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Re: [mythsoc] Aragorn and kingship, and kingship elsewhere

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  • ERATRIANO@aol.com
    In a message dated 11/19/2002 7:04:55 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... LOL I meant the real thing in the books. Got two copies of the answer though, one here and
    Message 1 of 29 , Nov 19, 2002
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      In a message dated 11/19/2002 7:04:55 PM Eastern Standard Time,
      SusanPal@... writes:

      > The bridge scene in Rivendell

      LOL I meant the real thing in the books. Got two copies of the answer
      though, one here and one offlist. Thanks everyone... and I do recall the
      jewelry scene in the movie.

      You do know you can buy most of this jewelry, and then some, from the Noble
      Collection? Along with the sword of the Archangel Michael? Or wait, was it
      Design Toscano that had the latter? Well, anyway, both are fun catalogs.

      There are also people who treat the whole Kingship thing in another genre,
      but one that is probably of interest to a lot of fantasy fans. I think it's
      Caitlin and John Matthews, or maybe just Caitlin, but they've done quite a
      few things on Kingship and Britain and all that. I've been more into their
      Taliesin stuff, but I've long meant to read up on what the Mabon references
      are all about.

      But I'm with the Tolkien saying, "The hands of a king are the hands of a
      healer." There is just special magic in that sort of grace.

      Lizzie


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • dianejoy@earthlink.net
      ... From: ERATRIANO@aol.com Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 20:05:17 EST To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Aragorn and kingship, and kingship
      Message 2 of 29 , Nov 20, 2002
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        Original Message:
        -----------------
        From: ERATRIANO@...
        Date: Tue, 19 Nov 2002 20:05:17 EST
        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Aragorn and kingship, and kingship elsewhere



        You do know you can buy most of this jewelry, and then some, from the Noble
        Collection? Along with the sword of the Archangel Michael? Or wait, was
        it
        Design Toscano that had the latter? Well, anyway, both are fun catalogs.
        --------------------------------

        Haven't seen the latter one, but did see the first. Upon seeing such
        lovely wares, my mouth began to water copiously. The movies may not have
        been plot-perfect nor did they quite capture the characters (esp. Aragorn &
        the kingship thing) but the *stuff* is gorgeous.

        There are also people who treat the whole Kingship thing in another genre,
        but one that is probably of interest to a lot of fantasy fans. I think
        it's
        Caitlin and John Matthews, or maybe just Caitlin, but they've done quite a
        few things on Kingship and Britain and all that. I've been more into their
        Taliesin stuff, but I've long meant to read up on what the Mabon references
        are all about.
        ______________________________

        Take the Matthews pair with a shaker of salt. They've written a lot of New
        Age nonsense, especially in the area of Celtic studies. ---djb

        But I'm with the Tolkien saying, "The hands of a king are the hands of a
        healer." There is just special magic in that sort of grace.

        Lizzie


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



        The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org

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      • SusanPal@aol.com
        In a message dated 11/20/2002 9:11:00 AM Pacific Standard Time, ... I actually thought the Arwen pendant was fairly cheesy . . . some of the clothing, on the
        Message 3 of 29 , Nov 20, 2002
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          In a message dated 11/20/2002 9:11:00 AM Pacific Standard Time,
          dianejoy@... writes:


          > Haven't seen the latter one, but did see the first. Upon seeing such
          > lovely wares, my mouth began to water copiously. The movies may not have
          > been plot-perfect nor did they quite capture the characters (esp. Aragorn &
          > the kingship thing) but the *stuff* is gorgeous.
          >

          I actually thought the Arwen pendant was fairly cheesy . . . some of the
          clothing, on the other hand, is to die for, and the weapons are absolutely
          gorgeously detailed if you're into that kind of thing. The costume
          documentary on the DVD was pretty fascinating; the designers put in all kinds
          of detail that most people will never notice. The DVD also has still-photo
          galleries, some with voiceovers from the design team, showing detail on
          various objects. I now badly want a pair of Legolas' boots, which I'd never
          even noticed in the film.

          One reason the Arwen pendant bothered me -- aside from the fact that I don't
          like how it looks -- is that the movie almost makes it seem as if the pendant
          is a magical object containing her immortality, rather than just a lover's
          token, and to me, that seemed entirely too Ring-like. (If the pendant gets
          damaged, does Arwen fall ill?) Tolkien's "The Druedain" (sp?) in UNFINISHED
          TALES makes the point about the danger of magical objects -- that if you love
          "stuff" too much, its fate will be yours -- so I thought that was one segment
          of the film of which he'd have particularly disapproved.

          While we're dissing the Aragorn additions in the DVD, however, I have to say
          that I *really* like the added material with Boromir. Many people have noted
          that the film provided a more sympathetic portrait of him than the book did;
          the DVD deepens that, as when after Gandalf's death he tells Frodo, "You have
          a heavy burden to carry. Do not also carry the weight of the dead." (This
          line is completely invented, yes? But I liked it.) But they also showed his
          racism in the extra scene with Aragorn, when Boromir castigates Aragorn for
          thinking badly of men and says, "You were quick enough to go to the elves!"
          That was a nice echo, I thought, of his (very ironic) "true-hearted men will
          not be corrupted" speech to Frodo in the book. All in all, they made him a
          well-rounded, complicated character.

