Friday, October 26, 2018

Gollum Needs Glasses

So, now that I've wrapped up my current research trip among the Tolkien papers in the Marquette Archives, I'm amazed as always by how fluid and flexible the story-line of LotRs was when Tolkien was drafting the book. What really strikes me this time are the small details that seem so out of place, when their spurious sense of inevitability only comes from the fact that Tolkien did in the end pick A instead of B  at a given spot. Like the statement that Bombadil cd have destroyed the Ring, had Frodo but asked --shades of PARZIVAL, perhaps? Or his idea of making the Stone of Erech Aragorn's palantir? Or the mention of Fingon in the Shelob chapter, along with Beren and Turin. Beren and Turin were kept while Fingon was removed --why? Or, to turn the question the other way around, why was Turin kept? Beren and Earendel were famous spider-slayers; Turin seems included as the mightiest of all human warriors.

Or my current favorite, the oddly endearing statement by Frodo that Gollum is night-eyed but near-sighted. I now have a mental image of poor Smeagol with spectacles that I don't think is going away anytime soon.

And in other news, Mr. Mousey, one of my favorites of all the cats to have passed through the cat-room, finally got adopted. Here's hoping he's finally found his happy ending after many months of waiting.

--John R.

--today's song fragment stuck in my head --'in the lobby of a downtown hotel'--eventually expanded itself out to be recognizable as "The Ballad of Danny Bailey". go figure.

current reading (kindle): Evangeline Walton's novelizing of the Fourth Branch of the Mabinogi, which I expect to get me through a good section of my plane ride home tomorrow.

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