Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [mythsoc] Digest Number 785

Expand Messages
  • Steve Schaper
    ... Maybe they were getting Za ha dum and Mordor mixed up, just as Aragorn resembled another Ranger. . . Message: 4 ... Nope. ... Yep. ... Nope! ... Well,
    Message 1 of 6 , Dec 31, 2001
    • 0 Attachment
      > Message: 2
      > Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2001 08:49:59 -0800 (PST)
      > From: Steve Dufour <stevejdufour@...>
      > Subject: Re: pronunciation of "Isildur"
      >
      > Thanks Carl, I also don't like the
      > way they said "Mordor", based on how I think "in the
      > land of Mordor where the shadows lie" and "for into
      > darkness fell his star, in Mordor where the shadows
      > are' should sound.

      Maybe they were getting Za'ha'dum and Mordor mixed up, just as Aragorn resembled another Ranger. . .

      Message: 4

      > Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2001 17:03:18 -0000
      > From: "michael_martinez2" <michael@...>
      > Subject: Re: More JRRT items
      >
      >
      > Good lord. It's hard to find a chapter where spellcasting doesn't go
      > on in the book. Gandalf casts spells,

      Nope.

      > the Lord of the Nazgul casts
      > spells,

      Yep.

      > the Elves cast spells.

      Nope!

      > There is even debate over whether
      > Aragorn's chanting is some sort of spell.

      Well, since you said it, and I don't agree, then I suppose there is.

      > So, when Tom sings his songs, and the Hobbits summon him, we're to
      > excuse these from the list of specllcasting activities. Why?

      Well, if prayers and the Bell Device are magic, then I guess they must be.

      > Message: 5
      > Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2001 17:07:10 -0000
      > From: "michael_martinez2" <michael@...>
      > --Message: 6
      > Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2001 17:09:32 -0000
      > From: "michael_martinez2" <michael@...>
      > Subject: Re: Hal's walking tree
      >
      >
      > Just because a tree walks does not mean it is an Ent.

      It does in the Matter of Middle-earth. Maybe not in Matter of Oz.

      > Message: 8
      > Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2001 11:42:18 -0600
      > From: David Lenander <d-lena@...>
      > Subject: If it quacks like an ent
      >
      > You know, my first reaction to this remark was "if it walks like an Ent then it must be a duck" But does it quack? Actually, I think that Tolkien would insist that it must TALK like an Ent before it was an Ent.

      Yes, but Hal saw something that he reported that reached Sam's ears as "as tall as a tree". For all we know, it was a troll. Or an entwife, or an ent. But not a plant.

      > edition, maybe it would change again: instead of a Black Rider or Gandalf, maybe it would be a new Ranger, or ?? I'd guess that Tom Bombadil knows all about the Entwives living nearby.

      Sure, but Fangorn -doesn't- know, and tragically, may never find out, alas. I like your interp.

      > Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2001 13:08:53 -0800
      > From: "David S. Bratman" <dbratman@...>
      > Subject: Re: Re: More JRRT items

      > Magical "spying", I presume you mean the palantiri. These, interestingly
      > enough, are kept secret and are known to very few. Not a characteristic of
      > a world which considers such magical objects to be everyday items.

      And they were -made- by Feanor (possibly) under the tutalege of the Valar. Why should one assume it involves unclean spirits (magic) as opposed to "sufficiently advanced technology"?

      > "Spying" as distinct from "scrying"? To what are you referring? The
      > crebain that fly over Hollin? Those are naturally sapient animals,

      Indeed, there are crows in the Pacific that make more advanced tools than do chimpanzees.

      > OK, there's a magical door with a password in
      > LOTR. One.

      Why would a voice-activated lock be considered magic to we who live in the oughts?

      > Message: 16
      > Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2001 13:10:04 -0800
      > From: "David S. Bratman" <dbratman@...>
      > Subject: Re: If it quacks like an ent

      > But in at least one letter, Tolkien says not that the Ents never found the
      > Entwives again, but that they simply never did find "a land where both
      > their hearts may rest."

      Hmm. I wonder, would Cirdan have built ships for them, too?

      > Message: 17
      > Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2001 16:53:22 -0500
      > From: "Christine Howlett" <chowlett@...>
      > Subject: Re: Re: More JRRT items
      >
      > I would have to agree with Michael that a more vocal handful of Christians
      > is reviling Potter and making Christians in general appear to be rather
      > silly (if not worse) just by general association.
      > ya-da-da, when these people have never so much as read a chapter. They just
      > heard it somewhere...

      Yeah, and they will not listen, either. -Very- frustrating.

