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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Perhaps "find out" was too strong

sador
Half-elven

Jul 13 2009, 6:41am


Views: 671
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Perhaps "find out" was too strong [In reply to] Can't Post

It definitely was stronger than I meant.

But as The Hobbit is a critical part of the background of LotR, I think at the very least LotR re-interprets this episode in a different way of what The Hobbit implies when read on its own.
My intention was to point out this difference, not to claim the second interpretation is found out to be more correct.

However, as I have read LotR about twice for each time I read The Hobbit, and bearing in mind that LotR is at least five times longer, then even if I could detach these books from each other, as you seem to prefer - for every hour I spend in a Middle-Earth in which Bilbo lays all moral ambiguities to rest in this chapter, I spend ten hours in a Middle-Earth in which he continues lying for another seventy-seven years.

It appears that some fans, while rejecting the detaching you suggest in theory, do so in practice (so they can cheerfully ignore one book while reading the other, except for when looking for connections); I find it difficult.



In Reply To
The entire interpretation that he "is not honest yet" is imposed on this text by another - about as effective as if I was to say that Merlin in Mallory's Morte d'Arthur is living backwards in time, because T.H. White says so in The Once and Future King.


But this is obviously going too far; especially considering the fact that Tolkien did intend to rewrite The Hobbit, and characterstically left that project in the middle; and the fact that 'Riddles in the Dark' was heavily rewritten after Bilbo's lying about the Ring was published. You cannot ignore this to the extent comparing this with White and Mallory.
And I think Dreamdeer once argued that Tolkien's later re-interpretations of passages in The Hobbit were inspired by his reading the book itself again, more deeply. This is at least partially true.

By the way - do you think Bilbo told the folks in Hobbiton about the ring? If he did, how could he use it to escape unwanted callers (I think that's mentioned towards the end of the book)? If he did not, isn't this a case of continued lying about his adventures and the ring specifically? Or do you think he kept mum about all his journeys (despite the contradiction to A Long-expected Party)?

"Let us hope still for something that will bring reconciliation." - the Elvenking.

Subject User Time
A Thief in the Night -- Part 4 weaver Send a private message to weaver Jul 10 2009, 3:53am
    here goes Twit Send a private message to Twit Jul 10 2009, 10:10am
        Letter consistency Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Jul 11 2009, 12:17am
    Thoughts. Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 10 2009, 2:19pm
    Letter Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Jul 11 2009, 12:14am
    Bilbo makes them an offer they can't refuse squire Send a private message to squire Jul 11 2009, 5:24am
        Good for you to have done it! sador Send a private message to sador Jul 12 2009, 7:27am
            “Bilbo is not honest yet” - ?? squire Send a private message to squire Jul 12 2009, 2:28pm
                Quite so! N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Jul 12 2009, 5:26pm
                Perhaps "find out" was too strong sador Send a private message to sador Jul 13 2009, 6:41am
                    The Mind as Iceberg Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Jul 13 2009, 6:36pm
                        It may be in the author's mind, Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 13 2009, 6:45pm
                    If Bilbo lied to his neighbors about his adventures, Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 13 2009, 6:47pm
                        "His magic ring he kept a great secret..." N.E. Brigand Send a private message to N.E. Brigand Jul 13 2009, 7:15pm
                            Oops! sador Send a private message to sador Jul 13 2009, 7:24pm
                        Not lied? sador Send a private message to sador Jul 13 2009, 7:22pm
                            As N.E.B. notes, there's no obligation to tell everything. Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 13 2009, 8:32pm
                                Well, you know sador Send a private message to sador Jul 14 2009, 6:15am
                                    Bilbo told Frodo the whole story, but Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 14 2009, 8:55am
                                    The Quest for Power Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Jul 14 2009, 6:56pm
                                        Tolkien wanted to put the genie back Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 14 2009, 7:46pm
                                        "Unlimited power is apt to corrupt the minds of those who possess it" squire Send a private message to squire Jul 14 2009, 9:39pm
                                            Or Capitalist or Colonialist Curious Send a private message to Curious Jul 14 2009, 10:39pm
                                                Consensus is a matter of opinion. Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Jul 15 2009, 2:53am
                                            You got my point Dreamdeer Send a private message to Dreamdeer Jul 15 2009, 2:42am
    A few answers sador Send a private message to sador Jul 12 2009, 7:52am
        Ah, the "note-paper"! squire Send a private message to squire Jul 12 2009, 2:47pm
            Water-resistant ink Kimi Send a private message to Kimi Jul 13 2009, 1:14am
                Excellent! squire Send a private message to squire Jul 13 2009, 1:38am
                Fascinating! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jul 13 2009, 3:19am
    I like Bilbo's style of taking care of business so much more grammaboodawg Send a private message to grammaboodawg Jul 12 2009, 2:45pm

 
 
 

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