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20084Re: [mythsoc] Re: Tolkien cartoon

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  • Doug Kane
    Sep 17, 2008
      Welcome to the list, Randy. No need for flame-guards around here. This is a very civilized bunch. :-)

      While it is true as you point out that Christopher Tolkien expresses some regret at certain aspects of his construction of the published _Silmarillion_, particularly his failure to include a "frame", as you say (I've heard rumors that there will be a new book coming soon that addresses the process of the creation of the published _Silmarillion_ in some depth ;-) ), he also said in no uncertain terms that for _The Silmarillion_ to remain unknown was for him "out of the question" (see the Introduction to _Unfinished Tales_). I agree with that fully; the thought that he might have followed the alternative that his father left him of leaving the work unpublished fills me with horror. To a large extent, _The Silmarillion_ was Tolkien's life work, and as far as I am concerned, there is no acceptable argument against its publication.

      HoMe is somewhat different story. As David Bratman points out in his great article on the literary value of HoMe (published in _Tolkien's Legendarium_) there are some (including perhaps most prominently Guy Kay, who assisted Christopher in the creation of the published _Silmarillion_) who believe that HoMe was a "bony ax" that never should have been published. Like David, I am not one who even remotely shares that view. In fact, I would go so far as to say that Tolkien's unique genius really required the publication of the full body of his work (or as close to it as was possible) to be fully appreciated. But only those who have made a very careful study of Tolkien's work are likely to understand that. So it is not surprising that this cartoonist would consider Christopher's work to be an easy target for light-hearted scorn and derision.

      That having been said, while I felt that the first comic was not only disrespectful, but worse, was completely unfunny, I did chuckle at the giant Hobbit in the second comic, and I laughed out loud at the idea of Jimi Hendrix talking to Tolkien in heaven, and Tolkien not understanding a word that he said, in the third one.


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