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More tripe from the media

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  • michael_martinez2
    Tolkien believed books were true Feb 26 2002 By Staff Reporter, Bimingham Post Birmingham born novelist JRR Tolkien may have believed that the events in his
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 27, 2002
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      Tolkien 'believed books were true' Feb 26 2002




      By Staff Reporter, Bimingham Post


      Birmingham born novelist JRR Tolkien may have believed that the
      events in his masterpiece The Lord of the Rings actually took place,
      according to a letter from the author due to be auctioned next month.

      The letter is described as "one of the finest of JRR Tolkien ever to
      appear on the market" by the auctioneers, who say it suggests he may
      have thought events in his trilogy actually happened. It goes under
      the hammer at Dominic Winter Book Auctions in Swindon on March 6.

      The letter, written while Tolkien was completing the trilogy, reveals
      his thoughts. "It also hints that he believed the events in the
      trilogy actually happened," said Dominic Winter's documents expert
      Richard Westwood-Brookes.

      Dated September 8, 1955, the letter was sent in reply to a young
      admirer who had asked Tolkien when the final part of the trilogy was
      to appear. Tolkien, who was born in Five Ways, replied that he had
      just come back from a "holiday in Gondor, or in modern parlance,
      Venice", perhaps revealing for the first time that Gondor was
      actually Venice.

      He then goes on to say: "Since my return I have let the days slip.
      Not to the detriment of Vol III! That was out of my hands some time
      ago - in the end much has had to be jettisoned, including the
      facsimiles of the Book of Mazarbul and the index of names (with
      translation).


      Read the full article here:

      http://icbirmingham.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/0100localnews/page.cfm?
      objectid=11650203&method=full


      Sometimes, I really wonder if people stop to think before drawing
      conclusions. Just exactly how much time did Tolkien spend in Italy
      during the composition of THE LORD OF THE RINGS in the early to mid-
      1940s?
    • David S. Bratman
      ... The only clue hinting at this is the equation of Gondor with Venice. And I don t see how it follows that this equation of real places with fictional ones
      Message 2 of 7 , Feb 27, 2002
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        At 07:39 PM 2/27/2002 , Staff Reporter, Bimingham Post wrote:

        >The letter, written while Tolkien was completing the trilogy, reveals
        >his thoughts. "It also hints that he believed the events in the
        >trilogy actually happened," said Dominic Winter's documents expert
        >Richard Westwood-Brookes.

        The only clue hinting at this is the equation of Gondor with Venice. And I
        don't see how it follows that this equation of real places with fictional
        ones - which he never hid, it's discussed in the Prologue - hints that he
        believes it really happened. Many science-fiction novels take place on
        Mars, which is also a real place: does that mean their authors believe they
        really happened?

        >Dated September 8, 1955, the letter was sent in reply to a young
        >admirer who had asked Tolkien when the final part of the trilogy was
        >to appear. Tolkien, who was born in Five Ways,

        Is this part of Birmingham? They're some 6000 miles off.

        >replied that he had
        >just come back from a "holiday in Gondor, or in modern parlance,
        >Venice", perhaps revealing for the first time that Gondor was
        >actually Venice.

        First time, indeed! Why, for over 20 years one could have looked in
        Tolkien's published Letters at no. 168, written the previous day, in which
        he makes the same identification, adding that it was "a change from the
        North Kingdom." IIRC Carpenter discusses this in the biography also.

        >He then goes on to say: "Since my return I have let the days slip.
        >Not to the detriment of Vol III! That was out of my hands some time
        >ago - in the end much has had to be jettisoned, including the
        >facsimiles of the Book of Mazarbul and the index of names (with
        >translation).

        Also not news.
      • Trudy Shaw
        Oops! I think I just hit a wrong button and sent a reply on which I hadn t replied anything but just resent David s message. Sorry. I was just going to
        Message 3 of 7 , Feb 28, 2002
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          Oops! I think I just hit a wrong button and sent a reply on which I hadn't replied anything but just resent David's message. Sorry. I was just going to comment that this seems to be an example of journalists getting "native" confused with "grew up in." Do newspapers proofread anymore?--Trudy
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: David S. Bratman
          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Wednesday, February 27, 2002 10:45 PM
          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] More tripe from the media


          At 07:39 PM 2/27/2002 , Staff Reporter, Bimingham Post wrote:

          >Dated September 8, 1955, the letter was sent in reply to a young
          >admirer who had asked Tolkien when the final part of the trilogy was
          >to appear. Tolkien, who was born in Five Ways,

          Is this part of Birmingham? They're some 6000 miles off.





