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Tuesday, July 02, 2013
News at Eleven: When I first got the book [The Fall Of Arthur],
I planned to write a straight-forward review, but I immediately found myself in a bit of a pickle: The whole thing seems more like a commercial enterprise for the [J.R.R.] Tolkien estate than an important lost work. What grade could I possibly give it? Did the fact that the poem worked well--what there was of it--trump my annoyance with Christopher Tolkien for putting it out? If pressed, I'd say the poem deserves a B, but the entire book an F. (Sometimes a letter-grading system doesn't always make the most sense.) But it also got me thinking about the role posthumous works should play in a legacy, and under what circumstances it makes sense to release them.