Tolkien: The True Tragedy?

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Re: Tolkien: The True Tragedy?

Post by Orwell on Sun Jun 19, 2011 4:37 am

Leaf and Smith are great stories, I agree.

Can't agree with you on The Hobbit though, but agree that everyone is Free to like what they want. To me The Hobbit is Tolkien's crowning achievement.

As to your little one, why not try Roverandom or the Father Christmas Letters? Roverandom is good fun, though I only know of the Letters by reputation, but apparently they're very funny.

NB Welcome Aboard.

(((((Don't mind Odo, he's mad, though who am I to judge?)))))

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Re: Tolkien: The True Tragedy?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Sun Jun 19, 2011 11:01 am

Leaf by Niggle is a personal favorite of mine, a wonderful concept and my all time favourite title for anything.
I would agree TH is odd in many ways. As a chidrens book it is quite British in a lot of ways, particularly the occasional delight it takes in scaring children, something British literature and tv has long taken pride in doing (Doctor Who being the prime tv example) and Tolkien seems to have fallen into this pattern. The narrator in TH offers the reader comfort but never security. Of course all this subtly I don't think will matter when it comes to the films as PJ will just favour spectacle over it all anyway.

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tokien the true tragedy

Post by leelee on Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:22 am

I do hope Eldorion that you do find the time to read these breathtaking treasures. And I wish you wonderful results on your tests.
I do agree about Roverandum, we read it and it is just too much. Such an imagination.
yes, it is rather Brit thing, the scaring of children. I personally cannot bear that sort of thing unless there is real merit in it and it is a germaine part of the story. I said on Planet-Tolkien that I have a cd of JRR reading the riddle contest in the dripping caves between Bilbo Baggins of the Shire and that tricksy and evil fellow Smeagol. Half way through the reading, the way he read it , I was actually frightenend and turned it off. And I had read it and it did nothing for me. That was the power of our professor's voice and delight in the scaring over me at least. affraid

Thank you Orwell, and I am quite taken with your avy. It makes me want to whip out my first aid kit though. Smile
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Re: Tolkien: The True Tragedy?

Post by Ringdrotten on Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:29 am

What's the name of that CD, leelee? Is it possible to find it on youtube?

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Re: Tolkien: The True Tragedy?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:33 am

As a Brit who grew up being regulary scared either by literature (War of the Worlds blood drinking aliens gave me a turn as did the Triffids not to mention the spiders in TH) and by television (Doctor Who of course but it wasnt alone, Saphire and Steel was another and a kids drama series called Dramarama which often had ghost stories and the like of a very creepy nature) and I loved it. Did as a kid and still do now.
I think there is a great pleasure to be had for a child in a safe scare (the monsters in Doctor Who might have terrified me but I always knew the Doctor terrified them so it was ok). Tolkien does occasionally display this British thing for horror. Think of the Orc in the Tower with Frodo who literally stomps his opponent to death before stabbing the corpse repeatedly and licking the blood from the knife -would have got PJ an 18 rating that if he had put it in. Or the heads of the fallen Gondorians cast over the walls, or Shelob for that matter and the lovely tale the orcs of the Tower tell of their still live companion they found strung up and whom they joke and laugh about how he begged to be cut free, but they just left him. All horror images if ever there were any.

Here you go Ringdrotten. Fantastic reading, love his Gollum.




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Re: Tolkien: The True Tragedy?

Post by Ringdrotten on Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:35 am

Thanks, Petty, I'll save that for a good cup of tea Very Happy

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tokien, the true tragedy

Post by leelee on Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:40 am

Ringdrotten wrote:What's the name of that CD, leelee? Is it possible to find it on youtube?

Really I could not tell you . A family member was shopping and wanted to get a softback covered version of The Hobbit. It came in a box and in the box was a large folded map of the Shire and maybe another, and this cd. I only kept it a while. Sorry. By the way I am and always have been a huge fan of Jeremy Brett and Sherlock Holmes. I loved the White Company as well by sir Arthur Conan Doyle. My favorite two Sherlock Holmes from the dvd's are The Empty House and The Eligible Bachelor, third being The Vampire of Sussex.(shiver)
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Re: Tolkien: The True Tragedy?

Post by Ringdrotten on Mon Jun 20, 2011 12:44 am

Petty and Gandalf's Beard were the ones who recommended the Jeremy Brett series to me, and for that I will always be thankful - fantastic adaptations and the best Holmes and Watson I have ever seen Very Happy

Now you reminded me of the fact that I have only watched the first 4 seasons, which means I've got three left! Where are those damned thunderstorms when I could use one?

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Re: Tolkien: The True Tragedy?

