Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Tolkien Fandom Review: From its beginnings to 1964

Tolkien Fandom Review:
From Its Beginnings to 1964
by Sumner Gary Hunnewell
(Hildifons Took)
2010 The New England Tolkien Society

Since meeting with the Mythopoeic Society's keeper of the Golfimbul head and gear, S. Gary Hunnewell sometime ago we have been fascinated in all things Tolkien fandom.  When founding our society we were very much aware of the early New York Tolkien Society founded Richard "Dick" Plotz.  Plotz as you know is cited on several occasions throughout the Letters of JRR Tolkien.  With many thanks to Gary Hunnewell we have in our possession some early fanzines from that era, and perhaps for another feature we will discuss the later societies of the New York/Northeast US Areas. 
However, we recently received Gary's latest publication on Tolkien Fandom and it is a brilliant look at early fandom.  Gary provides a short overview of fandom up until 1964, and admits that this volume is by no means exhaustive as "most fanzines were created in limited quantities and are difficult to track down." (pg. 2)

One note we admired is "Lest anyone thing there is anything new under the sun, these are Tolkien fandom firsts during this time," (pg.2)

  • A film treatment of The Lord of the Rings

  • The Silmarillion is almost ready to be published

  • Possible homosexual overtones in The Lord of the Rings

  • Tolkien based filksong, story and poetry

  • Tolkien and racism

  • Human-elf interbreeding

  • Origin of the Orcs

  • Tolkien's literary predecessors/sources (Beowulf, The Elder Edda)

  • The Lord of the Rings is not a trilogy
If you do not know already, Gary has a growing collection at Marquette University where numerous Tolkien manuscripts and collections are housed.  Click here to view the S. GARY HUNNEWELL COLLECTION, 1960-

If you are member of one or numerous Tolkien Societies then you may recognize a number of the periodicals listed . Our very own Parma Nole Journal is also a part of the collection.

While in the New England area a few years ago, founding chairman of the German Tolkien Society, Marcel R. B├╝lles  conducted this interview with .S. Gary Hunnewell for us.  They of course discussed all things Tolkien,  fandom, and Gary's collection of fanzines

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