Eä Tolkien Society Meeting Notes
August 20, 2016
Ea Tolkien Society
Smial of the Inland NW
Attended: Hawke (HR), Richard (RB), Chris (CK), Brian (BH), and online audience via Google+ Hangout and Youtube channel, http://youtube.com/tolkienscholars and http://youtube.com/tolkienmoot
1. BH read notes of the July meeting of our smial @ Tolkienmoot XII.
2. General discussion of the notes included a contrast of Barad Dur with Orthanc: while the evil at Barad Dur was vanquished by destruction, the evil at Orthanc was vanquished by cleansing (Orthanc & Isengard being originally built by the Numenoreans). Also that trolls were a mimicry and mockery made by Morgoth of the Ents. Future Tolkienmoot theme: trolls?
3. HR gave a Public Service Announcement about David Day's<http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/David_Day> shoddy work on Middle-Earth. His work contains factual errors about Tolkien's legendarium that he does not correct. He is the author of Tolkien's Bestiary, A Tolkien Companion, and the Guide to Middle-Earth (not to be confused with the excellent work of the same title by Robert Foster). Also the Red Book of Tolkien's Languages is not high quality scholarship. Caveat emptor! It is important to respect the author in any derivative works.
4. CK brought a copy of Bilbo's Last Song<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bilbo%27s_Last_Song>, a nice illustrated poem by Tolkien set at Bilbo's leaving of the Grey Havens in the Return of the King, although it was never published in ROTK. Another "Bilbo's Song" is available to hear here<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJQmsKgqF0A> with lyrics here<http://www.amagpiesnest.com/source_songs/ROTK/SSbilbos_song.htm>, but that is based on the song Bilbo sings in FOTR, Book 2 Chapter 3 "The Ring Goes South".
The full text of Bilbo's Last Song is here:
"Day is ended, dim my eyes,
but journey long before me lies.
Farewell, friends! I hear the call.
The ship's beside the stony wall.
Foam is white and waves are grey;
beyond the sunset leads my way.
Foam is salt, the wind is free;
I hear the rising of the Sea.
Farewell, friends! The sails are set,
the wind is east, the moorings fret.
Shadows long before me lie,
beneath the ever-bending sky,
but islands lie behind the Sun
that I shall raise ere all is done;
lands there are to west of West,
where night is quiet and sleep is rest.
Guided by the Lonely Star,
beyond the utmost harbour-bar,
I'll find the havens fair and free,
and beaches of the Starlit Sea.
Ship, my ship! I seek the West,
and fields and mountains ever blest.
Farewell to Middle-earth at last,
I see the Star above your mast!"
5. HR read from Amon Hen 260... referred to an essay on Arvedui that is worth reading. (Amon Hen is the monthly newsletter of the Tolkien Society based in the United Kingdom).
6. HR read from Michael Martinez' essay "All in the Family" from Understanding Middle-Earth. Among the topics of discussion was the lifespan of Numenoreans.
7. CK read Letter 125 of the Letters of Tolkien, addressed to his publisher Allen & Unwin. It covers the issue of how to print the Lord of the Rings... Tolkien was convinced that the best way was to publish LOTR as one volume, and the Silmarillion as a companion volume. However, the LOTR was made of six internal books that could be split (as we know eventually happened), but he said they were not "self-contained divisions". Tolkien complained also to his publisher that he has recently had all his teeth removed for dentures... he is looking for a way out of the relationship so that he can ethically pursue other publishers who would publish it the way he wanted.
8. RB read Letter 126 to the potential publisher Milton Waldman<http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Milton_Waldman>. The Tale of Genji was mentioned by Tolkien, and explained by CK. It's a medieval Japanese story.
9. We also debated Tom Bombadil and his value to the entire story.
10. Looking at the publishing process... HR frankly shares about his journey understanding the Institutional Review Board and getting his study on gender bias in RPG published.
Respectfully submitted by the ETS Smial Secretary,