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My mom had a hard time with the three of us – my father, my brother and me – when we were immersed in reading a book. She would call out our names many times for some errand or food but we would be oblivious and deaf to the world – so deep we had travelled in time to another place and time through the book we were deeply engrossed in.

If you know Penny of The Big Bang Theory TV Series – she gets addicted to some video game and shuts up everything else in her life. If you find me reading a fantasy fiction book such as a Harry Potter or The Lord of the Rings, you will find me in similar state: my spouse finds that there is no dinner waiting for him, things strewn in the house do not get picked, sorted and arranged, and routine work is out-of-order. The reason I am not reading fantasy fiction is that right now I can’t afford to travel to a fantastic fantasy world and leave everything in a state of motion-less inertia. But, I can always find some time to read an article on Tolkien’s (JRR Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit) translation showing the legendary hero Beowulf slaying three huge monsters. That’s the first part of the article; the second part discusses an essay on “Beowulf: the Monsters and the Critics” written by Tolkien. The essay is considered to be one of the finest essays in literature. Finally, the article also praises Tolkien and his genius with Old English (one of the languages that preceded English).

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2014/06/02/140602crbo_books_acocella?currentPage=all

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