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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
JRRT Artist and Illustrator: Chap. 3: # 1: Maddo

NZ Strider
Rivendell

Mar 12 2007, 8:51am

Post #1 of 18 (314 views)
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JRRT Artist and Illustrator: Chap. 3: # 1: Maddo Can't Post

*looks round, sees old faces, nods respectfully to the bust of Reverend in the corner*

First, a fond "hello" after a time of absence -- good to be back. Nice to see old faces again.

*gets cup of coffee; pulls comfy, leathern armchair up close to fireplace and settles in; puts feet up; lights pipe*

Where to begin? *puffs contentedly*

I'm not sure that it would be a good idea to comment on every drawing in this chapter, and I won't try. What I will try to do is to look at some of the drawings and to see how they relate to Tolkien's imaginative work taken as a whole -- both literary and illustrative.

Nr. 78 from Hammond & Scull's collection (I hope it is appearing below!):



(The image is actually that of a postcard printed by the Bodleian Library, hence the small size for which my apologies.)

According to Hammond & Scull, a note of Tolkien's, which they quote, explains that Michael Tolkien, when aged 8 to 10, had imagined two bogeys, one of which, "Maddo," "was... a gloved hand without an arm that opened curtains a crack after dark and crawled down the curtain." Tolkien, in an attempt to show the nightmare up as harmless, drew it for his son.

In LotR, VI, chap. 4, Tolkien writes of Sauron's demise: "... it seemed to them [i.e. Gandalf, Aragorn, et al. before the Black Gate] that, black against the pall of cloud, there rose a huge shape of shadow, impenetrable, lightning-crowned, filling all the sky. Enormous it reared above the world, and stretched out towards them a vast threatening hand, terrible but impotent..."

Here is Tolkien's original illustration for the jacket of the RotK (Nr. 182 in Hammond & Scull; I'm sorry if it's not clear to see, it was the best image I could find with "google"):




Tolkien drew a hand extending from Mordor over the Mountains of Shadow towards the White Tree; Nr. 181 in Hammond & Scull shows two preliminary sketches for the hand. All of these hands remind one strongly of "Maddo."


Q. # 1: Do you think that the final image of Sauron comes ultimately from Tolkien's attempt to draw his son's nightmare? If so, does that confirm for you the image's creepiness -- it really is from a nightmare? What does it say about Tolkien's supreme literary effort that many parts of it seem to derive from remembered and revised incidents of imagining by, for, and with his children? Or from dreams?

Q. # 2: What do you think of "Maddo" as a drawing? Does the grim hand with its red nails make a suitably sinister appearance on what is clearly the curtain in a child's room (note the silly, happy pattern on the white curtain -- no-one, surely, would hang that curtain in the living or the dining room)? Is there a palpable threat here of death menacing innocence? On a more practical note, is the light on in the room? The white curtain and the white wall of the room itself are clearly visible, yet (as the waning moon shows) it is night outside. Has "Maddo" been caught in the act when the light was suddenly switched on?


*sets pipe aside; sips coffee*


GaladrielTX
Tol Eressea


Mar 12 2007, 12:50pm

Post #2 of 18 (142 views)
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Well, it's not as creepy as the hand that got posted a few days ago. [In reply to] Can't Post

How can you sit there calmly drinking your coffee when there's a hand out there that's going to get us?!

There's something about disembodied hands that is indeed disturbing. I had a childhood nightmare on several occasions in which I was lying in bed, and meanwhile a hand was floating up the stairs from the basement (another universally scary place, I suspect). It floated through the dining room, living room, and hallway to my bedroom. Then it somehow picked me up and carried me up the hallway to my parents' room. This was one of those dreams where I tried to scream for them to help me, to no avail. Mom and Dad slept, unaware of anything wrong, and then the hand carried me back down the hallway, through the living and dining rooms, to the stairs that led down to that horrible basement!

The image of the barrow wight's severed hand wriggling on the ground always was very disturbing to me, too. The hand is the part of our body that carries out so many of our actions. For it to be guided not by the body but some other mysterious force...now, that's terrifying. Somehow Tolkien tapped into the horror of such things.

