Re: Minas Tirith and Constantinople
- 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
'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
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
"The worm thinks it strange and foolish
that man does not eat his books."
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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 theSo it was: MYTHPRINT #290/291 (May/June 06), pages 13-14. Thanks for
> Society's publication MYTHPRINT, by someone who =had= read it (Ruby
pointing this out to me; I'd missed it.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Hey, it's what we're here for :)
----- 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.
> [Carl F. Hostetter wrote]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. :)
> A line of questioning Tolkien himself addressed in Letter 297:
Thanks for pointing this out, Carl.
- 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.
- 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.
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 -------
- 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.