(A remarkable creature, entertaining, likeable, odd, bonnet full of wild bees, half-German, half-Irish, very tall, must have looked like Sigurd/Siegfried in his youth, but an Ass.)
Let us not be racist about the combination half-German, half-Irish. That is also the case with the intelligent Tom Zimmer. The man Tolkien described in these words was Robert Graves. Yes, there is one of them, I think, especially in Academia, it is the author of I Claudius.
I can possibly like people with positions like Robert Graves, but it would be impossible for me to think of such a man as a kind of mentor. You see, Tolkien had that role for me. And he decribed him - Robert Graves was obviously a man like himself - as - an Ass. Not as in polite for "arse", like US Americans sometimes speak of "pain in the ass" - that would not have been compatible with "likeable" or "entertaining" - but as in short for asinus, short for jackass, and synonym for donkey.
Now, if Robert Graves had met John Ronald when he was far younger, had tried to override the guardianship of the Welsh Spanish heritage padre, had tried to impose himself on Tollers as a kind of mentor, I think he might rather than "an ass" called him "an arsehole" if driven long enough.
Some people seem to think of themselves as my future mentors. They may think that positions like those of Robert Graves , like those expressed in I Claudius, warrant such an attitude. They seem to think of me as a big child who has not got his education yet. Well, people like that make me mutter not "but an ass", rather "what an arse!"
If anyone thinks he has earned such a position by the well deeds that leave half my clothes unwashed and half my sandals illshod or that he would earn it by the fact of being a bit more generous than that, I consider it my duty to my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to resist him to the face. If St Paul could do that with St Peter though he was appointed by Christ, anyone can do that with someone who appoints himself to a role of mentor he has no claim on.
I am a writer. I write, and thus I can accidentally serve someone as a mentor without knowing it. I am not intriguing to surround anyone so that he has to choose me or the other or the third or the fourth as a mentor and change his mind. Anyone who thinks I am wrong, young or old, is quite free to express his disagreement in writing. But praying to God or to the Devil that I may continually be confronted with whatever faults he finds in me, or talking with this, that, third or fourth to keep me under surveillance, under correction, is dastardly.
When I was harrassed beyond bearing in Junior High School, my class teacher asked the leader - at least apparent leader - of my harrassers, why he did it.
We only try to help him to adapt ...
He was the son of a female school teacher, no doubt very full of psychological wishwash. And my present harrassers are no doubt very like him. One of the men whom I broke with was one Pied-Noir and former Teacher who disagreed with me about my rejection of school compulsion. He argued that school compulsion was necessary to help Arabs or Muslims to adapt, or rather hinder them to develop freely such attitudes as he considered fanatic. Some of the attitudes of some of the Muslims are fanatic, but I do not consider that Pied-Noir any less fanatic, with his demonic love for forcing other people's children into his school.
I cannot say it is he who has intrigued to keep me down. I cannot say he is not one of them either. But I am not seeking the role of guru, I am seeking freedom to not have one, and freedom to write what I consider the truth, and to publish any way within moral and civil laws I like what I have written. Also, on a lesser note, to compose and have my compositions played. It is years that some have been dreading to ask me in person whether I am Protestant but still confronting me with the theological faults of Protestants because I am something else - a Biblical Inerrantist, sometimes called Fundamentalist.
Bpi, Georges Pompidou
St Thomas Becket
The quote comes from Letter 267, to Michael Tolkien, 9-10 January 1965. Letters, p.353. Tom Zimmer is a man I met in Rome, author of a devotional and pro-life tract called Hope 84, to Honour Our Lady's Assumption. He, now, was not asinine.