          Also, movie dissers, please observe that even if you don't find the film
          beautiful or wonderful, *many* other people do. As my husband put it, "If
          Jackson's elves weren't beautiful, then half the people in the known world
          wouldn't be pining for Legolas." It may not be beautiful in the same way the
          book is in your imagination (always a problem with films!), but many folks
          have been enchanted by it.

          Speaking of elves, what did y'all think of the scene in the DVD where Frodo
          and Sam see the elves leaving for the Grey Havens? And did anyone recognize
          the song they're singing?

          Susan


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • ERATRIANO@aol.com
          In a message dated 11/20/2002 12:11:00 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... Some of it, yeah. But I used to want a black van with the Doors of Durin in silver on the
          Message 4 of 29 , Nov 20, 2002
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            In a message dated 11/20/2002 12:11:00 PM Eastern Standard Time,
            dianejoy@... writes:

            > Haven't seen the latter one, but did see the first. Upon seeing such lovely
            > wares, my mouth began to water copiously. The movies may not have been
            > plot-perfect nor did they quite capture the characters (esp. Aragorn & the
            > kingship thing) but the *stuff* is gorgeous. >>

            Some of it, yeah. But I used to want a black van with the Doors of Durin in
            silver on the back... And I already own one of the Three, as well as a
            Silmaril. Nope, I prefer finding this stuff on my own, rather than
            commercially produced.

            > Take the Matthews pair with a shaker of salt. They've written a lot of New
            > Age nonsense, especially in the area of Celtic studies. ---djb >>

            Oh, I know. It's shaky ground. But they are often so much more readable
            than more serious sources, and I figure anything I can stay awake for is
            good... well, within reason... I really enjoyed his treatment of the life of
            Taliesin; like any good novel on the subject, it was full of familiar
            references and reinforcements. I do trust them more than a lot of other New
            Age writers, and they often provide lists and links to further reading.

            I admit to owning their Hallowquest Tarot deck as well as the book, with
            plans to study up one day. But it's all in the spirit of living in a poetic
            fantasy world. I'd never have made a scholar anyway. I think you folks
            figured that out already. ;-)

            Lizzie


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          • ERATRIANO@aol.com
            In a message dated 11/20/2002 12:30:27 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... I haven t seen that, of course, but I ll say that while I didn t much like Boromir in the
            Message 5 of 29 , Nov 20, 2002
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              In a message dated 11/20/2002 12:30:27 PM Eastern Standard Time,
              SusanPal@... writes:

              > While we're dissing the Aragorn additions in the DVD, however, I have to say
              >
              > that I *really* like the added material with Boromir.

              I haven't seen that, of course, but I'll say that while I didn't much like
              Boromir in the book, he was the Only character in the movie that I was really
              attracted to. Gandalf was OK, Frodo and others were pretty, but Boromir was,
              like, fallible and blooded. (Sorry, Legolas, but Frodo is prettier than
              you.) Oh yeah, and I liked the horses.

              It's okay that Aragorn wasn't pretty; Strider is after all supposed to be a
              seedy character, or a shifty one, or anyway someone you wouldn't want to meet
              on a dark and stormy night. Worked for me. Imagining how they will
              transform him into King Elessar is simply an act of faith, no problem,
              they'll do it somehow.

              I don't totally hate the movie. I just don't like to see movies be such a
              huge topic when I'd rather hear about books, literature, language and
              whatnot. But I'm just a dinosaur -- all that stuff is carried in other media
              than printed matter now isn't it? And even I have to admit that people are
              reading LOTR now, just because they liked the movie. So that's good, I hope.

              I did see the DVD previews of the next movie, and liked what I saw of casting
              for Theoden and Eowyn and who else did I see? Eomer?

              Lizzie


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • SusanPal@aol.com
              In a message dated 11/20/2002 10:20:02 AM Pacific Standard Time, ... Someone who looks foul and feels fair, is I believe the right phrasing. (See, I
              Message 6 of 29 , Nov 20, 2002
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                In a message dated 11/20/2002 10:20:02 AM Pacific Standard Time,
                ERATRIANO@... writes:


                > It's okay that Aragorn wasn't pretty; Strider is after all supposed to be a
                > seedy character, or a shifty one, or anyway someone you wouldn't want to
                > meet
                > on a dark and stormy night.

                Someone who "looks foul and feels fair," is I believe the right phrasing. <g>
                (See, I *can* do book canon when I have to!)

                > I did see the DVD previews of the next movie, and liked what I saw of
                > casting
                > for Theoden and Eowyn and who else did I see? Eomer?
                >

                Yes, Eomer, and probably Faramir too. And of course Grima and Gollum, who
                between them promise to steal the show!

                Susan


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              • David S. Bratman
                ... Unfortunately the attitude towards fantasy of which that is merely one small example is rampant through the film. ... The film is not the first occasion on
                Message 7 of 29 , Nov 20, 2002
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                  At 09:28 AM 11/20/2002 , Susan wrote:

                  >One reason the Arwen pendant bothered me -- aside from the fact that I don't
                  >like how it looks -- is that the movie almost makes it seem as if the pendant
                  >is a magical object containing her immortality, rather than just a lover's
                  >token, and to me, that seemed entirely too Ring-like. (If the pendant gets
                  >damaged, does Arwen fall ill?) Tolkien's "The Druedain" (sp?) in UNFINISHED
                  >TALES makes the point about the danger of magical objects -- that if you love
                  >"stuff" too much, its fate will be yours -- so I thought that was one segment
                  >of the film of which he'd have particularly disapproved.

