Tolkien (was Re: Who invented the modern fantasy genre?)

deborah.dwj at deborah.dwj at
Mon Aug 23 23:29:09 EDT 2004

Melissa, no, you aren't the leper. I think some of us are just revelling
in the freedom to say anything negative about Tolkein at all; it's not
safe to do so, in my house.  Violence might ensue.  :)

I love what Tolkein did, I love what he gave us, and I'm in awe of the
world he created.  I love being a part of a world which contains his
creations.  I love what he added to fantasy and novel writing as a
whole.  I recognise his ideological and structural flaws, and,
optimistic postmodernist that I am, love those, too, because of the
playground they create.

But when I read for novelistic pleasure, I'm a character nerd.  I want
compelling and likeable characters driving the story; I want events
to result from their actions and focus on their reactions.  Thus Jane
Austen over Herman Melville, Eddings (despite his faith in prophecy)
over Tad Williams, DWJ over most people.  :)  Tolkein brought us amazing
things, but vast stretches of the books are *epic*.  Epic in scope, in
style, in focus.  Thus I love The Scouring of the Shire and Merry in
Rohan, because those sections are character driven.  The battle of the
Pellenor Fields, as gorgeous as it is on film, is epic.  It takes me
away from the individuals, and without them, I get bored.

Also I have problems with names.  You should see how frustrated I get
reading Russian lit.

Can the gods catch flu?  I think I may have given it to all of them.
					-- chrestomanci

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