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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
**Queer Lodgings": Intro.


Aug 21 2012, 10:23am

Views: 582
**Queer Lodgings": Intro. Can't Post

Hi folks and welcome to our discussion of The Hobbit Chapter 7: Queer Lodgings. I hope to put up four main posts, one each day until Friday. I will have to finish by then as I am tied up after that.

The posts will cover:
A. The Approach.
B. Beorn.
C. The Sojourn.
D. To Mirkwood.

I will adopt a thematic approach, looking at particular features of each section rather than conducting a paragraph by paragraph analysis. If anyone wishes to raise issues that I have missed as we go along that would be welcome. I will though be inviting “open discussion” of the chapter as a whole, probably in a short final post solely meant for that purpose. I hope it all works out.

To hopefully whet your appetite before embarking on the chapter proper I wonder if people have any thoughts on the title of the chapter, in particular the use of the word “Queer”. I remember reading Coleridges magnificent poem Kubla Khan for the first time and being blown away by the sound of the words. I was young, and too young to appreciate any “meanings” that I might now ascribe to the poem. However I did find the line “As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing” to be jarring and to break the spell so to speak. Was the earth wearing tight corduroy trousers either underneath or on top of some other garment or what? As I now understand it the word “pants” had not acquired this modern meaning in Coleridges day and for his early readers the word would only conjure up thoughts of heavy breathing. In similar fashion Tolkien used words like “Queer” (and “Gay”) in days before they acquired their modern subsidiary meanings. But are they the subsidiary meanings any more?

Do you find Tolkien's use of these words unfortunate? Distracting? Affirming? Or maybe you never noticed it! Will the time come, when the books are out of copyright, that helpful editors will retitle this chapter “Strange Lodgings”? Would that be a welcome development?All thoughts on any of this are welcome.

That's all for now folks. I hope my first main post will go up later today.


Subject User Time
**Queer Lodgings": Intro. Pryderi Send a private message to Pryderi Aug 21 2012, 10:23am
    "He was in fact held by all the hobbits of the neighbourhood to be ‘queer’" - "Bag End’s a queer place, and its folk are queerer." squire Send a private message to squire Aug 21 2012, 6:05pm
    Well, Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Aug 22 2012, 10:41pm
    Late answers sador Send a private message to sador Aug 27 2012, 1:03pm
    "by the sound of the words" telain Send a private message to telain Aug 30 2012, 4:24pm
    We need to have a revolution. dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Aug 31 2012, 3:13am
        That's all well and good squire Send a private message to squire Aug 31 2012, 12:31pm


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