Post by Orwell on Wed Jun 20, 2012 12:07 pm

I sometimes wonder about that myself, Ringo. Yes, I do. Shrugging

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Re: Tolkien: The True Tragedy?

Post by Ringdrotten on Wed Jun 20, 2012 10:23 pm

You have the ability to make spam fun, Orwell - that's a blessing (for us) Laughing

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Re: Tolkien: The True Tragedy?

Post by Orwell on Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:09 am

I only use my Moderator Spamming Powers for Goodness, Niceness, and Rightness, Ringo-lad! Very Happy Always remember that! Nod {{{ cyclops }}}

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Re: Tolkien: The True Tragedy?

Post by Orwell on Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:03 am

Good to see I have stayed true to my word. Nod

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Re: Tolkien: The True Tragedy?

Post by David H on Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:14 am

{{{{{{{{{{{{ Rolling Eyes }}}}}}}}}}}}
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Re: Tolkien: The True Tragedy?

Post by Anne on Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:27 am

Oooh... peppermint... I wonder where it's coming from?  Very Happy 

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Re: Tolkien: The True Tragedy?

Post by Music of the Ainur on Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:38 am

leelee wrote:Of all the works of our dear precious professor, I like The Hobbit the least. Now please don't misunderstand me, I really enjoyed the Hobbit...
I loved LOTR ...But the deepest love I had of JRR's work was Leaf by Niggle and the dear amazing mysterious baker of Major Wooten..... For me these two tales are totally strictly faerie as I know and revere it. I was swept away by them.

leelee, while I also love TH quite a bit, I am in agreement with you that I too enjoy many other of his works much more. TH is an odd bird in some ways. It is a bit scary in parts for very young children and at the same time too juvenile and silly for many peoples tastes. I have read it as bed time stories to my 3 children. I have had friends who I have recommended it to tell me that it was too "kids story" like for them. I enjoy it very much myself, but TH does feel light and possessing of a silly flavor when place beside LotR or several other of his works. This is not intended as a criticism however, indeed light and silly can be the most delightful things on earth and these qualities are a large part of why I like TH.

leelee- I too love the leaf by niggle and I agree it is fairly oozing with faerie and is a delightful read.

The Silm with the additional substance of Unfinished Tales and Lost tales makes quite a rich story. Though of course taken all together it is rough and incomplete and unrefined and in fact unfinished... I still dig that large quilt of tales very much indeed.

LotR for me has always felt like more than a story some one made up. It almost feels like JRR took some trip and witnessed this other plane or something.( I say this at the risk of seeming new agey or something). Or like he took a good ole fashioned 1960's trip Wink and somehow caught a glimpse of this world of middle earth.

There is so much "weight" and substance to it that it feels more like a archaeological writing than some whimsical invention. There is so much Meat to it. It has always made me think of the ancient east Asian concept of an Astral or causal plane where forces of Good and evil can do war and strive against each other ...(Two sides of the same coin, just like illuvitar says... it is all his song in the end)

I don't want to sound like a wing nut any more than I have already but,

I attempt to write music sometimes and I find my favorite things I have ever written were not something that I contrived or struggled to make happen. My favorite things just come... it is like I am Witnessing the song or something similar.

I try to stay out of the way and just be a vehicle without "trying" to shape it much, like the song "Is" and I just happened to be still enough or something to be able to see it and hopefully not bugger it up till it looses all interesting qualities by trying to write it.

Usually, the wave passes and my meager talents looses the connection before it is a whole song, but sometimes a theme will come in one effortless wave.
I say again, it feels like the song IS and I just happen to witness and channel it. There is no "trying to construct it" energy. I have talked to other people who create and many have told me they have felt this same witnessing , translating thing...

I suspect JRR of having this sort of connection. I may be completely wrong of course, perhaps one of you scholars of Tokien can shoot me down with my intuition. Maybe in fact it was a long tiresome tedious trial for him. I am not saying he wrote whole stories in one fell swoop of course but I suspect blocks of things came that he then had to struggle to thread together somehow...

Don't let me give anyone the idea that I am some sort of gifted songwriter, I am not claiming that by any means. Still my favorite and highest feeling attempts have been from these flashes of being a vehicle for a song that seems to be revealing it self to me.
This sounds crazy I guess but perhaps there are other creative people here who can relate to what I am trying to communicate so poorly.. or perhaps not and maybe I just did too many of those excursions in my youth.


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Re: Tolkien: The True Tragedy?

Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Jan 31, 2014 12:57 pm

I do understand you. The nearest I got to flashes of inspiration was after a particularly intense acupuncture session, it unblocked things I never even knew I had or was capable of expressing. I slept for three days after the session, then woke up and started painting after a break of 25 years, well since I was a kid when a horrible teacher made me dry up artistically. It was weird shit. I think inspiration is within us all, but life just makes us hibernate our inner sparks because we need to get on with every day stuff. People use differing methods to regain their mojo I guess.

