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hobbit dialogue

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  • odzer@aol.com
    Hobbit dialogue: Who here is a fan of it, and like Tolkien, would have enjoyed more; and who, like C.S. Lewis wanted less, thank you? There is a unique,
    Message 1 of 13 , Feb 16, 2003
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      Hobbit dialogue: Who here is a fan of it, and like Tolkien, would have
      enjoyed more; and who, like C.S. Lewis wanted less, thank you?

      There is a unique, stylistically and imaginatively quaint little moment early
      on, deep in the most hobbitally idiomatic section of the story when a fox
      passing by " on business of its own" comes across the hobbits sleeping under
      a tree and thinks: " 'Well, what's next? I have heard of strange doings in
      this land, but seldom heard of a hobbit sleeping out of doors under a tree.
      Three of them! There's something mighty queer behind this.' He was quite
      right but he never found out any more about it."

      I don't know where else a similar moment might have been presented, but I
      always loved that little scene, and clearly Tolkien did too. I am sure Lewis
      on the other hand must have rolled his eyes at that one.

      Writing this morning after a mighty hobbit-like breakfast
      of eggs and cheese and bacon and coffee,

      John Potts
    • Stolzi@aol.com
      In a message dated 2/16/2003 12:29:53 PM Central Standard Time, odzer@aol.com ... What? no mushrooms? :) But Lewis liked this kind of thing himself and wrote
      Message 2 of 13 , Feb 16, 2003
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        In a message dated 2/16/2003 12:29:53 PM Central Standard Time, odzer@...
        writes:


        > Writing this morning after a mighty hobbit-like breakfast
        > of eggs and cheese and bacon and coffee,

        What? no mushrooms? :)

        But Lewis liked this kind of thing himself and wrote quite a bit of it in the
        Narnia tales; is it true that he deplored all of it, or most of it, in LOTR?


        I don't know that I wanted either more or less of it, but I do know that
        Elvishness w/o Hobbits is not my thing; I don't care much at all, for
        instance, for the SILMARILLION.

        Yet, if one considers carefully, the main artistic problem of LOTR (imo) is
        that the two don't =quite= fit together, the lofty and way prehistoric world
        and the cozy whimsical pseudo-English one.

        Diamond Proudbrook


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • lizziewriter@earthlink.net
        I also like the hobbit dialogue. Although I also like the high, far-flung poetic language and poetry. But the bits of humour are endearing. What about this
        Message 3 of 13 , Feb 16, 2003
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          I also like the hobbit dialogue. Although I also like the high, far-flung poetic language and poetry. But the bits of humour are endearing.

          What about this narrative voice thing which seems part of the same topic here. I like that too. Most modern writers who attempt it though seem too self-conscious to me. I guess when they are successful, I don't notice they are doing it maybe? Anyway I am wondering how much of these beloved writers, Tolkien and Kipling being my favorite examples, will soon be just too culturally dated to be real. In some ways, I mean. Not too dated to enjoy, exactly. Am I making sense? It's just my same worry, I think, repackaged. LOL

          Today at Barnes and Noble I went a bit nuts... got the new LeGuin Earthsea book (The Other Wind I thnk it's called) and about $75 worth of other non-fantasy stuff. :-) Hey, I'm on vacation...

          First I have to finish Sheri S. Tepper's Singer from the Sea.

          Lizzie
        • Berni Phillips
          From: ... I m in the more category. The hobbits are so grounded in the reality of everyday life that it helps one relate to the story
          Message 4 of 13 , Feb 16, 2003
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            From: <odzer@...>

            >
            > Hobbit dialogue: Who here is a fan of it, and like Tolkien, would have
            > enjoyed more; and who, like C.S. Lewis wanted less, thank you?

            I'm in the "more" category. The hobbits are so grounded in the reality of
            everyday life that it helps one relate to the story better. I also find
            some of the turns of phrases amusing.

