[mythsoc] Recreate Tolkien in Ohio
- 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
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
>>...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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