June 11th, 2006

LotR: The Fellowship of the Ring

LotR re-read: FotR I.2 revisited

Yes, I've already posted about "The Shadow of the Past," but I didn't talk about how the (really remarkably long) info-dump works—both in the sense of its mechanics and in the sense that it doesn't stop me-the-reader dead in my tracks. (With the usual caveat that I've been reading this book since forever, so familiarity helps too; yet when I try to look at it now with a fresh and critical eye, it still seems to work.)

Quite a lot of this is going to be me talking out loud to myself, trying to figure this out. And yes, I resort to a table.

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[ more LotR re-read posts ]


Week in Review

Yesterday we drove to Williamstown to visit the Clark, or more specifically the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Sterling had a brother, Stephen; they fell out in 1923, and after that time apparently interacted with each other by beating each other to art purchases and making snarky comments about each other's taste (for instance, they both collected Impressionists, but one liked Modern art and the other couldn't stand it). This summer's exhibit brought together selections of the brothers' collections; one strongly gets the impression that they're both rolling over in their graves. The exhibit was thoughtfully displayed, with interesting compare-and-contrast pairings and amusingly snarky quotes from the brothers. I played the "if I could take home one thing" game, and I think it would be a John Singer Sargent painting ("A Street in Venice", linked outside because the Clark's version isn't linkable) admired by both brothers.

Other interesting items were another John Singer Sargent, "Fumée d'Ambre Gris", which wants to be cover art; a very striking painting by Joseph Mallord William Turner called "Rockets and Blue Lights"; and a work by Antoine-Louis Barye called "Tiger" (that I can't find online), in which the tiger, lying on the ground, just pops off the wall.

It happened to be Alumni Weekend at Williams, so as a bonus Chad got to say hi to a couple of people. Fortunately, despite the hordes of cultists alumni that descend on Williamstown for reunions, parking wasn't a problem, though the Clark was a bit crowded. Crowded college towns were a theme of yesterday; it was graduation today for Union College, so last night we found ourselves eating in the bar area of one of the local restaurants as graduation celebrations went on around us. Then we watched some of the first episodes of The Tick, which is very silly indeed, and perfect for brain-dead relaxation.

Today the sun was out! I even sat outside for about an hour, before needing to run errands. The forecast claims that it's not going to rain for a couple of days, even. What a concept.