Re: Mythopoesis (was Questions on the ROTK EE)
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "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 hiddenI know a few Howard scholars who would disagree with you. :)
> agenda was really to find out who to read next from the newer
> crop of writers !
> The moral of this digression? I made the mistake of wandering intoI think members of this group have been too modest in following up
> 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
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.
Author of Understanding Middle-earth, Parma Endorion, and Visualizing