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Tolkien's Love of Germanic Myth

"Though J.R.R. Tolkien arrived at Exeter College as a Classics (Great Books) scholar, he found his real passion resided in Germanic and Northern language and myth. Actually, he loved all myth, but it was northern myth that most inspired him, especially the languages behind the myths. Mr. Garth does a wonderful job making the various classes Tolkien took as alive today as they were for him a century ago."
This is an interesting review of John Garth's book on Tolkien at Exeter. The book is titled Tolkien at Exeter College: How An Oxford Undergraduate Created Middle-earth (66 pages, Exeter College, 2015). The review is written by Bradley J. Birzer.


Birzer writes:
Never judge a book by its size. This little book is only sixty-three pages long, but its author, John Garth, knows very well how to write concisely and vigorously—White and Strunk would be proud. In other words, there is a lot in this short book.  Tolkien would be proud as well, for Mr. Garth does him nothing but j…
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Poetry for the People

For centuries, poetry was a unifying force in society: farmers and aristocrats alike shared a common knowledge and participated, to a large extent, in a common poetic story. Nowadays, things have changed. Poetry has been pigeon-holed to the classroom or the academy, and therefore become less approachable. Our project is to reclaim poetry one poem at a time, placing it back in the rightful hands of the people!
Listen to the Podcast of Episode 3, a discussion of Daniel Rattelle's poem The Sugar Shack.

Imagination

Related reading: Pen Pecked Dreamers

Pen Pecked Dreamers

Alice C. Linsley



Novelist Fannie Hurst said, “Writing is a chore. It cracks your bones and eats you, and yet it dominates you. You hate it while you love it.”

Every writer can identify with Fannie’s sentiment. Exercising the gray matter, pounding the keys, sketching ideas, and re-writing exhausts inner resources. Yet the very work that exhausts also restores cracked bones, inflames the heart, and inspires the mind. The deep reservoir of the imagination turns a chore into play. From the tidal unconscious comes a soothing flow. The soul's intuition thrusts forth a bud full of promise.

The imagination resembles a waking dream and streams from the unconscious. That dreamer, Alice, falls down. She falls deeper into the unconscious where she dreams of White Rabbits, Mad Hatters, and the Queen who shouts “Off with her head!” When we stand waist high in the streaming source, the work of Reason is left on the shore and we are carried to new worlds; worlds we introduce to our readers.

Alic…

Poetry for the People

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Poetry for the People By Clinton and Sarah Collister
For centuries, poetry was a unifying force in society: farmers and aristocrats alike shared a common knowledge and participated, to a large extent, in a common poetic story. Nowadays, things have changed. Poetry has been pigeon-holed to the classroom or the academy, and therefore become less approachable. Our project is to reclaim poetry one poem at a time, placing it back in the rightful hands of the people!

Good Advice for Thesis Writers

Umberto Ecco

This is important advice because nowadays many tend to write “alternative” theses, in which the rules of critical discourse are not respected. But the language of the thesis is a metalanguage, that is, a language that speaks of other languages. A psychiatrist who describes the mentally ill does not express himself in the manner of his patients. I am not saying that it is wrong to express oneself in the manner of the so-called mentally ill. In fact, you could reasonably argue that they are the only ones who express themselves the way one should. But here you have two choices: either you do not write a thesis, and you manifest your desire to break with tradition by refusing to earn your degree, perhaps learning to play the guitar instead; or you write your thesis, but then you must explain to everyone why the language of the mentally ill is not a “crazy” language, and to do it you must use a metalanguage intelligible to all. The pseudo-poet who writes his thesis in poetry i…

Check Out The North American Anglican

The BOOKCASE at The North American Anglican is a new site where you can read lovely and meaningful poetry. The site also offers book reviews and podcasts. It is especially geared to Anglicans, but people of all Christian denominations would find it interesting.



The North American Anglican exists to glorify Christ and to serve the people of his Church. We hope to provide a resource and forum for proclaiming and discussing those Evangelical and Catholic truths, which find their home in historic Anglican theology. Regular contributors share a commitment to the supreme authority of sacred scripture in matters of faith and morals. They also gladly affirm the 39 Articles of Religion and the historic Book of Common Prayer, as authoritative norms and standards for authentic Anglican faith and piety. Our desire is to participate in and curate a renaissance of both Christian theology and the arts. Keeping in focus a special emphasis on the many historic contributions that the Anglican tradition ha…

Becoming a Novelist is a Long Learning Process

Hugh Howey explains:

I started writing my first novel when I was twelve years old. I was thirty-three when I completed my first rough draft. That’s twenty years of wanting to do something and not knowing how. Twenty years of failure and frustrations and giving up.

A big part of the problem is that I didn’t know what I didn’t know. I didn’t know which questions to ask, much less who might have the answers.

These days, people write to me as if I know what I’m doing. Or like I have a shortcut to success. I’m not sure either is true. One thing I’ve learned is that luck plays a massive role. But what I do have are some insights today that I wish I’d had twenty years ago, tips and pointers that might’ve saved me a lot of headache and heartache if I’d known them sooner. Maybe it’ll help some aspiring writer out there if I jot them all down now.


Read it all here.
Related reading: John Scalzi Speaks to Young Writers; Pen-Pecked Dreamers