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Re: Nazi Tosh

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  • Steve Law
    ... I watched that show. It was a sort of discussion panel. Greer physically shuddered at the very idea of LOTR. Her objection (as I understood it) is the very
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 7, 2003
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      >>Germaine Greer, well known for her incoherent
      >>attacks on Tolkien. In her recent statements she's
      >>said that Tolkien is "Nazi tosh" and that she has
      >>never bothered to actually read Tolkien.

      >Do you have any citations for these comments? I'd
      >be interested in seeing how she tries to defend this
      >kind of criticism.

      I watched that show. It was a sort of discussion
      panel. Greer physically shuddered at the very idea of
      LOTR. Her objection (as I understood it) is the very
      idea of Evil: the bad guys in LOTR are painted as
      *totally* evil, and the demonising and dehumanising of
      others in this way is essentially fascistic and the
      cause of dreadful ethnic conflicts as seen in Bosnia
      and Rwanda.
      A young man with glasses was introduced as a "critic
      who actually likes Tolkien". He squirmed uncomfortably
      and admitted he hadn't read any since his teens, but
      made the point that tales of good and evil come from a
      religious world view. The discussion quickly moved
      away from him and on approvingly to childrens books
      which are socially progressive and deal with topics
      like divorce and disability.

      It was all very politically correct and made me angry
      to the extent that I had to recreate the whole thing
      for my wife the next morning.

      I suspect Greer's dislike of LOTR stems from too many
      other people liking it when she started university. I
      have a strong dislike of The Rocky Horror Picture Show
      for the same reasons (even though it is quite fun).



      Steve Law



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    • Jay Hershberger
      SL: I watched that show. It was a sort of discussion panel. Greer physically shuddered at the very idea of LOTR. Her objection (as I understood it) is the
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 7, 2003
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        SL: I watched that show. It was a sort of discussion
        panel. Greer physically shuddered at the very idea of
        LOTR. Her objection (as I understood it) is the very
        idea of Evil: the bad guys in LOTR are painted as
        *totally* evil, and the demonising and dehumanising of
        others in this way is essentially fascistic and the
        cause of dreadful ethnic conflicts as seen in Bosnia
        and Rwanda.

        JH: It is difficult to take Germaine Greer seriously, since, by her own
        admission, she never read Tolkien. It seems obvious that if one is going to
        critique a piece of literature, one first needs to read it. Her refusal to
        do so says a lot about her own closedness to new--or old--ideas.

        I once played a recital that included some late Beethoven. I introduced the
        work with some references to the profound and sublime direction that his
        late music took, after he had been liberated from the hearing world. I was
        trounced at the reception afterwards by an English professor who pronounced
        to me that the words profound and sublime were meaningless words, used only
        by those whose understanding of language was shallow and misguided. It was
        time for me to come into the 20th century, so she said.

        Perhaps Ms. Greer long ago lost the ability to experience wonder and joy,
        the "eucatastrophe" (sp?) that Tolkien mentioned in one of his essays.
        Regardless, even she cannot escape her own reasoning. For, if the conflicts
        in Bosnia and Rwanda are indeed dreadful--they are, of course--then her
        saying so shows she has a sense of Evil, and that such dreadfulness is
        dehumanising after all. It seems to me that Tolkien can help us to maintain
        contact with the consequences of evil in a way that is in some ways more
        palpable than much of the documentary material that informs us of
        atrocities.

        Cheers,

        Jay Hershberger
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