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Lord of the Rings (Anglais) Relié – 15 février 2000


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Book by Tolkien J R R Bloom Harold



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Amazon.com: 12 commentaires
21 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Misleading attribution in Amazon's catalog 15 juin 2000
Par Elizabeth A. Elmwood - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
This book is not a critical edition of The Lord of the Rings, nor should it be attributed to Tolkien himself. It is a collection of essays on LotR. While the essays presented in this volume are good, they are all reprinted from other sources. Many of them come from Tolkien and the Critics (ed. Issacs & Zimbardo), which is excellent and, alas, out of print. The only troublesome part of the book is Harold Bloom's introduction, if one can call it that. Barely a page in length, it falls somewhere between dismissive and hostile towards Tolkien's writing style while offering no other reasons why LotR merits any study except that it was popular in the sixties (though it was also popular in previous and subsequent decades). Bloom makes little comment on the essays he (presumably) selected and, based on his introduction, seems no more familiar with LotR than the average reader. Any of the contributors to this volume could have furnished a more helpful introduction. One wonders if Bloom's name is present merely because it, like Tolkien's, can move books very briskly.
11 internautes sur 12 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The Monsters and The Critters 20 janvier 2001
Par Neal Meyer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I am writing as a fan who has read LOTR perhaps 30 times. I've read the Hobbit and the Silmarillion 2-3 times each since I was turned on to Tolkien as a youth. I have recently read two of Christopher Tolkien's books as well. I purchased this book because I was looking for some hard academic criticism of Tolkien's works. Instead, the book is a mix of essays that alternately deal with Tolkien personally or professionally, as well as with his literary works.
The book is composed of 10 essays in addition to a brief introduction to and chronology of Tolkien's life. Amongst the essays, I did recognize a reprint of Paul Kocher's essay, Cosmic Order, from his focused and excellent work, The Master of Middle Earth, which I purchased 20 years or so ago. Some of the essays in this book focus more on Tolkien's business in the here and now, such as problems with publishers, critics (including the notoriously petty "Oo, Those Awful Orcs" essay written by leftist social critic Edmund Wilson in The Nation's April 14,1956 issue), as well as a pretty interesting discussion of academic philology.
Making a normative judgement, most Tolkien fans would probably be better off for their money reading the book that has Tolkien's letters or Christopher Tolkien's books on how his father created Middle Earth if they are looking for lore/information on Middle Earth itself. Readers of those works may derive better critical insights using their own judgment of Tolkien's efforts, rather than spending money on this book.
Having said that however, some of the insights offered here of Tolkien's writing are gems. Tolkien was in fact quite capable of doing some awful writing stylistically - in fact I originally thought that the story dragged on the first time I read it. Also, the idea that some of Tolkien's creatures (such as Hobbits and Ents) work better than others (such as the Balrog and Shelob) because he believes more in them as an artist was a nice idea. I just wish that the rest of this book were filled with more of these arguments and insights. Instead, one of the essays expounds on the need for more informed Tolkien criticsm. I am not entirely sure that essays like that belong in a book such as this.
The book's jacket mentions that Harold Bloom is the editor and writer of introductions to the Modern Critical Views series, which now contains over 200 books. One gets the feeling that Bloom assembled these essays in a haphazard way since there is little order in this book with regards to subject matter.
In all, I would give the book thumbs up, but with serious reservations. I took a gamble on this one because it was a new book. See ya.
12 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An edition of old (and largely oudated) criticism 17 octobre 2001
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Harold Bloom appears to have done little work and put very little thought into this collection of "Modern Critical Interpretations" of Tolkien. His so-called introduction is barely a page long and says nothing of the history of Tolkien criticism. He does not even explain why the included articles were chosen (and there are no introductions to individual articles either). In truth, his introduction is so short, supercilious, and devoid of substance that I do not believe it to even be a sincere scholarly effort-- it more has the character of something that was dashed off in 10-15 minutes.
Nor is a significantly greater effort evident in the selection of articles. The ten articles republished here are all 20-30 years old (written between 1968-1982) and do not reflect current (or even recent) trends in Tolkien criticism. That's not to say that they're bad or completely irrelevant, mind you. However, they are starting to show their age (especially the older ones, like Roger Sale's article and Paul Kocher's contributions, as well as the Jungian approach to ciriticism evidenced by the excerpt from Tim O'Neill's _The Individuated Hobbit_, and Anne C. Petty's application of Joseph Campbell's _Hero with the Thousand Faces_ and Vladimir Propp's _Morphology of the Folktale_ to Tolkien's fiction. Again, it's not that these are bad per se, but the kinds of approaches and methodologies they represent are pretty much passe-- both in literary criticism in general and in Tolkien studies in specific. They make some worthwhile observations, but they just seem old, tired, and a bit too well-worn. The one exception to this is an excerpt taken from Tom Shippey's excellent _The Road to Middle Earth_, one of the most recent works to be reflected here (published in 1982). In short, the essays included here have OK substance, but it's not entirely clear why Bloom chose such old ones-- or whether these were even the best old ones to choose.
All in all, there is enough substance in these old articles to interest a Tolkien fan or scholar in spite of their age-- however, don't expect a lot (or in fact, any) insight from Bloom himself on Tolkien's fiction or on the history of Tolkien criticism, because it just ain't there.
8 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Run away! Run away! 16 avril 2005
Par Marianne - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Don't waste your money on this one.

