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

Re: [mythsoc] Two questions

Expand Messages
  • SusanPal@aol.com
    In a message dated 8/11/2002 4:20:12 PM Pacific Daylight Time, ... As the person who started this thread, allow me to clarify: I never thought Shippey had or
    Message 1 of 17 , Aug 11, 2002
    • 0 Attachment
      In a message dated 8/11/2002 4:20:12 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
      WendellWag@... writes:


      > No, I think all of this is too vague to be proved, and certainly Shippey
      > hasn't proved it.
      >

      As the person who started this thread, allow me to clarify: I never thought
      Shippey had or hadn't proved anything. At most, he pointed out an intriguing
      set of correspondences. *My* interest in pursuing the issue is to examine
      the ways in which fantasy allows people to respond to trauma -- of any sort
      -- in *productive* (rather than "escapist") ways that aren't possible in
      realist narrative.

      Terri Windling's essay "Surviving Childhood" is an excellent example of the
      kind of thing I'm talking about. Because she recognized her own very dire
      childhood circumstances in the fairy tales she was reading, she was able to
      escape -- literally and physically -- from an extremely destructive
      situation. (What's that line in "On Fairy Stories" about how the only people
      who disapprove of escape are jailors?) I'm interested in how writers and
      readers use fantasy as a key to release themselves from various real prisons,
      and in the ways in which fantasy sometimes fits those locks better than
      mimesis would.

      I hope this is clearer than whatever I originally said!

      Susan


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • ckostyn
      On Sun, 11 Aug 2002 19:35:00 EDT, SusanPal@aol.com scribed: *My* interest in pursuing the issue is to examine the ways in which fantasy allows people to
      Message 2 of 17 , Aug 11, 2002
      • 0 Attachment
        On Sun, 11 Aug 2002 19:35:00 EDT, SusanPal@... scribed:
        *My* interest in pursuing the issue is to examine
        \\>the ways in which fantasy allows people to respond to trauma -- of
        any sort
        \\>-- in *productive* (rather than "escapist") ways that aren't
        possible in
        \\>realist narrative.

        This is an interesting topic. I know someone who grew up through
        assorted abusive situations, reform school, prison, etc. She did
        eventually pull her life together but she survived prison (which she
        calls the "belly of the beast") by writing fantasy fiction.

        This does seem to be a common way to deal with assorted traumatic
        events and life circumstances, whether writing or reading fantas
        fiction.


        Catherine K.
      • David S. Bratman
        Wendell, as the disproving of your proposed statements a, b, and c is the essence of what I was saying in 3 sentences, I m not sure why you devoted (by my
        Message 3 of 17 , Aug 12, 2002
        • 0 Attachment
          Wendell, as the disproving of your proposed statements a, b, and c is the
          essence of what I was saying in 3 sentences, I'm not sure why you devoted
          (by my e-mail program's count) 10 KB to tell me the same thing.

          I've gone back and re-read your original post, and I still think my comment
          was worth making, and not "a pretty silly misinterpretation." In
          particular, I think your proposed statistical survey would not prove
          anything. There are too few writers of genius in any place and time to
          demonstrate that any trend is statistically significant. More importantly,
          they differ entirely in temperament and reaction to influences.

          If Shippey is correct, and Tolkien, Lewis, White, et al., wrote as they did
          at least partly in response to war trauma, it still does not at all
          necessarily follow that any other writers (let alone a statistically
          significant number) must have done the same thing. In other words, a
          statistical survey with a negative result would not disprove Shippey's
          hypothesis.

          And if a statistically significant number of writers did do as Shippey
          suggests, that does not prove that any given one of them did so for the
          reasons he suggests. If (let us suggest) the Jackson film appealed to
          audiences because it's an action film, that does not prove that I went to
          see it twice because I like action films (I don't).

          How then can Shippey's hypothesis be proved? By a counter-example
          scientific procedure, as you propose, it can't. Which is surely why
          Shippey did not claim to have proven anything, as Janet noted. It can only
          be judged probable on a case-by-case test: Here's a bunch of writers who
          all experienced this, and who all wrote this way, and here's the evidence
          (concrete resemblance between their fiction and the reality they
          experienced; comments they made about their fiction and why they wrote)
          that there's a connection. This is how evidentiary technique in literary
          criticism usually works. Shippey's arguments in this mode seemed
          satisfactory to me. Statistics about writers as a whole would add nothing
          to this.

          David Bratman
        • Berni Phillips
          From: ... sort ... Susan, you need to get in contact with Dr. Bruce Leonard, a Colorado mythie. He s a psychiatrist in Columbine. At this
          Message 4 of 17 , Aug 12, 2002
          • 0 Attachment
            From: <SusanPal@...>

            > *My* interest in pursuing the issue is to examine
            > the ways in which fantasy allows people to respond to trauma -- of any
            sort
            > -- in *productive* (rather than "escapist") ways that aren't possible in
            > realist narrative.

            Susan, you need to get in contact with Dr. Bruce Leonard, a Colorado mythie.
            He's a psychiatrist in Columbine. At this most recent Mythcon, Dan Timmons
            showed the video he had been filming last year, which includes interviews
            with various members of the Mythopoeic Society.

