Thought on Organization.

Flammifer

Well-Known Member
The usual suggestion for organization has been that it should be chapter by chapter, book by book. I suggest an additional possibility.

A separate section could be made called something like 'The Poetry in The Lord of the Rings - an analysis'. This could assemble all of Corey's poem analyses, (which he obviously loves) as well as the discussions and observations about them.

As far as I am aware, analysis and study of the poems is an under-published field of LOTR study. Of all the aspects of the class, this is one that might most beneficially be turned into a book as well as a multi-media publication.
 

Lashley66

New Member
I like the idea of specific subtopics. Considering the scope of this project, the sky’s the limit when it comes to topics that could be covered.
 
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Kathy Amen

Member
I like this idea, too. Of course, in addition to chapter-by-chapter summaries/analysis. Poetry is definitely a sub-topic that needs to happen. A few others I can think of are specific character arcs, landscapes/geography, and possibly languages. What about connections to the Silmarillion legendarium?
 

DolorousStroke

Active Member
Can I ask, has a proof-read transcript of all the episodes, 1 to 215 or whatever we’re on now, been produced?

I think that should be started and proofreading organized as an initial matter. Maybe someone with software skills can make an initial transcript and proof-readers can each volunteer to do 5 episodes each. (I’m glad to do 5.)

There would need to be a proof-readers guide (standard spelling of names, template format, etc.).

There is also good software out there that takes multiple documents and sets up automatic cross-references.

Don’t want to suggest this if it has already been started—apologies, I’m not sure!—but I’m glad to help out a bit, and this seems like it would be the foundation of everything going forward.

Thanks!
 
I'm late to the party, but my original thoughts for the organization was something akin to TVTropes. Then we can have the chapter by chapter summaries, plus episode summaries, plus longer running themes, without loosing anything. TVTropes actually does a really good job (imo) organizing multiple things like that. Honestly, this conversation needs to be heavily influenced by our 'dwarves smiths'--what are we actually technologically capable of creating?
 
The fun thing about TVTropes's approach is it allows you to have multiple organization styles and you can pick which one you want to interact with. So, for example, we could have chapter by chapter. Linked on that page, is every ExLotR episode covering that chapter. Also linked on that page, is every 'running topic' we discuss, or the community want to add, that's relevant to that chapter.
You can also come at this by the ExLotR episodes. So every episode is its own page and has links to the chapter page for what we were discussing, as well as any 'running topic' pages mentioned in that episode. Then, you have an index of all 'running topics' organized in some reasonable method.
We'd either want to add a native forum to this as well, or somehow link it well to the existing mythgard forums.
 
These are all excellent ideas, and I agree with all of them!

I think having subtopics/categories would be a great asset, and poetry will definitely be one of them! As you say Lashley66, the sky is the limit and I am hoping to be able to continue creating new categories even once the website is up and running and established. Kathy, your suggestions for categories to start with are great, and I was also thinking of a grammar/linguistics section.

DolorousStroke, we do not currently have any transcripts of the episodes to my knowledge. I think having some level of transcription would be wonderful, but it will probably become very large and unwieldy very quickly if we try to transcribe every word of every episode. Perhaps we could figure out a way to transcribe particular moments in each episode, whenever Corey explains a point in a particularly good way, but without having to go through every um and ah in the process.

Trifle, I love the idea of a TVTropes style wiki, with different indexes for each chapter, each category, and each theme. I think that would be an excellent way of organisation, so that navigating the website is easy.
 

Kathy Amen

Member
I had a thought about a couple more categories, rather specific ones: Anglo-Saxon/Old English influences and Norse saga influences. I was hoping, rather naively, that we could formulate a *complete* list of categories so that we wouldn't have to go back over the same ground when doing our tagging, but I think that's impossible. I'm sure we'll come up with new categories as we work.
 

Flammifer

Well-Known Member
I had a thought about a couple more categories, rather specific ones: Anglo-Saxon/Old English influences and Norse saga influences. I was hoping, rather naively, that we could formulate a *complete* list of categories so that we wouldn't have to go back over the same ground when doing our tagging, but I think that's impossible. I'm sure we'll come up with new categories as we work.
Good Idea Kathy,

I think that both those suggestions could be sub-headings under a broader category called 'Influences and References'. There have been many discussions on references and influences on TLOTR. I can recall Finnish, the Kallevalla, The Bible, Catholicism, Boethius, WWI, Horatius at the Bridge, Joan of Arc (both the last two in relation to Boromir), Medieval conceptions of faeries, Victorian conceptions of fairies, C. S. Lewis, the Inklings, all being discussed. I am sure there are many others that I do not now recall.
 

