"Another characteristic shared by the authors of Great Weird Boy Books is that their novels, with their silly names, their silly self-contained systems, their silly self-regarding theories, hover on the edge of kitsch. Poor Tolkien wouldn’t know how to hover if you told him. He simply sits there, stoic to the end, in the middle of his very own snowdome, surrounded by the dwindling elf-dust."

— Jenny Turner, 'Reasons for Liking Tolkien'

"The lore is self-referential, centripetal, an occult system. As astrology is to physics or conspiracy theory to history, so Middle Earth is to literature and learning. It’s a closed space, finite and self-supporting, fixated on its own nostalgia, quietly running down."

— Jenny Turner, 'Reasons for Liking Tolkien'

"It is not that Tolkien seems to have ‘believed in’ elves exactly, in the sense that Peter Pan means when he asks us to clap our hands. It is more that he seems to have loved the idea of them so much that he wanted to talk about them all the time, as if by talking about them, he could almost bring them into existence. Like a teenager with a crush on someone, like a sentimentalist with a grand ideal."

— Jenny Turner, 'Reasons for Liking Tolkien'

"Mrs Meriel Thurston wrote in 1972, requesting permission to use the name ‘Rivendell’ as a herd-prefix for her cattle. It was granted, though Tolkien chastised her for wanting to call her bulls Elrond and Glorfindel: ‘Personally I am rather against giving strictly human and noble names to animals; and in any case … names which meant 1) “The vault of stars” and 2) “golden hair” seem inapt.’ The letter goes on to make suggestions that are more etymologically fitting: ‘Aramund (“;Kingly bull”), Tarmund (“;Chief of bulls”) etc. I wonder what you think of these?’"

Jenny Turner, 'Reasons for Liking Tolkien'


you NERD

"I think part of the alt-process attraction may be rooted in the end game. It’s exciting to work with a finite supply. The hammer might come down at any time. You might look for more and find that it’s out of stock forever. So you’d better make it count."

Blake Andrews on shooting film in the 21st century.



I was thinking about shifting all of this poem into the present tense (instead of switching into it for the last couple of stanzas) and then someone with trustworthy opinions suggested it unprompted so I’m giving it a go


a couple of words now have more syllables or not as many and it’s changing everything. help.

I need a one-syllable, present-tense verb that may or may not exist in the English language.

(UPDATE: I found the verb, yessss)

"The kicks I used to get from The Lord of the Rings were sensual, textural, almost sexual, a feeling of my mind being rubbed by the rough edges of the different layers. And the elegiac, valedictory aspect of the novel perhaps speaks with particular power to the swotty teenager, sorry to be leaving the figments of childhood, but itching to get to a university library. All those lists and footnotes. All those lovely books."

— Jenny Turner, 'Reasons for Liking Tolkien'

"Like so many people, I spent a lot of time when I was younger lolling about and dreaming in the world to which Tolkien was demiurge in The Lord of the Rings. Far too much time, and with an intensity I now find scary. That book is fused with my being in a way that happens only with things encountered when one is young and growing like one of our hero’s magic trees. Even now, even as I find the book silly and boring and rather noisome (to use a word from J.R.R.’s special vocabulary), it still locks with my psyche in a most alarming way. There is suction, something fundamental passes between us, like when a spaceship docks."

— Jenny Turner, 'Reasons for Liking Tolkien'


If you’re an online literary magazine or whatever and you’re repeatedly unfollowing then refollowing me to get attention: kindly desist.


I have a sensible poem I actually want to workshop/get feedback on in class tomorrow BUT

hell hath no fury like father like
sands through the hour of needs
must when the devil finds work
for idle hand to god helps those who
laughs last laughs longest day must
have an ill wind blows no use cry and
you cry alone than in bad money
drives out good things come to those
who fight and run away live to work
expands to fill the time and place for
everything and everything in its place
is in the home is where the heart never
won fair exchange is no man can serve
two sides to every great man there’s a
will there’s an exception to every dog
has his day in the life gives you lemons
make light work is never strikes twice
in the hand is worth two wrongs don’t
meet trouble half a loaf is better than no
man is an island in the sun go down
on the swings you gain on the road to