Oh Lord, more elves

A new novel by J. R. R. Tolkien, started in 1918 and partly/posthumously assembled from notes by his son, will be released next month.

My title quotation is inspired by a favorite literary anecdote. Reportedly, during a meeting of the Inklings, the Oxford dons' book club whose members included Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, Tolkien read passages from his manuscript for The Lord of the Rings.

Tolkien was a terrible public speaker and reader, mumbling and droning, and his fellow English teacher, Hugo Dyson, promptly fell asleep. When he woke up and heard what was still going on, Dyson exclaimed, "Oh no, not another fucking elf." Thereafter, Tolkien limited his readings to those meetings of the Inklings when Dyson wasn't present. (And Dyson promptly became a personal hero of mine.)

Or so I always thought that's how it went. But Wikiquote says the line has also been attributed, ironically enough -- to Tolkien's son, Christopher.

March 26, 2007 1:53 PM | | Comments (1)



I read the whole trilogy in the 70s, and thought that it was a) too male, chauvinistic, and b) that the 3rd book went on far too long. But I read it again and probably a 3rd time, and enjoyed it.

Now, much later -I've just gone through a book of illustrations by Arthur Rackham for Wagner's opera "The Ring", and realized how much of LOTR is derived from it. Assuming it and other nordic myths came before.


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