The Pembroke College’s annual Tolkien Lecture on Fantasy Literature this year will be turned into an online symposium. This year’s lecture will discuss a particularly timely subject: “…the importance of fantasy in times of crisis: how science-fiction and fantasy literature respond to, and provide inspiration during, moments of despair and personal difficulty.”
More on The Tolkien Lecture on Fantasy Literature:
The Tolkien Lecture on Fantasy Literature was established in 2013 at Pembroke College, Oxford, where J.R.R. Tolkien worked for twenty years as professor of Anglo-Saxon. Speakers in the series are given freedom to discuss any aspect of fantasy literature, broadly defined to include other types of speculative fiction. Our aim is to honour J.R.R. Tolkien’s legacy by promoting the study of fantasy literature.
300 Tolkien fans from around the world are meeting in Oxford this weekend to celebrate the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien. The event, taking place at St Antony’s College, Oxford from Thursday 20th to Sunday 23rd September, has sold out due to the increasing popularity of Tolkien’s works. The event follows last month’s publication of The Fall of Gondolin and coincides with the Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth exhibition at the Bodleian Library.
The event itself will include talks from leading Tolkien scholar – including writer John Garth – quizzes, workshops, an art exhibition, a masquerade, a Hobbit bake-off, a party and a visit to the exhibition at the Bodleian Library. The weekend concludes, as always, with Enyalie, a ceremony of remembrance at Tolkien’s grave in Wolvercote Cemetery on Sunday morning. With attendees from 25 different countries, this year’s Oxonmoot takes place following the Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller, The Fall of Gondolin, proving the continuing popularity of J.R.R. Tolkien as author relevant in the 21st Century. Tolkien’s best-known work was The Lord of the Rings, which has been translated into over 50 languages and estimates put sales at over 150 million copies worldwide.
Founded in 1969 by Vera Chapman, The Tolkien Society is an educational charity and literary society with the aim of promoting the life and works with J.R.R. Tolkien. Tolkien himself supported the organisation and gave it his seal of approval by agreeing to become The Tolkien Society’s President. On Tolkien’s death the family recommended he stay as President, so, to this day, he remains The Tolkien Society’s Honorary President in perpetuo. The Society has over a 1,600 members and hosts events up and down the country every week.
Shaun Gunner, Chair of The Tolkien Society, said: “This is the largest ever Oxonmoot, and this is testament to the growing popularity of Tolkien and his works, and ever-increasing numbers shows that people want to share their passion for Tolkien with others. Oxonmoot has been going for over 40 years and provides an excellent opportunity for hundreds of fans from around the world to come together for a weekend of fun and fellowship in Oxford, a location so important to Tolkien.” He added, “Oxonmoot always takes place in September to coincide with the birthdays of Bilbo and Frodo, but this year we have a record number of attendees coming to St Antony’s College to enjoy the longest-running Tolkien event in the world.”
Although Oxenmoot 2018 is sold out, if any of our readers are lucky enough to be going, we’d love to get a report on how the weekend went! You can send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated 11/3/17 – From time-to-time you, the fans, email TORn about events of interest to other fans of J.R.R. Tolkien and/or Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies. As a service to our readers, we decided to created this new feature: a listing of upcoming events to keep everyone apprised of where they can hook-up and commiserate with other fans, learn a thing or two, or just plain enjoy the fandom that we’ve all come to know and love. From Howard Shore concerts in Paris, to fan get-togethers in Kentucky and South Carolina, to exhibitions in Staffordshire, U.K., it’s all listed here! The list will be updated periodically as past events drop off and future events are added. If you know of an upcoming event, please let us know either in the comments section of this story, or by emailing email@example.com. – TORn, ‘Together in Tolkien’
Brisbane Tolkien Fellowship are celebrating Tolkien Reading Day on the weekend of 19-20 March this year. The theme for Tolkien Reading Day 2016 is Life, Death, and Immortality in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth. So if you’re in the Brisbane area or are visiting Queensland during March why not drop by and join in the fun.
Those of you lucky enough to live in the L.A. area can catch an appearance by Sir Ian McKellen at the Aero Theater in Santa Monica on Tuesday, November 17th at 7:30 p.m. He will be appearing before a special showing of Mr Holmes, in which he portrays an aging Sherlock Holmes struggling to put closure on his last case from thirty years earlier. As we all know, our favorite wizard from The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit movies is always entertaining and gracious to his fans, and may even discuss or take questions on his role as Gandalf, so get thee to the Aero on November 17th if you can! Tickets can be purchased here.
