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Re: [mythsoc] Re: The Movies

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  • 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 1 of 30 , Sep 4 10:18 AM
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      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 2 of 30 , Sep 4 10:30 AM
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        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 3 of 30 , Sep 4 12:25 PM
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          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
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          [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 4 of 30 , Sep 4 12:47 PM
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            --- 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 5 of 30 , Sep 4 12:52 PM
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              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 6 of 30 , Sep 4 4:35 PM
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                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 7 of 30 , Sep 4 4:55 PM
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                  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 8 of 30 , Sep 4 5:33 PM
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                    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 9 of 30 , Sep 4 6:38 PM
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                      -----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 10 of 30 , Sep 4 6:51 PM
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                        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 11 of 30 , Sep 4 8:48 PM
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                          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 12 of 30 , Sep 5 6:00 AM
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                            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 13 of 30 , Sep 5 6:16 AM
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                              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 14 of 30 , Sep 5 7:10 AM
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                                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 15 of 30 , Sep 5 7:19 AM
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                                  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
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                                  [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 16 of 30 , Sep 5 9:18 PM
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                                    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 17 of 30 , Sep 5 9:44 PM
                                    • 0 Attachment
                                      ---"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 18 of 30 , Sep 5 11:51 PM
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        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 19 of 30 , Sep 6 5:44 AM
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          --- 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 20 of 30 , Sep 6 10:51 AM
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            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 21 of 30 , Sep 6 3:15 PM
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              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 22 of 30 , Sep 6 3:22 PM
                                              • 0 Attachment
                                                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 23 of 30 , Sep 6 4:20 PM
                                                • 0 Attachment
                                                  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.


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



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