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From: "Matthew Davis" <matthew@michaelscycles.freeserve.co.uk>
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

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.

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