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RE: [mythsoc] honi soit qui mal y pense

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  • Croft, Janet B
    I ve been following your discussion and thinking about it a bit myself, especially since I ve been looking at Tom Shippey s list of traumatized authors who
    Message 1 of 2 , Jun 19, 2002
      I've been following your discussion and thinking about it a bit myself,
      especially since I've been looking at Tom Shippey's list of "traumatized
      authors" who have been through war (for the most part) and wrote about human
      evil using the fantastic mode. (He adds T.H. White and William Golding to
      C.S. Lewis, but doesn't mention Williams; later he expands his list to
      include Kurt Vonnegut and Ursula K. LeGuin.) I find most useful Shippey's
      idea that Tolkien thought of evil as an addiction, something that we are all
      more or less susceptible to, manifested in the way the Ring warps peoples
      minds and can turn them into wraiths. If you look at it this way, I *think*
      Tolkien is saying that this susceptibility is an integral part of our
      posession of free will -- and not caused by a Machinean seperate entity, but
      a weakness, essential to the human character yet easily expolited by others
      who have fallen into this addiction before. So yes, I think Tolkien's view
      is more humanistic and perhaps realistic -- less mystical and more grounded
      in actual human behavior? It would make sense to me that in the theology of
      Middle-earth, free will is one of those two-edged gifts of Eru like Death.

      Janet

      -----Original Message-----
      From: jamcconney@... [mailto:jamcconney@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, June 19, 2002 2:31 PM
      To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [mythsoc] honi soit qui mal y pense


      It is with some trepidation and quavering that I introduce the daunting
      topic
      of good and evil once again--but it seems to me that Tolkien's view of evil
      is quite different from that of either Lewis or Williams (and may we toss
      Eliot into the mix?) That is, Williams (and Eliot) seem to be approaching
      the
      question from a mystical point of view, while Lewis' view is academic and
      Tolkien seems to me to be the most humanistic of the three.

      Just would be interested in what y'all think.

      Jamaq


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