Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Distinguished Bibliophile
TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008
0 Kudos

Middle Earth How would you written it?

What part would you have changed?
Frequent Contributor
lorien
Posts: 770
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Earth How would you written it?

Oh, great fun! Ardo I will move your post over here since I know you don't know how to do it.
Frequent Contributor
lorien
Posts: 770
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
0 Kudos

Speculative Fiction: "The Ring Goes Back To The Old Forest"

I'm moving over Ardo's story:
"The Ring Goes Back To The Old Forest" ( Speculative Fiction - SPOILERS involved??? )


Good Afternoon/Evening lorien...

I had decided to go ahead and take you up on your "offer" of extrapolating on imagined revisions of the LOTR story - if other alternate routes had been taken ( after The Council Of Elrond ) and other choices had been made as to what to do with The Ring...
This is all just for the heck of it, and for fun only...
"SYPNOSIS OF "The Ring Goes Back To The Old Forest" ( Speculative Fiction - SPOILERS involved??? )

First, some sort of party ( one including hobbits - presumably Pippin and Merry ) sets out from Rivendell, in an attempt to fool both Sauron and Saruman into assuming The Ring is on its way South. Probably Gandalf must go with this party, so The Enemy will assume the importance of the "mission". Then Glorfindel and perhaps Aragorn ( and Frodo and Sam ) could somehow slip back unnoticed to The Old Forest, where Frodo would hand over The Ring to Tom Bombadil, and then he is allowed to return to The Shire. ---
Boromir must try to return to Minas Tirith, in an effort to warn his father that The Enemy may soon be headed
North, and that the Men Of Gondor should try and s do what they can to prevent them from doing so...
Saruman's spies inform him that The Ring has been taken into The Old Forest, and sends an army of his orcs to raze The Old Forest to the ground, and takes Tom and Goldberry off to Orthanc to be tortured, in order to locate The Ring. ( of course, Tom has already lost it, and has no idea where it is, anyway )...
Sauron gets wind of Saruman's intentions, and sends his own vast army northward ( meeting scant opposition from Gondor, and none from Rohan ) up through The Gap Of Rohan ( where Saruman's armies had already passed, before ) and there is a huge confrontation, just south of The Old Forest ) ---
The Ring has not yet been found. Finally, Sauron himself leaves the fortress of Barad-Dur in Mordor, and heads up North, to duke it out with Saruman, and search for The Ring, himself.
Both Saruman and Sauron are confronted by Elrond and the Elves from Rivendell, and Aragorn, and Gandalf ( who has returned from the "decoy" mission ) and even by the Dwarves of Dain, who have marched westward, over the northern tip of the Misty Mountain range, and through the gap between there and The Grey Mountains...
In the middle of the fighting, The Ring is at last stumbled upon by Saruman, who takes it to set himself up as the new Dark Lord, vanquishes Sauron, and sets up his own new Kingdom Of Darkness, headquartered in Bag-End, in Hobbiton, in the smoking ruins of The Shire. Frodo is forced to become Saruman's man-servant, and wait on him hand and foot, day and night. The Nazgul take over The Green Dragon Inn, and charge inflated prices for the beer and mushrooms... ( OK - I know I'm just getting silly, now... )...Ardo
Frequent Contributor
JesseBC
Posts: 278
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Earth How would you written it?

I can't think of any way to ask this question without sounding like a snot. So I'll just ask it and hope that everyone takes it in the spirit of genuine curiosity with which I intend it: Who cares?

I see this kind of question come up in book discussions all the time (it's often included in cheesy publisher "reading guides"), usually in terms of "If you were the main character, what would you have done differently?" And the answers rarely would have resulted in any story at all.

Granted, the question is usually framed in moral terms with regards to contemporary fiction -- the kind where we're expected to get inside the heads of morally ambiguous characters and the whole point of the story is the somewhat nihilistic assumption that to live is to be faced with hopeless ethical conundrums in which there is no One Right Way To Do Things.

