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Re: The Movies

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  • Merlin DeTardo
    ...
    Message 1 of 30 , Sep 4, 2007
      ---"ajkjr1" <ajkjr@...> wrote:
      << So the idea that by making them more faithful to the books would
      have brought more of the readers of the books to the movies doesn't
      hold up. How many more? 10, 100, 1000? Insignificant numbers to a
      movie company. >>

      The point wasn't whether more people would have seen better films --I
      don't think anyone on this list was claiming that Jackson, New Line,
      etc. could have made more money from a more faithful film-- but
      whether a more faithful film would have brought more people to the
      book.


      << I read them in High School and when the movies came out I dug out
      the books to reread them and also discovered The Silmarillion which I
      enjoyed even more. >>

      That's very interesting. One thing I've noticed in online speculaton
      about the proposed _Hobbit_ movie is a division between those who
      want the material darkened to match Jackson's LotR --which I found
      generally to be grimmer in tone (more "Silmarillion"?) than Tolkien's
      LotR-- and those, like myself, who want the story to keep some of its
      lightheartedness, with a minimum of dark hints about the Ring, etc.

      -Merlin DeTardo
    • William Cloud Hicklin
      ... noticed in online speculaton ... division between those who ... LotR --which I found ... Silmarillion ?) than Tolkien s ... story to keep some of its ...
      Message 2 of 30 , Sep 4, 2007
        --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Merlin
        DeTardo" <emptyD@...> wrote:

        > That's very interesting. One thing I've
        noticed in online speculaton
        > about the proposed _Hobbit_ movie is a
        division between those who
        > want the material darkened to match Jackson's
        LotR --which I found
        > generally to be grimmer in tone (more
        "Silmarillion"?) than Tolkien's
        > LotR-- and those, like myself, who want the
        story to keep some of its
        > lightheartedness, with a minimum of dark hints
        about the Ring, etc.


        Well, Tolkien himself tried to 'darken' the
        Hobbit to match LR and gave up on it- and if
        JRRT couldn't do it successfully, who could?
      • John D Rateliff
        ... Actually, Tolkien did darken THE HOBBIT, with great success, by the 1947 revision of the Gollum chapter (published in the eventual second edition of
        Message 3 of 30 , Sep 4, 2007
          On Sep 4, 2007, at 10:00 AM, William Cloud Hicklin wrote:
          > Well, Tolkien himself tried to 'darken' the Hobbit to match LR and
          > gave up on it- and if JRRT couldn't do it successfully, who could?

          Actually, Tolkien did darken THE HOBBIT, with great success, by the
          1947 revision of the Gollum chapter (published in the eventual
          'second edition' of 1951). His mistake, if it was a mistake, with the
          1960 HOBBIT was trying to make THE HOBBIT exactly like THE LORD OF
          THE RINGS; his abandoning that attempt was essentially a decision to
          let the earlier book stand on its own merits.

          --JDR
        • John D Rateliff
          ... In fact, just two days ago David posted A more aesthetically and morally faithful film would have been quite within Jackson s technical and creative
          Message 4 of 30 , Sep 4, 2007
            On Sep 4, 2007, at 8:40 AM, Merlin DeTardo wrote:
            > The point wasn't whether more people would have seen better films --
            > I don't think anyone on this list was claiming that Jackson, New
            > Line, etc. could have made more money from a more faithful film--
            > but whether a more faithful film would have brought more people to
            > the book.

            In fact, just two days ago David posted "A more aesthetically and
            morally faithful film would have been quite within Jackson's
            technical and creative capacities, it could have been just as
            successful at the box office, and probably more so, and would have
            attracted readers even more efficiently." [emphasis mine].
            All of which I agree to, by the way, except I'd have phrased the
            last bit as 'could' rather than 'would', since we always have to be
            careful when discussing might-have-beens.

            --JDR



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • John D Rateliff
            ... Welcome back! ... Not quite; the total is about ten billion dollars. So far. Of course, the dvds continue to sell, and they re still licensing video games,
            Message 5 of 30 , Sep 4, 2007
              On Sep 4, 2007, at 4:12 AM, ajkjr1 wrote:
              > If the movies are so bad don't watch them! I personally know of only
              > one Tolkien friend or acquaintance that has not seen the movies.

              > I am one of those people who had his interest in Tolkien revived
              > due to
              > the movies. I read them in High School and when the movies came out I
              > dug out the books to reread them and also discovered the Silmarillion
              > which I enjoyed even more.

              Welcome back!


              > Find some other topic to discuss besides picking on movies that
              > made a Jillion dollars

              Not quite; the total is about ten billion dollars. So far. Of course,
              the dvds continue to sell, and they're still licensing video games,
              so it'll eventually be significantly higher.


              > and brought tens of thousands of new people to the world of
              > Professor Tolkien.

              Try millions.

              > I would think that Tolkien scholars around the world would be happy
              > about this.

              Some are, some aren't. Oh well.

              --JDR
            • Walkermonk@aol.com
              I haven t used the words argument or quarrel . I used the word fight. To paraphrase D. L. Sayers, who was herself paraphrasing the Gospels, principles do
              Message 6 of 30 , Sep 4, 2007
                I haven't used the words "argument" or "quarrel". I used the word "fight."
                To paraphrase D. L. Sayers, who was herself paraphrasing the Gospels,
                principles do not bring peace but rather swords. To me, my stand on the movies is a
                principle. An example of this principle: I cannot countenance the ugliness
                inflicted by Jackson upon Tolkien's characters of Frodo and Faramir and Merry,
                just to name the most significant but not the only characters so treated. I
                will NEVER think, therefore, that the movies are good, regardless of how many
                supposed millions were brought to Tolkien's books or other supposed good
                resulting from the movies. No unproven good will make up for the proven bad. My
                philosophy (and my theology) does not run in such ruts.

                Again, I will not start the fight. But I will meet it if I can. (And if the
                list admin. throws me off for this, I will bow to her superior position and
                only ask that David B. and Carl and Lynn copy me on their emails if they are
                able and willing.)


                Grace Walker Monk

                In a message dated 9/4/2007 8:34:15 A.M. Central Daylight Time,
                mafoster@... writes:

                "An argument is ruined by turning it into a quarrel." --G.K. Chesterton


                -----Original Message-----
                From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                Of Walkermonk@...
                Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2007 7:27 AM
                To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                Subject: Re: [mythsoc] The Movies


                If the posts about the movies are so bad don't read them!