      > Message: 18
      > Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2001 17:07:28 -0500
      > From: "Christine Howlett" <chowlett@...>
      > Subject: Re: Re: More JRRT items
      >
      > Having just re-read the last three of Rowling's books

      I just did that, too, and found that they read better the second time. First time was definitely "so-so".

      >Message: 21

      > Date: Wed, 26 Dec 2001 23:18:46 -0000
      > From: "michael_martinez2" <michael@...>
      > Subject: Re: More JRRT items
      >
      >
      > Let's see. Gandalf casts a spell in "A long-expected party" (he
      > produces that flash effect when Bilbo puts on the Ring). T

      Ah, yes, magnesium powder is -so- supernatural. Especially in a passage which already illustrates Gandalf's expert familiarity with black power, magnesium, tungsten and other useful substances in making fireworks.

      > hen there
      > are all the episodes with the Ring. Do its efforts to get Frodo to
      > put it on (or the Nazgul's efforts to get Frodo to put on the Ring)
      > count?

      So, temptation is magic now?

      > In "Three's Company", the Nazgul go sniffing and shrieking about the
      > Shire, doing their Nazgul thing. The Elves come along with their
      > enchanted lamps and walk around in their shimmering effect, and
      > finally start up their little feast fire in the shelter of their
      > strangely shaped trees.

      And we all know just how magical halos and topiary are.

      > In "The Old Forest" we meet Tom Bombadil, who sings Old Man Willow to
      > sleep and rescues the Hobbits.

      He has authority, not using goety.

      > In "In the House of Tom Bombadil" we get plenty of magical stuff.
      > Spellcasting? Hard to say. I suspect you won't allow any liberal
      > definitions of spellcasting.

      Authority again, whether Tom is Orome, or Adam, or Eru.

      > In "Fog on the Barrow-downs" we have the wight's incantation,

      Yes, and it is an evil spirit.

      > Frodo's
      > summons of Bombadil,

      Closer to prayer than anything else.

      > In "At the sign of the Prancing Pony" we hear how Merry is overcome
      > by the Black Breath (or is that in "Strider"?).

      Oppression, most likely, possibly extreme fear, or who knows? All sorts of non-supernatural possibilities.

      > In "A Knife in the Dark" there is the attack on Weathertop, where
      > Gandalf defends himself against the Nazgul.

      If spiritual warfare is magic, many an elderly lonely, praying widow is a mage of great power.

      This is somewhat tedious. You say you "asked Christ into your life" 30 years back. Since that is a very imprecise and unthelogical term, I am unsure what you mean, but your weltanschauung doesn't show the influence in this particular discussion.

      > It's not magical for an Elf to walk around. It may be magical for an
      > Elf to walk on top of snow. Certainly, no one else walks on snow,

      Well, not without snowshoes or skis, unless of course it is wind-drifted and hard as concrete. Or crusted by the sun, or.

      This has been rather in kind, I'm afraid, but you've really come off as very belligerant. :-(

      =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
      "A generation which ignores history has no past and no future."
      Robert Anson Heinlein

      http://www.users.qwest.net/~sschaper/
      sschaper@...
      =-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=
    • Trudy Shaw
      ... From: Steve Schaper To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Monday, December 31, 2001 5:16 PM Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Digest Number 785 ... Well, I d be more
      Message 2 of 6 , Dec 31, 2001
      • 0 Attachment
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: Steve Schaper
        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Monday, December 31, 2001 5:16 PM
        Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Digest Number 785


        >> Thanks Carl, I also don't like the
        >> way they said "Mordor", based on how I think "in the
        >> land of Mordor where the shadows lie" and "for into
        >> darkness fell his star, in Mordor where the shadows
        >> are' should sound.

        >Maybe they were getting Za'ha'dum and Mordor mixed up, just as Aragorn resembled another Ranger. . .
        Well, I'd be more inclined to link Za'ha'dum with Khazad-Dum. I used to watch Babylon 5 with notepad handy so I could jot down all the Tolkien allusions. It seemed to be a tribute rather than plagierism, as one of the Technomages once quoted the "Do not meddle in the affairs of Wizards..." line, attributing it to "a wise man of your planet [earth]." (And thanks for helping me figure out just who it is that Viggo Mortensen reminds me of!)


        >> I would have to agree with Michael that a more vocal handful of Christians
        >> is reviling Potter and making Christians in general appear to be rather
        >> silly (if not worse) just by general association.
        >> ya-da-da, when these people have never so much as read a chapter. They just
        >> heard it somewhere...

        >Yeah, and they will not listen, either. -Very- frustrating.

        >> In "A Knife in the Dark" there is the attack on Weathertop, where
        >> Gandalf defends himself against the Nazgul.

        >If spiritual warfare is magic, many an elderly lonely, praying widow is a mage of great power.

