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"Mere Humanity", "Literary Giants"

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  • John D Rateliff
    Does anyone know anything about a book called MERE HUMANITY: G. K. CHESTERTON, C. S. LEWIS, AND J. R. R. TOLKIEN ON THE HUMAN CONDITION by Donald T. Williams?
    Message 1 of 14 , Jul 6, 2006
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      Does anyone know anything about a book called MERE HUMANITY: G. K.
      CHESTERTON, C. S. LEWIS, AND J. R. R. TOLKIEN ON THE HUMAN CONDITION
      by Donald T. Williams? Apparently it came out in February, but the
      only reader review on amazon.com is singularly unhelpful, being
      written by someone who admits to not having read the book. My gut
      instinct is that a book that tries to cover Chesterton, Lewis, AND
      Tolkien all in 212 pages will have a hard time going justice to any
      of them, but you never know.

      Also, has anyone looked at Joseph Pearce's new(ish) book, LITERARY
      GIANTS, LITERARY CATHOLICS? He seems to cast his net very wide, if
      the readers' reviews are to be trusted, and apparently discusses both
      "the role that the 'true North' as opposed to a false 'Protestant'
      North plays in Tolkien's works" (??) and "the role of Christian
      orthodoxy" in the writings of JRRT, CSL, Charles Wms, and Owen
      Barfield --the last two of which are, of course, not orthodox by any
      definition I'm aware of.

      THE TOLKIEN ENCYCLOPEDIA, due out in about three months, now has a
      pre-order entry on amazon; at $175 it'll make quite a dent in the
      budget. Think it must be the most expensive book about Tolkien yet.
    • Stolzi
      ... From: Carl F. Hostetter As for the claim that the name Uruk-Hai ... was surely borrowed from the Yuruk , nomadic tribesmen used as auxiliary soldiers
      Message 2 of 14 , Jul 6, 2006
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Carl F. Hostetter

        As for the claim that "the name "Uruk-Hai" ... was surely borrowed
        from the "Yuruk", nomadic tribesmen used as auxiliary soldiers by the
        Ottomans", this is in fact not at all "sure", and indeed is
        exceedingly unlikely, as also is any connection between the Uruk-Hai
        and Sumerian Uruk.
        ---------------------------------

        Actually, I thought that too. But some of the wider similarities between
        Minas Tirith's siege and Constantinople's fall were interesting to
        contemplate.

        Diamond Proudbrook
      • Stolzi
        ... From: John D Rateliff Does anyone know anything about a book called MERE HUMANITY: G. K. CHESTERTON, C. S. LEWIS, AND J. R. R. TOLKIEN ON THE HUMAN
        Message 3 of 14 , Jul 6, 2006
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: John D Rateliff


          Does anyone know anything about a book called MERE HUMANITY: G. K.
          CHESTERTON, C. S. LEWIS, AND J. R. R. TOLKIEN ON THE HUMAN CONDITION
          by Donald T. Williams? Apparently it came out in February, but the
          only reader review on amazon.com is singularly unhelpful, being
          written by someone who admits to not having read the book. My gut
          instinct is that a book that tries to cover Chesterton, Lewis, AND
          Tolkien all in 212 pages will have a hard time going justice to any
          of them, but you never know.

          ------------------

          MERE HUMANITY was reviewed recently (this month or maybe last) in the
          Society's publication MYTHPRINT, by someone who =had= read it (Ruby Dunlap).

          Diamond Proudbrook
        • SBolding
          Interesting connection. I had never thought of that link before. It feeds into the overall view of the LOTR as one of Western civilization against the pagan,
          Message 4 of 14 , Jul 7, 2006
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            Interesting connection. I had never thought of that
            link before. It feeds into the overall view of the
            LOTR as one of Western civilization against the pagan,
            heathen hoards. Brings to mind the fall/sacking of
            Rome too.
            __________
            Stolzi:
            'Even as a young schoolboy, I couldn't help noticing
            the uncanny resemblance between the siege of Minas
            Tirith in Tolkien's Lord of the Rings and the siege of
            Constantinople. On one side, the beautiful walled city
            with its ancient nobility and the few adventurers who
            had come to help in its defence; on the other, evil
            teeming hordes under a despotic ruler. You had only to
            look at the map in the end-papers, where the land of
            Mordor loomed
            to the east like Asia Minor, to get the point.

            'Tolkien even chose the name "Uruk-Hai" for some of
            his nastiest creations, fighting forces of Sauron who
            were a cross between orcs and goblins. This
            was surely borrowed from the "Yuruk", nomadic
            tribesmen used as auxiliary soldiers by the Ottomans.
            Few readers would have known that; but most would
            have got a whiff of something Asiatic here. For one
            thing Tolkien was outstandingly good at was tapping
            into the subconscious of our own, European, cultural
            history.'


            "The worm thinks it strange and foolish
            that man does not eat his books."
            Rabindranath Tagore

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          • John D Rateliff
            ... So it was: MYTHPRINT #290/291 (May/June 06), pages 13-14. Thanks for pointing this out to me; I d missed it. [Non-text portions of this message have been
            Message 5 of 14 , Jul 7, 2006
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              On Jul 6, 2006, at 4:13 PM, Stolzi wrote:
              > MERE HUMANITY was reviewed recently (this month or maybe last) in the
              > Society's publication MYTHPRINT, by someone who =had= read it (Ruby
              > Dunlap).

              So it was: MYTHPRINT #290/291 (May/June 06), pages 13-14. Thanks for
              pointing this out to me; I'd missed it.



