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Re: [mythsoc] Boyle on Tolkien

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  • David Bratman
    ... About a previous such declaration, the critic Brian Attebery (in _Strategies of Fantasy_) wrote, Raffel is convincing. We must either redefine literature
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 26, 2005
      At 10:30 PM 3/26/2005 -0500, AMV Howard wrote:

      >Boyle can't
      >help but begin with the obligatory page of condescension ("There is
      >something embarrassing about discussing _The Lord of the Rings_ in an
      >academic context. It is so obviously not real literature.")

      About a previous such declaration, the critic Brian Attebery (in
      _Strategies of Fantasy_) wrote, "Raffel is convincing. We must either
      redefine literature or exclude Tolkien." Guess which he chooses. "We need
      a new definition of narrative literature, and such a theory must be able to
      account for the felicities as well as the obvious failings of a work like
      LOTR." Attebery's solution is to stop stuffing literature into pigeonholes
      that it obviously doesn't fit into: in Tolkien's case, Saussurian,
      Freudian, and Marxist. He suggests philological, Jungian, and ecological
      readings as more appropriate to Tolkien, and describes good examples of
      each. A Catholic reading is good too, and once Boyle gets over his stile
      his essay sounds interesting too.

      David Bratman
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