29 December 2017
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
An enjoyable read, which got steadily more interesting as it went along. It does a good job of maintaining a child's perspective, though it's not a children's book, and of suggesting that there's more out there in the dark, in the woods beyond the lights of Oxford, than most adults would be comfortable admitting. The characters range from a Dickensian evil landlord and a wastrel father to the Devil, werewolves, and (apparently) Cerunnos. Lewis and Tolkien also appear as peripheral characters, who are welcome and amusing, but may not be strictly necessary as themselves. On the other hand, there is no little irony in their seeming ignorance of the perilous realm that surrounds and even penetrates Oxford. And this may be the point of their presence, since their ignorance underlines the greater ignorance of the modern world.
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15 December 2017
If we appear to have singled out Dr. Leslie rather often for disagreement, this is because his [edition] is usually the most accessible, and often the most able, defence of interpretations which we find unacceptable.
This was unexpected and rather difficult. There was some scattered clapping, but most of them were trying to work it out and see if it came to a compliment.
Amazon to Adapt J.R.R. Tolkien’s Globally Renowned Fantasy Novels, The Lord of the Rings, for Television with a Multi Season Production Commitment
"I would draw some of the great tales in fullness, and leave many only placed in the scheme, and sketched. The cycles should be linked to a majestic whole, and yet leave scope for other minds and hands, wielding paint and music and drama. Absurd."
'Really, you three, especially Rob, are heroes,' [Wiseman] wrote. 'Fortunately we are not entirely masters of our fate, so that what we do now will make us the better for uniting in the great work that is to come, whatever it may be.'
(quoted in Garth  137)
And Aragorn the King Elessar wedded Arwen Undómiel in the City of the Kings upon the day of Midsummer, and the tale of their long waiting and labours was come to fulfilment.
12 December 2017
A couple of years back I stopped to buy some bagels, and had the following conversation with the man behind the counter:
He: What can I get you?
Me: A dozen everything bagels, please.
He: All of them everything?
Me: Everything all of them.
He: You got it.
I suddenly felt like I was on Seinfeld.
03 December 2017
I never told you a curious thing - I have meant to include it in several letters - wh[ich] provides a new instance of the malignity of the Little People. I was going into town one day and had got as far as the gate when I realised that I had odd shoes on, and one of them clean and the other dirty. There was no time to go back. As it was impossible to clean the dirty one, I decided that the only way of making myself look less ridiculous was to dirty the clean one. Now w[oul]d you have believed that this is an impossible operation? You can of course get some mud on it - but it remains obviously a clean shoe that has had an accident and won’t look in the least like a shoe that you have been for a walk in. One discovers new catches and snags in life every day.
02 December 2017
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
'If we insist that the Bible is "more" than a work of literature, we ought at least to stick to the word "more," and try to see what if means.
'What I think it means is that we have to turn again to the traditional but still neglected theory of "polysemous" meaning. One of the commonest experiences of reading is the sense of further discoveries to be made within the same structure of words. The feeling is approximately "there is more to be got out of this," or we may say, of something we particularly admire, that every time we read it we get something new out of it. This "something new" is not necessarily something we have overlooked before, but may come rather from a new context in our experience. The implication is that when we start to read, some kind of dialectical process begins to unfold, so that any given understanding of what we read is one of a series of phases or stages of comprehension.'
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