Is Scrabble or the history of Inner Asia more exciting?

Why does blogging have to be so hard? And writing in general. I really don't want to write a response paper—no matter how puny—to the excerpt I read from The Baburnama, the autobiography of Babur, the steppe nomad descended from both Timur (Tamerlane) and Chingis Khan who started the Mughal Empire in India. It was interesting, but thinking is hard, especially when you have no idea who all the characters are, or really why Babur would rather be in Kabul than in Khurasan in the first place. (I guess it's because they need to overthrow some rebels in Kabul for some reason.)

The main thing I took away from the reading was that this excerpt from The Baburnama really wanted me to watch The Fellowship of the Ring: there's this part where they follow Qasim Beg's or someone's advice, which Babur points out is bad, and take the mountain pass in the dead of winter instead of going the longer, lowland route. It's just like when Aragorn leads the fellowship up the mountain Caradhras and then they are blessed with a blizzard. Except in Fellowship, well, they can't get over the mountain, then BAD THINGS. In The Baburnama, they find some "vagabonds" on the other side and gain a number of sheep and captives. In any case, I don't think this response is quite academic enough for my half-grad-student Literature of the Turks class, even if half the class is still only 3.5 people.

What I was going to say, before I remembered that Lord of the Rings comparisons are one of my favorite things, was that I don't feel like I have time to think on weekdays during the semester—so how can I write? I have a list of ideas, but they require time to get right. Anecdotes are easy, but on average, not that exciting. Yesterday's high point was winning a game of internet Scrabble against Cooper. It did involve a gamble to set up the perfect place for my 'z' tile, and the gamble failed, but I still won...but you know, Scrabble, blow-by-blow, is exceedingly dull.


John said...

I'm pretty sure the blizzard was the mountain itself. Like, didn't the dwarves have stories about it being an evil mountain? Unless you're using the movie version, in which case Gandalf led them up the mountain, not Aragorn.

Marisa said...

But in the book, Aragorn is the one who wants them to take the mountain because he really, really doesn't want to do Moria, but Gandalf is sort of resigned to how they're going to have to, right?

Also, we've had the blizzard-on-Caradhras disagreement before and I thought I won.

Marisa said...

So I looked it up, and it's unclear as it happens in the book. Obviously, Caradhras has a history of being cruel, but Boromir suggests (and yes, I admit that might make me wrong, b/c Boromir--not so great) "I wonder if this is a contrivance of the Enemy...They say in my land that he can govern the storms in the Mountains of Shadow that stand upon the borders of Mordor. He has strange powers and many allies."
"His arm has grown long indeed," said Gimli, "if he can draw snow down from the North to trouble us here three hundred leagues away."
"His arm has grown long," said Gandalf.

...but then, to support you, John:
"But that does not make what you say untrue. There are many evil and unfriendly things in the world that have little love for those that go on two legs, and yet are not in league with Sauron, but have purposes of their own..."
"Caradhras was called the Cruel, and had an ill name," said Gimli, "long years ago, when rumour of Sauron had not been heard in these lands."

"It matters little who is the enemy, if we cannot beat off his attack."