Sunday, January 27, 2019

Post 3833 - What Am I Coughing Up?

Well, how was your day?

I must be on the mend. It is only in the last little while that I am coughing a lot again. I have taken no medication today, either. Not even a cough drop.

Of course, when I do cough, sometimes thing come up. Literally.  Nothing has moved yet, but I keep expecting that to happen.

Didn't do a whole lot today. We are up to episode 8 of season 4 of "Outlander". The show gets more compelling by the week. The producers do little discussions at the end of most episodes. They are alluding more and more to diverging from the books. I am increasingly getting the feeling that watching the show and reading the books would result in significantly different storylines. I almost want to find out. Almost.

It has been a while since I told the story. It bears repeating.

Back in my university days, I took a course in Fantasy. It alternated with a Science Fiction course. The professor had a near obsession with all things King Arthur, so we had to read several such books, and I think I still own them. But we also had to read the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

My. Goodness.

People have been reading LotR for decades and love the series. They re-read them for goodness sake. They hang on the characters and their motivation. They see insights and parallels and metaphors and similes and who knows what else. I just know that the series was a colossal slog for me. Painful. Monotonous. Boring in a way I cannot describe with polite words. I had to buy a book that reminded me of who the characters were and how they fit in the storyline. A few other students in the class agreed with me. Most of them loved the series. I think that even one student, Josh Arnold, now a judge in this province, liked the series.

I will never forget the time I wrote a quiz, much of whose material came from that series. I got a poor mark. The professor helpfully suggested I re-read the series.

Ten or so years later, at science fiction convention somewhere in the Valley (it wasn't Wolfcon, but some other convention, and I cannot recall just where it was), that professor was there. The author who showed up for the con was C.J. Cherryh, a noted fantasy author. We both asked her some questions. He mentioned LotR and how he was sympathetic to the fact that so many people just didn't "get" it. I heartily agreed with him. Afterward the professor spoke to me. He didn't remember me, of course; but I told him about that quiz and his comment and how I was not a violent man but there was no way in hell I was going to read that series again.

Ever since then, all these years later, I have been reticent to read any fantasy-based series, or much fantasy at all, for that matter. We have the first five "Game of Thrones" books here at Casa Bevboy. I bought for Patricia the first... 10 I think it is, volumes in Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. There are only four more, so I should get them. Oh, and a few prequel novels, apparently. I managed to make my way through the first volume in the never ending "Gunslinger" series by Stephen King, but it put me in a stupor. And then there is the "Outlander" series by Diana Gabaldan, who I am sure is a very nice person.

The point is, reading LotR scarred me for life. It was such a painful reading experience for me that any huge, sprawling book series is so off putting to me that I cannot conceive of reading it. I might have a perfectly good time and fall under the thrall of any of these series, but I am too psychically damaged by that long-ago experience that I cannot for the life of me imagine picking up any other one and giving it a try.

And... now you know.

Time to go to bed. Back to the grindstone.

See you then.


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