“Who’s ready for some runes?”

A J.R.R. Tolkien literary art doll.

Adam Gopnik’s recent New Yorker piece on the Fantasy genre has the funniest lede I’ve seen in quite some time:

At Oxford in the nineteen-forties, Professor John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was generally considered the most boring lecturer around, teaching the most boring subject known to man, Anglo-Saxon philology and literature, in the most boring way imaginable. ‘Incoherent and often inaudible’ was Kingsley Amis’s verdict on his teacher. Tolkien, he reported, would write long lists on the blackboard, obscuring them with his body as he droned on, then would absent-mindedly erase them without turning around.”

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