As a postscript to my Kalamazoo report, I shd say that anyone even considering going to the Medieval Congress shd plan on setting aside lots of time to spend in the Book Room. Most of one whole building was devoted to the various dealers' tables, which held a wide variety of books on a vast array of medieval topics. I certainly had good luck finding a number of interesting additions to my working library that I bought to help with specific pieces I'm planning on writing down the line (just as I picked up a copy of Tom Taylor's tr. of BARSAZ BREIZ a few years back for a piece I'm planning on "The Lay of Aotrou & Itroun"). Just be warned that it's hit-or-miss whether you'll actually be able to bring the book back with you, as opposed to ordering it (and paying a nicely discounted price at the conference) and having it arrive a few days to weeks later. I think all the ones I ordered have now arrived,* so here's the list:
GRETTIR'S SAGA --tr. Denton Fox & Hermann Palsson [1974; pr. 2005]
--recommended by Marjorie Burns, this is one of the sagas I've never read, so seemed a good time to remedy that omission. Plus, this is the exact translation I'd glanced at in the Lilly Library just the day before.
LAYAMON'S ARTHUR: THE ARTHURIAN SECTION OF LAYAMON'S BRUT
--ed & tr. W.R.J.Barron & S.C.Weinberg [1989; rev. 2001]
WACE'S ROMAN DE BRUT A HISTORY OF THE BRITISH -- ed & tr. Judith Weiss [1999; rev. 2002, pr.2006]
Translations of the works that formed the backdrop of the alliterative Arthurian chronicle, transitioning between Geoffrey of Monmouth and the 14th century Alliterative Morte Arthur (which in turn seems to have served as the direct model for Tolkien's THE FALL OF ARTHUR. Both will be invaluable for an essay I'd like to eventually write on Tolkien's poem.
THE VOYAGE OF ST BRENDAN: REPRESENTATIVE VERSIONS OF THE LEGEND IN ENGLISH TRANSLATION -- ed. W.R.J.Barron & Glyn S. Burgess [2002; 2005]
I've read various translations of the main version of the Brenden legend, the NAVIGATIO SANCTI BRENDANI, before (most recently John J. O'Meara's), but not been aware of just how widespread the tradition had been, or how many versions there were. This book shd come in handy when I do a piece on Tolkien's IMRAM.
KING ARTHUR'S ENCHANTRESSES: MORGAN AND HER SISTERS IN ARTHURIAN TRADITION -- Carolyne Larrington 
ON ARTHURIAN WOMEN: ESSAYS IN MEMORY OF MAUREEN FRIES --ed. Bonnie Wheeler & Fiona Tolhurst 
Two more Arthurian books, the first on a topic that interests me, the second an impulse buy I may not end up keeping (although the short piece on the three Mrs Loomises is interesting).
COMPARATIVE ETYMOLOGICAL DICTIONARY AND THESAURUS OF TOLKIEN'S LANGUAGES cmp. Eileen Marie Moore 
--an electronic file on a disk rather than a bound book, this began as a supplement and correction to Ruth Noel's book on Tolkien's Elven and evolved into a stand-alone work.
THE SHADOW-WALKERS: JACOB GRIMM'S MYTHOLOGY OF THE MONSTROUSE -- ed Tom Shippey 
A book that I'd seen highly praised but hadn't been able to order through amazon (they had it listed & accepted the order, then announced they cdn't fill it), so I didn't want to pass up this chance. And a quick skim now that it's arrived shows it looks to be even better than rumor made it; I'm particularly looking forward to reading Jonathan Evans' piece on Dragons (given his excellent earlier work in this field). How I wish I'd had this when I was working on MR. BAGGINS!
OLD IRISH WISDOM ATTRIBUTED TO ALDFRITH OF NORTHUMBRIA: AN EDITION OF BRIATHRA FLAINN FHINA MAIC OSSU --ed. & tr. Colin A. Ireland 
This one was a surprise, since I didn't order it. It arrived in the same box as SHADOW-WALKERS; apparently the publishers threw it in as a freebie as a way of clearing out old stock. Free to a good home, if I can find somebody who wants and can use it.
OLD NORSE MADE NEW: ESSAYS ON THE POST-MEDIEVAL RECEPTION OF OLD NORSE LITERATURE AND CULTURE, ed. David Clark & Carl Phelpstead .(published by The Viking Society, the same group who published Christopher Tolkien's "The Battle of the Goths and Huns" long years ago now.)
--I got this one for Dimitra Fimi's "Tolkien & Old Norse Antiquity: Real and Romantic Links in Material Culture" (Fimi, who teaches at Cardiff University in Wales, is probably best known for her online Tolkien course). The book also contains, amongst other essays, a piece on Morris's adaptations of the Volsunga story and another on Thomas Gray's translations and their role in introducing the English to Norse mythology (although to my disappointment she doesn't discuss his piece on Hervor's waking the dead from Heidrek's Saga).
Finally, not part of the conference itself but among the books I brought back from the trip were some from a stop by a nice used bookstore in Three Rivers: a boxed set of the Ballantine paperbacks of LotR with Remington art on the box; a copy of the Rankin-Bass HOBBIT, which includes art not appearing in the cartoon (shd go nicely with my old set of the albums); and three very old paperback mysteries by Elizabeth Daly, whom a friend had recently recommended (one from the 1940s).
And so there it is: another trip, another nice expansion of the library, and another need to reconfigure the bookshelves. Now if I can only find a good edition/translation of CATH MAG TUIRED . . .
current reading: THE DETECTIVE FICTION REVIEWS OF CHARLES WILLIAMS, ed. Jared Lobdell.
*Not quite: I'm still waiting for TOLKIEN STUDIES vol. V, which I preordered there and wh. shd be out soon.
dead white guys
1 day ago