        During the last few days, I've run across several articles and letters to the editor relating to the difference between Rowling and Tolkien as seen by some conservative Christians. My hypothesis (not enough evidence to make it a theory) is that the difference isn't so much the amount or type of "magic," as it is its source. The perceived danger of getting involved in the occult, etc., has always been fear of connecting with an evil power--purposely or unwittingly.

        Much of what can be called magic in Middle-earth can just as well be called prayer, spiritual warfare, Providence (in the strict sense of the word), or even the communion of saints (and angels). Even within LotR, there are hints of Tolkien's broader cosmology, and since the publication of The Silmarillion readers have been able to trace the source of any Middle-earthly power for good back to its source in Eru/The One.

        I'm sure most of the anti-Potter lobby, if questioned, would agree that an inborn talent is a gift from God that should be trained and put to use for good, but Rowling just isn't as explicit about "her" magic having its source in God as Tolkien is.

        --Trudy



        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Christine Howlett
        I would have to disagree that LOTR is explicit about the source of the magic at all; in fact I believe the word God (deity, etc.) is not used once, and I do
        Message 3 of 6 , Jan 2, 2002
        • 0 Attachment
          I would have to disagree that LOTR is explicit about the source of the magic
          at all; in fact I believe the word God (deity, etc.) is not used once, and I
          do not recall a single passage where a character can be said to have
          prayed - even in extremis - to any creator power. That would have to be
          something read back into the book from knowing Tolkien's devotion. This is
          one more reason why I find it inexplicable (as others here do) that the same
          people who like Tolkien can find Rowling evil, because in both cases the
          'magic' is an inherent quality of the characters who possess it, as much as
          their skin or eye color, or a quality built into the inanimate objects by
          people who possess that skill.
          Christine

          Trudy Shaw wrote:

          > Much of what can be called magic in Middle-earth can just as well be
          called prayer, spiritual warfare, Providence (in the strict sense of the
          word), or even the communion of saints (and angels). Even within LotR, there
          are hints of Tolkien's broader cosmology, and since the publication of The
          Silmarillion readers have been able to trace the source of any
          Middle-earthly power for good back to its source in Eru/The One.
          >
          > I'm sure most of the anti-Potter lobby, if questioned, would agree that
          an inborn talent is a gift from God that should be trained and put to use
          for good, but Rowling just isn't as explicit about "her" magic having its
          source in God as Tolkien is.
          >
          > --Trudy
          >
        • Trudy Shaw
          ... From: Christine Howlett To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2002 4:49 PM Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Digest Number 785 ... at all; in fact
          Message 4 of 6 , Jan 2, 2002
          • 0 Attachment
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: Christine Howlett
            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2002 4:49 PM
            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Digest Number 785


            >>I would have to disagree that LOTR is explicit about the source of the magic
            at all; in fact I believe the word God (deity, etc.) is not used once, and I
            do not recall a single passage where a character can be said to have
            prayed - even in extremis - to any creator power. That would have to be
            something read back into the book from knowing Tolkien's devotion. This is
            one more reason why I find it inexplicable (as others here do) that the same
            people who like Tolkien can find Rowling evil, because in both cases the
            'magic' is an inherent quality of the characters who possess it, as much as
            their skin or eye color, or a quality built into the inanimate objects by
            people who possess that skill.
            Christine



            This would be true looking at just LotR, which gives only very vague hints. But the people judging the books today have easy access to Tolkien's wider cosmology which, to a large degree, explains those "hints." It may not seem to make logical sense that this would affect a decision about whether to allow your child to read _specifically_ LotR--but I think it does make some people more comfortable knowing that everything can be traced back to a creator whose name translates as "Father," even if he's not explicitly mentioned in LotR itself. Could this possibly be connected with a tendency for _some_ of these people to take other things (e.g., the Bible) more literally than "mainstream" Christians?

            As I said, this is just a theory (if that). And even in _theory_ I'm not arguing for the _validity_ of judging the books this way. It's just that from the articles/letters to the editor I've been reading lately, it seems this may be where some people are coming from.

            As far as reading things in from Tolkien's devotion, some fundamentalist Christians do seem to put great store in the way an author lives his or her life, having a tendency to judge a book on whether the author "can be trusted." To simplify this greatly, too, the thought would be that if someone is a dedicated Christian there's less chance that a spirit of evil would be able to slip into their thinking and writing (possibly without the author even realizing it), because Christ is protecting them from evil influences.

            Again, it's a mindset many of us wouldn't see as logical, but I do think it exists. (Well, guess I should say I know it exists, because I've known people who've thought this way--what I'm not sure of is whether it's a partial answer to the Rowling/Tolkien dichotomy.)

