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22723Re: [mythsoc] Re: New article series: Interviews with the Scholars

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  • David Bratman
    Oct 15, 2011
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      Michael Martinez <michael.martinez@...> wrote:

      >> Part of Tolkien's genius is that throughout the
      >> journey (even with the full Fellowship) he always keeps the reader
      >> aware of the supplies situation and its effect on the plans for the
      >> journey, without ever getting boring or mechanical about it.
      >Your comment reminds me of something Paul Kocher wrote in MASTER OF MIDDLE-EARTH
      >about Tolkien almost always noting what the weather was like. I remember when I
      >first read his book that I grabbed a copy of LOTR and started thumbing through it
      >and found that there were indeed many passing references to the weather.
      >They were not obstructive to the story, but subtle enough to be informative (in
      >terms of setting the scene) and consistent.

      I hadn't thought of putting those together, but yes: they're the same sort of thing, in terms of the kind of significance they lay on the story and the way in which Tolkien conveys the information.

      Normally the first things we think about in "world-building" are bigger-scale and more permanent, but focusing on things like weather (Dr. Serjeant wrote a paper on how the geomorphology of Middle-earth affected its climate) and the practical side of agricultural distribution are important too in grounding the story in reality.

      And don't forget Tolkien's obsession with getting the phases of the moon consistent and the troubles that caused him.
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