Hypothetical Paper Titles

coffeepotbadger:

1. Born To Be A Leaver? Determinism in Country Music of the 90s

2. Casing The Promised Land: Sin, Temptation, and Cars in Springsteen

3. The Entire Point of Snape Is That It’s Complicated: Reject Simplistic Analyses of Harry Potter Already

4. The Radio Is Out To Get Me: Confirmation Bias and Mass Media

5. Duck, or Your Goose Will Be Cooked: Idioms and Waterfowl in English

6. Why Do We Like To Sort M&Ms? I Don’t Fucking Know, I’m A Linguist

8. Everybody Hates Me, Guess I’ll Go Eat Worms: Annelid Consumption & Social Dysfunction

9. My Baby Don’t Mess Around: Dating Culture & The Very Tidy

(Reblogged from coffeepotbadger)
zhernobyl:


FUTURE LEGENDS

i. kill your heroes - awolnation | ii. feel good inc. - gorillaz | iii. just one yesterday - fall out boy | iv. black sheep - metric | v. run boy run - woodkid | vi. mercenary - panic at the disco | vii. snakes on a plane - cobra starship | viii. battle born - the killers | ix. monster - kanye west | x. clint eastwood - gorillaz | xi. die young in the cave - kesha + mumford and sons | xii. biting down - lorde | xiii. planetary (GO!) - my chemical romance | xiv. problem - natalia kills | xv. kick ass - mika | xvi. feeling good - michael buble | xvii. it’s time - imagine dragons | xviii. seven nation army - white stripes |  xix. some nights - fun. 

zhernobyl:

FUTURE LEGENDS

i. kill your heroes - awolnation | ii. feel good inc. - gorillaz | iii. just one yesterday - fall out boy | iv. black sheep - metric | v. run boy run - woodkid | vi. mercenary - panic at the disco | vii. snakes on a plane - cobra starship | viii. battle born - the killers | ix. monster - kanye west | x. clint eastwood - gorillaz | xi. die young in the cave - kesha + mumford and sons | xii. biting down - lorde | xiii. planetary (GO!) - my chemical romance | xiv. problem - natalia kills | xv. kick ass - mika | xvi. feeling good - michael buble | xvii. it’s time - imagine dragons | xviii. seven nation army - white stripes |  xix. some nights - fun. 

(Source: necropolice)

(Reblogged from daisybuchanan)
To fight monsters, we created monsters of our own.

Pacific Rim, 2013


One of the greatest things about this quote (and this movie) is that it had all the potential in the world to spread the dark and terrible (and often truthful) idea that in order to fight the darkness, one must absorb some of that darkness. It was very prominent in The Dark Knight trilogy, especially as articulated by Harvey Dent: “You die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” 

Pacific Rim doesn’t do this. Mankind bands together for a true world war. There are already enough monsters coming for them; they do not need to become monstrous themselves. The monsters they create are not beasts but guards and armor to protect, not universally destroy. The jaegers rarely deliberately destroy massive structures (remember Gipsy Danger carefully stepping over a large walkway and nimbly navigating between buildings during the fight in Hong Kong). The pilots in the jaegers are very human and imperfect but are still heroes. They may have created monsters, but they did not become them.

Everyone and their mother has lauded this, but it bears repeating: in Pacific Rim, mankind’s power is not in its capacity for destruction or power or control or harnessing its deepest instincts but instead in its humanity—its ability to rebuild, to persevere, to empathize and to understand. 

(via mymarysunshine)

(Reblogged from ink-splotch)

raven-the-gatekeeper:

berry-nerdy:

i wrote this the other week when i was kind of stressed out - I don’t like it too much, but I figured it was better to finish it then leave it half-inked in a pile somewhere!

Hey… I do that stuff…

(Reblogged from toriasobbingalonewithcomics)

gothiccharmschool:

One last comment this evening about witchcraft and occult studies: if you want a good overview of certain Serious Occult Subjects without the sometimes pompous attitudes that come with them, I HIGHLY recommend this book. Yes, it’s a little silly in places, but that’s part of what makes it so delightful. The information is solid, and a good starting-off point for exploring those sorts of topics.

Plus, Winnie-the-Pooh! Alchemic theory explained with Winnie-the-Pooh! 

