was wrong, I just wriggled in delight: both the paragraph-level examples of brilliant rhythm, and the sheer beauty of some sections. (Without re-reading the entire re-read to refresh my memory—because seriously, recursive much?—I think my favorite still might be Tom’s description of the history of the Barrow-downs, all the way back in Fellowship I.7.)

Other happy surprises were the big-picture structure of the book, which I hadn’t consciously broken down before; discovering Denethor in all his psychologically realistic complexity; glorying in the entire first book of Return of the King, which is now my favorite; and “Well, I’m back,” which was not previously my go-to example for bittersweet perfection.

I’m still not convinced that the pacing of the book always worked as well as it could, especially early on. I have a new-found conviction that putting almost everything Aragorn and Arwen in an Appendix was a really terrible idea. And I will never stop wishing that Tolkien did more with the female characters. But the re-read did what I hoped it would: it let me rediscover a book that had become too familiar to me, and what I found was better than I’d hoped.

What I Wish I’d Done Differently

Just one thing: I wish I’d been able to keep to a chapter a week. I’m not going to apologize for balancing my responsibilities as seemed best to me, but I recognize that it had a suboptimal effect on the re-read. It made it harder for people to follow along, and for me to see the book as a whole, not just a series of chapters. (Indeed, now that we’re done I am fighting the urge to sit down and read the book straight through, to see how it reads as one single thing after the chapter-by-chapter dissection. It feels incredibly self-indulgent, though, and, as I said above, recursive. I mean, re-reading to evaluate the re-read? And besides, since my reading time is scarce, it wouldn’t really be “straight through” anyway.) Also, I know I focused on different things over time, which is probably natural, but I would have liked to have been more consciously aware of the shifts.

What’s Next

People have occasionally been kind enough to ask what I might do for a project after finishing the re-read, so let me address that here: nothing. At least nothing formal or large-scale.

I once estimated that each re-read post took a minimum of five hours. Most took more than that. And I am the kind of person who has an overdeveloped sense of responsibility (it’s going to get me into trouble some day), and therefore always has a list going in the back of her head of the things she ought to be doing. It is a great relief to no longer have “LotR post” as an item on that list, where it psychologically leans on me.

For the moment, I plan to focus on my sadly-neglected personal booklog. I’m not ruling out the possibility of attempting some similar project in the future, but there’s nothing that particularly jumps out at me now.

Last Thoughts

A quick tally suggests that I’ve written somewhere over 100,000 words of re-read posts, which is about the length of a good-sized novel, over almost two and a half years. In that time, my father died; our daughter went from an infant who couldn’t sit up on her own to an astonishingly talkative toddler who regularly makes us marvel at the fact that she’s a person; my husband published one book and completed the first draft of another; and I started and administered an annual charitable fundraiser. That’s a lot of life, and re-reading The Lord of the Rings has been a big part of my mental landscape during it. Despite my comments above, I will miss it.

The re-read also contributed to my life in an unexpected way: it was the reason for my first being on programming at a con (including for a panel with Tom Shippey (!!)). Since then I’ve been on programming at several other cons, which seems to have gone over well and which I’ve enjoyed a great deal.

But the most important thing is that I wouldn’t have stuck with it if it weren’t for you all, everyone who commented here or said hello in person or in some way let me know that these posts were being read. It’s not just the responsibility I felt, it was the anticipation of what people would say that would be surprising and enlightening and delightful. So many people have helped me see aspects of the book in a different light, or told me things I didn’t know, or simply shared their reactions and added to my understanding of the many ways people approach texts and the different meanings that LotR has to its readers. I seriously could not have done it without you all, and I’m very grateful.

So let me end this post with questions to you: what do you wish we’d talked about more? (I thought about re-reading the re-read to see if we’d left major questions dangling, but again: not only recursive, but a good-sized novel even without the comments.) Do you have any summing-up or overall thoughts, here at the end? Or any suggestions for awesome books I should read in my new vast (I wish!) quantities of free time?

My thanks and best wishes to you all.

Kate Nepveu was born in South Korea and grew up in New England. She now lives in upstate New York where she is practicing law, raising a family, battling her disbelief that the re-read is actually finished, and (in her copious free time) writing at Dreamwidth and her booklog.

Holly Johnson
1. HollyAnn
Thank you for the hard work you put in over the past two and half years! I enjoyed each post. Thanks again!
Carol Witt
2. carolwitt
I'm not sure that I ever commented, but I read and enjoyed all of the posts and comments. Thank you -- and all who participated -- for your time and effort.
James Whitehead
3. KatoCrossesTheCourtyard
Sadly, I came to your re-reads very late but I did enjoy the ones I read.

