Reportedly, during a meeting of the Inklings, the Oxford dons' book club whose members included Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, Tolkien read passages from his manuscript for The Lord of the Rings.
Tolkien was a terrible public speaker and reader, mumbling and droning, and his fellow English teacher, Hugo Dyson, promptly fell asleep. When he woke up and heard what was still going on, Dyson exclaimed, "Oh no, not another focking elf." Thereafter, Tolkien limited his readings to those meetings of the Inklings when Dyson wasn't present. (And Dyson promptly became a personal hero of mine.)And mine.
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