(Reblogged from gothiccharmschool)
You swallowed the light.
You swallowed it,
and all the children in all the villages
came down from the mountains
singing about the north star
and how they saw it in your belly.
This is what you do.
You take a broken thing and you
make it more broken.
You eat the stars and lick your fingers.
You lead a small army of lost boys into oblivion
because you are too lonely to tell them
that you haven’t figured out where you’re going.
Blame the bad days.
Blame the ghosts
and all the monsters your father warned you about.
You want to be the hero, and you’re
trying, but this is bigger than you
and you can’t put your fist through it.
Not this time.
You swallow the light because
you think you can keep it safe.
The lost boys are still lost boys
but now they ask questions that you can’t answer.
You swallow the light and try not to choke around the burning.
Pretend it’s whiskey.
Pretend it goes down smooth.
You’re trying to be the hero but you’ve forgotten how to be gentle.
You’re trying to be the hero but maybe
you’re just the man with a fist for a mouth.
Maybe you’re the lost boy.
Maybe you’re the one that needs
to be saved.
Caitlyn Siehl, The Hero (via alonesomes)
(Reblogged from doctorcakeray)

anarcho-queer:

Mississippi Judge Takes Baby Away From Mother, Says Lack Of English Would Cause ‘Developmental’ Problems

A federal judge has ruled that a case against two employees of Singing River Hospital and a state child welfare caseworker accused of unjustly separating a newborn baby from her mother may proceed – denying the defendants’ attempt to claim immunity for their actions

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Baltazar Cruz and her daughter. The mother – who speaks the indigenous Mexican language Chatino, limited Spanish and virtually no English – gave birth to her daughter at Singing River Hospital in November 2008. Two days later, the child was taken from her following allegations by a hospital employee who spoke only in Spanish to the mother.

They claimed she was undocumented, traded sex for housing and concluded she intended to give her child away. While she was at the hospital, her Chatino-speaking cousin tried to tell officials that she is actually employed at a Chinese restaurant, and did not in fact “admit” to allegations that she was involved in the sex trade. But a social services representatives who did not know her language nonetheless excluded her cousin from discussions between them.

After the state health department filed a “report of suspected abuse and neglect,” officials temporarily gave Baltazar Cruz’s baby to a couple who wanted to adopt a child, but were not licensed as foster parents, according to court documents. And at a court hearing that followed, Judge Sharon Sigalas agreed with the couple’s argument that the baby would have “developmental” problems because she would not communicate with the baby in English.

Baltazar Cruz was without her daughter for almost a year, and the court nearly terminated her parental rights.

It was only after a federal investigation of the case was initiated that the judge, prosecutor, and guardian ad litem all recused themselves from the case, claiming a new conflict of interest. The judge who replaced Sigalas granted Baltazar Cruz custody.

A federal judge ruled Friday that these officials could not now claim immunity from constitutional allegations against them, concluding, “This case is riddled with contradicting stories and potential indicia of misconduct.”

(Reblogged from kingandli0nheart)

ink-splotch:

Beanstalk
Book One of the Leagues and Legends series

A backwoods nobody with a heart of gold and a knack for making friends in unlikely places, Jack Farris isn’t who anyone expects to become the next legendary hero–

but wait.

No.

Heart of gold. Unknown and underestimated. Seventh son of a seventh son. An underdog teaming up with a ragtag band of misfits…

No, this sounds exactly like a hero’s story.

Except Jack Farris isn’t a hero. He’s a young man, fallible and scarred, a bit too loyal and rather too tall. His world might be a hero’s, but he and his friends simply have to live in it.

Free ebook here. Buy a physical copy here.

ejadelomax.com

(Reblogged from ink-splotch)

ink-splotch:

  I was so tall.

You were older then.

Can we talk about Susan Pevensie for a moment?

Let’s talk about how, when the war ends, when the Pevensie children go back to London, Susan sees a young woman standing at the train platform, weeping, waving. 

First, Susan thinks civilian; and second, she thinks not much older than me.

Third, Susan thinks Mother.

They surge off the train, into their parents’ arms, laughing, embracing. Around them, the train platform is full of reunions (in her life, trains will give so much to Susan, and take so much away).

Over her mother’s shoulders, Susan sees Peter step solemnly back from his father so that Edmund can swoop in to get his hair paternally ruffled. She meets Peter’s eyes across the space, the way they saw each other over battlefields and tents full of the wounded, in negotiations and formal envoys.

She has always seen Peter when others only saw the king, only duty embodied in a young man’s slight, noble features. Susan can see him now, the way he looks at their father. Once, parents had meant protection, authority, solidity. But Peter’s shoulders are slender, are steady, will be weighed down every moment of the rest of his life. She can see it in him, the unreasonable hopes he had that as mighty a figure as a father might take some of that weight from him.

