Dion writes: I attended the Festival In The Shire this weekend as roving reporters for Scrolls, the podcast for literary geekdom. Whilst there I recorded interviews with Mark Faith (the creator of the festival), Rodney Matthews (artist), and Tom Shippey (author of JRR Tolkien: Author of the Century). If you and your readership are interested in hearing them you can do so at geeksyndicate.co.uk/podcasts. Click on the Scrolls link in the left hand column if it’s dropped off the main page.

Chapter 8: The Middle Earth Special, Part 1 contains the interviews. Part 2 will be recorded tonight and will be a discussion about LOTR with reference to the Festival, the book, movies and various other adaptations and – well, the conversation could take us in all kinds of directions so I suppose we’ll see how it goes.

MaedrosOneHand writes: I had the privilege of attending both Tom Shippey lectures at Swarthmore College in Philadelphia today and I thought I could offer something of a report.

In his first lecture, Shippey focused primarily on the differences and similarites between the Lord of the Rings books and films. He had three primary observations about Jackson, Boyens and Walsh’s treatment of the story. First, he noted that the films place far more importance on character “journeys” than the books. For example, the fairly straightforward character of Faramir in Tolkien becomes the tortured, indecisive, father-scorned character in the movie who has to go on a “journey” of character development before he’s willing to part with the ring. Along with this, Shippey also talked about how the minor characters played a much bigger role in the films of changing major characters’ minds. Faramir was essentially convinced by Sam to let the quest to Mount Doom proceed and Treebeard was convinced by Pippen to attack Isengard. Shippey didn’t express much condemnation of these choices, he just took them for what they were. Continue reading “Tom Shippey at Swarthmore College Report”

Chocolate Fish Cafe to Close? Katrelya writes: Tom Shippey will be speaking on Thursday, February 7, at Azusa Pacific University at the conference “C.S. Lewis, the Inklings, and the Call to Christian Community.” His keynote address will be “The two Images, Discarded and Rejected?” I have forwarded you the message from Edie Dougherty from the Southern California C.S. Lewis Society. I hope many of us can take advantage of this great opportunity to hear Tom! [Azusa Pacific University]