And the question invariably prompts a lot of simplistic pomposity suggesting that there IS One Right Way To Do Things and the main character did NOT do it, whereas the person answering the question certainly WOULD have.

I'm not suggesting that's happening here and that's where I don't mean to sound like a brat by asking, but this group also seems a little more laid-back than many others, so I thought I might actually get a real answer :-)

Why do modern readers feel the need to ask how we'd have written the book or what we'd have done in the character's situation?

Is it just for fun? For the sake of conversation? Is it because modern readers are fixated on extracting moral lessons from literature? (We really do seem to be more hung up on this than even the Victorians were. We love morality plays. We're convinced that children will imitate what they see and read. We love to have our entertainment tell us how to live.)

Again, I don't mean to be a brat and I realize that, in this context, it's a largely different question. But who cares how *I* would have written it? There's already so much meat to these stories, we can spend months just talking about how Tolkien himself wrote it.

All I can say is I assure you I couldn't have written it nearly as well! :-)





TiggerBear wrote:
What part would you have changed?


Frequent Contributor
lorien
Posts: 770
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Earth How would you written it?

JesseBC wrote
Is it just for fun? For the sake of conversation? Is it because modern readers are fixated on extracting moral lessons from literature? (We really do seem to be more hung up on this than even the Victorians were. We love morality plays. We're convinced that children will imitate what they see and read. We love to have our entertainment tell us how to live.)

Again, I don't mean to be a brat and I realize that, in this context, it's a largely different question. But who cares how *I* would have written it? There's already so much meat to these stories, we can spend months just talking about how Tolkien himself wrote it.
-------------------------

This is all in fun, Jesse. But there is a half serious purpose that started it. In the original post that I made, there were several options as to what to do with the Ring discussed and speculated on in the Council of Elrond. This was part of that discussion. Tolkien himself in the introduction to LOTR speculated on what might have happened if an other option had been chosen. The original post is below.

Sometimes taking a different perspective on what was happening can be revealing. Also, in delving into Tolkien's work he was constantly changing and trying out different histories and outcomes. Sometimes it is difficult to even know what was his final take on things. Was it his original thinking, his published thinking, his later in life unpublished writings.

This thread was pulled out of the main discussion because it is just a fun thread to lighten up things a little. It could just as easily have been put under The Prancing Pony Thread--but then we do like threads!
===================================================



Boromir's Option

I was going to go through some of the options presented at the Council and try to guess what might have happened, but I am running out of time. Maybe I will come back to it later.

However, I was just rereading Tolkien's Forward to the LOTR this afternoon, and he pretty much evaluated Boromir's option of using the Ring and its inevitable outcome. This was actually in reference to the speculation that Tolkien had been influenced by WWII.

pp xxiv
The real war does not resemble the legendary war in its process or its conclusions. If it had inspired or directed the development of the legend, then certainly the Ring would have been seized and used against Sauron; he would not have been annihilated but enslaved, and Barad-dur would not have been destroyed but occupied. Saruman, failing to get possession of the Ring, would in the confusion and treacheries of the time have found in Mordor the missing links in his own researches into Ring-lore, and before long he would have made a Great Ring of his own with which to challenge the self-styled Ruler of Middle-earth. In that conflict both sides would have held hobbits in hatred and contempt: they would not long have survived even as slaves.
--------------------

I like it! It would have made a good story! Anyone want to speculate on the outcome if one of the other options had been taken?

- Give it to Tom Bombidil
- Use the three elvin Rings somehow
- Send it over the Sea
- Throw it into the Sea.
- Give it to Gandolf or Elrond
- Let Boromir have it to use it
- Let Bilbo do the task of taking it to Mount Doom
Frequent Contributor
lorien
Posts: 770
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Earth How would you written it?

JesseBC wrote:
I see this kind of question come up in book discussions all the time (it's often included in cheesy publisher "reading guides", usually in terms of "If you were the main character, what would you have done differently?" And the answers rarely would have resulted in any story at all.