Thanks for all the effort you put into this.


4. Kvon
Yea for reopening your booklog! For something completely different, I'll recommend Yarn by Armstrong for you to read. Also, I'd like to see your thoughts on How to Ditch Your Fairy.

It was fun reading your thoughts about the series. Yours was the first of these close reads that I looked at.
Sharat Buddhavarapu
5. Sharat Buddhavarapu
I've only read/commented on the last 3 or 4 posts, but they've been really well written and posed interesting questions.

I really had to think about the Denethor question last post, and that, as you say, helped to notice specific things that Tolkien did brilliantly.

Thanks so much for your time investment. As a college freshman who spent most of his free time reading before entering college, I appreciate you dedicating this much of your time, and understand your nostalgia for lost reading time.
Evan Langlinais
6. Skwid
Chiming in with the chorus of folks who appreciated this project, Kate. I hope you find another project we can share in again soon, and wish you well in your copious (don't we all wish?) free time!
Kent Aron Vabø
7. sotgnomen
I have followed the reread from the first, and have enjoyed it immensely. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. I can honestly say this has changed and expanded my favorite book for me, even after countless reads.
James Goetsch
8. Jedikalos
Thanks for all the work, Ms. Nepveu. It is much appreciated. I have not commented much, but I have looked for every entry, and read every one of them--and I been delighted with the way you did it. It made me aware of a new way of talking and thinking about books with others (a very good thing indeed). I would also like to thank all the folks who posted interesting comments, which became a real part of the reading for me as well. (By the way, the book on teaching physics to your dog by your husband seems interesting--I am always looking for new ways to review the basic of physics!)
9. Clay B
Thanks. I enjoyed reading your commentary.
10. Dr. Thanatos
Kate ,

I do appreciate what you have done to do this re-read. We don't think too much about your having a separate life and I thank you immensely for taking on such a huge project. I came in I think during the Two Towers , and have loved it. Having been reading and re-reading LOTR since 1966 I have certain fixed ideas and impressions, some of which have not stood up to discussion and comparison with others' views here and I thank you for the mind-enlargement.

I also appreciate your tolerance of those of us me] who have taken the opportunity to have some fun along the way, whether it was coming up with snarkey names for bad guys, injecting bad puns, or obsessing with banana peels, Sauron and Shelob grabbing a quick lunch at Cafe Doom , or having Vala doing karaoke with not-dead hobbits and dwarves in the Valimar club scene. Your indulgance is much appreciated.

And to all the virtual friends I've met along the way, it's been a pleasure getting to know you and to share a topic we all obviously love deeply.

I would love to travel with you through another book---just say the word!
Rob Munnelly
11. RobMRobM
Thanks, Kate! Been happy to participate in this all the way through.

12. Dr. Thanatos
Suggestions for re-reads

The Galactic Mileau series by Julian May
The Belgariad by David Eddings
Foundation Trilogy by Asimov
Childhood's End by Clarke
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Heinlein

. The last three have the distinct advantage of being less than 100 gazillion words...
Andrew Foss
13. alfoss1540

First. Thank you ever so much for this reread. I started it at about chapter 2 of Fellowship. I happened to be rereading it just for so and had a question - something that we might discuss about the characters or the prose - and googled it. And lo and behold ran into a group who was just about at the same place. So I have kept up religiously with each post (despite reading the books once through in the middle). Your work and dedication is been appreciated beyond your imagination.

Second. Thanks to TOR for hosting it. To date, as a result of being involved, I have purchased approximately 30 books in support of this blog (LOTR books, the entire WOT series, GRRM reread). It has taken my reading passion in a different direction.

Third. Thanks for your passion. Never let it die.

Peace and I look forward to reading your future posts.
15. icantthinkofone
Just want to thank you for all the insight/examples for Tolkien's prose. I had kind of bought into the Modern Lit caricature of Tolkien as a substandard prose stylist. Thank you for reminding me how wrong that is. There are a few bad sentences, but far more of great beauty.
Kate Nepveu
16. katenepveu
Thanks for all the kind words, everybody. Especially on a day when our home Internet is down, it's very cheering.

Kvon @ #4, thanks for the recs!