Their father has one hand on Lucy’s round cheek and he is weeping, for all he is pretending not to. He’s a good man, a portly one, thinner than when they left, but Susan can see the loss in the slope of Peter’s shoulders. This good man cannot lighten the king’s load; he only adds one more responsibility to the towering pile. Susan crosses the space to take Peter’s hand. He inhales and straightens his spine.

"You’ve all grown so much," their mother says.

Edmund is too young to register, but older now than he was at his first war; Lucy, who had been so young when they had left, grew into herself in a world filled with magic. All of them, they have responsibility pressed into their shoulders, old ropes they can’t even grasp for. No one is asking them to take that mantle on their shoulders, and that’s the hardest part. You get used to the weight. You build your world around it, build your identity into the crooks and crannies of the load you carry.

Can we talk about how much the gossipy young girls who cluster in the schoolyard must feel like children to her? And Susan has forgotten about being a child. She is the blessed, the chosen, the promised. Susan has decades on them, wars, loss and betrayal, victory and growing fields, the trust of her subjects. It was a visceral thing, to have all those lives under her protection and to know that her subjects slept safe, peacefully, on dark nights. Here, on this drab concrete, her people are untouchable, indefensible; her self is vanished, her kingdom gone; she can feel the loss like a wound. She has lost her power, but that trust, that responsibility remains. It circles her ankles, trips her in the school hallways.

She barely speaks to her schoolmates. The first few years back, guilt lives in her shaking hands.

For a long time Susan doesn’t want to be tied down to anything (she doesn’t want anything tied down to her, because she has, it seems, a pattern of disappearing). Peter pours himself into schoolwork and extracurriculars. He wakes and works, excels in his steady way, like he owes someone something. 

Lucy befriends wayward girls like they were shy dyads, sly naiads. Lucy walks the playground with all the bright, sprightly grace of a girl who could find worlds in the backs of wardrobes, and she finds smiles in schoolgirls, finds enough of herself to give away.

Lucy gives faith, Susan gives effort, time, work—there are many differences between them, these two sister queens, but this was one. But for a long time, after they return, Susan doesn’t give anything. She is a queen who has abandoned her kingdom and she feels that in the very bend of her spine. She will build no more kingdoms, she swears. Her shoulders ache under a weight of a responsibility she will never lose and now can never answer to.

It is Edmund, of all of them, who understands. He is the other who gets angry, for all he holds it in these days. He is Edmund the Just, after all, and weighs each word before he says it. She is Susan the Gentle, because she will give, will build; because where Peter is elevated by duty, she carries responsibility in soft hands, on worn shoulders, pours all she has into it.

It is Lucy who makes things more than they are. Girls are dryads and bullies are the cruel kind of wolf. Trees dance and every roar of a city bus is a hallo from a lion who is not tame. That is Lucy’s battle and she is as glorious as her sunrises. It would kill Susan to live her life strung between two worlds. They go on walks together, Lucy and her effortless blaze, Susan’s quiet sturdy stride. Lucy sings, but Susan watches; the trees do not dance. The trees are only trees.

A boy pulls at a girl’s pigtails across the schoolyard, yanks at the bow on the back of her dress. Susan sees a bully and she marches forward as a friend, a foe, a young woman furious and proud, a kingdomless queen. Susan draws herself up, the scant inches of height she will some day supplement with heels her siblings will scoff at. Dripping majesty, she moves across the ground (crowds part in her wake), and steps between the girl and the bully.

Let’s talk about how Susan was reading a book the day they went through the wardrobe; how she found it sitting, neatly bookmarked, beside her bed the day they came back. Her arms still felt clumsy then, her legs too short but also too gangly. She kept thinking about white stags, about if her mare got home safe, after, about the meetings she had lined up for the next week with the beavers, the heraldic university, the stonecutters’ union. She had paperwork on her desk she had meant to get to, petitions and letters from faun children who wanted to come on a field trip to Cair Paravel.

Susan had this waiting for her here, left out on her little bedside table: a penny and dime novel about a schoolgirl romance, half-read. Susan sat down on the twin mattress and took it in her hands. She remembered buying this, faintly (it had been years now; weeks before they boarded the train for the country, years from this weary shaking moment). She had wanted a detective mystery, but this had seemed more appropriate and she hadn’t wanted to look odd at the cash register.

At school, Susan sees a girl in mathematics who looks like a dryad, willowy limbs and distracted eyes. Where is your tree? Susan wants to ask. Is it safe? Is it blooming? She would fight to keep her safe, talk to her guards, go out on diplomatic missions, negotiate with the local woodcutters.

