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RE: [mythsoc] it's not in Tolkien

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  • David Bratman
    ... Yes, that s fine; that s not where the problem lies. The Eye is, in Donald O Brien s words, the image of the will of Sauron. ... Pippin s account is
    Message 1 of 84 , May 7, 2007
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      At 10:51 AM 5/7/2007 -0500, Croft, Janet B. wrote:

      >In two key instances when Frodo doesn't quite have both feet firmly planted
      >in the real physical world, Sauron appears to him as an Eye - in the Mirror
      >of Galadriel and at Amon Hen. It might have been more accurate, then, to say
      >that on the non-physical plane (the wraith-world, as Gandalf called it in
      >Rivendell), the essence of Sauron (for Frodo at least) is represented by a
      >single, all-dominating Eye and/or the effect of its gaze. This is reinforced
      >by Tolkien's use of the single eye in the heraldry of Mordor and in his
      >cover illustrations.

      Yes, that's fine; that's not where the problem lies. The Eye is, in Donald
      O'Brien's words, "the image of the will of Sauron."


      >(Pippin also experiences Sauron's gaze, but does not
      >say if he has one eye or two -- however, what Pippin sees in the palantír
      >sounds likelier to be Sauron's actual physical form, not his psychic
      >manifestation.)

      Pippin's account is interesting, because he describes what he actually sees
      in the palantir up until Sauron comes, at which point he describes nothing
      visual at all. It leaves me with the impression that there was no visual
      manifestation, just a palpable presence. That is surely a legitimate
      matter to hold different opinions on. But if Jackson had depicted Sauron
      as a physical humanoid being with a certain stance or dressed a certain
      way, and a Tolkien scholar had copied that description, we'd have the same
      error we have here.


      >If you consider "disembodied state" to be shorthand for "as he appears on
      >the non-physical plane" rather than "like Voldemort, he's been having a spot
      >of trouble manifesting physically lately," then it makes perfect sense.

      Unfortunately that doesn't work. "Disembodied" is a past participle, to
      have had one's body removed. The word "reduced" in the same sentence only
      reinforces this. It shows not only that Harl is thinking of Jackson's
      image, not Tolkien's, but that it left her with the impression of Sauron as
      losing power, of being restricted. Whereas the whole point is that Sauron
      is gaining power.


      >(From Merlin's comments, it seems Jackson preferred the second
      >interpretation; and as Jason just pointed out, this would have been accurate
      >pre-LOTR.)

      No, it would not have been. Sauron may have lost his body, but there's no
      indication that the rebuilding process included a stage as a giant bouncing
      eyeball, even if the Eye were the starting point. My mind turns to the
      creation of Dr. Manhattan in the graphic novel "The Watchmen." That's
      science fiction bzzz-zap, not Tolkien, in the same way that lembas is not a
      food concentrate. The Eye is not an eyeball: it's the evocation of gaze,
      not a physical object.


      >However, I should have made it clearer that this was how I read
      >it and how it was intended to be read - mea culpa.

      That's the very problem, that this is how it was intended to read. Harl
      absorbed Jackson's image so thoroughly that she probably never realized
      that she absorbed it, that it came from him and not from Tolkien.


      >Overall, despite that lapse on my part, I feel what the essayist had to say
      >provided a valuable perspective on the films and a locus for some of the
      >discomfort some viewers feel with the adaptation. I'll certainly be
      >"watching" the films differently (if I ever watch them again...)

      Oh yes, the essay had some interesting things to say, especially in terms
      of how watching the films makes you feel like Sauron. That explains a lot
      of my discomfort. And I don't mind the special pleading to excuse Jackson,
      because at least unlike the Eye bit this is conscious, and Harl only brings
      it up to contrast with deeper, more fundamental problems with the
      adaptation process.

      - David Bratman
    • William Cloud Hicklin
      ... which a man from our present day ... hamburger. The futurians ... German city of Hamburg. Were you ... Kennedy being a jelly doughnut? ... LOL!
      Message 84 of 84 , May 25, 2007
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        --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Emerson
        <emerdavid@...> wrote:
        >
        > >There was once a science-fiction story in
        which a man from our present day
        > >wakes up in the distant future and asks for a
        hamburger. The futurians
        > >reply, "A hamburger is a citizen of the
        German city of Hamburg. Were you
        > >cannibals in those days?"
        >
        > Does this have something to do with John F.
        Kennedy being a jelly doughnut?
        >
        > emerdavid
        >

        LOL!
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