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arbieroo

Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 58/250 pages
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena / Stories and Songs (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 454/700 pages
Aurora: In Search of the Northern Lights
Melanie Windridge
Progress: 205/320 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 164/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe
She Stoops to Conquer and Other Comedies (Oxford World's Classics)
Henry Fielding, David Garrick, Oliver Goldsmith
Progress: 159/448 pages
Gravitation (Physics Series)
Kip Thorne;Kip S. Thorne;Charles W. Misner;John Archibald Wheeler;John Wheeler
Progress: 48/1215 pages
I Am a Cat
Graeme Wilson, Aiko Ito, Sōseki Natsume
Progress: 410/638 pages
The Complete Novels of Jane Austen
Jane Austen
Progress: 651/1220 pages
The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien - J.R.R. Tolkien, Humphrey Carpenter, J.R.R. Tolkien

Dear Unwin,
the Hobbit will be ready tomorrow, honest.

Yours faithfully,

Tolkien.

Dear Unwin,
I've been swamped by illness, work, exams, more work, more exams, lectures, more work and more exams. I can't possibly get it ready this decade.

Yours faithfully,

Tolkien.

Dear Unwin,
did you like it?

Yours faithfully,

Tolkien.

Dear Unwin,
glad you liked it. The illustrations will be ready tomorrow.

Yours faithfully,

Tolkien.

...this decade, etc.

Dear Unwin,
I may have no taste but the American cover art is appalling and did they even read the book?

Yours faithfully,

Tolkien.

[Repeat all of the above w.r.t LoTR]

Dear [Inkling]
the other Inklings' work is mostly rubbish but I like it in parts and even though they are annoying I like them really.

Yours,

Tolkers.

[repeat with every other Inkling]

Dear [somebody acquainted with me]
that critic is impertinent and did he even read the book?

Yours, annoyed,

JRRT

Dear Christopher,
you are the only one who understands me! I love you! Sob!

Your
Father.
[Above written in Anglo-Saxon.]

Dear Nazi scum,
you, Apartheid supporters, Colonialists and other racist groups are all intellectually and morally defective. The Jews are a fine people and I would be proud to have Jewish ancestry but as far as I know I don't.

Yours with no respect at all.

Tolkien.

Dear [any translator of LoTR]
your translation is rubbish; why do you translate names that are not in English? Your translations are unnecessary and show a poor grasp of [your native language]. [Demonstrates a superior knowledge of the translator's language.] Here's a book I wrote about how to translate my book.

Yours faithfully,

Tolkien.

Dear {Member of public]
thank you for your interesting questions. Enclosed is a set of answers in obsessive detail that I worked out prior to my 5th birthday. It includes philological details unintelligible to any person lay in the subject.

Yours faithfully,

Tolkien.

Dear {Critic I like]
thank you for your encouraging, perceptive review.

Yours faithfully,

Tolkien.

Dear [prospective interviewer]
leave me alone.

Yours faithfully,

Tolkien.

Dear [Reader who said something stupid]
as any one with a modicum of understanding of [Old Ancient High Low North Western Indo-European Obscure Language], which is surely everybody, knows, you are completely wrong. Enclosed is a detailed explanation, incomprehensible to anyone lay in philology. And anyway it says you're wrong in the Appendices.

Yours faithfully,

Tolkien.

Dear Christopher,
the Roman Catholic Church is axiomatically right about everything even though most of its priests are idiotic, uneducated, corrupt, morally defective, politcally-minded perverts.

Your

Father.

----------------------------------------

That, if repeated many times over, is this book. It's interesting in parts and dull (because repetitive) in others. It shows a man jealously protective of his work, easily irritated (although by things that would probably wind up many an author) in search of an unmechanised rural idyll that never existed in the same way as Thomas Hardy. Enormously erudite, he struggled to understand why other people might find Anglo-Saxon difficult - a common problem with people of enormous talent in any intellectual discipline being the inability to conceive of it being anything but simple to grasp.

Worthwhile for anybody who wants to know more of what Tolkien the person was like.