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SIGURD, ROLAND, THE PRINCES OF IRELAND, AND THE ICELANDIC SAGAS

I’ve been sick the past couple of days. Caught my wife’s cold. Didn’t sleep at all last night. Slept a little today.

On the upside of all of that I’ve been able to start my October Reading early.

I have four books in particular that I began last night and that I’m really looking forward to reading up until Halloween.

Sigurd and Gudrun – Tolkien’s retelling of the Volsungs. Seigfried was one of the first three books I ever checked out and read from the library on my own (in 2nd or 3rd grade), and I not long ago finished Tolkien’s alliterative rendering of The Fall of Arthur. Which was absolutely fantastic and has rekindled my interest in alliterative poetry. So I’m really looking forward to this. The magical sword Gram was the basis of the magical sword in my own writings, Wrothcholire.

Chanson de Roland – The Song of Roland (about Roland and the Paladins of Charlemagne) was the second book I ever checked out of the library to read on my own. I haven’t re-read it in years but I got a superb English Medieval Library copy of the work and look forward to it greatly. Roland’s sword Durandal also had a big effect on me (as did the Oliphant) while I was growing up and I also incorporated many of its properties into Wrothcholire.

The Princes of Ireland – This is historical fiction (a genre I greatly enjoy reading) and I have heard many very good things about the author, Edward Rutherfurd. I hope he is as good in his own way as Patrick O’Brian was with the Jack Aubrey books.

The Sagas of the Icelanders – I have recently been enjoying Mike Drout’s excellent lecture series on The Norsemen. When he got to the sections on the Vikings and the Poet Serial Killers it made me want to re-read the Icelandic Sagas. So I got a good copy that is a mix of the various types of Sagas. I haven’t started it yet but will tomorrow. I haven’t read the Icelandic Sagas since college. I’m interested to see what I will notice now I did not notice when I was a young kid at college.

Well, I suspect that my fiction and literature reading for October will be excellent indeed.

Good night

ONE LAST FIGHT BEFORE THE DARK…

Well, it’s that season (Fall and the approach of Fall) when my thoughts naturally turn to Conan. This happens almost every year.

Maybe it’s the way I grew up and what I grew up reading as a kid but every Autumn it’s the same thing, my mind hungers for Conan (Conan often isn’t even that well written, I prefer Solomon Kane for the stories and I associate more with Kane, but in autumn I want Conan), and John Carter of Mars, and Tarzan, and Doc Savage, and so forth.

Every Autumn though, as a kid, I used to consume Conan and Carter and Tarzan and Savage adventure stories. I didn’t want high fantasy (like LOTR ), or sci-fi (that’s Spring material to me), or any of that stuff, but I always wanted adventure and fighting and gore and creeping monsters and often horror stories, like Lovecraft (though often I’ll read Lovecraft in winter too).

The coolness of the weather, the clearness and yet distance of the moon at night, the shortened days, the smell of blood on the air, the fading grass. The trees becoming bare, the call of birds moving South, and the sight of hunting raptors on the wind. Dark storm clouds. Just something about Autumn. It’s like the dying of the light.

You get in one last good fight before the darkness.

What do you prefer to read in the Fall?

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