Surprised by Loss: Three Atypical Modern Epics

Hey, everyone! Long time no see. Sorry for the long break. My last year of high school has been crazy! But now that I’ve been accepted to college, my thesis has been written and defended, and I GRADUATED HIGH SCHOOL (!)—I can get back to blogging.

Today, I’d like to talk about the genre of the epic. No, I’m not going to talk about the Aeneid or The Divine Comedy or Paradise Lost (though you can bring those up in the comments if you want). I’m going to tell you about three of my favorite books (of which there are many), all of which were written in or after the 20th century.

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Guest Post at Pages Unbound!

Hi everyone! Sorry for my long absence. School’s been wild. I’m coming out of hibernation to let you all know about my guest post at Pages Unbound for their Tolkien Reading Event. It’s a review of Donald Swann’s song cycle, The Road Goes Ever On, which consists of 7 of Tolkien’s poems set to music.

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Tolkien's Faerian Drama is the Tabletop RPG

Tolkien’s Faerian Drama is the Tabletop RPG

“Tabletop RPGs are our modern day Iliad. It’s communal storytelling at its finest[.]” -Marisha Ray

“Enchantment produces a Secondary World into which both designer and spectator can enter.” -J.R.R. Tolkien

In my recent exploration of that fascinating narrative form, the tabletop role-playing game, I have found myself wondering what J.R.R. Tolkien would think of the phenomenon. Dungeons and Dragons, the best-known RPG system, draws heavily on Tolkien’s world of Middle Earth; the first edition of D&D even allowed player characters to play as a “hobbit” before they changed the race name to “halfling” for legal reasons. I can’t help but wonder: what would Tolkien think of this unique way to tell stories, that voice actor and D&D player Marisha Ray calls “our modern day Iliad”?

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