Friday 14 August 2015

Tolkien and the Jerusalem Bible

Titbit: J.R.R. Tolkien was asked to be on the board of people who would vet the English of the Jerusalem Bible. He asked out in the end because of overload, but it seems he did do the Book of Jonah. Tolkien as a master of prose, of language, and as someone who has contributed to the cadences of the Book of Jonah in the JB: that's something! (See The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, ed. Humphrey Carpenter with Christopher Tolkien, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1981, p. 378.)

Charlotte and Denis Plimmer had interviewed Tolkien for the Daily Telegraph Magazine, and had now sent him the draft of their article, the finished version of which was published on 22 March 1968. 

Tolkien... is among the 'principal collaborators' of the newly-translated Jerusalem Bible.
Naming me among the 'principal collaborators' was an undeserved courtesy on the part of the editor of the Jerusalem Bible. I was consulted on one or two points of style, and criticized some contributions of others. I was originally assigned a large amount of text to translate, but after doing some necessary preliminary work I was obliged to resign owing to pressure of other work, and only completed 'Jonah', one of the shortest books.  

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