Tolkien Society meetings 1991-1995

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Summer, 1993:

August 15, 1993 – TRIBUTE TO AVRAM DAVIDSON

Discussion of the oeuvre of the late Avram Davidson in memory of this underappreciated author. His fantasy novels include The Island Under the Earth, The Phoenix and the Mirror, Vergil in Averno, Peregrine: Primus, and Peregrine: Secundus.

Fall, 1993:

September 12, 1993 – JURASSIC PARK

Discussion of the novel by Michael Crichton, the movie directed by Steven Spielberg, and dinosaurs in fact and fiction.

October 3, 1993 – A SONG FOR ARBONNE

Discussion of Guy Gavriel Kay’s novel, A Song for Arbonne, and its Provencal sources and background.

November 14, 1993 – THE HELLENISM OF MARY RENAULT

David Sweetman’s biography Mary Renault will serve as the basis for our discussion of her historical novels set in ancient Greece, from The King Must Die to Funeral Games

December 12, 1993 – JAPANIMATION

Deborah Daemmrich will lead a discussion of the “bubble gum crisis” genre of Japanese animated films.

Spring, 1994:

January 9, 1994 – VERSIONS OF FRANKENSTEIN

Discussion of Mary Shelley’s seminal novel, Frankenstein (1816), and the fiction that has grown from it, especially the film starring Boris Karloff (1931) and its sequels, and the anthology edited by Martin H. Greenberg, Frankenstein: The Monster Wakes (DAW, 1993).

February 20, 1994 – TOLKIEN AND FANTASY ILLUSTRATION

Discussion of Tolkien’s World (HarperCollins, 1993) and other illustrations of fantasy and science-fiction. See the review-article on this subject by Gary Wolfe in Locus no. 396 (January, 1994), pp. 49-51.

March 13, 1994 – DOROTHY L. SAYERS

Report on the Sayers Centenary Conference held in Madison in September, 1993, and discussion of her life and work. Suggested sources: biographies such as Barbara Reynolds’ Dorothy L. Sayers: Her Life and Soul (St. Martin’s Press, 1993); Dorothy L. Sayers: The Centenary Celebration, ed. Alzina Stone Dale (Walker, 1993); Seven vol. 10 (1993) (Special Issue on Sayers); and any other books by or about Sayers.

April 10, 1994 – SCIENCE FICTION FILM

Discussion of science fiction film, with focus on Beetlejuice (1988), directed by Tim Burton.

May 8, 1994 – MORGOTH’S RING

Discussion of the latest volume in the “History of Middle-earth” series, vol. 10, dealing with later revisions to the legends of Aman.

Summer, 1994:

June 5, 1994 – FANTASY AND SCIENCE FICTION IN CARL BARKS

Richard West will show slides of paintings and illustrations by Carl Barks, with emphasis on his fantasy and science fiction stories.

July 17, 1994 – ROBIN McKINLEY’S BEAUTY

Discussion of Beauty (1978) by Robin McKinley and other versions of the story of “Beauty and the Beast” (Jean Cocteau, Walt Disney, Ron Koslow), with some animadversions on other fantasy by McKinely: Door in the Hedge, The Blue Sword, The Hero and the Crown, Outlaws of Sherwood, Deerskin, A Knot in the Grain.

August 14, 1994 – WILL THE REAL BARBARA MERTZ PLEASE STAND UP?

Kristin Thompson will lead a discussion on the works of Barbara Mertz, who writes as Elizabeth Peters (e.g, the Amelia Peabody series, Devil-May-Care) and as Barbara Michaels (e.g., Witch, House of Many Shadows

Fall, 1994:

September 11 – TOLKIEN’S NARRATORS

October 2 – LEWIS CARROLL’S ALICE BOOKS

November 6 – PETER S. BEAGLE, THE INNKEEPER’S SONG

December 11 – JAMES TIPTREE’S SHORT FICTION

Spring, 1995:

January 15, 1995 – PORCELAIN DOVE

          Discussion of Delia Sherman’s novel, The Porcelyn Dove, which last year won the Mythopoeic Society’s award for best fantasy.

February 12, 1995 – TOLKIEN’S AESTHETIC

Discussion of Tolkien’s aesthetic of fantasy with particular reference to his essay “On Fairy-Stories” and his letter to Milton Waldman (no. 131 in Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien, ed. Humphrey Carpenter with the assistance of Christopher Tolkien).

March 12, 1995 – GROUNDHOG DAY

Discussion of the Bill Murray film, Groundhog Day.

April 2, 1995 – VONNEGUT AND THE TRAFALMADORIAN NOVEL

Phil Kaveny will lead a discussion of Kurt Vonnegut’s science fiction, including Hocus Pocus, Sirens of Titan, and Slaughterhouse Five. See also Understandng Kurt Vonnegut by William Rodney Allen.

May 14, 1995 – WAR OF THE JEWELS

Discussion of the latest volume in the “History of Middle-earth” series, vol. 11, dealing with the Grey Annals and later revisions to the legends of Beleriand.

Summer, 1995:

June 11, 1995 – W. H. LEWIS CENTENARY

In honor of the birth of Warren Hamilton Lewis on June 16, 1895, we shall discuss his writings, including The Splendid Century and his other histories of 17th-century France, but particularly his diaries, published as Brothers and Friends, which have many references to Tolkien and the other Inklings.

July 9, 1995 – JOHN CROWLEY

Discussion of the fiction of John Crowley, particularly Aegypt, Love and Sleep, and Little, Big.

August 20, 1995 – BABEL

An all “news and notes” meeting, looking particularly at the 1996 Tolkien Calendar and printouts from the Babylon 5 website.

Fall, 1995:

September 10, 1995 – CAXTON’S MALORY

Phil Kaveny will talk on the cultural significance of William Caxton’s 15th-century edition of the Arthurian stories by Sir Thomas Malory.

October 15, 1995 – NARRATIVE CHOICES IN TOLKIEN

Discussion of artistic decisions made by Tolkien to structure his narratives as he did, including his concept of evil, his sparing use of the Eagles, etc.

November 19, 1995 – CHARLES G. FINNEY

Guest speaker Douglas Anderson (editor of The Annotated Hobbit and of The Dragon Path: Collected Stories of Kenneth Morris) will talk on the oeuvre of Charles G. Finney. Finney is best known for The Circus of Dr. Lao, but his other works include The Unholy City, The Magican Out of Manchuria, and The Ghosts of Manacle.

December 10, 1995 – FATHER CHRISTMAS LETTERS

Discussion of letters that Tolkien wrote to his young children, as from Father Christmas.

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