LotR (was Re: reviews (but not of MC))

Belben, Philip ( Generation ) Philip.Belben at eme.co.uk
Thu Dec 11 05:18:24 EST 2003


Minnow, quoting Charlie:

>>[Tolkien's Middle Earth, as he saw it] "was not a name of a
never-never land
>>without relation to the world we live in... The theatre of my tale is
this
>>Earth, the one in which we now live, but the historical period is
>>imaginary."
>>
>>This quotation intrigues me. What does it boil down to? I'd have
thought
>>there are quite a few other imaginary elements there than just the
>>historical period (elves, dwarves, ents, etc etc). And the continent
where
>>it's set bears no obvious relation to any I know.

[...]

>>I'd like to think that Tolkien was making a more interesting point
than that
>>the themes of LotR are relevant to our own lives, but I can't see how
else
>>to parse it.
>
> He wasn't making a point at all, just telling the story he had in him
to
> tell, is the way I read it: that it happens to include such things as
> trying to behave well rather than badly (if you are a hobbit, trying
to be
> brave and do the job you have been landed with, for instance) may if
one
> chooses be taken as a Moral Message, but Tolkien was pretty firmly
> determined that he Had Not Written An Allegory, and I'm prepared to
take
> his word for it that such was not his intent.  Why should he be deemed
to

Hang on, Minnow!  To what actual act of "making a point" are you taking
Charlie to be referring when he says "making a ... point"?  Here you
seem to be talking about the writing of LotR itself, which I don't think
was what Charlie meant...

> Anyhow, why is "the themes of LotR are relevant to our own lives"
uninteresting?

... and here you are referring to the remark quoted in the Telegraph,
which _is_ what I took Charlie to mean.

The answer to your little question is:  That is a property of all good
fiction [*], so it's not particularly interesting to find that it
applies to a particular work of (good) fiction!

Now the subject of _which_ themes are relevant, and how, would be
interesting, but that is not what Charlie, or JRRT, were talking about,
as far as I can see.

Philip.

[*]  A dangerous generalisation, but I'll let it stand and see what
happens to it...



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