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For all Tolkien maniacs

Title: “The Tolkien Professor”
Speaker: Corey Olsen
Provider: Washington University
This is the first series of lectures I have ever listened to and I’m happy to say that they convinced me to seek other podcasts. As a Tolkien fan (not quite a fanatic but close) I can say that the lectures I’ve listened to – the ones about “Hobbit” – have led me to a whole new understanding of the first book Tolkien published. The Tolkien professor, as Professor Olsen calls himself, introduced me to new ways of reading “The Hobbit”, increasing my Fascination and appreciation of Tolkien’s craft.
Not everything is worth listening to. Though I am a fan of Tolkien, I’m not really involved in any fan sites. The lectures are all very interesting, but there are podcasts that are all news and that does not interest me. Especially since I’m listening to the material long after it was published so for me all of the announcements are boring and irrelevant. I recommend skipping that part and simply enjoying the knowledge inside other tracks.
For me the most interesting was “The Ridiculous and the Sublime”. It showed me how clever Tolkien was in the constructing the story as not to scare children. One example that professor Olsen used was that of the trolls – it is only when that are frozen in the sun and the whole┬ácompany is safe, that we learn how truly dangerous they were. After all they had an elf sword in their cave – and one does not simply find elf swords lying around – it must have been taken by force from the owner.

One of the drawbacks of the series is that they require quite a bit of attention and time – some concepts are easier to understand if you read the books in time with the podcasts – they are usually divided by chapters. In addition it is a lot of listening material – and it draws you in, so it’s better not to have a test or two in your future when you start listening – the results of those test may be quite disappointing.

With that said there is only one thing left for me to say: enjoy and please share your thoughts with me. And if you’d like me to search for good podcast on a particular subject leave a comment and I’ll do my best. Anyone?

by Izabela

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