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Re: [mythsoc] The Movies

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  • 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 1 of 30 , Sep 4, 2007
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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 2 of 30 , Sep 4, 2007
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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
        http://discover.aol.com/memed/aolcom30tour


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      • 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 3 of 30 , Sep 4, 2007
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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 4 of 30 , Sep 4, 2007
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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 5 of 30 , Sep 4, 2007
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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 6 of 30 , Sep 4, 2007
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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 7 of 30 , Sep 4, 2007
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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


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                • 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 8 of 30 , Sep 4, 2007
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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 9 of 30 , Sep 4, 2007
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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 10 of 30 , Sep 4, 2007
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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 11 of 30 , Sep 5, 2007
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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 12 of 30 , Sep 5, 2007
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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 13 of 30 , Sep 5, 2007
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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 14 of 30 , Sep 5, 2007
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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
                                http://discover.aol.com/memed/aolcom30tour


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                              • 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 15 of 30 , Sep 5, 2007
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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 16 of 30 , Sep 5, 2007
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                                    ---"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 17 of 30 , Sep 5, 2007
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                                      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 18 of 30 , Sep 6, 2007
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                                        --- 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 19 of 30 , Sep 6, 2007
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                                          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 20 of 30 , Sep 6, 2007
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                                            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 21 of 30 , Sep 6, 2007
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                                              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 22 of 30 , Sep 6, 2007
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                                                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]



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