                  Unfortunately the attitude towards fantasy of which that is merely one
                  small example is rampant through the film.

                  >Also, movie dissers, please observe that even if you don't find the film
                  >beautiful or wonderful, *many* other people do. As my husband put it, "If
                  >Jackson's elves weren't beautiful, then half the people in the known world
                  >wouldn't be pining for Legolas." It may not be beautiful in the same way the
                  >book is in your imagination (always a problem with films!), but many folks
                  >have been enchanted by it.

                  The film is not the first occasion on which people have been enchanted by
                  Tolkien in a way that others thought misapplied. Tolkien had a few choice
                  words for the more dubious appropriations made by the 60s fans. And C.S.
                  Lewis, too, had some good comments on those who would rather pine for sexy
                  characters than appreciate the story: check the section on "morbid
                  castle-building" in _An Experiment in Criticism_.

                  - David Bratman
                • ERATRIANO@aol.com
                  In a message dated 11/20/2002 9:05:30 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... Uh-oh, guilty, guilty, guilty (ah, Friedman s Merentha, among others). I suspect reading
                  Message 8 of 29 , Nov 20, 2002
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                    In a message dated 11/20/2002 9:05:30 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                    dbratman@... writes:

                    > The film is not the first occasion on which people have been enchanted by
                    > Tolkien in a way that others thought misapplied. Tolkien had a few choice
                    > words for the more dubious appropriations made by the 60s fans. And C.S.
                    > Lewis, too, had some good comments on those who would rather pine for sexy
                    > characters than appreciate the story: check the section on "morbid
                    > castle-building" in _An Experiment in Criticism_.
                    >

                    Uh-oh, guilty, guilty, guilty (ah, Friedman's Merentha, among others). I
                    suspect reading said Experiment will only flog my conscience, but where is it
                    anyway? I haven't heard of that title before... whose is it, etc.?

                    Lizzie


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • WendellWag@aol.com
                    In a message dated 11/20/2002 12:28:39 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... I believe that was either Queen s Another One Bites the Dust or Led Zeppelin s Stairway
                    Message 9 of 29 , Nov 20, 2002
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                      In a message dated 11/20/2002 12:28:39 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                      SusanPal@... writes:


                      > Speaking of elves, what did y'all think of the scene in the DVD where Frodo
                      > and Sam see the elves leaving for the Grey Havens? And did anyone
                      > recognize
                      > the song they're singing?

                      I believe that was either Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" or Led
                      Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven."

                      Wendell Wagner


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • SusanPal@aol.com
                      In a message dated 11/20/2002 7:23:43 PM Pacific Standard Time, ... ROFL! Well, it *should* be O Elbereth! Gilthoniel! , but I was having trouble making out
                      Message 10 of 29 , Nov 20, 2002
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                        In a message dated 11/20/2002 7:23:43 PM Pacific Standard Time,
                        WendellWag@... writes:


                        > I believe that was either Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" or Led
                        > Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven."
                        >

                        ROFL!

                        Well, it *should* be "O Elbereth! Gilthoniel!", but I was having trouble
                        making out the lyrics -- the sound on some of the new scenes isn't as crisp
                        as on the old ones, I must say (or maybe it's just that I haven't seen the
                        new ones eight times yet). Does anyone here have sharper ears than I do?

                        Susan


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • David S Bratman
                        ... You mean, who wrote it? Uh ... C.S. Lewis ... didn t I say that? _An Experiment in Criticism_ is a fairly short book, largely intended to defend the
                        Message 11 of 29 , Nov 20, 2002
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                          At 09:07 PM 11/20/2002 -0500, Lizzie wrote:
                          >In a message dated 11/20/2002 9:05:30 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                          >dbratman@... writes:
                          >
                          > > The film is not the first occasion on which people have been enchanted by
                          > > Tolkien in a way that others thought misapplied. Tolkien had a few choice
                          > > words for the more dubious appropriations made by the 60s fans. And C.S.
                          > > Lewis, too, had some good comments on those who would rather pine for sexy
                          > > characters than appreciate the story: check the section on "morbid
                          > > castle-building" in _An Experiment in Criticism_.
                          > >
                          >
                          >Uh-oh, guilty, guilty, guilty (ah, Friedman's Merentha, among others). I
                          >suspect reading said Experiment will only flog my conscience, but where is it
                          >anyway? I haven't heard of that title before... whose is it, etc.?

                          You mean, who wrote it? Uh ... C.S. Lewis ... didn't I say that?

                          _An Experiment in Criticism_ is a fairly short book, largely intended to
                          defend the literary quality of popular literature. Instead of identifying
                          great literature on pre-defined grounds (e.g. "it has to have sex, and
                          Midlands coal-mining"), Lewis suggests that we identify the books that
                          readers are genuinely appreciating in a literary way, and see what kind of
                          literary canon we get by that approach. Of course he's thinking of books
                          like LOTR.

                          But in order to define "genuinely appreciating in a literary way" he also
                          has to define non-literary forms of appreciation, such as using the book as
                          a basis for daydreams. And that's where Susan's remark comes in. Folks
                          who want to swoon over Orlando Bloom are welcome to do so, but they should
                          not delude themselves into thinking they are thereby appreciating _The Lord
                          of the Rings_ (even the film, let alone the book). If it leads them to
                          learn to appreciate the book, so much the better -- stranger things have
                          happened -- but first it has to lead them there.