Now I'm thinking about a neurological disorder I saw on a documentary once where the two sides of some people's brains work independently. They showed a man trying to open a door with one hand, while the other hand repeatedly slammed it shut. Can you imagine if one of your hands turned on you and tried to strangle you in your sleep?

*shudder*

~~~~~~~~

I used to be GaladrielTX, but I lost my TX and an hour over the weekend. Stupid Daylight Saving Time!



(This post was edited by Galadriel on Mar 12 2007, 12:51pm)


Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Mar 12 2007, 3:34pm

Post #3 of 18 (135 views)
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"Maddo" is really scary to me, [In reply to] Can't Post

but mostly because it looks like a big spider. Ugh!

I don't have much to say about your questions, but I did want to thank you for the lovely way you evoked the furnishings of the Reading Room, and especially the bust of Reverend in the corner. Very nice.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Chance Meeting at Rivendell: a Tolkien Fanfic
and some other stuff I wrote...
leleni at hotmail dot com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Eowyn of Penns Woods
Valinor


Mar 12 2007, 4:32pm

Post #4 of 18 (132 views)
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As a very young child [In reply to] Can't Post

I could be kept out of cabinets and drawers, and kept off stairs by the careful placement of a rubber glove...even a green one.
They were *all* too real and too terrifying for comfort.


Morwen
Rohan


Mar 12 2007, 6:00pm

Post #5 of 18 (129 views)
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Not sure what Tolkien was thinking [In reply to] Can't Post

That black creepy hand against the bright cheery curtain looks very scary to me. It seems like it would have the opposite effect on poor Michael than Tolkien intended. I do like the idea that picture shows Maddo caught in the act after the light is suddenly switched on, and it certainly seems possible the Michael's nightmare might have inspired the idea of a Hand of Shadow as a manifestation of Sauron.


In Reply To

What does it say about Tolkien's supreme literary effort that many parts of it seem to derive from remembered and revised incidents of imagining by, for, and with his children? Or from dreams?



I think that both the fears of children and our dreams remain somewhere in our subconscious. I don't think that tapping into these basic fears makes Tolkien's work childish. Rather I think addressing basic, childhood fears hits us on a deeper level than if Tolkien had addressed more "adult" fears, such as a fear of being robbed, or fears of losing our money, or of being humiliated in public. Perhaps these grownup fears are even built on the fears we had as children, when we weren't so sure what was "real" and what was not. Tolkien's work affects us because he is able to see past adult logic to the older emotions beneath.


Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I wish you could have been there
When she opened up the door
And looked me in the face
Like she never did before
I felt about as welcome
As a Wal-Mart Superstore--John Prine


Wynnie
Rohan


Mar 12 2007, 6:03pm

Post #6 of 18 (134 views)
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Suitably sinister? [In reply to] Can't Post

If the goal was to reassure Michael, it would be counterproductive to pull out all the stops and make the image truly terrifying. I'll bet that's why the curtains have such a cheerful pattern (Note # 12 tells us that Tolkien didn't just copy the actual curtains from his son's room).


Owlamoo
ink drawing by JRRT


drogo
Lorien


Mar 12 2007, 11:40pm

Post #7 of 18 (146 views)
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Sauron's evolution [In reply to] Can't Post

I love the connection between his son's nightmarish image of a hand and Sauron. Sauron has had an interesting evolution as a villain in Tolkien, going from Tevildo the Prince of Cats (Puss in Boots gone terribly wrong) to the mysterious figure we never fully visualize in LOTR. Seeing how Tolkien incorporated some of his children's imagery into his writing gives us some insight into how Sauron functions as the ultimte "bogey-man."


(Formerly drogo of the two names!)


a.s.
Valinor


Mar 13 2007, 10:44am

Post #8 of 18 (104 views)
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I don't like spiders and blobs [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
but mostly because it looks like a big spider. Ugh!


Yes, I think the same thing when I see that hand there on the window.

First, I think of spiders more than Sauron, even though Sauron's black disembodied "hand" is an obvious comparison. But I think of Shelob and Ungoliant, when I see Maddo.

I also think of the movie from the 1950s: The Blob, when the blob comes through the window, etc. Not that the blob was a "hand", so to speak, but it sure acted like a disembodied hand would (if a disembodied hand could act...you know what I mean)

In short, there is something INTENSELY creepy about a black hand crawling around. Not only shouldn't it BE, it is scary just thinking about it.

a.s.

"an seileachan"

Everybody's wondering what and where they all came from.
Everybody's worried 'bout where they're gonna go when the whole thing's done.
No one knows for certain, and so it's all the same to me:
I think I'll just let the mystery be.
~~~~Iris DeMent


