Classic Remarks: I arrive fashionably late to Pages Unbound’s party

Greetings, greetings, hello and hope all’s well! I’ve arrived at last. So kind of you to wait! Got turned ‘round on the way over, but found my way at last. It has been awhile, hasn’t it?

Hope there’s still room for me in the literary blogosphere! I do miss this place. Rather…rather terribly, in fact. Some wonderful people used to knock on my metaphorical door every-so-often to see what I had to say, to converse a bit on topics we loved. Books, mostly, and sometimes movies, and other things. Always about stories, though, and their importance in our lives. I still do that quite a bit outside of blogging, but I’d like to tap into this community again. Many of you excellent hobb—I mean, many of you excellent people have continued blogging, and grown at it, and become even more wonderful and accomplished than you were when I first met you. Congratulations! Keep at it!

We’ll see what happens with The Warden’s Walk going forward. You might notice I have an actual, real book review up! And of a book that’s only a decade old! Well to be frank, I don’t know what my next review will be of, or when it will be, but I’m going to try to find ways to post more regularly. And that’s why I’ve arrived late (fashionably, I hope) to Pages Unbound’s party.

Since July, my prolific long-time blogfriends at Pages Unbound have been hosting a weekly meme of their own creation called Classic Remarks. Every Friday they ask a question about the “canon” of classic literature and invite other bloggers to join them in discussing it. Fantastic idea, if I do say so (You do.).

I’m joining in, late as I am. But with a few tweaks to the rules, because it’s my blog and I can post how I want! Right. That’ll silence the critics. (Voice inside head: You’re not popular enough to have critics.) Shh! Right. Where was I? Oh yes. See, I simply haven’t read many of the books their topics address.

So where I know the book, I will answer intelligently, truthfully, and hopefully eloquently. Where I don’t know the book, I’ll fudge it. Neither of the three qualities I strive for in the former case should be expected in the latter. If they do appear, cry “Hallelujah!” for the mercy of God and take a swig of your favorite beverage.

First up: Is Jane Eyre‘s Rochester an attractive and brooding love interest, or dangerously manipulative?

I’ve never read Jane Eyre or seen an adaptation. Huzzah!

fudge

 

Beren and Lúthien, a centenary publication — John Garth

In a wood filled with a cloud of white flowers, a soldier walked in the spring of 1917 with his wife, and she sang and danced for him. To that battle-worn lieutenant, J R R Tolkien, Edith’s dance was an unforgettable glimpse of unearthly joy in the midst of sorrow and horror. It inspired the story he saw […]

via Beren and Lúthien, a centenary publication — John Garth

A new Tolkien book is always exciting! Granted, this sounds like it might not have any new material that isn’t already published in other books. But still, the story of Beren and Luthien is one of my absolute favorites, and I welcome the chance to read even many variations of it in its own book, accompanied by the lovely art of Alan Lee.

Also, as a little heads-up for you guys, I’m preparing another book review of a more recent (well, no more than 10 years old…) fantasy novel, so look out for that in the next week or so. Happy reading!

Listen to the Almost an Inkling webinar live!

Greetings and well-met! Mythgard Institute’s “Almost an Inkling” flash fiction contest is finally at an end.  The submission and voting links for Week 6 “Speculation and Subcreation” are still open, although I’m not sure if they are intended to be. The Weeks 5 and 6 winners are to be announced TODAY at a live webinar session at 4pm Eastern Time. Follow this link and click the big Register button next to the Halloween Extravaganza.

Currently on the webinar the Tolkien Professor, Dr. Corey Olsen, is touring Helm’s Deep in Lord of the Rings Online and explaining Middle-Earth lore using in-game locations. It’s actually pretty interesting!

When the LOTRO section finishes, the flash fiction contest winners will be announced, and any winners attending the webinar will have the chance to read their submissions publicly. I have a simple haiku for my Week 5 submission and a more mythical story for Week 6’s “Speculation and Subcreation” theme. If you want to know what my story is, pop over to the voting link now to read (and maybe vote) for it!

