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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
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      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
      >they
      >> 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
      >Petersen's
      >> _Troy_. It could be done either as a fantasy, because the source
      >material
      >> 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
      >essential.
      >
      >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
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        --- 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
        has,
        > 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
        completely
        > wrong).
        >
        > 2) I don't have a problem with Covenant not getting his
        comeuppance
        > or having a turning point and learning some deep lesson about
        life.
        > The universe is an imperfect place. I don't mind if fiction
        > reflects that sometimes. I like it when a work subverts
        expectations
        > and does not unfold in a traditional way. It doesn't bother me if
        an
        > anti-hero character doesn't have a heart of gold and doesn't grow
        one
        > 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
        kind
        > 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
        that
        > honors noble death more than survival at any costs. This changes
        a
        > 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
        explained
        > my point and you clearly understand it now. We could probably
        argue
        > endlessly about the exact usage of the specific words I chose and I
        > doubt it would be of interest to anyone else reading this
        discussion
        > 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)
        dmsherwood53@...
        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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