Kathy Amen

Member
Good Idea Kathy,

I think that both those suggestions could be sub-headings under a broader category called 'Influences and References'. There have been many discussions on references and influences on TLOTR. I can recall Finnish, the Kallevalla, The Bible, Catholicism, Boethius, WWI, Horatius at the Bridge, Joan of Arc (both the last two in relation to Boromir), Medieval conceptions of faeries, Victorian conceptions of fairies, C. S. Lewis, the Inklings, all being discussed. I am sure there are many others that I do not now recall.
Gosh, you're right. That's a good way to think about organizing these references. I was thinking too small :cool:
 

Flammifer

Well-Known Member
I had a thought about a couple more categories, rather specific ones: Anglo-Saxon/Old English influences and Norse saga influences. I was hoping, rather naively, that we could formulate a *complete* list of categories so that we wouldn't have to go back over the same ground when doing our tagging, but I think that's impossible. I'm sure we'll come up with new categories as we work.
I like your idea of trying to develop a list of potential categories, Kathy,

Here are some possibilities to start:

Speculation: Always fun, and there has been a lot of it. Conjecturing beyond much evidence as to what might have been going on.

Interpretation: Especially where there are several different Interpretations discussed. What can we deduce from the close-reading evidence. Can we deduce several different possibilities?

Discovery: Where have we discovered new things (new to us at least - maybe new to all) from close reading of the text?

Observation: Where has close-reading led to observations that perhaps most readers do not observe?

Humor: There has been a lot of it in the class and on the forums. Well worth capturing.

Perspectives: There has been a lot of discussion on the perspectives of the first-time reader, the multi-reader, the Legendarium reader, as well as the perspectives of different characters in TLOTR.

The Ring: Its powers, its sentience, its influence.

Character Arcs: of the main characters. Including characters without much arc, such as Tom Bombadil, Treebeard, Balrog.

Elves and Men - Immortality v. Mortality: How are they similarly and differently portrayed in TLOTR.

Hobbits: What does close reading tell us about them?

Orcs: ???????

Nazgul: ??????

Providence: What is it? Where does it operate in the story? How? Who deploys it? Why?

Language, Languages and Linguistics: Where does JRRT use different language 'registers' and why? Where does JRRT use words with definitions unfamiliar to modern American readers? How are the many languages in Middle-earth used in the story?

References and Influences: Where do we see possible references and influences in TLOTR?

Poetry: How do we interpret each poem, and how does each poem and all the poems affect the work of art?

Well, there are some suggestions. I'm sure that many others could be added.
 

Kathy Amen

Member
I like your idea of trying to develop a list of potential categories, Kathy,

Here are some possibilities to start:

Speculation: Always fun, and there has been a lot of it. Conjecturing beyond much evidence as to what might have been going on.

Interpretation: Especially where there are several different Interpretations discussed. What can we deduce from the close-reading evidence. Can we deduce several different possibilities?

Discovery: Where have we discovered new things (new to us at least - maybe new to all) from close reading of the text?

Observation: Where has close-reading led to observations that perhaps most readers do not observe?

Humor: There has been a lot of it in the class and on the forums. Well worth capturing.

Perspectives: There has been a lot of discussion on the perspectives of the first-time reader, the multi-reader, the Legendarium reader, as well as the perspectives of different characters in TLOTR.

The Ring: Its powers, its sentience, its influence.

Character Arcs: of the main characters. Including characters without much arc, such as Tom Bombadil, Treebeard, Balrog.

Elves and Men - Immortality v. Mortality: How are they similarly and differently portrayed in TLOTR.

Hobbits: What does close reading tell us about them?

Orcs: ???????

Nazgul: ??????

Providence: What is it? Where does it operate in the story? How? Who deploys it? Why?

Language, Languages and Linguistics: Where does JRRT use different language 'registers' and why? Where does JRRT use words with definitions unfamiliar to modern American readers? How are the many languages in Middle-earth used in the story?

References and Influences: Where do we see possible references and influences in TLOTR?

Poetry: How do we interpret each poem, and how does each poem and all the poems affect the work of art?

Well, there are some suggestions. I'm sure that many others could be added.
This is a great list! Orcs and Nazgul for sure; there were plenty of discussions referring to JRRT's evolving conception of how orcs came to be. That would be a really useful index term.
 