Calling all Tolkien Fans in Brisbane Queensland, the coming month is full of Middle-earth goodies presented for you by the Brisbane Tolkien Fellowship. So if you’re a Brisbane local, or you’re planning on visiting Brisbane this month, come along and join in the fun!
Just the other day, Texas A&M University acquired the five millionth book for its library collection. The book in question — donated by George R. R. Martin –was a rare, first-edition copy of The Hobbit.
Texas A&M University Libraries today acquired its five millionth volume, a rare first-edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1937 classic The Hobbit—a gift from award-winning sci-fi/fantasy author George R.R. Martin, creator of the best-selling book series “Game of Thrones.” (more…)
The third time’s the charm as our very own Senior Staff writer Clifford ‘Quickbeam’ Broadway is set to deliver an entertaining scholarly presentation on Dec. 10th on the various adaptations of THE HOBBIT that have been crafted over 76 years. In tandem with the excitement of the West Coast Premiere of “The Battle of the Five Armies” local residents of Southern California are welcome to attend this FREE event at the Valencia Library in Santa Clarita, just a little ways north of Hollywood.
As part of the American Film Institute Film Festival in Hollywood, CA., WETA Digital is doing a free presentation lecture on the evolution of digital technology over the last two decades. Although the blurb explicitly mentions Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, it seems inconceivable that they wouldn’t discuss Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit films as well.
The lecture is happening at the Chinese in Theatre 1 on November 10 at 1pm. Tickets are free so best hurry to grab yours, one suspects. (more…)
Lord Richard Attenborough has sailed into the West at 90. Though mostly known from Jurassic Park (and as older brother of David Attenborough) he holds a dear place for Tolkien fans as the director of Shadowlands, a wonderful film about C.S.Lewis featuring the first cinematic representation of the Inklings group which Tolkien was part of. Lord Attenborough considered Shadowlands his most perfect work, and we can only hope that the two upcoming J.R.R. Tolkien biographical films will be made with as much care and passion as Attenborough put into his films.
There are many tributes and remembrances around the net celebrating his career as actor, director, executive and philanthropist. It is the 1993 film Shadowlands starring Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger where Attenborough’s talent shines as a storyteller of storytellers. The film is a biographical look at author C.S. Lewis and his relationships both personally and professionally. Importantly it is the first film to include the Inklings – a group of famed authors and writers which J.R.R. Tolkien was part of. Actor John Wood plays a loosely based figure of Tolkien through the character Christopher Riley. Although Riley/Tolkien is the fictional antagonist of the film, his portrayal includes Tolkien’s dialog from what we know of their relationship at the time.
Many biographies detail how John Tolkien helped bring his fellow author, Oxford academic and close friend Jack Lewis to Christianity, but was dismayed when Lewis chose the Anglican Church of England instead of Tolkien’s Catholicism. This would provide the significant break in their friendship; Tolkien’s Catholicism disapproved of divorce and was not supportive of Lewis’ marriage to Joy Gresham. Shadowlands focuses solely on that marriage and uses Tolkien’s own words and writings in the Christopher Riley character, saying ‘any book written faster than his own books couldn’t possibly be good–and Tolkien wrote slowly, very slowly; he never did finish the dictionary of Icelandic he promised for decades to Oxford University Press.’ (LA Times) Lewis’ brother Warren was more supportive, writing “For Jack the attraction was at first undoubtedly intellectual. Joy was the only woman whom he had met … who had a brain which matched his own in suppleness, in width of interest, and in analytical grasp, and above all in humour and a sense of fun.”
Lord Richard Attenborough was one of the very few directors or storytellers who could make an emotionally captivating film of a bunch of Oxford professors. Although Shadowlands deviates significantly from real life in some of the character portrayals, Lord Attenborough provides careful directorial attention in bringing this important literary era of Oxford to life.
Shadowlands is close to a perfect film and Richard Attenborough rightly considers it his most perfect work of his career. It demonstrates a nuanced control of the material – the retelling of C.S. Lewis’ late blooming. Even the antagonist, a Tolkienesque figure, is portrayed respectfully without falling into caricature. Films such as Shadowlands, Chaplin and Gandhi prove that Lord Attenborough is one of the greatest biographical storytellers Hollywood has seen. With TWO distinct biographical films in development on the life of J.R.R. Tolkien, studios and filmmakers would be smart to carefully study Lord Richard Attenborough’s biographical output.
Peter Kenny and the Brisbane Tolkien Fellowship have some amazing events coming up this September and October to celebrate all things Tolkien. So if you’re going to be in Brisbane from September 21st to October 4th come and join them for some wonderful Hobbity fun. (more…)
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