Meditations on Middle-earth
|Meditations on Middle-earth: New Writing on the Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien|
|Author||Karen Haber (ed.)|
|Publisher||New York: St. Martin's Press|
|Released||November 19, 2001|
Meditations on Middle-earth: New Writing on the Worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien is a collection of essays by several landmark fantasy and science fiction authors. The book includes illustrations by John Howe.
From the publisher[edit | edit source]
An unapologetic tie-in with the release of the first highly anticipated Lord of the Rings film, this anthology presents appreciative essays in honor of the master of Middle-earth from such major fantasy and SF authors as Harry Turtledove, Raymond Feist, Terry Pratchett, George R.R. Martin and the late Poul Anderson. All thank Tolkien, some sardonically, for making the fantasy genre so popular. Ursula K. Le Guin discusses obvious and concealed poetry in the trilogy, while Douglas A. Anderson treats Tolkien's critics, admitting that the posthumously published writings, edited by the author's son, Christopher, are "not always easy to read," a view seconded by several other contributors. Less successful as a scholarly exercise is Orson Scott Card's "How Tolkien Means," which focuses on allegory, a mode Tolkien rejected. Most contributors celebrate the beauty of the writing in the major books, although Michael Swanwick finds them "sad with wisdom" in his essay, "A Changling Returns." Swanwick takes the lead in pointing out the importance of the humble hobbit Sam Gamgee as a character. In a dialogue between illustrators and brothers Tim and Greg Hildebrandt, Tim admits that "Tolkien was never a big supporter of illustration to accompany works of fantasy." Alas, Howe's vague and unimaginative pencil sketches only serve to support Tolkien's case. Editor Haber offers an adoring but welcome antidote to the more pompous exegeses of the "author of the century." (Nov. 23) and "Lord of the Rings Redux" (PW, Sept. 10).
Contents[edit | edit source]
- Karen Haber: "Preface: The Beat Goes On"
- George R. R. Martin: "Introduction"
- Raymond Feist: "Our Grandfather: Meditations on J.R.R. Tolkien"
- Poul Anderson: "Awakening the Elves"
- Michael Swanwick: "A Changeling Returns"
- Esther M. Friesner: "If You Give a Girl a Hobbit"
- Harry Turtledove: "The Ring and I"
- Terry Pratchett: "Cult Classic"
- Robin Hobb: "A Bar and a Quest"
- Ursula K. Le Guin: "Rythmic Pattern in The Lord of the Rings"
- Diane Duane: "The Longest Sunday"
- Douglas A. Anderson: "Tolkien After All These Years"
- Orson Scott Card: "How Tolkien Means"
- Charles de Lint: "The Tale Goes Ever On"
- Lisa Goldstein: "The Mythmaker"
- Glenn Hurdling: "'The radical Distinction...' A Conversation with Tim and Greg Hildebrandt"
- Terri Windling: "On Tolkien and Fairy-Stories"
- Author Biographies