                Grace Walker Monk
                (and I think my point that the supposed revival of interest in the books

                because of the movies is not necessarily a good thing has indeed been
                proven --
                thank you!)


                In a message dated 9/4/2007 6:13:49 A.M. Central Daylight Time,
                ajkjr@... <mailto:ajkjr%40fuse.net> writes:

                If the movies are so bad don't watch them! I personally know of only
                one Tolkien friend or acqaintence that has not seen the movies. So the
                idea that by making them more faithful to the books would have brought
                more of the readers of the books to the movies doesn't hold up. How
                many more? 10, 100, 1000? Insignificant numbers to a movie company.

                I am one of those people who had his interest in Tolkien revived due to
                the movies. I read them in High School and when the movies came out I
                dug out the books to reread them and also discovered the Silmarillion
                which I enjoyed even more.

                Find some other topic to discuss besides picking on movies that made a
                Jillion dollars and brought tens of thousands of new people to the
                world of Professor Tolkien.

                I would think that Tolkien scholars around the world would be happy
                about this.







                ************************************** Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL at
                http://discover.aol.com/memed/aolcom30tour


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Carl F. Hostetter
                ... This is exactly like saying that Da Vinci scholars should be happy that The Da Vinci Code made a jillion dollars and brought millions of new people to
                Message 7 of 30 , Sep 4, 2007
                  --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "ajkjr1" <ajkjr@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Find some other topic to discuss besides picking on movies that made a
                  > Jillion dollars and brought tens of thousands of new people to the
                  > world of Professor Tolkien.
                  >
                  > I would think that Tolkien scholars around the world would be happy
                  > about this.


                  This is exactly like saying that Da Vinci scholars should be happy that "The Da Vinci Code"
                  made a jillion dollars and brought millions of new people to the world of Da Vinci. I'll bet you
                  won't find many Da Vinci scholars who are, though.

                  Carl
                • Carl F. Hostetter
                  An argument is turned into a quarrel when the terms and points of the argument are ignored and simply waved away with an emotional, gainsaying assertion. Carl
                  Message 8 of 30 , Sep 4, 2007
                    An argument is turned into a quarrel when the terms and points of the argument are ignored
                    and simply waved away with an emotional, gainsaying assertion.

                    Carl


                    --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Mike Foster" <mafoster@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > "An argument is ruined by turning it into a quarrel." --G.K. Chesterton
                  • Mike Foster
                    With rather more than all due respect, my first posting on this topic was in response to an unsolicited aside from D. Bratman in a posting of his to which I
                    Message 9 of 30 , Sep 4, 2007
                      With rather more than all due respect, my first posting on this topic
                      was in response to an unsolicited aside from D. Bratman in a posting of
                      his to which I replied on Wednesday last, "David, I don't think I've
                      ever accused you of being "rabidly
                      anti-Jackson." I do share Tom Shippey's view that the films, despite
                      their many flaws, have brought many new readers to the book. Some of
                      them were college students of mine and some of them turned out to be
                      rather good undergraduate scholars. Is that bad? Mike"

                      If there was a digression from this basic point of argument into
                      "emotional, gainsaying" assertions, such as Augustine is not to be
                      seriously considered as a theologian, don't lay that at my door.

                      I agree with David that the films were "pretty good" and that I enjoyed
                      them. They could have been much better in ways great and small, as I've
                      likewise said in this tangled thread. They weren't, but as a Cubs fan
                      and a Catholic, I'm used to the concept of the long defeat.

                      Would it have been better if the many who did read the books for the
                      first time, or like a previous writer today, pulled them off the shelf
                      after the films and re-read them and then went on to other J.R.R.
                      Tolkien works as well as, in some cases, participation in scholarly
                      conferences at Marquette and Aston -et alia-, had never done so?

                      That was the question I posed last week. It's a simple question. So
                      instead of hypothesizing about better Jackson films or whimpering over
                      marred visualization-and for this reader, Frodo will never be Elijah
                      Wood nor Elrond that pointy-browed guy in mind's eye, thanks-answer the
                      question, please and thank you.

                      -Pax vobiscum-,
                      Mike

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                      Of Carl F. Hostetter
                      Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2007 2:53 PM
                      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: [mythsoc] Re: The Movies

                      An argument is turned into a quarrel when the terms and points of the
                      argument are ignored
                      and simply waved away with an emotional, gainsaying assertion.

                      Carl

                      --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups <mailto:mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com> .com,
                      "Mike Foster" <mafoster@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > "An argument is ruined by turning it into a quarrel." --G.K.
                      Chesterton



                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Carl F. Hostetter
                      ... I didn t. My comment was not a reference to you. (Except to the extent that you may have intended to tag the critical side of the discussion as nothing
                      Message 10 of 30 , Sep 4, 2007
                        On Sep 4, 2007, at 7:35 PM, Mike Foster wrote:
                        > If there was a digression from this basic point of argument into
                        > "emotional, gainsaying" assertions, such as Augustine is not to be
                        > seriously considered as a theologian, don't lay that at my door.
                        >

                        I didn't. My comment was not a reference to you. (Except to the
                        extent that you may have intended to tag the critical side of the
                        discussion as nothing more than "quarrel" rather than argument --
                        which I'm not saying you did; only you know.)

                        > I agree with David that the films were "pretty good"
                        >

                        Just FYI, I don't. Some _small_ parts of each movie were "pretty
                        good". For the most part it was just the usual cliched fantasy-
                        adventure-love-story crap I expect from Hollywood.

                        > Would it have been better if the many who did read the books for the
                        > first time, or like a previous writer today, pulled them off the shelf
                        > after the films and re-read them and then went on to other J.R.R.
                        > Tolkien works as well as, in some cases, participation in scholarly
                        > conferences at Marquette and Aston -et alia-, had never done so?
                        >

                        No, of course not; but that wasn't part of the terms of the argument.
                        It _could_ (and _should_) have been _so much better_, simply by
                        respecting the heart and soul of Tolkien's story: which, it is
                        surmised (personally, I think without any reasonable doubt) would
                        have brought even _more_ of the sort of good you describe here. For
                        your scenario fails to account for the (surely quite vast) number of
                        people who, having seen the movies and been unaffected by them, _as
                        they would not have been by a more faithful adaptation_ (in terms of
                        heart and soul, not plot-line), chose _not_ to read the books as a
                        result (figuring at best that they'd already "been there and done
                        that", having seen the film, and at worst because they found the
                        movies to be just the usual cliched fantasy-adventure-love-story crap
                        one expects from Hollywood and figured that Jackson and all the fans
                        were in earnest in claiming -- LOUDLY -- that it _was_ a faithful
                        adaptation, and so were actually turned _away_ from the books).

