47 min

What Tolkien's Manuscripts Teach Us About Storytelling AMDG: A Jesuit Podcast

    • Religion & Spirituality

From the Jesuits of Canada and the United States, this is AMDG – and I’m Eric Clayton.

I was introduced to J.R.R. Tolkien in seventh grade. This was the project that the seventh grade class of St. Catherine of Sienna participated in each year—the whole school knew it. Students read “The Hobbit” and then were tasked with creating their own version of Smaug, the villainous dragon. You could make a diorama, a clay sculpture—whatever. But the goal was to allow the world of Tolkien’s Middle Earth to inspire in you a little bit of creativity.

I hope that today’s conversation does much the same for you. My guests are Dr. William Fliss and Dr. Sarah Schaefer. They are the co-curators of the “J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of the Manuscript” exhibition at Marquette University. Bill is the curator of Marquette’s Tolkien Collection, and Sarah is assistant professor of art history at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Both are big fans of Tolkien and his world.

The exhibition, as you’ll hear, is a really exciting thing. On display are manuscripts that Tolkien himself created. But these aren’t just pieces of paper with his draft of “The Fellowship of the Ring.” These manuscripts are part of his world of Middle Earth, actual pieces of the lore crafted by his own hand, bearing his own beautiful calligraphy.

The exhibit is running from August 19 through December 23, 2022. Tickets are on sale—I’ve included a number of helpful links below, both for those interested in visiting, and for those just interested in learning more.

Now, here’s my conversation with Bill Fliss and Sarah Schaefer.

https://www.marquette.edu/haggerty-museum/tolkien.php

https://www.jsonline.com/story/entertainment/arts/2022/08/22/marquette-university-exhibit-shows-creation-jrr-tolkiens-lord-rings/7841566001/

Image Info:
J. R. R. Tolkien
English, 1892

1973
The King’s Letter, third version, early 1950s
Ink on paper
9 x 7 in. (229 x 178 mm)
Raynor Memorial Libraries, Marquette University
MS. Tolkien, Mss
-
4/2/25/2a
© The Tolkien Estate Limited 1992, 2015
www.TolkienEstate.com

From the Jesuits of Canada and the United States, this is AMDG – and I’m Eric Clayton.

I was introduced to J.R.R. Tolkien in seventh grade. This was the project that the seventh grade class of St. Catherine of Sienna participated in each year—the whole school knew it. Students read “The Hobbit” and then were tasked with creating their own version of Smaug, the villainous dragon. You could make a diorama, a clay sculpture—whatever. But the goal was to allow the world of Tolkien’s Middle Earth to inspire in you a little bit of creativity.

I hope that today’s conversation does much the same for you. My guests are Dr. William Fliss and Dr. Sarah Schaefer. They are the co-curators of the “J.R.R. Tolkien: The Art of the Manuscript” exhibition at Marquette University. Bill is the curator of Marquette’s Tolkien Collection, and Sarah is assistant professor of art history at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Both are big fans of Tolkien and his world.

The exhibition, as you’ll hear, is a really exciting thing. On display are manuscripts that Tolkien himself created. But these aren’t just pieces of paper with his draft of “The Fellowship of the Ring.” These manuscripts are part of his world of Middle Earth, actual pieces of the lore crafted by his own hand, bearing his own beautiful calligraphy.

The exhibit is running from August 19 through December 23, 2022. Tickets are on sale—I’ve included a number of helpful links below, both for those interested in visiting, and for those just interested in learning more.

Now, here’s my conversation with Bill Fliss and Sarah Schaefer.

https://www.marquette.edu/haggerty-museum/tolkien.php

https://www.jsonline.com/story/entertainment/arts/2022/08/22/marquette-university-exhibit-shows-creation-jrr-tolkiens-lord-rings/7841566001/

Image Info:
J. R. R. Tolkien
English, 1892

1973
The King’s Letter, third version, early 1950s
Ink on paper
9 x 7 in. (229 x 178 mm)
Raynor Memorial Libraries, Marquette University
MS. Tolkien, Mss
-
4/2/25/2a
© The Tolkien Estate Limited 1992, 2015
www.TolkienEstate.com

47 min

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