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Concerning Hobbits, Wardrobes and Rings

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June 7, 2018 by Anthony Burdge

Hullo fair traveler!

Our post Tolkien Reading Day news is long overdue! A few notes concerning our March 23rd event, the Lewis and Tolkien play in NYC, a Narnia Inspired poem by author Ryder Miller, and a few tidbits.

On Friday March 23rd we gathered at Baruch College, our NYC Tolkien Fellowship meeting hall, to honor the Ringbearers and hear a talk given by Guest Speaker Nicholas Birns.  Unfortunately due to personal matters, and preparing to move, Jessica and I are a bit behind on a number of things.

The event centered around the theme of Ringbearers, and just as a reminder here are the particulars of Professor Birns’ talk:

A Great Burden Without Guidance: The Six Mortal Ringbearers
Presented by: Nicholas Birns

The One Ring was made by and meant for Sauron, the malevolent Maia gone rogue.  But Sauron’s great defeat at the end of the Second Age, and the ‘accidents’ of history, cause it to be borne by six very different individuals, of very diverse origins, social status, and moral character: the Númenórean king Isildur, the river-halflings Déagol and Sméagol/Gollum, and the Hobbits Bilbo Baggins, Frodo Baggins, and Sam Gamgee. On March 25, the ‘anniversary’ of the final relinquishing of the Ring’s great burden, we will compare and discuss the lives and personalities of these six ringbearers as a way to come to grips with Tolkien’s fascination with special items or tokens (Palantiri and Silmarilli as well as the Rings of Power) and how they illuminate his understanding of creativity and possessiveness.

ABOUT:  Nicholas Birns first read The Lord of the Rings in the early months of 1975, finishing very near to the memorable day of March 25. He has published on Tolkien in Tolkien Studies, Mythlore, and The Journal of the Fantastic in the Arts. He is also the author of Understanding Anthony Powell (University of South Carolina Press, 2004), Theory After Theory (Broadview, 2010) Barbarian Memory (Palgrave, 2013), and Contemporary Australian Literature: A World Not Yet Dead  (Sydney University Press, 2015),  as well as many other books and journal articles. including contributions to Exemplaria, Science-Fiction StudiesLeviathan, Victorians Institute Journal, and Extrapolation. He currently is Associate Professor at the Center for Applied Liberal Arts, New York University.

The paper given by Nicholas Birns was incredibly fascinating, highly enlightening and very engaging in the Q&A afterward. For anyone interested in the paper, plans are underway, and discussion with Nick on its publication. Stay Tuned!

In addition, to honor Tolkien Reading Day a number of attendees read from various works of Tolkien such as:

 

 

Kaleena Ma reading from Tolkien’s Letters.

Plus this very moving reading by Author Ryder Miller, which can be seen via this short video taken by Nicholas Birns on Twitter
CLICK TO VIEW

 

 

A few of our attendees posed for a group picture, many thanks to Chris Tuthill and Rita for the pictures!

 

 

Now that we’re past May and now into June the play Lewis and Tolkien: Of Wardrobes and Rings has been at the Sheen Center in New York City for 2 weeks.  Unfortunately we had to reschedule our attendance on May 24th, to a performance tomorrow night June 8th!
There have been an incredible amount of positive reviews, comments and articles concerning this show. Our review will be posted by this weekend.

If you would like to join us prior to or after the show for a pint, or three, (it comes in pints?!) Please let us know by writing to Anthony at Mythinkbooks@gmail.com

Click here to Purchase Your Tickets TODAY!

In the spirit of C.S. Lewis and Narnia, we leave you with a Narnia inspired poem by author Ryder Miller, who wrote the book From Narnia to a Space Odyssey: The War of Ideas Between Arthur C. Clarke and C.S. Lewis”

From Ryder Miller: “When I walk through Prospect Park I think of Narnia. I have been able to do some nature poetry with poems inspired by the Inkling…

Night Calls in the Wooded Park

Fascinating to see

ducks landing in the lake

splashing in the night waters

and later quacking

at something

at someone.

Were they laughing?

The sound Sour

in the after twilight chill.

In the distance,

the calls

of visiting geese,

a tooting, a pealing sound,

in the sky announcing,

that they were

on their way

somewhere.

Lamp posts of

old fashion, ornate design,

still a magic of sorts

lighted the way

of the path.

Was this a part still,

of Narnia?

without the snow

without Tumnus.

The Old Forest contained:

If the trees were laughing

they were to

themselves.

On the walk out,

later in the evening

in the winter dark

were the comforting

sounds now of

church bells

ringing, and ringing

in different tones,

at dinner time.

–Ryder W. Miller

2017 Conference Logo by Luke Spooner

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