New Tolkien Book

So, there is a new book by J. R. R. Tolkien, an apparently unfinished poem about King Arthur.

Amazon’s review:

The Fall of Arthur, the only venture by J.R.R. Tolkien into the legends of Arthur, king of Britain, may well be regarded as his finest and most skillful achievement in the use of Old English alliterative meter, in which he brought to his transforming perceptions of the old narratives a pervasive sense of the grave and fateful nature of all that is told: of Arthur’s expedition overseas into distant heathen lands, of Guinevere’s flight from Camelot, of the great sea battle on Arthur’s return to Britain, in the portrait of the traitor Mordred, in the tormented doubts of Lancelot in his French castle.

Unhappily, The Fall of Arthur was one of several long narrative poems that Tolkien abandoned. He evidently began it in the 1930s, and it was sufficiently advanced for him to send it to a very perceptive friend who read it with great enthusiasm at the end of 1934 and urgently pressed him, “You simply must finish it!” But in vain: he abandoned it at some unknown date, though there is evidence that it may have been in 1937, the year of publication of The Hobbit and the first stirrings of The Lord of the Rings. Years later, in a letter of 1955, he said that he “hoped to finish a long poem on The Fall of Arthur,” but that day never came. ….

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Required Reading! (And Suggested Reading) and Community

We stopped by the mailbox on our way to the grocery store today and discovered a very large, thick envelope from Nashotah. Contained therein was an enormous amount of information, some we were expecting and some we were not, but were nevertheless glad to receive. Our housing assignment for this fall and lease, as well as pet regulations, move-in tips, housing policies and similar documents made up a large part of the packet. The Greek Alphabet also received  its own handout. Additionally, three books, which I am required to read, arrived as well. Other books, which are not required but are nevertheless suggested, were contained in a document from the faculty.

Life Together, by Dietrich Bonhoeffer is the first book. It is the story of Bonhoeffer’s experience with the men of an underground seminary in Nazi Germany.

Second and third are  Seeking God: The Way of St. Benedict and The Rule of St. Benedict in English. The first is a commentary on the Rule of St. Benedict, the pre-eminent rule among Western Monastics. The Rule has greatly impacted the way of life at The House, which is guided by daily prayer, daily study, and daily work. All are done as a community. See here for more information on Nashotah’s Benedictine Life.

I have a lot of reading to do before this fall, when I will surely have more and more reading to do.