Tolkien and Zelazny

Zelazny wanted to be a poet and when he gave up on that became a short fiction author and later novelist. Tolkien likewise spent a lot of time in verse but achieved fame for prose.

I’ve been thinking about situations where there is no shelter. Conflict that cannot be avoided is one. They range from serious to trivial, and for fear of being melodramatic, I’m including getting out of bed to shower on an especially cold day. Laundry. The struggle never ends, unless I do laundry naked, and my building only has one laundry room for all the apartments. It’s also snowing.

I’m not saying I wouldn’t do it. I’m just saying there’s no shelter, because the outdoor walk between my door and the laundry room would be brutal. And I’d just wind up making more laundry anyway.

But situations with no shelter. Where an ordeal comes and cannot be avoided. We tend to think that our suffering could be avoided if only, but that is often not the case. The Romanian mythic cycle has an interesting take on the afterlife. It’s misery and unavoidable. Not much of that is passed on.

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