The Fall of Arthur

THE FALL OF ARTHURfallarth
J. R. R. and Christopher Tolkien
HarperCollins, May 2013

Guinevere will always remain the Yoko Ono of Arthurian romance. For men of a certain bent, she summons to mind the new wife or girlfriend of their old friend, who now threatens to intrude upon the Round Table of their male camaraderie. What if she doesn’t just stay at home and darn his socks? What if she wants us to see her as a person, not just our friend’s possession? Already, she’s changed him. Remember the good old days when he slapped you on the back and denounced all women as whores?

Tolkien’s The Fall of Arthur continues the ungenerous tradition of presenting Guinevere as a figure of treacherousness, not just discord. On those occasions where she rises from the role of disputed possession, she becomes a manipulative temptress towing men to their deaths. From her first entrance, we hear of her remorselessness, Continue reading

Knight’s Errand

THE SONG OF ROLANDdorothy

Sayers, Dorothy L. (translator; Penguin, reprint December 1957, ISBN 978014044075)

On the phone, she‘d told me that she’d driven the car on to a raised section of the concrete, where she’d had to leave it. It took the security guard and me half an hour to find it. I’d enlisted his help at the parking garage near the haematology building. I thought of him as the squire. Without his help, I’d never have found it.

“Cooey!” he yelled out. Continue reading

Valley of Segola

the_holy_bible_lamsa_trans

BOOK OF NUMBERS

Chapters 13-14 (quotes taken from the Lamsa version, Holy Bible, ISBN for example 9780060649234)

As he nears the land of Canaan, Moses sends ahead scouts to reconnoitre the terrain. He directs them to ascertain both the enemy’s strength and the fertility of their land.

To their delight, the land appears fertile, Continue reading

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