Monday, September 29, 2003

The good people over at
have seen fit to ask me a few questions.

Quenta Narwen Questions
Umm.. sorry to be picky, but the name of the blog is Quenta Nârwenion , as a parallel to the Quenta Silmarillion. I understand that the circumflex might be a problem, but including the "ion" shouldn't be.

1) Personally, I’m a huge fan of Tolkien (as are several other contributors to this blog), so naturally my first question comes from this position. When did you first read a Tolkien book, or basically, how were you introduced to Tolkien? As a side note, this post, Everything I need to know I learned from Tolkien, is great!
Side note on your side note: Thanks !
I first read The Hobbit at the age of eight. I believe my interest was piqued by that dreadful Rankin-Bass monstrosity of an 'adaptation', which had been broadcast on TV. (I was eight. I didn't have the kind of aesthetic equipment needed to be properly discriminating.) I read The Lord of the Rings for the first time at the age of ten, and The Silmarillion at twelve. ( I think that timeframe may be why I have a bizarre tendency to associate Silmarillion stories with 80's music. Ah, well.... )
I read The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion at least once a year, and have frequently read The Tolkien Reader, "Smith of Wooton Major", and The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. I have read, but do not yet own, the History of Middle-earth series.

2) I had to ask this question: Your blog classifies you as a “Rat Fan.” Can you explain?
Simple. I am a fan of rats- the domesticated pet ones, that is. While currently ratless due to financial issues, I am very fond of the little furballs and plan to get more when the job search is over. I am also an actual member of The Rat Fan Club, founded by the Ratlady herself, Debbie Ducommun. Actually, my online name, Nârwen, is Sindarin Elvish for "rat-maiden" !

3) I read your post 100 things about me and enjoyed it. But it didn’t discuss what motivates an introvert to blog (besides a writing background). Would you like to let us in on how blogging fits into your view of life?
Well, blogging lets me share a lot of the great things I've come across with other people. It gives me a forum in which to request prayers as well. Perhaps the biggest ulterior motive is that it allows me to attempt to acquaint people with the Oratorian charism, our founder and my favorite Cause.

4) Can you explain what a Secular Oratorian is? I couldn’t find it in your blog (FYI- MovableType features a Search function).
Secular Oratorians are members of the laity who are trying to live the charism of the Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri . We are assisted in this, and in turn try to assist, the Fathers and Brothers of the said Congregation of the Oratory. To understand the Oratorian charism, (to a certain, limited extent, of course ! ) I would recommend checking out these posts on my sidebar: "St. Philip Neri: Parts One through Twelve", "The Pittsburgh Oratory", "Some Oratorian information (with emphasis on the official stuff) " , "And in Oratory News (includes the Litany of St. Philip Neri) " and "IT'S TOMMOROW (St. Philip Neri links)"
BTW, the Professor himself had an Oratorian connection. After his widowed mother had converted to Catholicism and brought her sons into the Church, she got to know Fr. Francis Xavier Morgan, C.O., of the Birmingham Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri. When she was diagnosed with diabetes (not a treatable condition at the turn of the 20th century) she made Fr. Morgan the guardian of her sons, since she could not trust her relatives, many of whom were hostile to the Faith, to raise her boys as Catholics. She died, after a lapse into a coma, when Tolkien was twelve. Fr. Morgan then took responsibility for her sons, and did his best to raise them- not an easy task for anybody, certainly not easy for a parish priest with many other duties, though he did have his community to support him. How well Fr. Morgan did may be judged by these two quotes written by the Professor late in his own life.
"And again, I remember after the death of Fr. Francis my 'second father' (at 77, in 1935), saying to C.S. Lewis, ' I feel like a lost survivor in a new alien world after the real world has passed away.' "
"In 1904 we (Hilary (ed. Tolkien's brother) & I) had the sudden miraculous experience of Fr. Francis' love and care and humour..."

5) Who would you like to see as the next Pope (what were you expecting)?
Well, he was only just made a Cardinal, but I like what I've read and heard about George Pell...

I love the intermixing with Tolkien and Middle Earth, by the way and I've also added Quenta Narwen to our links list.

Thank you. But it's Middle-earth, not Middle Earth. (End of 'Nihil Obstat of Arda mode' )


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