Re: [mythsoc] Tolkien on Film: critique
- At 04:14 PM 5/26/2005 +0000, Sara Ciborski wrote:
>Does anyone else find the article in Tolkien on Film, "Three Ages ofNo, I found it so meandering and waffly as to be generally incomprehensible.
>Imperial Cinema" by J.E. Smyth so dreadful as to be offensive?
However, my ears pricked up when I read this:
>In one long, bizarre paragraph he conflates Britain's dethronement inas "Britain's own ignominious dethronement in Egypt," by which Smyth surely
>Egypt (1955), war as depicted in TT as reviewed by C.S. Lewis,
>the "decline of the Elvish and Numenorian Empires," Aragorn's
>coronation, and the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. I won't
>take the space to show how he manages thisyou can read it on page 19.
means the Suez Crisis, did not occur until almost exactly one year later.
The Suez Crisis was kicked off when Nasser announced plans to nationalize
the Canal in July of 1956, and British forces occupied the area on November
5. But the magazine issue (the one with Lewis's review and the "Storm in
the Desert" editorial) is dated 22 October 1955. I don't have it handy to
look at, but since Smyth doesn't say what the editorial is actually about,
my guess is it relates to an Egyptian-Israeli military skirmish on 16 October.
Smyth quotes the editorial as warning of an impending security threat in
the Middle East, which as a piece of prognostication is on a level with
standing around predicting that there would be snow that winter. But
surely the lesson of the actual Suez Crisis that followed, AND the lesson
that Boromir had to learn about the Ring, AND the lesson that the U.S. has
so far failed to learn from September 11th, is that it's not enough to
respond to evil, you have to respond in the right way.
One of Gandalf and Elrond's points was that pure military force would not
solve the problem of the Ring. "Had I a host of Elves in armour of the
Elder Days, it would avail little, save to arouse the power of Mordor,"
says Elrond in "The Ring Goes South." Kind of ironic that Suez culminated
in a massive British military occupation that accomplished nothing except
an ignominious retreat.