                          - David Bratman
                        • ERATRIANO@aol.com
                          In a message dated 11/21/2002 2:11:24 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... Well, you did but since I hadn t heard of the title, I wasn t sure if it was a collection
                          Message 12 of 29 , Nov 21, 2002
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                            In a message dated 11/21/2002 2:11:24 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                            dbratman@... writes:

                            > You mean, who wrote it? Uh ... C.S. Lewis ... didn't I say that?
                            >
                            > _An Experiment in Criticism_ is a fairly short book, largely intended to
                            > defend the literary quality of popular literature.

                            Well, you did but since I hadn't heard of the title, I wasn't sure if it was
                            a collection of essays or some other thing involving other authors. Thanks
                            for the clarification.

                            Can I put in a little whine here about wanting my library out of storage?
                            Twelve years ago I wasn't this illiterate. growl

                            << But in order to define "genuinely appreciating in a literary way" he also
                            has to define non-literary forms of appreciation, such as using the book as
                            a basis for daydreams.
                            >>
                            And I guess I have long been doomed to be among the masses. The dream life
                            for me is full of daydreams -- not all of them about sex, either. lol. We
                            can't all be cut out for critical thought; it is stimulating to listen to but
                            difficult to produce on my own.

                            Lizzie


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • SusanPal@aol.com
                            In a message dated 11/21/2002 7:47:50 AM Pacific Standard Time, ... One *can* do both. Imagination and analysis aren t mutually exclusive -- good heavens,
                            Message 13 of 29 , Nov 21, 2002
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                              In a message dated 11/21/2002 7:47:50 AM Pacific Standard Time,
                              ERATRIANO@... writes:


                              > The dream life
                              > for me is full of daydreams -- not all of them about sex, either. lol. We
                              >
                              > can't all be cut out for critical thought; it is stimulating to listen to
                              > but
                              > difficult to produce on my own.
                              >

                              One *can* do both. Imagination and analysis aren't mutually exclusive --
                              good heavens, what an impoverished world we'd live in if they were! And
                              since when are "day dreams" automatically a bad thing? That's where art
                              begins.

                              Susan




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                            • ERATRIANO@aol.com
                              In a message dated 11/21/2002 11:24:48 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... Well.... yeah.... and shedding the mantle of modesty for a moment and calling myself an
                              Message 14 of 29 , Nov 21, 2002
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                                In a message dated 11/21/2002 11:24:48 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                                SusanPal@... writes:

                                > One *can* do both. Imagination and analysis aren't mutually exclusive --
                                > good heavens, what an impoverished world we'd live in if they were! And
                                > since when are "day dreams" automatically a bad thing? That's where art
                                > begins.

                                Well.... yeah.... and shedding the mantle of modesty for a moment and calling
                                myself an artist, I will also say that I test well analytically. Many
                                successful artists use their intuitive talent at the same level as others
                                use conscious logic. But it's frustrating not to be able to do the conscious
                                logic thing, in certain company. And also, it seems like the arts and other
                                non-critical areas are so, well, subjective. Fuzzy. Hard to put a value on.
                                Hard to keep one's bearings, and know when one is totally out to sea.

                                Hard to write sentences that make sense.

                                Lizzie


                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • jamcconney@aol.com
                                In a message dated 11/21/2002 9:47:50 AM Central Standard Time, ... Well, I suppose to be really scholarly we d have to define daydreams so that we re all on
                                Message 15 of 29 , Nov 21, 2002
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                                  In a message dated 11/21/2002 9:47:50 AM Central Standard Time,
                                  ERATRIANO@... writes:

                                  > <<But in order to define "genuinely appreciating in a literary way" he also
                                  > has to define non-literary forms of appreciation, such as using the book as
                                  >
                                  > a basis for daydreams

                                  Well, I suppose to be really scholarly we'd have to define "daydreams" so
                                  that we're all on the same page. I'd suggest, however, that daydreaming is
                                  the genesis of most creative work and that any book, good or bad, began as a
                                  dream.

                                  Anne


                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • dianejoy@earthlink.net
                                  ... From: ERATRIANO@aol.com Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2002 11:41:41 EST To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Aragorn and kingship, and kingship
                                  Message 16 of 29 , Nov 22, 2002
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                                    Original Message:
                                    -----------------
                                    From: ERATRIANO@...
                                    Date: Thu, 21 Nov 2002 11:41:41 EST
                                    To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                    Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Aragorn and kingship, and kingship elsewhere


                                    In a message dated 11/21/2002 11:24:48 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                                    SusanPal@... writes:

                                    > One *can* do both. Imagination and analysis aren't mutually exclusive --
                                    > good heavens, what an impoverished world we'd live in if they were! And
                                    > since when are "day dreams" automatically a bad thing? That's where art
                                    > begins.

                                    Well.... yeah.... and shedding the mantle of modesty for a moment and
                                    calling
                                    myself an artist, I will also say that I test well analytically. Many
                                    successful artists use their intuitive talent at the same level as others
                                    use conscious logic. But it's frustrating not to be able to do the
                                    conscious
                                    logic thing, in certain company. And also, it seems like the arts and
                                    other
                                    non-critical areas are so, well, subjective. Fuzzy. Hard to put a value
                                    on.
                                    Hard to keep one's bearings, and know when one is totally out to sea.

                                    Hard to write sentences that make sense.
                                    _________________________________________

                                    That's because 20th C. intellectuals told us there are no objective
                                    standards for art. It's true that we can't quantify beauty. Some women
                                    like red-heads (like me), others like blond men, etc. Can we say why?

