Mythgard Institute Scholars Group discussion

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Preparing for Tolkien and the Epic Course

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message 1: by Dr. Andrew (new)

Dr. Andrew Higgins  (AndrewHiggins) | 11 comments Mod
The countdown has begun and the day has come. Lets discuss how we are preparing for this autumn's Tolkien and the Epic Course and the first two great works to be studied Beowulf and The Kalevala


message 2: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (Sandi13) | 19 comments Mod
Are all of those books you've listed recommended reading, or just titles around the topic?


message 3: by Dr. Andrew (new)

Dr. Andrew Higgins  (AndrewHiggins) | 11 comments Mod
Sandi Hi welcome. I am in the process of posting the recommended books and then thought it would be interesting for members to post other books they are reading in preparation around each of the key works (like I am re-reading Michael Drouts Tolkien and the Critics in prep for Beowulf). BTW Mythgard said they would include a link from the main site to this group Hope Corey is happy with!!!!

Thanks Andy


message 4: by Eric (new)

Eric Bryant (Erancal) | 5 comments Hi Andy.

So if I am understanding the syllabus correctly, we are supposed to read Beowulf (the Ringler edition recommended) and JRRT's essay on Beowulf "The Monster and the Critics"?

What is this other book you mention? Is is an essay or whole book? I searched for it and it looks like it is out of print. Would you be willing to summarize it briefly for us?

Thanks.


message 5: by Dr. Andrew (new)

Dr. Andrew Higgins  (AndrewHiggins) | 11 comments Mod
Hello Erancal

The other book is Professor Michael Drout's (who will be teaching parts of this course) work on Tolkien's lecture and notes for Beowulf The Monsters and the Critics which can be found herehttp://acunix.wheatonma.edu/mdrout/

I believe there is a new edition coming out soon as well. worth reading with the Tolkien essay. Beowulf and the Critics

My copy is heavily underlined!! Drout is one of the best for Tolkien and Anglo-Saxon literature.

Cheers Andy


message 6: by Eric (new)

Eric Bryant (Erancal) | 5 comments Thanks for the links Andy. It would be great if a new edition comes out. For now, I'll just stick with Tolkien's essay.


message 7: by Dr. Andrew (new)

Dr. Andrew Higgins  (AndrewHiggins) | 11 comments Mod
HWAET all!!

Buried towards the back but really interesting article on Beowulf and Leadership http://www.fhsu.edu/jole/issues/JOLE_... just in time for our Beowulf exploration!

Thanks Andy


message 8: by Kris (new)

Kris | 11 comments hello Andy & Sandi! Looks like we're all in for the fall course. Good idea to set up this goodreads group. thanks!...Sandi, was it you who recommended Jonathan Strange &Mr. Norrell to me? Just finished it; excellent novel!
-Kris


message 9: by Dr. Andrew (new)

Dr. Andrew Higgins  (AndrewHiggins) | 11 comments Mod
Hey Kris

Welcome aboard this is going to be fun!!! For this one I am auditing but may switch later on.

Best, Andy


message 10: by Erica (new)

Erica | 10 comments Hi everyone! I too am getting excited for the course to begin. I've been reading "The Monsters and the Critics". I find that Tolkien employs a great many allusions and references that I'm unfamiliar with, so I started a spreadsheet to track them. You can check it out here:
https://spreadsheets.google.com/sprea...

Maybe some of you would like to contribute to it? If there is an interest I will open it up to editing. This is my first time sharing a Google Doc so please bear with me if I fail to use it properly!


message 11: by Kirsten (new)

Kirsten (violet_sphinx) | 2 comments Hi, everyone! I'm really glad I found this group, as I'm auditing the course and won't get to do the group discussions, but I still want to participate! I've been doing a bit of reading "around" the syllabus as well and can recommend "A Critical Companion to Beowulf" by Andy Orchard. It's quite a good, concise guide to a lot of the critical writing on Beowulf, but he buries the sources in footnotes so it's a really quick, smooth read.

Thanks for the rest of your tips, everyone!
-Kirsten


message 12: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (Sandi13) | 19 comments Mod
I'm auditing as well, having checked my finances I don't think I can afford to switch this time. Two sons at university is draining my coffers :-(

Just been to University of York library, which is open access to visitors, which is fairly unusual for academic libraries. Their Beowulf section is extensive so I will be spending time in there. Erica, I shall check out your spreadsheet, what a good idea (I'm new to Google Docs as well).

Sandra


message 13: by Dr. Andrew (new)

Dr. Andrew Higgins  (AndrewHiggins) | 11 comments Mod
Hello Everyone

I see we are all working on Beowulf and readings around the assignments. Sandi lucky you to have the University of York Beowulf collections. Erica will have a look at the Google Docs spreadsheet brilliant idea. Might I also suggest as good background reading the intro notes from Klaebers Beowulf (4th Edition) - small print I know but some really good background on parallels to Beowulf story in Celtic and Norse myths and stories (Grettir's Saga, etc) and to fairy tale themes. There is also C.L. Wren's edition of Beowuf which has some good notes and I believe Tolkien would have used?? So its opera, Beowulf and the Kalevala for me fo the next week!!

