Author Topic: Tolkein deserves his own thread  (Read 880 times)

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Plane

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Tolkein deserves his own thread
« on: April 18, 2010, 09:40:24 PM »
Amianthus
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      Re: Chomsky Warns of Danger of Fascism
« Reply #55 on: April 17, 2010, 02:37:03 PM » Quote 

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Quote from: _JS on April 17, 2010, 01:29:06 PM
When they return to the shires it has become an industrial wasteland.


Well, in the movie they killed off Saruman before he could make his way back to the Shire and enslave it.


Quote from: _JS on April 17, 2010, 01:29:06 PM
I don't think Tolkein was some sort of horrible Nazi, and that was my point.


Nor was he writing a book about fascism. He was writing a creation myth for the Anglo-Saxons, something that they did not have. His profession and passion was Anglo-Saxon literature, after all.

Plane

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Re: Tolkein deserves his own thread
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2010, 09:46:08 PM »
   I have heard this before , and that he was inspired by the Calavala of Finnland.

     Is it really impossible to recover the lost heritage of Britan?

      I suppose it must be so , and people like Tolkein seem to miss it keenly .

      All over the world oral heritages are being forgotten , languages and rituals are being abandoned.

   Ironic that these are often supplanted by English , the language of recent invention.

     

Xavier_Onassis

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Re: Tolkein deserves his own thread
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2010, 01:00:03 AM »
He was writing a creation myth for the Anglo-Saxons, something that they did not have. His profession and passion was Anglo-Saxon literature, after all.
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But there are a bunch of races in The LOTR. The Elves seem vaguely Celtic, the Hobbits somewhat Welsh, The Dwarves perhaps Scandinavian and I am not sure whether the people of Gondor or the people of Rohan wpould be the Anglo Saxons. So I am not at all sure that a creation myth for Anglo Saxons was his intent. It seemed to me as I read this, that it was a very good example of recreating a prose epic of a mythical land, or more specifically, several lands.

I think the general consensus is that the National Epic of the Anglo-Saxons is Beowulf, even though Beowulf was a Dane.
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Plane

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Re: Tolkein deserves his own thread
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2010, 06:31:28 AM »
He was

I think the general consensus is that the National Epic of the Anglo-Saxons is Beowulf, even though Beowulf was a Dane.


There was a part of England known as the "Danelaw" from the time that Danes like King Canute ruled .
A lot of those people came and stayed.
This is something that got repeated a lot in British history , invasions that came and left their mark , this is how English grew into a hybrid language and how the old legends got garbled.

Amianthus

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Re: Tolkein deserves his own thread
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2010, 07:30:04 AM »
But there are a bunch of races in The LOTR.

There are a bunch of races in the Bible - it doesn't make it any less of a creation myth for the Jews.

Besides, if you read the end notes well, you'll see that most of the other races leave - leaving ME for the men, the descendants of the Westernese basically..
« Last Edit: April 19, 2010, 07:31:39 AM by Amianthus »
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Xavier_Onassis

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Re: Tolkein deserves his own thread
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2010, 12:41:51 PM »
I note that the Hobbits remain. They are not men, and yet they remain.

I admire Tolkein and enjoyed his work, but I don't think his major intent was to write an Anglo-Saxon creation myth.
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Amianthus

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Re: Tolkein deserves his own thread
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2010, 02:02:01 PM »
I note that the Hobbits remain. They are not men, and yet they remain.

"The descent of the major branches of the race of Men and related peoples. Note that, though the Dr?edain and Hobbits are established as belonging to branches of the race of Men, and must therefore have descended from the first people to have awoken in Hild?rien, the precise details of their descent remain unknown."
http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/m/men.html

I admire Tolkein and enjoyed his work, but I don't think his major intent was to write an Anglo-Saxon creation myth.

"Tolkien's major works are all set in an imaginary world called 'Arda'. The centermost continent, where the Trilogy of the Ring takes place, is known as Middle Earth. Tolkien made clear, in one of his letters, that Arda is not a fictional invention, it is imaginary because it is set in an imagined past, but it is the past of our own Earth, Middle Earth especially would coincide with N.W. Europe.
Knowing with precision when the events narrated in Tolkien's books take place is not impossible since there are clear references in his books and his letters. The period of time starting from Tolkien's own myth of creation to the end of the Ring Trilogy spans about 21,000 years, divided into Ages, after which the Fourth Age, known as the Age of Men, begins, and Elves and other fantastic creatures dwindle away. From this moment to our days, according to Tolkien, about 6,000 years have passed. This period would seem too short to completely remove all memory of Elves , Dwarves, Dragons and so on from our world, but this is exactly the effect the writer intended to obtain: an explanation of the presence, in our collective memory, of these fantastic creatures. A particular note of interest comes from one creature which would seem to constitute a kind of its own: Tom Bombadil. While the author firmly maintained that his legendary corpus was in no way to be interpreted as an allegory, he had to admit that Tom Bombadil constituted the sole exception."
http://www.tolkiensociety.org/ed/theses/lahey.html
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Xavier_Onassis

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Re: Tolkein deserves his own thread
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2010, 03:02:49 PM »
So when the Elves sail away to the Gray Havens, actually, they vanished? Or became Eskimos, American Indians, or perhaps characters from the Book of Mormon?