                                    But I believe there are objective standards for art. They take time to
                                    measure out and it doesn't work the way mathematics does: the best art
                                    stands the test of time, and artists learned the rules, then broke them
                                    when they felt it appropriate. There is a vast difference between the art
                                    of Van Eyck (sp.?) and Andy Warhol. One is time-bound; the other is not.
                                    The same can be said for literature. ---djb


                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]


                                    The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org

                                    Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/



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                                  • ERATRIANO@aol.com
                                    In a message dated 11/22/2002 11:11:53 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... Is that what happened? Whew, it s just a recent trend then. Thanks. It s true that we
                                    Message 17 of 29 , Nov 23, 2002
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                                      In a message dated 11/22/2002 11:11:53 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                                      dianejoy@... writes:

                                      > That's because 20th C. intellectuals told us there are no objective
                                      > standards for art. >>

                                      Is that what happened? Whew, it's just a recent trend then. Thanks.

                                      It's true that we can't quantify beauty. Some women > like red-heads (like
                                      > me), others like blond men, etc. Can we say why? >>

                                      I bet there are books on the subject, available from places like the
                                      Discovery Channel Book Club, and much lacking in verbs and pictures.
                                      Sometimes I'll bet it's a case of wanting what we don't have (like straight
                                      vs curly hair, or blue eyes when everyone in our family has brown, or some
                                      such). Other times, it's just a delightful mystery.

                                      > But I believe there are objective standards for art. They take time to
                                      > measure out and it doesn't work the way mathematics does: the best art
                                      > stands the test of time, and artists learned the rules, then broke them
                                      > when they felt it appropriate. There is a vast difference between the art
                                      > of Van Eyck (sp.?) and Andy Warhol. One is time-bound; the other is not.
                                      > The same can be said for literature. ---djb >>

                                      Oooh, so you are saying that Andy Warhol, and that guy who paints with
                                      splashes, are not Great Art? ggg What about today's commercial artists?
                                      When I go to a museum, I am most drawn to the play of light and color on the
                                      curves of a woman, or a horse. Similarly in commercial art, sleek dragons
                                      (not lumpy spiky ones) and sensuous women. But is it art? I hope I don't
                                      sound argumentative here, this is just kind of interesting and I don't mean
                                      to sound abrupt or anything. How do we judge now, the times are different
                                      from the last thousand years.... by commercial success? By how many people
                                      have them in their homes fifty years from now?

                                      But I don't like the same things as most people... does that make me wrong?
                                      I don't decorate my house by matching the print mat to the carpet and the
                                      drapes. What about feng shui?

                                      What about when I go to the local Art Council gallery and really don't like
                                      over half what I see? Do I have no appreciation for art? Or do we have too
                                      few standards? (I'd better go easy... I'm a member of said Council and if
                                      the standards go up maybe I won't cut it anymore.)

                                      Am I off topic now?

                                      But it is so true of literature also... Why did so much of what I read in
                                      high school have to have lots of swear words and descriptive death scenes?
                                      Does that make Great Literature?

                                      I'll shut up now... Please someone else talk...

                                      Lizzie





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                                    • tghsaw
                                      ... From: SusanPal@aol.com To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Thursday, November 21, 2002 10:23 AM Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Aragorn and kingship, and kingship
                                      Message 18 of 29 , Nov 23, 2002
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                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                        From: SusanPal@...
                                        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                        Sent: Thursday, November 21, 2002 10:23 AM
                                        Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Aragorn and kingship, and kingship elsewhere


                                        >One *can* do both. Imagination and analysis aren't mutually exclusive --
                                        good heavens, what an impoverished world we'd live in if they were! And
                                        since when are "day dreams" automatically a bad thing? That's where art
                                        begins.

                                        >Susan


                                        And science, and possibly anything that makes us human. Einstein considered imagination to be one of the most--if not the most--important qualities of a good scientist. Without it, you just keep repeating what other people have done. And the man who finally figured out the long-standing puzzle of how carbon atoms bonded with each other (the foundation of any chemistry involving "carbon-based life forms") saw it in a dream in which the atoms of carbon were dancing with each other.

                                        --Trudy



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                                      • tghsaw
                                        ... From: ERATRIANO@aol.com To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Saturday, November 23, 2002 9:23 AM Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Aragorn and kingship, and kingship
                                        Message 19 of 29 , Nov 23, 2002
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                                          ----- Original Message -----
                                          From: ERATRIANO@...
                                          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                                          Sent: Saturday, November 23, 2002 9:23 AM
                                          Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Aragorn and kingship, and kingship elsewhere


                                          In a message dated 11/22/2002 11:11:53 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                                          dianejoy@... writes:

                                          >It's true that we can't quantify beauty. Some women > like red-heads (like
                                          > me), others like blond men, etc. Can we say why? >>

                                          >I bet there are books on the subject, available from places like the
                                          Discovery Channel Book Club, and much lacking in verbs and pictures.
                                          Sometimes I'll bet it's a case of wanting what we don't have (like straight
                                          vs curly hair, or blue eyes when everyone in our family has brown, or some
                                          such). Other times, it's just a delightful mystery.
                                          It doesn't explain why some people have different taste in hair color, etc., than others, but there are some pretty solid theories (and some not-so-solid ones) about an evolutionary basis for at least some of the things that humans consider attractive, because they signify youth, good health and fertility (certain body shapes, symmetrical features, all the things that people now pay for to keep themselves looking "young"). (And, yes, I believe the Discovery Channel did have a program on it, so there's probably a book available. 8-) )


                                          >> But I believe there are objective standards for art. They take time to
                                          > measure out and it doesn't work the way mathematics does: the best art
                                          > stands the test of time, and artists learned the rules, then broke them
                                          > when they felt it appropriate. There is a vast difference between the art
                                          > of Van Eyck (sp.?) and Andy Warhol. One is time-bound; the other is not.
                                          > The same can be said for literature. ---djb >>

                                          >Oooh, so you are saying that Andy Warhol, and that guy who paints with
                                          splashes, are not Great Art?

