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Re: [mythsoc] Digest Number 785

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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 1 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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