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Are we schizophrenic?
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Paulo Gabriel
Bree

Jan 10, 4:30am

Post #1 of 30 (542 views)
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Are we schizophrenic? Can't Post

For discussing fiction such as Tolkien?


Ataahua
Superuser / Moderator


Jan 10, 4:42am

Post #2 of 30 (438 views)
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I think you'll need [In reply to] Can't Post

to provide a bit more explanation for your question to get properly relevant replies.

Celebrimbor: "Pretty rings..."
Dwarves: "Pretty rings..."
Men: "Pretty rings..."
Sauron: "Mine's better."

"Ah, how ironic, the addictive qualities of Sauronís master weapon led to its own destruction. Which just goes to show, kids - if you want two small and noble souls to succeed on a mission of dire importance... send an evil-minded beggar with them too." - Gandalf's Diaries, final par, by Ufthak.


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Paulo Gabriel
Bree

Jan 10, 5:56am

Post #3 of 30 (448 views)
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My uncle said... [In reply to] Can't Post

Normal people past 15 don't read stuff such as Tolkien. That they live on a fantasy world.


Darkstone
Immortal


Jan 10, 7:07am

Post #4 of 30 (436 views)
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"When I became a man I put away childish things..." [In reply to] Can't Post

Critics who treat 'adult' as a term of approval, instead of as a merely descriptive term, cannot be adult themselves. To be concerned about being grown up, to admire the grown up because it is grown up, to blush at the suspicion of being childish; these things are the marks of childhood and adolescence. And in childhood and adolescence they are, in moderation, healthy symptoms. Young things ought to want to grow. But to carry on into middle life or even into early manhood this concern about being adult is a mark of really arrested development. When I was ten, I read fairy tales in secret and would have been ashamed if I had been found doing so. Now that I am fifty I read them openly. When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.
- C.S. Lewis, "On Three Ways of Writing For Children"

******************************************
Character is what we do on the internet when we think no one knows who we are.


grammaboodawg
Immortal


Jan 10, 11:50am

Post #5 of 30 (416 views)
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What's wrong with that? ;) [In reply to] Can't Post

What do YOU think?

I didn't even start reading Tolkien until I was 19 years old... so I'd be in BIG trouble if I didn't think it was proper to read LotR or Harry Potter or Gone With the Wind...

I understand where your Uncle is coming from, but I feel it's a rather unimaginative outlook. I'm sad for him and what he's missing out on if he truly believes that, because fiction encourages imagination, imho, and helps us grow and tolerate RL demands.

Does he feel the same way about watching movies or television shows that are fictional?

The escapism of reading (or watching) fiction is what keeps me going. RL isn't always what it's cracked up to be ;) By his definition, I've been schizophrenic for 52 years... thank Goodness!!

*high five*




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Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jan 10, 2:02pm

Post #6 of 30 (412 views)
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Does your uncle read for pleasure at all? [In reply to] Can't Post

I suspect not. I'm fifty-eight, myself; my copy of The Silmarillion was given to me by my youngest uncle when I was a teen.

"I reject your reality and substitute my own." - Adam Savage

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jan 10, 2:05pm)


AlassŽa Eruvande
Valinor


Jan 10, 2:26pm

Post #7 of 30 (411 views)
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I didn't read Tolkien until I was 34. [In reply to] Can't Post

I also think I would not have appreciated his nuance if I read him as a teenager. It's much more than just fantasy.



I am SMAUG! I kill when I wish! I am strong, strong, STRONG!
My armor is like tenfold shields! My teeth like swords! My claws, spears!
The shock of my tail, a thunderbolt! My wings, a hurricane! And my breath, death!


Ethel Duath
Half-elven


Jan 10, 4:26pm

Post #8 of 30 (419 views)
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It can be a difference in worldview [In reply to] Can't Post

This has been an ongoing debate in many circles ever since Tolkien's writings were published.

Personally, I think it's often just a way people see the world. Those who do not need much imagination, and/or a sense of the transcendent to operate in the world do not understand people who do, because they have never deeply experienced things of that nature, and they are still doing fine. But those of us who do would find the absence of such things a lot like losing an arm--or a lung for some of us.

Thinking beyond what the material and practical world offers us I think completes reality. Think of it as a color spectrum: birds can see more colors in the spectrum than we can. If they couldn't experience those colors, they could still see, but something real and important would be missing, especially since by nature they are designed to used and experience those colors. Like the birds, those of us who enjoy fantasy aren't just escaping, but are seeing the world in different ways, which shows us possibilities in the real world that we might not have thought of otherwise.

