Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Tolkien Trio Reading Tradition

I've gone entirely mad.  I'm going to shelve 3 of the 5 books I'm reading for the moment (NOT Little Women, don't get flustered) and read The Silmarillion.  I've wanted to read it for years and years and years, but never gotten up the guts.  However, James at A Tolkienist's Perspective is hosting a read-along of The Silmarillion and The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings back-to-back-to-back, and I dig his blog a lot, and this seems to be the impetus I need to get started, so... I'm kind of taking a break from Middlemarch, North and South, and The Christian Imagination to slip The Silmarillion into my reading life.  Which is nutty, but... so am I.  Right?

Click the button if you want to learn more and join up yourself.  Or just read his blog, cuz it's groovy.


16 comments:

  1. Good choice! Tolkien was amazingly dedicated to creating Midde-Earth and the Silmarillion really shows that. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on it!

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    1. I'm both excited and worried that I'm just adding that last straw to my load that will make me fall down. Cuz I have a book in at the library on hold too, that I've been waiting for for months and really don't want to not read. Good thing I plan to take a week off from the Little Women read-along between books. Might just manage to not explode, then.

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  2. I love The Silmarillion and can't wait to read it for the Inklings series. Can't wait to hear what you think of it as well!

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    1. I'm trying to get excited, but I've spent 14 years coming up with excuses not to read it, so mostly I'm just face-palming and moaning, "What have I done?" a lot.

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  3. I'm going to check out his blog now! It sounds cool! I think The Silmarillion is pretty good, but hard to get into. However, it's worth it. :)

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    1. I'm determined to conquer it, at long last.

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  4. It's so good! Definitely hefty, though. I'm really close to finishing it, but one of the last audio disks was scratched on my library's copy, so I'm still waiting to get it on interlibrary loan. The wait seems so long...

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    1. Yes! All the good things you've said about it have encouraged me to finally give it a try.

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  5. Oh, now I really want to revisit the Middle Earth.. But I'm not sure I can postpone anything before next month :|

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  6. The Silmarillion is a great book. I don't often read it because I weep through much of it. It encapsulates this thought of Tolkien from "On Fairy Stories:"

    "The consolation of fairy-stories, the joy of the happy ending: or more correctly of the good catastrophe, the sudden joyous “turn” (for there is no true end to any fairy-tale): this joy, which is one of the things which fairy-stories can produce supremely well, is not essentially 'escapist', nor 'fugitive'. In its fairy-tale—or otherworld—setting, it is a sudden and miraculous grace: never to be counted on to recur. It does not deny the existence of dyscatastrophe, of sorrow and failure: the possibility of these is necessary to the joy of deliverance; it denies (in the face of much evidence, if you will) universal final defeat and in so far is evangelium, giving a fleeting glimpse of Joy, Joy beyond the walls of the world, poignant as grief."

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    1. What a lovely passage! Thank you for sharing it. Especially that final phrase, "Joy beyond the walls of the world, poignant as grief." Oh, that's wonderful.

      I'm still reading the preface so far (I can't wait for school to be done at the end of the month so I'll have a bit more free time instead of planning lessons and writing up quizzes and coming up with activities for my kids, and so on), but it's quite fascinating!

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  7. A reader's gotta do what a reader's gotta do! And if you're nutty, it's only in the best possible way. :) So! Since I'm way late in commenting, how's the reading going so far?

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    1. Awww, thank you, Kara :-) (BTW, do you pronounce it CAR-uh or CARE-uh?) The reading is going pretty well -- I'm keeping up, and I'm understanding it fairly well, though a lot of details are slipping through my cracks. That's what rereads are for, I expect.

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    2. It's CARE-uh. :)

      Sounds like my reading of Dune by Frank Herbert! I understood most things pretty well, but I know there were lots and lots of details that I missed. Others who were reading along with me said (since it was their second or third time through) that they were finally getting more details this time. So I actually know exactly what you're talking about!

      Also, glad your enjoying it. :)

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    3. I do like the read-along experience because of that sharing of info -- like discussing a book in a college lit class, only less formal.

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(Rudeness and vulgar language will not be tolerated.)