There’s a girl in the back row, shy, steady, who takes the best and swiftest notes in her very own shorthand. Susan finds herself wanting to recruit her for the Narnian scribe service. She shakes herself, but she approaches the girl after class anyway. Susan reads through wanted ads and helps the girl send out applications for internships.

Or another young woman; this one blazes bright, drawing people in her wake as she chases after efforts for raising money for a new library wing or cleaning up some local empty lot for the children. This girl laughs, shakes her mane of hair, and Susan wants to take her under her wing and teach her how to roar.

"Edmund is so solemn," says her mother, worried, to Susan. "Is he alright? And Lucy seems even less…" Her mother hesitates, chewing a lip.

"Present," Susan offers, because Lucy still has a foot in Narnia the way none of the rest of them do. Peter still holds the weight of his crown, certainly, and Edmund the load of his mistakes. Susan has the faded ink-stains of a hundred missives, orders, treaties, and promises she never got to send. (She wakes now, some nights, full of nerves for a formal audience the next morning, and remembers it is just a literature presentation. She feels relieved and useless).

But Lucy, Lucy walks in light. She dreams of dryads and when she closes her eyes she can hear them dancing in the wind on the upper boughs of the trees in the garden.

It is a stubborn faith, a steady one, harsh even. Lucy clings to things with two small hands that remember having calluses from reins, remember holding hands with dryads and dancing in the moonlight, remember running though a lion’s wild mane. Lucy grins (it is a defiance, not a grace, not a gift); she bares her teeth and goes dancing at midnight under trees that creak in a storm’s gale (she gets a cold and misses a week of school, for that). Lucy will believe until the end of the world, burning with that effortless faith. 

This is not effortless. “Such a happy child,” their mother says of Lucy, sighing relief, glancing uneasily at Edmund. Susan is not a happy child, but she is not meant to be. She is their stability, their quiet, the little, gentle mother, the nursemaid wise beyond her years. No one looks. They rely, and it makes Susan want to scream.

“Luce?” said Edmund. “Happy? I suppose. She’s more a fighter than any of us.”

Lucy gets up early in the mornings and goes outside to watch the sunrise while she eats her toast. Susan is jealous of her ease, for years; an early riser, a morning person, effortlessly romantic. There are days, when Susan is angry at schoolteachers, or missing her seneschal’s dry wit, days when Susan cannot find even the most glorious sunset to be anything more than just glaring light in her tired eyes. But Lucy, no, every day Lucy watches the sun rise and lets that fill her. Easy thinks Susan, jealous, and she is wrong. 

It is not for years that she realizes how much effort is tucked into Lucy’s bright smiles. The joy is not a lie, the faith is not contrived, but it is built. Lucy pulls herself out of bed each morning. She watches the fires of the day climb and conquer the sky, and dares her world to be anything less than magical.

Susan tired of bullies before she and her siblings had even finished with the White Witch’s defeat. She will stand it no more in this world than she had in Narnia. For the cruelest bullies: she digs up their weakness, their secrets, and holds them hostage. The misled, the hurting, she approaches sidelong, with all the grace of a wise ruler, a diplomat’s best subtle words against a foreign agitator with borders along an important trade route. The followers she sweeps past, gathers up, binds to her own loyalties. They may be allowed become her fine guard if they deign to learn kindness, or at least respect.

Susan joins the newspaper because extracurriculars look good, and if she is going to live in this world she is going to do it well. She finds she likes it. She rubs ink into her palms and feels almost at home. She hunts down quaint little school stories overzealously, like the detectives in the novels stacked by her bed, like a queen hunting down secrets at her court.

(Lucy contributes poetry to the arts section of the paper. Susan only reads them on weeks she is feeling brave, because, like all of Lucy, her poetry picks you up and takes you away). 

When Susan wakes up, these nights, dreaming of ink on her fingers, she doesn’t expect to find her desk at Cair Paravel. Or, when she does, she squeezes her eyes open and looks around at the newspaper room on submission night. The copy editor fumes quietly, a writer hyperventilates in a corner, another clatters away. An editor coaxes into the telephone, talking with their printer, negotiating for time. It is not quite a council of war, but it is hers. It is not quite a kingdom, but Susan’s still a child, after all. She has time to grow into this skin.

When Caspian’s horn calls them home, the Pevensies stand in the ruin of their palace. Thick, old trees, not saplings, not young wildflowers, grow over the graves of the petitioners Susan had never gotten to meet with, of the children who had written her letters in careful, blocky handwriting. When I grow up I want to be as beautiful as you. 