            Berni
          • Michael Martinez <michael@xenite.org>
            ... have ... reality of ... find ... I think was Lewis objected to was the sort of run-on chatter which Tolkien eventually whittled out of the book, and not
            Message 5 of 13 , Feb 16, 2003
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              --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Berni Phillips" <bernip@i...> wrote:
              >
              > From: <odzer@a...>
              >
              > >
              > > Hobbit dialogue: Who here is a fan of it, and like Tolkien, would
              have
              > > enjoyed more; and who, like C.S. Lewis wanted less, thank you?
              >
              > I'm in the "more" category. The hobbits are so grounded in the
              reality of
              > everyday life that it helps one relate to the story better. I also
              find
              > some of the turns of phrases amusing.
              >
              > Berni

              I think was Lewis objected to was the sort of run-on chatter which
              Tolkien eventually whittled out of the book, and not incidents like
              the thinking fox (one of the few scenes in the book, btw, where the
              narrative voice had to exceed the authority of the Red Book of
              Westmarch -- I doubt Merry and Pippin would have tracked down every
              last fox in the Shire to see if it had anything to add to the Red
              Book for posterity).
            • Ernest Tomlinson
              ... From: To: Sent: Sunday, February 16, 2003 10:28 AM Subject: [mythsoc] hobbit dialogue ... I enjoy the hobbits
              Message 6 of 13 , Feb 16, 2003
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                ----- Original Message -----
                From: <odzer@...>
                To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Sunday, February 16, 2003 10:28 AM
                Subject: [mythsoc] hobbit dialogue

                > Hobbit dialogue: Who here is a fan of it, and like Tolkien, would have
                > enjoyed more; and who, like C.S. Lewis wanted less, thank you?

                I enjoy the hobbits' style. Even amid a desperate and apparently hopeless
                situation, the hobbits, Merry and Pippin in particular, fight back against
                despair with humor. Merry (I think it's Merry), a captive of the Uruk-Hai,
                asks Pippin with a touch of boldness if he's had his "bed and breakfast";
                even Frodo, the most humorless of the hobbits, manages a wry touch in the
                Tower of Cirith Ungol when he asks Sam if he's made arrangements for food
                and accommodation on the way to Orodruin. It occurs to me that although
                many of the Tolclones can adequately imitate Tolkien's solemnity, few can
                emulate his gentle sense of humor; the dreariest of the Tolclones try so
                hard to maintain a heavy, pseudo-epic atmosphere that the reader is
                suffocated.

                Ernest.
              • Croft, Janet B
                I like all of the hobbit dialogue Tolkien wrote, and I think some of it, like Merry and Pippin s exchange, has its roots in British soldier s phlegm or sang
                Message 7 of 13 , Feb 17, 2003
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                  I like all of the hobbit dialogue Tolkien wrote, and I think some of it,
                  like Merry and Pippin's exchange, has its roots in British soldier's
                  "phlegm" or sang froid in the trenches of World War I. I mentioned in my
                  recent paper on WWI and Tolkien that letters home might refer to trench life
                  as "darned unpleasant" or to the unrelenting rain and mud as "a certain
                  dampness." Unflappable good humor is a way to cope with situations like the
                  ones the hobbits found themselves in.

                  Janet

                  Janet Brennan Croft
                  jbcroft@... <mailto:jbcroft@...>
                  http://libraries.ou.edu/ <http://libraries.ou.edu/>
                  http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/C/Janet.B.Croft-1/
                  <http://faculty-staff.ou.edu/C/Janet.B.Croft-1/>
                  -----------------------------------------------------------------
                  There are two kinds of people in this world: those who need closure

                  -----Original Message-----
                  From: Ernest Tomlinson [mailto:thiophene@...]
                  Sent: Sunday, February 16, 2003 8:07 PM
                  To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                  Subject: Re: [mythsoc] hobbit dialogue



                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: <odzer@...>
                  To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Sunday, February 16, 2003 10:28 AM
                  Subject: [mythsoc] hobbit dialogue

                  > Hobbit dialogue: Who here is a fan of it, and like Tolkien, would have
                  > enjoyed more; and who, like C.S. Lewis wanted less, thank you?