Granted, the question is usually framed in moral terms with regards to contemporary fiction -- the kind where we're expected to get inside the heads of morally ambiguous characters and the whole point of the story is the somewhat nihilistic assumption that to live is to be faced with hopeless ethical conundrums in which there is no One Right Way To Do Things.

And the question invariably prompts a lot of simplistic pomposity suggesting that there IS One Right Way To Do Things and the main character did NOT do it, whereas the person answering the question certainly WOULD have.
----------------------------------------

As an answer to your deeper question, I do not feel good literature is a one-way communication in which the author states his story view and that is the final say. All art, including literature, is a two-way contribution stimulated by what an author has to say and the way the reader views it. The better the literature the more analytical discussion is inspired. That is why there are so many books on Tolkien's work analyzing its deeper meanings.

Tolkien himself expected it--and I might say almost demanded it. If I may again quote from his introduction, and a very famous and often discussed quote:

pp xxiv
I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestation...I much prefer history, true or feigned, with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers. I think that many confuse 'applicability' with 'allegory'; but the one resides in the freedom of the reader and the other in the purpose domination of the author.

So Tolkien himself has given us permission to use his work as an inspiration for our own speculation.

I don't think any of our statements imply that our way is superior to any anything he might have done. It is just our way of entering into his story.

I think your question and statements are excellent points and very valid for discussion. It brings up the the topic of what is the value and purpose of literature.

Hmmm...Now I wonder if this deserves another thread. :smileywink:
Frequent Contributor
oldBPLstackdenizen
Posts: 633
Registered: ‎12-19-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Earth How would you written it?

Good Afternoon, JesseBC...
 
If you refer back to the last several postings to that [ FOTR Book 2 Chaps 1&2  Thread ] and , especially if you read my letters there ( if you have not already done so ) - you might find that:
(a) I was myself a little bit reluctant to go down that "path" ( of the speculating ) to begin with...
(b) I submitted my piece with the proviso that it was to be "just for the heck of it" and only "just for fun"...
(c) Afterwards, I did fuss and fret a little bit about what I had done - mentioning that "this kind of thing" might have the tendency to turn LOTR into just some kind of "Middle-earth Risk Game" - ( I think I really did feel a little bit guilty about what I had done )...
 
And, in my case, I think it might have been an example of "The Devil finds work for idle hands"...As I seem to have a lot more free time on my hands than probably most of the contributors to this Book Club might find they have - and I have been enjoying this particular "pastime" so much that it has become almost a fixation or obsession for me ( at least, an "occupation" ) and I do tend to get a little carried away sometimes...
For the most part, however, I can truthfully say that almost all of my contributions to these discussions have been heartfelt and genuine...I have always felt like I had "something to say" about many different subjects - even if what I had to say might not be all that important...I have probably delved too many times into my own
personal history ( in spite of my once "swearing off" any further such forays down memory lane )... and a great deal of my "work" probably should have gone to "The Prancing Pony" Thread, instead of to more
"seious" Threads ( or maybe to my own "let me introduce myself to you again - and again - and again - thread" )... but I have had a hard time stopping myself from getting carried away with everything.
 
I want to also state right here that only Tolkien himself is "The Master" - when it comes to the creation of his own stories - LOTR is pretty much perfect just the way it was presented in its final form, and there is no need to actually "change" one iota of that masterpiece in any way...
But I really don't think this was a case of trying to "uncover the motivations" of any of the characters in the story, or any kind of "morality-play" ...it really was meant to be just playful fun, I thought.
 