              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Stolzi
              Hey, it s what we re here for :) DP ... From: John D Rateliff So it was: MYTHPRINT #290/291 (May/June 06), pages 13-14. Thanks for pointing this out to me; I d
              Message 6 of 14 , Jul 7, 2006
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                Hey, it's what we're here for :)

                DP

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: John D Rateliff


                So it was: MYTHPRINT #290/291 (May/June 06), pages 13-14. Thanks for
                pointing this out to me; I'd missed it.
              • Jason Fisher
                ... Ack! I hadn t come across that yet. There wasn t an entry for Uruk (or Erech) in my copy of Letters, so I d missed it on my initial (quick) survey. So just
                Message 7 of 14 , Jul 10, 2006
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                  > [Carl F. Hostetter wrote]
                  > A line of questioning Tolkien himself addressed in Letter 297:

                  Ack! I hadn't come across that yet. There wasn't an entry for Uruk (or Erech) in my copy of Letters, so I'd missed it on my initial (quick) survey. So just out of curiosity, after your astute reply, I took a look at the Hammond/Scull expanded index to the letters (I don't have the updated copy myself, but one can browse through the complete index on Amazon.com): Uruk still isn't in there, but Erech is. :)

                  Thanks for pointing this out, Carl.

                  Jason
                • Joan.Marie.Verba@sff.net
                  I remember a paper delivered at the 1987 Mythcon in Milwaukee on this subject. Does anyone else? Joan
                  Message 8 of 14 , Jul 10, 2006
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                    I remember a paper delivered at the 1987 Mythcon in Milwaukee on this subject.
                    Does anyone else?

                    Joan
                  • John D Rateliff
                    Mentioned this to a few people recently who I thought would already know about it and found they didn t, so sharing the news here that the earlier version of
                    Message 9 of 14 , Jul 26, 2006
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                      Mentioned this to a few people recently who I thought would already
                      know about it and found they didn't, so sharing the news here that
                      the earlier version of the SHADOWLANDS movie is now available on dvd.
                      It's been renamed THROUGH THE SHADOWLANDS, presumably so folks won't
                      confuse it with the remake starting Anthony Hopkins and Deborah
                      Winger. Recommended. Josh Ackland is a far better Lewis than Hopkins,
                      far less passive, and the guy they have playing Warnie is amazingly
                      good. Claire Bloom isn't as good a Joy Gresham as Winger--too sweet
                      and ethereal rather than energetic and brassy--but otherwise it's the
                      better of the two films.

                      --JDR
                    • John D Rateliff
                      Heard the following update yesterday, courtesy of Kristin Thompson and Richard West, so thought I d share for those interested in the upcoming Pullman film.
                      Message 10 of 14 , Aug 1, 2006
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                        Heard the following update yesterday, courtesy of Kristin Thompson
                        and Richard West, so thought I'd share for those interested in the
                        upcoming Pullman film.
                        --JDR

                        ........................................................................
                        .......
                        [[source: VARIETY]]

                        Posted: Sun., Jul. 30, 2006, 6:13pm PT

                        Another 'Compass' point

                        New Kidman gig's 'Golden'

                        By DAVE MCNARY


                        Nicole Kidman will star in New Line's "The Golden Compass," portraying
                        the villainous and glamorous Mrs. Coulter.

                        Shooting on the $150 million production, based on the first part of
                        Phillip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy, is set for September
                        at London's Shepperton Studios.

                        Chris Weitz is directing from his own script. Brit newcomer Dakota
                        Blue Richards has already been cast for the lead role of Lyra
                        Belacqua, who travels to a parallel universe to battle the forces of
                        evil and rescue her best friend.

                        Scholastic Media's Deborah Forte is producing with Bill Carraro. New
                        Line has staked out a release date of Nov. 16, 2007.

                        Kidman's Blossom Films signed a three-year, first-look feature film
                        production deal earlier this year with 20th Century Fox and Fox 2000.
                        Upcoming films include an untitled pic with Jennifer Jason Leigh for
                        director Noah Baumbach; "Fur," a biopic of photographer Diane Arbus;
                        Warner Bros. horror pic "The Visiting"; and Warner toon "Happy Feet."
                        ------- End of forwarded message -------
                      • John D Rateliff
                        Came across something the other day I thought I d share: think I now have an answer to my earlier question of why Lindskoog at one point advanced the argument
                        Message 11 of 14 , Aug 10, 2006
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                          Came across something the other day I thought I'd share: think I now
                          have an answer to my earlier question of why Lindskoog at one point
                          advanced the argument that "The Dark Tower" was written in the 1950s.
                          I was looking up something else in SLEUTHING C. S. LEWIS, which is
                          not an easy book to reference, and think I picked out the sequence
                          (my thanks to Joe Christopher for suggesting to me that the answer to
                          why Jared Lobdell had fixed on such a date was in this volume
                          somewhere). On pages 108-109 she claims that an official from the
                          British Library went to the Bodleian to look at "The Man Born Blind"
                          and later wrote her that the manuscript was written in "a light blue
                          ink that was not available until 1950". The next time she refers to
                          this blue ink, she has transferred it from the short story to the
                          novel fragment THE DARK TOWER (page 304, 376). I think this must
                          underlie her "Florence Jacobsen" scenario, the claim that the book
                          originated as a round-robin story to which Lewis contributed (page
                          267). That's all I cd turn up, aside from a reference to Douglas
                          Gresham's claim, according to Lindskoog, that DT was written in 1958
                          (page 228; see also 286-287); if he offered any evidence, she does
                          not report it.
                          I also discovered that she didn't believe CSL wrote Tolkien's
                          obituary, but I have no idea why; her references were too oblique.

                          --JDR
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