                  I enjoy the hobbits' style. Even amid a desperate and apparently hopeless
                  situation, the hobbits, Merry and Pippin in particular, fight back against
                  despair with humor. Merry (I think it's Merry), a captive of the Uruk-Hai,
                  asks Pippin with a touch of boldness if he's had his "bed and breakfast";
                  even Frodo, the most humorless of the hobbits, manages a wry touch in the
                  Tower of Cirith Ungol when he asks Sam if he's made arrangements for food
                  and accommodation on the way to Orodruin. It occurs to me that although
                  many of the Tolclones can adequately imitate Tolkien's solemnity, few can
                  emulate his gentle sense of humor; the dreariest of the Tolclones try so
                  hard to maintain a heavy, pseudo-epic atmosphere that the reader is
                  suffocated.

                  Ernest.



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                • Liz Milner
                  ... world ... I always considered the lack of fit between the high style of the elves and the whimisical style of the hobbits to be an intentional irony, not a
                  Message 8 of 13 , Feb 17, 2003
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                    In a message dated 2/16/2003 Diamond Proudbrook wrote:

                    >Yet, if one considers carefully, the main artistic problem of LOTR (imo) is
                    >that the two don't =quite= fit together, the lofty and way prehistoric
                    world
                    >and the cozy whimsical pseudo-English one.

                    I always considered the lack of fit between the high style of the elves and
                    the whimisical style of the hobbits to be an intentional irony, not a
                    "problem." Few modern readers will read hundreds of pages of ye olde speake
                    without something to leaven all that heaviness, be it the folksy twang of
                    "Sir Boss" in Connecticut Yankee or cosy hobbit chit chat. I think Tom
                    Shippey made the point that the hobbits act as intermediaries between the
                    lofty world of the great personages of Middle-earth and our own.

                    As far as hobbit style goes, perhaps the question should have been phrased,
                    "Is there anyone on the list who doesn't like hobbit dialog?"

                    -Liz Milner

                    lizmilner@...
                  • Stolzi@aol.com
                    In a message dated 2/17/2003 2:50:48 PM Central Standard Time, ... Well, that s how it works, and why it works. But when I really think about it, I feel that
                    Message 9 of 13 , Feb 17, 2003
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                      In a message dated 2/17/2003 2:50:48 PM Central Standard Time,
                      lizmilner@... writes:


                      > I think Tom
                      > Shippey made the point that the hobbits act as intermediaries between the
                      > lofty world of the great personages of Middle-earth and our own.

                      Well, that's how it works, and why it works. But when I really think about
                      it, I feel that the two worlds don't quite mesh effectively.

                      >hundreds of pages of ye olde speake

                      Right, that was my problem with the SILMARILLION.

                      Diamond Proudbrook


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Stolzi@aol.com
                      In a message dated 2/16/2003 6:31:41 PM Central Standard Time, ... I believe pretty much ALL the Inklings told Tolkien to leave OUT the last bit of
                      Message 10 of 13 , Feb 17, 2003
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                        In a message dated 2/16/2003 6:31:41 PM Central Standard Time,
                        michael@... writes:


                        > I think was Lewis objected to was the sort of run-on chatter which
                        > Tolkien eventually whittled out of the book,

                        I believe pretty much ALL the Inklings told Tolkien to leave OUT the last bit
                        of hobbit-stuff that he put at the end of the book, a sort of "Epilogue" if
                        indeed it wasn't titled as such. I saw the text of this rejected section on
                        display at the Marquette Univ. archives, and couldn't have agreed more - oof!

                        Nor would a hero named "Trotter," seems to me, ever have had the ring of
                        "Strider." It's amazing how long (judging from TREASON OF ISENGARD) Tolkien
                        stuck with the previous name. [always makes ME think of Toby "Trotty" Veck in
                        Dickens' THE CHIMES, a very very different sort of character].

