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Dazed and Confused - And Most Grateful

I am in shock to learn that my "Harry Potter is a Hobbit" talk, which I presented at the Gathering of the Fellowship (Toronto, December 2003), and which became an article for CSL: The Bulletin of the New York C.S. Lewis Society, has been nominated and has made the shortlist for the international ORC Awards. The other nominees for "Best Tolkien based Lecture or Paper presented at an Academic function" are remarkable indeed, and I am humbled and thrilled to be in such company.

Here's the official word from TheOneRing.net:

Official One Ring Awards Voting: The voting booth is open! Unlike the 'Academy' you don't need to be a member of TORn, or even be attending ORC to vote! The only requirement is that you are a Tolkien fan. Winners will be announced at the official One Ring Award Ceremony, taking place January 15th 2005 at 9pm PT from The One Ring Celebration in Pasadena CA. Don't delay, award those people that have made a difference in the world of Tolkien last year! Click HERE for the shortlists.

Congratulations to the other nominees. And thanks to all of you for your unceasing support, encouragement, and assistance with this and other works. "Harry Potter is a Hobbit" was the product of many fruitful and stimulating discussions, and I owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to my friends, colleagues, students, and fellow Middle-Earthers and Hogwartsians. I am so very grateful for all of you!

(Note: special thanks to the brilliant aelfgifu, without whom I might have missed this news thanks to my "beginning-of-semester haze.")


Jan. 5th, 2005 06:22 pm (UTC)
Is it tiring to be so brilliant all the time? *g*

You are asking me? You're the one who gives me all those "lightbulb moments," you know! :-P

Thank you so much for your thoughtful words. I'm so thrilled you read and liked it. Both the Tolkien and Rowling communities have been so great to me, and my students in my classes have been so interested in these questions, that it feels like this really was a group project. If nothing else, this gives me a chance to say a huge Thank You to everyone.

I do find the issue of "appropriate readership" very interesting, especially as it seems to include such diverse and opposing voices. The Potterverse is one of the latest fields of contention, but it's definitely a long-standing debate, often involving the issue of genre (science fiction as well as fantasy, I've found). I find myself reading Lewis's take on things and thinking "Yeah, what he said." :)

Again, thank you so much!
Jan. 6th, 2005 05:55 pm (UTC)
Well I'm quite thoroughly admiring of you, so we're in a nice place *g*

I must admit, the idea of Harry Potter being the domain of only children - or young adults - has baffled me. How can such a story fail to be both relevant and enjoyable based on age alone? I tend to think that we all experienced things (and themes) in our childhood/adolescence that continue to have meaning throughout the rest of our life, and continue to be questions for us, and so travelling through that stage with Harry is not simply a trip down memory lane, for instance. In any case, my grandmother, parents, siblings, and younger relatives love the books, and there aren't very many novels one can say that about! LOTR & The Hobbit are obvious other examples of those kind of works that I would say are significantly more about being human than about being an age or similar social construct.

And, sorry, that was a bit of a tangent!

Congratulations on the short-listing, and thanks for another interesting article.
Jan. 6th, 2005 07:40 pm (UTC)
LOL! :) We need to have a meeting of our Mutual Admiration Society more often! ::wink:: Seriously, I couldn't agree more with your "tangent," especially about the inter-generational appreciation of such works being a glorious thing, and a phenomenon that contradicts what others attempt to impose (or just assume), and what society has constructed.

On the other side of the issue, I am amazed when people suggest that any violence or darkness or deepness is antithetical to childhood. Good grief, the original versions of the old fairy tales that became "cleaned up" later were full of death, dismemberment, torture, even rape! Our understanding of childhood today as some separate, shielded, ignorant phase of life is a very recent -- and, in the history of humanity, very aberrant -- development. Whew! Tangenting again. (I think I just made up a verb! LOL!)

Thanks again for your incredibly sweet comments. You've made my day several times over! :)