Corey Olsen's Silmarillion adaptation!

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Re: Corey Olsen's Silmarillion adaptation!

Post by Eldorion on Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:23 am

I respect your desire to bring more balance to Olsen's podcast but the whole thing comes across as so personality-centric that I dunno that it's really a feasible goal.  But I wish you the best of luck in that.  If you or Petty or anyone else are able to make some contributions that get through I'd be curious in reading (or listening to) the response.
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Re: Corey Olsen's Silmarillion adaptation!

Post by TranshumanAngel on Mon Jun 08, 2015 7:30 am

Oh I agree. It is a wild bantha chase. Still we shall see.
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Re: Corey Olsen's Silmarillion adaptation!

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Jun 08, 2015 5:43 pm

I like my bantha steak rare Twisted Evil

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Re: Corey Olsen's Silmarillion adaptation!

Post by malickfan on Mon Jun 08, 2015 9:06 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:I like my bantha steak rare Twisted Evil

Going off topic a bit here, but I've never understood why people eat ultra rare steak, obviously it depends on the cut of meat, but I'll take medium any day (i.e safely in the middle)- I prefer my steak to be juicy but warm and cooked, not half cold and leaking fluid everywhere, if you go to the trouble of killing a cow, you might as well cook the thing a bit.

As for the Sil project, I've made my views on things clear before, and it seems a project doomed to fail (I don't think you can really 'adapt' the book, as it a a book about myths and legends anway, I think 'inspired by' would be the way to go...) but It's good to know people are still interested enough in the franchise to have these discussions, the last three films kinda burned out any enthusiasm I had for the idea...

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Re: Corey Olsen's Silmarillion adaptation!

Post by Eldorion on Tue Jun 09, 2015 3:18 am

Pettytyrant101 wrote:I like my bantha steak rare Twisted Evil

But was it free range or fed on poodoo?

Spoiler:
According to the subtitles in the SW movies poodoo means fodder, but, well... Laughing
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Re: Corey Olsen's Silmarillion adaptation!

Post by TranshumanAngel on Tue Jun 09, 2015 5:44 am

malickfan wrote:

As for the Sil project, I've made my views on things clear before, and it seems a project doomed to fail (I don't think you can really 'adapt' the book, as it a a book about myths and legends anway, I think 'inspired by' would be the way to go...) but It's good to know people are still interested enough in the franchise to have these discussions, the last three films kinda burned out any enthusiasm I had for the idea...

I like the point about myths and legends. I'll wait to hear the first podcast, but it seems as though they're treating the content of the Silmarillion fairly literally, which isn't actually something I take to be a good idea. It just isn't a novel, or even a chronicle. If you know anything about ancient literature it most resembles a redaction or outline of mythological materials of varying origin and historical reliability. I think it's dangerous to take the Silmarillion stories at face value even within the space of the secondary world. That isn't to say I think the stories are 'false' within the world of Middle-earth, but clearly Middle-earth operates like our own world to some degree. As Mike Drout points out in this brilliant lecture;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXAvF9p8nmM

the Middle-earth material makes a 'great chain of reading' - all the 'primary world' publications that we have are a part of textual traditions in the secondary world, and might therefore be subject to error, bias and other factors which dilute reliability. Again, I wouldn't want to take the idea too far, but I think there's something to be said for treating the Silmarillion like any other primary world mythological text - history might be present somewhere within it, but you can't take it at face value. This is all a long winded way of saying that I agree with you're observation that the source text should be a kind of inspiration. To treat its content literally in this instance would be, I think, a mistake.
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Re: Corey Olsen's Silmarillion adaptation!

Post by halfwise on Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:06 pm

malickfan wrote:
Pettytyrant101 wrote:I like my bantha steak rare Twisted Evil

Going off topic a bit here, but I've never understood why people eat ultra rare steak, obviously it depends on the cut of meat, but I'll take medium any day (i.e safely in the middle)- I prefer my steak to be juicy but warm and cooked, not half cold and leaking fluid everywhere, if you go to the trouble of killing a cow, you might as well cook the thing a bit.

