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Posts Tagged ‘J.R.R. Tolkien’

Neil Gaiman On the Value of Ghost Stories

Newbery Medal-winning author Neil Gaiman headlined “a semi-secret late-night event” during the TED 2014 conference. Brain Pickings reports that Gaiman performed recitations of a ghost story and an essay entitled “Ghost in the Machine.”

Here’s an excerpt from Gaiman’s readings: “We have been telling each other tales of otherness, of life beyond the grave, for a long time; stories that prickle the flesh and make the shadows deeper and, most important, remind us that we live, and that there is something special, something unique and remarkable about the state of being alive. Fear is a wonderful thing, in small doses.”

Press play in the Soundcloud player embedded above to listen. In his essay, Gaiman discusses human society’s history with terrifying tales and the value of ghost stories. During the event, Gaiman also talked about why he agrees with J.R.R. Tolkien and Maurice Sendak’s idea that “there is no such thing as ‘children’s’ books” and “the ghosts of today that terrify” him.

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J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘Beowulf’ Translation to Be Published

TolkienJ.R.R. Tolkien‘s translation Beowulf will be published a full-fledged book entitled Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary. The Guardian reports that The Lord of the Rings series author (pictured, via) completed his translation back in 1926.

Additional content within the book includes some of Tolkien’s lectures on the Old English poem. Tolkien’s son, Christopher, will serve as the editor of this project.

According to The Bookseller, HarperCollins has the UK rights and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt acquired the US rights. The publishers aim to release the finished hardcover book in May 2014.

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HarperCollins to Publish Beowulf With Tolkein’s Notes

beowulfThe Tolkien Estate has signed a worldwide rights deal with HarperCollins to publish Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary by J.R.R. Tolkien.

This is the first time Tolkein’s notes have been published alongside the work. The author’s son Christopher Tolkien edited the work.

“The translation of Beowulf by J.R.R. Tolkien was an early work, very distinctive in its mode, completed in 1926: he returned to it later to make hasty corrections, but seems never to have considered its publication,” stated  Christopher Tolkien. “This edition is twofold, for there exists an illuminating commentary on the text of the poem by the translator himself, in the writt en form of a series of lectures given at Oxford in the 1930s; and from these lectures a substantial selection has been made, to form also a commentary on the translation in this book.”

The book is slated for publication in May.

J.R.R Tolkien in Modern Advertising

oneringtoruleValerio Amaro, a student at Miami Ad School Berlin, has created a Tumblr blog that combines her two passions: advertising and The Lord of the Rings.

She has taken text from J.R.R. Tolkien novels and adapted them into ads for consumers products including cars, mouth wash and condoms. She explains her idea on the site, “I wanted to find a way to combine them, so i asked myself ‘What would happen if J.R.R Tolkien worked in advertising?’”

Follow this link to explore her creations.

The Secret Wealth of Smaug the Dragon: INFOGRAPHIC

smaugFinancesOnline.com has created a Hobbit-themed infographic called, “Secrets of Smaug the Dragon.”

Many facts were collected for this piece including Smaug capturing the top spot on Forbes‘ list of “2013 15 richest fictional characters.” With this graphic, fans of J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved novel will “find out why he’s the biggest, deadliest, most malevolent…and richest creature in part two of The Hobbit.”

We’ve embedded the entire graphic after the jump for you to explore further. Read more

Goodreads Choice Awards Winners Revealed

goodreadsWith 24,686 votes, And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini has won the Best Fiction award at the Goodreads Choice Awards.

We’ve linked to samples of all the winners below.

All these authors were nominated and picked by Goodreads users. Did your favorite writer make the list? Read more

J.R.R. Tolkien Biopic in the Pipeline

11538Fox Searchlight plans to create a biopic profiling world renowned author, J.R.R. Tolkien. According to The L.A. Times, the movie will explore Tolkien’s childhood, his time in the military, and his writing career.

Scholar David Gleeson will pen the script. Peter Chernin has signed on as a producer. Which actor would you cast to play the creator behind The Lord of the Rings book trilogy? Here’s more from the article:

“There’s been no definitive biopic of Tolkien, though several stalled-in-development attempts in recent years, including Mirkwood, a fantastical look at his work as a codebreaker during WWII. That project ran into obstacles from the very private Tolkien estate (it’s unknown to what extent they wiill be cooperating on Gleeson’s movie). If audiences love for Tolkien’s work is any indication, though, filmmakers on Tolkien will have a popular subject on their hands: Movies based on Tolkien’s literary output, including Jackson’s LOTR series, have grossed nearly $4 billion around the world, with “Smaug” expected to add significantly to that total.”

(via The Telegraph)

‘The Harvard Lampoon’ Parodies ‘The Hobbit’

9781476763675The Harvard Lampoon has written a Hobbit parody entitled The Wobbit.

Simon & Schuster’s Touchstone imprint will release the book in paperback format on November 26th. A reading event for this title will take place on December 12th at the Harvard Coop.

Here’s more from the press release: “When Aaron Sorkinshield and his band of Little People embark on a quest across Widdle Wearth to reclaim the hoard of Academy Awards stolen from them by the lonely Puff the Magic Dragon, senile wizard Dumbledalf suggests an unlikely and completely unqualified accomplice: Billy Bagboy, an unassuming wobbit dwelling in terrorist-riddled Wobbottabad. Along the way, the company faces internet trolls, moblins, one really big spider that must be at least an inch and a half wide, and slightly worse.”

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Exploring Fantasy Constructed Languages

Have you ever tried to speak J.R.R. Tolkien‘s elvish language?

The animated video embedded above features a five-minute TED Ed lesson on “conlangs” (fantasy constructed languages). It focuses on Elvish from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Dothraki from A Song of Ice & Fire book series, Na’vi from the 2009 Avatar movie, and Klingon from the Star Trek franchise.

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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Trailer Released

Warner Brothers has released the trailer for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the middle of Peter Jackson‘s trilogy adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien‘s famous fantasy novel.

The movie comes out December 13th. Star Orlando Bloom appeared on the Today show, talking about his role:

Bloom explained that despite starring in the films, he initially had no idea what his finished scenes would look like since he’s often filmed “hanging upside-down with wires on a green screen.” He said he spent “hours flailing around, stabbing at things in the air” and then when he finally saw the film discovered that “it looks better than I thought!”

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