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Thread: Tolkien General Discussion II

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    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    Quote Originally Posted by Flinn View Post
    you have been very active recently ..
    Old habits die hard


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    Feanaro Curufinwe's Avatar Pili Posterior
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    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    Quote Originally Posted by Aikanár View Post
    Old habits die hard
    Shouldn't that be "Old Hobbits die hard"?

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    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanaro Curufinwe View Post
    Shouldn't that be "Old Hobbits die hard"?
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    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II



    Back on topic please
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    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    I was thinking about the origins of the Rohirrim and then happened upon this quote by Tolkien.

    With regard to Middle Men Faramir spoke mainly of the Rohirrim, the only people of this sort well-known in Gondor in his time, and attributed to them actual direct descent from the Folk of Hador in the First Age. This was a general belief in Gondor at that time,(61) and was held to explain (to the comfort of Numenorean pride) the surrender of so large a part of the Kingdom to the people of Éorl.
    And I think the implications about the political reaction in Gondor and the requirement of a myth about the origins of their new allies to be assuaged is rather fascinating. They say Tolkien was ignorant about political realities, but I think that quotes like these and various other mentions of Gondorian or Noldorin politics to imply a greater awareness than commonly thought.

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    athanaric's Avatar Equites Alares
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    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    Quote Originally Posted by Feanaro Curufinwe View Post
    And I think the implications about the political reaction in Gondor and the requirement of a myth about the origins of their new allies to be assuaged is rather fascinating. They say Tolkien was ignorant about political realities, [...]
    Whoever "they" are, they're probably not very familiar with LotR then. The last part of the book alone is a biting political commentary and reminds me a lot of our political situation today (minus the part where the Hobbits stage a successful revolt). I'd say that that is a clear indication that Tolkien was no stranger to political realities (or maybe he'd recently read 1984 or Animal Farm...).

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    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    Quote Originally Posted by athanaric View Post
    Whoever "they" are, they're probably not very familiar with LotR then. The last part of the book alone is a biting political commentary and reminds me a lot of our political situation today (minus the part where the Hobbits stage a successful revolt). I'd say that that is a clear indication that Tolkien was no stranger to political realities (or maybe he'd recently read 1984 or Animal Farm...).
    I had always thought that the later portion of the book was a response to the industrialization of the areas of Sarehole, which was his childhood home, and is considered to be the basis of the Shire.


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    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    Quote Originally Posted by athanaric View Post
    The last part of the book alone is a biting political commentary and reminds me a lot of our political situation today (minus the part where the Hobbits stage a successful revolt). I'd say that that is a clear indication that Tolkien was no stranger to political realities (or maybe he'd recently read 1984 or Animal Farm...).
    I've been quite ignorant then.
    Would you mind to elaborate this a bit.
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    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    To JRR destruction of nature in favour of industrialism and mechanics was a sorrow and folly, he do not hide that, but I am sceptical to the idea that it was a 'piece of propaganda' , a.k.a that he was intentionally political about it or that it was significant in any matter from the rest of his mythos.
    Instead it's a part of the evil of the world, just as it is a part of evil to murder and oppress, it is a 'generic feature' to destroy and/or corrupt the nature to Tolkien. Morgoth does the same in his dominions, Sauron does so in lands he governed as Vale of Sirion, Dorthonion, Mordor and Mirkwood and Saruman had already done so in Isengard.
    As for any inner meaning or 'message', it has in the intention of the author none. It is neither allegorical nor topical.
    ...
    Other arrangements could be devised according to the tastes or views of those who like allegory or topical reference. But I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence. I much prefer history, true or feigned, with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers. I think that many confuse 'applicability' with 'allegory'; but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author.
    An author cannot of course remain wholly unaffected by his experience, but the ways in which a story-germ uses the soil of experience are extremely complex, and attempts to define the process are at best guesses from evidence that is inadequate and ambiguous. It is also false, though naturally attractive, when the lives of an author and critic have overlapped, to suppose that the movements of thought or the events of times common to both were necessarily the most powerful influences. One has indeed personally to come under the shadow of war to feel fully its oppression; but as the years go by it seems now often forgotten that to be caught in youth by 1914 was no less hideous an experience than to be involved in 1939 and the following years. By 1918 all but one of my close friends were dead.
    Or to take a less grievous matter: it has been supposed by some that 'The Scouring of the Shire' reflects the situation in England at the time when I was finishing my tale. It does not. It is an essential part of the plot, foreseen from the outset, though in the event modified by the character of Saruman as developed in the story without, need I say, any allegorical significance or contemporary political reference whatsoever. It has indeed some basis in experience, though slender (for the economic situation was entirely different), and much further back. The country in which I lived in childhood was being shabbily destroyed before I was ten, in days when motor-cars were rare objects (I had never seen one) and men were still building suburban railways.

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    Conerning any ideas or manifestation of political oppression what we meet in the last chapters of RotK I deem that a weak shadow of what we are told about Sauron's realm or even Saruman's earlier dominion.

    At end, if I seemed to question it, I have no doubt the Professor lacked political understanding or insight, quite the opposit, to much of his world would not been developed in the manner it was if he had not.
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    Default Re: Tolkien General Discussion II

    Well, let's put it more cautiously then: the rule of Saruman and his little helpers in the Shire has a lot in common with political developments during the last century or so, especially in Europe (and still going strong today). Whether these parallels are unintentional or not, Tolkien certainly seems to have understood how totalitarian systems work.

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