Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Reading Aloud

Reading Aloud

I wonder, listening to JRR Tolkien reading “Riddles in the Dark” from his novel “The Hobbit,” how often did Tolkien read what he wrote aloud? I think quite often. Or at least I hope so. Because it pours out so liltingly, so smoothly, with quotes merging with exposition, dribbled out like the drips falling from stalactites into the murk of Gollum’s lake. I hope, as he read it aloud and drafted it, he enjoyed stumbling upon the thought of meshing Gollum’s throughs with his words, Bilbo’s with his, as they tried to keep the small talk going while pondering what to do, whether Gollum was hungry, whether Gollum was dangerous – certainly he was – or not.

I’m sure he read aloud. A lot. He loved the old sagas, passed on from one generation to another as oral poems or songs, rarely written down. That’s why his stories, his prose and poetry, is so vivid.

And surely he spent a lot of time listening to others read aloud, sing aloud, so he could get those natural rhythms into his own writing.

Yes, I’m sure he read aloud. And read a lot.

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