Also, concerning that quote from the Foreword to LOTR - I never really thought of it it terms of Tolkien himself "speculating" how the story could have been different... I always had the impression that it was almost more of a "backhanded slap" at all the folks who kept insisting on finding correlations between elements in the story and present-day concerns... To paraphrase what I THINK Tolkien was trying to say - it was something like:
"Well, alright, if you absolutely MUST insist on finding "paralels" between my story and the modern-day world's problems - that you are so darn sure that events in my story have to "represent" events in "our own time" - then here goes - This and That and Such and Such would have happened - So, THERE - are you satisfied? ( however - that's not how my story turned out at all - so you can see
 I was never trying to make any such "analogies" to begin with )"
 
On the other hand, from the tone of your letter - I recieved a "vision" of you, the stern School Teacher, ( with a heavy ruler in your hand ) coming back to the classroom to find that all the school children in the class are busy goofing off, acting silly, throwing crumpled wads of paper around, and being generally over-rambunctious ... So, you tell us to sit down in our seats immediately, be absolutely quiet, sit up straight, and stare straight ahead ... and now, class, open your books to page.....
 
And it could be that all these "Threads" have gotten out of hand, and we do need a little disciplining...Sometimes it does feel like we all have so many "pots in the fire" and also so many things
"cooking on the back-burners" - that maybe it is time for some simplification and streamlining of the whole process...On the other hand, every time I see a "Thread", I am tempted to open it up, and see if I have anything worthwhile to add to the discussion there... It's sort of like a Smorgasborg of ideas in here...
 
Ardo Whortleberry
Tolkien Reader
"Middle-earth Is A State Of Mind"
^^^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^^^^

Ardo Whortleberry
Frequent Contributor
lorien
Posts: 770
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Earth How would you written it?

And it could be that all these "Threads" have gotten out of hand, and we do need a little disciplining...Sometimes it does feel like we all have so many "pots in the fire" and also so many things
"cooking on the back-burners" - that maybe it is time for some simplification and streamlining of the whole process...On the other hand, every time I see a "Thread", I am tempted to open it up, and see if I have anything worthwhile to add to the discussion there... It's sort of like a Smorgasborg of ideas in here...

Ardo Whortleberry
Tolkien Reader
------------------------------

I got a good chuckle out of your "alternate" story. And I think all the threads are just fine. If there is no interest, it just falls to the bottom. But you never know when a subject is going to spark a debate. It sure is better than when we tended to hop from subject to subject within threads and then you couldn't figure out what thread had the subject you were interested in.

I also think we have a good balance between dry serious discussion, speculation and just plain jocularity. This is especially important to us newbies who are trying to find our way around. We are not all scholars here and many of us have only read the books once if that. I think too serious a discussion discourages discussion. This is a very mixed and public group and there should be something in it for everyone. If we lighten up a bit, more people might not be so intimidated and we would have more participation.

IMHO :smileywink:
Distinguished Bibliophile
TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Earth How would you written it?

I started this tread merely for fun.

Working out plot issues and ideas are enjoyable mental exercises. Excellent conversation pieces.

Hey if one wants to hammer out a moral issue, go right ahead.

Enjoy this how you want.


Now as to whether Tolkien himself would find this objectionable. UNLIKELY. He publicly stated he enjoyed "Bored with the Rings" a funny but insulting parody.
For well over a decade there has roleplaying game based on this world. Approved by the estate. People have been enjoying the reworking of these stories for years.

Now as to why in general, modern readers like to rework some worlds to their fancy. There have been a few WORLDS so wholly fleshed out in literature. They capture out imaginations and flavor our dreams. We long to see them in film, games, cartoons, comics,ect..
Personally I beginning to think that mabey it might be best if 50 or 100 years after the authors death, such constructs would be better turned out into the public domain. It hasn't hurt Howard's work. Or Stoker's. Or Doyle's.
Frequent Contributor
lorien
Posts: 770
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Earth How would you written it?

Actually, I wish some quality writers could do that now. There is so much Tolkien envisioned that he never had time to get to. So many stories left untold or only partially told. I would love to read someones vision of what those story were and I think many others, even Tolkien purists, would love to see some of these things fleshed out. unfortunately, there is always the poor-quality writer who just wants to capitalize on Tolkien.

