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RE: Changing Our Fairy Tales

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  • Beth Russell
    Lo. ... This never-ending tale is an important part of the relationship between The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings . At the edge of Mordor Sam
    Message 1 of 4 , Sep 28, 2004
      'Lo.
      >
      > Something for the list to chew on, perhaps.
      >
      > On a computer bulletin board that I frequent, the conversation
      > drifted to animated movies and one person bemoaned a certain
      > company's crass commercialism because they are putting out
      > substandard sequels to fairy tale movies. One line this person wrote
      > struck me:
      >
      > Since when does "happily ever after" mean "until tomorrow when we
      > encounter the exact same problems but with a new narrator" ?
      >
      > As fairy tales interact at some level with mythopoeia, what does this
      > say about American society? Is it a good thing or a bad thing or
      > neither or both? Or can we even evaluate this shift from "the fairy
      > tale has a beginning, middle and end" to "the fairy tale never ends,
      > and you'll face the same problems over and over"?
      >
      > To perhaps phrase this in a way more suited to discussion:
      > *Does* a fairy tale need to have an ending ("happily ever after" or
      > not)? And if it doesn't, how does that change what the story means?
      >
      > ~ JTHeyman

      This never-ending tale is an important part of the relationship between
      "The Silmarillion and "The Lord of the Rings". At the edge of Mordor
      Sam asked Frodo, "'Don't the great tales never end?'" And Frodo
      replied, "'No, they never end as tales'" . . . 'But the people in them
      come and go when their part's ended.'" Sam has just figured out that he
      and Frodo are involved in the history of the Silmarils.

      And throughout LR, Tolkien makes it clear that evil may be defeated for
      a time but it will re-form and must be defeated again.

      Bilbo's happy ending, "There and back again" was an illusion for the
      Ringbearers. Only Sam appeared to go back to the Shire -- but in the
      end he went over the Sea also.

      Cheers,

      Beth



      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Alan Kellogg
      ... To put it another way, all stories get retold. The Epic of Gilgamesh contains a retelling. The story of The Flood might come from the Neolithic and the
      Message 2 of 4 , Sep 28, 2004
        >'Lo.
        >>
        >> Something for the list to chew on, perhaps.
        >>
        >> On a computer bulletin board that I frequent, the conversation
        >> drifted to animated movies and one person bemoaned a certain
        >> company's crass commercialism because they are putting out
        >> substandard sequels to fairy tale movies. One line this person wrote
        >> struck me:
        >>
        >> Since when does "happily ever after" mean "until tomorrow when we
        >> encounter the exact same problems but with a new narrator" ?
        >>
        >> As fairy tales interact at some level with mythopoeia, what does this
        >> say about American society? Is it a good thing or a bad thing or
        >> neither or both? Or can we even evaluate this shift from "the fairy
        >> tale has a beginning, middle and end" to "the fairy tale never ends,
        >> and you'll face the same problems over and over"?
        >>
        >> To perhaps phrase this in a way more suited to discussion:
        >> *Does* a fairy tale need to have an ending ("happily ever after" or
        >> not)? And if it doesn't, how does that change what the story means?
        >>
        >> ~ JTHeyman
        >
        >This never-ending tale is an important part of the relationship between
        >"The Silmarillion and "The Lord of the Rings". At the edge of Mordor
        >Sam asked Frodo, "'Don't the great tales never end?'" And Frodo
        >replied, "'No, they never end as tales'" . . . 'But the people in them
        >come and go when their part's ended.'" Sam has just figured out that he
        >and Frodo are involved in the history of the Silmarils.
        >
        >And throughout LR, Tolkien makes it clear that evil may be defeated for
        >a time but it will re-form and must be defeated again.
        >
        >Bilbo's happy ending, "There and back again" was an illusion for the
        >Ringbearers. Only Sam appeared to go back to the Shire -- but in the
        >end he went over the Sea also.
        >
        >Cheers,
        >
        >Beth

        To put it another way, all stories get retold. The Epic of Gilgamesh
        contains a retelling. The story of The Flood might come from the
        Neolithic and the flooding of the Black Sea.

        We like the familiar. Familiar tales told in familiar ways. Recast
        using elements from our lives, this reinvention making the old
        stories even more familiar to us.

        Stories also remind us of the persistence of the human condition. The
        same matters that concern us concerned our distant ancestors, and
        will concern our distant descendents. Our stories will get retold
        because they will speak to our inheritors much as they speak to us.
        --
        Alan Kellogg

        http://www.mythusmage.com

        mailto:mythusmage@...

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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