A couple of very interesting Tolkien Blogs I've stumbled across

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A couple of very interesting Tolkien Blogs I've stumbled across

Post by malickfan on Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:58 am

This might interest some of you

http://mildred-of-midgard.dreamwidth.org/tag/hobbit

(I don't necessarily agree with her views on The Hobbit book, but she raises some good points)

http://atolkienistperspective.wordpress.com/

I think it's a bit of a stretch to call yourself a tolkienist when you are so enthusiastic about the films, but the articles are very well written.

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Re: A couple of very interesting Tolkien Blogs I've stumbled across

Post by halfwise on Sat Nov 16, 2013 1:34 pm

As you said, so long as you steer clear of the fawning movie reviews (which seems to be about 80% of the blog, unfortunately) there are some nice nuggets in there. Thanks MF!

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Re: A couple of very interesting Tolkien Blogs I've stumbled across

Post by Eldorion on Sat Nov 16, 2013 4:32 pm

I've honestly been really surprised to learn over the past year how many self-described Tolkien fans really can't stand The Hobbit. That's their call, sure, but it boggles my mind. It seems really self-limiting to dislike a story just because it's "too childish" or doesn't mesh with your carefully constructed version of canon. It's not like The Hobbit is any more destructive to notions of canon than The Silmarillion is. It's just easier to paper over inconsistencies in The Silmarillion.

And I still maintain that anyone saying that Tolkien would approve of PJ's LOTR-ifying of The Hobbit, or would have done the same "if he had the chance", is demonstrably wrong.
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Re: A couple of very interesting Tolkien Blogs I've stumbled across

Post by Mrs Figg on Sat Nov 16, 2013 5:02 pm

agreed. If he had re-written the Hobbit it would have lost its charm, I think he realized that and left it alone after some tweeking. To think he could have tolerated Tauriel because the story lacked females and Thorin being pushed as the main character is beyond ridiculous.

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Re: A couple of very interesting Tolkien Blogs I've stumbled across

Post by Elthir on Sat Nov 16, 2013 5:17 pm

Eldorion wrote: And I still maintain that anyone saying that Tolkien would approve of PJ's LOTR-ifying of The Hobbit, or would have done the same "if he had the chance", is demonstrably wrong.
Agreed muchly.

Plus, this person is aware of the 1960 Hobbit for example. There seems to be the suggestion [given the idea this person holds] that Tolkien just didn't have time for the revised Third Edition, and so didn't have a chance. Even if so, what about the rest of the external history of this book?

Did I miss something? I was going to employ one of these Suspect ...

... but it doesn't seem like Jackson's misty version of events is wholly behind the belief.
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Re: A couple of very interesting Tolkien Blogs I've stumbled across

Post by Eldorion on Sat Nov 16, 2013 5:20 pm

Besides, Tolkien took his sweet time with the Third Edition revisions. He wasn't even supposed to go back to The Hobbit, since his publishers only needed a new version of LOTR to win the copyright contest. I agree that it doesn't seem to be all about Jackson apologetics, though. Seems more like wishful thinking from someone who just genuinely doesn't dig The Hobbit and wants to pretend that Tolkien shared their views.
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Re: A couple of very interesting Tolkien Blogs I've stumbled across

Post by malickfan on Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:17 pm

Well Personally I read The Hobbit after LOTR, and like many others initially found it hard to take the tone, gradually this has become the thing I like most about-for me it stands out so much from LOTR and The Sil that I don't consider it canon in that sense, rather a spin off of the BOLT.

Agreed about the 1960 Hobbit, I found it interesting reading...but very depressing (An Argument I always use is 'If Tolkien intended the 1960 Hobbit to be a fully canonical adult rewrite...why is there a talking purse and Cockney talking trolls in it???').

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Re: A couple of very interesting Tolkien Blogs I've stumbled across

Post by Eldorion on Sat Nov 16, 2013 8:49 pm

The sad realization I came to about "the Tolkien canon" is that there is no such thing, at least insofar as The Silmarillion is concerned.  There are too many different versions of too many stories composed over too long a period of time and with too many revisions to be able to speak confidently about Tolkien's true or final intentions on many matters.  The version published in 1977 was a valiant attempt by Christopher Tolkien to organize the material, and its introduced countless people to the tales of the First Age, but he's long been open about its shortcomings.  There are too many question marks for it to be used as a canonical authority.

