7289Tolkien and technology
- Jan 1, 2003Tolkien didn't hate technology, he hated industrialization. There's a
difference. Any old hand-made farm tool is technology, it's just not
technology made by mass industry. And his hatred for industrialization did
not mean that he wanted England to return to a pre-industrial society, any
more than my distaste for Jackson's desecrations means that I'm demanding
the film be withdrawn and erased from our memories. In both cases: it's
here, we'll live with it, but we don't have to like it, and we _can_
protest its indiscriminate spread and its attacks on that which we hold dear.
In the prologue to LOTR, Tolkien writes that hobbits "do not and did not
understand or like machines more complicated than a forge-bellows, a
water-mill, or a hand-loom, though they were skilful with tools," and in
_The Hobbit_ he writes of their "long clever brown fingers." Hobbits got
on very well with technology, just not industrialized technology.
- David Bratman
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