Peter et al. ---
I'm not about to respond to this CFP. Not that there's anything wrong with its appearance on this List, but it puts me in mind of the line from C. S. Lewis, that he never met a man who _used_ to like Spenser. Back in the day, I was enthralled with the 'Rings' books, even to the point of using 'The Fellowship' in some of my teaching. And I watched each of the 3 movies with pleasure -- feeling at the end, however, that the last one went on much too long. Now I find that I've come around to something like the attitude that Edmund Wilson brought to the books when they were first published: 'bored of the Rings' and 'Ooh, those awful orcs!'
Would it be possible to theorize distaste, disgust, impatience, either with Tolkien's reactionary imagination or with the enormous industry on display in those blockbuster movies? Is there anyone else out there who _used_ to like Tolkien -- and still likes Spenser (and also Ursula Le Guin, 'Riddley Walker,' and various other alternatives to realistic fiction)?
Cheers, Jon Quitslund
> My friend, Laurie Johnson, asked me to submit this call for papers to this
> Peter C. Herman
> >CALL FOR PAPERS: Theorizing J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings
> >I seek proposals for a special session at the 2004 MLA in Philadelphia
> >that would attempt to interpret Tolkien's Lord of the Rings in the light
> >of contemporary critical concerns (New Historicism, feminism,
> >deconstruction, cultural studies, etc.). Despite the fact that
> >Tolkien's trilogy constitutes one of the most popular books of the
> >latter twentieth-century, for many, the Lord of the Rings remains
> >marginal to academic concerns. No article on this text, for example, has
> >appeared in such journals as ELH, Review of English Studies, or PMLA.
> >However, the popularity of Peter Jackson's films has created a
> >resurgence of interest in Tolkien's work invites us to reread Tolkien's
> >works in accordance with contemporary concerns.
> >250-word abstracts and a 1 page vitae by March 1.
> >Send to Laurie Johnson
> >Georgia State University
> >Department of English
> >MSC 8R0322
> >33 Gilmer Street SE, Unit 8
> >Atlanta, GA 30303-3088
> >Or as a MS word attachment to [log in to unmask]
> >NOTE: All program participants must be members of MLA by April 7, 2004.
> >The MLA membership requirement may be waived for participants who reside
> >outside the United States and Canada