I read The Hobbit immediately before LOTR at the age of nine or ten, and while I saw the difference in style and tone it didn't bother me.  I enjoy both stories for what they are, which is entries in two different genres.  Stuff like references to matches used to bug me because it confounded my attempts to make The Hobbit fit into a neat canonical slot next to LOTR in the grand, consistent version of the legendarium that I was trying to piece together in my mind, but it doesn't anymore.  I think that fixating on canon and consistency got in the way of enjoying the stories, at least for me.  And it's not like "real" mythologies are entirely consistent in either tone or details, anyway. Smile
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Re: A couple of very interesting Tolkien Blogs I've stumbled across

Post by malickfan on Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:11 pm

Couldn't have put it better myself, one of the reasons the writing is so convicing is because of the cracks in internal consistency-and where would us Tolkien Geeks be without the Balrog Wings/T.Bomb debates/

heck Roverandom with it's reference to the Magic Isles and the gaint whale from BOLT could be canon.

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The Tauriel: Desolation of Canon December 2013 (Accurate again!)
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Re: A couple of very interesting Tolkien Blogs I've stumbled across

Post by Elthir on Sat Nov 16, 2013 10:22 pm

To me there is supposed to be a 'modern' author translating the Red Book, especially with 'The Hobbit', and putting his own stamp on the tales. In other words, not just translator but part storyteller for the modern audience. The Red Book has different authors and different stories, including Hobbit poetry:

They hammered upon the old Troll's door.
'A beautiful cramsome cake
O bake for us, please, or two, or more;
O bake!' they cried, 'O bake!'
'Go home, go home!' the old Troll said.
'I never invited you.
Only on Thursdays I bake my bread,
and only for a few'.

Tolkien published this in the 1960s as part of his legendarium. Consistency is key in Subcreation, obviously. But Tolkien knew a measure of purposed inconsistency, which can come with perspective and source, can sometimes help create the secondary reality too.

Although sometimes Tolkien just made a mistake or couldn't help changing something. I like the way he explained the problems in The Hobbit in the original Foreword to The Lord of the Rings.:

'Bilbo was not assiduous, nor an orderly narrator, and his account is involved and discursive, and sometimes confused.'
Plus there was blood on those sword runes, that's why Gandalf couldn't read 'em Very Happy
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Re: A couple of very interesting Tolkien Blogs I've stumbled across

Post by Orwell on Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:43 pm

Mrs Figg wrote:agreed. If he had re-written the Hobbit it would have lost its charm, I think he realized that and left it alone after some tweeking.
I've got a copy of the Professor's attempt at rewrites. You're right Mrs Figg, much charm was lost. If ever we had to choose between burning either TH or LotR, I'd burn LotR without hesitation. {{{(Well, with a little hesitation...Very Happy }}}

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Re: A couple of very interesting Tolkien Blogs I've stumbled across

Post by Orwell on Sat Nov 16, 2013 11:46 pm

'Bilbo was not assiduous, nor an orderly narrator, and his account is involved and discursive, and sometimes confused.'

Tolkien should never have bothered trying to explain The Hobbit. He wrote a brilliant book - my favorite book - but then got self conscious about it. He needn't have. I think it tragic he did.

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Re: A couple of very interesting Tolkien Blogs I've stumbled across

Post by Ringdrotten on Sun Nov 17, 2013 4:59 am

I wish the Hobbit book were more like the film Nod

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Re: A couple of very interesting Tolkien Blogs I've stumbled across

Post by David H on Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:11 am

Ringdrotten wrote:I wish the Hobbit book were more like the film Nod
Good point Ringo. Maybe we can find some fanboy author to do a PJ purist edit of the book Twisted Evil  {{{Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad Evil or Very Mad }}}
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Re: A couple of very interesting Tolkien Blogs I've stumbled across

Post by Ringdrotten on Sun Nov 17, 2013 5:21 am

Very Happy

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Re: A couple of very interesting Tolkien Blogs I've stumbled across

Post by Bluebottle on Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:43 am

Petty is beggining to get quite a lot of experience with taking Jackson out of the films, that probably gives him just the right skillset to put him into the books.

So why not start a petition to get Petty on the Wingnut payroll?

{{{And then you can start working on bringing it all down from the inside Petty.}}}

Laughing 

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Re: A couple of very interesting Tolkien Blogs I've stumbled across

Post by Mrs Figg on Sun Nov 17, 2013 11:34 am

I dont understand all this canon buisness, it seems like a bit of a straightjacket to me.

