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5498Re: [mythsoc] Awful

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  • David S. Bratman
    Mar 7, 2002
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      I hope you will write to her, Susan, and attempt to correct some of her
      misapprehensions about Tolkien. It would command more attention coming
      from you: an academic and a humanities person rather than a "techie", and a
      woman. (One of Turkle's misapprehensions is that LotR is unattractive to
      women. Her reason is that there are no female protagonists, an example of
      the attitude of "I can't like a book unless the protagonist is just like
      me" that I was decrying in an earlier post. Turkle seems also say that
      there is no typically female thinking in LotR, which is completely wrong:
      Frodo and Sam are peaceful, not warriors, and fight only by necessity;
      Aragorn is a healer as much as a warrior; and I've heard fans of Mighty
      Barbarian Heroes complain about LotR for being full of wussies instead of

      LotR can be read as a fantasy adventure game, but not without squeezing the
      life and all the point out of it. It's no more accurate to blame Tolkien
      for this attitude, which he expressly disavowed, than it is to blame
      Heinlein and the Beatles for Charles Manson.

      If you have Le Guin's critical books handy, a few quotes would go down
      well. This one, which I have handy from a post I made recently to another
      list, isn't directly addressed at Turkle's point but is useful anyway:

      "I shall never cease to wonder at the critics who find Tolkien a 'simple'
      writer. What marvelously simple minds they must have!" - Ursula K. Le
      Guin, "Science Fiction and Mrs. Brown"

      Feel free to borrow any or all of the above points. I don't want to write
      myself: I'd just be taken as one of a chorus of male (presumed)
      computeroids. I looked up her academic e-mail address anyway: it's

      David Bratman

      At 07:41 AM 3/7/2002 , Susan wrote:
      >Yes, very awful. "The black and white world of fantasy." Grrrr! Have you
      >READ any, Ms. Turkle?
      >What would she make of Gollum, one wonders?
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