Susan, standing in ankle deep grass on the cracked flagstones of the home she had spent most of her life in, has the gangly, growing limbs of an adolescent. A horn’s call (her horn) is ringing in her bones, centuries too late. That call has always been ringing in her, really, shaking her hands, reverberating her lungs, since the day a queen tumbled back through a wardrobe and into a life she hadn’t missed.

Susan stands under a mound, in the ruins of a castle, on a battlefield. Her Narnia has grown out of itself, grown into itself; her subjects are gone, but there is an army at her feet who trusts her. She left, but they did not lose faith. Susan does not feel absolved. She feels guiltier than ever, to know they kept faith she didn’t deserve. She wonders if this is how Aslan feels about Lucy.

The very shape of the land has changed. Mounds stand over old broken tables and rivers have become deep chasms. Her body is the body of a growing child, and her heart is that of a widow twice over.

When Susan leaves Narnia for the last time, she steps back into a world where she has ten articles to review by Monday, an essay due the next week, and a mathematics test on Friday. She has dishes to do and Lucy to keep an eye on. She wants to weep for days, but instead she goes home, plucks a detective novel off her bedside table, and tries to remember where she left off.

Susan doesn’t cry, but she hardly sleeps. That call is still humming in her bones (it always will, even when she learns to call it by other names). Susan snaps at her lioness, her dryad, her scribe; her bully boys flee at her short temper. One of her friends finally takes her aside. “What’s going on, Su? You can tell me.”

She forgot people could give you kindnesses back. “I lost something important,” Susan says, and the tears finally start to fall.

She weeps into her friend’s shoulder while she murmurs comforting things. “I’m right here.”

You are, Susan thinks. And so am I.

There is wind in the treetops. They are only trees.

Susan was the chosen, the blessed, the promised. She does not want to be promised. She wants to promise, instead, to take the hands of brave friends and try to build something new. 

The only thing that will compare to this grief will happen years later, a train crash, a phone call to her flat to tell the awful news to the next of kin. Now, losing Narnia, these four are the only ones here who will remember that world. There is a loss in that. There is a fragility in that which terrifies.

After the crash, Susan will be the only one left to remember them.

Maybe it was a shunning and maybe it was a mercy, to leave Susan to grow old. She had had too many kingdoms ripped from her aching fingers to be willing to lose this one, so instead everything else she had was taken away.

Maybe it was an apology. Maybe a lion could better understand mourning the loss of a kingdom than the loss of siblings. Maybe he thought he was being kind. 

As Susan grows, her schoolmates stay in touch, young girls who grew in her shadows or strode in blazing light before her (both are strengths), the ones who walked with her and learned majesty from her older bones. She gets letters from her bullies, too, the ones she subverted through threats or kindnesses. Some are fathers, railway operators, preachers, bookshop cashiers. Her girls are mothers, some, or running libraries, charities, businesses from behind the throne; one is a butcher’s apprentice of all things, another battling her way towards a Ph.D.

One married a farmer’s boy with a warm smile and moved out into the country. Susan goes out to visit and they go walking through her fields and little copses of trees. The trees are only trees, and some of Susan’s heart will always break for that, but she watches her friend’s glowing face as she marks out the edges of her land, speaks with her hands. The trees are only trees, but they are hers.

Susan goes home by train, the country whisking by outside. She pours over notes, sketching article outlines in her notebook, deadlines humming in the back of her mind. Her pen flicks over the paper, her fingers stained with ink. This is hers.

Years later, Susan digs up old copies of her school papers. She goes through them, one by one, and reads each of Lucy’s poems.

Cross-legged on the floor, she cries, ugly sobs torn out of her, offered out to ghosts of sisters and brothers, parents, Narnian children grown old and buried under ancient trees, without her. Lucy’s poems take her away (they always do) and leave her weeping on her living room floor in her stockings.

Susan stacks the papers neatly, makes herself a mug of tea and goes outside. The trees are only trees. This is a curse. This is a blessing. She breathes deep.

Peter was the only one who understood as well as she did what it was to be the rock of other people’s worlds. She remembers Edmund every time rage swells in her stomach, every time she swallows that rage down and listens anyway.

On early mornings Susan rolls out of bed, all groans and grumbles, and scribbles down a thought or two about her latest article if anything percolated during the night. She does her make-up on her apartment’s little balcony. Susan watches the rising sun light the sky and dares her life to be anything other than hers. 