            --Trudy
            P.S. Yeah, I know my singular and plural pronouns are all screwed up here, but I'm too tired to try to figure out other ways to word the sentences. I hope they're understandable. 8-)



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • dianejoy@earthlink.net
            Quoting Trudy:
            Message 5 of 6 , Jan 3, 2002
            • 0 Attachment
              Quoting Trudy:

              << Again, it's a mindset many of us wouldn't see as logical, but I do think it exists. (Well, guess I should say I know it exists, because I've known people who've thought this way--what I'm not sure of is whether it's a partial answer to the Rowling/Tolkien dichotomy.)>>

              I was given a copy for Christmas (by just such a literalist friend) of *Harry Potter and the Bible* by Richard Abanes. He quotes Sherwood Smith as one of those who don't think HP is very high quality literature. But Abanes refers to Sherwood as "him." I am tempted to contact his e-mail and inform him that Sherwood is a female. If this is the character of his research . . . . Glancing at the book, I noted that his summaries of the HP books aren't bad, but they are superficial He refers to Dudley as a babe---I'm sure he was older, but I may not be remembering the *beginning* of the book well. I'll have to refresh my chancy memory. ---djb


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

              Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/


              --------------------------------------------------------------------
              mail2web - Check your email from the web at
              http://mail2web.com/ .
            • Christine Howlett
              ... magic ... and I ... is ... same ... as ... hints. But the people judging the books today have easy access to Tolkien s wider cosmology which, to a large
              Message 6 of 6 , Jan 3, 2002
              • 0 Attachment
                > ----- Original Message -----
                > From: Christine Howlett
                > To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                > Sent: Wednesday, January 02, 2002 4:49 PM
                > Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Digest Number 785
                >
                >
                > >>I would have to disagree that LOTR is explicit about the source of the
                magic
                > at all; in fact I believe the word God (deity, etc.) is not used once,
                and I
                > do not recall a single passage where a character can be said to have
                > prayed - even in extremis - to any creator power. That would have to be
                > something read back into the book from knowing Tolkien's devotion. This
                is
                > one more reason why I find it inexplicable (as others here do) that the
                same
                > people who like Tolkien can find Rowling evil, because in both cases the
                > 'magic' is an inherent quality of the characters who possess it, as much
                as
                > their skin or eye color, or a quality built into the inanimate objects by
                > people who possess that skill.
                > Christine
                >
                >
                >
                > This would be true looking at just LotR, which gives only very vague
                hints. But the people judging the books today have easy access to Tolkien's
                wider cosmology which, to a large degree, explains those "hints." It may
                not seem to make logical sense that this would affect a decision about
                whether to allow your child to read _specifically_ LotR--but I think it does
                make some people more comfortable knowing that everything can be traced back
                to a creator whose name translates as "Father," even if he's not explicitly
                mentioned in LotR itself. Could this possibly be connected with a tendency
                for _some_ of these people to take other things (e.g., the Bible) more
                literally than "mainstream" Christians?
                >
                > As I said, this is just a theory (if that). And even in _theory_ I'm not
                arguing for the _validity_ of judging the books this way. It's just that
                from the articles/letters to the editor I've been reading lately, it seems
                this may be where some people are coming from.
                >
                > As far as reading things in from Tolkien's devotion, some fundamentalist
                Christians do seem to put great store in the way an author lives his or her
                life, having a tendency to judge a book on whether the author "can be
                trusted." To simplify this greatly, too, the thought would be that if
                someone is a dedicated Christian there's less chance that a spirit of evil
                would be able to slip into their thinking and writing (possibly without the
                author even realizing it), because Christ is protecting them from evil
                influences.
                >
                > Again, it's a mindset many of us wouldn't see as logical, but I do think
                it exists. (Well, guess I should say I know it exists, because I've known
                people who've thought this way--what I'm not sure of is whether it's a
                partial answer to the Rowling/Tolkien dichotomy.)
                >
                > --Trudy



                Okay, then what we're really saying is not that LoTR is explicitly
                Christian/religious, but that it is by an author who is well-known for his
                Christian stance. That I can see (not agree with but understand), that
                certain people would assume that a book is safer because written by someone
                'in their line' so to speak. I just hope they don't pick up Graham Greene
                (or who's the fellow who writes the blood-and-guts thrillers with religious
                titles? He's Catholic, too) on the same assumption. Oddly enough, when I
                picked up LoTR in the 70's, I had no idea who Tolkien was, nevermind that he
                was a Christian. But I was always a broadminded reader! Gosh, Robert
                Capon's novels would knock their socks off, and he's a very devout
                Episcopalian....
                Christine
              Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.