Monday, December 05, 2011

adam gopnik | boring, boring, boring

At Oxford in the nineteen-forties, Professor John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was generally considered the most boring lecturer around, teaching the most boring subject known to man, Anglo-Saxon philology and literature, in the most boring way imaginable. "Incoherent and inaudible" was Kingsley Amis's verdict on his teacher.

It is still one of the finest jests of the modern muses that this fogged-in English don was going home nights to work on perhaps the most popular adventure story ever written....

Adam Gopnik, "The Dragon's Egg"
The New Yorker, December 5, 2011