Sharat Buddhavarapu @ #5, and the thing is, I _still_ had way more time for reading in college and even law school than I did after I graduated and started working, let alone had a family. So enjoy this now!

Jedikalos @ #8, if you happen to try Chad's book out, we hope you like it. (The next one is about relativity and doesn't have a release date yet, though his editor's just read the first draft.)

Dr. Thanatos @ #10, I may not have the talent for inspired silliness that you do, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate it or didn't occasionally veer around in tone myself!

And @ #12, I did re-read the Belgariad relatively recently and unfortunately found that I was no longer as fond of it. Of the other books on your list, the only one I've read before is _Childhood's End_; I suspect I've missed my window for Foundation & _The Moon is a Harsh Mistress_.

I did just re-read the brick that is _Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell_, however, and delighted in it and look forward to writing it up for the booklog.

alfoss1540 @ #13, I'm sure I speak for everyone involved when I say we're delighted to hear it.

(And never read _Dune_ either! Couldn't get past the first twenty pages years ago.)

icantthinkofone @ #15, I'm really pleased that my discoveries about the prose led to someone else's too. Thanks.
Rob Munnelly
17. RobMRobM
Kate - of all the books noted above, I'm most supportive of you taking a look at Dune. Sophisticated, complex world ... but you'll have to go more than 20 pages (and actually get off of Caladan and onto Arrakis) to find out.

18. E. Weatherwax
Thanks Kate! I've been lurking all this time. Loved reading your thoughts here. And those of the other commenters- thanks to all.
Erick Chase
19. TheMarchChase
Just want to echo the other sentiments, with a hearty thank-you for this re-read. I looked forward to every post, and truly enjoyed the spirited discussions that ensued. As someone who has to re-read a lot of books (5th grade teacher), I appreciate the time and effort that goes in to thoughtful and meaningful critique and commentary. Great job.

I was surprised to see that the re-read has taken 2 and a half years. I began when I took 6 months off to be a stay at home dad. My son is now three and a half, and I share at your amazement at the change in these early years.

I'd also put my hand up for Dune.
20. Dr. Cox
Great job!!! Thank you for working on it for so long and through so much!!!
Will we be keeping the conversation going in the comments?
I hope so.
Have you thought about doing a read or reread of Unfinished Tales?
Sujay Naik
21. simoquin
Many thanks for a wonderful ( and very long ) re-read. None of my friends or family read any sci-fi / fantasy and they cannot believe anything I read has any literary quality. So reading your thoughts and analysis on this journey helps me feel that I'm not crazy!

If there's another re-read at all in the vicinity, I'd also vote for Dune
23. Paul Trembath
Thank you is a small thing to say, but - thank you. I've learned a lot, and enjoyed every post. Thank you also to the commenters who added so much insight and information.
Wesley Parish
24. Aladdin_Sane
Well, I'll join in thanking you for taking the time and energy to do this re-read in spite of other commitments - my heartfelt sympathies for you and your family on your father's death. Having a parent die is a hard thing to face.

I don't know about reading Dune for your next project - it's not a small book, and it's got sequels and even worse, sequelae, written by the author's son and some other guy. My suggestion would be 2001: A Space Odyssey, both book and film, and The Lost Worlds of 2001.

As for me, to fill in the time I would otherwise have spent reading your re-reads, I'm busy writing a thesis on Love and Betrayal: the Shopping Trolleys of the Olduvan Compared and Contrasted with Those of the Chatel Perronian ... :)
Michael Ikeda
25. mikeda
Thanks for doing all of this. I enjoyed reading these columns and reading and occasionally taking part in the discussions.
Thomas Jeffries
26. thomstel
Well done Kate. I found the site itself after the re-read had begun, but what I saw of it (and I will trace back and find it in the archives when next I give it a re-read) was top-notch.

As a person who finds it difficult to focus my non-work, non-family energies into something long enough to complete it: kudos.
27. pilgrimsoul
Thanks again, Kate. I'm glad to learn that all your hard work had a pay off of enjoyment and insight for you as well as for us.
28. a-j
Thank you so much for all your work. Hope you're having a party to celebrate. I was lucky enough to follow this read-through from the beginning and have greatly enjoyed it. The discussions about Tom Bombadil were probably my favourite fwiw.
I'm not really aware of any hanging threads, I think most things have been covered. Perhaps the only thing I would have been interested to read more about is the question of what, out of all that has been published by Tolkien and his estate, can be viewed as canonical, especially with the posthumous material and Tolkien's letters.
Or maybe not.
Bill Reamy
29. BillinHI
Thanks again for a great re-read. I'm not a deeply analytical reader and don't have the background in mythology or literature in general that so many posters have, but it has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience following along (and posting every now and then).