Thank you! No mushiness in the middle, please! chefs especially are firm on preferring rare, but I just don't get it.

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Re: Corey Olsen's Silmarillion adaptation!

Post by Bluebottle on Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:18 pm


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Re: Corey Olsen's Silmarillion adaptation!

Post by Bluebottle on Tue Jun 09, 2015 2:23 pm

Eldorion wrote:A short and (sorta) to the point summary of the project here, which appears to be condensed from the video on the first page.



Turns out this was less than an hour away from me.  Was like $100 to get in, though.

He says "There will be no limitatios. No one to tell us enough is enough."

And all I can think is "Yeah.. that worked well with the Hobbit.."

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Re: Corey Olsen's Silmarillion adaptation!

Post by TranshumanAngel on Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:39 pm

^^ This. I listened to the first episode - it already seems top heavy with the kind of overcomplicated sorts of frame narratives they are going for. I'm not sure I'll continue with the series. Sadly the TolkienProf, which started out well with the Hobbit lecture series, has just become a (not very good) fan website/podcast. I have nothing against fan websites per se, but when you're original intention is to devote time to rigorous academic podcast-making you're offering something unique and different. I feel it is more of the same now.

Anyway, I'm sad now, ha. Evil or Very Mad
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Re: Corey Olsen's Silmarillion adaptation!

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:44 pm

If its good enough for Dave's fields, its good enough for Bantha's Nod

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Re: Corey Olsen's Silmarillion adaptation!

Post by Bluebottle on Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:44 pm

TranshumanAngel wrote:

This was really interesting. Smile

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Re: Corey Olsen's Silmarillion adaptation!

Post by TranshumanAngel on Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:28 am

Yup. I can't wait for his book!
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Re: Corey Olsen's Silmarillion adaptation!

Post by Eldorion on Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:47 am

How to Read JRR Tolkien:


  1. Buy a book by JRR Tolkien
  2. Open said book to the first chapter
  3. Start reading

I just saved you an hour guys, you're welcome. Smile
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Re: Corey Olsen's Silmarillion adaptation!

Post by TranshumanAngel on Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:43 am

haha. It is actually a really good lecture though.. Cool Very Happy
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Re: Corey Olsen's Silmarillion adaptation!

Post by Bluebottle on Fri Jun 12, 2015 11:54 am

The title might not be the best. Razz Mostly he points out what he sees as putting Tolkiens writing appart, what he as a filologist sees as special about it, and kind of lampoon certain areas of criticism of Tolkiens work. And I think he has some great points.

It's interesting that he pulls out GRRM as an example of someone who does not follow Tolkiens method of writing. Mm, I need to think about that one.

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Re: Corey Olsen's Silmarillion adaptation!

Post by halfwise on Fri Jun 12, 2015 12:15 pm

Yep, I couldn't find GRRM's boring treatise on his world chapter. Tolkien does much more of this long exposition. If anything it's something that GRRM lacks. Or more properly, I should say Tolkien always does memorable exposition, while other writers, when they do it, are simply not memorable.

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Re: Corey Olsen's Silmarillion adaptation!

Post by Bluebottle on Fri Jun 12, 2015 12:26 pm

Well, what Drout claims is that Tolkien does not do that. Rather he couples imperfect sources with exposition through dialogue where you both discover the information with the protagonist, which he points out are mainly the Hobbits who know little of the wider world. And even then in conversation, like with Frodo and Gandalf, Gandalf will give diffuse answers, withhold information and sometimes even get things wrong.

George of course uses a very heavy point of view approach, where we very much follow the internal world of the chapter protagonist. And his exposition as such to a larger degree come across as monologues. There is not so much the learning with the protagonist as getting a look into their internal viewpoints.

So, they are definitely different approaches. Not that I'd claim one is better than the other. It's just interesting that Drout should put the two series appart. As the two fantasy series that to me have that unquantifiable, indeterminable quality that somehow puts them appart from the more run of the mill stuff of the genre to me are those two.

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Re: Corey Olsen's Silmarillion adaptation!