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        • Stolzi@aol.com
          In a message dated 2/27/02 9:40:31 PM Central Standard Time, ... That s not so significant as the complete leap over the fact that the forms of the world
          Message 4 of 7 , Feb 28, 2002
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            In a message dated 2/27/02 9:40:31 PM Central Standard Time,
            michael@... writes:

            > Just exactly how much time did Tolkien spend in Italy
            > during the composition of THE LORD OF THE RINGS in the early to mid-
            > 1940s?
            >

            That's not so significant as the complete leap over the fact that "the forms
            of the world" have changed, and Middle Earth is supposed by its creator to be
            centuries and centuries and centuries in the past.

            It's insulting to Tolkien to suppose he had no concept of European history.

            I take him to mean (in both letters) that the geographical location, and the
            "flavor," of Venice are somewhat similar to those of Old Gondor in his mind.
            And so would any intelligent, =educated= person.

            Here's the man who wrote the whole rap on "sub-creation," and here's an
            ignorant reporter trying to make out that he was a delusionary who could not
            tell fiction from reality! Tripe is indeed the word.

            Diamond Proudbrook
          • Steve Law
            Diamond Proudbrook: Here s the man who wrote the whole rap on sub-creation, and here s an ignorant reporter trying to make out that he was a delusionary who
            Message 5 of 7 , Mar 1, 2002
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              Diamond Proudbrook:
              "Here's the man who wrote the whole rap on
              "sub-creation," and here's an ignorant reporter trying
              to make out that he was a delusionary who could not
              tell fiction from reality! Tripe is indeed the word."

              The notion that 'Gondor' or 'Gondolin' were inspired
              by actual Viennese gondolins is obviouly nonsense,
              but Tolkien in his words and actions did on a number
              of occasions suggest that he believed his work to be
              more than just a fiction he'd created. In one of the
              later letters he recounts how he was visited by
              someone quite distinguished (but doesn't say who -
              anyone know?) who said something like "But of course
              you know you didn't just make all this up, don't
              you?", and Tolkien writes "I had to agree" or similar.


              I think there's good evidence that Tolkien believed
              his mythos was real and external to him in some
              special and specific way (although he was of course
              quite capable of distinguishing between everyday
              reality and fantasy, and was not some dotty old
              Professor lost in a dream world).


              Steve Law




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            • Stolzi@aol.com
              In a message dated 3/1/02 7:37:24 AM Central Standard Time, ... I took that to mean something like divine inspiration - not something like it s really true.
              Message 6 of 7 , Mar 4, 2002
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                In a message dated 3/1/02 7:37:24 AM Central Standard Time,
                purpleom@... writes:

                > In one of the
                > later letters he recounts how he was visited by
                > someone quite distinguished (but doesn't say who -
                > anyone know?) who said something like "But of course
                > you know you didn't just make all this up, don't
                > you?", and Tolkien writes "I had to agree" or similar.

                I took that to mean something like divine inspiration - not something like
                "it's really true."

                The actual words are found in Letter 328; and if Tolkien could not recall the
                speaker's name, I see no way for us to find out who he was at this date:

                ' "Of course you don't suppose, do you, that you wrote all that book
                yourself?"

                Tolkien goes on:

                'I think I said: "No, I don't suppose so any longer." ... An alarming
                conclusion for an old philologist to draw concerning his private amusement.
                But not one that should puff any one up who considers the imperfections of
                "chosen instruments", and indeed what sometimes seems their lamentable
                unfitness for the purpose.'


                Diamond Proudbrook
              • Janet Croft
                While we re talking about the Letters -- I was trying to find the letter that included the phrase my deplorable cultus . Anyone know which one that is?
                Message 7 of 7 , Mar 5, 2002
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                  While we're talking about the Letters -- I was trying to find the letter
                  that included the phrase "my deplorable cultus". Anyone know which one that
                  is?

                  Thanks,
                  Janet
                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: Stolzi@... [mailto:Stolzi@...]
                  Sent: Monday, March 04, 2002 9:59 AM
                  To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [mythsoc] re: More tripe from the media


                  In a message dated 3/1/02 7:37:24 AM Central Standard Time,
                  purpleom@... writes:

                  > In one of the
                  > later letters he recounts how he was visited by
                  > someone quite distinguished (but doesn't say who -
                  > anyone know?) who said something like "But of course
                  > you know you didn't just make all this up, don't
                  > you?", and Tolkien writes "I had to agree" or similar.

                  I took that to mean something like divine inspiration - not something like
                  "it's really true."

                  The actual words are found in Letter 328; and if Tolkien could not recall
                  the
                  speaker's name, I see no way for us to find out who he was at this date:

                  ' "Of course you don't suppose, do you, that you wrote all that book
                  yourself?"

                  Tolkien goes on:

                  'I think I said: "No, I don't suppose so any longer." ... An alarming
                  conclusion for an old philologist to draw concerning his private
                  amusement.
                  But not one that should puff any one up who considers the imperfections of
                  "chosen instruments", and indeed what sometimes seems their lamentable
                  unfitness for the purpose.'


                  Diamond Proudbrook

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