I would also love to see a re-read of Dune as well.
Soon Lee
30. SoonLee
Thanks Kate for taking on the challenge of the re-read & allowing us to come along for the journey. Thanks to to Tor for hosting it & not least, thanks to the fellow travelers for making it a deeply neat experience.

Though a more regular (weekly?) update schedule would have come across as more organised, I think that the sometimes sporadic nature of the updates (which is entirely understandable given other commitments) actually improved the re-read.

The discussions following each chapter post were sometimes rambling, but in a good way and the extra time provided opportunities (for me at least) to take on board opinions, the time to mull them over & to respond in kind. The leisurely pace was good for that (much like portions of the actual story).

I don't know if I would have done anything differently. I really liked that the re-read was informed by your (Kate's) own experiences as a reader.
31. Jerry Friedman
Thank you very much, Kate! I really enjoyed this and learned a lot from you and others, so many thanks also to Tor and to the commenters.

The only thing that could have been better would have been if I'd known about it from the beginning. If a personal e-mail from Tom Doherty wouldn't have worked, a carrier pigeon would have been nice.

The leisurely pace worked well for me as it did for SoonLee.

Awesome books for you to read:

Gene Wolfe, The Book of the New Sun and others.

John Crowley, Little, Big and others.

I wouldn't be so sure you've missed your window for The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.

Awesome books for Tor to host rereads of: See above (though I guess Little, Big isn't from Tor.

All the best to you and your family, Kate!
32. debraji
Kate, you did a wonderful job on the re-read, bringing insight to each chapter and managing the lengthy comments that followed. Although I've read LOTR almost annually since the mid-sixties, it was enormous fun to follow the debates --why not let the Eagles drop the Ring into the volcano? --does a Balrog have wings? --who killed the Witch-King, Eowyn or Merry? --what did Jackson do right in his films, and where did he go terribly wrong? Many folks had in-depth knowledge of The Silmarillion and filled in gaps.

I can't believe it took 2 1/2 years! Seems like 6 months...

Thank you to everyone who participated, and to Tor for hosting.
33. CaitieCat
Thanks so much for the superb experience that this re-read was, Kate (name-sister!). It was the first re-read I ever came across, and has spurred me to find many others, few of which have reached the standard set by the first.

I hope you get to enjoy that extra several hours per week with your husband and child. My grandson's about the same age as your daughter, and is delightful: I'm geeking him up early, too, he already knows how to roll d12 and d20 (and read them!), and enjoys doing so. He also rather enjoys Nana's (that's me) greeting game, wherein I make tentacular motions in front of my mouth, and burble "Great Cthulhu is coming to EAT YOUR FACE WHARGARBL!", and he shrieks with laughter. :)

Thanks again for this. It's been a real pleasure.
34. Patrick OConnell
I'm going through a slow re-read of "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy." I'm in "So Long and Thanks for All the Fish" right now. The early stuff is goofy, the Krikkit sections are scary. "The HHG to the G" is a good combination.
Theresa Ramseyer
35. tramseyer
Sour pickles, I always find good things after they are over! I hear you did a marvelous job, and am looking forward to reading your comments. 2 years is a long time, thanks for sticking with it :).
Bill Reamy
36. BillinHI
Don't know if anyone will see this, but Warner Bros just announced that all three LotR movies (extended editions!) will be shown in theaters this summer. I was surprised to find that one theater in Hawaii will be showing them and have already bought my tickets. I'm on one of WB's e-mailing lists, so I don't know when the tickets go on sale to the general public. Definitely looking forward to seeing them on the big screen again, possibly for the last time.
Peter Schmidt
37. PHSchmidt
Kate, thank you!

And thanks to all the commenters who made this such a rich, enjoyable - and cordial experience. I commented before that it is a rare and precious thing to be part of such an erudite, warm and courteous community online. Now I know something of what Bilbo experienced by the fire in Rivendell, retelling the old stories and discussing them at leisure.
Chris Meadows
38. Robotech_Master
I'm only just getting started with the reread, as I'm only just starting to reread the books myself. Now I wish I'd done it at the time you were doing the reread, so I could have participated in the discussions as they happened. Still, I'm having an interesting time alternating each chapter with its reread post, and learning a lot about the book as I'm reading it.