Curious
Half-elven

Mar 13 2007, 11:21am

Post #9 of 18 (123 views)
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Welcome! Now, as to your questions, [In reply to] Can't Post

I find it impossible to say whether there is a connection between Michael's dream and the arm of Sauron. And since I cannot answer that question, I also cannot say whether the answer is significant, or sheds light on LotR. I tend to think it is not significant, since I like to think an artist transforms his inspirations, no matter what the source.

I would like to know whether Tolkien's drawing helped Michael. As the father of a five-year-old, I know it is a challenge to deal with childhood fears. Dismissing them as nonsense is not the way to go, I judge. It's more effective by far to come up with some magical way of dealing with them, such as an imaginary swordfight in the closet.

I quite like Tolkien's idea of literally shedding light on the monster. The monster is treated as real, but in the light it is not quite so scary, perhaps, as in the dark. Plus, to some extent my daughter likes to scare herself, and Michael probably did too. So this drawing is both scary and delightful.

One of the delights of Halloween, I judge, is getting over our fear of monsters by making them an object of play. And it is an important life lesson, for although my bedroom is no longer inhabited by monsters, I still find myself haunted from time to time by nameless fears. When that happens, I find it very helpful to name the fears and visualize them. Often they are not nearly so scary in the light.


Daughter of Nienna
Grey Havens


Mar 13 2007, 1:49pm

Post #10 of 18 (113 views)
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hand made less creepy by 'appearing' flat [In reply to] Can't Post

 
Note that in my footer is a link to my revised and expanded Image Gallery links (just posted on Sunday and only a few threads down). There is a variety of sources for Tolkien imagery in their. (just be aware that although War of the Ring has the largest selection of Tolkien's own art, it is a bit buggy…links sending you to a different image, though close by in most cases). We usually manage to sort it out somehow.



(From War of the Ring)



It is a creepy image, made less creepy by the fact that it appears to be flat on top of a dimensionally drawn curtain with a cheery pattern… and a very lighted room. (or does the contrast intensify the creepyness.) I kind of agree with Curious on this…that he may be shedding light on a child's fear. The hand being flat rather than 3-dimensional saps the life out of it and therefore renders it less scarry.

It's hard to say what the source is. Perhaps Tolkien himself had such fears as a child. It seems to me that writers and visual artists (as well as musical artists) barrow heavily from all aspects of their lives (and their learn knowledge). That is what gives art its potency. It may not be in a one-to-one form of interpretation but more a taking of pieces here and there and melding them with his imagination and "transforming" them (again as Curious says).


It is interesting though, to consider the connection between childhood fears and Sauron's ghostly black hand reaching toward the host… or the even scarier, ghostly secured black hand of the barrow wight.

And, what about all the severed hands through out his mythology, not to mention fingers. I always thought that the severing of hand was something he borrowed from (and transformed) from his beloved mythologies. When did he first begin to write about severed appendages? And isn't a lot of his stories and tales about facing fear and hopelessness and carrying on anyway?



Quote
Q. # 1: Do you think that the final image of Sauron comes ultimately from Tolkien's attempt to draw his son's nightmare? If so, does that confirm for you the image's creepiness -- it really is from a nightmare? What does it say about Tolkien's supreme literary effort that many parts of it seem to derive from remembered and revised incidents of imagining by, for, and with his children? Or from dreams?

Q. # 2: What do you think of "Maddo" as a drawing? Does the grim hand with its red nails make a suitably sinister appearance on what is clearly the curtain in a child's room (note the silly, happy pattern on the white curtain -- no-one, surely, would hang that curtain in the living or the dining room)? Is there a palpable threat here of death menacing innocence? On a more practical note, is the light on in the room? The white curtain and the white wall of the room itself are clearly visible, yet (as the waning moon shows) it is night outside. Has "Maddo" been caught in the act when the light was suddenly switched on?



*

Art Gallery Revised, ORC pic of Hawaii friends, my drawings,
Aloha & Mahalo, Websites Directory

Nienna: “ those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope . . . All those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom." — Valaquenta


Daughter of Nienna
Grey Havens


Mar 13 2007, 1:54pm

Post #11 of 18 (103 views)
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Galleries with Art by Tolkien - revised [In reply to] Can't Post

 
GALLERIES WITH ART BY TOLKIEN:
1. J.R.R. Tolkien section War of the Ring Art Gallery – (10 pages)
2. Mr Bliss by J.R.R Tolkien War of the Ring Art Gallery – (3 pages)
3. Council of Elrond: Tolkien Illustrations Gallery (58 on 5 pages)
4.J.R.R. Tolkien – Aumania Fantasy Art (57 images on 2 pages)
5. Artista J.R.R. Tolkien – Valinor (44 on 4 pages)
6. J.R.R. Tolkien – Tolkien France .net (16 images on 2 pages)
7. Dessins de Tolkien – Tolkien-en-Images – Ifrance .com (16 images)
8. Ilustracje J.R.R. Tolkiena do "Hobbita" – Ostatni Przyjazny Dom (11 images)
9. Art by J.R.R. Tolkien – Tlotr.com (11 images 2 pages)
10. Tolkien Gallery – J.W's LOTR Fansite (10 images, scroll down)
11. Rivendell in Swizterland – side by side comparison of a Tolkien painting and Photo
12. 'Letters From Father Christmas', 10 image slideshow – NY Times
13. Book Covers for 'Letters From Father Christmas' – Fantastic Fiction
14. J.R.R. Tolkien Gallery - Tiles, drawings, Family photos – Arwen-Undomiel
15. Talking About Tolkien – family photos – Talking About Tolkien .com
16. The Hobbit Collection?1937-2006 – book covers by Tolkien - Hobbit .ca

~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.~.



Art Gallery Revised, ORC pic of Hawaii friends, my drawings,
Aloha & Mahalo, Websites Directory

Nienna: “ those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope . . . All those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom." — Valaquenta


(This post was edited by Daughter of Nienna on Mar 13 2007, 1:56pm)


Wynnie
Rohan


Mar 13 2007, 2:16pm

Post #12 of 18 (101 views)
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another gallery for your list [In reply to] Can't Post

I found this one a few weeks ago: http://www.tolkienworld.ru/index.php?categoryid=157

Headings are all in Russian, but the 5 links in the box just above the thumbnails will take you to 5 different sub-galleries -- seems to be Hobbit, Various (includes dragons & designs), Father Christmas, Mister Bliss, Others (includes drawings/paintings from life).



Owlamoo
ink drawing by JRRT


Daughter of Nienna
Grey Havens


Mar 13 2007, 2:42pm

Post #13 of 18 (87 views)
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another gallery I just added [In reply to] Can't Post

thanks to Hyarion in post above.

I put it at # 3 because it has 80 images by Tolkien. (the others need to me moved down). I am anxious to check out Wynnie's in the AM...it is almost 5 am and I am still up. (Hawaii time)

3. Category "Images by J.R.R. Tolkien" – Tolkien Gateway (80 images)

I know this site... it is very hard to navigate around I checked to Artist list and Tolkien is not on it... I had to find it through the link that Hyarion gave you above.

