Literary News of the Week: Tolkien, Divergent, and The Giver

Hey everyone!

While I’m on the last half of Reached by Ally Condie, I’d thought I would share some interesting tidbits of literary news that I heard this week. Feel free to share your opinions or post news of your own!

JRR Tolkien at Oxford in 1955. Photograph: Haywood Magee/Getty Images (Image via The Guardian)

The Guardian announced that J.R.R. Tolkien’s translation of the epic poem Beowulf has finally been published, 90 years after its completion. This is one work of literature that I have never read, and I believe that I had subconsciously been waiting for this moment! Who better of a translator to read than the master of fantasy himself? If you’ve read Beowulf, please let me know whether you liked it, and why!

Image via The Frisky

In movie adaptation news, everyone is making a fuss over “Divergent,” which is out in theaters now, and although I haven’t read it (it looks like a convoluted knockoff of The Hunger Games to me), I’m curious to what makes this series so popular. The Frisky believes that there’s more to the story than meets the eye, and paints it as “a bible-thumping disaster.” I wasn’t aware of Veronica Roth’s spiritual leanings, and was surprised to hear this interpretation of Christian symbolism. For fans of Divergent, does this theory hold any weight?

And lastly, the official movie trailer of “The Giver” was released! I absolutely adore Lois Lowry’s novel; in 1993, it was a dystopian tale way ahead of the current trend. Winner of the 1994 Newbery Medal, it is now a staple in most middle school curricula. However, this story is so well-written and powerful that people of all ages should read it!

That being said, although I love Meryl Streep, I don’t believe even she could save this movie, which will be in theaters August 15. All her critical acclaim means nothing when someone like Taylor Swift is also on the cast list (yes, really). Unfortunately, I think this adaptation will get lost in the shuffle of sub-par dystopians like “Divergent,” and viewers won’t understand the profundity of its message. Not to mention, would it have killed them to have shot it in black and white?!

Well, that’s all my news for the week. I’m looking forward to celebrating a friend’s birthday tonight, and I wish you all fun weekends as well!

2 thoughts on “Literary News of the Week: Tolkien, Divergent, and The Giver

  1. Hey! Haven’t commented in a while, but I still read your blog! I think I agree with you on The Giver. I absolutely love that book, but all the trailers I’ve seen have been rather boring. By the way, have you read Son yet? Sequel to The Giver – about Jonas’ birth mother. Really good! (There are actually 4 books in the series, but you don’t have to have read the others to read Son.) As for Divergent – I’ve read the whole series – haven’t seen the movie yet. I was aware of Veronica Roth’s spirituality. Personally I didn’t see the spiritual/allegorical part really until the last book, Allegiant. Which was not a great book. It was okay, but not as good as Divergent. I guess there is sort of an element of sacrifice running through the series, but that’s all. I can’t wait to see what you think of Reached. I’ve read the whole series. It was pretty good. Have you read the Partials series? Even better!

    • Hi, nice to hear from you again! Yes, I should look into The Giver sequels! As for Reached, all I’ll say for now is that it’s a rant waiting to happen! I’ll try to publish my review by the end of the week!

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