Tuesday 23 May 2023

Tolkien's On Fairy Stories audiobook, from the Catholic Culture Audiobooks website

A few days ago, I stumbled across a new unabridged audiobook version of JRR Tolkien's seminal essay On Fairy Stories, published on the website of Catholic Culture Audiobooks

The superb performance is by voice-actor James W Majewski; who really seems to understand what he is reading, so that it is expounded with great clarity. Even better, he reads at a measured pace yet with a quietly-passionate intensity that revealed the essay to be - itself - one of Tolkien's greatest works of imagination.  

I have read and re-read OFS more times than I can count (including the annotated scholarly edition); yet, I felt I had never really grasped it before, never recognized that it was so highly wrought, while also having originated in Tolkien's deepest well-springs of creativity.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for this - new to me! It seems very good that something that started as a lecture and was prepared for publication with care should be well presented to listeners. I have not tried to do my homework to see what else may have been prepared already, but immediate thoughts include how good it would be to have worthy readings of Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics, and its fascinating 'forebears' the two Beowulf and the Critics versions; English and Welsh; the W.P. Ker Memorial Lecture on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; A Secret Vice; Tolkien's Valedictory Lecture; and even his youthful Kalevala paper - and that is no complete list!

David Llewellyn Dodds

Bruce Charlton said...

@DLD - Yes - perhaps especially the famous and influential Beowulf lecture is deserving of such a performance.