                        So, to turn your question back to you: Would it have been better if
                        all those who _didn't_ read the book _because_ the movies were a
                        _bad_ adaptation of Tolkien, and thus never went on to other Tolkien
                        works and in no case participated in scholarly conferences at
                        Marquette et alia, had never seen this movie?

                        _THAT'S_ the sort of question being asked by the critics of the movies.

                        Carl
                      • Walkermonk@aol.com
                        Lay it at mine, please. In the Orthodox Church, he s not. That s not emotional; that s a point of fact and you are of course free to inquire of any Orthodox
                        Message 11 of 30 , Sep 4, 2007
                          Lay it at mine, please. In the Orthodox Church, he's not. That's not
                          emotional; that's a point of fact and you are of course free to inquire of any
                          Orthodox priest you wish to verify it. And if you don't want to talk theology,
                          then don't bring it up in the first place. *Especially* as a way to justify the
                          ugliness that Jackson inflicted on Tolkien's works as somehow being good.

                          Grace Walker Monk


                          In a message dated 9/4/2007 6:37:34 P.M. Central Daylight Time,
                          mafoster@... writes:

                          If there was a digression from this basic point of argument into
                          "emotional, gainsaying" assertions, such as Augustine is not to be
                          seriously considered as a theologian, don't lay that at my door.







                          ************************************** Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL at
                          http://discover.aol.com/memed/aolcom30tour


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Mike Foster
                          ... So, to turn your question back to you: Would it have been better if all those who _didn t_ read the book _because_ the movies were a _bad_ adaptation of
                          Message 12 of 30 , Sep 4, 2007
                            -----Original Message-----
                            So, to turn your question back to you: Would it have been better if
                            all those who _didn't_ read the book _because_ the movies were a
                            _bad_ adaptation of Tolkien, and thus never went on to other Tolkien
                            works and in no case participated in scholarly conferences at
                            Marquette et alia, had never seen this movie?

                            _THAT'S_ the sort of question being asked by the critics of the movies.

                            Carl
                            Well, Carl, we can't know how many did not read et cetera as you note
                            above. We can only know, as John Rateliff notes, that millions DID read
                            the book in the years after the films were shown.
                            In fellowship,
                            Mike




                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Carl F. Hostetter
                            ... But I m not asking for a number. (It is surely, however, far, far from zero.) The point is, while the readers Jackson s movies did garner (certainly _not_
                            Message 13 of 30 , Sep 4, 2007
                              On Sep 4, 2007, at 9:38 PM, Mike Foster wrote:
                              > So, to turn your question back to you: Would it have been better if
                              > all those who _didn't_ read the book _because_ the movies were a
                              > _bad_ adaptation of Tolkien, and thus never went on to other Tolkien
                              > works and in no case participated in scholarly conferences at
                              > Marquette et alia, had never seen this movie?
                              >
                              > _THAT'S_ the sort of question being asked by the critics of the
                              > movies.
                              >
                              > Carl
                              > Well, Carl, we can't know how many did not read et cetera as you note
                              > above. We can only know, as John Rateliff notes, that millions DID
                              > read
                              > the book in the years after the films were shown.
                              > In fellowship,
                              > Mike
                              >

                              But I'm not asking for a number. (It is surely, however, far, far
                              from zero.) The point is, while the readers Jackson's movies did
                              garner (certainly _not_ millions, BTW) are a good, it is not so great
                              a number, and therefore not so great a good (even by your own
                              calculation), as might have been achieved by a truly good and
                              faithful adaptation.

                              Cheers,

                              Carl
                            • Mike Foster
                              Again, Carl, we can t know [Hypothesis Contrary To Fact] if a better [Tom Bombadil and Goldberry and Imrahil and Lobelia inclusive?] good and faithful film
                              Message 14 of 30 , Sep 4, 2007
                                Again, Carl, we can't know [Hypothesis Contrary To Fact] if a better
                                [Tom Bombadil and Goldberry and Imrahil and Lobelia inclusive?] "good
                                and faithful" film cycle would have brought more readers to Tolkien.

                                As to between zero and millions of readers, I'll back off to tens of
                                thousands, while waiting for someone who might have a better sales
                                figure to inform us.

                                Cheers,
                                Mike

                                -----Original Message-----
                                From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                                Of Carl F. Hostetter
                                Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2007 8:51 PM
                                To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: The Movies

                                On Sep 4, 2007, at 9:38 PM, Mike Foster wrote:
                                > So, to turn your question back to you: Would it have been better if
                                > all those who _didn't_ read the book _because_ the movies were a
                                > _bad_ adaptation of Tolkien, and thus never went on to other Tolkien
                                > works and in no case participated in scholarly conferences at
                                > Marquette et alia, had never seen this movie?
                                >
                                > _THAT'S_ the sort of question being asked by the critics of the
                                > movies.
                                >
                                > Carl
                                > Well, Carl, we can't know how many did not read et cetera as you note
                                > above. We can only know, as John Rateliff notes, that millions DID
                                > read
                                > the book in the years after the films were shown.
                                > In fellowship,
                                > Mike
                                >

                                But I'm not asking for a number. (It is surely, however, far, far
                                from zero.) The point is, while the readers Jackson's movies did
                                garner (certainly _not_ millions, BTW) are a good, it is not so great
                                a number, and therefore not so great a good (even by your own
                                calculation), as might have been achieved by a truly good and
                                faithful adaptation.

                                Cheers,

                                Carl



                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Carl F. Hostetter
                                ... This is not true: we don t know the _number_ of additional readers, but we certainly do know that there would have been more. ... Sales of a book do not
                                Message 15 of 30 , Sep 5, 2007
                                  On Sep 4, 2007, at 11:48 PM, Mike Foster wrote:

                                  > Again, Carl, we can't know [Hypothesis Contrary To Fact] if a better
                                  > [Tom Bombadil and Goldberry and Imrahil and Lobelia inclusive?] "good
                                  > and faithful" film cycle would have brought more readers to Tolkien.
                                  >

                                  This is not true: we don't know the _number_ of additional readers,
                                  but we certainly do know that there would have been more.

