Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Pitchfork in Middle Earth

I used, poring over Lord of the Rings as a child, to ponder the map; and I remember being struck by the thought that the great line of mountains running north-south (the Misty Mountains) and then after that gap running west-east (the White Mountains) and culminating the the E-shaped range that defines Mordor .... I used to fancy that this was deliberately drawn to look like a broken pitch-fork: its shaft snapped (the gap of Rohan) and the middle tine of its fork broken off and lying against the left tine. I imagined that this enormous broken pitchfork had been laid across the landscape of Middle Earth as a symbolic signifier: the devil's tool, yes; and dominating the landscape, yes. But, you know. Broken.

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