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Valaquenta II: Of the Valar (1)
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FarFromHome
Valinor


Aug 24 2009, 9:30pm

Post #76 of 86 (106 views)
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I'm not trying to convince you. [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm just saying...

whether or not you (or anyone else who happens to follow the link) find the arguments in the article convincing, I think they present a view of human nature quite different from the one most commonly held today. It struck me as a good example of how our view of ourselves and our world is constantly changing. I meant it as a comment on the great difference in worldview between Middle-earth and the modern world. But it's only of tangential interest, as I said. I'd just read it before answering your post, and I thought it might be of some interest to you or perhaps to someone else on the board.

And it's nice to know that we're in agreement! Smile

Although I do hope we'll find something else to argue about discuss before too long...

Sly

They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled, the sigh and murmur of the Sea
upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings



squire
Valinor


Aug 24 2009, 9:50pm

Post #77 of 86 (104 views)
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It was interesting how the writers manipulated the conclusions [In reply to] Can't Post

It seemed to me that the article suffered from a kind of residual left-oriented anarchism. It was trying to twist the research into showing that you and I - the masses - don't make very rational decisions even when we think we are; so that someone (ominous) can "manipulate" us into (for instance) participating in the mass consumer society like moronic robots. Aggh! Stop me before I buy again!

But the way I understand what I was reading, everybody, including the wealthier/ruling classes, are stumbling about in emotional and instinctual hazes, unable to think truly rationally, making anything like a (sinister) purposeful and directed manipulation of society impossible! And in fact, when one reads the history of rulers and other influential folks, they do indeed seem to be supremely irrational and dim. No more so than the rest of us, no doubt, but they suffer from coming under the historians' lenses because they do control relatively large shares of material power and wealth.

I found the article fun to read. I'm not sure who's been proposing the "rational" model of human behavior lately - everything I read these days in the areas of history, economics, physics and psychology seems to go along with this article's "radical" reconstruction or deconstruction of human or even natural agency. I myself trace this shift in intellectual history to the point where mainframe computers were replaced by networked PCs - say, about 1985-90. But it might be the other way around. Of course, I also liked the article's admission that computer-based models of human intelligence are not necessarily useful, no matter how popular they have become.

I think the big difference between modernism and medievalism is the latter period's strong belief in hierarchy and place: a pyramidal model of rule, responsibility, and obedience, with God at the apex. The debate between reason and emotion (another way to present the dichotomy that the article is exploring) is very modern, to me, because in the end either perspective focuses on the individual's actions and reactions, exclusive of one's duties to a superior and to inferiors.



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 TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


Dreamdeer
Valinor


Aug 26 2009, 8:24pm

Post #78 of 86 (89 views)
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Nudity Prohibition [In reply to] Can't Post

Why was Turin so outraged when Saeros suggested that the womenfolk of his tribe ran around naked? Who cares what they showed, if chastity needed no guarding?

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!


Dreamdeer
Valinor


Aug 26 2009, 8:36pm

Post #79 of 86 (108 views)
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Specifics [In reply to] Can't Post

People do not specify what does not need specified. Why did the Sil specify that Aredhel was not entirely unwilling to wed Eol, unless an unwilling union could happen?

And what exactly outraged Eomer so, when Gandalf accused Grima of being promised Eowyn when all the men were dead? Can you honestly say that Eowyn would have gladly consented to wed Grima with her people slaughtered all around her--or that brilliant, subtle Grima would have expected as much?

Again, in the "Laws and Customs of the Eldar", you get backing at least in this much, that one elf cannot deceive another as to her marital status. But as the conceit of that account is an explanation to men within Middle Earth about how elves manage their family lives, it implies, by specifying non-deceit, that among Men, at least, deceit can and does happen.

The conceit of the Silmarillion being written for a Middle Earth audience is much stronger and more rigorously maintained than the conceit of "The Lord of the Rings" being derived from the Gardner Family Green Book. In this work, at least, one has to take the fictitious audience into account.

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!

(This post was edited by Dreamdeer on Aug 26 2009, 8:37pm)


Dreamdeer
Valinor


Aug 26 2009, 8:49pm

Post #80 of 86 (87 views)
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Vana? // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!


Dreamdeer
Valinor


Aug 26 2009, 8:52pm

Post #81 of 86 (86 views)
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I agree with you on this one. [In reply to] Can't Post

Far from it being a stretch, I can hardly see any other possible interpretation. What part of "too few children" seems unclear? In most cases I'd go with Voronwe, but this one I have to hand to you.

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!


Curious
Half-elven


Aug 26 2009, 9:15pm

Post #82 of 86 (92 views)
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Even if we play along with Tolkien's [In reply to] Can't Post

conceit that the Silmarillion was written for a Middle-earth audience, we should also play along with his conceit that Tolkien has translated the tale for a modern, 20th century audience, which might come to the wrong conclusions if he didn't explain that Aredhel was not entirely unwilling to wed Eol.

As for Eowyn being promised to Grima, I imagine the idea was to force her to marry him, much as the last queen of Numenor was forced to marry Ar-Pharazon, or Turin's aunt was forced to marry an Easterner. Note that Grima was not already married. He apparently was saving himself for Eowyn.


Dreamdeer
Valinor


Aug 26 2009, 11:35pm

Post #83 of 86 (79 views)
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If this were true... [In reply to] Can't Post

...straight across the board, then I would have had a happy childhood where I fit right in. But, like most studies, it can only work on the average. There are always going to be people who, however much they might want to conform, can't quite get the hang of it, and wind up having to innovate instead.

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!


Dreamdeer
Valinor


Aug 26 2009, 11:41pm

Post #84 of 86 (71 views)
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RED book! Sorry// [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!


Dreamdeer
Valinor


Aug 26 2009, 11:43pm

Post #85 of 86 (74 views)
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How would the translator know that? // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Life is beautiful and dangerous! Beware! Enjoy!


Curious
Half-elven


Aug 27 2009, 1:45am

Post #86 of 86 (120 views)
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You're right. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's always simpler to forget this translation conceit and recognize that Tolkien is, in fact, the author, and that we are, in fact, his readers.

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