I am reading Meditations of Middle-earth, a series of essays about Tolkien's work written by noted Science Fantasy writers and, though I have only read a couple of them, I would dearly like to see something done by Ursula Le Guin, who was particularly sensitive to the rhythmic quality of the Tom Bombadil chapter. Or George R. R Martin expanding a book series of the Fourth Age or picking up on some of the Silm sagas. He will be on the B&N board sometime (next week maybe). It might be worthwhile putting that question to him. What would he write about and how would he approach it.

I have Bored with the Ring but haven't read it yet, I was thinking of opening up a sub-topic in this thread for a "serious" discussion of it!



TiggerBear wrote:
I started this tread merely for fun.

Working out plot issues and ideas are enjoyable mental exercises. Excellent conversation pieces.

Hey if one wants to hammer out a moral issue, go right ahead.

Enjoy this how you want.


Now as to whether Tolkien himself would find this objectionable. UNLIKELY. He publicly stated he enjoyed "Bored with the Rings" a funny but insulting parody.
For well over a decade there has roleplaying game based on this world. Approved by the estate. People have been enjoying the reworking of these stories for years.

Now as to why in general, modern readers like to rework some worlds to their fancy. There have been a few WORLDS so wholly fleshed out in literature. They capture out imaginations and flavor our dreams. We long to see them in film, games, cartoons, comics,ect..
Personally I beginning to think that mabey it might be best if 50 or 100 years after the authors death, such constructs would be better turned out into the public domain. It hasn't hurt Howard's work. Or Stoker's. Or Doyle's.

Frequent Contributor
Fanuidhol
Posts: 203
Registered: ‎12-14-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Earth How would you written it?

Fan stared seemingly hypnotized by the empty space on the computer screen.  But, she was busy considering her options, sometimes taping her fingernails against the desk.  Squinting her eyes and pursing her lips with a sudden thought, weighing the positives and negatives of this particular scenario, when the doorbell rang.

Opening the door, she found herself staring down at a short man wearing a bright blue jacket and yellow boots.  He barely glanced at her surprised face and strode into her living room.  Turning to face her, he asked, “Fanuidhol … or may I call you Fanny?”

“Um, Fan or Cloudyhead will do.”

A look of recognition spread over his serious countenance and his demeanor softened only slightly.  “Don’t I know you?”

“Why, yes, we met some years ago…”

Tom cut her short.  “I remember.  You and your friends were raising havoc with the Space-Time Continuum of Middle-earth.”

Fan was apologetic.  “We didn’t mean to…it was accidental, really.” Fan couldn’t help but smile, remembering the adventure they had in Middle-earth.

“You should have been more careful!  That nazgul truckdriver plowed through The Old Forest for weeks ruining the landscape and don’t get me started on that horde of “Legolas Lovers” chasing that puny little green dragon.  And I don’t want to hear another word about an Orc rehab being built in my neck of the woods.  I stopped that real quick.  They turned it into a Dairy Queen with a drivethru.  I hear that poor farmer you helped on the Greenway owns it.”  Tom began pacing back and forth.  He wagged his finger at her face.

“And wipe that smile off your face, Missy.  I know what you’re planning.”

“But, Tom”, Fan whined, “They think I’m too serious over at the Barnes and Noble reading group.”  She stamped her foot like a petulant child, knowing full well that Dagor would probably use it against her someday.  Then she batted her eyelashes, knowing she had nothing to lose if Dagor read that.

Tom’s heart softened.  “Well, maybe if you are really careful not to disturb the storyline too much…”

Fan hugged him gratefully and planted a kiss on his forehead.  As she ushered him to the door, she couldn’t help but ask “Is Goldberry waiting?”

“Why, yes, how did you know?  Tom chuckled, winked and bounded out the door. 

Fan returned to her chair in front of the computer….

Frequent Contributor
lorien
Posts: 770
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Earth How would you written it?

Fan! I didn't know you had a sense of humor! :smileyvery-happy: :smileyvery-happy: :smileyvery-happy:

You really had me howling with laughter! I'm still doing it. I'm going to have the giggles all night long!