                                  > As to between zero and millions of readers, I'll back off to tens of
                                  > thousands, while waiting for someone who might have a better sales
                                  > figure to inform us.
                                  >

                                  Sales of a book do not equal readers of that book.

                                  Carl
                                • David Bratman
                                  ... Tens of thousands may be generous. Only those who have gone on to read the books have been brought by the films to the world of Professor Tolkien.
                                  Message 16 of 30 , Sep 5, 2007
                                    At 10:30 AM 9/4/2007 -0700, John D Rateliff wrote:

                                    >> and brought tens of thousands of new people to the world of
                                    >> Professor Tolkien.
                                    >
                                    >Try millions.

                                    "Tens of thousands" may be generous. Only those who have gone on to read
                                    the books have been brought by the films "to the world of Professor
                                    Tolkien." Those who have only seen the films have been brought to the
                                    world of Peter Jackson, not to the world of Professor Tolkien.


                                    At 03:40 PM 9/4/2007 +0000, Merlin DeTardo wrote:

                                    >The point wasn't whether more people would have seen better films --I
                                    >don't think anyone on this list was claiming that Jackson, New Line,
                                    >etc. could have made more money from a more faithful film-- but
                                    >whether a more faithful film would have brought more people to the
                                    >book.

                                    As John Rateliff observantly pointed out, I do believe a better adaptation
                                    (not necessarily the same as "more faithful", because it's possible to be
                                    faithful but stultifying) would have been even more successful at the box
                                    office, but I'm not very sure of that, and it certainly wouldn't have made
                                    all that much difference financially. I make this argument mostly in the
                                    context of replying to those who claim that the evisceration of Tolkien
                                    contributed to the film's financial success.

                                    But I agree with you that that's not the main point. The main point is
                                    whether the better adaptation would have brought more readers to the book.
                                    And of course it would have. John thinks I should not phrase that with
                                    such certainty, but it is as certain as hypotheticals about human behavior
                                    can get.


                                    >One thing I've noticed in online speculaton
                                    >about the proposed _Hobbit_ movie is a division between those who
                                    >want the material darkened to match Jackson's LotR --which I found
                                    >generally to be grimmer in tone (more "Silmarillion"?) than Tolkien's
                                    >LotR-- and those, like myself, who want the story to keep some of its
                                    >lightheartedness, with a minimum of dark hints about the Ring, etc.

                                    What we _want_ is irrelevant, because it's so dead certain that the
                                    darkened version is what we're going to get whether we want it or not.
                                    Even Tolkien (as John also noted) was not immune to that impulse -
                                    sometimes to _The Hobbit_'s improvement, sometimes not - so why would
                                    filmers, notoriously self-indulgent if Jackson is any example, be immune?

                                    What I'm waiting to see in a _Hobbit_ film is whether the script has Bilbo
                                    meeting the ten-year-old Estel (later known as Aragorn) in Rivendell. If
                                    he does, the film gets an F. If he also meets Arwen, the film gets a
                                    quintuple F: FFFFF. (A notation otherwise only seen in the climaxes of
                                    scores by Tchaikovsky.)

                                    "F", of course, here stands for "Fanboy".


                                    At 07:47 PM 9/4/2007 +0000, Carl F. Hostetter wrote:

                                    >> I would think that Tolkien scholars around the world would be happy
                                    >> about this.
                                    >
                                    >This is exactly like saying that Da Vinci scholars should be happy that "The
                                    >Da Vinci Code"
                                    >made a jillion dollars and brought millions of new people to the world of Da
                                    >Vinci. I'll bet you won't find many Da Vinci scholars who are, though.

                                    It certainly hasn't taught anyone to stop calling him "Da Vinci" as if that
                                    were his surname. (Sorry: that's a bugaboo of mine, like Aragorn the
                                    Reluctant King.)
                                  • David Bratman
                                    ... As a Tolkien fan, I am used to concept of fighting the long defeat with all the strength, all the will, and all the courage I can bring to it. ... You
                                    Message 17 of 30 , Sep 5, 2007
                                      At 06:35 PM 9/4/2007 -0500, Mike Foster wrote:

                                      >I agree with David that the films were "pretty good" and that I enjoyed
                                      >them. They could have been much better in ways great and small, as I've
                                      >likewise said in this tangled thread. They weren't, but as a Cubs fan
                                      >and a Catholic, I'm used to the concept of the long defeat.

                                      As a Tolkien fan, I am used to concept of fighting the long defeat with all
                                      the strength, all the will, and all the courage I can bring to it.


                                      >Would it have been better if the many who did read the books for the
                                      >first time, or like a previous writer today, pulled them off the shelf
                                      >after the films and re-read them and then went on to other J.R.R.
                                      >Tolkien works as well as, in some cases, participation in scholarly
                                      >conferences at Marquette and Aston -et alia-, had never done so?
                                      >
                                      >That was the question I posed last week. It's a simple question. So
                                      >instead of hypothesizing about better Jackson films or whimpering over
                                      >marred visualization-and for this reader, Frodo will never be Elijah
                                      >Wood nor Elrond that pointy-browed guy in mind's eye, thanks-answer the
                                      >question, please and thank you.

                                      You asked the question, and I answered the question, with the answer you
                                      wanted. I answered it the same way over two years ago when you brought it
                                      up then, too. But whenever anybody demands a simple answer to a question,
                                      especially when the question has long since been answered to their
                                      satisfaction, it means that they don't want to hear anything else. And I
                                      refuse to simply call the readers brough to Tolkien by Jackson a good thing
                                      without adding that readers have been brought to Tolkien by even worse
                                      adaptations than Jackson, and that more readers would have been brought by
                                      a better adaptation. It's true whether you call it a hypothesis or not.

                                      Continuing wilfully to ignore the point, Mike continues in later posts:

                                      >Again, Carl, we can't know [Hypothesis Contrary To Fact] if a better
                                      >[Tom Bombadil and Goldberry and Imrahil and Lobelia inclusive?] "good
                                      >and faithful" film cycle would have brought more readers to Tolkien.

                                      and

                                      >we can't know how many did not read et cetera as you note
                                      >above. We can only know, as John Rateliff notes, that millions DID read
                                      >the book in the years after the films were shown.

