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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Main:
Christopher Tolkien speaks!
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Jul 16 2012, 1:21pm

Post #101 of 117 (912 views)
*what she said* [In reply to] Can't Post

I could have written that post myself, Elizabeth. I completely agree with you.

LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Jul 16 2012, 3:49pm

Post #102 of 117 (901 views)
We got into this a bit [In reply to] Can't Post

last month on Hobbit. See this and related posts.

(This post was edited by SirDennisC on Jul 16 2012, 3:50pm)


Jul 16 2012, 3:58pm

Post #103 of 117 (881 views)
I have something that may speak to your question... [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
[So... you're saying that Tolkien put action in the books...] to appeal to younger people? I don't think that is correct.

Edgar Rice Burroughs was an American contemporary of Tolkien, and other than also being a writer, was probably as different from the professor as coult be. However, his action-packed yarns of Tarzan, John Carter of Mars, Carson of Venus, etc. weren't written to appeal to youngsters or young adults, but to tired middle-aged businessmen and blue-collar workers who just wanted to come home and escape for a while into another world. I'm not saying that Tokien necessarily shared that goal, only that he similarly wasn't targeting any specific audience (other than himself?).

"Good and ill have not changed since yesteryear; nor are they one thing among Elves and Dwarves and another among Men. It is a man's part to discern them, as much in the Golden Wood as in his own house." - Aragorn


Jul 16 2012, 6:55pm

Post #104 of 117 (926 views)
It's a good example... [In reply to] Can't Post

.. and true to the way the process works, I think. Most writers write the kind of things they themselves would want to read. In the first instance, sitting alone with pencil and paper, typewriter or computer screen, that's the only yardstick a writer has. His or her own interest in the story and enjoyment of it. If you as writer don't enjoy it then it's unlikely that anyone else is going to!

Tol Eressea

Jul 16 2012, 8:18pm

Post #105 of 117 (885 views)
Great thread from all, and Elizabeth wraps it up for me. [In reply to] Can't Post

"Sure, the movies are shallower than the books. They're movies. For a movie to have depth, it must restrict scope. Jackson took a different approach. For all the things I find irritating in the movies (and there are many) there are many other moments that are just sublime. I am grateful for them, and not ashamed to say so."

I refused to see a film version of Fellowship for a month after it was released. Friends and reviews finally convinced me it was safe. By then the theatre was nearly empty, and I had the music, the sweeping landscapes, and the beautifully paced tale of the journey in an otherwise quiet room; my own world, in effect, rather like reading a book out of doors by a babbling brook with rustling leaves and bird song overhead. And in the privacy of that empty theatre, I cried at the humanity in Tolkien's story expressed so well through Tolkien's own words, but also in the words of the script writers and from the faces and in the voices of that group of actors, in some truly sublime moments. The next two films accomplished the same.

I love reading Shakespeare alone in a quiet place, but I also love sitting in a darkened theatre where those stories are recreated in voice and color and costume. Every production is different, and I really don't like every interpretation or staging, but the story still moves me, and I see something new every time.

A three-hour film or a live performance is not the equivalent of a private reading experience where we each build our own landscapes and relationships with the story. They are simply another means of opening us to new interpretations of what it means to be a human in the world.


Jul 16 2012, 10:30pm

Post #106 of 117 (861 views)
Rushdie's quote [In reply to] Can't Post

Where he identifies a little with the hobbit bits, but denounces the rest, is exactly the kind of criticism I described in those earlier posts. Out of curiosity, why was it not relevant then?


Jul 17 2012, 12:53am

Post #107 of 117 (859 views)
I agree! [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
It's my experience that there are a lot of people here just like you, and a lot more in other Tolkien sites, and probably still more who had the same experience of being introduced to the books by the movies and haven't shared their experience online.

I think people who equate enjoying the movies with terminal shallowness are being somewhat elitist. A post up-thread suggested that a lot of people who bought the books because of the movies were put off and tossed them unread -- another elitist assumption. Maybe some did, many did not.

For myself, I read the books when they came out but did not become a serious fan. The movies revived my interest, and I went back to the books and discovered new depths and delights, and read many of the things you list and a few others.

Sure, the movies are shallower than the books. They're movies. For a movie to have depth, it must restrict scope. Jackson took a different approach. For all the things I find irritating in the movies (and there are many) there are many other moments that are just sublime. I am grateful for them, and not ashamed to say so.

Someone had to say it! I feel like there are a lot of "elitists" in the Tolkien communities online. The films were EXTREMELY popular, so some people who found Tolkien before the "mainstream" act as if they are better than people who were involved with the production of the films or even just fans of the films! When Peter Jackson said Philippa Boyens is the biggest Tolkien geek, everyone started trying to prove how they are better than her! I don't think this is unique to Tolkien fans though. If someone is talking about a movie that was based on a book there is always someone who must interject that, "the book was better," just to prove that they are more serious fans. I think this even happens when the movie is better than the book! I never understood how a movie and a book could be compared though.

Edit: By the way, over a third of LotR sales were sold after the release of the films. I read sales of the book increased by 1000% in the UK.

(This post was edited by Jeremy on Jul 17 2012, 12:59am)


Jul 17 2012, 5:38am

Post #108 of 117 (832 views)
This is true, but the problem is on both sides [In reply to] Can't Post

Yes, there are elitists in the Tolkien communities online.

However, there is also the opposite extreme of people who insist that those who adore the books are pseudo-intellectual bores that just "don't get it," and those who aren't keen on the films must have something wrong with their heads.

Those sorts of people tend to make the elitists even more elitist, and so round the vicious circle we go...

I mean, just earlier you openly mocked the tastes of senior citizens, and what they might want out of a LOTR film! That kind of comment doesn't help the elitists mellow out and enjoy the books.

