logo
Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: personal-canon
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-05-24 04:09
Reading progress update: I've read 61%.
The Well At The World's End: Volume II - Lin Carter,William Morris

Prior updates:

http://lindahilton.booklikes.com/post/1760982/reading-progress-update-i-ve-read-48

http://lindahilton.booklikes.com/post/1735429/reading-progress-update-i-ve-read-40

http://lindahilton.booklikes.com/post/1698883/reading-progress-update-i-ve-read-25

http://lindahilton.booklikes.com/post/1675308/reading-progress-update-i-ve-read-20

 

The story of Ralph's quest for the Well at the World's End actually begins at the 60% mark.

 

This would never fly in the market today.

 

And yet I'm still keeping this book in my personal canon.

 

 

 

 

At this point, Ralph meets again the girl from Bourton Abbas, an encounter that lasted a few pages way way back in the story.  He never knew her name, but he has fond memories of her as a friend.  Okay, fine.  But in the meantime, he met the unnamed Lady of Abundance, he had a significant sexual liaison with her, and then she was killed by her husband.

 

After her death, Ralph sets off a little more determined to find the Well, which the Lady of Abundance had been to and to which she intended to guide him.  But Ralph proves over and over again to be a bit of a naif, being duped by numerous folk, male and female, who promise to help him and do anything but.  Eventually he ends up enslaved by the evil Lord of Utterbol -- he doesn't have a name either -- who apparently plans to provide Ralph as boy-toy to his wife the Queen -- nope, she doesn't have a name -- so that he, the Lord of Utterbol, can cavort with another slave, who is presumed to be the girl from Bourton Abbas.

 

Got that? 

 

Ralph is really not much of a hero, but he is . . . perfect.  Every woman who sees him falls in love with him.  He turns out to be a champion jouster and a superb archer.  But he also trusts everyone who comes to him with any kind of promise, and he always gets betrayed.

 

But finally he meets up again with the girl from Bourton Abbas, about whom he had dreamed.  In that dream, he learned that her name was Dorothea.  But when he meets her, he asks if her name is Dorothy . . . but she says no, her name is Ursula!

 

Now, remember that Ralph had this relationship with the Lady of Abundance, and he knows Ursula was taken as a slave of the evil Lord of Utterbol.  So the first thing he needs to know about her is how she was treated during her enslavement.

 

Then Ralph looked sore troubled, and he said: "Dear friend, this is the thing hard for me to say. In what wise did they use thee at Utterbol? Did they deal with thee shamefully?" She answered him quietly: "Nay," she said, "fear not! no shame befell me, save that I was a thrall and not free to depart. Forsooth," she said, smiling, "I fled away timely before the tormentors should be ready . . .

Morris, William. The Well at the World's End: a tale (p. 201).  . Kindle Edition.

 

So, whew! Ursula is still a virgin, even if Ralph is obviously not.

 

 

(spoiler show)

 

And now, back to reading.  This is the part that goes a lot quicker because, hello, this is where the real story is!

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-05-22 20:04
Reading progress update: I've read 48%.
The Well At The World's End: Volume II - Lin Carter,William Morris

Prior updates:

http://lindahilton.booklikes.com/post/1735429/reading-progress-update-i-ve-read-40

http://lindahilton.booklikes.com/post/1698883/reading-progress-update-i-ve-read-25

http://lindahilton.booklikes.com/post/1675308/reading-progress-update-i-ve-read-20

 

I'm finally able to read for more than a few minutes at a time, though the back spasms are not completely gone.  I had to run out to the grocery store, but I bought only what was absolutely necessary.  Now I've turned on the heating pad once again, probably for the rest of the afternoon.  Yesterday I was about 57% back to normal, but today I only feel about 50%.  We'll see how the day goes.

 

As for The Well at the World's End, it plods along.  Our hero Ralph is finally getting some information about the route to take for his quest, but it's pretty ridiculous that half the book is either background or narrative of a "this happened, then this happened, then this happened" style.  Ralph proceeds along the road to wherever he's going, and that's about it.

 

Morris does, however, maintain his voice and style, and it's going to be interesting to me to see how this, one of his last works, holds up against some of the earlier ones, which I have not yet read.

 

 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-05-20 22:37
Reading progress update: I've read 40%.
The Well At The World's End: Volume II - Lin Carter,William Morris

Prior updates:

http://lindahilton.booklikes.com/post/1698883/reading-progress-update-i-ve-read-25

http://lindahilton.booklikes.com/post/1675308/reading-progress-update-i-ve-read-20

 

 

Remember the old writers' adage?  Write Chapter One.  Write Chapter Two.  Throw away Chapter One.  It's meant to keep writers from pouring all the background material, especially the characters' history, into a grand opening info dump.  Apparently it's not as old an adage as we might think, because Morris clearly didn't follow it with this book!

