Fascinating blog post from Scott Oden.
I am, by trade, a writer of fiction. As such, I’m often accused – and rightly so – of “just making things up.” And while I’d like nothing more than to take credit for the creation of that species of mythological beast called kaunar (which would later achieve lasting immortality thanks to Tolkien, who used them as a template for his Orcs), they are in fact indigenous to the annals of history. I merely stumbled across them . . .
In 2006, while researching a story on the used grimoire trade in Vienna, I came across a rare find in the basement of a forgotten bookshop in an alley off Kolingasse. On a shelf below the local histories and the hand-bound volumes of 17th century bucolic poetry, surrounded by lurid romance novels from America, was a crumbling pasteboard file box. The peeling label bore the name “Mikolajczyk” in a scrawled…
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