Highlights from Ted Nasmith’s illustrated Silmarillion

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During Nanowrimo last November, one of my goals was to re-read The Silmarillion in Ted Nasmith’s illustrated edition and study the pictures as I went, so that the text would be fresh in my mind and I wouldn’t let an important detail slip unnoticed. Here you will find some of my thoughts and notes looking at the way Nasmith reads Tolkien and blends all the complexity of the tale into his illustrations. Continuer la lecture de Highlights from Ted Nasmith’s illustrated Silmarillion

Progress report : November. Numbers and deadlines.

In November, I was inspired by Nanowrimo and set myself the goal of writing 30,000 words. Initially I was hoping for 50,000, but it would have been counterproductive and I did not want to trade quality for quantity. I started on November 5th and happily met my deadline 29 days later, on December 3rd with one day to spare. Since this is about numbers, I counted six days when no writing was done, either because I was busy elsewhere or for personal reasons.

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An introduction to Ted Nasmith’s illustrated Silmarillion

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The end of October was devoted to a close reading of the Silmarillion illustrated by Ted Nasmith. I only had a dim memory of the book, having read it years ago in its French translation, in a couple of days, absorbing every new name as quickly as I forgot them. I remember feeling enthralled and enthusiast, discovering for the first time the Ainulindalë, the tale of Túrin Turambar of the downfall of Númenor between the pages of the yellowed Christian Bourgois edition adorned on the cover with the emblem of Lúthien Tinúviel.

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Guided tour of the “Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth” exhibition at the Oxford Weston Library

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On 1 June, the Oxford Weston Library opened a temporary exhibition about J.R.R. Tolkien. According to its title, “Maker of Middle-earth”, the focus is on the creation of Middle-earth, yet several display cases broaden the subject to present a global overview of the author’s life and work. Although the main room may not seem that large upon entering it, one can easily spend an hour and a half there given how captivating the works are. The ban on photograph adds to the visitor’s will to spend as much time as possible in front of the manuscripts and the original documents.

Continuer la lecture de Guided tour of the “Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth” exhibition at the Oxford Weston Library

Illustrating the dragon in Tolkien’s Hobbit: artistic agency and the reader’s reception

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This article is written for specialists of Tolkien’s texts but not necessarily of its illustrations. It is meant to be published in journals such as Mythlore, Tolkien Studies or the Journal of Tolkien research, exploring the literary dimension of Tolkien’s works. Readers of The Hobbit may be unfamiliar with some of the vocabulary coming from art history, but they are familiar with the question of reception, and I am hoping to show how illustrations may shed light on the artist’s reading of a text.

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Tolkien and illustration

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This academis blog follows the elaboration of my thesis under the supervision of Vincent Ferré and Isabelle Gadoin. “Artists in Middle-earth: from text to image” explores the numerous illustrations published in English-speaking countries, from the first edition of The Hobbit in 1937, illustrated by Tolkien himself, to The Fall of Gondolin illustrated by Alan Lee (2018).


Ce carnet de recherche suit l’élaboration de ma thèse au sein du LIS à l’université Paris-Est Créteil, sous la direction de Vincent Ferré et Isabelle Gadoin. « Des Artistes en Terre du Milieu : du texte à l’image » explore les nombreuses illustrations publiées dans les pays anglophones, de la première édition du Hobbit en 1937 illustrée par Tolkien lui-même, jusqu’à La Chute de Gondolin illustrée par Alan Lee (2018).