 

Four chapters or so -- maybe more, maybe less -- are given over to the history of the Lady of Abundance, who by the way has no name.  Talk about telling and not showing?  The whole thing is done in her narration to Ralph, and I have to say it's pretty damn boring.

 

This interlude, however, serves to set up Ralph's decision to actively seek the Well at the World's End, which had only been a kind of thought in the back of his head prior to her tale.

 

The Lady of Abundance (also known as the Lady of the Dry Tree) isn't the only character without a name.  We have various Knights of the Dry Tree, the Sorceress, the Knight of the Sun, and so on, which makes it difficult to tell who is who.  The girl from Bourton Abbas, a place Ralph stopped at along the way, is now coming back into the story, but she was so unremarkable at her introduction that I don't remember anything about her.  Now she's being brought back into the story as Dorothea.  I may have to go back to the pages in Bourton Abbas to refresh my memory as to who she is.

 

Another difficulty in reading this book is that people and places change sides frequently.  So Ralph meets people along the way who claim the village of Hampton under Scaur is a place of evil, but other people he meets say it is a haven for travelers.  Some encourage him to seek refuge in Hampton, while others urge him to avoid it head instead for the Burg of the Four Friths. It's very confusing.

 

Like places, the people are confusing.  Is Walter the Black a good guy or not?  What about the Knight of the Sun?  And who was the guy Ralph kept encountering with ominous comments like, "The first time"?

 

Also, a map would be helpful.

 

Brief update on me:  I spent most of Friday and all of Saturday in bed, in excruciating pain with the back spasms.  Big doses of ibruprofen helped only a little.  Last night (Saturday) I was i such extreme pain that against my better judgment I broke out a 2013 prescription of Flexeril that I had got another time I had bad spasms.  Though it didn't work at all that time, it worked last night and allowed me to sleep.  I took another around 2:00 a.m. and slept off and on until 9:30.  I'm laying off the Flexeril for now, and am still in pain but not quite so much.

 

The one thing I managed to get done this morning was change out all four tumbler barrels.  One small batch of stones is now done -- there wasn't anything spectacular in that barrel -- and the other three are progressing.  I would have liked to fill that fourth barrel with new stones, but the back just wouldn't let me. 

 

BF is on his way home from umpiring another softball tournament and then I think we're going to the Asian buffet . . . if I can stay awake that long!  I think I'm having a Flexeril flashback. . . . . . .

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-05-18 23:16
Forster Book Haul

I mentioned already that I celebrated my recent hankering for a bit of Forster by acquiring matching editions of his novels. Well, they arrived earlier this week. :D

 

 

I am not sure I should add them to Mt. TBR, because I evidently mean to keep them and some of them are going to be re-reads. 

 

They're all pre-owned, but sadly not pre-loved (or lucky for me, I guess). I doubt they have ever even been opened. Poor dears.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-05-17 19:52
Reading progress update: I've read 25%.
The Well At The World's End: Volume II - Lin Carter,William Morris

Previous update here

http://lindahilton.booklikes.com/post/1675308/reading-progress-update-i-ve-read-20

 

I'm now into a part of the plot that I don't remember clearly from previous reads.  Some details come back to me as I read, but other parts are just totally forgotten and therefore new.

 

SEMI-SORT-OF SPOILERS AHEAD

 

Young Ralph -- he's been described as being 21 years old -- has arrived at the castle of the Lady of Abundance.  It's a kind of mysterious place, gothicky but not dark and dangerous.  The only person in it is an elderly woman who provides him food and some information about the Lady.  Ralph falls in love with the Lady based on portraits of her woven in tapestries and on illustrations in a book that gives some of her history, including the fact that apparently she has been to the Well at the World's end.  Drinking the water thereof has made her immortal.  Ralph intends to take her with him to the Well, where he will drink of the water and become immortal like her.

 

I hate to say it, but I'm pretty much rolling my eyes at Ralph's adolescent behavior.  At one point he has been away from the castle for a few hours and returns to shout at the old woman, "Has the Lady returned?  Is she here yet?" and I nearly laughed aloud. (Lord Johnnie would never have been so silly.)

 

But if I've forgotten how their relationship began, I remember quite clearly how it ends. So I'll keep reading.

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?