This was wonderful:
-----------------------
“You should have been more careful! That nazgul truckdriver plowed through The Old Forest for weeks ruining the landscape and don’t get me started on that horde of “Legolas Lovers” chasing that puny little green dragon. And I don’t want to hear another word about an Orc rehab being built in my neck of the woods. I stopped that real quick. They turned it into a Dairy Queen with a drivethru. I hear that poor farmer you helped on the Greenway owns it.” Tom began pacing back and forth. He wagged his finger at her face.
-----------------------

:smileyvery-happy: :smileyvery-happy: :smileyvery-happy:
Distinguished Bibliophile
TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Earth How would you written it?

[ Edited ]
Actually, I wish some quality writers could do that now. There is so much Tolkien envisioned that he never had time to get to. So many stories left untold or only partially told. I would love to read someones vision of what those story were and I think many others, even Tolkien purists, would love to see some of these things fleshed out. unfortunately, there is always the poor-quality writer who just wants to capitalize on Tolkien.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
We treat them the same as we do hack writers of Stoker and Howard. We would not buy them. The good one get supported, the bad get left behind.

Message Edited by TiggerBear on 04-13-2008 02:35 AM
Distinguished Bibliophile
TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Earth How would you written it?

Fanuidhol
That nazgul truckdriver
-------------------------------------------
Now why did I picture a dump truck driver, scattering bits of broken Minas Morgul at 70 mph.

Very funny!
Frequent Contributor
Fanuidhol
Posts: 203
Registered: ‎12-14-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Earth How would you written it?



lorien wrote:
Fan! I didn't know you had a sense of humor! :smileyvery-happy: :smileyvery-happy: :smileyvery-happy:

You really had me howling with laughter! I'm still doing it. I'm going to have the giggles all night long!

This was wonderful:
-----------------------
“You should have been more careful! That nazgul truckdriver plowed through The Old Forest for weeks ruining the landscape and don’t get me started on that horde of “Legolas Lovers” chasing that puny little green dragon. And I don’t want to hear another word about an Orc rehab being built in my neck of the woods. I stopped that real quick. They turned it into a Dairy Queen with a drivethru. I hear that poor farmer you helped on the Greenway owns it.” Tom began pacing back and forth. He wagged his finger at her face.
-----------------------

:smileyvery-happy: :smileyvery-happy: :smileyvery-happy:

Glad you liked it, Lorien and Tiggerbear.
Those of us that work hard, try to play hard, too. :smileywink:
 
Actually, on another discussion board, years ago, a group of us wrote a story together called "An Adventure in Middle-earth".  I "woke up" in Middle-earth one day with one of my online friends, and others joined us either within the story or outside in other threads.  Some of the time it was funny and at other times quite serious. 
The nazgul truckdriver came from an off topic comment which mentioned "Orc drivers" and "Nazgul truckdrivers".   I decided to include within the story.  Back when the movies were in theatres, there were droves of "Legolas Lovers" on message boards who tended to take-over with inane comments.  The orc rehab was within a discussion about whether or not Orcs were just sword fodder or if they could be redeemed (rehabilitated).  The Dairy Queen was brand new, I think.  I'll have to re-read everything to make sure. 
Well, my son has invited me to dinner, so I'll end here.
Fan
Frequent Contributor
oldBPLstackdenizen
Posts: 633
Registered: ‎12-19-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Earth How would you written it?

Good Afternoon Fan...
 
I too,  much enjoyed your "Short Story" relating the visit of Old Tom B.  to your abode. ---
 
I know I mentioned this before ( in the [ Tolkien's Effect On Popular Culture Thread ] ) - but one of my favorite "parodies" of LOTR was a very short story, printed in the ORCRIST Fanzine, over 35 years ago - simply describing a picnic with some of the main characters of LOTR present at it. I wish I could track it down ... But that might prove a bit difficult - I don't think there was ever a very large number of that particular "Fanzine" ever published - and it has been out of circulation for over 35 years, as well ....         Ardo 
"Middle-earth Is A State Of Mind"
^^^^^^^ ^^^ ^^^^^^^^^

Ardo Whortleberry
Frequent Contributor
JesseBC
Posts: 278
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Earth How would you written it?