The thing that interests me most about the world is the idea that it used to be our own. I don't think Tolkien was the first to come up with that idea for fantasy, or at least necessarily the first to put it into print—Robert E. Howard did it with his Conan novels. The part that most interests me is in figuring out how we're supposed to have gotten from then to now.

And I find myself wondering how and when the Dagor Dagoreth was supposed to happen. It sounds like such a fascinating story left sadly unwritten. I wish Tolkien had written more!
39. Carlos G
Thanks Kate!

Whenever you are ready for something more, we'll be here waiting for it.
Kate Nepveu
40. katenepveu
Thanks again for all the kind comments, everyone. I really appreciate it.

Dr. Cox @ #20, I don't read _Unfinished Tales_ for the story so I don't think so, but thanks for asking.

leighdb @ #22, if anyone knows what this means, it's you. =>

a-j @ #28, the question of what's canonical is an interesting one! I don't tend to privilege authorial intent, and of course the fact that much of the posthumous material shows that Tolkien himself didn't make up his mind about a lot of things doesn't help. So I tend to generally accept as canonical specific factual statements about things not in the text of _The Hobbit_ or _LotR_, except if I don't agree with them. =>

Jerry Friedman @ #31, well, _LotR_ isn't from Tor either!

I've read _Little, Big_ and liked it, though not much of it has stuck with me. It goes in the same box in my head as _Winter's Tale_, which ditto (though a bit more of that remains).

(Here's a question, is _Little, Big_ more influential on the genre than _Winter's Tale_? My gut says yes, but I don't know that I could point to any reason why.)

CaitieCat @ #33, your greeting game made me laugh out loud.

Patrick OConnell @ #34, I listened to Douglas Adams' readings of his own books a while ago and highly recommend them (well, I skipped the last Hitchhiker's book because in my universe it doesn't exist). In particular, I was surprised to find that the third book had a plot. (Also, _Dirk Gently's_ is a terrific book.)

BillinHI @ #36, big screen extended editions? Hmmmmm. Thanks.

Robotech_Master @ #38, I admit that I don't actually believe, down in my gut, that _LotR_ is our history, so I've never bothered to try and fill in the blanks. I'd love to hear what you come up with, though.
Chris Meadows
41. Robotech_Master
Whether you believe it or not, it's apparently what Tolkien intended, and I'd really love to know how he "intended" we got from there to here. Was this perhaps all antediluvian and Noah's flood wiped it all out?

Glancing at the "Ages of Arda" entry on the Lord of the Rings Wiki, I see that apparently the Fourth Age lasted from 6,000 years ago to 1 AD. So maybe so.
Kate Nepveu
42. katenepveu
Oh, I know. Perhaps someone steeped in _The History of Middle-earth_ can tell us. But it wouldn't surprise me if Tolkien didn't have a clear idea himself--after all he apparently considered rewriting the mythology to make it consistent with a modern scientific understanding of the solar system (!!), so some of the deep roots were clearly still in flux until his death.
43. (still) Steve Morrison
To my recollection, most of what he said on the subject was in Letter #211 to Rhona Beare:
May I say that all this is ‘mythical’, and not any kind of new religion or vision. As far as I know it is merely an imaginative invention, to express, in the only way I can, some of my (dim) apprehensions of the world. All I can say is that, if it were ‘history’, it would be difficult to fit the lands and events (or ‘cultures’) into such evidence as we possess, archaeological or geological, concerning the nearer or remoter part of what is now called Europe; though the Shire, for instance, is expressly stated to have been in this region (I p. 12). I could have fitted things in with greater versimilitude, if the story had not become too far developed, before the question ever occurred to me. I doubt if there would have been much gain; and I hope the, evidently long but undefined, gap* in time between the Fall of Barad-dûr and our Days is sufficient for ‘literary credibility’, even for readers acquainted with what is known or surmised of ‘pre-history’.
The word gap has a footnote:
*I imagine the gap to be about 6000 years: that is we are now at the end of the Fifth Age, if the Ages were of about the same length as S.A. and T.A. But they have, I think, quickened; and I imagine we are actually at the end of the Sixth Age, or in the Seventh.
So there just isn’t a lot to go on, even if you place great store in authorial intent and extratextual statements.
45. (still) Steve Morrison
For all who are now in re-read withdrawal: is about to start a re-read of The Return of the King. The schedule and sign-up sheet for hosting chapters of Book V is here.
Kate Nepveu
46. katenepveu
Cool, thanks! (I was at WisCon.) It will be interesting to see how other communities approach it.
47. Jeff Dickey
As the eleventy-seventeenth person to pile on, Kate, thank you for your dedication, your wit, your epic, heroic sacrifice.

