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Tolkien beats Rowling?

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  • Stolzi@aol.com
    The Battle of the Books No contest. Tolkien runs rings around Potter. BY BRIAN M. CARNEY [An interesting analysis of the good-vs-evil battle in the two books]
    Message 1 of 5 , Nov 30, 2001
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      The Battle of the Books
      No contest. Tolkien runs rings around Potter.

      BY BRIAN M. CARNEY

      [An interesting analysis of the good-vs-evil battle in the two books]

      Find this story at http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=95001537

      (May require registration)


      Diamond Proudbrook
    • WendellWag@aol.com
      This guy thinks _The Lord of the Rings_ is about World War II. Well, no. actually. If it s about a war in Tolkien s lifetime, it s about World War I. The
      Message 2 of 5 , Nov 30, 2001
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        This guy thinks _The Lord of the Rings_ is about World War II. Well, no.
        actually. If it's about a war in Tolkien's lifetime, it's about World War I.
        The book's plot was firgured out before World War II started. But to say
        that it's "about" any single event in Tolkien's life is already to trivialize
        the book.

        Wendell Wagner
      • Janet Croft
        Interesting -- but the writer speaks only of the first Harry Potter book. I don t think Rowling is likely to completely achieve Tolkien s depth, BUT I would
        Message 3 of 5 , Nov 30, 2001
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          Interesting -- but the writer speaks only of the first Harry Potter book. I
          don't think Rowling is likely to completely achieve Tolkien's depth, BUT I
          would hesitate to dismiss the series as shallowly black and white before
          it's all written. And Harry is not being set up as a pure good character.
          He has his temptations and weaknesses, and given how Rowling likes to drop
          easy-to-ignore clues about later plot elements, I think she'll be making a
          lot more out of his wand sharing its ancestry with Voldemort's and of the
          fact that the sorting hat wanted to put him in Slytherin. Voldemort wants to
          enslave both the magical world and the muggle world, IIRC; this isn't so
          different from what Sauron wants to do, really, but then with Sauron we move
          into the realm of Maiar, and Voldemort hasn't been represented as anything
          other than a human (...yet. Who can say where JKR will go with it?).

          Given that, though, it is indeed interesting that more fuss is not made
          about the Philosopher's Stone. But on the other hand, we are seeing events
          from Harry's perspective. The adults at Hogwarts certainly do make a lot of
          fuss about it, guarding it carefully and eventually destroying it. In one of
          Dumbledore's lines that didn't make it into the movie, there is some musing
          about mortality. Harry lacks Frodo's age and maturity and doesn't really
          understand it. (I kind of wonder -- did this columnist base his criticism of
          the Harry Potter books on the movie?? Tsk, tsk.)

          Janet

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Stolzi@... [mailto:Stolzi@...]
          Sent: Friday, November 30, 2001 9:13 AM
          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [mythsoc] Tolkien beats Rowling?


          The Battle of the Books
          No contest. Tolkien runs rings around Potter.

          BY BRIAN M. CARNEY

          [An interesting analysis of the good-vs-evil battle in the two books]

          Find this story at http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=95001537

          (May require registration)


          Diamond Proudbrook


          The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org

          Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • David S. Bratman
          ... I regret whenever someone uses a good author as a club to bash another good author, even if the first author is clearly better. Voldemort s motivation may
          Message 4 of 5 , Nov 30, 2001
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            At 07:12 AM 11/30/2001 , Brian M. Carney wrote:

            >The Battle of the Books
            >No contest. Tolkien runs rings around Potter.

            I regret whenever someone uses a good author as a club to bash another good
            author, even if the first author is clearly better.

            Voldemort's motivation may be sketchy, but so was Sauron's half-way through
            LOTR, which is where we are in the Harry Potter saga. In fact, much of
            Sauron's motivation was explained neither in LOTR nor The Silmarillion, but
            is more fully explored only in Letters and some of the late HoME texts.

            So far, Voldemort seems to be driven by a demon similar to that which drove
            Shakespeare's Richard III. And if Carney wants to call Shakespeare a
            shallow author, he should go right ahead. (Rowling's character depiction
            of Voldemort, especially in _Goblet of Fire_, is the worst thing she's
            written, but that's not the issue here.)

            Perhaps not so much in the first book, and certainly not in the film (one
            instance - chasing Draco on the broomstick - is glossed over and mishandled
            in the film), but Harry faces many interesting moral dilemmas, particularly
            when facing a conflict between following the rules and doing what appears
            to be the right and honest thing. One may disagree with Harry's
            conclusion, but Rowling is not shying away from moral principles, and
            indeed (especially in a couple instances in _Goblet_) facing up to them
            with some subtlety, it seems to me.


            Wendell Wagner wrote:

            >This guy thinks _The Lord of the Rings_ is about World War II. Well, no,
            >actually. If it's about a war in Tolkien's lifetime, it's about World War I.

            But Brian Carney wrote:

            >That Tolkien, who wrote "The Lord of the Rings" during World War II and
            >published it shortly after, saw this as a message for his times was made
            >plain in his foreword to the second edition.

            Seeing a message in it for a later time is not at all incompatable with its
            being inspired by an earlier time, and is actually a requisite of the work
            having a meaning beyond the immediate and of having what Tolkien called
            applicability. Indeed, Carney in his next sentence goes on to say that
            Tolkien "savaged" the WW2 analogy: in other words, it's NOT about World War
            II. Nor is Carney saying that this is the only message: his previous
            paragraph discusses Tolkien's universal principle, and the quoted sentence
            demonstrates its applicability. Perhaps Carney should have mentioned World
            War I as well, but it's a short article, and his topic is not either
            author's inspirations, but their applicability.

            David Bratman
          • Stolzi@aol.com
            In a message dated 11/30/01 11:00:06 AM Central Standard Time, jbcroft@ou.edu ... I noticed those hints, too, this time through.
            Message 5 of 5 , Nov 30, 2001
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              In a message dated 11/30/01 11:00:06 AM Central Standard Time, jbcroft@...
              writes:

              > I think she'll be making a
              > lot more out of his wand sharing its ancestry with Voldemort's and of the
              > fact that the sorting hat wanted to put him in Slytherin.

              I noticed those hints, too, this time through.
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