Thanks -- I appreciate those who answered my question, especially those who did so without taking a swipe at me for it.

I explained that it was a genuine question and that I didn't know how to ask it without sounding like a snot. I was hardly trying to come in here like a stern schoolmaster and order you all to stop having fun. Nor did I ever suggest Tolkien would care one way or the other.

I just asked why. "For fun" is a perfectly legit answer.

I merely wondered because I see a similar question is most book discussions and I'm interested in how people read and how they talk about what they read.

The prevalence of the question intrigues me and it usually doesn't seem to be discussed in the spirit of fun. Most commonly, I see it in terms of what the characters should have done differently and how the characters have therefore failed morally and the book would be better if they hadn't.

I think that says something about how we read and what we expect from literature, but I'm not sure what and I've never before encountered a group that I though might honestly answer the question.

I certainly wasn't trying to stamp out funny parodies or spoil anybody's party.
Frequent Contributor
lorien
Posts: 770
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Earth How would you written it?

And look at all the fun your question generated plus some serious discussion.

I don't mind people being speculative except when they take a particular attitude that only their interpretation is correct. Often they are just trying to bend the author's words into their own ideology. I think anyone should be free to interpret literature in a way they feel it is most beneficial to them. After all part of the the literary process is to come away with a new perspective on things. And I think in a discussion group, anyone should be able to express those ideas--that is what we are all about. And the process of the discussion can often clarify things for them and for others only. A discussion is a give and take and an exchange of ideas. I have certainly benefited from them since I am constantly changing my mind.

However, when the discussions become too dogmatic and people take an intolerant point of view or start to get a "bit testy" over some one else's remarks, then I think there is a breakdown of respect for other people's opinions.

There are also times when I feel that people are reading far too much of their own ideology into the work that seems like a stretch to me. I must honestly admit that it does ruffle my feathers a bit and it takes some effort to restrain myself from jumping in and getting a bit hot-headed. But I do try to tell myself it is their right and make my encounter as cordial as I can between my gritted teeth.

Some light hearted exchanges and jokes are fine too. Kind of makes for a friendlier group. If a group is dead serious all the time, it becomes a bunch of dull bunnies. But I don't find any use for a discussion board that becomes totally that way unless it is a personal exchange type group engaging in a social activity with friends. It actually is more of my own personal expectations of the type of discussion I want to enter into. Some groups become just an exchange of not-so-clever one-liners.



JesseBC wrote:
Thanks -- I appreciate those who answered my question, especially those who did so without taking a swipe at me for it.

I explained that it was a genuine question and that I didn't know how to ask it without sounding like a snot. I was hardly trying to come in here like a stern schoolmaster and order you all to stop having fun. Nor did I ever suggest Tolkien would care one way or the other.

I just asked why. "For fun" is a perfectly legit answer.

I merely wondered because I see a similar question is most book discussions and I'm interested in how people read and how they talk about what they read.

The prevalence of the question intrigues me and it usually doesn't seem to be discussed in the spirit of fun. Most commonly, I see it in terms of what the characters should have done differently and how the characters have therefore failed morally and the book would be better if they hadn't.

I think that says something about how we read and what we expect from literature, but I'm not sure what and I've never before encountered a group that I though might honestly answer the question.

I certainly wasn't trying to stamp out funny parodies or spoil anybody's party.

Distinguished Bibliophile
TiggerBear
Posts: 9,489
Registered: ‎02-12-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Earth How would you written it?

JesseBC wrote: Thanks -- I appreciate those who answered my question, especially those who did so without taking a swipe at me for it.

I explained that it was a genuine question and that I didn't know how to ask it without sounding like a snot. I was hardly trying to come in here like a stern schoolmaster and order you all to stop having fun. Nor did I ever suggest Tolkien would care one way or the other.

