Episode 31
October 4, 2021

There Was So Much Math!

Hosted by Jared Pechaček, Ned Raggett, and Oriana Schwindt

Jared, Oriana and Ned talk about Ned’s choice of topic: The Nature of Middle-earth. The newest official Tolkien book is anything but a cohesive volume, instead being a collection of remaining unpublished writings from the overall Tolkien archive about Middle-earth, written mostly in the late 1950s and late 1960s, with a heavy focus on more philosophical and generally foundational concepts and aspects of Tolkien’s creation. Edited by Carl Hostetter with the full approval of Christopher Tolkien before the latter’s passing, it’s at once detailed scholarship and the source of a variety of new wrinkles and outright surprises concerning Middle-earth. What can be made of the deep discussions of Elvish culture and life, and the literal differences as a species from Men? How did Tolkien address the concept of Elvish reincarnation in particular, and what exactly did that imply in terms of what the Valar could do? What does it mean that Tolkien constantly chose to frame everything from the point of view of referring to ‘scholars’ and authorities rather than simply leaning into his own creative process? And how delightful is it to learn that Númenor was the home of a legendary annual bear dance?

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Show Notes.

Jared’s doodle. Besides bears, we learn that Númenor has a lot of cliffs.

The California redwood parks are among the best.

TheOneRing.net’s summary of the Howard Shore semi-news/demi-rumor/whatever it might be.

Star Wars: Visions is a treat.

Red X by David Demchuk is the book Jared’s illustrated. Check it out!

The Nature of Middle-earth -- order away!

Vinyar Tengwar and the E.L.F. info is there for you.

Kristine Larsen’s extensive bibliography on her work on Tolkien and astronomy is very well worth the investigation.

The Isaac Newton story Ned mentioned is a little more involved than that—here’s a 2014 interview with an author who wrote about Newton’s papers in more detail.

Now if you’ve not seen Spirited Away, we do highly recommend it.

The Notion Club Papers is too underdiscussed, really. It’s a very interesting, strange effort.

Flat-earth Catholics, well...we’ll just link this. (It’s not ‘pro-flat earth,’ rest assured.)

Neoplatonism! We understand if you’re already asleep.

If you want a little more about the phenomenal world

The Magisterium is VERY much a thing.

So let’s talk the Gnostics!

Enjoy some more about bear dances in our world. As for Finnish bear cults...

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