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TORn AMATEUR SYMPOSIUM ESSAY: "Narrating Middle-earth" by NoWizardme
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TORn Amateur Symposium
Bree


Nov 21 2013, 3:16pm

Post #1 of 70 (616 views)
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TORn AMATEUR SYMPOSIUM ESSAY: "Narrating Middle-earth" by NoWizardme Can't Post

Welcome to November 2013 TORn Amateur Symposium, the second TAS!

We are very pleased to present the next essay for TAS2:

Narrating Middle-earth" by NoWizardMe

Abstract:
"Which voices tell the story?" is a fundamental decision for a writer to make. Looking at The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, I discuss examples of the various solutions Tolkien uses, and the effects these have. These include his first-person "storyteller" narrator in The Hobbit, and the long and complex eye-witness accounts of Lord of the Rings. The predominant choice in either book is third-person, but that does not mean using the same voice throughout - I discuss Tolkienfs ability to narrate different characters in a style which combines distanced observation with a flavour of how that character sees the world.

To view the essay, please click on the link above.

Our authors have written essays and analyses that are concerned, in some way, with the legendarium of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. These essays may be philosophic opinions, scientific theories, or analytical approaches to understanding or highlighting some facet of Tolkien's writings and world. These pieces are written with the goal of amateur scholarship at their core - thus inspiring our Symposium title. Authors may choose to include citations or footnotes, but they are by no means required. Keeping in mind the dual spirit of enjoyment and inquiry that we believe in (as much as we value cheer and song), and which is of paramount important to both the TAS team and our authors, we fully encourage discussion of the essays presented.We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoy posting it. The TAS is open for discussion, and any comments, questions or thought you wish to share about this essay can be posted in this response to this thread.

We have quite a full schedule of essays - essays will posted approximately every other day. The full schedule can be found
here

So please, go forth and enjoy all of the works we have posted for this 2013 November Session. The entire TAS Team, (Elaen32, DanielLB and Brethil), is both delighted and proud to present the essays our TAS members have crafted, relating their interests and skills to the world of JRRT that we all love; a world most intricately crafted, and one that "takes hold of us, and never let's go."


acheron
Gondor


Nov 21 2013, 3:47pm

Post #2 of 70 (325 views)
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Excellent reading [In reply to] Can't Post

You pulled some very telling quotes from LOTR there. It is perhaps part of the genius of the work that it is easy to not even notice the transition in, e.g., the account of Eowyn and Merry and the Witch-king, unless you are specifically looking for it, and yet once you notice the difference it becomes very obvious.

One thing I may look for on my next read is any differences in the descriptions of "scenery" (vs. "events") in various sections of the book. If the description of Eowyn is told in a "Rohirric" style, and of Merry is in a "hobbity" style, how is the description of the Pellennor told, and "by" whom? In my previous digressions on the types of food we could expect hobbits to have eaten, I took the description of Ithilien as being "told" by Sam, concluding: 1) since the description mentions, e.g., bay laurel, 2) Sam knows what a bay laurel is, 3) therefore hobbits could be expected to have used bay leaves in cooking.

For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much -- the wheel, New York, wars, and so on -- while all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man, for precisely the same reasons. -- Douglas Adams


elaen32
Gondor


Nov 21 2013, 4:00pm

Post #3 of 70 (305 views)
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Something I had not really clarified in my mind... [In reply to] Can't Post

Whilst I realised the different style of description in varying places, I hadn't quite made the connection between the character being described and the language used. Now, thinking about it, I realise how widespread this is and how cleverly it is integrated throughout the book, so that it appears natural to switch from one mode of expression to another within a few sentences.

With regards to the authorial asides- I do think that these are what really add to the distinction between TH and LOTR, in terms of the target audience ages. Although asides exist in adults' literature, they are far more typical in children's books in my experience

Thanks for an interesting essay


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


Nov 21 2013, 4:06pm

Post #4 of 70 (304 views)
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Need a lot if highlighter pens :) [In reply to] Can't Post

Thank you. An A+ student would doubtless have gone through the entire works with a set of highlighter pens, deciding which style each bit is in. But I decided that was impractical to me right now: the only A+ thing about me at present is my blood group Smile

Anyway, I'd be bound to get part way through my highlighter exercise, only to decide I really must change the colour code. (Or had accidentally changed it part way through) …
So something I didn't figure out was: is there a distinct "vanilla" style for no character at all?

The "hobbity" food descriptions sound right (and the English widely use and grow bay leaves). Hobbity possibly becomes indistinguishable from "Vanilla narrator", but that's appropriate, since the hobbits are our proxies in Middle-earth.

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


Nov 21 2013, 4:20pm

Post #5 of 70 (297 views)
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Authorial asides and children's books [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
With regards to the authorial asides- I do think that these are what really add to the distinction between TH and LOTR, in terms of the target audience ages. Although asides exist in adults' literature, they are far more typical in children's book

Quote
The "avuncular" narrator addressing the reader directly is definitely something I associate with children's books available my childhood (the 1970s roughly). C S Lewis used to annoy me in his habit if going into off-topic lectures (for example about "Progressive Schools" in The Silver Chair. )

I asked Mrs. NOWiz, a children's book editor, whether she could think of modern examples- she could only think of Lemony Snicket, who- perhaps significantly- uses the technique ironically. Perhaps children are treated as a more sophisticated audience nowadays? Or the technique just seems very dated?

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!"


Brethil
Half-elven


Nov 21 2013, 4:23pm

Post #6 of 70 (295 views)
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So much to talk about... [In reply to] Can't Post

Fantastic idea here, and a pleasure to read. The shifts in narrator are so subtle that though it sometimes brings us 'out of the story' in the conspriator type of mode, it never seems to jar.

Some points of interest that you delineate:

- The narrator is one of the Big People, ie: human. The identification of him as human plus the additonal note that he is aware of Gandalf really subconsciously lends the tale to the faery-mode: people (us) peeking over the hedge, as it were, to view the magic of that other half-hidden world. An homage to his love of the faery genre?

- The conflict beginning in the Council of Elrond, as we have lots of talk (15,000 words!) and the action, so to speak, is of the mind: it is in exposition and revelation, with building and receding tension - to the final point of who will take the Ring. Yet as you point out, among the conversations are the seeds of both Boromir's destruction and his rift with Aragorn - the Ring having its effect on the plane of Thought, before it is even out of the safety of Rivendell. That it sits passively there amidst the Council but its work is still being done: so many voices in contention over it, masterfully underlines the menace of it merely existing. (Jumping to Film-world, the Ring chuckling distantly from the depths reflects this I think.)

- The great comparison of Sam and Eowyn's battle descriptions. The differences in narration set the tone for each. And while thoughts about the felling of the Witch-king *could* be Merry's, it feels more removed and more omniscient; I agree, Merry's thoughts might be as simple as "well, she needed help, so I stabbed him," (blushing too). Even with the knowledge of the provenance of the blade - the words don't feel like Merry do they? Its the tone of an older, knowing voice.

I will be posting more, as there is so much to talk about...but here's a start! Thanks Furincurunir.

The second TORn Amateur Symposium is running right now, in the Reading Room. Come have a look and maybe stay to chat!





DanielLB
Immortal


Nov 21 2013, 4:39pm

Post #7 of 70 (298 views)
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About Tolkien's narration ... [In reply to] Can't Post

It seems to me that the two different methods adopted (in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings) help set the atmosphere and the define the tone of each of the books. Because Tolkien does not make reference to his readers (in LOTR), it means he can focus more on creating a complete fantasy world, which becomes completely disconnected from our world. It's quite different from other writers of the same genre and period - take C.S Lewis - the majority of the time he writes in third person, but he does occasionally use first person (like The Hobbit). While speaking directly to the reader can draw them in more, it does also bring closer the connection and interaction between a "fantasy" world and the "real" world.

So, does writing in first person remove some of the "maturity" from a book? I think the answer is yes. The different types of narrations used by different authors can affect the reader in remarkably different ways. A third-person narrator who speaks directly to the reader creates an intimate and personal connection, which is frequently adopted in young adult/children books. On the other hand, a a third person narrator who does not make reference to the reader can engross and envelop an adult reader in a total fantasy world. While a first-person narrator can further create the illusion of a complete fantasy world or ask the reader to break the "fourth wall" and to put his or herself in the position of the protagonist.

Not that it is really feasible (without a lot of re-structuring) but I wonder if LOTR would have stood the test of time had it been written in first person.

And why aren't there any second-person narrated fantasy books?!

Thank you for an enjoyable read. (Sorry for my random musings above.)


Wink



noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Nov 21 2013, 5:32pm

Post #8 of 70 (291 views)
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First person avuncular…and other kinds of narrators [In reply to] Can't Post

It may be that the "first person avuncular" is/was popular in children's literature because it suggests some friendly grown-up telling you a story. Of course, that is where one strand of Tolkien's writing did actually start: stories for the kids. It's worth visiting that earlier discussion about the first person narrator, which gave me the idea for this piece - good points about this there http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=640936#640936

In answer to

Quote
And why aren't there any second-person narrated fantasy books?!


You will find a second-person story linked here. And you may enjoy it http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=642410#642410

You will find another here : http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=642541#642541

(This is reminding me of being rather nonplussed by a German host telling us "You will go up the mountain tomorrow and you will enjoy yourself!" Which would have sounded much less imperative when he constructed the sentence in his head in German. )

We thinks that a fourth person narrator is tricksy , doesn't we Precious? A Lord of the Rings narrated by us would be toothsomly scrumptious. No,no! We can't be narratorses, as we don't survive the endings! Shh,shhh Precious- spoilers it gives us.....

Added in edit: a wide range of 1st person narrative effects have been tried, of course. I was just thinking of Martin Amis' "Money" which has an obnoxious first person narrator, who sends quite a lot of time addressing the reader , in various tones from joking to boasting to asking for reassurance.
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 Nov 21 2013, 5:39pm)


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Nov 21 2013, 5:48pm

Post #9 of 70 (308 views)
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Council of Elrond [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
The conflict beginning in the Council of Elrond, as we have lots of talk (15,000 words!) and the action, so to speak, is of the mind: it is in exposition and revelation, with building and receding tension - to the final point of who will take the Ring. Yet as you point out, among the conversations are the seeds of both Boromir's destruction and his rift with Aragorn - the Ring having its effect on the plane of Thought, before it is even out of the safety of Rivendell. That it sits passively there amidst the Council but its work is still being done: so many voices in contention over it, masterfully underlines the menace of it merely existing. (Jumping to Film-world, the Ring chuckling distantly from the depths reflects this I think.)


Yes, it's a very complex chapter: it would be hardly surprising if Tolkien did drop one of his balls (ahem) in that he meant to include some back story for Glorfindel (pace Ninrandir's essay earlier this week, here http://newboards.theonering.net/...i?post=668192#668192 it's fun to speculate how Tolkien would have got yet more exposition in: Glorfindel can tell us what a Balrog is and can foreshadow Gsndalfs encounter & resurrection (do go read Ninrandir's essay if you haven't already…) but his story isn't on the surface of it tied up with the Ring. Maybe Frodo should have had a mealtime chat with Glorfindel as well as Glóin?

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!"


sador
Half-elven


Nov 21 2013, 9:52pm

Post #10 of 70 (260 views)
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A very enjoyable read! [In reply to] Can't Post

I hope to get around to writing a longer response - although this might not be before Sunday.


DanielLB
Immortal


Nov 21 2013, 10:55pm

Post #11 of 70 (324 views)
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Thank you for the suggestions! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'll give them a go. I think they'll be my first second-person narrated books, that I remember anyway, that I will read.

I'm not surprised that it isn't more common. It can be quite tricky to handle. And I suppose audiences don't often like to be told how to feel (or what to do). * There's no way of avoiding it in second-person though.

* What's the term to describe this? It's on the tip of my tongue. I feel like I should know it ... we're always told not to tell people how they should react to climate change (i.e. feel sad for polar bears etc). Oh ...what is it!? Crazy



Hamfast Gamgee
Gondor

Nov 22 2013, 12:17am

Post #12 of 70 (239 views)
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1st person narrative [In reply to] Can't Post

The first chapter of Lotr the long-expected party is written almost in 1st person, but not quite. At least it does have a considerably more light-hearted tone than the rest of the book. There is one point in that chapter where the 'I' almost makes an appearance just a fraction away, but Tolkien seems to edit himself out of writing it that way


Hamfast Gamgee
Gondor

Nov 22 2013, 12:21am

Post #13 of 70 (239 views)
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I do remember when I was young [In reply to] Can't Post

Reading Doctor Who stories which were nearly always omniscient 3rd person, I think, at least were the narrator knows everything, even what people are thinking. I sometimes thought this odd as I would read what someone was thinking just before they died and thought that if the person had died how could anyone know what they were thinking?


Hamfast Gamgee
Gondor

Nov 22 2013, 12:27am

Post #14 of 70 (235 views)
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Dictated to? Spoon fed? Something like that! [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Dame Ioreth
Grey Havens


Nov 22 2013, 1:07am

Post #15 of 70 (237 views)
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This is really interesting! [In reply to] Can't Post

I especially like the discussion about the first-party narratives that are interspersed in the story. I've had people point to those as reasons for not liking Tolkien. "What he needed was a good editor." What you say here points out why that is not the case.

The shifting narratives between Merry and Eowyn remind me of the writing of Lois McMaster Bujold. She writes a very tight third party narrative that feels almost first person. The text mimics the character, making it feel like the character is actually telling the story. In the Battle of Pellinor Fields, it gives an added dimension of immediacy, allowing Tolkien to tell the personal story in the midst of an epic battle.

Thank you for writing this. I've been struggling with handling three protagonists lately. Now I have an idea of how a master handled a similar problem!

Where there's life there's hope, and need of vittles.
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings



Meneldor
Tol Eressea


Nov 22 2013, 3:50am

Post #16 of 70 (232 views)
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When I read [In reply to] Can't Post

about popping us out of the story to ease our sense of peril, all I could think was, "She doesn't get eaten by the eels." Laugh


They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep.


Silverlode
Forum Admin / Moderator


Nov 22 2013, 5:59am

Post #17 of 70 (229 views)
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I wonder if the trend away from avuncular narration [In reply to] Can't Post

might be largely due to the rise of visual filmic media?

For most of the history of mankind, stories were told, not watched. Someone, often a parent or elder, told them. Or a visitor or passing guest would have new and interesting tales to tell, around the dinner table, or in the public gathering place. Then stories were written down, and it would not seem strange if they were written in a similar voice to the telling. By the time CS Lewis and Tolkien were writing, radio had become nearly universal. This was a shift away from home-produced entertainment into broadcast pre-packaged entertainment (and greatly affected how music was experienced/consumed), but it was still in narrative form. Through that generation, the only time a story would be shown rather than told was on the stage, or, increasingly, in a cinema. It was still common for children's books to be written as "told".

However, the next generation of children were the first to have television in the home. Their stories began more and more to be told to them visually (and by strangers). It's rare, now, for anyone to tell us a story (or read one to us) after we reach the age in which we can read for ourselves. So we associate narrators with extreme childhood. Having been immersed in visual media for our entire lives, do we now expect that our stories, even the written ones, conform more to the feel of a story being watched/experienced rather than heard? In other words, do we expect our books to be more like movies?

Silverlode

"Dark is the water of Kheled-zāram, and cold are the springs of Kibil-nāla, and fair were the many-pillared halls of Khazad-dūm in Elder Days before the fall of mighty kings beneath the stone."



noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Nov 22 2013, 10:54am

Post #18 of 70 (214 views)
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Choose Your Own Adventure - another example of 2nd person [In reply to] Can't Post

Did you ever read/play the kind of book where "you" have the adventure, make choices and turn to such-and-such a page to find out how that works out? Choose Your Own Adventure is probably the best-known series

It leads to narratives like this:

Quote
When you come to, you are alone in the dark. You have no idea where the dwarves and the wizard have got to - in fact you have no idea where you are either. As you fumble around in the dark, you feel a small object. It appears to be a ring.

Do you:
  1. Examine the ring (turn to page XXX)
  2. Shout for help (turn to page YYY)

Among the interesting things about this kind of book is that it is difficult to give "You" any kind of character. Instead, "your" character is defined by the choices you make. Well, the choices you make among the limited set given to you by the author: e.g. if he/she really wants you to take the ring, shouting for help will alert a character Gollum, and lead to another opportunity to Take The Ring, Darn It. Anyway, if you don't you gets squeezed, my Precious, and know to take the ring next time.

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


Nov 22 2013, 11:03am

Post #19 of 70 (223 views)
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avuncular narraton and visual media [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
For most of the history of mankind, stories were told, not watched. Someone, often a parent or elder, told them. Or a visitor or passing guest would have new and interesting tales to tell, around the dinner table, or in the public gathering place. Then stories were written down, and it would not seem strange if they were written in a similar voice to the telling. By the time CS Lewis and Tolkien were writing, radio had become nearly universal. This was a shift away from home-produced entertainment into broadcast pre-packaged entertainment (and greatly affected how music was experienced/consumed), but it was still in narrative form. Through that generation, the only time a story would be shown rather than told was on the stage, or, increasingly, in a cinema. It was still common for children's books to be written as "told".

However, the next generation of children were the first to have television in the home. Their stories began more and more to be told to them visually (and by strangers). It's rare, now, for anyone to tell us a story (or read one to us) after we reach the age in which we can read for ourselves. So we associate narrators with extreme childhood. Having been immersed in visual media for our entire lives, do we now expect that our stories, even the written ones, conform more to the feel of a story being watched/experienced rather than heard? In other words, do we expect our books to be more like movies?

That's a really interesting idea! Certainly I've sometimes been disappointed when I've got copies of books I enjoyed as a child to read to/with my own kids: some of them can be too......darned......slow for modern tastes (and some of them are very self-consciously literary, in a tediously improving sort of way).

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


Nov 22 2013, 11:28am

Post #20 of 70 (216 views)
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Yes, that first (A Long Expected Party) chapter is distinct [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
The first chapter of Lotr the long-expected party is written almost in 1st person, but not quite. At least it does have a considerably more light-hearted tone than the rest of the book. There is one point in that chapter where the 'I' almost makes an appearance just a fraction away, but Tolkien seems to edit himself out of writing it that way


Quite - you can readily imagine it going all "first person avuncular" - "it's pretty much third-person avuncular already Smile

It also completely defeated my mother when she tried to read LOTR (because she assumed the rest of the story would be in similar style).

I have several theories about it, and am not sure which (if any of them) are right (I'm also not at all sure they need to be seen as mutually exclusive):
  • This is the writing that was going to become Stanley Unwin's requested "Hobbit II" book - then Tolkien got drawn into a different direction
  • Tolkien he liked writing 'amusing hobbit material' much more amusing than his test audiences did, and he realized he would have to rein this material back - maybe this is the rump of that writing, which he didn't wish to (or couldn't bear to) cut further after the rest of the story had changed. (In Letters, letter 31, JRRT says "I am personally immensely amused by hobbits as such, and can contemplate them eating and making their rather fatuous jokes indefinitely; but I find this is not the case with even my most devoted 'fans'...Mr Lewis says hobbits are only amusing when in unhobbitlike situations...")
  • This is a "Bilbo" voice in indirect free style - we are seeing the Shire through Bilbo's affectionate though somewhat frustrated and grown-beyond-it eyes. The style changes when Bilbo leaves. (The stye doesn't change abruptly when Bilbo leaves - but then other things are going on too: the apparently safe Shire is coming under threat, but we need to realize that slowly).


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


Nov 22 2013, 11:43am

Post #21 of 70 (251 views)
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Indirect free style - similarites with leitmotifs and musical themes? [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm beginning to wonder whether there are similarities between the different writing styles which Tolkien uses to describe his different characters in action, and the way these characters are "described" and commented upon in Howard Shore's music (which we've recently had very nicely described in Ida's paper in this symposium ). With both the choice of style and the music, there's the opportunity to influence the audience (but in a way they mostly won't notice unless they concentrate on that aspect). Or, you can let rip an be very overt if you have the writing/composing chops to bear the scrutiny- so maybe the Eowyn passage I quote in my essay is the indirect free style equivalent of the "lighting the beacons" moment of Peter Jackson's ROTK film Smile

There you see - very stimulating things, these symposia!

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!"


Brethil
Half-elven


Nov 22 2013, 9:56pm

Post #22 of 70 (200 views)
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Well I certainly agree with your sentiment here about the Symposium! [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
There you see - very stimulating things, these symposia! I'm beginning to wonder whether there are similarities between the different writing styles which Tolkien uses to describe his different characters in action, and the way these characters are "described" and commented upon in Howard Shore's music (which we've recently had very nicely described in Ida's paper in this symposium ). With both the choice of style and the music, there's the opportunity to influence the audience (but in a way they mostly won't notice unless they concentrate on that aspect). Or, you can let rip an be very overt if you have the writing/composing chops to bear the scrutiny- so maybe the Eowyn passage I quote in my essay is the indirect free style equivalent of the "lighting the beacons" moment of Peter Jackson's ROTK film Smile

I really like your parallels to language in the texts and the use of sound for similar effect. Leitmotif-wise I am intrigued too - enough to reread two sections: ROTK's 'The Passing of the Grey Company' and TTT's 'The Choices of Master Samwise'.

What interested me, is the lovely Beowulfian style of language that you cited in Eowyn's stand against the Witch-king a leitmotif of Eowyn, or something else?

In Grey Company, we have Eowyn stating emotional lines, as she debates Aragorn's choice to leave for the Paths of the Dead, including: "Too often have I heard of duty," she cried. "But am I not of the House of Eorl, a shieldmaiden and not a dry-nurse? I have waited on faltering feet long enough. Since they falter no longer, it seems, may I not now spend my life as I will?" Eloquent and evocative as it is, it is not quite the same tone as the depiction of her stand on the field. So the change in language and narration *not* a leitmotif of Eowyn herself?

Reading on...

In Master Samwise, this bit always captures me, because of its sheer contrast with the usual narrative tone associated with Hobbits: "The he charged. No onslaught more fierce was ever seen in the savage world of beasts, where some desperate small creature armed with little teet, alone, will spring upon a tower of horn and hide that stands above its fallen mate." This feels like the literary 'lighting of the Beacons' riff here to me...in Samwise's case similar to the use in Eowyn's circumstances: an elevation of tone in the setting of an outgunned hero right in the sights of a powerful opponent? Is that the underlying leitmotif we are reading?

Thanks as usual for making a fascinating connection. SmileAngelic

The second TORn Amateur Symposium is running right now, in the Reading Room. Come have a look and maybe stay to chat!





(This post was edited by Brethil on Nov 22 2013, 9:58pm)


DanielLB
Immortal


Nov 22 2013, 10:01pm

Post #23 of 70 (191 views)
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Something along the lines of "emotional blackmail" ... [In reply to] Can't Post

But I can't put my finger on the exact phrase/term. Wink



DanielLB
Immortal


Nov 22 2013, 10:04pm

Post #24 of 70 (190 views)
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Yes! I use to love them as a child. [In reply to] Can't Post

And I had forgotten about them. Your post as bought back floods of memories. Smile

I think The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings in a "Choose Your Own Adventure" style book would be quite interesting. It would make quite a fun fan project ... Cool


Brethil
Half-elven


Nov 22 2013, 10:17pm

Post #25 of 70 (182 views)
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Reminds me of my Dungeons and Dragons evenings... [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
And I had forgotten about them. Your post as bought back floods of memories. Smile

I think The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings in a "Choose Your Own Adventure" style book would be quite interesting. It would make quite a fun fan project ... Cool

Oh dear, have I let it slip that I'm a bit geeky? Laugh The Choose Your Own Adventure is rather what my players get to do.

As a TH/LOTR project it would get quite involved!

The second TORn Amateur Symposium is running right now, in the Reading Room. Come have a look and maybe stay to chat!




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