Saturday, November 24, 2007

Tolkien and Lewis didn't start it

I have always imagined, although in the back of my head known, that Tolkien and Lewis wrote the first great fantasies, and they are two of my favorite authors that ever claimed to be a writer and penned their stories with typewriters and ink and paper. And more! But I have begun to realize that there are other great authors out there, whether living or dead, and Tolkien and Lewis would not want for us to think they did all of the best writing, I'm sure. I'm not saying that everybody does, but I've just realized; why have none of us ever thought of reading George McDonald, and many other authors with titles I cannot remember? Surely Lewis and Tolkien read much more than we did, and they probably knew about the best books. I am overwhelmed. I have hundreds of books to read, perhaps thousands, plus modern books, and then some! It is overwhelming because...I have to have my own copies. I used to go to the library, but now, for most of the best books, I must have my own copy, perhaps several copies, because I have begun to write and highlight my books. Or at least my paperbacks. I think it is a good idea, and I have thought that some day, I'll have dozens of journals that I used for reading and taking notes as I read. I'll say here and now that you can expect multiple book reviews of the same books over the years. I don't plan on abandoning this blog any time soon; and every time I reread a book like The Fellowship, I'll have new, more mature thoughts on it than I did the last time, until I have it memorized. It is not the sort of book you can read once. I am actually embarrassed that I have only read one of them twice, and I'll keep two other dirty little secrets about that to myself, because I don't want all of my friends to turn on me, although many of them probably already know, and there are probably only a few that even care. So there.
Another thought here is that Tolkien and Lewis did not entirely invent all of their worlds; they stole from Norse and Greek mythology, something else I need to read up on. Does anybody know of some good books on Norse and Greek Mythology? Norse is basically the same as Scandinavian or Viking Legends/myths. Eventually, I need to TYPE a list of books to read, and a list of books I have read. Take a page out of my brother's book. Brian is a great list maker, and he showed me a list he had been keeping for a VERY long time of books that he had read since...at least just after I was born, I THINK...maybe BEFORE I was born, even. Brian? You have the list, you wrote it, how long have you been keeping it?
So anyway, just some more quick thoughts on Tolkien and Lewis and what THEY read...at the beginning of the year and beyond I'll probably post more on this, as I am getting lots of C.S. Lewis and Tolkien for Christmas. Don't panic, I do have some surprises. A lot. If I don't get the Histories of Middle-Earth for Christmas, I'll eventually buy those, because these days, Tolkien is my fave author (and Lewis too. I can't say nay on either one, so they are both my favorite.) I really should go. I have no idea what is yet before me tonight...if I'm fortunate and me and Jason don't collapse, maybe Matrix Reloaded. Last night I saw the Matrix for the first time, and I really liked it a lot. New favorite, I imagine, even though I wouldn't watch too often at night...I think somebody put heebie-jeebies in it when they mixed up the recipe. And lots of weird grossness, too, in the first third....but also very cool. Very weird, but very cool .
Anna

4 comments:

Brian G. Hedges said...

Hey Anna - I started the list in 1990, when you were minus 3 years old!

Congratulations on the new laptop and the Nickel Creek concert. It's been a big month for you, huh?

Looking forward to seeing you soon and talking about Tolkien, Lewis, and company. Like you, I'm enjoying discovering more about their sources and digging further back into the roots of their fantasy books.

Anna Elizabeth Hedges said...

Wow, 1990!
Yes it has been a big month. I can't believe that it's nearly Christmas, yet I'm sitting next to the Christmas Tree, and many presents are already wrapped.

I'm really excited about the fact that there is so much Lewis and Tolkien I haven't read yet, and then there are all the biographies! Actually, one time you recommended me studying the best authors to see how they did, and I am finally getting around to it. I'm looking forward to talking about Tolkien, Lewis and company too.
:)

historygeek said...

Hey Anna I had an interesting quote for you about our former president Teddy. His son said this.
"He read a whole book every day from the time he was 14 untill the day he died. Even on his trip from Africa he brought along his copies of his "old friends" as he called them. The books were bound with pigskin instead of leather. So that they would be more water proof."
Neat hu. I dont care for his political beliefs but I do think that is what gave him so much endurance. Thanks neat post.
~Geek~

PS Congradulations on the Nickel Creek concert. Sad that they are breaking up.

Anna Elizabeth Hedges said...

Wow, that is neat! Thank you. I hope that they get back together in a few years...it's called the "Farewell for now tour," so I think they will. Chris Thile and Sean Watkins have already recorded solo CD's, so I'm sure that both of them will do more. Chris Thile was probably the most enjoyable of all three, and he writes most of the songs.

I did not know that about Teddy Roosevelt, but I always found him the most interesting of the Presidents. Don't know a whole lot about his politics.