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Re: Smith of Wootton Major as beloved book of childhood

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  • Jason Fisher
    ... I suppose it depends on just what you mean by exactly , hahae. But yes, I take a stab at it. As much as an eight-page comparison permitted — and as much
    Message 1 of 18 , Oct 22, 2007
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      > --- David Bratman wrote ---
      > I'm looking forward to seeing the article. Do you venture
      > ideas of exactly what it is in MacDonald that earned
      > Tolkien's distaste?

      I suppose it depends on just what you mean by "exactly", hahae. But yes, I take a stab at it. As much as an eight-page comparison permitted — and as much as the evidence available to me supported. It's a jumping-off point for further, more involved research I would like to complete on the subject. Maybe it will spark some wider interest in comparative studies of the two as well. I hope so.

      And I will certainly welcome any thoughts — complimentary or critical — when you get a chance to read it, David.

      Jason
    • William Cloud Hicklin
      Although my teeneaged self pre-ordered the Silmarillion and even marked on the calendar the day I could triumphantly collect it at Waldenbooks, and I loved it
      Message 2 of 18 , Oct 23, 2007
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        Although my teeneaged self pre-ordered the Silmarillion
        and even marked on the calendar the day I could
        triumphantly collect it at Waldenbooks, and I loved it
        from the start (unlike, I expect, many< I didn't then
        fully apprecioate it. It took perhaps collegiate study
        in both philosophy and Old English to enable deeper
        levels of understanding.

        I think for a considerable time I valued the Sil as too
        many still do: as mere backstory to The LR, the
        Appendices extended, an infodump, a mine of trivia.
        Substantial appreciation of its grandeur as a whole, of
        the elegance of its convoluted web of cause and long-
        delayed effect, of its powerful meditations on the nature
        of Evil, really began to dawn when I read it on a long,
        long deployment at sea in the Navy.

        Nowadays I don't believe the two can be ranked relative
        to one another: they are simply too different. I suppose
        that if one views The Lord of the Rings as Tolkien's 9th
        Symphony, glorious, uplifting, at times ferocious,
        inspiring, spiritual, but nonetheless 'popular'; then the
        Sil is his Late Quartets: spare, un-'popular',
        discursive, numinous in a manner harder to pin down,
        uncompromisingly driven by its own unique internal
        logic...and unfinished.
      • Walter Padgett
        Wow. That s really heavy. That s the best thing I ve read all day. Thanks for rendering so eloquently your profound appreciation. I especially like your
        Message 3 of 18 , Oct 23, 2007
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          Wow. That's really heavy. That's the best thing I've read all day.

          Thanks for rendering so eloquently your profound appreciation.

          I especially like your observation of "the elegance of its convoluted
          web of cause and long-delayed effect."

          I feel that _The Silmarillion_ is like a fine wine, or maybe a fine
          esoteric blend of tobacco, or chese or something like that. First
          you've got to develop a taste for that, and then as your sensibilities
          become more refined your appreciation of it becomes more substantial.

          There seems something quite romantic about your experience with _The
          Silmarillion_ on that long deployment at sea.

          Wonderful.

          On 10/23/07, William Cloud Hicklin <solicitr@...> wrote:
          >
          >
          > Although my teeneaged self pre-ordered the Silmarillion
          > and even marked on the calendar the day I could
          > triumphantly collect it at Waldenbooks, and I loved it
          > from the start (unlike, I expect, many< I didn't then
          > fully apprecioate it. It took perhaps collegiate study
          > in both philosophy and Old English to enable deeper
          > levels of understanding.
          >
          > I think for a considerable time I valued the Sil as too
          > many still do: as mere backstory to The LR, the
          > Appendices extended, an infodump, a mine of trivia.
          > Substantial appreciation of its grandeur as a whole, of
          > the elegance of its convoluted web of cause and long-
          > delayed effect, of its powerful meditations on the nature
          > of Evil, really began to dawn when I read it on a long,
          > long deployment at sea in the Navy.
          >
          > Nowadays I don't believe the two can be ranked relative
          > to one another: they are simply too different. I suppose
          > that if one views The Lord of the Rings as Tolkien's 9th
          > Symphony, glorious, uplifting, at times ferocious,
          > inspiring, spiritual, but nonetheless 'popular'; then the
          > Sil is his Late Quartets: spare, un-'popular',
          > discursive, numinous in a manner harder to pin down,
          > uncompromisingly driven by its own unique internal
          > logic...and unfinished.
          >
          >
        • William Cloud Hicklin
          ... your experience with _The ... Well, there s an added resonance to all the stuff about Ulmo and water when there s nothing to look at but ocean, day after
          Message 4 of 18 , Oct 24, 2007
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            --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Walter
            Padgett" <wpadgett@...> wrote:

