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[mythsoc] Recreate Tolkien in Ohio

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  • Diane Joy Baker
    Hey, Merlin, from another Ohio resident! Think about Marcon or Millennicon. There s usu. a Tolkien panel or two, and lots of LOTTR fans. ... From: Merlin
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 7, 2006
      Hey, Merlin, from another Ohio resident! Think about Marcon or Millennicon. There's usu. a Tolkien panel or two, and lots of LOTTR fans.
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Merlin DeTardo
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wednesday, December 06, 2006 3:59 PM
      Subject: [mythsoc] Re: Jackson's recreation of Tolkien's myth

      >>---"Marcie Geffner" <mgeff@...> wrote:
      >> If Middle-earth is indeed a myth, we might consider Jackson's
      movies and the production of other Tolkien-inspired movies, fantasy
      books, art, music, fan fiction, etc., as recreations of the myth from
      different creative points of view. Whether these recreations are
      good, bad or indifferent and the extent to which they faithfully copy
      the original myth it seems less meaningful to me than how these
      recreations reflect our own times as retellings of the myth.
      >> Of course, Jackson's recreation of Tolkien's myth isn't Tolkien,
      but does Jackson's interpretation add to our understanding of the
      original myth and ourselves? Yes ... and Legolas on a skateboard
      and .. are obviously Not Tolkien, and yes, they are offensive to some
      of us. But those elements modernize the myth, make it accessible to
      modern audiences and bring readers back to both the original (i.e.,
      the book) and other interpretations to serve the functions of myths.

      I see that the question of "other minds and hands" has been discussed
      on the list before, as for example here:


      You may find some interesting thoughts on your ideas there. Reading
      your comments, my first questions are: what is the original myth
      being told or retold in these recreations? Is it Tolkien's work, or
      the pre-existing collection of themes and plots which he uses and
      transforms? And when you say the quality of a work (any work, or
      just adaptations of Tolkien?) matters less than its applicability to
      today -- the image of Legolas skateboarding matters less for its
      awfulness than for its timeliness -- isn't that a step towards
      abandoning aesthetic judgement entirely? Would any adaptation bring
      new readers to Tolkien? (Did Bakshi's?) And doesn't Tolkien himself
      argue for judging works for themselves not for how they represent
      some general myth? (In the Letters or in "On Fairy-stories"?

      >> The same might be said for Jackson's King Kong. Again, he's not
      faithful to the original; instead he's re-imagined, recreated and
      modernized it. Whether we agree point-by-point with his retelling is
      less meaningful than what we learn about the myth and how it has
      changed. I don't think Jackson has done this perfectly in either LotR
      or King Kong, but it's just one filmmaker's attempt.

      What is it that Jackson hasn't done perfectly? Changed the myth?
      Allowed us to learn something from his changes? How could we tell if
      he'd done those things better or worse?

      >> And really, folks, it's just a movie....

      And LotR is just a book, and this is just an e-mail list. Either we
      think they're worth discussing seriously, or we don't. If Jackson's
      take is "just" a movie, then you won't be bothered when I say that I
      enjoyed about 25 other 2001 films more than FotR. (I think it may be
      possible to show how each of them is in some way a reimagining of
      classic themes, even --especially?-- those not adapted from a
      specific work.)

      >>...Perfect? No. Darn good fun? Yes. Especially when our smial
      has its annual Yule Party (this weekend)... doesn't make us disloyal
      to Tolkien or ignorant of the original and deeper meanings of his
      work. May I ask: Why do people feel threatened by this? We aren't
      burning the book; we're just watching a movie. For fun. :) Just my
      opinion. Go ahead and hash it, if you will. -- Marcie

      Have fun at the party! I don't think anyone's accusing you of being
      disloyal to Tolkien. Certainly it must be possible to like both what
      Tolkien achieved and what Jackson achieved. But do Jackson's
      fans "feel threatened" by book fans who don't like the films? I'm
      sure this subject has been discussed here many times before --
      there's even a bunch of posts titled "loyalty oath":


      and probably much more besides. I haven't gotten through all 17,450
      mesages yet: will there be a quiz?

      >>(in sunny Los Angeles)

      Now that's just rude. ;-)

      -Merlin DeTardo (in snowy Cleveland)


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