                                      First off, it seems to be necessary to say, yet again, that the badness of
                                      the adaptation does not consist of the cuts of smaller characters, but of
                                      the evisceration of Tolkien's spirit, and that a better film would not
                                      consist of one with more of Tolkien's plot elements, but one with more of
                                      his aesthetics and morality. I said this, as clearly as I know how, on p.
                                      56-57 of my article in _Tolkien on Film_.

                                      Secondly, you appear to be arguing that since we cannot know how many
                                      people would have read Tolkien after a better film, or how many were driven
                                      away from contact with Tolkien by their encounter with Jackson, that the
                                      problem must be insignificant. That's unworthy of you. We can in fact
                                      very clearly determine that this is a significant and major problem. I've
                                      already given the reasons for it in this discussion, and in more detail on
                                      p. 44-45 of my article in _Tolkien on Film_.

                                      I wrote that article for the purpose of trying to get past all the stupid,
                                      irrelevant, lame-brained defenses of Jackson that people have been offering
                                      here and elsewhere, and having an actual discussion that advances the
                                      dialectic. If you've read my posts, and read my article, why don't you
                                      respond to them and take the discussion a step further on, instead of
                                      ignoring them and going back to square one every ... single ... time? The
                                      impression your line of argument gives is that my responses are
                                      unanswerable, as you so conspicuously fail even to attempt to counter them.
                                      To the extent that you have gone beyond rehashing the same arguments, it
                                      appears that we are in some agreement, so why go back to the "felix
                                      peccatum" again and again, when we already agreed on that specific narrow
                                      point two years ago? Let's go on to the next thing.
                                    • aveeris523@aol.com
                                      ... Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard is the best example of that! Steve Gaddis ************************************** Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL at
                                      Message 18 of 30 , Sep 5, 2007
                                        In a message dated 9/5/07 6:01:44 AM, Aelfwine@... writes:


                                        >
                                        > Sales of a book do not equal readers of that book.
                                        >
                                        > Carl
                                        >
                                        Dianetics by L. Ron Hubbard is the best example of that!

                                        Steve Gaddis



                                        **************************************
                                        Get a sneak peek of the all-new AOL at
                                        http://discover.aol.com/memed/aolcom30tour


                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • Mike Foster
                                        Dear David, Your opinions are quite clearly expressed. I must wonder, however, if the Inklings, in their spirited discussion of a topic, ever referred to
                                        Message 19 of 30 , Sep 5, 2007
                                          Dear David,
                                          Your opinions are quite clearly expressed.

                                          I must wonder, however, if the Inklings, in their spirited discussion of
                                          a topic, ever referred to another's opinion as "stupid, lame-brained,
                                          irrelevant." Don't you think language like that is more quarrelsome
                                          than argumentative?

                                          Mike

                                          -----Original Message-----
                                          From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                                          Of David Bratman
                                          Sent: Wednesday, September 05, 2007 9:10 AM
                                          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                          Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Re: The Movies

                                          At 06:35 PM 9/4/2007 -0500, Mike Foster wrote:

                                          >I agree with David that the films were "pretty good" and that I enjoyed
                                          >them. They could have been much better in ways great and small, as I've
                                          >likewise said in this tangled thread. They weren't, but as a Cubs fan
                                          >and a Catholic, I'm used to the concept of the long defeat.

                                          As a Tolkien fan, I am used to concept of fighting the long defeat with
                                          all
                                          the strength, all the will, and all the courage I can bring to it.

                                          >Would it have been better if the many who did read the books for the
                                          >first time, or like a previous writer today, pulled them off the shelf
                                          >after the films and re-read them and then went on to other J.R.R.
                                          >Tolkien works as well as, in some cases, participation in scholarly
                                          >conferences at Marquette and Aston -et alia-, had never done so?
                                          >
                                          >That was the question I posed last week. It's a simple question. So
                                          >instead of hypothesizing about better Jackson films or whimpering over
                                          >marred visualization-and for this reader, Frodo will never be Elijah
                                          >Wood nor Elrond that pointy-browed guy in mind's eye, thanks-answer the
                                          >question, please and thank you.

                                          You asked the question, and I answered the question, with the answer you
                                          wanted. I answered it the same way over two years ago when you brought
                                          it
                                          up then, too. But whenever anybody demands a simple answer to a
                                          question,
                                          especially when the question has long since been answered to their
                                          satisfaction, it means that they don't want to hear anything else. And I
                                          refuse to simply call the readers brough to Tolkien by Jackson a good
                                          thing
                                          without adding that readers have been brought to Tolkien by even worse
                                          adaptations than Jackson, and that more readers would have been brought
                                          by
                                          a better adaptation. It's true whether you call it a hypothesis or not.

                                          Continuing wilfully to ignore the point, Mike continues in later posts:

                                          >Again, Carl, we can't know [Hypothesis Contrary To Fact] if a better
                                          >[Tom Bombadil and Goldberry and Imrahil and Lobelia inclusive?] "good
                                          >and faithful" film cycle would have brought more readers to Tolkien.

                                          and

                                          >we can't know how many did not read et cetera as you note
                                          >above. We can only know, as John Rateliff notes, that millions DID read
                                          >the book in the years after the films were shown.

                                          First off, it seems to be necessary to say, yet again, that the badness
                                          of
                                          the adaptation does not consist of the cuts of smaller characters, but
                                          of
                                          the evisceration of Tolkien's spirit, and that a better film would not
                                          consist of one with more of Tolkien's plot elements, but one with more
                                          of
                                          his aesthetics and morality. I said this, as clearly as I know how, on
                                          p.
                                          56-57 of my article in _Tolkien on Film_.

                                          Secondly, you appear to be arguing that since we cannot know how many
                                          people would have read Tolkien after a better film, or how many were
                                          driven
                                          away from contact with Tolkien by their encounter with Jackson, that the
                                          problem must be insignificant. That's unworthy of you. We can in fact
                                          very clearly determine that this is a significant and major problem.
                                          I've
                                          already given the reasons for it in this discussion, and in more detail
                                          on
                                          p. 44-45 of my article in _Tolkien on Film_.

                                          I wrote that article for the purpose of trying to get past all the
                                          stupid,
                                          irrelevant, lame-brained defenses of Jackson that people have been
                                          offering
                                          here and elsewhere, and having an actual discussion that advances the
                                          dialectic. If you've read my posts, and read my article, why don't you
                                          respond to them and take the discussion a step further on, instead of
                                          ignoring them and going back to square one every ... single ... time?
                                          The
                                          impression your line of argument gives is that my responses are
                                          unanswerable, as you so conspicuously fail even to attempt to counter
                                          them.
                                          To the extent that you have gone beyond rehashing the same arguments, it
                                          appears that we are in some agreement, so why go back to the "felix
                                          peccatum" again and again, when we already agreed on that specific
                                          narrow
                                          point two years ago? Let's go on to the next thing.



