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Re: [mythsoc] Re: Catholicism, The Lord of the Rings, and the Letters

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  • Alana Joli Abbott
    The quote quite nicely supported my initial argument, which was that Tolkien felt the work was Catholic -- not that they actually /were/, by the boundaries of
    Message 1 of 51 , Jun 10, 2009
      The quote quite nicely supported my initial argument, which was that Tolkien
      felt the work was Catholic -- not that they actually /were/, by the
      boundaries of the discussion I was having. I don't feel qualified myself to
      argue the latter point, but I did feel qualified to cite Tolkien's own
      thoughts on the matter!
      -Alana

      On Wed, Jun 10, 2009 at 10:18 AM, Jason Fisher <visualweasel@...>wrote:

      >
      >
      > --- Vincent Ferré wrote ---
      > I am not saying, of course, that the LoR does not possess a "catholic side"
      > - I also have written about this point, and edited articles on this issue.
      > All I am saying is that, very often, the issue is "solved" by a quotation of
      > this famous letter. I think the Lord of the Rings itself is to be analysed,
      > instead of relying on a statement by such a clever writer like Tolkien, in a
      > letter among hundreds (only a part of his letters has been published, as you
      > know), which needs to be "re-contextualized" . Working on a few writers like
      > Tolkien, Proust, Broch, among others, I have been compelled to be very
      > careful with their statements.<end quote>
      >
      > My two cents. As a general approach, I think this is a very prudent
      > caution. Of course, the letters have been invaluable in helping to reveal
      > aspects of the man and his work that might otherwise have remained much more
      > opaque; however, they only go so far, and as you rightly point out,
      > understanding the context of each letter is an essential first step before
      > adducing them as "proof" for any thesis. Some of the letters, especially,
      > have really short-circuited that important process. As one example, I have
      > seen the "other minds and hands" quotation (from the Waldman letter) used I
      > don't know how many times to justify all manner of fan-fiction and -film,
      > expansion of Tolkien's invented languages, etc., when this would probably
      > not have been to Tolkien's liking at all.
      >
      > Jason
      >
      > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      >
      >
      >



      --
      Alana Joli Abbott, Freelance Writer and Editor (
      http://www.virgilandbeatrice.com)
      Author of "Nomi's Wish" (
      http://coyotewildmag.com/2008/august/abbott_nomis_wish.html), featured in
      Coyote Wild Magazine
      Contributor to Serenity Adventures: http://tinyurl.com/serenity-adventures
      Contributor to Ransom: The Anthology: http://tinyurl.com/ransombook
      --
      For updates on my writings, join my mailing list at
      http://groups.google.com/group/alanajoliabbottfans


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • David Emerson
      Luthien: Alas! My beloved has perished! I must go to the Halls of Mandos to beg -- Beren: I m not dead yet. Luthien: Shh! To beg Mandos to bring him
      Message 51 of 51 , Jun 15, 2009
        Luthien: Alas! My beloved has perished! I must go to the Halls of Mandos to beg --
        Beren: I'm not dead yet.
        Luthien: Shh! To beg Mandos to bring him back --
        Beren: I don't want to go on the cart.
        Luthien: Shut up! I'm having a dramatic moment here.
        Beren: I feel happy...
        Luthien: (Nods to nearest elf with big club)
        Big Club: Thud.
        Luthien: Okay, I'm off to the Halls of Mandos. See ya. (Falls down)


        -----Original Message-----
        >From: John Davis <john@...>
        >Sent: Jun 15, 2009 3:48 AM
        >To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        >Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: Catholicism and Lord of the Rings
        >
        >Perhaps he was just mostly dead.
        >
        >John
        >
        > ----- Original Message -----
        > From: scribbler@...
        > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        > Sent: Friday, June 12, 2009 4:40 PM
        > Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: Catholicism and Lord of the Rings
        >
        > > I've always wondered -- was Beren really dead? Or was he merely so close
        > > to death that no one around could tell the difference? Was he really
        > > resurrected, or simply revived?
        > >
        > > If the Gift of Men is beyond even the Valar's understanding, it doesn't
        > > make sense that Mandos would have the power to give Beren back his life,
        > > no matter how persuasively Luthien sang.
        > >
        > > emerdavid
        >
        > Well, it would seem incongruous that Mandos himself would not be able to
        > distinguish between a "nearly dead" mortal soul and a "dead" one. Mandos
        > is made anxious about the situation because Beren WILL NOT GO ON the way
        > he is supposed to.
        >
        > It seems to me, that Beren's soul held onto the world to an unexpected
        > degree, instead of passing out of the world. If he had passed out of the
        > world, then I agree, Luthien's singing would have been tragic in that it
        > would be to no point -- Beren would not be *there* to be returned. But
        > that's not what Tolkien sets as the situation. He has Beren "hanging
        > around" unexpectedly.
        >
        > I say - Beren was dead, but not "departed". A unique situation that the
        > Valar could actually address.

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