What both camps could learn is a bit of "live and let live." Don't criticize people for liking the films, and don't criticize people for not liking the films. These are both quite legitimate points of view...

I think the LOTR films, apart from a few really great scenes (which I tend to watch often), are very sub par. For me, almost unwatchable.

Will you let me have that opinion without mocking it?

(This post was edited by Shelob'sAppetite on Jul 17 2012, 5:39am)


Jul 17 2012, 2:03pm

Post #109 of 117 (823 views)
Well said [In reply to] Can't Post

I know quite a few extremely wonderful people who are among the most knowledgable people I know about Tolkien who simply avoid discussions about the films because they get treated so disrespectfully when they express their opinions. I think that is unfortunate.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire

Tol Eressea

Jul 17 2012, 7:17pm

Post #110 of 117 (812 views)
Me too [In reply to] Can't Post

- I also have a lot of friends who know more about Tolkien than I do, who don't discuss the movies. I don't blame them - it's a bit like (to paraphrase Pratchett) 'entering an arse-kicking contest with a porcupine'.


(This post was edited by geordie on Jul 17 2012, 7:19pm)


Jul 17 2012, 9:44pm

Post #111 of 117 (832 views)
If you get two groups representing two sides of an opinion in a room... [In reply to] Can't Post

there will always be those in each group who behave badly.

So, when anyone *not* behaving badly tries to calm the waters, each side can say "but they* said nasty things about me".

*they = the other side - not the few people who actually behaved badly.

Those behaving badly won't own up to their behavior ... or are actually proud of it and won't change.**

Too many people not behaving badly chose to blame the other side in total for the actions of the few.

It's seems to be an entrenched way of thinking and acting that never moves and never gets better.

I've basically given up thinking that I can have a conversation with anyone I don't agree with that is based on what that person said and what I said. Either a badly behaving person will crash the conversation or someone is holding a grudge against a whole group of people based on what a few bad apples did.

I have a few friends who I can still converse with without this dynamic coming into play. I even disagree with them on things. But they are able to carry on a conversation without blaming me for the action of every person who ever held a similar opinion as mine. And they are able to place my opinion within the context of what I think about a lot of things... and how I behave in general. And I do the same with them. Disagreements happen with civility and respect.

But mostly... on the internet and in other areas of life... effective communication is broken. It's sad, really.

**beside the badly behaving people who won't admit to behaving badly (or understand how it is 'bad)... and the badly behaving people who are proud of their behavior... there is actually a third group: the person who behaves badly with the intention of riling people up but who don't care at all about the opinion they are spouting. This person doesn't like Star Wars but will get on a LOTR board and pretend that they are Star Wars fans who think LOTR is tripe. They trash talk it so that LOTR fans will get riled up and feel that 'those Star Wars fans are so mean'. That same person is just as likely to get on the Star Wars board, pretend to be a LOTR fan and do the same. I think of it as them earning points. If badly behaving person X can get each side of an opinion sniping at each other... they have earned a point. I'm convinced they find places to compare their points with each other. I wouldn't be surprised if some of those points were earned on these boards.

LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide

(This post was edited by Magpie on Jul 17 2012, 9:44pm)


Jul 18 2012, 5:30am

Post #112 of 117 (817 views)
Oh, I like this [In reply to] Can't Post

I have read this thread with great interest and I think you have made a very good point. I believe that writing "to" a specific audience is not ideal, but very popular current literature seems to be written that way. In my opinion, authors are better served by writing what inspires them, as opposed to writing to please a specific audience. The audience should respond to the literature, not the other way around.


Jul 18 2012, 11:28pm

Post #113 of 117 (784 views)
You didn't even read my posts- only took my words out of context [In reply to] Can't Post



Aug 18 2012, 5:30pm

Post #114 of 117 (773 views)
Tommy Tuneful & G-Girl enjoy the Simple.. [In reply to] Can't Post

Sentences in life.

"The flexibility of these books explains their success,"

remarks Vincent Ferré.

"It is an oeuvre that creates a world,
where readers can enter and become
actors in their own turn."



Aug 18 2012, 6:12pm

Post #115 of 117 (743 views)
How is this Idea to solve the Riddle of CRT & SirPJ? [In reply to] Can't Post

After a gilded invitation is send
and accepted to the South of France.
Three " Stretched. ...Limousines" arrive.

CHRIS and wife join PJ&Fran in one.
PHILLIPA with husband with Adam &Priscilla Tolkien in another.
THIRD with John H & Alan L with otherof thier many Grandchildren.

Drive to the Huge Theatre in Cannes..and this fair party has the Theatre
All to themselves for LotR 1,2,3!.

Chris is handed a Remote allowing him to Stop the Movies at anytime for Discussion.
if he can live long enough repeat this
for TH1,2,3!
Peace is restored and Chris can sail into the West and canTell

his Father
of Tales of Astonishment!


Tol Eressea

Aug 18 2012, 6:35pm

Post #116 of 117 (711 views)
I see your heart is in the right place [In reply to] Can't Post

Smile -- but I think Christopher's a bit busy right now, getting the latest edition of his father's works through the press; ie, JRR tolkien's 'The Fall of Arthur'.



Aug 18 2012, 8:05pm

Post #117 of 117 (781 views)
Thang you very Bunch.. [In reply to] Can't Post

You are one of
My Heros Here..
your Dedication
and extensive Library
would be..
you don't..
See everyday"..

Maybe CRT needs
a Holiday &
Sees Mountains
of FilmWork?

THEN go Back
& Finishes
his Book?

We honestly believe
This would turn the tide
of this battle between eSTATEs

Tolkien & PJ & company..
(If Fans could See Christopher
in Wellington. For the Premiere?)

He would understand what a Wonderous Worldwide
Effect..his father gifted.



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