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Re: A couple of very interesting Tolkien Blogs I've stumbled across

Post by malickfan on Sun Nov 17, 2013 12:35 pm

Another Blog, focussed on Fantasy in general, but some interesting thoughts and reviews on Tolkien:

http://thesilverkey.blogspot.co.uk/


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Well, that was worth the wait wasn't it  Suspect


I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
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Re: A couple of very interesting Tolkien Blogs I've stumbled across

Post by Elthir on Sun Nov 17, 2013 2:13 pm

I don't understand not considering The Hobbit 'canon'. Tolkien not only published three versions [!] but explained how even the first version is to be accepted as a true part of the legendarium [Bilbo's version not being entirely accurate about the One], or a true part of the 'Red Book' in you will.

Middle-earth 'canon' for me: The Hobbit, The Lord of The Rings, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, The Road Goes Ever On, the maps published in Tolkien's lifetime in his books, and the Pauline Baynes map*, concerning which Tolkien himself advised the artist regarding certain points.

I muchly thank Christopher Tolkien for publishing all that he has, or has allowed others to publish, and I employ many of these texts or notes to help fill out my imagined version of the First Age for example, and for myself I don't see such a distinction as limiting (distinguishing posthumously published papers from things Tolkien himself thought fit, or thought 'final' enough, for readership consumption, so to speak).

I don't think Christopher Tolkien ever set out to produce a 'definitive' or 'canonical' version of The Silmarillion or Children of Hurin, but rather a version for readers.

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*Minus the top and bottom illustrations of the Fellowship and the Bad Guys, as Tolkien himself 'corrected' these particular illustrations in a sense, although privately so as to not hurt PB's feelings.
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Re: A couple of very interesting Tolkien Blogs I've stumbled across

Post by Bluebottle on Sun Nov 17, 2013 9:55 pm

I don't understand the the Hobbit not canon perspective either.

Obviously it differs widely in tone from the Lord of the Rings, but I always put that down to it beeing a childrens book. One has to remember that with some small alterations to among others the Gollum/Bilbo scene Tolkien was able to take the building blocks from the Hobbit and write a 1000+ page epic like the Lord of the Rings. That was always testament to it's Tolkienness in my view.

The Silmarillion is a bit here and there. It kind of suffers from beeing both too short, for the lenght of the story it tells, and too long. Though some of Tolkiens best pieces writing is to be found there, like "The Music of the Ainur" and "The fall of Gondolin". I'm very glad Christopher Tolkien got it released, the world of Tolkien would be missing something without it.

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Re: A couple of very interesting Tolkien Blogs I've stumbled across

Post by malickfan on Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:14 pm


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The Thorin: An Unexpected Rewrite December 2012 (I was on the money apparently)
The Tauriel: Desolation of Canon December 2013 (Accurate again!)
The Sod-it! : Battling my Indifference December 2014 (You know what they say, third time's the charm)

Well, that was worth the wait wasn't it  Suspect


I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
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Re: A couple of very interesting Tolkien Blogs I've stumbled across

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:31 pm

Enjoyable read Malick- but the bit about Sam being the hero- I dont think Tolkien meant anything other than he states- he sees Sam as the true hero of the book, not Frodo. He repeats that notion more than once in Letters.

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Re: A couple of very interesting Tolkien Blogs I've stumbled across

Post by malickfan on Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:44 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:Enjoyable read Malick- but the bit about Sam being the hero- I dont think Tolkien meant anything other than he states- he sees Sam as the true hero of the book, not Frodo. He repeats that notion more than once in Letters.

Yeah, I agree about Sam, but It's always interesting to get another perspective (I have to confess Frodo annoys me in the films, and bores me in the book anyway)

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The Tauriel: Desolation of Canon December 2013 (Accurate again!)
The Sod-it! : Battling my Indifference December 2014 (You know what they say, third time's the charm)

Well, that was worth the wait wasn't it  Suspect


I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
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Re: A couple of very interesting Tolkien Blogs I've stumbled across

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:52 pm

Needless to say I loathe the film version, a non-Frodo.
But I do like book Frodo and he has the most complex arc of the hobbit, the way he grows from passivity (he really doesn't want to start when it comes down to it) to his growing confidence in the Barrow, to his over confidence and fall from grace at Bree, his defiance of the Riders at Weathertop and the Ford, and his journey onto taking the entire burden on to himself alone, to his his growing passivity in the face of increased violence towards him,and his final succumbing to the Ring and personal retribution that results from it.

None of which of course is actually in the films.  Mad

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Re: A couple of very interesting Tolkien Blogs I've stumbled across

Post by malickfan on Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:59 pm

I agree he has a great arc as a character, I just don't find him much of a stand out in terms of personality (this may have been intentional on Tolkien's part) a bit stuffy for my liking.


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Well, that was worth the wait wasn't it  Suspect


I think what comes out of a pig's rear end is more akin to what Peejers has given us-Azriel 20/9/2014
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