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I’m pretty sure that most of my readers already know how much I love J.R.R. Tolkien. The other day, I came across this, a brief piece that just proves even more awesomeness on the part of the man behind some of the greatest fantasy ever written. It’s not just that he was a phenomenal writer. It’s also that he was an incredible man. It would be an honor to be able to call myself comparable to a writer who has inspired me since I was in kindergarten. I’m also pretty excited about this picture, and the upcoming Hobbit films.

I think that some of you might be interested in reading this article as well. It’s pretty relevant to most of us, since the vast majority of us are writers, after our own fashion. It was originally sent to me from V, and number 13 on the list struck me as exceptionally relevant, since I’m her editor/publicist-to-be/leech of money from my soon to be famous friend, etc. I know that she’s going to do well. I’m hunting down some possible REAL editors for her at the moment. It’s good to keep busy, and have a few different options for writing projects, and I’m happy to help out someone who’s so far ahead of me in the novel-writing game.

I’m always looking out for new words, or old ones that have fallen into disuse. When I was taking classes on early literature, I absolutely loved studying Beowulf, because our professor was incredibly passionate about the language. He also taught my class on Chaucer, and I’d never met anyone quite like him. He loves to talk about his visits to Westminster Abbey to have chats with “Geoff.” His love for the language of Middle English and its predecessor showed in every lesson he taught. Because of his classes, I’ve rediscovered my own love of languages, and so, when I first heard this song, the first thing I did was look up a word that was unfamiliar to me: skald. Thanks to wikipedia, I learned that skalds were Scandinavian poets/bards, and they were responsible for most of the earliest known Norse poetry. Personally, history aside, I think it’s an awesome word. Toss in the historical aspect, and it just gets better. Skaldic poetry also includes one of my favorite concepts ever, the kenning. Now V and I have discussed this at length, but the kenning is a metaphor, usually hyphenated, found especially in Scandinavian verse, such as Beowulf. One of my favorite examples of a kenning is used to describe a character’s vast knowledge and ability to speak eloquently. “That noblest of men answered him; the leader of the warrior band unlocked his word-hoard.” Is that not the best way to show off someone’s sheer skill in speech?

Is it too much to ask to be able to want to write something like that?

2 Comments

  1. Oh man, I loved that article on Tolkien’s comment, I can never admire that man too much. Maybe that’s why I’m so picky about what I read, I compare it to the master and almost nothing holds a candle to his work.

    Oh, and on that pic of the Dwarves, why are they not wearing their cloaks and hoods of the correct and proper colors? I may have to take issue with Peter Jackson on this.

    • It’s very hard to find anything that even comes close, isn’t it? I’m looking into some of his predecessors now. As far as the dwarves, well, I’ll just chalk it up to artistic license, and wanting to give them unique characteristics beyond just the color of their cloaks.


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