I did wonder why Tom Bombadil somehow vanished from the story in the movie version, which was otherwise pretty faithful to the trilogy.


There are burial mounds in Ireland that seem to predate the last Ice Age.


The maps in the LOTR do not appear to correspond to Europe or the British Isles.


I still see the LOTR as a very well written fantasy that draws heavily on ancient languages, myths and legends, rather a bit more than the Camelot tales.
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Amianthus

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Re: Tolkein deserves his own thread
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2010, 04:22:20 PM »
There is a lot more to the story than is told in the The Lord of the Rings (which is, essentially, the tale of the end of the Third Age and the beginning of the Fourth Age - the Age of Man). You must also read the Silmarillion and several of the other books to acquire the full story.

So when the Elves sail away to the Gray Havens, actually, they vanished? Or became Eskimos, American Indians, or perhaps characters from the Book of Mormon?

They passed through the Grey Havens to the "Blessed Realms" of Aman, the Undying Lands. These were the lands to the west of the Great Sea, including Valinor, the land of the Valar. After the Downfall of N?menor, they were taken away from the mortal realms, and could only be reached by those permitted to travel the Straight Road (elves, mostly). This was a realm that was between the mortal realms of Arda (Earth) and the Timeless Halls of Eru Il?vatar and the Ainur (essentially Heaven).

I did wonder why Tom Bombadil somehow vanished from the story in the movie version, which was otherwise pretty faithful to the trilogy.

There were lots of other changes. From the first movie alone: Saruman tells Gandalf that Sauron cannot take physical form, yet in the book he already had. Aragorn gave them the weapons at Bree instead of the Hobbits finding them in the Barrow Downs. Glorfindel is gone, replaced by an expanded role for Arwen. Also, in the books Arwen never carries a weapon, yet in the movies she seems to be a master of swords. The movie tells us that Aragorn renounced his kingship, yet in the books he never did. In the book there are five wizards and one of the others (Radagast) sends the eagle to save Gandalf - in the movie Gandalf used a moth to summon the eagle. The book has Sauron causing their difficulties in attempting the Redhorn Pass, while in the movie it was Saruman. Lurtz, the Uruk chieftain, does not appear in the book.

The maps in the LOTR do not appear to correspond to Europe or the British Isles.

In the language of the Elder Days, 'Arda' signified the World and all that is in it. Arda was created through the Music of the Ainur to be a dwelling place for the Children of Il?vatar (that is, Elves and Men).

Originally a flat world, the continents were surrounded by a mighty ocean, Ekkaia or the Encircling Sea, and separated by Belegaer, called the Great Sea. In the First Age, the regions to the north and west of Middle-earth was occupied by the country of Beleriand, but this was destroyed during the tumults of the War of Wrath.

In the Second Age, the isle of N?menor was raised in the Great Sea for the Edain to dwell on. This island existed through most of the Second Age, but was destroyed in the Downfall of N?menor as a result of the pride of the N?menorean people in defying the Ban of the Valar and sailing to Aman in the west.

After the Downfall, the shape of Arda was changed, and it was made 'bent' (or 'round' as we should say in modern terms). Aman was taken out of the world, and could only be reached by the Elves, following the straight road that was granted to them. As Aman was taken away from Arda, new lands and continents were created. From the late Second Age onwards, the World began to take the shape that we know today.
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Xavier_Onassis

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Re: Tolkein deserves his own thread
« Reply #9 on: April 19, 2010, 05:17:17 PM »
Again, it is more fantasy than ancient history. I don't think that is a bad thing: Tolkein was a teller of tales, not an anthropologist. The Earth has never been flat, other than in the popular imagination of some people.

I find it interesting that Tolkein spent some of his youth in South Africa, which did have a very diverse assortment of distinct tribes: Zulu, San Xhosa, Colored, East Indians, Boers, English,each with a distinct lifestyle at that time. Tolkein was Jewish and not precisely a bona fide member of the English tribe, either.

In his occupation as a professor, he becomes a major authority on British/Anglo/Saxon/Danish lore. Then he synthesizes it into something unique and distinct in his books.

"Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."

Amianthus

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Re: Tolkein deserves his own thread
« Reply #10 on: April 19, 2010, 05:22:45 PM »
Tolkien was born in South Africa, and was Roman Catholic, not Jewish.
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Amianthus

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Re: Tolkein deserves his own thread
« Reply #11 on: April 19, 2010, 05:23:30 PM »
Again, it is more fantasy than ancient history.

As I said, a "creation myth".
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Plane

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Re: Tolkein deserves his own thread
« Reply #12 on: April 19, 2010, 09:56:26 PM »
Why did the Elves need to leave?

Middle earth did not seem to be crouded.

Amianthus

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Re: Tolkein deserves his own thread
« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2010, 11:27:33 PM »
Why did the Elves need to leave?

With the destruction of the One Ring, the power of the Three Rings of the Elves would also end and the Age of Men would begin. Elves that remained in Middle-earth were doomed to a slow decline until, in the words of Galadriel, they faded and became a "rustic folk of dell and cave," and were greatly diminished from their ancient power and nobility. Only those Elves who returned to the Undying Lands would retain their vigor.
Do not anticipate trouble, or worry about what may never happen. Keep in the sunlight. (Benjamin Franklin)