Re: [mythsoc] Re: Catholicism, The Lord of the Rings, and the Letters
- 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!
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.
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- 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)
>From: John Davis <john@...>________________________________________
>Sent: Jun 15, 2009 3:48 AM
>Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: Catholicism and Lord of the Rings
>Perhaps he was just mostly dead.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: scribbler@...
> To: email@example.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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