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Re: [mythsoc] applicability, race, etc.

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  • Steve Dufour
    True, it s also good to remember that one of the most important themes in Tolkien s books is love and understanding between different peoples. If we re
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 26, 2001
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      True, it's also good to remember that one of the most
      important themes in Tolkien's books is love and
      understanding between different peoples. If we're
      talking about black Americans, I think many will
      indentify with the hobbits, as will many others.

      --- Steve Schaper <sschaper@...> wrote:
      > I think that by 'applicability', Tolkien meant that
      > there is indeed -meaning- in his works, and story
      > elements that can have illustrative or parabolic
      > applications, but that the stories and characters
      > themselves are not allegories in the sense of
      > Pilgrim's Progress, or the medieval morality plays.
      > That he, too, had an intent to 'get past watchful
      > dragons' seems clear enough from his letters and the
      > history of the TCBS. (which I suppose I should write
      > up and submit sometime)
      > As to racism, Tolkien rather obviously wasn't a
      > racist. Recall, for instance, his response to
      > National Socialist censors in Germany who inquired
      > as to his ancestry.
      > He -did- like to use traditional literary metaphors,
      > such as dark and light, which coming from the
      > northern fringes of Europe, had nothing to do with
      > race, and everything to do with the invisibility of
      > predators in the northern sub-arctic winter.
      > Ancestry in cases such as Aragorn aren't statements
      > of 'blood-purity' but of primogeniture and right to
      > hold office. This is a common medieval legal
      > concept. One might also think of ancient Israel at
      > times intermarrying with the nations around. Once
      > again, the issue wasn't genetics (the host leaving
      > Egypt was a 'mixed multitude' and Christ's ancestry
      > includes Edomites, etc) but that the spouses from
      > the surrounding nations brought in pagan religious
      > ideas and practice. I see something similar - indeed
      > probably an intentional borrowing - in references to
      > the Men of Gondor becoming of more 'mixed' and 'less
      > pure' lineage over time.
      > --
      > "A generation which ignores history has no past and
      > no future."
      > Robert Anson Heinlein
      > http://www.users.qwest.net/~sschaper/
      > sschaper@...

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