At Kalamazoo I heard the news that Michael Drout's book BEOWULF AND THE CRITICS, the draft versions of JRRT's famous essay THE MONSTERS AND THE CRITICS, was going into a second edition. They didn't have copies for sale at the event (or if they did, these were already gone), but I was able to pre-order it at the conference discount -- which, considering that this is a 58$ book, makes a difference. And yesterday there it was, waiting on the doorstep. No time to look through it yet, but glad to have this; it'll definitely come in handy for future reference somewhere down the line. And it's a handsome volume, too: a nice leather-brown instead of the white of the first edition.
And Saturday had brought treasures of its own, with the arrival of the latest MALLORN (along with AMON HEN). Again haven't had time to read this yet, but pleased to see a review of TOLKIEN AND HIS SOURCES, including my essay, got a favorable review: it's always gratifying when a reviewer's comments shows that the idea you were trying to convey got across.*
Quite beyond that personal connection on my part, the issue as a whole looks good too: the lead article is by Kristen Larsen, who's made quite a name for herself as the Tolkien astronomer through a string of interesting pieces over the last few years.** There's also a piece on Tolkien's not getting the Nobel, on why Tolkien was called 'Reuel', and on time-travel parallels in other authors to Tolkien's own time-travel stories. Plus of course another half-dozen reviews besides the one that immediately drew my attention. All in all, looks like good issue.
And, perhaps best of all, Wednesday had brought a whole new book about Tolkien's work, about which more later.
*and, conversely, discouraging when this is not the case, as in a review of my 2004 Blackwelder essay, alas.
**to my chagrin, she told me at Kalamazoo last year that there was an error in the moon-phases I'd printed as part of The 1960 Hobbit in RETURN TO BAG-END -- or, rather, that Tolkien had made an error and I'd not caught it. I've tried to fix this in the new revised one-volume edition, but given that I refer to these entangled chronologies and timelines as "the section that broke my brain", let's hope I got it right this time around.