A person who I thought was my friend once asked me to read a certain book called The Silmarillion. He said it was a Tolkien book, which I read with passion. I however could not read beyond the first paragraph. It was akin to listening to Vogon poetry. Here's a small excerpt. Read this and judge for yourself how an average fellow would feel if given such a book.
The Music of the Ainur
There was Eru, the One, who in Arda is called Ilúvatar; and he made first
the Ainur, the Holy Ones, that were the offspring of his thought, and they
were with him before aught else was made. And he spoke to them, propounding
to them themes of music; and they sang before him, and he was glad. But for
a long while they sang only each alone, or but few together, while the rest
hearkened; for each comprehended only that part of me mind of Ilúvatar from
which he came, and in the understanding of their brethren they grew but
slowly. Yet ever as they listened they came to deeper understanding, and
increased in unison and harmony.
The uninitiated, on listening to this generally collapse right there, hanging their tongue out, drooling, with a look of incomprehension in their eyes. The initiated, however tend to collapse right there, hanging their tongue out, drooling, with a look of total comprehension in their eyes. Of course, I am a great fan of Douglas Adams.
Well, that's not the only instance of Tolkien befuddling people. Even in The return of the king, I thought I was following the geography pretty well, but I suddenly came across this paragraph, and it it was with great will power that I restrained myself from collapsing right there, tongue hanging out, drooling, with a look of total incomprehension in my eyes.
At last the king's company came to a sharp brink, and the climbing road passed into a cutting between walls of rock, and so went up a short slope and out on to a wide upland. The Firenfeld men called it, a green mountain-field of grass and heath, high above the deep delved courses of the Snowbourn, laid upon the lap of the great mountains behind: the Starkhorn southwards, and northwards the saw-toothed mass of Irensaga, between which there faced the riders, the grim black wall of the Dwimorberg, the Haunted Mountain rising out of steep slopes of sombre pines. Dividing the upland into two there marched a double line of unshaped standing stones that dwindled into dusk and vanished in the trees. Those who had dared to follow that road came soon to the black Dimholt under Dwimorberg, and the menace of the pillar of stone, and the yawning shadow of the forbidden door.
If you have read the Silma- thingy, please give me its review since I have not read it beyond the first paragraph.
Venkankudi Kidambi Srinivasa Ramanuja Sundararajan Iyengar.
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