Very interesting! I wonder if there's any chance that Mr. Hogan would consider making those letters publicly available (or at least further extracts, if there is personal material in there that he'd rather not publish)? Not that he'd be under any obligation to or anything, but I think a fair number of people would be interested and grateful if he did.
On the Sayer comment about evil in the ground - am I right in remembering that the veracity of that particular anecdote has been called into question? I know there was a thread discussing it some time ago, but I can't seem to dig it up quickly, and I can't quite remember what the conclusion of the discussion was.
Anyway, the translation seems very cool - though it seems a little strange to get a Gaelic translation before Yr Hobit(though I gather this isn't the first Celtic language translation - The Annotated Hobbitsays there's a Breton translation already, An Hobbit, pe eno ha distro, from 2001).
I'd be very curious to see how a Celtic language translation would handle the 'translation theory' of TLotR, actually, since it would pose some problems beyond the norm that aren't really addressed in Nomenclature- I'm thinking especially of things like Archet and Bree. Also, since Nomenclatureseems addressed especially at Germanic language translations, should the Rohirrim still speak Old English (which would be nonsensical according to Appendix F, although it's Tolkien's unqualified recommendation in N), or should we get them declaiming in Middle Welsh or Old Irish? Maybe we'll find out if Nicholas Williams keeps at it.
Out of curiosity, does anyone read Irish or know someone who does who might be reading this translation? If anyone felt like providing a short review at some point once this is published, there would certainly be a place for it on the Plaza.
It is hard indeed to believe that one of so great wisdom, and of power—for many wonderful things he did among us—could perish, and so much lore be taken from the world.