                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • Merlin DeTardo
                                          ...
                                          Message 20 of 30 , Sep 5, 2007
                                            ---"Mike Foster" <mafoster@...> wrote:
                                            << I must wonder, however, if the Inklings, in their spirited
                                            discussion of a topic, ever referred to another's opinion as "stupid,
                                            lame-brained, irrelevant." >>


                                            "Oh, ****, not another elf"?

                                            But seriously: in 1948, Tolkien seems to have criticized Lewis' work so
                                            harshly that he later felt the need to explain himself, and to
                                            apologize: "I regret causing pain, even if and in so far as I had the
                                            right; and I am very sorry indeed still for having caused it quite
                                            excessively and unnecessarily" (Letter #113). Though it looks from the
                                            letter like the quarrel began not at an Inklings but in correspondence.

                                            Is there any more on this incident in _The Company They Keep_?

                                            -Merlin DeTardo
                                          • David Bratman
                                            ... I wish they were; then I might get replies that forwarded the discussion. ... If they didn t, that might be because they didn t express stupid,
                                            Message 21 of 30 , Sep 5, 2007
                                              At 11:18 PM 9/5/2007 -0500, Mike Foster wrote:

                                              >Your opinions are quite clearly expressed.

                                              I wish they were; then I might get replies that forwarded the discussion.

                                              >I must wonder, however, if the Inklings, in their spirited discussion of
                                              >a topic, ever referred to another's opinion as "stupid, lame-brained,
                                              >irrelevant." Don't you think language like that is more quarrelsome
                                              >than argumentative?

                                              If they didn't, that might be because they didn't express stupid,
                                              lame-brained, and irrelevant opinions; and that in turn might be because
                                              they had too much sense to try to defend some crappy movie.

                                              But in fact the Inklings did express themselves in very quarrelsome terms.
                                              To wit:

                                              Tolkien: "... a most amusing and highly contentious evening, on which (had
                                              an outsider eavesdropped) he would have thought it a meeting of fell
                                              enemies hurling deadly insults before drawing their guns."

                                              Lewis: "Wrenn almost seriously expressed a strong wish to burn Williams ...
                                              Tolkien and I agreed afterwards that we just knew what he meant: that as
                                              some people ... are eminently kickable, so Williams is eminently combustible."

                                              Lewis to Williams: "I've a good mind to punch your head when we next meet."

                                              Lewis to Barfield: "Take that grin off your ugly face."

                                              Tolkien about Lewis: "Alas! His ponderous silliness is becoming a fixed
                                              manner." And on another occasion: "Doesn't he know what he's talking about?"

                                              Warren Lewis: "To read to the Inklings was a formidable ordeal."

                                              These are all from chapter 4 of Glyer's _The Company They Keep_.

                                              Lastly, I must record the piquant irony of being chided for quarrelsomeness
                                              by someone who, quite without justification, has used equally strong
                                              language to condemn my posts on Jackson (quoted in a post of mine of Sept.
                                              2; I don't care to repeat it again).


                                              At 04:44 AM 9/6/2007 +0000, Merlin DeTardo wrote:

                                              >But seriously: in 1948, Tolkien seems to have criticized Lewis' work so
                                              >harshly that he later felt the need to explain himself, and to
                                              >apologize: "I regret causing pain, even if and in so far as I had the
                                              >right; and I am very sorry indeed still for having caused it quite
                                              >excessively and unnecessarily" (Letter #113). Though it looks from the
                                              >letter like the quarrel began not at an Inklings but in correspondence.
                                              >
                                              >Is there any more on this incident in _The Company They Keep_?

                                              Not specifically, I don't think: it's not entirely clear what he's talking
                                              about or which book he's referring to, and Glyer's is a work of analysis
                                              and connection rather than one of primary research. But there's plenty of
                                              material on Tolkien's criticisms of Lewis, on Lewis's of Tolkien, and on
                                              everybody's of everybody else's.
                                            • William Cloud Hicklin
                                              ... their spirited ... another s opinion as stupid, ... criticized Lewis work so ... himself, and to ... in so far as I had the ... having caused it quite
                                              Message 22 of 30 , Sep 6, 2007
                                                --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Merlin
                                                DeTardo" <emptyD@...> wrote:
                                                >
                                                > ---"Mike Foster" <mafoster@> wrote:
                                                > << I must wonder, however, if the Inklings, in
                                                their spirited
                                                > discussion of a topic, ever referred to
                                                another's opinion as "stupid,
                                                > lame-brained, irrelevant." >>
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > "Oh, ****, not another elf"?
                                                >
                                                > But seriously: in 1948, Tolkien seems to have
                                                criticized Lewis' work so
                                                > harshly that he later felt the need to explain
                                                himself, and to
                                                > apologize: "I regret causing pain, even if and
                                                in so far as I had the
                                                > right; and I am very sorry indeed still for
                                                having caused it quite
                                                > excessively and unnecessarily" (Letter #113).
                                                Though it looks from the
                                                > letter like the quarrel began not at an
                                                Inklings but in correspondence.
                                                >
                                                > Is there any more on this incident in _The
                                                Company They Keep_?
                                                >


                                                Myself I get the impression that a 'harsh'
                                                criticism by Inklings standards would have been
                                                akin to Tolkien's (private) "ponderous
                                                silliness" comment on Lewis' style. They were,
                                                after all, a) British and b) dons.
                                              • John D Rateliff
                                                ... For Tolkien s attempt to portray what their exchange was like, see the first chapter of THE NOTION CLUB PAPERS (HME.IX). Incidently, I asked several
                                                Message 23 of 30 , Sep 6, 2007
                                                  On Sep 6, 2007, at 5:44 AM, William Cloud Hicklin wrote:
                                                  > Myself I get the impression that a 'harsh' criticism by Inklings
                                                  > standards would have been akin to Tolkien's (private) "ponderous
                                                  > silliness" comment on Lewis' style. They were, after all, a)
                                                  > British and b) dons.