I just asked why. "For fun" is a perfectly legit answer.

I merely wondered because I see a similar question is most book discussions and I'm interested in how people read and how they talk about what they read.

The prevalence of the question intrigues me and it usually doesn't seem to be discussed in the spirit of fun. Most commonly, I see it in terms of what the characters should have done differently and how the characters have therefore failed morally and the book would be better if they hadn't.

I think that says something about how we read and what we expect from literature, but I'm not sure what and I've never before encountered a group that I though might honestly answer the question.

I certainly wasn't trying to stamp out funny parodies or spoil anybody's party.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(Chuckle) just trying to answer your question in every way possible
Frequent Contributor
JesseBC
Posts: 278
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Middle Earth How would you written it?

I suppose I agree (though even the fact of my agreement proves my susceptibility to our there's-no-right-or-wrong-only-different relativism).

It's not that I don't think any interpretation or conversation can prove fruitful, but I do think some people read more intelligently than others.

If, say, someone comes up with "I don't like Jane Eyre because I think she was wrong to marry Rochester." I don't think that's WRONG, per say; I just don't think it's a very sophisticated way to read.

Now that I'm thinking about it, it's probably the Oprah-effect on reading that irritates me -- the way group reading has merged with group therapy. The book becomes a Rorschach test in which the group members can all express their individuality. It's like the real book and the real writer don't exist.

Again, I'm NOT suggesting that's going on here. Only that "How would you have written it differently?" is one of those types of questions that utilizes literature for self-actualization.





lorien wrote:
And look at all the fun your question generated plus some serious discussion.

I don't mind people being speculative except when they take a particular attitude that only their interpretation is correct. Often they are just trying to bend the author's words into their own ideology. I think anyone should be free to interpret literature in a way they feel it is most beneficial to them. After all part of the the literary process is to come away with a new perspective on things. And I think in a discussion group, anyone should be able to express those ideas--that is what we are all about. And the process of the discussion can often clarify things for them and for others only. A discussion is a give and take and an exchange of ideas. I have certainly benefited from them since I am constantly changing my mind.

However, when the discussions become too dogmatic and people take an intolerant point of view or start to get a "bit testy" over some one else's remarks, then I think there is a breakdown of respect for other people's opinions.

There are also times when I feel that people are reading far too much of their own ideology into the work that seems like a stretch to me. I must honestly admit that it does ruffle my feathers a bit and it takes some effort to restrain myself from jumping in and getting a bit hot-headed. But I do try to tell myself it is their right and make my encounter as cordial as I can between my gritted teeth.

Some light hearted exchanges and jokes are fine too. Kind of makes for a friendlier group. If a group is dead serious all the time, it becomes a bunch of dull bunnies. But I don't find any use for a discussion board that becomes totally that way unless it is a personal exchange type group engaging in a social activity with friends. It actually is more of my own personal expectations of the type of discussion I want to enter into. Some groups become just an exchange of not-so-clever one-liners.



JesseBC wrote:
Thanks -- I appreciate those who answered my question, especially those who did so without taking a swipe at me for it.

I explained that it was a genuine question and that I didn't know how to ask it without sounding like a snot. I was hardly trying to come in here like a stern schoolmaster and order you all to stop having fun. Nor did I ever suggest Tolkien would care one way or the other.

I just asked why. "For fun" is a perfectly legit answer.

I merely wondered because I see a similar question is most book discussions and I'm interested in how people read and how they talk about what they read.

The prevalence of the question intrigues me and it usually doesn't seem to be discussed in the spirit of fun. Most commonly, I see it in terms of what the characters should have done differently and how the characters have therefore failed morally and the book would be better if they hadn't.

I think that says something about how we read and what we expect from literature, but I'm not sure what and I've never before encountered a group that I though might honestly answer the question.

I certainly wasn't trying to stamp out funny parodies or spoil anybody's party.




Users Online
Currently online: 16 members 359 guests
Please welcome our newest community members: