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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
The Narrator in The Hobbit
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Darkstone
Immortal


Sep 12 2013, 6:22pm

Post #26 of 44 (221 views)
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Yes. [In reply to] Can't Post

When I write fiction I like to move first-person viewpoint around. Drives some editors crazy.

******************************************
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Sometime hours and hours hence:
In The Green Dragon two ales could buy
And drank the one less filling I
And that has made all the difference.
- The Ale Less Filling, by Robert Frostymug


Brethil
Half-elven


Sep 12 2013, 6:26pm

Post #27 of 44 (219 views)
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I loved how Tryon used first person in The Other [In reply to] Can't Post

Part of the shock value in finding out the truth. Of who was real and who was not.

Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply, and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!








CuriousG
Valinor


Sep 12 2013, 7:04pm

Post #28 of 44 (209 views)
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And that was before M. Night Shyamalan! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Sep 12 2013, 8:53pm

Post #29 of 44 (208 views)
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We thinks the 4th person is under-used, doesn't we, Precious. // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimė I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Sep 12 2013, 8:58pm

Post #30 of 44 (217 views)
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You may enjoy "Robot", which you will find is in the 2nd person [In reply to] Can't Post

Its quite a spectacular short story. Great recording of it, available along sith it in writing, but you need to be somewhere quiet.
http://escapepod.org/2013/05/09/ep395-robot/

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimė I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Sep 12 2013, 9:00pm

Post #31 of 44 (204 views)
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Do you mean that you have multiple narrators? // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimė I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


squire
Valinor


Sep 12 2013, 9:37pm

Post #32 of 44 (221 views)
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It's tricksy [In reply to] Can't Post

"We thinks the 4th person is under-used, doesn't we, Precious?"
Foolish! Foolish! We is the 1st person, we is, we are.
"SSssst! Don't, don't say it. We dursn't, we hated school. Who.... who says so?"
We do! I do! I know it. I learned it, once. Once, long ago.
"We hates you! Grammer, gramma, gram, cram .... where's food?"
You musn't hate grammar, musn't you. I, we, likes grammar. We knows, we knows. First person, singular, it's I, tisn't it? First person many, we means plural, we means we, eh? But there is no 4th person. It's not sensible.
"Shut up. Go away. Get Precious nice food."



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.

(This post was edited by squire on Sep 12 2013, 9:39pm)


CuriousG
Valinor


Sep 12 2013, 9:53pm

Post #33 of 44 (198 views)
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Lol! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Brethil
Half-elven


Sep 13 2013, 3:36am

Post #34 of 44 (190 views)
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Thank you for the link Furincurunir [In reply to] Can't Post

I had read this once before, someone brought it into work as it is quite a take on the disease model and dehumanizing modernity...really enjoyed having time to read it fully (I was rushed previously).

Very powerful and wrenching piece.

Is there a Tolkien topic that you have wanted to look into more deeply, and write about your thoughts on it? If so, we'd like to hear from you for the next TORn Amateur Symposium- coming in November. Happy writing!








noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Sep 13 2013, 6:49am

Post #35 of 44 (194 views)
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Well done - does look difficult to keep up, except maybe… [In reply to] Can't Post

"We the people…"

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimė I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Sep 13 2013, 10:21am

Post #36 of 44 (185 views)
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I'll claim the 5th - no actually I won't [In reply to] Can't Post

I wonder whether it is possible at all to write anything sustained in the 5th person (they...), without it being completely confusing who is being addressed by whom. It's going to tend to collapse into the 3rd ("They came for him at dawn...") or a 1st.

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimė I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


squire
Valinor


Sep 13 2013, 10:28am

Post #37 of 44 (189 views)
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or, in the other direction, "Anthem" [In reply to] Can't Post

I had to read this in high school, if I remember - I mean,
"We had to read this in high school, if we remembers, Precious."

I've always thought a Tolkien/Orwell/Rand study would be interesting to do. Start with prose style, move on to audience strategies (juvenile book gives way to adult book on the same theme), and end with mid-century Anglo-American political attitudes on the question of individuality vs. the state or the collective, seen through the lens of popular fantasy.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Sep 13 2013, 10:41am

Post #38 of 44 (182 views)
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Omniscience... and pretending lack of it [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien does some tricks with his 3rd person narrators - at times he is making general observations; at times we're in the "Free indirect style" where teh point of view is that of a certain character (e.g. Sam).

He also has an odd trick of pretending there are things he doesn't know (actually, as tales come in part from a storyteller's subconcious, I think, he might actually not know, though he could presumably come up with something if he tried, and it would immediately become cannon).

That "I don't know" trick can be done by Tolkien in different voices:

A 1st person "Fatherly" or "storyteller" example from Roverandom, which Squire already picked out:

Quote
...and that was the end of Artaxerxes in the office of Pacific and Atlantic magician. Who has done their bewitchments for them since, I don't know. Old Psamathos and the Man-in-the-Moon, I should think, have managed it between them; they are perfectly capable of it. -


A third person (more editorial?) example from LOTR

Quote
Shelob was gone; and whether she lay long in her lair, nursing her malice and her misery, and in slow years of darkness healed herself from within, rebuilding her clustered eyes, until with hunger like death she spun once more her dreadful snares in the glens of the Mountains of Shadow, this tale does not tell.

Sam was left alone...

(my italics)

Parenthetically, note how much more creepy and satisfactory that is than "Shelob was gone; but she lay long in her lair, nursing her malice and her misery, and in slow years of darkness healed herself from within, rebuilding her clustered eyes, until with hunger like death she spun once more her dreadful snares in the glens of the Mountains of Shadow." Being told this as certainty is a worrying or exciting distraction. Sam has been left alone! Frodo seems to be dead! The heck with Shelob, we want to know about the hobbits and the Ring!

Or, an even more formal tone in the Sil:


Quote
He [Earendil] stood now most often at the prow of Vingilot, and the Silmaril was bound upon his brow; and ever its light grew greater as they drew into the West. And the wise have said that it was by reason of the power of that holy jewel that they came to waters that no vessels save those of the Teleri had known...

(my italics again)

Just wondering (perhaps HoME black belts can help on this one) - is And the wise have said original JRRT? It would have a difference (and quite amusing) significance if it was an editorial comment not by the imagined storyteller/narrator/editor of the Sil, but by Christopher Tolkien and Guy Kay.

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimė I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Sep 13 2013, 10:50am

Post #39 of 44 (204 views)
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Are you thinking of an editorial interjection into Sam's packing (as the Fellowship leaves Rivendell)? [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
Sam eased the pack on his shoulders, and went over anxiously in his mind all the things he had stowed in it, wondering if he had forgotten anything; his chief treasure, his cooking gear; and the little box of salt that he always carried and refilled when he could; a good supply of pipe weed (but not near enough, I'll warrant); flint and tinder; woollen hose; linen...

(my bold italics)

That's coming near the "fatherly" tone of the 1st person hobbit narrator - but sounds like a seasoned campaigner (and smoker!) expecting us to get Sam's worry that of course he will run out, and get twitchy...

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimė I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


Darkstone
Immortal


Sep 13 2013, 1:16pm

Post #40 of 44 (173 views)
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Yes. [In reply to] Can't Post

One character may narrate what's going on one moment, another narrates what is happening later on. One narrates what seems to be happening during an event, another describes what is really happening.

It's also nice in keeping a character ambiguous, with one narrator interpreting an action as being suspicious, anothe seeing the actions as innocent.

Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

******************************************
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Sometime hours and hours hence:
In The Green Dragon two ales could buy
And drank the one less filling I
And that has made all the difference.
- The Ale Less Filling, by Robert Frostymug


aruman
Rivendell


Sep 13 2013, 1:47pm

Post #41 of 44 (174 views)
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Aaaahhh yes! That's it, thank you! [In reply to] Can't Post

 

In the movies Elrond, Denethor, Haldir, Galadriel, and Celeborn stink.


Darkstone
Immortal


Sep 13 2013, 2:29pm

Post #42 of 44 (173 views)
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Well [In reply to] Can't Post

One wonders if "And the wise have said" is sometimes used ironically.

Indeed if fish had fish-lore and Wise-fish, it is probable that the business of anglers would be very little hindered.
-"Author's Notes on the 'Commentary'" from the Commentary on The Debate of Finrod and Andreth

******************************************
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Sometime hours and hours hence:
In The Green Dragon two ales could buy
And drank the one less filling I
And that has made all the difference.
- The Ale Less Filling, by Robert Frostymug


squire
Valinor


Sep 13 2013, 5:07pm

Post #43 of 44 (169 views)
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Interesting idea. [In reply to] Can't Post

I always took that "(but not near enough, I'll warrant)" as Sam's inner voice, speaking to himself as he packed, or as he thought back on his packing. I admit this first-person unquoted parenthesis is a unique construction in LotR, but the absence of a narrator's "I" anywhere else in the entire book has led me away from the idea that Tolkien used it in just one place.

We can back up the idea of it being Sam, not the narrator, with a little vocab research. The phrase "I'll warrant" occurs several times in dialogue in The Hobbit, and quite a lot in The Lord of the Rings. The speakers include The Great Goblin and the spiders in the first book, and Ted Sandyman and the Uruk-hai in the second. But it is most often spoken by, yes, Sam Gamgee in LotR and primarily in Books IV and VI, when Sam comes into his own as a character. In all cases, the colloquialism has a lower-class or working-class tone when it isn't actually being villainous. Clearly to me, anyway, it doesn't really go with the kindly middle-class or even professorial voices that Tolkien gives his narrators.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd (and NOW the 4th too!) TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Sep 13 2013, 5:23pm

Post #44 of 44 (184 views)
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That seems a very likely explanation… [In reply to] Can't Post

Though maybe the whole section should have been Sam's 1st person, then.

Or some quotes for the parentheses…

Nice idea to research "I'll warrant"!

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimė I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"

(This post was edited by noWizardme on Sep 13 2013, 5:25pm)

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