I am tearing through this with glee, or I was until I got to the section on
the SILMARILLION, where I contracted a case of 'my eyes glaze over,' just as
when I try to read the book in question.
However I did note the words:
"The whole train of story, then, is a sad and complex one, with many mixed
motives and scenes of hidden tension. But in order to follow it, it is vital
to remember who everyone is, who their relatives are, and what they feel
about their relatives. As has been said above, readers of Norse sagas could
do it ..."
This made me think of a certain Python sketch, and thereby of course think of
dear David Bratman in particular. I caught the sketch this year on BBC
America, but don't have the name of it. It was in essence a take-off on a
Masterpiece Theatre type of presentation of one of the Norse Sagas, and began
with a Python on an Icelandic brae in an incredibly hairy suit of clothes,
attempting to get onto a horse, while a voice-over explained the back story,
how Niall the son of Suni, the son of (etc) had a feud with Thorgunn the son
of Olav the son of (etc) (or whoever)... and explained.... and explained....
and explained..... and explained, and explained...