Ancient abstract art. It pleases me to think that abstract painting isn't a Twentieth Century invention, but that it has an ancient pedigree.
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A few days ago I read the prologue to a book titled "Tales Before Tolkien" which stated that Tolkien himself saw his work as an outgrowth of the Heroic Romance, rather than the novel. This cleared up one of the big questions in my life as a nerd: as much as I love Fantasy, Tolkien doesn't thrill me. A few years back I decided to reinvestigate the genre I loved as a kid, and I found that, like Brian Aldiss (who, in his critical history Billion Year Spree, compared and contrasted passages of Tolkien with passages from Peake) I regard Mervyn Peake's Titus Groan and Gormenghast as my preferred key fantasy novels (although, also like aldiss, I'll concede it's a matter of taste). Peake's novels, like most fo the genre novels I enjoy, draw more from the lineage of Jane Austen and Charles Dickens than from this stuff. Although I was spellbound by The Worm Ouroboros in high school, and loved the Arthurian romances I read in college, so I guess I can enjoy the Romances (not to be confused with romance novels) too. Looks like I need to revisit Tolkien with my new understanding of his genre lineage