Am I almost an Inkling?

Mythguard Institute asks for your original flash fiction!

https://i0.wp.com/www.mythgard.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/MythgardBanner.png

Two weeks ago Mythguard Institute launched a flash fiction contest open to all comers that will last six weeks in total (ending on Halloween). Sorina Higgins, lecturer and Charles Williams blogger, seems to the main representative for it. In Week 1 they asked us to write a maximum of 333 words about a portal to another world, and the results were some fantastically imaginative, original fiction. As stories are submitted, they are posted online, and anyone can vote on their favorites. After voting closes, two winners are chosen: one by the popular vote and another by the judges. Additionally, runners-up are counted, and the prizes involve publication and the opportunity to read one’s story(-ies) at a webinar. Exciting stuff!

A friend of mine and fellow blogger (I’m not sure if they want to be named to the public yet) was chosen as runner-up by the judges, and I must say it was a cracking good tale. My own story got an honorable mention by the same judges, which suggests I did at least something right. I’ve tried again for last week, Week 2, on a topic about hunting dragons.

Voting is still open for Week 2, so why don’t you all head over to the link here, read some fun stories, and cast votes for the ones you like best? You don’t have to read them all, if it seems too daunting (there are 48, after all!), but they’re all short and sweet. Have fun reading!

 

The Beauty of Rosie Cotton Is in Her Eyes

It’s probably safe to say that not enough is written about Rosie Cotton. I’d never given her much thought before, but I love the insights David Mosley makes in this post.

Letters from the Edge of Elfland

David Russell Mosley

827764-2

Eastertide
5 May 2015
On the Edge of Elfland
Hudson, New Hampshire

Dear Friends and Family,

I just finished my annual reread of The Lord of the Rings, and I was struck by something I’ve never noticed before. In the penultimate chapter, ‘The Scouring of the Shire’, we meet Sam’s sweetheart, Rosie Cotton. The film version of sweet Rosie introduces her to us at the beginning, making her a barmaid at The Green Dragon Inn, perhaps even landlady the way she sees all the customers out. Book Rosie is certainly different. We don’t learn about her existence until The Return of the King, she certainly isn’t a barmaid or landlady, or at least we’re given no indication that she is. All we really know about her is that Sam seems to have loved her for some time and she is one of the many…

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Tolkien and Grief

Theologians, Inc.

The sense of grief that pervades Tolkien’s writing is probably its greatest quality. There are a couple different facets to this, though. One is a genuine sense of sorrow. Much of Tolkien’s writing deals with themes of exile, loss and death, and these situations evoke genuine grief. Love is lost, life is lost, and home is lost. These things stain the land – the land itself is, in a sense, grieved.

Another facet, one that Lewis wrote on frequently, is longing – for Tolkien, the longing for Eden. Even though the world is a place of sorrow and grief, love and beauty still lurk. Then land which aches with the grief of war, exile and death also longs for the restoration of Eden and even the surpassing of Eden, when, to paraphrase the prophecy of Turin, all the wrongs, all the griefs, all the hurts of mankind are redressed and…

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Avoiding Gadzookeries

A rumination on two of my favorite authors and one of my pet peeves!

Mere Inkling

gadzookeryWriting quality historical fiction is challenging. This is especially true if one wishes to avoid the common crutch that a talented writer of the last century first labeled “gadzookery.”

And just what is this faux pas we should avoid when writing about the past? Well, it relates most directly to the dialog placed on the lips of historical figures. The offensive technique involves the overuse of archaic expressions or phrases. (Some would argue it includes any use of any archaisms.)

If the word gadzookery sounds a tad, how shall I put it, “goofy” to you, you may prefer using another word that means the same thing: “tushery.” Tushery was coined by Robert Louis Stevenson. Way back in the nineteenth century.

Gadzookery is a newer version, insulting the same lazy writing technique. I believe it may have been coined by Rosemary Sutcliff (1920-1992). Sutcliff’s historical influence has exerted a literary influence…

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