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The_Tolkienist
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My pleasure and my honour :) Let's all pin Magnatune!
Toggle Commented Nov 30, 2013 on Pinterest and Magnatune at Magnatune blog
Both when "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" came out colleagues of Tolkien raised a few eyebrows as to what he was publishing - and what not. As a professor to three prestigious chairs (one of which was especially created for him) he should not have written those 'fairy-tales' ;) So even at his time he was definitely expected to do more ... Lewis and Tolkien are a very good example in comparing "productivity." In modern terms Lewis who published a lot of work (even if not strictly all academic) should have been the person with a better career (even if we ignore that he had more than just one 'first-class honours' to his list) but he wasn't. Only in later life did he get a chair at Cambridge University and by then his success as a writer and an apologetic had already been of much more importance than his academic work. Why his academic efforts and his qualities did not turn into tangible 'tenure' etc. is rather open to debate, I'd say. However, I do not know enough on Lewis to fully judge this, only by inference via Tolkien/Inklings did I get this impression. However, one thing I am not quite sure about (and I have to admit I am not up to date with modern research on 'productivity' as there seem to about a hundred different ways of improving on it, almost all of which seem to be mutually exclusive) is the question why a literary group such as the Inklings who have proven themselves to be more successful and lasting than most of their more modern contemporaries could be considered unproductive? Productivity to me is the surplus on what happens when you get indivuals together to work creatively on any task they set themselves equalling "the whole is greater than sum of its parts" - and that has most certainly happened with this particular group. I hope it is either Duriez, Carpenter or Glyer you are reading :)
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Aug 21, 2013