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

deborah.dwj at deborah.dwj at
Tue Aug 24 08:47:11 EDT 2004

On Tue, 24 Aug 2004, [iso-8859-1] Rosemary Hopkins wrote:
|I did, and still do. But being a literary ignoramus, I fear I cannot
|give reasons as Melissa did so coherently, and will be shot down in
|flames by the Tolkien-dislikers.

Oh, I hope you don't really feel that way!  We can't all be as smart as
Melissa, who is a Jeenyus and Allways Right.

>From the list rules:

   4) On the DWJ mailing list, we are very respectful of one another.
   Behavior which might be considered standard operating procedure in
   other parts of the Internet is considered flaming here.  We have
   teenagers and university professors, and not a single person here is
   smarter or more valuable than any other.  You may be Diana Wynne
   Jones, Wizard Howl, and Albert Einstein rolled into one, but on this
   list, you are just as smart and no smarter than anyone else.  That is
   to say, your opinions are very welcome, and so are other people's.
   Some people contribute to our discussions with years of literary
   theory under their belts, some bring knowledge from DWJ's own words,
   and some bring only their own personal experiences.  All of these
   contributions are equally welcome.

   This isn't to say that we don't disagree.  Of course we disagree, and
   frequently!  But our disagreements are respectful.  We do not assume
   here that other people have different opinions out of malice,
   stupidity, laziness, or ignorance.  Moreover, nobody has the last
   word of authority.  It's fine to adjucate questions of fact ("No, the
   cover art for the Mammoth edition of Charmed Life is by Sarah Govia,
   not Jos Smith."  "In a speech given in a convention in 1996, DWJ's
   exact words were..."), but nobody here has the last word on a
   question of opinion.  Whether DWJ herself, or your high school
   librarian, or Jacques Derrida tattooed the idea on your skin with
   blessed ink, your opinion is still just as interesting and valid as
   everybody else's, and no more.

What is an 'evil shape', I wonder?  Could a triangle be evil, for
example?  Are some kind of triangles decent and God-fearing,
whereas others are treacherous and inclined to furtive sodomy?
And could you tell that from the 'shape'?
		-- Philip Pullman, "The Republic of Heaven"

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