            > There seems something quite romantic about
            your experience with _The
            > Silmarillion_ on that long deployment at sea.
            >


            Well, there's an added resonance to all the stuff about
            Ulmo and water when there's nothing to look at but ocean,
            day after day after day....... :)
          • Walter Padgett
            I thought it was MacDonald s grand-fatherly uncular stance that earned Tolkien s distaste, and that Tolkien saw some of this in his own writing in _The
            Message 5 of 18 , Oct 25, 2007
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              I thought it was MacDonald's grand-fatherly "uncular" stance that earned
              Tolkien's distaste, and that Tolkien saw some of this in his own writing in
              _The Hobbit_, detesting it all the more. But where I read that, I can't
              remember.

              On 10/22/07, Jason Fisher <visualweasel@...> wrote:
              >
              > > --- David Bratman wrote ---
              > > I'm looking forward to seeing the article. Do you venture
              > > ideas of exactly what it is in MacDonald that earned
              > > Tolkien's distaste?
              >
              > I suppose it depends on just what you mean by "exactly", hahae. But yes, I
              > take a stab at it. As much as an eight-page comparison permitted � and as
              > much as the evidence available to me supported. It's a jumping-off point for
              > further, more involved research I would like to complete on the subject.
              > Maybe it will spark some wider interest in comparative studies of the two as
              > well. I hope so.
              >
              > And I will certainly welcome any thoughts � complimentary or critical �
              > when you get a chance to read it, David.
              >
              > Jason
              >
              >


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Walter Padgett
              Oops! the word is avuncular (`_ ;) ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              Message 6 of 18 , Oct 25, 2007
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                Oops! the word is "avuncular" (`_';)






                On 10/25/07, Walter Padgett <wpadgett@...> wrote:
                >
                > I thought it was MacDonald's grand-fatherly "uncular" stance that earned
                > Tolkien's distaste, and that Tolkien saw some of this in his own writing in
                > _The Hobbit_, detesting it all the more. But where I read that, I can't
                > remember.
                >
                > On 10/22/07, Jason Fisher <visualweasel@...> wrote:
                > >
                > > > --- David Bratman wrote ---
                > > > I'm looking forward to seeing the article. Do you venture
                > > > ideas of exactly what it is in MacDonald that earned
                > > > Tolkien's distaste?
                > >
                > > I suppose it depends on just what you mean by "exactly", hahae. But yes,
                > > I take a stab at it. As much as an eight-page comparison permitted � and as
                > > much as the evidence available to me supported. It's a jumping-off point for
                > > further, more involved research I would like to complete on the subject.
                > > Maybe it will spark some wider interest in comparative studies of the two as
                > > well. I hope so.
                > >
                > > And I will certainly welcome any thoughts � complimentary or critical �
                > > when you get a chance to read it, David.
                > >
                > > Jason
                > >
                > >
                >
                >


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Vincent Ferré
                and do not forget Gandalf, in The Lord..., according to his depiction by Tolkien : Though he may seem testy at times, has a sense of humour, and adopts a
                Message 7 of 18 , Oct 25, 2007
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                  and do not forget Gandalf, in The Lord..., according to his depiction by
                  Tolkien :

                  "Though he may seem testy at times, has a sense of humour, and adopts a
                  somewhat avuncular attitude to hobbits, he is a person of high and noble
                  authority, and great dignity. The description on I p. 239 should never be
                  forgotten"
                  (Letters #210)

                  Vincent

                  >
                  I thought it was MacDonald's grand-fatherly "uncular" stance that earned
                  Tolkien's distaste, and that Tolkien saw some of this in his own writing in
                  _The Hobbit_, detesting it all the more. But where I read that, I can't
                  remember.
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