                                                  For Tolkien's attempt to portray what their exchange was like, see
                                                  the first chapter of THE NOTION CLUB PAPERS (HME.IX).
                                                  Incidently, I asked several Inklings what they thought of the
                                                  "Thursday Night" chapter in Carpenter's book, and they all felt that
                                                  while it was a fine piece of writing and very cleverly done, it
                                                  didn't convey what an actual Inklings meeting was like. Warnie's
                                                  diary entries, and Tolkien's letters, give us our best glimpse, brief
                                                  as those are.

                                                  --JDR

                                                  "Interior is Anterior" --Owen Barfield, UNANCESTRAL VOICE.
                                                • Mike Foster
                                                  Yesterday, David, you wrote, I have said that as movies on their own I think they re pretty good. Today they re crappy. Disgreeing is one thing; being
                                                  Message 24 of 30 , Sep 6, 2007
                                                    Yesterday, David, you wrote, "I have said
                                                    that as movies on their own I think they're pretty good."

                                                    Today they're "crappy."

                                                    Disgreeing is one thing; being disagreeable is another.

                                                    Cheers,
                                                    Mike

                                                    -----Original Message-----
                                                    From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                                                    Of David Bratman
                                                    Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 1:51 AM
                                                    To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                                    Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Re: The Movies

                                                    At 11:18 PM 9/5/2007 -0500, Mike Foster wrote:

                                                    >Your opinions are quite clearly expressed.

                                                    I wish they were; then I might get replies that forwarded the
                                                    discussion.

                                                    >I must wonder, however, if the Inklings, in their spirited discussion
                                                    of
                                                    >a topic, ever referred to another's opinion as "stupid, lame-brained,
                                                    >irrelevant." Don't you think language like that is more quarrelsome
                                                    >than argumentative?

                                                    If they didn't, that might be because they didn't express stupid,
                                                    lame-brained, and irrelevant opinions; and that in turn might be because
                                                    they had too much sense to try to defend some crappy movie.

                                                    But in fact the Inklings did express themselves in very quarrelsome
                                                    terms.
                                                    To wit:

                                                    Tolkien: "... a most amusing and highly contentious evening, on which
                                                    (had
                                                    an outsider eavesdropped) he would have thought it a meeting of fell
                                                    enemies hurling deadly insults before drawing their guns."

                                                    Lewis: "Wrenn almost seriously expressed a strong wish to burn Williams
                                                    ...
                                                    Tolkien and I agreed afterwards that we just knew what he meant: that as
                                                    some people ... are eminently kickable, so Williams is eminently
                                                    combustible."

                                                    Lewis to Williams: "I've a good mind to punch your head when we next
                                                    meet."

                                                    Lewis to Barfield: "Take that grin off your ugly face."

                                                    Tolkien about Lewis: "Alas! His ponderous silliness is becoming a fixed
                                                    manner." And on another occasion: "Doesn't he know what he's talking
                                                    about?"

                                                    Warren Lewis: "To read to the Inklings was a formidable ordeal."

                                                    These are all from chapter 4 of Glyer's _The Company They Keep_.

                                                    Lastly, I must record the piquant irony of being chided for
                                                    quarrelsomeness
                                                    by someone who, quite without justification, has used equally strong
                                                    language to condemn my posts on Jackson (quoted in a post of mine of
                                                    Sept.
                                                    2; I don't care to repeat it again).

                                                    At 04:44 AM 9/6/2007 +0000, Merlin DeTardo wrote:

                                                    >But seriously: in 1948, Tolkien seems to have criticized Lewis' work so

                                                    >harshly that he later felt the need to explain himself, and to
                                                    >apologize: "I regret causing pain, even if and in so far as I had the
                                                    >right; and I am very sorry indeed still for having caused it quite
                                                    >excessively and unnecessarily" (Letter #113). Though it looks from the
                                                    >letter like the quarrel began not at an Inklings but in correspondence.
                                                    >
                                                    >Is there any more on this incident in _The Company They Keep_?

                                                    Not specifically, I don't think: it's not entirely clear what he's
                                                    talking
                                                    about or which book he's referring to, and Glyer's is a work of analysis
                                                    and connection rather than one of primary research. But there's plenty
                                                    of
                                                    material on Tolkien's criticisms of Lewis, on Lewis's of Tolkien, and on
                                                    everybody's of everybody else's.



                                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                  • Mike Foster
                                                    Typo corrected, another casualty of the Ready.FIRE!...aim nature of E-mail. ... From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
                                                    Message 25 of 30 , Sep 6, 2007
                                                      Typo corrected, another casualty of the "Ready.FIRE!...aim" nature of
                                                      E-mail.

                                                      -----Original Message-----
                                                      From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                                                      Of Mike Foster
                                                      Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 5:16 PM
                                                      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                                      Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Re: The Movies

                                                      Yesterday, David, you wrote, "I have said
                                                      that as movies on their own I think they're pretty good."

                                                      Today they're "crappy."

                                                      Disgreeing is one thing; being disagreeable is another.

                                                      Cheers,
                                                      Mike

                                                      -----Original Message-----
                                                      From: mythsoc@yahoogroups <mailto:mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com> .com
                                                      [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups <mailto:mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com> .com] On
                                                      Behalf
                                                      Of David Bratman
                                                      Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 1:51 AM
                                                      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups <mailto:mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com> .com
                                                      Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Re: The Movies

                                                      At 11:18 PM 9/5/2007 -0500, Mike Foster wrote:

                                                      >Your opinions are quite clearly expressed.

                                                      I wish they were; then I might get replies that forwarded the
                                                      discussion.

                                                      >I must wonder, however, if the Inklings, in their spirited discussion
                                                      of
                                                      >a topic, ever referred to another's opinion as "stupid, lame-brained,
                                                      >irrelevant." Don't you think language like that is more quarrelsome
                                                      >than argumentative?

                                                      If they didn't, that might be because they didn't express stupid,
                                                      lame-brained, and irrelevant opinions; and that in turn might be because
                                                      they had too much sense to try to defend some crappy movie.

                                                      But in fact the Inklings did express themselves in very quarrelsome
                                                      terms.
                                                      To wit:

                                                      Tolkien: "... a most amusing and highly contentious evening, on which
                                                      (had
                                                      an outsider eavesdropped) he would have thought it a meeting of fell
                                                      enemies hurling deadly insults before drawing their guns."

                                                      Lewis: "Wrenn almost seriously expressed a strong wish to burn Williams
                                                      ...
                                                      Tolkien and I agreed afterwards that we just knew what he meant: that as
                                                      some people ... are eminently kickable, so Williams is eminently
                                                      combustible."