                                          Regarding math and art and the guy who paints with splashes: *Discover* magazine (not related to the Discovery Channel, BTW) had a full-length article on a study of Jackson Pollock's artwork that showed the degree of fractals appearing in it is very close to what's most appealing to us in nature (measured, IIRC, by showing research subjects photos of natural settings--tree branches and the like--displaying fractals in varying degrees). "Splash art" made randomly didn't have this quality. So there may be an actual reason that some people would pay good money for a Pollock, but look at my display of drips and shake their heads. I'm afraid the whole process of determining the degree of fractals in something was a bit beyond me--while I'm fascinated by fractals (I've been known to take a great deal of time turning a head of cauliflower into crudités because I spend so much time just looking at the pieces and patterns), I've never understood them mathematically. -- I'm not meaning to take this into a discussion of Pollock's artwork, just giving it as an example that sometimes the appeal of art rests on something we might not be consciously aware of.
                                          And, of course, with art that's being produced now, we can't give it "the test of time." Some non-representational art has been around for quite some time now, but none of it has had a chance to "age" as much as the old masters.


                                          >But it is so true of literature also... Why did so much of what I read in
                                          high school have to have lots of swear words and descriptive death scenes?
                                          Does that make Great Literature?
                                          >Lizzie


                                          As an outsider looking in (someone who works full-time with science but who also loves fiction so cares what happens to it), I wonder if there aren't two sets of standards--one academic and one non-academic. IMHO, one of the best things about Tolkien's writing is that it's survived this long (LotR getting close to 50 years) without being considered "Great Literature" and being taught in school as such. It's something the ragtag population has decided on its own to consider worth reading and re-reading and studying. There are other examples--I've never heard of Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories being seriously studied as Great Literature (with the disclaimer that I'm sure someone, somewhere, has certainly done so), but they seem to have stood the test of time. (Rather interesting how many times I've found myself comparing Middle-earth to Baker Street in various discussions lately--but that's definitely a different topic!) IMHO, it would be a very interesting study to look at the reasons people choose to read these books (and others that have kept their extra-academic popularity over time) on their own, as opposed to the ones they would probably never have opened if they weren't required reading.

                                          --Trudy


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                                        • SusanPal@aol.com
                                          In a message dated 11/23/2002 10:24:23 AM Pacific Standard Time, ... And let us not forget that The Hobbit began with a kind of day-dream while JRRT was
                                          Message 20 of 29 , Nov 23, 2002
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                                            In a message dated 11/23/2002 10:24:23 AM Pacific Standard Time,
                                            tgshaw@... writes:


                                            > And the man who finally figured out the long-standing puzzle of how carbon
                                            > atoms bonded with each other (the foundation of any chemistry involving
                                            > "carbon-based life forms") saw it in a dream in which the atoms of carbon
                                            > were dancing with each other.
                                            >

                                            And let us not forget that "The Hobbit" began with a kind of day-dream while
                                            JRRT was engaged in the critical task of grading examination papers!

                                            Susan


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                                          • Stolzi@aol.com
                                            susan wrote ... Really, those who are discussing this need to =read= EXPERIMENT IN CRITICISM. It s a good book, it s not long, and it would inform the
                                            Message 21 of 29 , Nov 23, 2002
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                                              susan wrote


                                              > And
                                              > since when are "day dreams" automatically a bad thing?

                                              Really, those who are discussing this need to =read= EXPERIMENT IN CRITICISM.
                                              It's a good book, it's not long, and it would inform the discussion.

                                              Lewis is talking about the kind of stupid, idle daydreams that get people to
                                              reading, oh, say, Harlequin romances or James Bond stories - not about
                                              creative dreaming.

                                              "One kind of story dear to the unliterary is that which enables them to enjoy
                                              love or wealth or distinction vicariously through the characters. It is in
                                              fact guided or conducted egoistic castle-building." - p. 53

                                              For this reason, he adds, readers like this are generally uninterested in
                                              fantasy. The stories shd have the kind of realistic contemporary
                                              window-dressing which allows them to think "All this could happen to ME
                                              someday..."

                                              And one thing that makes Lewis refreshing as a literary critic is that he's
                                              =not= interested exclusively in books with swear words and death scenes :)
                                              or in what I used to call despairingly "modern novels" (I still find it hard
                                              to read any of those).

                                              "When [good readers] demand a happy ending it will be ... because it seems to
                                              them in various ways demanded by the work itself. (Deaths and disasters can
                                              be as patently 'contrived' and inharmonious as wedding bells.)"