            In the video, Bruce said that, in his practice, he found that many of his
            younger patients had read _The Lord of the Rings_. He eventually caught on
            that finding who they identified with was a tremendous indicator of how
            badly damaged they were and the prospect of recovery. (I'm probably
            misrepresenting him terribly, but this is my impression of what was said.)
            He found that patients who identified with Frodo had much, much better
            chances of recovery than those who identified with Gollum. (Me, I never
            even conceived of someone identifying with Gollum.)

            Some years earlier (the first Colorado Mythcon?) he gave a splendid paper on
            Frodo as a sufferer of post-tramatic stress syndrome.

            Berni
          • SusanPal@aol.com
            In a message dated 8/12/2002 5:32:48 PM Pacific Daylight Time, ... Wow. Good heavens! The LotR Personality Quiz: better than the Myer-Briggs . . . . This
            Message 5 of 17 , Aug 12, 2002
            • 0 Attachment
              In a message dated 8/12/2002 5:32:48 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
              bernip@... writes:


              > He found that patients who identified with Frodo had much, much better
              > chances of recovery than those who identified with Gollum. (Me, I never
              > even conceived of someone identifying with Gollum.)
              >

              Wow. Good heavens! The LotR Personality Quiz: better than the Myer-Briggs
              . . . .

              This does sound fascinating (and someone else mentioned his name a while ago;
              I've been really slow about responding to posts because I just got a bear of
              a work project off my back this morning). Thanks for the recommendation!

              Susan


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Merlin DeTardo
              I was searching for something else when I stumbled on this interesting old post, but I can t find that there was ever any follow- up on one small point, by
              Message 6 of 17 , Jan 5, 2007
              • 0 Attachment
                I was searching for something else when I stumbled on this
                interesting old post, but I can't find that there was ever any follow-
                up on one small point, by Michael Martinez or anyone else:

                "...Denethor sports a long white beard..."

                Was Denethor bearded? I didn't know that, and I can't find a
                reference to it in The Lord of the Rings. Does anyone have a
                citation?

                I know of a website that purports to list the eye and hair colors
                (including beards) of all the characters in LotR, The Hobbit, The
                Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales:

                http://www.lcwsites.org/~lisa/colors.html

                but even if that site is completely accurate, merely not listing a
                beard color for Denethor doesn't mean there is no beard, only that
                its color is not given in the text of those books.

                Is Denethor described as having a beard elsewhere? In LotR drafts,
                perhaps?

                I did read an interesting short essay on Denethor about a year ago
                that noted that his face is described in more detail than most other
                characters in LotR:

                http://www.theonering.net/rumour_mill/rpg/viewer/readingroom/43A9E62C0
                0023776.html

                Nothing there about a beard (or lack of one), however.

                -Merlin DeTardo


                >>--- Mysthoc message #6263
                >>--- On Aug 7, 2002 6:17 pm, "michael_martinez2" <michael@...> wrote:
                >>This whole "bearded Elves" issue has caused a great deal of
                discussion through the years. Happily, it can all be resolved with a
                few citations....which I am unable to provide, because I'm about to
                leave work and don't know when my Internet access at home will be
                restored. Still, here is what I can recall on my own. Treat it as a
                rough summation of the facts, subject to correction at a later time.

                >>The passage in UNFINISHED TALES is found in the chapter on
                Galadriel and Celeborn and is in one of the appendices. It concerns
                Prince Imrahil's Elvish ancestry, and Christopher Tolkien paraphrases
                some late-life essay of his father's. Many readers have taken this
                as the final word in Elf beards.

                >>But it's not. A couple of issues back, VINYAR TENGWAR published
                some additional material for "The Shibboleth of Feanor". In one of
                the notes associated with this material, JRRT writes that Nerdanel's
                father was remarkable for having grown a beard in the Second Cycle
                (of his life).

                >>The reader is left to infer that all male Elves normally grow
                beards when they reach their Third Cycle (no clues, yet, as to what
                defines a cycle of life). Cirdan, by inference (rather than
                implication, since the note does not mention him), must have long
                since reached his Third Cycle by the end of the Third Age.

                >>Since Denethor sports a long white beard, and since the statue of
                the Gondorian king by the crossroads (where Frodo, Sam, and Gollum
                watch the army from Minas Morgul pass by) has a beard, it must be
                accepted that Dunadan men DID grow beards, but perhaps because of
                their Elvish ancestry (THE PEOPLES OF MIDDLE-EARTH says that the
                Stewards were "ultimately of royal origin"), some of the Dunedain did
                not grow beards until THEIR Third Cycle (or some Dunadan/half-elf
                equivalent of the full Elvish Third Cycle).
              • William Cloud Hicklin
                ... ago ... other ... In the absence of other evidence, I would apply ejusdem generis here and say he was (probably) beardless. Of course that says nothing
                Message 7 of 17 , Jan 5, 2007
                • 0 Attachment
                  --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Merlin DeTardo" <emptyD@...>
                  wrote:


                  >
                  > I did read an interesting short essay on Denethor about a year
                  ago
                  > that noted that his face is described in more detail than most
                  other
                  > characters in LotR:

                  In the absence of other evidence, I would apply ejusdem generis
                  here and say he was (probably) beardless. Of course that says
                  nothing about his genetics, just his razor.

                  Take MM with a grain of salt- he does tend to extrapolate
                  "facts" where there are only possibilities. The "true" answer is
                  dormitat Homerus: Tolkien really wasn't paying attention when he
                  stuck beards on Cirdan and the ancient statue. Convincing as
                  Tolkien is, there isn't actually an underlying reality to be
                  plumbed!
                Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.