Post by Eldorion on Fri Jun 12, 2015 5:48 pm

I did watch a bit of Drout's lecture, I just couldn't resist poking fun at the title. Twisted Evil But he does raise some interesting points, and I agree that the sense of discovery is part of what makes LOTR engaging. Tolkien is clearly one of the best at it, but that sort of fish out of water type exposition is pretty common.

One of the more interesting comparisons between Tolkien and Martin to me is Martin's casting of doubt on his internal sources of information, particularly regarding the ancient history of his world. This is all over The World of Ice & Fire, but it's also touched on in the actual novels via Sam's expository conversations with other characters. It reminds me of Tolkien's attitude towards the Silmarillion mythos during the "Myths Transformed" era and later, which I'm sure Martin was aware of.
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Re: Corey Olsen's Silmarillion adaptation!

Post by bungobaggins on Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:40 pm

Where can we listen to his Silmarillion podcast?

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Re: Corey Olsen's Silmarillion adaptation!

Post by TranshumanAngel on Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:59 am

Yeah, I like Drouts point about the "epistemic regime" and how it is inverted compared to the usual novelistic trope of having the character know less than the reader does. I think it's neat how he ties it in to his discussion of sources and "broken references". A lot of Tolkien scholarship recently has been converging on these ideas and Drouts take is both a synthesis and an expansion of the kinds of things Geegely Nagy and other scholars have been writing about. I think the learning aspect really does get toward why LOTR has the appeal that it does (and did from the beginning), especially the way Frout frames it, as a cognitive experience identiacal (or nearly so) to the characters.

As for Martin I'm not familiar enough to comment. I've read the books but I can't remember them very well. Certainly the character point of view creates an "epistemic regime" of its own, but I think his novels rely on the usual kind is dramatic irony to the enth degree.
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Re: Corey Olsen's Silmarillion adaptation!

Post by TranshumanAngel on Sat Jun 13, 2015 2:07 am

Also Eldo you say that the fish out of water trope is common - it is, and Drout mentions that. I think the originality of Drouts thesis is in how he sees this and other threads meeting to "create" the atmosphere or reading experience overall, which Drout sees as a very particular kind of nostalgia. I'd tightly recommend watching the whole lecture- I think it's a great example of how good literary scholarship can enliven and enlighten ones reading. Just my two cents!

I also like what you say both authors casting doubt on their sources - Martin as you say especially does this. In his fiction I think Tokien is doing something a little different. As Drout says in his lecture most of Tolkien's sources or historical events as mentioned in LotR actually ARE sources - because he wrote them! Or at the very least, wrote them partially. For Drout this places LotR itself in a textual tradition which mimics the textual traditions of the Middle Ages. I agree with Drout thay the particular aesthetic affect this creates is central to Tolkiens fiction. It's part of that nostalgia - and it's why he used the metaphor of a ruin - a think both present but also incomplete. We want to go to Middle-earth, but it is only ever partially there in the "textual tradition" of Tolkien's own making, and never fully present. I don't know. Maybe I just relate to this thesis because I'm an archaeologist and having a sort of nostalgia for the past in in my veins to some extent (not an uncritical one, I wouldnt Want to live in the actual Middle Ages!) but my own experience of LotT is certainly reflected by what he says in the lecture.
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Re: Corey Olsen's Silmarillion adaptation!

Post by Eldorion on Sat Jun 13, 2015 2:40 am

That's very intriguing and I'm inclined to agree, but I'd have to think more on it (and suck it up and listen to the entire hour long lecture) to really comment in a meaningful way.
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Re: Corey Olsen's Silmarillion adaptation!

Post by TranshumanAngel on Sat Jun 13, 2015 2:48 am

Fair enough Razz I don't know why but I enjoy listening to lectures when bike riding etc, I'm strange like that jocolor
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Re: Corey Olsen's Silmarillion adaptation!

Post by halfwise on Sat Jun 13, 2015 1:46 pm

Even though not much goes on onscreen, it does make it easier to watch on hour with him on there talking. I surfed the web on the side.

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