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New Addenda and a Reply

August 8, 2012

This morning we posted to our website new addenda and corrigenda to The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide (Chronology and Reader’s Guide), the 50th anniversary edition of The Lord of the Rings, and The Lord of the Rings: A Reader’s Companion, as well as the supplemental bibliography to the Companion and Guide. We have also created an addenda and corrigenda page for The Art of The Hobbit.

In his review of The Art of The Hobbit in Mythprint 359/360 (June/July 2012), p. 8, Edward J. Kloczko feels that we do not provide a ‘thoughtful analysis of the drawings or Tolkien’s technique’, that our comments are ‘sometime [sic] a little too descriptive’ for the reviewer’s taste, and that our ‘Introduction is a welcome resume of Tolkien’s work, if a little too diluted in style’. If we understand Mr Kloczko correctly, and putting his criticism in a nutshell, he thinks that our text should have been more extensive and more critical (in an art-historical sense). Against this, we can only point out that The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, to give it its full title, is a showcase for Tolkien’s art, and that our charge from HarperCollins was to keep our text brief and subservient to the pictures, somewhat in the manner of Christopher Tolkien’s text in Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien and within specific bounds of trim size and number of pages. But also, we wonder if it did not occur to Mr Kloczko (as he makes no mention of it) that we have already published a lengthy analysis of Tolkien’s work as an artist, including a long chapter on The Hobbit, in our 1995 book, J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator – which is in print, readily available, and cited at the end of our Introduction. That is the proper venue for extended critical text, as The Art of The Hobbit was not; but The Art of The Hobbit, we should add, gave us the opportunity to think again about some of the points we made in Artist and Illustrator, and those thoughts will inform a revision of the latter book, should a second edition ever be possible.

Further comments on this review may be read on our website.

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