Monday, December 30, 2002

My Party and Tolkien

Ok, I actually did have a small get together for some of the members of the CLSciFiBook group. It was a good thing there were no more than 7 people because with the dining room table used for food that is all that can get together here. I, and others, were regretting not having a digital camera or film to capture 8 people, 3 recliners, and 2 chairs in front of the TV. I got rid of a loveseat when Dad gave me two recliners.

We did watch Big Trouble, even Brent Morgan who disliked the book liked the movie. Other video's watched were the 10-minute George Lucas in Love, Horse Phaser's (a local Star Trek, Marx brothers, Gilbert & Sullivan takeoff), and two episodes of Coupling, BBC's sexier Friends. Lesbian Spanking Inferno scored as best unseen film. The next episode watched gave us the Worst unseen movie title - The Woman with Two Breasts. I was hoping the second episode was The Man with Two Legs, which I think was the funniest thing on television this year, in a year I saw a lot of funny TV. Nope, must be elsewhere on the tapes which Richard and Melinda borrowed.

Brent gave me some secrets of using the Yahoo online database system. There was an intro game of Diamonds and Dirt, my card game. Pat's soup was real good and everything I provided, particularly deserts, seemed to be liked. Since it was a Sunday everyone left early, at least 5 hours before the threatened ending time of 2:00 AM.

No plans were made for New Year's and Brent and Michelle (who wasn't at the video party) were the only one's to go an evening showing of The Two Towers. The price of $9, the most expensive movie ticket price in Houston, had something to do with that. They had free tickets and the rest of wanted to see it again for the $3 price we caught at the matinee last Sunday.

More Tolkien related:
Will JRR Tolkien make Beowulf a bestseller?

A YELLOWING manuscript by J.R.R.Tolkien discovered in an Oxford library could become one of the publishing sensations of 2003.

The 2000 handwritten pages include Tolkien's translation and appraisal of Beowulf, the epic 8th century Anglo-Saxon poem of bravery, friendship and monster-slaying that is thought to have inspired The Lord of the Rings.

An assistant professor of English at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, Dr Drout was researching Anglo- Saxon scholarship at the Bodleian, and asked to see a copy of a lecture on Beowulf given by Tolkien in 1936.

It was brought to him in a reading room in a large box. Professor Drout, who reads Anglo-Saxon prose to his two-year-old daughter at bedtime, said: "I was sitting there going through the transcripts when I saw these four bound volumes at the bottom of the box.

"I started looking through, and realised I had found an entire book of material that had never seen the light of day. As I turned the page, there was Tolkien's fingerprint in a smudge of ink."

After obtaining permission from the Tolkien estate, Professor Drout published Beowulf and the Critics, a version of Tolkien's 1936 lecture, in the US earlier this month.

Even more exciting will be Tolkien's translation of the poem and his line-by-line interpretation of its meaning, which will be published next summer.

Elves, orcs and ents, the latter a type of giant that becomes a walking and talking tree in Tolkien's work, are all mentioned in Beowulf.

The New York Times has an article about a writer reading Lord of the Rings to her son and rediscovering how much of the story is about the landscape and not the plot. Middle Earth Enchants a Returning Pilgrim.

Meanwhile on The Two Tower's brings in $200 million in two weeks. Spiderman holds the record here but note that it took Titanic 25 days. Other movie records are here.

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