I happily (because I didn't waste my money) borrowed this from a local academic library. I'm glad I read it, because I learned a lot about what I don't like.

Bloom doesn't like Lord of the Rings, so why he even bothers to assemble these old, dated, and tired essays is beyond me, unless it is to make money off the LOTR craze. His one-page introduction is an insult; he doesn't ever explain why he included any of the essays in this collection nor does he contribute any insight regarding Tolkien's work (I suspect he didn't have any).

I was amused, then annoyed by what he included: outdated Jungian comparisons to the Hobbit, a poorly-written history of the publication of Lord of the Rings. The one notable exception is Tom Shippey's chapter from Road to Middle Earth, but you're better off reading Shippey's book, or any of his books, than wasting your time with this one.
8 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A compilation of old (and somewhat outdated) criticism 17 octobre 2001
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Harold Bloom's name is on the cover, but his contribution to this volume is minimal at best. This book does not actually include any articles *by* Bloom, and his exceedingly brief introduction (barely 1 page long!) says nothing of substance. It does not even explain why the selected articles were chosen for republication or try to provide any sort of context for them-- something that introductions to collections of scholarly articles (especially when they are older articles) really are supposed to do.
The ten articles republished here are all 20-30 years old (written between 1968-1982) and do not reflect current (or even recent) trends in Tolkien criticism. That's not to say that they're bad or completely irrelevant, mind you. However, they are starting to show their age (especially the older ones, like Roger Sale's article, the contributions by Paul Kocher, as well as the Jungian approach to ciriticism evidenced by the excerpt from Tim O'Neill's _The Individuated Hobbit_, or by Anne C. Petty's application of Joseph Campbell's _Hero with the Thousand Faces_ and Vladimir Propp's _Morphology of the Folktale_ to Tolkien's fiction.) Again, it's not that these are bad per se, but the kinds of approaches and methodologies they are pretty much passe-- both in literary criticism in general and in Tolkien studies in specific. They make some worthwhile observations, but they just seem old, tired, and a bit too well-worn. The one exception to this is an excerpt taken from Tom Shippey's excellent _The Road to Middle Earth_, one of the most recent works to be reflected here. In short, the essays included here have decent substance, but it's not entirely clear why Bloom chose such old ones-- or whether these were even the best old ones to choose.
All in all, there is enough substance in these old articles to interest a Tolkien fan or scholar in spite of their age-- however, don't expect a lot (or in fact, any) insight from Bloom himself on Tolkien's fiction or on the history of Tolkien criticism, because it just ain't there.
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