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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 4:16 pm 
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Just a reminder that the focus in this LOTR discussion is intended to be on the text. Not that references to the films are prohibited, but there are other places where it is more appropriate to make comparisons between the two, either favorable or unfavorable.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 4:26 pm 
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solicitr wrote:
And you (and Cerin and Frelga) are really onto something in the way Tolkien carefully and gradually immerses the reader in his world, seducing the reader, if you will, by means of its palpable reality into accepting its fantastical aspects.


In the same letter that I just quoted in the "Sam" discussion in the Shibboleth forum, Tolkien goes on to say:

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C. WIlliams who is reading it all says the great thing is that its centre is not in strife and war and heroism (though they are understood and depicted) but in freedom, peace, ordinary life and good liking. Yet he agrees that these very things require theexistence of great world outside the Shire--lest they should grow stale by custom andturn into the humdrum.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2008 4:55 pm 
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I take your point, Vor: but sometimes in order to illustrate what Tolkien did very well it's useful to point to a counter-example.

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EDIT: the 'gradual immersion' is the problem with the Fox, I think- it's too early in the story to bring the reader face-to-face with such a fairy-tale element. In this chapter, at least, the BR are creepy but not yet supernatural; and the Elves may glow a bit but otherwise they are presented as Enhanced Humans.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2008 10:58 pm 
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I have started a new thread for the next chapter, stickied it, and unstickied this one. But please do not hesitate to comment further on this chapter.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 30, 2013 7:09 pm 
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Faramond wrote:
I never thought of Gildor as the "unhelpful elf". I find that quite an amusing title for him. I suppose it is fitting.

That reminds me of a great Simpson's quote by Lisa: "Bart, you're just like Chilly, the elf who cannot love." Except Gildor is the elf who cannot help.

I think Gildor doesn't consider himself a part of the world, at any rate not the same world that Frodo and Gandalf and Sam are a part of. For Gildor to truly help, well, it would be like a human getting involved in the politics of the gophers in the field out there.


I disagree with that. Gildor may not find himself to be a part of the "human community," but his reasons for not helping have more to do with him being too much a part of the world, than detached from it. The elves are bound up with Arda in a way that men are not (and indeed, they cannot leave its confines). Because they are so much a part of the natural world - arguably mere metaphors for nature spirits, consistent with the "elves" of Germanic folklore - too stridently "taking sides" or participating in human dramas, is against the grain for them at this end of the Third Age. Of course, the elves of the First and Second ages were far more political. But the elves of Gildor's ilk are fading into the Earth, so to speak. Into the grass and undergrowth, until they eventually become the diminutive, nonsensical (and non-existent) beings of the Victorian fairytale.

They are slowly becoming 100% "of the world," in other words, much like the Ents who are growing treeish. And that keeps them from participating too vigorously in the petty dramas of men.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 08, 2014 4:59 pm 
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I never thought of the elves in quite that way, but that's an interesting point. It does make the elves more "humane," if I could use that term, a little less distant, and to the average person a little less "snobby." Otherwise, stating that the elves have their own labors and sorrows and are little concerned with the affairs of humans just serves to make them seem like old-fashioned aristocrats who disdain to associate with "lesser" folk. And I don't think Tolkien meant for them to appear quite that way. (Well, not in LOTR at least. The Sil is another story.)


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