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Re: Mythopoesis (was Questions on the ROTK EE)

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  • Michael Martinez
    ... folks ... I know a few Howard scholars who would disagree with you. :) ... I think members of this group have been too modest in following up with
    Message 1 of 25 , Mar 23, 2005
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      --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Steve" <sverba@e...> wrote:
      > Entire books have been written about the echoes of Cathlolicism and
      > Christianity in Tolkein, on the other hand one would have trouble
      > discerning any comparable major underpining of Western culture in a
      > Conan story. Tolkein deals with redemption, salvation, suffering.
      > Robert E. Howard with adventure. I was just trying to see if the
      > on this forum saw these kind of distinctions. Actually my hidden
      > agenda was really to find out who to read next from the newer
      > crop of writers !

      I know a few Howard scholars who would disagree with you. :)

      > The moral of this digression? I made the mistake of wandering into
      > the wicked world of modern literary criticism as I had thought
      > maybe that was part of the background of folks here so I apologize.
      > I just thought that a forum with such an academic sounding name
      > might be a bit, well, academic. Mea culpa. No offence meant to
      > anyone.

      I think members of this group have been too modest in following up
      with acknowledgements of their theoretical interests in Tolkien,
      Lewis, and similar authors.

      I seldom venture into anything like pure literary theory myself
      (although I have been accused of it more often than I can count).
      But Tolkien viewed himself as a myth-maker, and if anyone wants to
      study Tolkien in depth, regardless of whether they want to look at
      his sources, his meanings, or the structure of his myths, they have
      to acknowledge that he was an active, self-acknowledged myth-maker.

      For me, it's more fun to explore the world of the myths than to
      revisit the worlds behind those myths (although I occasionally remind
      people that Tolkien looked beyond certain well-known sources to
      include others less often acknowledged). When I was younger and
      studying Norse mythology, I wanted to understand the world that the
      Norse peoples saw through their myths. It wasn't really THEIR
      world. It was their idealized world.

      Tolkien idealized a world in Middle-earth. One can be too academic
      or not academic enough in examining that world, but one cannot
      exhaust the possible topics easily or quickly.

      Michael Martinez
      Author of Understanding Middle-earth, Parma Endorion, and Visualizing
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