Monday, September 25, 2006

The Epic Saga continues...

Funny how our sense of word changes over time. As I typed the title to this post, I realized that Epic and Saga are, in some ways, closely related. Of course, in this instance, "epic" has become an adjective and Saga remains a noun. Which makes all the difference, right? R.W. Southern wrote about "From Epic to Romance" as the movement of medieval literature -- but what on earth would he have done with an epic romance?

Anyway, I'm swamped with work of late. I seem to be slowly sinking into the abyss of only vegetating in my spare time -- I watch a lot of TV while sending emails and doing other tasks (in mere moments I plan to flip on Buffy the Vampire Slayer while folding laundry). Granted, there isn't much spare time in the end -- I've been really slammed with extra worries this past week (including a death of a friend's dad last weekend and his wake and funeral, and my mom's hospitalization...though thankfully she's fine). However, I am continuing to adore teaching -- I feel like it's something I really have a talent for. I have to say that tonight -- otherwise I'll get too depressed when drafts come in tomorrow! However, they're engaging their assignments with enthusiasm worthy of -- well -- really enthusiastic people! which is good, since enthusiasm is pretty much all I have to offer them as a first-year instructor. So at least it's lively.

Have also begun my orals reading -- Finished From Memory to Written Record and have moved to De Doctrina Christiana. I'm already feeling confident I've done the right thing orals-wise too -- everything seems to fit in quite nicely. But more on that another time.

For now, laundry awaits, as does my reasoning behind my title: You might have heard that J.R.R. Tolkien is publishing his final volume from beyond the grave. As an informal poll, how many of you have read all that extra stuff Christopher Tolkien has made available? Not all of it -- just any part. Including Silmarillion. And most importantly -- what did you think?


Anonymous said...

I tried to read Silmarillion once and faltered after the first few pages. But (I hate to admit this, and to you of all people), I also faltered in the first few chapters of FOTR. I like Tolkien in theory but not in practice. What does that say about me??

Just read your post on Heilburg and found it incredibly moving. It made me think of a quote I came across when I was reading for my M.A. Thesis: Ross Chambers writes, “the idea for us to hold on to is that desire can change, and that changes in desire affect the social formation” (Chambers xv). Literature, he believes, can effect change because it allows for an imaginative identification with the other that changes our desires. The first step to effecting change is *imagining* change. I've taken that idea to heart and it encapsulates for me the reason literature is important and, perhaps more importantly, the reason the reading and re-reading of it is important.

--þam flowendegiedum :)