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Children of Húrin Discussion Schedule


May 22 2007, 2:46am

Post #1 of 8 (4224 views)
Children of Húrin Discussion Schedule Can't Post

Here's the schedule for the Children of Húrin discussion. We're set through August 20, so there are still chances for people to sign up. Thanks to all who volunteered, and let's see if we can make this not TOO depressing, okay?

(Could a friendly admin make this a sticky as we did with the artists' schedule? Thanks!)

June 11 (Preface, Introduction, Note on Pronunciation) Pallando

June 18 (I. The Childhood of Túrin) squire

June 25 (II-III. The Battle of Unnumbered Tears, The Words of Húrin and Morgoth) Menelwyn

July 2 (IV. The Departure of Túrin) Ataahua

July 9 (V. Túrin in Doriath) Wynnie

July 16 (VI. Túrin among the Outlaws) Modtheow

July 23 (VII. Of Mîm the Dwarft) Finding Frodo

July 30 (VIII-IX. The Land of Bow and Helm, The Death of Beleg) Saelind

August 6 (X. Túrin in Nargothrond) Altaira

August 13 (XI-XII. The Fall of Nargothrond, The Return of Túrin to Dor-lómin) Eledhwen

August 20 (XIII. The Coming of Túrin to Brethil)

August 27 (XIV. The Journey of Morwen and Niënor to Nargothrond)

September 3 (XV. Niënor in Brethil)

Sept. 10 (XVI-XVII. The Coming of Glaurung, The Death of Glaurung) Pallando

September 17 (XVIII. The Death of Túrin) Curious

September 24 (Appendix I. The Evolution of the Great Tales) drogo

October 1 (Appendix 2. The Composition of the Text)

October 8 (List of Names, Note on the Map, & Wrap-up)

(This post was edited by drogo on May 22 2007, 2:48am)


May 24 2007, 5:28pm

Post #2 of 8 (2587 views)
I don't find Children of Hurin at all depressing. [In reply to] Can't Post

Do you find the movies in the Godfather trilogy depressing? I don't, even though Michael Corleone leads a life nearly as violent and tragic as Turin's, and the message of the films seems to be that corruption is everywhere, not just in organized crime.

Do you find The Book of Job depressing? I don't, even though all kinds of bad things happen to Job.

Do you find the Blues depressing? I don't, even though bad things generally happen in Blues songs.

Do you find the end of LotR depressing? I don't, even though Frodo and Gandalf and the elves leave Middle-earth forever and everyone cries at the end.

Life can be depressing. Fictional tragedy can be cleansing. If I feel sad, I like to go to tearjerker movie and have a good cry. If I feel angry, I like to go to an action movie and see some action. If I feel afraid, I like to go to a scary movie and feel my heart race. If I'm happy, well, then I'll go to a comedy and have a good laugh at the fools on the screen. But if I am in the wrong mood, it is the comedy that can be depressing.

If anything, I wish I felt more emotion when reading CoH, not less. The weakest parts are those that do not touch my heart, not those that make me feel sad, or angry, or afraid. So let's see if we can jerk some tears, here, or make some fists pound or hearts race! Let's dive into the tragedy, holding nothing back! Let's see if we can make the tragedy come to life, so that we want to reach out and shake some sense into Turin or the characters around him! Because that is when the story works.


Jun 8 2007, 11:13pm

Post #3 of 8 (2551 views)
On the other hand, [In reply to] Can't Post

I just noticed that in my first preliminary review of Children of Hurin I called it "arguably the most depressing material in all of The Silmarillion"! So okay, yeah, I guess it could seem depressing. Or at least "arguably" depressing. But I think it is most depressing when it is least moving.

I think a dry summary of the Godfather trilogy or The Book of Job or Blues songs or the last chapter of LotR could seem depressing too. What saves them from being depressing is the emotion and the art, the characteristics that distinguish them from dry histories of violence and tragedy and loss.

The local news is depressing. The news on 9/11 was beyond depressing. The movie United 98, however, is uplifting and cathartic, even though we know from the news that it ends badly, and the movie pulls no punches. Great tragedy gives us an outlet for our feelings, and heals our depression.

Although it can be hard to convince people of that, sight unseen. Lots of people here the summary of tragedies and refuse to read or see them because they sound depressing. Well yes, the summaries do sound depressing. But the summaries leave out all the art. The song "Strange Fruit" is a graphic description of lynched bodies hanging from a tree. Pretty depressing, no? But when Billie Holiday sang that song, it became a best seller. That's why Johny Lee Hooker sang "The blues a healer, all over the world."

Tolkien aimed for this kind of high tragedy in Children of Hurin. Unfortunately, he did not achieve that target throughout the tale, so yes, some of it is just depressing, or even just puzzling. But other parts I find quite moving, and therefore not depressing. Sad and infuriating, but not depressing. (Not very scary, though, perhaps because I had a hard time identifying with the characters in peril.)

Maybe I am jumping the gun a bit, since our discussion starts next week, but this is more of an overall comment, and a follow-up to my previous comments. I wonder if my big-picture assessment will be the same 18 weeks from now?

The Shire

Aug 9 2007, 10:29pm

Post #4 of 8 (2342 views)
possible to sign up? [In reply to] Can't Post

If its still possible to sign uo id like to sign up for
chapters X!V and XV Morwens ond Nienors journey and Nienir in brethil

N.E. Brigand

Aug 9 2007, 11:41pm

Post #5 of 8 (2344 views)
Yes, absolutely! [In reply to] Can't Post

I think that week is still free: PM drogo to be sure. And I've agreed to take the previous week of Aug. 20.

Discuss The Children of Húrin in the Reading Room, June 11-October 14.


Aug 10 2007, 12:28am

Post #6 of 8 (2375 views)
chapter [In reply to] Can't Post

I actually had volunteered to do XIV in another thread.

(This post was edited by Saelind on Aug 10 2007, 12:29am)

N.E. Brigand

Aug 10 2007, 2:27am

Post #7 of 8 (2352 views)
Good to know! [In reply to] Can't Post

Galadriel1a, perhaps you'd like to lead the Aug. 20 chapter, in my place? Or take one of the appendical chapters?

Discuss The Children of Húrin in the Reading Room, June 11-October 14.

The Shire

Aug 10 2007, 10:09am

Post #8 of 8 (2365 views)
I could do with chapter XV [In reply to] Can't Post

I think that the 20/8 would be hard for me , timewise i´m more free and easy after the 26th. I would be happy to put some focus on Nienor.
Maybe i´m able to share chapter XII but i have to check if i have enough time first.


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