Companion to this post. 

(Source: ifallelseperished)

(Reblogged from ink-splotch)

fraternityboy:

why is “in cahoots with” not a relationship option on facebook

(Reblogged from aintasuperhero)
(Reblogged from dernhelme)
Ancient moon priestesses were called virgins. ‘Virgin’ meant not married, not belonging to a man - a woman who was ‘one-in-herself’. The very word derives from a Latin root meaning strength, force, skill; and was later applied to men: virile. Ishtar, Diana, Astarte, Isis were all called virgin, which did not refer to sexual chastity, but sexual independence. And all great culture heroes of the past, mythic or historic, were said to be born of virgin mothers: Marduk, Gilgamesh, Buddha, Osiris, Dionysus, Genghis Khan, Jesus - they were all affirmed as sons of the Great Mother, of the Original One, their worldly power deriving from her. When the Hebrews used the word, and in the original Aramaic, it meant ‘maiden’ or ‘young woman’, with no connotations to sexual chastity. But later Christian translators could not conceive of the ‘Virgin Mary’ as a woman of independent sexuality, needless to say; they distorted the meaning into sexually pure, chaste, never touched.
Monica Sjoo, The Great Cosmic Mother: Rediscovering the Religion of the Earth (via tierdropp)

(Source: ynannarising)

(Reblogged from daisybuchanan)

ditzydeer:

► GIRL MEETS GIRL songs that, whether by design or serendipity, are about ladies loving ladies LISTEN

(Source: selkee)

(Reblogged from blacklacepumpkinwarrior)
(Reblogged from geekybombshell)

moon-rabbits asked: "#(tolkien why are you such a good theologian and such a bad writer)" thank you for this. NO, SERIOUSLY, THANK YOU. FOR THIS. FOREVER.

notbecauseofvictories:

In my opinion, Tolkien is not a writer.

He is many things—a linguist and a historian and a theologian, a scholar of Anglo-Saxon literature, a genealogist. But let’s be honest, his characterization can be flat and his prose long winded. I need both hands to count how many of my friends have said, “I love the movies but I can’t get through one book of the series!” Most of them cite Tom Bombadil or the dry writing style, the endless descriptions of lineages or particular historical importance of a hill.

Now I don’t doubt for a second that style was intentional on Tolkien’s part. I recognize his word choices and sentence structure as Biblical, but I’ve heard other people compare it to Herodotus or Beowulf or various ancient texts. Tolkien is deliberately appealing to our sense of history when he’s writing, evoking how real history was written about to create his own. But it does mean that things like…oh, I don’t know, wives or children or introspection or personal details tend to get lost in the shuffle.

(This makes it fun for fanfic writers, because the gaps in Tolkien’s work are more like chasms, and you can build a lot in the spaces he left. But at the same time, we have no idea what any of the Fellowship were really feeling as they took on the quest; what their opinions were on each other, whether they were homesick, or frightened…we know very little about their inner lives and that can be frustrating.)

But Tolkien cares less about narrative and characterization than he does about establishing this world, this universe, the rise of its evil and the fall of its empires. He embroiders his theology of death into the relationship between elves and men; he expresses his thoughts about creation and mastery through Silmarils and Valar. One of the reasons he even came up with Middle Earth in the first place is because, as a linguist, he believed that you couldn’t understand the development of a language without understanding the history of the people it belonged to. His languages needed a home, and so he built one for them.

My favorite Satre quotes is “A novel is nothing but philosophy expressed in images”—and Tolkien makes that as literal as possible. The Lord of the Rings is the synthesis of all his fascination with languages and histories, with theologies and mythologies—it’s an academic tract as much as a creative work.

Personally, I like the term “myth-maker” to describe what Tolkien was doing. There’s less of an assumption of entertainment there—a writer promises you a story, but a myth-maker is crafting something more. A myth is bigger and heavier than just a tale to be told; there’s more to it than simply writing. It’s about resonances and archetypes and scope, and that’s something Tolkien brings in spades.

For some people, Tolkien’s writing style is and will be a deal breaker. For other people (yes, I’m one of these) the excavation of the myth is enough to keep you reading. Even through the passages everyone acknowledges could have been left out. (Though seriously, there is nothing on this earth that can convince me Book IV of the Two Towers needs to be that long. It’s excruciating. Frodo and Sam never stop walking. Never.)

It’s the beauty of what Tolkien is doing that there’s something deeper than the prose—and god knows the prose needs it sometimes.

(Reblogged from margotkim)