                                              Diamond Proudbrook




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                                            • SusanPal@aol.com
                                              In a message dated 11/23/2002 2:38:18 PM Pacific Standard Time, ... I m not sure I d agree with this statement -- a lot of unliterary readers, and writers,
                                              Message 22 of 29 , Nov 23, 2002
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                                                In a message dated 11/23/2002 2:38:18 PM Pacific Standard Time,
                                                Stolzi@... writes:


                                                > For this reason, he adds, readers like this are generally uninterested in
                                                > fantasy. The stories shd have the kind of realistic contemporary
                                                > window-dressing which allows them to think "All this could happen to ME
                                                > someday..."
                                                >

                                                I'm not sure I'd agree with this statement -- a lot of "unliterary" readers,
                                                and writers, are interested in fantasy because it allows themselves to
                                                imagine themselves as immortal elves or brave warriors or romantic maidens in
                                                distress. Believe me, I see a *lot* of wish-fulfillment fantasy among my
                                                undergrad writing students!

                                                Question: are "unliterary" daydreams with fantastic elements somehow more
                                                worthy than "unliterary" daydreams about winning the lottery, because at
                                                least they reveal a willingness to venture outside the boundaries of the
                                                known world? (Although most of the wish-fulfillment fantasy I've seen is so
                                                formulaic that imagination can't be properly said to have entered into it.)

                                                A student of mine who's been having an extremely tough semester, with tons of
                                                personal problems, wrote a poignant reading response to LotR in which she
                                                said that reading about Frodo's impossible journey helped her maintain the
                                                strength she needed for her own: it showed her that fortitude under
                                                seemingly hopeless conditions was indeed possible. I find this a profoundly
                                                human and moving response to the book, but it seems to me that according to
                                                the terms here being discussed, some of you might call it "unliterary,"
                                                because that student's identifying with Frodo's journey rather than analyzing
                                                it. Am I wrong about that? What would Lewis say about her response?

                                                And I agree that I need to read EXPERIMENT IN CRITICISM, but I won't have
                                                time for at least a month. Sorry! Mea culpa! I'm reading student papers
                                                instead . . . so shoot me. :-)

                                                (And I guess I shouldn't be reading this list either, but I can't resist.)

                                                Susan


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                                              • Stolzi@aol.com
                                                In a message dated 11/23/2002 5:44:14 PM Central Standard Time, ... I had the same thought when I read the passage. But of course fantasy was not as
                                                Message 23 of 29 , Nov 24, 2002
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                                                  In a message dated 11/23/2002 5:44:14 PM Central Standard Time,
                                                  SusanPal@... writes:


                                                  >
                                                  > > For this reason, he adds, readers like this are generally uninterested in
                                                  >
                                                  > > fantasy. The stories shd have the kind of realistic contemporary
                                                  > > window-dressing which allows them to think "All this could happen to ME
                                                  > > someday..."
                                                  > >
                                                  >
                                                  > I'm not sure I'd agree with this statement -- a lot of "unliterary"
                                                  > readers,
                                                  > and writers, are interested in fantasy because it allows themselves to
                                                  > imagine themselves as immortal elves or brave warriors or romantic maidens
                                                  > in
                                                  > distress. Believe me, I see a *lot* of wish-fulfillment fantasy among my
                                                  > undergrad writing students!


                                                  I had the same thought when I read the passage. But of course fantasy was
                                                  not as plentifully available outside high-literature circles, when CSL wrote
                                                  that. Remember, he and Tolkien decided "we have to write the kind of stories
                                                  we like, because nobody else is writing them." Also, remember his defense
                                                  of grownups enjoying children's stories, which were then one of the few
                                                  havens of fantasy.

                                                  It's interesting to me to see that the cheap paperback romance, which I think
                                                  of as one of the most notable forms of wish-fulfillment fantasy, now has a
                                                  sub-set of volumes in which there is still the everlasting girl-boy thing but
                                                  a fantasy element is introduced as well.

                                                  >
                                                  > A student of mine who's been having an extremely tough semester, with tons
                                                  > of
                                                  > personal problems, wrote a poignant reading response to LotR in which she
                                                  > said that reading about Frodo's impossible journey helped her maintain the
                                                  > strength she needed for her own: it showed her that fortitude under
                                                  > seemingly hopeless conditions was indeed possible. I find this a
                                                  > profoundly
                                                  > human and moving response to the book, but it seems to me that according to
                                                  >
                                                  > the terms here being discussed, some of you might call it "unliterary,"
                                                  > because that student's identifying with Frodo's journey rather than
                                                  > analyzing
                                                  > it. Am I wrong about that? What would Lewis say about her response?

                                                  Tolkien, perhaps, would call if "applicability." ? I think he'd be
                                                  pleased.

                                                  I think Lewis too wd defend it, he speaks approvingly somewhere of the
                                                  courage which led the heroes of Norse saga to go on even when things looked
                                                  hopeless; or being found on the right side - though the losing side - at
                                                  Ragnarok.


                                                  Diamond Proudbrook



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                                                • ERATRIANO@aol.com
                                                  In a message dated 11/24/2002 4:00:55 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... Yes, I thought I had noticed that, but I haven t really followed up on it yet. I ve read
                                                  Message 24 of 29 , Nov 24, 2002
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                                                    In a message dated 11/24/2002 4:00:55 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                                                    Stolzi@... writes:

                                                    > It's interesting to me to see that the cheap paperback romance, which I
                                                    > think
                                                    > of as one of the most notable forms of wish-fulfillment fantasy, now has a
                                                    > sub-set of volumes in which there is still the everlasting girl-boy thing
                                                    > but
                                                    > a fantasy element is introduced as well.
                                                    >

                                                    Yes, I thought I had noticed that, but I haven't really followed up on it
                                                    yet. I've read one or two Jude Devereux (sp) titles, and I also liked some
                                                    Andrew M. Greeley, the ones about angels, especially the one about Gabrielle.


