A discussion of the books Tom Hiddleston has likely read. A place to appreciate the intellectual side of our favorite actor. Updates once daily, with breaks to catch up on reading.
Sorry for the hiatus. I’ve decided to continue to post once daily, but take breaks here and there to catch up on reading. Just finished all the novellas on which Cranford is based. I will start posting about them once I have a chance to watch the miniseries. Now I’m reading Edward St. Aubyn’s Patrick Melrose novels, which Tom tweeted about reading, so I will write about them on here once I’ve finished with Elizabeth Gaskell.
In 2006 Tom Hiddleston played Jonathan Harker in a radio adaptation of Dracula. I haven’t listened to it, but it’s available on youtube if you would like to. The text of the novel is also available on project gutenberg. Dracula is a classic of Gothic literature and I would recommend reading it regardless of any connection to Tom Hiddleston. The story is told through diary entries, letters, and at one point, the captain’s log of the ship on which Dracula travels to England. What really drew me into this novel was not so much the plot, but the atmosphere. Stoker is really good at creating a creepy and suspenseful atmosphere. I read it when I was sick, so the parts where Dracula was attacking Lucy and later Mina were particularly disturbing to me. I felt as if I were wasting away along with them.
Tom’s next film project is an adaptation of the novel High Rise by J.G. Ballard. I guarantee he has read it.
When it was first announced, I wasn’t all that excited about it. I thought it would be “Lord of the Flies in a high rise,” which didn’t much appeal to me. Now that I’ve read it, I’m anticipating it much more. Unlike in Lord of the Flies, the people in the high rise accept deteriorating social conditions with utter complacency. They almost welcome it. They don’t want to leave the high rise or call the police. That aspect of the book is very surreal because it doesn’t seem realistic that people would react like that. I liked it; it got into my psyche. While reading it, I felt as if I was in the high rise with Robert Laing. I’m impressed with Tom because making this book into a film seems like a real challenge. Not only because of the characters’ strange reactions to what is happening but also because there isn’t much of a plot to speak of. It will be interesting to see what they do with it.
Before I read the book I happened to watch this documentary, which is an excellent companion to High Rise, because it is a real life parallel to what happens in the novel. Unlike the fictional high rise, Pruitt-Igoe is not a luxury complex but government subsidized housing. I recommend watching it.
You might have noticed that today’s post was a guest post written by my awesome sister. I wanted to let you know that I welcome submissions from my followers, or anyone who has something to say on the subject of books Tom Hiddleston has likely read, or even the broader subject of “books you think Tom Hiddleston would like,” or “books that remind you of Tom Hiddleston for some reason.” If you have something more to say about one of the books I have already written about, that would be great too. My own posts will continue to be about novels and non-fiction books Tom has likely read. I will eventually start writing about plays and poetry too.
I’ve been doing this blog for about two weeks now, and it is a lot of fun. So far I’ve been managing to keep up with posting once per day, but it’s a lot faster than I read, so I will have to eventually either start posting more about books I haven’t read, or slow down a bit. Even if I sometimes use the royal we, it really is only one person writing this blog. I will let you know if my posting schedule changes. I think it’s more interesting to post about things I’ve read. More submissions from readers would help me keep up my once per day schedule.
I’m very new to tumblr, so I welcome any constructive criticism or suggestions for how to improve the blog. I’m also looking for new blogs to follow, so let me know if you have a recommendation. My first choice would be other blogs that discuss Tom Hiddleston as an intellectual, (are there others out there?) but general or humorous TH fanblogs would be good too.
I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
That’s how Tom Hiddleston makes us feel. He has mentioned on multiple occasions that The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot is his favorite poem.
.@fehrula Very tough to call. T S Eliot’s “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” is one of my favourite poems. “Let us go then, you and I…”— Tom Hiddleston (@twhiddleston)September 12, 2013
@canterville T S Eliot. “Prufrock”.— Tom Hiddleston (@twhiddleston)January 26, 2012
"I grow old, I grow old. I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled. Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?" #prufrock— Tom Hiddleston (@twhiddleston)February 25, 2012
Amazing poetical love-in on twitter! “Do I dare disturb the universe?”— Tom Hiddleston (@twhiddleston)February 25, 2012
Unlike several of the works mentioned on this blog, it’s a relatively quick read. If you haven’t read the poem, check it out.
I have a special relationship with this poem. T.S. Eliot was the favorite poet of my one of my first crushes. Spoiler: He didn’t like me back. Probably because I was scared to talk to him. It’s especially poignant because the poem is also about unrequited love. It’s a good poem to read when you’re feeling particularly emo about your unrequited crush. Especially if that crush happens to be Tom Hiddleston.
Even though Eliot wrote it at a fairly young age, he realistically captures the voice of an old man hoping for the love of a young woman. I remember asking myself many times if I dared disturb the universe or eat a peach. At that time, I decided that I did not dare.
As a bonus, here’s some of the poem illustrated that I came across a while ago. This includes the translation of the Dante quote at the beginning, which sheds some more light on the poem as a whole.
— Guest post by the blog author’s sister, who is not obsessed with Tom Hiddleston, but likes him well enough
In October 2013 Guillermo del Toro published a book called Cabinet of Curiosities that gives a lot of insight into his artistic process. It has a chapter on each of his films and a section at the end discussing unfinished projects. It reproduces pages from del Toro’s notebooks with accompanying explanatory interviews. He uses his notebooks to brainstorm ideas for his films and flesh them out. He pays attention to the appearance of the pages; he makes drawings and then fills up the white space with text. They are works of art in and of themselves.
If Tom was dedicated enough to read his costar’s memoir, then I’m willing to bet he was also dedicated enough to read his director’s art book. It was a fun read. I recommend it if you are interested in film making and the artistic process and inspiration of this unusual figure. Because del Toro always writes about more than one film at the same time, there were even a few tiny tidbits about Crimson Peak on some of the notebook pages. That was a cool little extra for me, because I’m wildly anticipating that movie.