If anyone has anymore gallery links ...please share them with me. I tried to be very thorough and spent weeks on this. But there is always more to find. Sly

Art Gallery Revised, ORC pic of Hawaii friends, my drawings,
Aloha & Mahalo, Websites Directory

Nienna: “ those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope . . . All those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom." — Valaquenta


Daughter of Nienna
Grey Havens


Mar 13 2007, 3:04pm

Post #14 of 18 (89 views)
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quickly [In reply to] Can't Post

I must get to bed.

here are the five folders' titles:
Sredizemie | Miscellaneous | Letters Christmas Santa
Mr. Bliss | Another

I did not look at all of them

this looks to be a very extensive collection....thank you, thank-you.

Goggle translated for me... here is the link:
http://64.233.179.104/...u%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG

If have problems just type in "TolkienWorld.ru" in search field at Google.

Thank you so much again...I'll look through more thoroughly tomorrow.

Art Gallery Revised, ORC pic of Hawaii friends, my drawings,
Aloha & Mahalo, Websites Directory

Nienna: “ those who hearken to her learn pity, and endurance in hope . . . All those who wait in Mandos cry to her, for she brings strength to the spirit and turns sorrow to wisdom." — Valaquenta


Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Mar 13 2007, 5:07pm

Post #15 of 18 (98 views)
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Tevildo reminded me less of "Puss in Boots" [In reply to] Can't Post

than the King of the colony of cats visited by the two sisters in a fairy tale whose name has just escaped me. One sister was good, and ended up being covered with gold and getting a star on her forehead. The other, who was mean to the cats, ended up covered in tar with a donkey tail on her forehead. Both girls worked in the kitchen like Beren, while the cats supervised them.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Chance Meeting at Rivendell: a Tolkien Fanfic
and some other stuff I wrote...
leleni at hotmail dot com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


N.E. Brigand
Half-elven


Mar 13 2007, 5:36pm

Post #16 of 18 (97 views)
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"The Colony of Cats". [In reply to] Can't Post

I googled "fairy tale, cats, sisters, star, kichen, donkey, tail" and found "The Colony of Cats" on this page.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Detail from earliest version of Thror's MapTolkien Illustrated! Jan. 29-May 20: Visit the Reading Room to discuss art by John Howe, Alan Lee, Ted Nasmith and others, including Tolkien himself.

Mar. 5-11: Tolkien's "Visions, Myths and Legends".


Aunt Dora Baggins
Half-elven


Mar 13 2007, 7:13pm

Post #17 of 18 (89 views)
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Yes, that's it! [In reply to] Can't Post

When I first read Book of Lost Tales, I immediately thought of that story, which I remembered from an old book my mom has, called "Famous Cats of Fairyland". Thanks for your link; it has lots of the stories in that book. You are a google wizard!

That page doesn't have my favorite one, though, which is The King of the Cats.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"For DORA BAGGINS in memory of a LONG correspondence, with love from Bilbo; on a large wastebasket. Dora was Drogo's sister, and the eldest surviving female relative of Bilbo and Frodo; she was ninety-nine, and had written reams of good advice for more than half a century."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Chance Meeting at Rivendell: a Tolkien Fanfic
and some other stuff I wrote...
leleni at hotmail dot com

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Elizabeth
Valinor


Mar 14 2007, 4:02am

Post #18 of 18 (119 views)
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Seems like old times! Welcome back! [In reply to] Can't Post

That chair has been looking awfully empty, of late. Glad you were able to find us in our spiffy new digs!

I don't have a lot to add to what everyone else has said about this drawing, except that unless I've missed it no one has compared Maddo to this drawing of Sauron's head and hand. As you say, Tolkien seems to have some fairly firmly fixed images in his head, and is capable of recycling them brilliantly as needed.

I think he must have been a wonderful daddy, always full of stories and drawings to entertain, comfort, or console as needed.




Queen Mary II approaching Honolulu harbor
February 9, 2007, 7:30 am


Elizabeth is the TORnsib formerly known as 'erather'

 
 

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