                                                    Course then we are getting into religion as fantasy, and that is a whole
                                                    'nother hornet's nest.

                                                    Lizzie


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                                                  • SusanPal@aol.com
                                                    In a message dated 11/24/2002 4:58:08 PM Pacific Standard Time, ... Yep. I keep trying to work on an essay on the intersections between faith and fantasy, and
                                                    Message 25 of 29 , Nov 24, 2002
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                                                      In a message dated 11/24/2002 4:58:08 PM Pacific Standard Time,
                                                      ERATRIANO@... writes:


                                                      > Course then we are getting into religion as fantasy, and that is a whole
                                                      > 'nother hornet's nest.
                                                      >

                                                      Yep. I keep trying to work on an essay on the intersections between faith
                                                      and fantasy, and it keeps getting too complicated on me! My sense is that
                                                      imagination and intution lie at the core of both, and that both are about
                                                      certain kinds of investment in things not seen -- and both are about
                                                      liminality, too, about negotiating boundaries between knowledge and belief.
                                                      But it really *is* a hornet's next, and I haven't been able to work out
                                                      anything very coherent yet!

                                                      And perhaps Tolkien did it as well as anyone could in "On Fairy-stories."
                                                      "God is the Lord, of angels, and of men -- and of elves." I nearly swooned
                                                      when I read that.

                                                      Susan


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                                                    • ERATRIANO@aol.com
                                                      In a message dated 11/23/2002 1:38:37 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... BTW I found this especially interesting, although all I know about fractals is that they
                                                      Message 26 of 29 , Nov 25, 2002
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                                                        In a message dated 11/23/2002 1:38:37 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                                                        tgshaw@... writes:

                                                        > Discover* magazine (not related to the Discovery Channel, BTW) had a
                                                        > full-length article on a study of Jackson Pollock's artwork that showed the
                                                        > degree of fractals appearing in it is very close to what's most appealing
                                                        > to us in nature (measured, IIRC, by showing research subjects photos of
                                                        > natural settings--tree branches and the like--displaying fractals in
                                                        > varying degrees). "Splash art" made randomly didn't have this quality. So
                                                        > there may be an actual reason that some people would pay good money for a
                                                        > Pollock, but look at my display of drips and shake their heads. I'm afraid
                                                        > the whole process of determining the degree of fractals in something was a
                                                        > bit beyond me--while I'm fascinated by fractals (I've been known to take a
                                                        > great deal of time turning a head of cauliflower into crudités because I
                                                        > spend so much time just looking at the pieces and patterns), I've never
                                                        > understood them mathematically.

                                                        BTW I found this especially interesting, although all I know about fractals
                                                        is that they are some sort of math related to pretty patterns, and that they
                                                        can be studied. lol. I bet Asimov has done some nice readable essays on
                                                        them though. I don't really have anything to add but I wanted to thank Trudy
                                                        for her post, it's given me food for thought. More cauliflower anytime,
                                                        Trudy! Hey, I bet fractal study could be applied to beadwork as well.

                                                        Lizzie


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                                                      • WendellWag@aol.com
                                                        In a message dated 11/25/2002 7:47:36 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... I m pretty sure he hasn t. Asimov was (as he admitted himself) pretty weak in math for
                                                        Message 27 of 29 , Nov 25, 2002
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                                                          In a message dated 11/25/2002 7:47:36 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                                                          ERATRIANO@... writes:


                                                          > I bet Asimov has done some nice readable essays on
                                                          > them though.

                                                          I'm pretty sure he hasn't. Asimov was (as he admitted himself) pretty weak
                                                          in math for somebody with a Ph.D. in chemistry. He said in his autobiography
                                                          (or maybe it was in one of his essays) that he wouldn't even pretend to
                                                          knowledge of any math beyond first-year calculus. Besides, fractals only
                                                          became well known fairly late in Asimov's life.

                                                          Wendell Wagner


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                                                        • ERATRIANO@aol.com
                                                          In a message dated 11/25/2002 9:27:21 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... Oh, right, he s dead, isn t he? :-( My mistake. So whose should I read then? Barbara
                                                          Message 28 of 29 , Nov 25, 2002
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                                                            In a message dated 11/25/2002 9:27:21 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                                                            WendellWag@... writes:

                                                            > Besides, fractals only became well known fairly late in Asimov's life.
                                                            >
                                                            > Wendell Wagner

                                                            Oh, right, he's dead, isn't he? :-( My mistake. So whose should I read
                                                            then? Barbara Kingsolver? I'm not sure what she wrote about but I did just
                                                            pick up a book of her essays (if that isn't an incriminating display of
                                                            anti-logic then I'm Yu-Sai Wa Wa).

                                                            Thank you, Wendell & sweet dreams to you tonight.

                                                            Lizzie


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                                                          • WendellWag@aol.com
                                                            I don t know really. The only book I can think of offhand is _Chaos_ by James Gleick. Wendell Wagner
                                                            Message 29 of 29 , Nov 25, 2002
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                                                              I don't know really. The only book I can think of offhand is _Chaos_ by
                                                              James Gleick.

                                                              Wendell Wagner
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