Friday, May 28, 2010
If you like the literature of J.R.R. Tolkien like The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings, then you will love this. Corey Olsen, who is an Assistant Professor of English at Washington College in Maryland, has put together a website, The Tolkien Professor, dedicated to bridging the gap between academics and general readers of Tokien's work. He shares his insights so that everyday folks can have free access to appreciate better and understand better the stories that have fascinated generations of readers.
There are audio lectures that focus primarily on his classroom lectures on The Hobbit or The Lord of the Rings (there are even helpful readings specific to the lectures), recorded "chats," and a discussion board that allows you to read and participate in discussions on specific topics. And if you want to download the free audio and take them with you, then you can subscribe to The Tolkien Professor podcast here.
If you are interested but not sure where to begin, start with the Intro lecture "How to Read Tolkien and Why," where Olsen discusses Tolkien’s own ideas on story-telling, on how stories should be read and why they are important, which he bases primarily off of Tokien's essay "On Fairy-Stories." And if you are looking for helpful suggestions for further reading, then simply consult the bookstore.
There is a wealth of great and helpful information at the right price; so enjoy!
[HT: James Grant]