                        Diamond Proudbrook



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                      • Michael Martinez <michael@xenite.org>
                        ... which ... Hm. Well, both versions of the Epilogue were published in HOME, and Tolkien himself came to regret the decision to leave it out. In my opinion,
                        Message 11 of 13 , Feb 17, 2003
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                          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Stolzi@a... wrote:
                          > In a message dated 2/16/2003 6:31:41 PM Central Standard Time,
                          > michael@x... writes:
                          >
                          >
                          > > I think was Lewis objected to was the sort of run-on chatter
                          which
                          > > Tolkien eventually whittled out of the book,
                          >
                          > I believe pretty much ALL the Inklings told Tolkien to leave OUT
                          > the last bit of hobbit-stuff that he put at the end of the book, a
                          > sort of "Epilogue" if indeed it wasn't titled as such. I saw the
                          > text of this rejected section on display at the Marquette Univ.
                          > archives, and couldn't have agreed more - oof!

                          Hm. Well, both versions of the Epilogue were published in HOME, and
                          Tolkien himself came to regret the decision to leave it out. In my
                          opinion, it was a hugely tremendous mistake to omit the Epilogue.
                          The book would have ended much better with it in.

                          And, yes, it was "Hobbit stuff", but very important "Hobbit stuff"
                          which would have answered many readers' questions (and, indeed, DOES
                          answer many readers' questions, now that it's been published).

                          > Nor would a hero named "Trotter," seems to me, ever have had the
                          > ring of "Strider." It's amazing how long (judging from TREASON OF
                          > ISENGARD) Tolkien stuck with the previous name. [always makes ME
                          > think of Toby "Trotty" Veck in Dickens' THE CHIMES, a very very
                          > different sort of character].

                          My point (or one of them) was that people do enjoy reading about
                          Trotter the Hobbit Ranger, even though he didn't last very long.

                          He may not be everyone's cup of tea, but many people do indeed like
                          him.
                        • darancgrissom@sbcglobal.net
                          ... From: Stolzi@aol.com To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Monday, February 17, 2003 2:26 PM Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: hobbit dialogue Well, that s how it
                          Message 12 of 13 , Feb 18, 2003
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                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: Stolzi@...
                            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Monday, February 17, 2003 2:26 PM
                            Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Re: hobbit dialogue

                            "Well, that's how it works, and why it works. But when I really think about
                            it, I feel that the two worlds don't quite mesh effectively."

                            Well I think thta's the point. The fact that the two worlds don't mesh quite makes the hobbits as intermediaries necessary. Their speech and mannerisms, while more archiac than our own, are more advanced than the rest of Middle-earth. I think this serves to create a sense of nostalgia for the way in which the hobbits live, while allowing us to experiance the nostalgia with which the hobbits saw the rest of Middle-earth. No matter our own personal likes or dislikes Tolkien saw the life of the late eighteenth century rual englishmen as the ideal life style, and the gentry saw the epic deeds of the feudal knights as their, not ideal, but greatest lifestyle.
                            A wonderful trick really

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                          • Stolzi@aol.com
                            In a message dated 2/17/2003 11:34:50 PM Central Standard Time, ... You misunderstand me here, then. Yes, Trotter the Hobbit sounds interesting. But
                            Message 13 of 13 , Feb 18, 2003
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                              In a message dated 2/17/2003 11:34:50 PM Central Standard Time,
                              michael@... writes:


                              > My point (or one of them) was that people do enjoy reading about
                              > Trotter the Hobbit Ranger, even though he didn't last very long.
                              >
                              > He may not be everyone's cup of tea, but many people do indeed like
                              > him.

                              You misunderstand me here, then. Yes, Trotter the Hobbit sounds
                              interesting. But "Trotter" in TREASON OF ISENGARD is already a Man and a
                              future King, and the name just doesn't seem to fit.

                              Diamond Proudbrook


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