From: "Matthew Davis" <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: (urth) The Best Introduction to the Mountains Date: Thu, 3 Jan 2002 03:05:52 -0000 If you want to read LOTR as one of the last gasp of anglo-catholic feudalism then you couldn't go amiss reading it alongside "Brideshead Revisted" (in fact now I remember that Humphrey Carpenter has written extensively about both Tolkien and Waugh.hmmm) and also tracking down the massive one-volume collection of Evelyn Waugh's non-fiction. Waugh is always articulate, concise and rarely fuddy-duddy in expressing what burgeoning socialist, industrial modernity means in the sense of loss of a unified vision of society where all men at different stage contribute to the commonweal of a society and how this is embodied in a national tradition to which everyone participates. Just as Tolkien offers a vision of Elves, Dwarves, wizards, Hobbits, etc contributing each in their specific fashion and all the made-up traditions and languages which he always say was the underlying reason for LOTR. As for poetry - yes, it does seem that English speaking Catholics in the twentieth century lost all sense of taste. There is a pervading stink of Chesterton and snug-room balladry.