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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
It is a question...Letters or no Letters?

Brethil
Half-elven


Sep 24 2013, 7:31pm


Views: 49
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It is a question...Letters or no Letters? [In reply to] Can't Post


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An interesting debate: are we better or worse off having the Letters? (NoWiz) The insights into the authors life and thoughts can be very interesting. But, by giving (or appearing to give) an official position on things they could stifle something important: the reader finding "applicability" in the work; of deciding for yourself what it might mean (or at least, mean to you).




I suppose its very personal.

For my part, I read all the Letters almost straight through (another weekend binge) after I read LOTR the first time. At *that* time in my life, LOTR was still too new, and the only thing that really satisfied my curiosity about the characters and the story at that time was to simply reread LOTR again.

For me, it is now - two decades later - when the stories have 'taken hold', that I find the most benefit from reading JRRT's insights. The sketched bits can sometimes be filled in - and though there is certainly (as Bombadil points out) the need and desire to translate them personally, I also like to go not too far afield in trying to understand what was trying to be said by the author (and also actively comparing it to what I perceive).

So I'm voting for liking having them...but I think the right time and right place might differ on the person. And certainly there will be people who would rather not 'peer behind the set pieces'; and there is nothing wrong with that at all!

I have used the term 'affectionate scrutiny' for how we endless armchair the works...but that affection is what I feel for JRRT himself, and part of why I like reading his own words, even when on other topics.

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!







Subject User Time
Letter #131: In the Beginning Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 17 2013, 4:37pm
    The fall, free will and redemption Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Sep 17 2013, 7:35pm
        The noble can't exist without the simple Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 18 2013, 12:11am
            Do Fall, Mortality and the Machine seem to be related in this work? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 19 2013, 5:49pm
                Perfect summation Furincurunir! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 20 2013, 1:53am
                When machines fall on mortals CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Sep 20 2013, 7:59pm
                    Guilty TV and other Falls Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 20 2013, 10:28pm
                    Machines and mortals noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 21 2013, 12:26pm
                    Missing Mortality? Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 21 2013, 4:51pm
                        Interesting question Rem Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 21 2013, 5:40pm
                        More on mortality, Elves and Men... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 22 2013, 6:24pm
    On religion (and allegory) Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 18 2013, 1:09am
        Fantastic parallels Terazed! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 18 2013, 3:39pm
            great quote which brings me to noumenon vs phenomenon Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 18 2013, 11:40pm
                More excellent points Terazed! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 20 2013, 3:15am
        In support of your Romantic influence Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 20 2013, 6:10pm
            I think you found something important in letter 310, Philosophy and faith Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 21 2013, 1:46am
                More on noumenons Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 21 2013, 5:27pm
                    The Numenons:are those the guys from Numenor? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 21 2013, 6:12pm
                        They are the ones who speak Latin and declined to go... // Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 21 2013, 6:14pm
    Thoughts and Random Ramblings..... Rembrethil Send a private message to Rembrethil Sep 18 2013, 9:26pm
        Thoughts back Rembrethil Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 20 2013, 1:49am
    For England? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 19 2013, 5:03pm
        But that was then, and this is now squire Send a private message to squire Sep 19 2013, 6:29pm
            Why the nostalgia? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 19 2013, 9:00pm
            Hmmm. fascinating Squire. I would second NoWiz's query... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 20 2013, 1:55am
                I can't work it out... noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 20 2013, 3:57pm
                    Especially starting with 'But once upon a time...' as he does Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 20 2013, 4:22pm
                        A confusion between literature and rugby union? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 20 2013, 5:42pm
                            Or, as satirised by comedians Flanders and Swan? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 20 2013, 5:59pm
                                Hmmm - Britain vs England Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 20 2013, 6:19pm
                                There is nationalism and then there is nationalism Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 21 2013, 5:14am
                                "It's not that they're wicked, or naturally bad... Na Vedui Send a private message to Na Vedui Sep 23 2013, 4:12am
                                    The song nicely lampoons the problem I'm talking about…// noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 23 2013, 5:50pm
        What about as ancient history? Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 20 2013, 3:20am
            I can imagine... noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 20 2013, 4:26pm
                Beren is fundamentally different from Aragorn, in this context squire Send a private message to squire Sep 21 2013, 2:00am
        England or English? Or Europe? Darkstone Send a private message to Darkstone Sep 20 2013, 8:44pm
            More points about Europe Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 20 2013, 10:49pm
                Yes Na Vedui Send a private message to Na Vedui Sep 23 2013, 3:11am
                    The Home of the Mythos... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 23 2013, 3:36am
            An epic for anyone (who likes that kind of thing). noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 21 2013, 11:45am
    Arrrrrrr! CaptainMorgan Send a private message to CaptainMorgan Sep 19 2013, 9:13pm
        One point, Captain... Meneldor Send a private message to Meneldor Sep 20 2013, 12:17am
            Love your most *Fitting* Avatar Meneldor !!!!! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 20 2013, 2:34am
            Or... Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Sep 20 2013, 3:01pm
        Ye please me mightily with yer celebratory lingo today Cap'n! Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 20 2013, 2:24am
    This letter....the bane of Tolkien Studies Bombadil21 Send a private message to Bombadil21 Sep 21 2013, 4:55am
        An interesting debate: are we better or worse off having the Letters? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 21 2013, 12:16pm
            Nah Dame Ioreth Send a private message to Dame Ioreth Sep 21 2013, 2:29pm
            It is a question...Letters or no Letters? Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 24 2013, 7:31pm
        Reply to: This letter.... Art vs Allegory Terazed Send a private message to Terazed Sep 21 2013, 4:27pm
        Hopefully that is what we are doing here Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 21 2013, 5:31pm
        But wait, I thought letter #131 was expressly a manifesto? noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 22 2013, 10:23am
            On the other hand, if Tolkien had been asked to write a memo "demonstrating that LOTR and the Silmarillion were interdependent and indivisible", what did Waldman think when +this+ turned up ?!// noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 22 2013, 2:01pm
            Good points - it had a purpose...which begs another question about TH... Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 22 2013, 5:21pm
                Author journey, reader journey noWizardme Send a private message to noWizardme Sep 22 2013, 8:19pm
                    TH perceptions and the need for Sil Brethil Send a private message to Brethil Sep 23 2013, 2:31am

 
 
 

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