Friday, March 6, 2015

George RR Martin donates Hobbit first edition to Texas university


Texas’ A&M’s Cushing Memorial Library and Archives has been George R.R. Martin’s place of choice for depositing of all written work since 1993. Since then, most of his work has been donated to the library for safe keeping. This past weekend however, Martin donated the work of another famous author, the first edition of The Hobbit written by J.R.R. Tolkien. It also made the libraries collection reach a staggering 5 million copies.

Only 1,500 first edition copies of this work were ever published. It comes along with a basic jacket to protect it from dust, as well as corrections to spelling written by publisher’s hand. This particular copy will find its place alongside its American-market counterpart published in 1938 and second edition British copy from 1951.

For this occasion, which took part on February 27, Martin read few lines from The Hobbit, noting the importance of science fiction and fantasy in his life as well as how important it is to protecting written stories:

Even in our modern centuries... we’re losing stories. All of this is incredible [tragedy] to me. That’s where I think libraries, like the great Library of Alexandria, are the fortresses of our civilizations. The stories that we tell each other, the stories that we grow up on, the stories that help shape our values and shape our lives, we still love and remember. This is the stuff that should be preserved.

And not just the highbrow stuff! He clarified:

All of it should be preserved. Not just the stuff that we deem high culture, but popular culture and ordinary culture and ephemera and juvenilia, preserve all of it because we don’t know what we’ll want 50 years from now, what’s going to be important 100 years from now, or whether indeed 1,000 years from now, Stan Lee will stand next to Shakespeare.

3 comments:

  1. Very cool of him! I got to touch a first edition back in the mid 90's. My friends and I had gone to New York and we happened upon a rare bookstore. When I found out they had one on display of course I wanted to look at it. They surprised me by letting me touch it. It was one of the copies Tolkien himself wrote upon. I cherish the memory to this day <3

    Reply
    Replies
    1. Anonymous

      I would have bought it on the spot.

  2. I cannot believe that more people have not responded to this awesomeness by GRRM!!! I also cherish holding copies of first edition books. Lucky you Zidders Roofurry!

    Reply