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Re: Tolkien: The True Tragedy?

Post by feanor 1999 on Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:08 pm

To the OP,

I find the tone of the profs other writings to be completely different. 'Leaf' is a very dark book, and the thought of being taken away when ones usefullness has been deemed to have been gone, by 'those in charge' is very disturbing and frightening indeed. I do love Niggles character though, (know someone very similar to him actually) and do care for him very much. I also Love the way that Parish is redeemed at the end, and they meet up again and defeat their grim experiences with Laughter and being friends.

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Re: Tolkien: The True Tragedy?

Post by azriel on Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:26 pm

I thought "Leaf" was scarey. I could imagine it being a Terry Gilliam film, all dark, methodical & clinical. Draconian type men looking uniformally alike, no soul, no emotion. just poor Niggle, fighting against the "Establishment" .

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Re: Tolkien: The True Tragedy?

Post by halfwise on Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:11 pm

It's always an eye-opening experience to read Tolkien's writing outside the Legendarium. He reported back on such an obviously real world that it's a bit jarring to find other worlds. The contrast between the heartbreaking depth and beauty of 'Leaf' is a complete contrast to the light hearted minuet of 'Smith of Wooten Major'.

I can see Odo's point in thinking it was a tragedy that Tolkien got sucked into his Legendarium and produced so few other pearls like these when he had the time in his older years. But the Silmarillion needed to float to the surface, and though he never completed it I think what we got may have been a fair trade for the short stories lost in the process.

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Re: Tolkien: The True Tragedy?

Post by Orwell on Mon Feb 03, 2014 11:04 am

I'm happy Tolkien wrote The Hobbit, his greatest legacy, but the rest is background material worthy in it's own right. I'm reading The Wind in the Willows at the moment. Another brilliant work, full of peculiarities like The Hobbit is. Works of genius are accessible peculiarities methinks. LotR is not peculiar enough. His other works are too straight forward and buzz less with imagination. I don't think Tolkien himself ever detected the deep resonances of The Hobbit. Mainly because I believe they came from inspiration and intuition and letting his imagination fly, and not from his conscious learning. His conscious learning was where all his criticisms of the Hobbit came from. Sad and silly.

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Re: Tolkien: The True Tragedy?

Post by halfwise on Mon Feb 03, 2014 12:40 pm

I think you'll find plenty of argument about the Hobbit being his greatest legacy. LotR easily influenced more writers. But the seed of this creativity was clearly the Hobbit, and it has been more widely read by far.

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Re: Tolkien: The True Tragedy?

Post by malickfan on Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:30 pm

That leads me to an interesting question

Which book is more popular LOTR or The Hobbit?

I know plenty of people grown adults who have read and loved the latter, but I only seem to hear criticism against it from people who read LOTR as well.


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Re: Tolkien: The True Tragedy?

Post by Radaghast on Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:34 pm

In terms of sales figures, at least, LotR is more popular.

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Re: Tolkien: The True Tragedy?

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:38 pm

I have always loved them both, but then I read TH as a child with no idea there was such a thing as The Lord of the Rings- as far as I was concerned it was a single self contained story.
I read LotR's in my early teens, I think, so it seemed perfect for me, I had loved the childrens book and here was a follow up and like me it was no longer a child. So I loved it too.

For me there is a no difference in my appreciation, love and pleasure gained from both works, and I suspect a lot of that is down to the ages at which I encountered both works.

But whilst there are things in TH I appreciate more now as an adult, there are equally things that will no longer delight me quite the same way they did as a child.
And with LotR's Tolkien says it is not possible to satisfy everyone at every point all the time, but I would add to that that is true also of the individual.

I loved FotR most when I first encountered the books because back then things like politics just bored me and were of no interest- as an adult some of my favourite parts involve the machinations and politics of Isengard, Barad-dur, Gondor and Rohan.

The parts that delight also change with age and personal perspective, I think its what make it a book one can return too over and over through life and see old parts with new eyes.

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Re: Tolkien: The True Tragedy?

Post by azriel on Mon Feb 03, 2014 5:39 pm

Of course Ive read both, & I care for both but, I think I prefer LOTRs better. The Hobbit to me, is a one line tale, its about Dwarves & Bilbo journying together with a united goal. It has tension, mystery & action yes but, it runs on a horizontal feeling for me ? LOTRs has all those ingrediants & a bit more. But it has to I think, as its The Hobbits grown up brother ! Now we have the man instead of the boy, so the action is bloodier, the love more intense, the despair more felt, Victories more uplifting, Maybe thats just me, & how I view it ? but its how I feel.

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