Jonah

Member
Can I ask, has a proof-read transcript of all the episodes, 1 to 215 or whatever we’re on now, been produced?

I think that should be started and proofreading organized as an initial matter. Maybe someone with software skills can make an initial transcript and proof-readers can each volunteer to do 5 episodes each. (I’m glad to do 5.)

There would need to be a proof-readers guide (standard spelling of names, template format, etc.).

There is also good software out there that takes multiple documents and sets up automatic cross-references.

Don’t want to suggest this if it has already been started—apologies, I’m not sure!—but I’m glad to help out a bit, and this seems like it would be the foundation of everything going forward.

Thanks!
I agree that a proofed (and time stamped) transcription of the Episodes would be most helpful, both for inclusion in the eventual website and for the convenience of those of us developing content. Corey speaks very clearly and very well, but most of his speech is extemporaneous. It’s not always obvious how to transcribe it. Having one transcript that everyone could use would be awesome.
 

NancyL

Member
I agree that a proofed (and time stamped) transcription of the Episodes would be most helpful, both for inclusion in the eventual website and for the convenience of those of us developing content. Corey speaks very clearly and very well, but most of his speech is extemporaneous. It’s not always obvious how to transcribe it. Having one transcript that everyone could use would be awesome.
This sub-project could easily be done by volunteers, an episode at a time, but before anyone starts, we need a process/procedure for it. I've volunteered over at Project Gutenberg and they have a three-step process:
1. Formatting into a standard layout (done by beginners after reading a two page instruction "manual" which provides a list of standard methods/tools which can be printed out and kept at hand while doing the formatting)
2. Reviewing for accuracy (done by more experienced volunteers)
3. Final proof reading (done by anyone - new set of eyes and all that)
Note: Each step can be done at any pace and be interrupted at any time. Any volunteer can step in to continue/complete at any point. (Great for life interruptions.)

Our process would be different because we have different goals, but this is a proven process which our Dwarven Smiths could look at for ideas.

PS - I second the idea of a "Silliness" category. I'd hate to lose all those awful puns and Star Trek/Dr. Who jokes.
 

Lashley66

New Member
This sub-project could easily be done by volunteers, an episode at a time, but before anyone starts, we need a process/procedure for it. I've volunteered over at Project Gutenberg and they have a three-step process:
1. Formatting into a standard layout (done by beginners after reading a two page instruction "manual" which provides a list of standard methods/tools which can be printed out and kept at hand while doing the formatting)
2. Reviewing for accuracy (done by more experienced volunteers)
3. Final proof reading (done by anyone - new set of eyes and all that)
Note: Each step can be done at any pace and be interrupted at any time. Any volunteer can step in to continue/complete at any point. (Great for life interruptions.)

Our process would be different because we have different goals, but this is a proven process which our Dwarven Smiths could look at for ideas.

PS - I second the idea of a "Silliness" category. I'd hate to lose all those awful puns and Star Trek/Dr. Who jokes.
I’m glad you mentioned this! I just started a thread to discuss a house style guide for the editing and formatting of this project.
 

NancyL

Member
Right! I wouldn't dare start any kind of tagging/categorizing/listing/organizing without a pretty detailed "how-to" manual.
I've mixed feelings about this (even though I suggested it <hehe>) ... on the one hand, having a simple guide to hand would help beginning volunteers, but on the other, there will be things which come up as part of the process which we will want to include. (BTW I built a model once and maintained it for 5 years. In that time, users decided they wanted to change the structure several times -- the real shakeout into a mutually-understood-and-used model took three of those years.)
 

Lashley66

New Member
I've mixed feelings about this (even though I suggested it <hehe>) ... on the one hand, having a simple guide to hand would help beginning volunteers, but on the other, there will be things which come up as part of the process which we will want to include. (BTW I built a model once and maintained it for 5 years. In that time, users decided they wanted to change the structure several times -- the real shakeout into a mutually-understood-and-used model took three of those years.)
I feel like the process for developing our style guide can be organic and take time. A good place to start could be to begin editing the transcripts from the ExLOTR episodes. We could get started with that and discuss what we notice, like and dislike, non-negotiables, and whatever else comes up.
 

Kathy Amen

Member
Not to over-complicate things, o_O but just something to be aware of: there have been some interesting references to events/language/etc. from LOTR in Corey's Nature of Middle Earth discussions. In the interest of completeness, it would be cool to add these references to our masterwork.
 
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