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Re: [mythsoc] Re: New Tolkien for Harper Collins

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  • Doug Kane
    ... I think that John was probably thinking of Tolkien s opinion of the critics of his work who considered them escapist in the sense of not serious.
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 9, 2009
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      Merlin DeTardo wrote:

      > Wouldn't Tolkien himself agree that both _The Children of Hurin_ and
      > _The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun_ are "escapist" in at least one way,
      > and wouldn't he welcome that label?

      I think that John was probably thinking of Tolkien's opinion of the critics of his work who considered them "escapist" in the sense of "not serious." Consider, for instance, his comments in Letter to 227 to a Mrs E. C. Ossen Drijver on 5 January 1961:

      "I am now under contract engaged (among alas! other less congenial tasks) in putting into order for publication the mythology and stories of the First and Second Ages - written long ago, but judged hardly publishable, until (so it seems) the surprising success of _The Lord of the Rings_, which comes at the end, has provided a probable demand for the beginnings. But there are, I fear, no _hobbits_ in _The Silmarillion_ (or history of the Three Jewels), little fun or earthiness but mostly grief and disaster. Those critics who scoffed at _The Lord_ because 'all the good boys came home safe and everyone was happy ever after' (quite untrue) ought to be satisfied. They will not be, of course - even if they deign to notice the book!"

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    • John D Rateliff
      Ah, so that s where REM got it from. I d always assumed the Richard they were attributing it to was Nixon, which didn t seem quite right. Thanks for the
      Message 2 of 6 , Jan 11, 2009
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        Ah, so that's where REM got it from. I'd always assumed the "Richard"
        they were attributing it to was Nixon, which didn't seem quite
        right. Thanks for the clarification.

        On Jan 9, 2009, at 1:54 AM, John Davis wrote:
        > Which is to say escapism as an active form of protest?
        >
        > Reminds me of one of the Linklater quote: "withdrawing in disgust
        > is not the same as apathy".

        As for "escapist", I meant it in its common (mis)application, not in
        its preferred Tolkienian sense.

        --JDR

        Merlin DeTardo wrote
        > Wouldn't Tolkien himself agree that both _The Children of Hurin_
        > and _The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun_ are "escapist" in at least
        > one way, and wouldn't he welcome that label? As in this passage
        > from "On Fairy-stories":
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