Video for Victoria (V.E.) Schwab’s Tolkien Lecture

We were blessed to have Victoria Schwab visit Pembroke on May Day, and deliver the sixth Tolkien lecture, titled ‘In Search of Doors’.

Photos  to follow.

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15 thoughts on “Video for Victoria (V.E.) Schwab’s Tolkien Lecture

  1. stephencwinter

    My first reaction on listening to the lecture was an inclination to dislike Victoria Schwab. It reminded me of a story that Victoria Coren-Mitchell tells of accompanying someone to a literary conference in the University States who began his lecture in exactly the same way. Coren-Mitchell tells of her desire for hide, one that grew as the hostility of the audience grew. I hope that Schwab was more gently treated. But it soon became clear that she was respectful of your lecture series. I can never be angry with someone who learned a love of reading through Harry Potter. This was also my daughters’ experience and in reading the early books aloud to them I learned to love them too. It was a moment of sadness when they decided to read the later books for themselves and dispensed of my services. I still miss that experience today.
    The other reflection that changed my mind was the realisation that Tolkien and (explicitly) Lewis would have agreed with her too. Lewis, in particular, disapproved of a literary canon that a child “ought” to read and to love. He wanted a truthful response to a book whether it was pleasure in reading a comic or dislike of a so-called “classic”. I hope that neither of them would want their work to become canonical although I am sure that both of them would hope that eventually Schwab would read it and grow to love it. What writer desires otherwise?
    Thank you for posting this. I hope that I might be able to attend a lecture in the series in future. I have friends and family in Oxford with whom I know I could stay.

    Reply
  2. Kevan Manwaring

    Lots of good stuff here in this warm-hearted, accessible lecture that I’m sure will be inspiring to many a fledgling writer. I don’t agree with her dismissal of Tolkien – it’s good to be familiar with the tradition you’re stepping into – although admittedly the notion of someone else’s ‘must reads’ can be irritating, and the canon should be challenged. However, I do agree with her main message – that you have to find your own door, and the voices of the fringes need to be heard. Thank you Victoria, for the honest advice, and for the organisers for sharing this.

    Reply
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  6. pbcat

    Reblogged this on Die Wortspielerin and commented:
    Victoria “V.E.” Schwab, unter anderem für ihre Weltenwanderer-Trilogie bekannt, hat die diesjährige inzwischen schon sechste “Tolkien Lecture” am Pembroke College gehalten, und wenn ihr ein Stündchen Zeit habt, solltet ihr euch das nicht entgehen lassen …

    Reply
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