It also gives us a way to experience beauty and the best qualities in people, as well as encounter evil and the worst qualities in people in a way that can't be easily explored in the real world. But those things do exist in reality, so to see them in a different light in a fantasy book helps us to understand their true nature, and better ways to think and deal with it in our day-to-day lives. And Tolkien's ideas can inspire us in the real world to be better people, and relate to each other more bravely and kindly.

Also, one thing that people don't always realize is that while the Hobbit is a children's book, LOTR is not. It's intended for adults.The themes in it about loyalty and courage and sacrifice; the importance of beauty and freedom, and understanding between races; and even things about military strategy are all very grown up. Much of LOTR is beyond the understanding of children, although it can certainly be enjoyed by older children. But they miss a lot. I certainly did. I tried it at age 11 and had to give up. By age 12, I got more. As an adult, I really started to grasp the deeper themes.



(This post was edited by Ethel Duath on Jan 10, 4:26pm)


Ethel Duath
Half-elven


Jan 10, 4:27pm

Post #9 of 30 (408 views)
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"Queen Susan is no longer a friend of Narnia" [In reply to] Can't Post

One of the saddest sentences in all of Lewis, I think.



Aragorn the Elfstone
Tol Eressea


Jan 10, 6:02pm

Post #10 of 30 (402 views)
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Tell your uncle I said thanks. [In reply to] Can't Post

Compliments, even unintended ones, are always appreciated.

"The danger with any movie that does as well as this one does is that the amount of money it's making and the number of awards that it's got becomes almost more important than the movie itself in people's minds. I look at that as, in a sense, being very much like the Ring, and its effect on people. You know, you can kind of forget what we were doing, if you get too wrapped up in that." - Viggo Mortensen


Kilidoescartwheels
Valinor


Jan 10, 7:25pm

Post #11 of 30 (396 views)
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Define "normal" [In reply to] Can't Post

At first I laughed and wondered if your uncle is confusing Tolkien with Grimm's fairy tales, or even C.S. Lewis. But then I thought about his use of the word "normal." I would be reluctant to call myself normal, knowing I can be quite child-like at times. But I also hold down a job, pay my bills on time, raised 2 kids, finished a degree, etc. Stuff that is pretty "normal," I guess. But then again, I'm a 58 year old woman who likes heavy metal; not something a "normal" woman my age would be into but it hardly means I live in a fantasy world. We don't live in a fantasy world, we just visit it periodically.





Annael
Half-elven


Jan 10, 9:52pm

Post #12 of 30 (378 views)
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my answer to that [In reply to] Can't Post

https://jodybower.com/...is-fantasy-escapism/

Some context: I'm 67, I have three advanced degrees (two master's & a doctorate), I've had a long & successful career as a scientific editor, at one point I owned both a regular home and a vacation home . . . in other words, I've accomplished what is expected of most adults. And I've read fantasy for most of my life. I can tell the difference between fantasy and real life, just like I can tell the difference between a painting and a photograph.

I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the words begin to move around Ö The words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young.

-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967

(This post was edited by Annael on Jan 10, 9:56pm)


Paulo Gabriel
Bree

Jan 11, 10:26am

Post #13 of 30 (348 views)
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No he doesnt. [In reply to] Can't Post

He is your average Joe guy, who doesn't like reading.


Otaku-sempai
Immortal


Jan 11, 2:16pm

Post #14 of 30 (341 views)
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That explains a lot. [In reply to] Can't Post

I've had relatives like that. Just ignore it. Your uncle doesn't know what he's missing.

"I reject your reality and substitute my own." - Adam Savage

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Jan 11, 2:18pm)


Altaira
Superuser / Moderator


Sat, 3:31am

Post #15 of 30 (308 views)
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Wow. *mods up* You really hit the nail on the head [In reply to] Can't Post

Amazing answer, E.D. I really couldn't put it any better.
For some reason, most of the people I encounter In the finance and accounting world are like Paulo's uncle: they would never consider reading LOTR or The Hobbit, and fall asleep every time they try to watch the movies. Don't ask me why. Maybe it's a right-brain/left-brain thing. That said, I seem to function perfectly well in both the financial and fantasy worlds, so maybe not. Crazy


Koru: Maori symbol representing a fern frond as it opens. The koru reaches towards the light, striving for perfection, encouraging new, positive beginnings.



