Tag Archives: Apprenticing with the Dead

Poetry Review: A Supernatural Song of Ourselves (Bryan Thao Worra’s Demonstra)

Bryan Thao Worra. Demonstra. Innsmouth Free Press Note: I’ve followed Bryan Thao Worra on Twitter (and vice versa) for a while now. This July, I met him in person at CONvergence 2015. When I told him I’d be happy to … Continue reading

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Apprenticing with the Dead – Reading Tolkien 35 Years Late (The Beautiful Endgame and the Bones of Plot)

A week or two ago, I finished reading Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. As a pro writer, there was a whole extra layer of enjoyment in the endgame, with its gorgeous structure and its alternating notes of triumph and … Continue reading

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The real face of evil looks a lot like a garden slug, or why J. R. R. Tolkien kept the Big Bad off stage

I’m two-thirds of the way through The Two Towers, where the point-of-view swings back to Tolkien’s unlikely hobbit-hero Frodo and his faithful sidekick Sam, several days into some seriously uninviting territory. There’s a lot of rather foreboding and on occasion actively … Continue reading

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Apprenticing with the Dead: A Strong Dose of Truth (James Baldwin)

The last time that I read James Baldwin’s collected essays (in the Library of America edition) was 2006, on a road trip from Minneapolis to Cleveland to see my mentor, who was active in the civil rights movement and had … Continue reading

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Apprenticing with the Dead: Reading Tolkien 35 Years Late

When I was in high school in the late 1970s, everybody was reading Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. I resisted, for reasons I didn’t fully understand at the time. I think if you’d asked me then, I would have … Continue reading

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The Independence Day post I wasn’t going to write

I am not a fan of holiday posts, but this gorgeous piece by Aker (Futuristically Ancient) took me on a literary and musical journey through the flip side of the Fourth of July and made me think about why I … Continue reading

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Apprenticing with the Dead: Margaret Walker’s Jubilee

“The past is a foreign country,” L. P. Harley wrote at the beginning of his novel The Go-Between. “They do things differently there.” Paradoxically, we can understand the foreign ways of the past if we spend enough time with its inhabitants. … Continue reading

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