b r e a t h i n g r o o m
12 Nov 97
I've been giving myself the run-around today, keeping busy. I actually made some progress on the Finding Stuff chapter of the Be book, and during lunch I read the first-edition of The Silmarillion I picked up at Walden Pond Books (who won their trademark battle with Waldenbooks, it should be noted). I've read the Ring trilogy at least three times (some time around fifth or sixth grade, once in high school, and rediscovered yet again in college. I may even have read it a fourth time, or perhaps read just the Two Towers during my unemployed stretch after college), but I'd only read the backstory once, while laid up in a hospital in Princeton after my knee operation, while in high school. Yet that quasi-religious work for enthusiasts only still informed my later readings of the trilogy, intensifying the wistful feeling of the end of an age that itself was inferior to a legendary golden age.
We've upped the pace, me sometimes reading for an hour or so in the morning or during the day on the weekend. The epic has gripped us. Picking up the other book gives me a way to stay in that world between the reading sessions, which have proven again and again to change the way I must read, re-awake my connection to the sounds of the words and the rhythms of the language, especially in Tolkien's linguistically sensitive, never stilted way.
Now I'm killing the last few minutes before a chat on MSN (the server is publichat.msn.com, the room is #SD_Interview). Levi is supposed to be here but has not shown up yet, so I may have to do the promo myself. Wish me luck. (Even after the fact, I could use it.)
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