"Life can't be all work and no TORn" -- jflower

"I take a moment to fervently hope that the camaradarie and just plain old fun I found at TORn will never end" -- LOTR_nutcase





Ethel Duath
Half-elven


Sat, 6:58pm

Post #16 of 30 (284 views)
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Why, thanks! :) [In reply to] Can't Post

I try to think of reasons that will help me not be mad at the other person. Evil
I suspect it's more of a "do you use both right and left [brain] a lot, or lean more heavily to one side." I'm on the "other" side pretty much--finance and accounting make me break out in hives while my brain shrinks back in my head trying to avoid processing any such thing--although I like logic and philosophy almost as much as creative fiction. My mother blames it on my first grade teacher, but I don't think the poor woman had much of anything to do with it.



Annael
Half-elven


Sat, 7:59pm

Post #17 of 30 (275 views)
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well said [In reply to] Can't Post

Reminds me of an atheist friend who finds the world as it is beautiful, inspiring, and all he needs. He's baffled by those of us with a metaphysical bent, and he always will be, because the idea that there is something "more" just doesn't make any sense to him. You can't talk someone into feeling something they've never experienced.

I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the words begin to move around Ö The words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young.

-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


Ethel Duath
Half-elven


Sat, 8:40pm

Post #18 of 30 (267 views)
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Exactly. [In reply to] Can't Post

Although I can't help but think it is sad. I'm sad I can't see those colors that birds can.
I actually learned more about understanding other points of view and accepting the reality of those views for the people having them right here on these boards, more than anywhere else in my life.

I think the frustration for us here, is that those who don't experience that "more" often think we are imagining, or aren't really feeling and experiencing the things that we are.



Greenwood Hobbit
Grey Havens


Sat, 9:26pm

Post #19 of 30 (257 views)
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I don't live in a fantasy world - [In reply to] Can't Post

though I do like to visit from time to time! I first met Tolkien's work in my early 30s and the reality of my life at that time made a little fantasy very welcome, so I think it has a role in helping people to stay grounded and deal with real life whilst letting their spirits fly free and explore different existences. I feel a bit sorry for the uncle concerned, that he has not been able to experience that. However, Tolkien - or any other fantasy writer for that matter - will not necessarily appeal to everyone. We're all different. Perhaps the uncle's happy as he is, which is fair enough. I respect his right not to like the genre, but I would like to think that he would respect the right of others to read what they find fulfilling (as long as it's legal!) and not automatically dismiss it and them. I wonder if he's ever tried reading any?


sherlock
Gondor


Sun, 11:56am

Post #20 of 30 (210 views)
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I remember being [In reply to] Can't Post

a teenager and being proud that I was so ďgrown upĒ. Now that Iím an old lady Iím proud to be childish.


sherlock
Gondor


Sun, 12:02pm

Post #21 of 30 (208 views)
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I worked in [In reply to] Can't Post

Finance but now Iím retired and donít have to put up with those people any more.


Annael
Half-elven


Sun, 5:15pm

Post #22 of 30 (196 views)
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Yeah [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't miss working with engineers. I remember once using a metaphor to explain to my engineering-background boss about something, and at the end of it he said "I didn't understand any of that." He was a smart guy, just completely literal. He didn't read fiction either.

I am a dreamer of words, of written words. I think I am reading; a word stops me. I leave the page. The syllables of the words begin to move around Ö The words take on other meanings as if they had the right to be young.

-- Gaston Bachelard

* * * * * * * * * *

NARF and member of Deplorable Cultus since 1967


CuriousG
Half-elven


Sun, 5:29pm

Post #23 of 30 (192 views)
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"Why don't they just say that?!" [In reply to] Can't Post

You reminded me of some cinema-loving friends trying to explain a movie to their literal-minded friend, saying things like, "On the surface it was just about life in a small town, but deep down it showed how romance can start out blissfully but lead to shattered lives and regret." They thought they were being eloquent, but their friend was exasperated and shot back with my subject line.


CuriousG
Half-elven


Sun, 6:09pm

Post #24 of 30 (187 views)
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Wonderfully articulate insight, Ethel [In reply to] Can't Post

And since I'm skipping around in Letters, I found this from Tolkien in #73:


Quote
As for what to try and write: I donít know. I tried a diary with portraits (some scathing some comic some commendatory) of persons and events seen; but I found it was not my line. So I took to Ďescapismí: or really transforming experience into another form and symbol with Morgoth and Orcs and the Eldalie (representing beauty and grace of life and artefact) and so on; and it has stood me in good stead in many hard years since and I still draw on the conceptions then hammered out.



Meneldor
Valinor


Sun, 7:06pm

Post #25 of 30 (177 views)
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There are engineers, but then, there are engineers. [In reply to] Can't Post

The first D&D group I played with, all 4 of us were engineering majors. And that's probably the most imaginative and creative group I ever played with. Of course, all of us knew that JRRT was a genius, too.


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. -Psalm 107

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