Best, Andy


message 14: by Dr. Andrew (new)

Dr. Andrew Higgins  (AndrewHiggins) | 11 comments Mod
Erica

Brilliant chart - think I can help with one of the phrases -

hans nafn mun uppi, meðan veröldin stendr. which is Old Norse for the phrase - "his name will/endure as long as the world exists"

can be found in Volsunga Saga and the Volupsa.

Thanks, Andy


message 15: by Eric (new)

Eric Bryant (Erancal) | 5 comments Yes, I am auditing too, but want to get a Masters when the timing is right. So this is a dry run.

Like the chart, Erica. I have had some Greek so I can tell you that the Greek word on your list is "hamartia". I am still working in the Beowulf text and have not yet gotten to Tolkien's essay (although I read it long ago). When I do, I will try to contribute to the chart.


message 16: by Susan (new)

Susan | 2 comments Hello, all!
I am very excited about auditing this course. I will be taking Dr. Fimi's Tolkien course at the same time-- probably crazy but I thought at least the reading should interdigitate to a degree. I've been wanting to take that course ever since I first heard about it.
Looking forward to some good discussions with all of you!
Susan


message 17: by Lara (new)

Lara | 1 comments Hi everyone. (Great idea for the group, Andy!) I'm auditing as well and really looking forward to our discussions. I'd love to read "Beowulf and the Critics" but I haven't been able to find a copy - have to keep bugging the librarians, I guess.


message 18: by Susan (new)

Susan | 2 comments Hi, Lara,
I am also waiting for my book to come, but I did find the essay online at this link: http://www.scribd.com/doc/21301124/J-...
I hope that works!
Susan


message 19: by Kris (new)

Kris | 11 comments Susan wrote: "Hello, all!
I am very excited about auditing this course. I will be taking Dr. Fimi's Tolkien course at the same time-- probably crazy but I thought at least the reading should interdigi..."


I'm trying that as well. Either we're brilliant for doing them at the same time, or we're crazy for taking on so much.
-kris


message 20: by Katherine (new)

Katherine Sas (KatSas) | 4 comments Erica wrote: "Hi everyone! I too am getting excited for the course to begin. I've been reading "The Monsters and the Critics". I find that Tolkien employs a great many allusions and references that I'm unfamilia..." Hi Erica - great spreadsheet, that's a really smart idea. You have a question mark after your definition of "bogie" and for the record, I think you're right. It's bogie in the sense of our modern "Boogey Man", I believe.


message 21: by Erica (new)

Erica | 10 comments Spreadsheet updated with your comments thus far. I have not added much to it lately; I've been absorbed in the Volsungasaga (what a crazy and engaging tale).


message 22: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (Sandi13) | 19 comments Mod
I can recommend Christina Scull and Wayne Hammond's Reader's Guide for a good summary of both "Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics" and Tolkien's lesser works, such as Finn and Hengest. Scull and Hammond also provide useful information about the critical reception to both works.

Sandra


message 23: by Penny (new)

Penny | 5 comments Mod
Erancal wrote: "Hi Andy.

So if I am understanding the syllabus correctly, we are supposed to read Beowulf (the Ringler edition recommended) and JRRT's essay on Beowulf "The Monster and the Critics"?

What is ..."


Erancal wrote: "Hi Andy.

So if I am understanding the syllabus correctly, we are supposed to read Beowulf (the Ringler edition recommended) and JRRT's essay on Beowulf "The Monster and the Critics"?

What is ..."


Hi Erica

Awesome books - an online store in the UK has copies of the Monsters and the Critics avaliable if you are still having problems. (They are often a good source of quite cheap second hand Tolkien books and will notify you when they come in.)

Cheers Penny


message 24: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (Sandi13) | 19 comments Mod
Tom Shippey has written on Tolkien and Beowulf in the collection of essays, Roots and Branches. There are also essays on Finn and Hengest and Tolkien and the Kalevala. Many of these have appeared in other publications over the years, but it is a useful collection to have access to, as it makes it a lot easier to track down some of the more obscure papers that Shippey has produced on Tolkien.

Also, in Mythlore, Felicia Jean Steele wrote an article looking at the impact of Tolkien on Heaney's translation of Beowulf. It can be freely downloaded here: http://www.thefreelibrary.com/Dreamin...

Sandra


message 25: by Eric (new)

Eric Bryant (Erancal) | 5 comments Sandi wrote: "Tom Shippey has written on Tolkien and Beowulf in the collection of essays, Roots and Branches. There are also essays on Finn and Hengest and Tolkien and the Kalevala. Many of these h..."

Thanks Sandi! These are fantastic resources. I just ordered a copy of Roots and Branches. Tolkien studies neophytes like me are grateful for your help!


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Books mentioned in this topic

Beowulf and the Critics (other topics)
Reader's Guide (other topics)
Finn and Hengest: The Fragment and the Episode (other topics)
Roots and Branches (other topics)