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Re: [mythsoc] Re: spotty review

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  • David Bratman
    ... Your change from my usage of _focusing_ on such a character to your usage of _having_ such a character is noted. LOTR has loathsome characters. Nor did I
    Message 1 of 158 , Feb 9, 2004
      At 01:57 AM 2/10/2004 +0000, Marc wrote:

      >> Marc, I can't imagine large quantities of _readers_ enjoying a story
      >> focusing on such a loathsome (and, more importantly, tiresome)
      >> character. Yet they do.
      >What can I say. As someone who grew up in a post-romantic world, I'm
      >not particularly bothered by works that are dark, horrible, and/or
      >have loathsome characters.

      Your change from my usage of _focusing_ on such a character to your usage
      of _having_ such a character is noted. LOTR has loathsome characters. Nor
      did I say anything about books that are dark (The Silmarillion is dark) or
      horrible. These characteristics are not what made Donaldson difficult to
      read: rather, they were among his strong points. Nor is it clear what
      world you think I grew up in. Over what I read this rewording and
      insertion as insinuating about my judgment and tastes, I wish to keep
      civility, ergo silebo.

      >In any case, I wasn't saying that no one
      >would like movies based on Donaldson. I think you could make very
      >powerful movies out of them. However, they would not appeal to what
      >Hollywood perceives as a core audience for fantasy movies: children
      >and adolescents.

      Peter Jackson is not a Hollywood director, obviously.

      >If you're referring to the rape scene, the only reason I
      >> didn't throw the book at the wall at that point was because I was
      >> sitting outdoors at the time.
      >> With all that in mind: a film could easily cut that scene. A
      >Not easily. Its pretty crucial to much of what goes on later in the
      >series, particularly a lot of the character dynamics and
      >motivations. You would have to do quite a bit of plot substitution
      >to make that work.

      Which would be very easy to do, and the Philippa Boyenses of the world are
      probably champing at the bit to try.

      >> As for unsympathetic heroes: one infamous review of Jackson praised
      >him for
      >> popularizing a book "whose hero eventually loses the sympathy of
      >most readers."
      >That is funny! Though, understandable if you were basing it on the
      >movies, where Sam pretty much becomes the real hero.

      But of course the critic was saying that this _doesn't_ happen in the movie.

      >> As I said, it's early days yet. In any case, my point was not that
      >> will, but that they could. One obstacle towards purchasing rights
      >to any
      >> post-Tolkien fantasies now is cost: in the wake of Jackson's
      >success the
      >> author will want a bundle. Developing their own property in that
      >style, or
      >> using a public-domain story, may be more probable.
      >There are probably plenty like Tolkien who have already sold the
      >movie rights for a song and are available to be made. For that
      >matter, I don't see anyone beating down the door to make movies based
      >on fantasy novels, so I don't know that any fantasy writer should
      >expect it would be a gold mine.

      Perhaps true, but it quite misses my point. As for whether such films will
      be made: for the third time, it's early days yet.

      >> Here's one coming up that I just saw the trailer for: Wolfgang
      >> _Troy_. It could be done either as a fantasy, because the source
      >> is one by our standards, or as a non-fantasy historical, because
      >it's based
      >> on historical events and because the fantasy elements aren't
      >It is actually being done as historical. Also, the King Arthur
      >movie which someone else brought up is being billed as a realistic,
      >defantisized approach.
      >I've heard about a number of other movies of
      >epic scope in the pipeline all of which are being done from more of a
      >pseudo-historical realism point-of-view.

      That rather proves my point. It is more than worth noting that Peter
      Jackson emphasized that he considered himself as making LOTR as a
      pseudo-historical film, not a fantasy. Obviously he did not omit fantastic
      elements entirely, but he did strongly de-emphasize them. These films,
      therefore, are in his tradition: big-budget historicized reworkings of
      tales known as fantasies. (It is a curious fact that, though "authentic
      historical" Arthurian fiction has been prominent for decades, the idea of
      doing it is constantly being rediscovered.)

      - David Bratman
    • dmsherwood_heather
      ... has, ... completely ... comeuppance ... life. ... expectations ... an ... one ... kind ... that ... a ... explained ... argue ... discussion ... Hi I m
      Message 158 of 158 , Mar 8, 2004
        --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "marcfcs" <marcfcs@a...> wrote:
        > --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Bratman <dbratman@e...> wrote:
        > >
        > > But neither of these describe Thomas Covenant. He is not
        > uninteresting, he
        > > is positively annoying. Nor is he merely detestable, but a
        > detestable
        > > person one is supposed to identify with (to an extent) as a
        > viewpoint
        > > character, without - at least as far as I read, three long weary
        > books of
        > > it - having a turning point or apotheosis of sympathy as Lear
        > or
        > > getting his due comeuppance as Richard III does.
        > Two points: 1) I don't think you are supposed to identify with
        > Covenant. I think Donaldson goes out of his way to block you from
        > identifying with him(though as I said before, I know nothing about
        > his motivations beyond what is in the books, so I could be
        > wrong).
        > 2) I don't have a problem with Covenant not getting his
        > or having a turning point and learning some deep lesson about
        > The universe is an imperfect place. I don't mind if fiction
        > reflects that sometimes. I like it when a work subverts
        > and does not unfold in a traditional way. It doesn't bother me if
        > anti-hero character doesn't have a heart of gold and doesn't grow
        > later (and isn't punished for that in some act of cosmic justice by
        > the author).
        > > The problem with this moment is not the sentiment - for surely an
        > ancient
        > > king no more intends to outlive his son and heir than a modern
        > Oprah guest
        > > does - but the phrasing and style with which it is said.
        > The phrasing is the worst part and the one that is most relevant to
        > me for enjoying the movie. However, the sentiment is wrong as well
        > as an adaptation of Tolkien since this clearly goes against the
        > of "men of the north" heroic ethos that Tolkien gives to Rohan.
        > Lamenting the death of a son is 1 thing. Saying no father should
        > outlive their children is not the right sentiment for a culture
        > honors noble death more than survival at any costs. This changes
        > culture that Tolkien meant to be a little alien to his audience and
        > makes it more like modern people in medieval clothing. Can anyone
        > imagine Beowulf or Sigurd saying such a thing, however you want to
        > phrase it? Not that Tolkien doesn't modernize those types of
        > characters a little, but not that much.
        > Finally, as far as the whole post-Romantic thing goes, I've
        > my point and you clearly understand it now. We could probably
        > endlessly about the exact usage of the specific words I chose and I
        > doubt it would be of interest to anyone else reading this
        > group. So, lets just let it drop.
        > Regards,
        > Marc
        > marclists@a...

        Hi I'm (dmsherwood53@...) & I'm breaking into a conversation
        where the protagonists have agrred to let it drop wvery uncivilised
        of me.
        If your still listening coupla points:
        I agree theris a post-romantic sensibility.
        I think this and its opposite the romantic sensibility ties deeply
        intowhat a person is; wants to be; fears being; all thaT shimola
        I think ROMANCES using the term v widely tie into this more deeply
        than ordinary books tho its part of why anybody cares a damn about any
        art at all.
        Its a mistake to talk about a romance as tho it was a bad attempt to
        do what an ant-romance was doing and vice-versa-which was mostly what
        you guys were doing- altho take this to extremes and we all end us
        reading our own diaries and never confrunting another POV (Which
        Lewis thought the reason why there are booksat all)
        PS Have you readthe NEW WEIRD fiction goes much further into anti-
        romantic vision than Donaldson eg a;lmost any CHINA MEILVILLE's books
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