Friday, June 18, 2010

A Little Tolkienism


Many have thought about reading Lord of the Rings, some have tried, few have succeeded. I succeeded, but only once.
-Anonymous.... okay, me

It's no secret, I LOVE Tolkien. Now, I never read Lord of the Rings in school like some of the older generation did. Though, I did get to read Count of Monte Cristo which is still one of my favorite books. I was only a few pages into Fellowship of the Ring when the movie came out. In my defense, my dad stole it before I could read it, and I had just gotten it back. Translation: He bought it, I took it, and he stole it back... details. Regardless of it being before or after the movie, I was hooked. Since then I've read every Tolkien book I can get my hands on. One particular (not Middle Earth related) favorite being Farmer Giles of Ham. The year Fellowship came out- well, the year after since it came out in December- I read the the entire trilogy. It took some work, and some patience considering he spends a page describing a random tree which has no prevalence to the story. I'm just saying, it's not an important tree, not even an odd looking tree. It's just there. Back on topic, I enjoyed it thoroughly (minus the tree thing), and recommend everyone to read it because it's beautifully written. However, I never read it again. I tried, honestly I tried. The furthest I got was halfway through Two Towers, or to the end of "book three," if you've read it and know it was written in six parts. I'm sure I will someday get through the books again, but so far I haven't been able to.

All this to say, nothing I have read compares to the joy I get when I read The Hobbit. I absolutely love this book. It's charming, funny, suspenseful, mysterious, and a bag of chips (Bag of Chips sold separately). Most books, I'll read once, then never pick up again. Not because I didn't enjoy them, but because I don't forget what I read very easily. I remember the Little House books vividly, and I read them when I was five. The Hobbit, however, I have read three times and am currently reading a fourth time. Keep in mind these were each at least a year apart. I laugh every time I read his little descriptions.

"You would have laughed (from a safe distance), if you had seen the dwarves sitting up in the trees with their beard dangling down, like old gentlemen gone cracked and playing at being boys."
He just has this style about him, C.S. Lewis did it to, where he interrupts himself in the middle of the story. He speaks directly to the reader. This is something I've been told not to do, by many authors. They tell you never to bring the reader out of the story, but I just find it so charming. It has a feel of sitting with Tolkien, and just listening to him tell a story in front of the fire place on a cold night. In my mind, he sits in a dark green armchair, while I lay-with ankles crossed and chin in hands-on a soft rug. It's personable writing. Engaging writing. Writing that doesn't really exist anymore. Many writing nowadays is from a third party view with no personality. That's why I love to read The Hobbit or even The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Though I've read them many, many times, it's refreshing to be able to read something that feels so personal. Like it was written for you. Personally, I think we could all use a little Tolkienism in our writing.

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