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10912Re: Faithfulness to Tolkien (was Re: [mythsoc] Re: My own RotK review)

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  • David Bratman
    Jan 2, 2004
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      At 10:50 PM 1/2/2004 -0500, Carl F. Hostetter wrote:
      >
      >On Jan 2, 2004, at 10:13 PM, David Bratman wrote:
      >
      >> An author is free to be vague or incomplete in physical descriptions
      >> of persons, places, and things; a film-maker doesn't have that option.
      >
      >A film-maker would have just as much of an option to "fill in the
      >blanks" as a reader does, in places where Tolkien provides no
      >description in the book. So again, I fail to see how one could possibly
      >need information not in the book in order to be faithful to the book.

      That's why I wrote, "additional source material may help one be faithful,
      not strictly to the book, but to the author's intent in writing the book."
      Forget about films: as a reader I'm grateful for any additional information
      I can get that will help me fill in the blanks in a way consistent with the
      author's intent. And Tolkien thought so too, or else he wouldn't have
      written all those letters explaining things.

      Just as one example, many fantasy writers who don't include pronunciation
      guides in their novels often wish they had. There is in fact nothing in
      the text of LOTR, though there is in the appendices (whether those are part
      of LOTR or not depends on definition and circumstance) to instruct you to
      say "Keleborn" instead of "Seleborn". And many people who haven't read the
      appendices, or haven't read them closely enough, do say it with an S. But
      no matter how independent the pronunciation guide is from the story, that
      doesn't make it equally OK to say it with an S.

      - David Bratman
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