You’d think that the Tolkien estate had enough money; between the movies, the books, and the merch, he’s been one of the most successful dead authors for quite a while. But, apparently, there’s a manuscript yet to be published, and gold yet to be mined from nerds.
The manuscript in question is The Story of Kullervo, which actually has been published in some academic journals, but is getting a standalone release later this month in the UK and next April in the U.S. It’s based on Finland’s national saga, The Kalevala, and follows an orphan getting revenge on the dark mage that killed his father. Peskily for his heirs, Tolkien never finished the book, which is probably what kept them from putting it out until now.
There is at least a little justification for putting this out; the book will be edited by and have commentary by Professor Verlyn Flieger, best known to nerds for her work on Tolkien, but who is also is an expert in medieval literature and comparative mythology. Still, let’s not pretend that the goal here isn’t ultimately to sell the rights to Hollywood and see if they can’t get another franchise going.
This isn’t the first manuscript from the vaults the estate has rolled out, but hopefully it’s the last. We really don’t need to see some poor academic trying to justify the necessity of The Compleat Treasury of the Dongs J.R.R. Tolkien Doodled in His Book Margins.
(Via PBS NewsHour)