And it is explicitly due to that sacrifice that I would differ with many other commenters in this thread. Do not do an epic re-read of Dune. If you choose to read it yourself, in solitude, to try and understand what everyone else is going on about, then of course that is your prerogative. But I worry that a live-blogged read of Dune, at the depth of contemplation and clarity of expression which you have brought to the LotR re-read, would too likely be unwise. Go have a life for a while; be with your husband, your toddler (yes, they are amazing people, aren't they?); spend a Saturday afternoon just doing the most glorious nothing that you are able to.

There's a reason several of my SF-reading and -writing friends refer to Dune as "Dante's Tenth Ring." It is, as RobMRobM wrote, a "ophisticated, complex world", and a very profitable franchise for some time — but it will suck your time and endurance at least as much as this epic voyage has.

And again, thank you for this one. It has been an epic voyage in its own right.
48. Kelly Pauley
This has been so interesting. I will miss it.
49. Mak
I think it's as well to mention that I've only just discovered this series of posts and have enjoyably wasted a few evenings reading it all. I wonder how far the chain of posthumous "me too" posts will eventually stretch? A good long way, if there's any justice.
50. politeruin
Here's another "me too" post having just finished ROTK and following along with the re-read. Even though i'd not read them previously i felt i knew enough about the story to not be spoiled. Sterling work though, including all the commentary. Sad to come to the end of this epic trek but i will not say do not weep, for not all tears are an evil. Onwards to the unfinished tales for me i think.

Thanks, kate.
Lisamarie LiGreci-Newton
52. Lisamarie
It took me a few years, but I finished (there were a few breaks when I did things like have a baby, which side tracked me a little bit)!!!

I found through the Wheel of Time re read many years ago, but wasn't really a regular follower until the last few years - I unfortunately was not aware of this marvellous re-read until it was over/ending. However, I have enjoyed SO MUCH reading the posts and all the resulting discussion, and it's inspired me to re read the books again myself this year, something I used to do on a yearly basis, and finally finish the HOME series (I'm about half way through). The posts reminded me of a lot of things I've forgotten (I used to be quite the Middle Earth expert), and I am also looking forward to seeing what new persective I will have on them. I also have realized my memories of the movie are in some ways fresher than the books, and I want to correct that (as lovely as the movies are).

Thankfully I was able to join in the fun during the Hobbit re read though :)
Kate Nepveu
53. katenepveu
It's been great having you comment over on the Hobbit posts, Lisamarie! And I know all about babies sidetracking . . .
54. Faculty Guy
Don't know if anyone ever checks these old Comments sites but:

there is an informative article on Tolkien - specifically his mastery of Old English and review of his just-now-published translation of BEOWULF - in the 2 June 2014 NEW YORKER. The article, by Joan Acocella, is informative and includes comments on Tolkien's other work - published and unpublished.
56. hevva
Just came across your wonderful reread and booklog posts. I am a self confessed Tolkien groupie since I discovered him via C.S.Lewis in 1967!!!
I also loved exploring the booklog. Now I may have missed it....but PLEASE investigate Dorothy Dunnett. Yours in happy reading and rereading!
57. PLeflar
Clearly, it being three and a half years after the last post, I came to this late. Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of this which I found via the later Hobbit re-read. My father read The Hobbit and LoTR to me and my sisters when we were all young and I re-read them in my late teens and early twenties; but that is now nearly a decade and half past. I have recently been listening to The Silmarillion on audiobook and have read "Of Tuor and His Coming to Gondolin" and "Narn I Hin Hurin" in Unfinished Tales. I don't expect to be done with either of those terribly soon as I also have dissertation to finish but when I do I will make time to re-read the LoTR and re-read this re-read. That should be properly recursive to my archaeological mind.

Thank you!
58. elsiekate
and another note pointing out that years later, this series of posts is still being read and enjoyed! thank you so much for all your effort and thought--you may have inspired me to try The Silmarillion at some point, here. (my progression was that i saw the final hobbit movie, was clicking around about that, found your hobbit reread, and then moved on to read this reread.)
Kate Nepveu
59. katenepveu
Thanks for the comments, however belated--now that I've finally gone through and properly subscribed to all my old posts, I will always see them and appreciate them!

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