Sunday, January 14, 2007

Tolkien (and Jackson) in the Times-News

At the bottom of the front page of every edition of the Cumberland Times-News is a quote of the day -- whether obtained from a subscription service or collected by the editors, I don't know. The Jan. 5 quote of the day was by J.R.R. Tolkien:
All that is gold does not glitter; not all those that wander are lost.
This is, of course, from the ancient verse quoted by Gandalf in his letter to Frodo in Book 1, Chapter 10 of The Fellowship of the Ring:
All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
So Tolkien's pronoun was who, not that, but that quibble aside, I was pleased to see this on the front page. Five days later, on Jan. 10, came a column by Times-News editorial page editor Richard Kerns on ExxonMobil and global warming. It begins:
"We now have but one choice. We must face the long dark of Moria ..." -- Gandalf the Grey, noting with great foreboding the path the nine-member Fellowship must follow in its quest to destroy the ring of power in The Lord of the Rings.

The great wizard of Middle Earth could have been talking about January in Western Maryland, or just about anywhere for that matter. ...
Kerns returns to The Fellowship of the Ring at the end of his column:
"Be on your guard," Gandalf warns as the Fellowship sets off on its journey through the goblin-infested mines of Moria. "There are older and fouler things than orcs in the deep places of the world."

There's oil, too. And greed ...
I believe the quotes in this column are from Peter Jackson's movie The Fellowship of the Ring, not the novel. In Tolkien's Fellowship, Book 2, Chapter 4, Gandalf says of the tentacled thing outside Moria's west gate:
Something has crept, or has been driven out of dark waters under the mountains. There are older and fouler things than Orcs in the deep places of the world.
Maybe Richard Kerns ought to be in (FS)2!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Richard Kerns is out of his gourd. I just assume his dad owns the paper or something, because I can't figure out why else they would let him write.

Anyhoo, I'm an FSU dropout from Baltimore who's hoping to move back to the area. I can't really call myself a "fan" (I don't go to conventions or anything), just a SF reader. But I am going to check out your book!

1:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

:) Kearns strikes me as a really well-intentioned guy who aspires to be...Faulker...or something. I can't ever make it through the first paragraph of any of his editorials, though I have tried valiantly more than once. Maybe he's just fed up with the clear, direct prose of journalism.

Sometimes I try to imagine an editorial meeting at the Times-News. Or the person doing the copy editing. My favorite is the (evidently) recurring story about the guy who keeps unaccountably winning the prize offered by An undiscovered talent, no doubt. I'm sure Stephen Dunn is jealous.

4:12 PM  

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