Skip to main content

Tragedian of Middle Earth

J.R.R. Tolkien's The Children of Hurin arrived in stores last spring; never a timely reader I finished the novel last Saturday. It's not as good as The Lord of the Rings--what is?--but, it isn't meant to compete or replace that book. This tale is smaller in scope and as such, can't have the richness of a story broken up into three (really six)books. Nevertheless, this story of fate and striving is a very good read. Tolkien's style is of an older age, yet it reads smoothly, doesn't sound forced or pretentious--he brings you into his world on his terms. Without giving too much away, Hurin, a man among men, challenges Morgoth--Middle Earth's Satan and lord of Sauron BTW--and is captured(This takes place thousands of years before LOTR). Morgoth allows Hurin to live, but he cannot leave Morgoth's lair; he is fated to watch the curse that the enemy lays on his family. So the story switches to Hurin's only son, Turin, who is forced to leave his home, live with elves, and eventually become an outcast. There's a dragon, but much of the conflict is within Turin as he struggles with his pride. What I found the most compelling was the Greek sense of fate, of futile striving against forces larger than oneself, which only makes the story sadder than it is. Again, not as majestic as LOTR, but longer than the tales of The Silmarillion, and thus richer. If you enjoy sad, heroic tales, this is worth your time.


Popular posts from this blog

Dirty Hands Can Save You from Hell

"Eternal life will be a shared experience of awe, in which each creature, resplendently transfigured, will take its rightful place." --Pope Francis, Laudato Si
     Wonder and awe abound in the natural world for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.

     Perhaps we are caught short by a vibrant purple emanating from the petals of a wild lupine. We might stare wide-eyed at the lazy circles of a turkey vulture soaring on thermal air currents. Even the most agoraphobic city-dweller can find something beautiful about a landscape even if it's simply the warm and varied red, yellow, and orange of a sunset glowing on a building.

     "The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof" asserts the Psalmist. If that verse is true, why don't we live like it? Why are we flabbergasted trying to come up with the names of the many plants and animals we pass by everyday?

     All people respond to beauty in some way or another--even those who have willingly or unwi…

Worth Quoting

"...[K]eep in mind that a human being is not made for the processing of data, but for wisdom; not for the utilitarian satisfaction of appetite, but for love; not for the domination of nature, but for participation in it; not for the autonomy of an isolated self, but for communion." --Anthony Esolen,  Foreword to Beauty in the Word by Stratford Caldecott.

Another Publishing Triumph (with a new journal!)

I've got a piece on benthic macroinvertebrates in this new fantastic journal: Jesus The Imagination. It's filled with essays, artwork, and poetry. I haven't finished reading it, but I'm impressed so far.

Check it out--it's available on Amazon.