                                                      Lewis to Williams: "I've a good mind to punch your head when we next
                                                      meet."

                                                      Lewis to Barfield: "Take that grin off your ugly face."

                                                      Tolkien about Lewis: "Alas! His ponderous silliness is becoming a fixed
                                                      manner." And on another occasion: "Doesn't he know what he's talking
                                                      about?"

                                                      Warren Lewis: "To read to the Inklings was a formidable ordeal."

                                                      These are all from chapter 4 of Glyer's _The Company They Keep_.

                                                      Lastly, I must record the piquant irony of being chided for
                                                      quarrelsomeness
                                                      by someone who, quite without justification, has used equally strong
                                                      language to condemn my posts on Jackson (quoted in a post of mine of
                                                      Sept.
                                                      2; I don't care to repeat it again).

                                                      At 04:44 AM 9/6/2007 +0000, Merlin DeTardo wrote:

                                                      >But seriously: in 1948, Tolkien seems to have criticized Lewis' work so

                                                      >harshly that he later felt the need to explain himself, and to
                                                      >apologize: "I regret causing pain, even if and in so far as I had the
                                                      >right; and I am very sorry indeed still for having caused it quite
                                                      >excessively and unnecessarily" (Letter #113). Though it looks from the
                                                      >letter like the quarrel began not at an Inklings but in correspondence.
                                                      >
                                                      >Is there any more on this incident in _The Company They Keep_?

                                                      Not specifically, I don't think: it's not entirely clear what he's
                                                      talking
                                                      about or which book he's referring to, and Glyer's is a work of analysis
                                                      and connection rather than one of primary research. But there's plenty
                                                      of
                                                      material on Tolkien's criticisms of Lewis, on Lewis's of Tolkien, and on
                                                      everybody's of everybody else's.


                                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



                                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                    • Mike Foster
                                                      As Bullwinkle used to say to Rocky, This time for sure! Agreeably, Mike ... From: Mike Foster [mailto:mafoster@hughes.net] Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007
                                                      Message 26 of 30 , Sep 6, 2007
                                                        As Bullwinkle used to say to Rocky, "This time for sure!"

                                                        Agreeably,
                                                        Mike

                                                        -----Original Message-----
                                                        From: Mike Foster [mailto:mafoster@...]
                                                        Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 5:22 PM
                                                        To: 'mythsoc@yahoogroups.com'
                                                        Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Re: The Movies

                                                        Typo corrected, another casualty of the "Ready.FIRE!...aim" nature of
                                                        E-mail.

                                                        -----Original Message-----
                                                        From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                                                        Of Mike Foster
                                                        Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 5:16 PM
                                                        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                                        Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Re: The Movies

                                                        Yesterday, David, you wrote, "I have said
                                                        that as movies on their own I think they're pretty good."

                                                        Today they're "crappy."

                                                        Disagreeing is one thing; being disagreeable is another.

                                                        Cheers,
                                                        Mike

                                                        -----Original Message-----
                                                        From: mythsoc@yahoogroups <mailto:mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com> .com
                                                        [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups <mailto:mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com> .com] On
                                                        Behalf
                                                        Of David Bratman
                                                        Sent: Thursday, September 06, 2007 1:51 AM
                                                        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups <mailto:mythsoc%40yahoogroups.com> .com
                                                        Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Re: The Movies

                                                        At 11:18 PM 9/5/2007 -0500, Mike Foster wrote:

                                                        >Your opinions are quite clearly expressed.

                                                        I wish they were; then I might get replies that forwarded the
                                                        discussion.

                                                        >I must wonder, however, if the Inklings, in their spirited discussion
                                                        of
                                                        >a topic, ever referred to another's opinion as "stupid, lame-brained,
                                                        >irrelevant." Don't you think language like that is more quarrelsome
                                                        >than argumentative?

                                                        If they didn't, that might be because they didn't express stupid,
                                                        lame-brained, and irrelevant opinions; and that in turn might be because
                                                        they had too much sense to try to defend some crappy movie.

                                                        But in fact the Inklings did express themselves in very quarrelsome
                                                        terms.
                                                        To wit:

                                                        Tolkien: "... a most amusing and highly contentious evening, on which
                                                        (had
                                                        an outsider eavesdropped) he would have thought it a meeting of fell
                                                        enemies hurling deadly insults before drawing their guns."

                                                        Lewis: "Wrenn almost seriously expressed a strong wish to burn Williams
                                                        ...
                                                        Tolkien and I agreed afterwards that we just knew what he meant: that as
                                                        some people ... are eminently kickable, so Williams is eminently
                                                        combustible."

                                                        Lewis to Williams: "I've a good mind to punch your head when we next
                                                        meet."

                                                        Lewis to Barfield: "Take that grin off your ugly face."

                                                        Tolkien about Lewis: "Alas! His ponderous silliness is becoming a fixed
                                                        manner." And on another occasion: "Doesn't he know what he's talking
                                                        about?"

                                                        Warren Lewis: "To read to the Inklings was a formidable ordeal."

                                                        These are all from chapter 4 of Glyer's _The Company They Keep_.

                                                        Lastly, I must record the piquant irony of being chided for
                                                        quarrelsomeness
                                                        by someone who, quite without justification, has used equally strong
                                                        language to condemn my posts on Jackson (quoted in a post of mine of
                                                        Sept.
                                                        2; I don't care to repeat it again).

                                                        At 04:44 AM 9/6/2007 +0000, Merlin DeTardo wrote:

                                                        >But seriously: in 1948, Tolkien seems to have criticized Lewis' work so

                                                        >harshly that he later felt the need to explain himself, and to
                                                        >apologize: "I regret causing pain, even if and in so far as I had the
                                                        >right; and I am very sorry indeed still for having caused it quite
                                                        >excessively and unnecessarily" (Letter #113). Though it looks from the
                                                        >letter like the quarrel began not at an Inklings but in correspondence.
                                                        >
                                                        >Is there any more on this incident in _The Company They Keep_?

                                                        Not specifically, I don't think: it's not entirely clear what he's
                                                        talking
                                                        about or which book he's referring to, and Glyer's is a work of analysis
                                                        and connection rather than one of primary research. But there's plenty
                                                        of
                                                        material on Tolkien's criticisms of Lewis, on Lewis's of Tolkien, and on
                                                        everybody's of everybody else's.


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