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Tolkien - overrated?

Discussion in 'Booktalk' started by joacqin, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I fail to see the humor in the joke. I did think that it was a lighthearted comment, though not anymore given that vehement defense.

    Lord of the Rings is a huge epic-slash-parable. It's not supposed to be (completely) taken at face value. As easy it is to presume that the ring is merely some magical cursed object that corrupts the bearer, if you actually think that that's all it is then the implication is that you also think the reason the men of Rohan can detect lies is because they themselves do not tell lies.

    You are basically naming Tolkien as a precursor to Dr. Seuss. Not that that's a bad thing, but it's a shame that you think LotR is little more than a kid's book.
     
  2. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    On one level, the story is a reference to a slower time -- a time when the entire society moved SO much more slowly than ours does today. Given all of that time, people had a lot of time to mull things over -- Frodo had a long time travelling with the ring, time for it to work on him but also time for him to grow and develop as a person. In that sense it's a paen to a . . . not necessarily better, but a different time. Today's world is far too fast, and far too many people don't slow down and engage in some introspection and reflection.
     
  3. nior Gems: 24/31
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    @Paracelsi, you do know that the vehement defense was there because you took the joke in the wrong direction. I joked about it, draw some conclusions by connecting events and applied some logic to it, so I'm now treated as someone who puts Tolkien and Dr. Suess in the same playing field. And for the same conclusions and logic I'm also someone who (completely) took the book only for it's face value. It's really profound how you established that. It's REALLY a pity that you think so highly of yourself for knowing there's so much symbolism and things to ponder on in LotR that you can easily label someone else for a handful of reasoning. Really profound.



    @LKD, on another level, I like to think that the slow pacing of time or how the events took so long was somewhat in reference of or a reflection to how he wrote it... 12 years to complete. But don't get me wrong, I don't really have anything against him for that.
     
  4. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    How many Zep songs reference the Lotr? Zep 4 has a few. Battle of Evermore, Misty Mountain Hop and Stairway to Heaven. I never connected the others.
     
  5. Paracelsi

    Paracelsi Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    @nior
    Let's get a few things straight.

    You made the joke. The reason I misunderstood the joke is because I do not and have not ever claimed to be a psychic or someone who can read all the emotions behind a sentence someone posted in the internet.
    In any case it was you who exploded and "drew some conclusions by connecting events and applying some logic to it", ignoring the symbolism that each event had in the process. And since LotR IS steeped with symbolism - I don't think you'll find many people who'll try to deny that, then I'm pretty sure that counts as taking things in the book at face value.

    A lot of what many of the characters say in LotR are about as senseless as the dialogue in Wacky Wednesday if you take them too literally.

    "Completely"? And where was that established?

    One of the things you'll never catch me doing is claiming that I could judge another real-life person based on the sentences he writes in an online forums. You made that connection yourself.
    As far as I'm concerned, however, the online entity nior is a over-defensive being with really poor form when it comes to someone replying in an unexpected manner to his online "jokes". Despite the non-aggressive nature of that certain someone nior apparently thinks that he/she has intentionally soiled nior's honor in some way, and thus deserves a verbal and psychological whacking.
    I'd advise you to not bother, if there's one thing that is actually profound about me it's my ability to ignore posts from other people I don't want to hear from. And I do not need /ignore options or anything of that sort to do it.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
  6. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Let's stick to the topic... please use PM to work out such arguments.
     
  7. 8people

    8people 8 is just another way of looking at infinite ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran

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    [​IMG] I respect Tolkien for his innovation and devotion to a genre that until his thorough evaluation and writings took hold was a very sad little thing. He is for all intents and purposes the grandfather of fantasy.

    It's a dedication to the crafting of a realm and the depth within it that I can admire and appreciate and even reflect upon.

    However, I must inquire as to why there were so many sodding songs in the first book. It took me five attempts to break the barrier and get through the whole thing but the initial attempts invariably left me either forgetful why some chap announced "THIS REMINDS ME OF A SONG!" and bursting out into a four page stanza on something vaguely related which could have easily been more succinctly described in conversation or narrative (Or a shorter song for goodness sake) it was probably by the time I was vaguely confused as I seemed to be reading the transcript of a stilted musical that I willed the next words to be "Then Frodo bit the elf in the kneecap to shut him up"

    I am not adverse to verbosity or narrative depth but there are means and methods to make it a more energetic, satisfying and attentive read.

    Generally the rest of the books were quite good, though a marked lack in consistancy of full description and near complete sparcity of relevant detail scattered in a few of the chapters.
     
  8. Blades of Vanatar

    Blades of Vanatar Vanatar will rise again Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    The first Monty Hall movie I watched was Holy Grail. I thought they had to be Tolkien fans after watching it.
     
  9. Déise

    Déise Both happy and miserable, without the happy part!

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    I loved Lord of the Rings but I can see why a lot of people wouldn't like it. I don't mean that some people are too thick to appreciate it, I just get that reading huge chunks describing the weather (misty) isn't everybody's cup of tea. Of course I was a kid with lots of spare time when I read it, I may not have the patience if I tried now.

    I'd echo all the thoughts about the world being stronger than the story. I think that's what Tolkien was more interested in himself. He was a professor of ancient English and a lot would have been drawn on the mythology he studied for that.

    A movie is a very different medium to a book. You've much less time and too many characters and details make things confusing. Jackson had to make the changes he did if it was to work on the screen. Bombadil had no real connection to the main story. Arwen effectively covered two characters in the one. It made her a different person to who she is in the book but it didn't make her a bad character nor did it interfere with her place in the plot.
     
  10. Rawgrim Gems: 21/31
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    I can understand why they removed Bombadil for the movies. He adds notihing to the story, and he picks up the ring and tosses it about. It kind of ruined the "danger" of the ring, for me at least. In the first 30 mins of the movie we are told that messing with the ring is pretty much extremely dangerous. And then the hobbits run into an oddball in the woods, that the ring just doesn`t affect?. It ruins the momentum bigtime.
     
  11. Late-Night Thinker Gems: 17/31
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    Over the Hills and Far Away sure feels like a LotR song (even though it doesn't explicitly make any LotR references.) Well, "pocket full of gold"? Could just be a pot reference.
     
  12. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    I just picked up the extended version of the whole trilogy -- 15 discs or so -- holy crap! I listened to the commentary by Jackson and the two co-writers and found it highly entertaining. Despite what the Monday Morning Quarterbacks have to say, everything they did in the film seems to have been well considered, pondered, bounced around between various stakeholders, and then a decision was made.

    Those who criticize the movies without knowing about the various logistical obstacles that were inherent in the production of the film should see if they could do a better job. I somehow doubt they could.

    As for the books, I would argue that the world is stronger than the characters. When i read the books, I didn't get as invested in the characters as i have with other books. That's just a style issue, though, not indicative of lack of skill on Tolkien's part.

    I also remember thinking that the songs and poems frequently included were kinda lame. As I've gotten older, I don't mind them as much. People likely did that sort of thing a lot more before the advent of Walkmans, Discmans, iPods, etc.
     
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