Books, Tolkien, writing

Rereading LOTR…

I love The Lord of the Rings. (Of course if you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably guessed that already… note the blog’s title). And a few weeks ago, I began rereading it all the way through. All I can say is that it’s a worthwhile experience. Right now I’m around Chapter IV of The Two Towers.
I reread books all the time. A lot. But I rarely reread them starting at the beginning and working my way through solidly.

My father read the entirety of LOTR to me when I was eight years old. “But wouldn’t that go over her head?” you ask. Well, yes. A lot of it did. But I loved that book, and I love it even more now. I think that reading LOTR aloud to children at a young age is a good thing. The small child’s appreciation for the book does not diminish, and with successive rereadings you are astounded again at the richness and beauty of Tolkien’s sub-creation. Every time I read it I am astonished at the richness of this book; at the delicious contrast between the comfortable, homely hobbits, the bittersweet loveliness of the elves, the wisdom of Gandalf… and so much more; the stubborn and delightful Gimli, the nobility and strength of Aragorn… I say no more.

Interestingly, at this reading I am increasingly struck by the descriptions and by the conversations. Tolkien was excellent at describing a piece of land in words that really make it possible to envision it; not merely emotional words like “dark, dismal, gloomy” or “bright, cheerful, colorful”, but words that give you a real idea of the lie of the land, in my opinion. My geography is pitiful; I have never done a formal geography course, but as far as I can tell, Tolkien was quite good at things like this. I must say, though, that the maps are extremely helpful.

Incidentally, you may have noticed that I haven’t been talking about NaNoWriMo much on here. Well, I quit. I got to nearly 30,000 before I gave up. Oh well. There’s always next year.


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