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Monday, January 03, 2011

A Toast To The Professor!

Yesterday, January 3rd, I was sitting on the beach, re-reading Lord of The Rings and loving it as always. I remember the first time I read it. I was tired after a year's work and just wanted to go somewhere that I didn't have to go out for coffee with friends or family and lie on the beach and read. I went to Sorrento, where I stayed at the YHA. The hostel owner was trying to impress a lady who was there to work on a tourist information book by telling me all the things I could do in Sorrento and all I wanted was to get to my dorm, dump everything and take my book to the beach. After listening for a while, I interrupted as politely as I could and said thanks, but I just wanted to go lie on the beach.

I am very lucky the tide didn't come and sweep me away that day. The book sure did! Since then, I have re-read it every now and then - often on the beach - whenever I feel the need for comfort and rest. I love the fact that it suggests ordinary people can be heroes - and gives ordinary problems to the epic hero types. There aren't many women in it, but when they do appear, they're strong. Even Lobelia Sackville-Baggins turns out well in the end. (I'm a member of a Tolkien list under the name of "Lobelia"). I find myself re-reading a chapter and saying, "Oh, great, this is the fabulous chapter where Aragorn..."


So today I'll find a nice pub somewhere and go in to toast "the Professor" and if you haven't done so yet, please do!


Satima Flavell said...

Happy birthday, Professor! We who are forever in your debt salute you:-)

Sue Bursztynski said...

Hear, hear! Hmm, I do have some mead in the pantry and a tape of Tolkien reading from his work - and three CDs of the wonderful Tolkien Ensemble singing his songs.

I know how I;m spending this evening!

Rab Swannock Fulton said...

My first copy of Lord of the Rings was read so often it eventually fell to bits. My wife got me a second copy for our wedding ten years ago. Its getting a bit tatty from all the reading and rereading but this copy i'll be keeping :-)

Sue Bursztynski said...

I have several copies, actually. The first I bought when I was at university - it was the Allen and Unwin boxed set. I got it because everyone in the English faculty said, "What? You haven't read it?" That's the one I took on that beach trip. Then I decided I really needed a single-volume which I could carry everywhere. At one stage, there was a beautifully-illustrated edition with gorgeous Alan Lee art. It was going heavily discounted. Third copy! Not to mention all the copies of The Hobbit I have - one illoed by Michael Hague, one by Alan Lee, an annotated edition I got for a gift and two illustrated by Tolkien, because different editions had either four or five plates.

Keep your tatty copy, but indulge in a fresh new one as well.

Welcome to my blog, Rab! I'll be putting up a link to yours ASAP.