A Lord of the Rings Movie?
New Line Cinema has put more than $130 million on the table to make a LOTR Movie.
It will be directed by Peter Jackson in New Zealand. A lot of information is coming out about the movie. It will be three films, just like the three books. The first coming out at Yuletide in year 2000. More..
Tolkien did not think much of the Disney studios.
Somewhat surprising to me are the rather rash words in a letter to Allen & Unwin in 1937, about Disney, a company that made pretty descent stuff in earlier times (eg the Grim Brother's Snowhite). While discussing American illustrations for the American publication of the Hobbit, Tolkien writes he would like to veto anything from or influenced by the Disney studios: "for all whose works I have a heartfelt loathing".
Thinking about Tolkien's devotion to language, old literature, and faery stories it is perhaps not so hard to understand.
Even Tolkien misspelled.
Tolkien must have been one of the most skilled philologist and linguist that have been. Surprisingly, Tolkien admitted "bad grammar" when he had used the `incorrect' plural dwarves throughout the Hobbit. However, Tolkien's dwarves have their own definition and hence are not exactly dwarfs.
Before Tolkien settled with this invented plural he said he would have liked to use the archaic form dwarrows
Tolkien was not arachnophobic.
In his early childhood in South-Africa, Ronald Tolkien was stung by a tarantula spider. In both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings spiders play their part as nasty stinging creatures. One could easily conclude that the author had a strong distaste for these creatures, but that was not the case at all!
Tolkien had in fact no memory of being stung when he was a small child and felt no particular dislike for spiders. In a letter to W H Auden dated june 1955 he says `I usually rescue those whom I find in the bath!'.
John? JRR? John Ronald Reuel?
What did JRR Tolkien call himself? Well, I guess John would seem the most likely. But typically he signed his letters "Ronald Tolkien", or more formally "JRR Tolkien".
All that glimmers is not gold.
For all its linguistic charms, the Celtic language did not appeal to Tolkien as a Philologist. "I do know Celtic things (many in their original languages Irish and Welsh), and feel for them a certain distaste; largely for their fundamental unreason. They have bright colour, but are like a broken stained glass window reassembled without design."
You'd be surprised if Sam Gamgee knocked on your door!
Prof. Tolkien was in for a surprise when he in march 1956 opened a letter that had the signature of Sam Gamgee! He was more than happy to offer a signed copy of LOTR in his reply to Mr Gamgee.
Tolkien explained that in his childhood in Sarehole the used the word 'gamgee' for 'cottonwool'. Hence the subtlety that the families Gamgee and Cotton were related. As an adult, Tolkien learned that 'gamgee' stemmed from 'gamgee-tissues', named after an inventor (presumably a surgeon).
What a piece of work is LOTR!
Forgive me this Shakespearean phrase, but it is the sheer quality of LOTR that makes me, among millions of others, read the book over and over again. In an extensive letter to Milton Walden in 1950, Tolkien states: "Hardly a word in its 600.000 or more has been unconsidered. And the placing, size, style and contribution to the whole of all the features, incidents and chapters has been laboriously pondered."
One of the most moving romantic tales in The Silmarillion is the story "Of Beren and Lúthien". Ronald Tolkien's wife Edith was his "Lúthien", as well as his inspiration as he developed the tale. On the tombstones of Ronald and Edith you will simply find the words `Beren' and `Lúthien'.