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RE: Re: [mythsoc] Digest Number 785

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  • dianejoy@earthlink.net
    Quoting Trudy:
    Message 1 of 6 , Jan 3, 2002
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      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


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    • 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 2 of 6 , Jan 3, 2002
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        > ----- 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
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