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PostPosted: Thu Jul 31, 2014 9:22 pm 
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I would like to dedicate this topic to interesting articles from unexpected places about Tolkien and his works. If there already is such a thread, I am sorry for my laziness and not finding it.

I would like to start with two articles by David P. Goldman. Goldman is an economist, music critic, and author. He has written on a wide range of topics such as music, philosophy or economics. I find him to be one of the most interesting voices of (Jewish-) American conservatism, and no matter whether you agree with his politics or not, his articles are nearly always food for thought.
Curiously, Goldman has written several articles about Tolkien:

1.) The first article is named “Christianity and Myth” and deals with Tolkien, myth, and Christianity. http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/firstt ... sh-narnia/

2.) The second article is a lengthy review of “The Children of Húrin”, which deals with similar themes.
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/ID24Aa01.html


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 7:51 pm 
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Do you know any other interesting articles on Tolkien from unexpected places?

What are your thoughts on the Goldman articles? Do you agree with him?


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 4:24 am 
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Nibonto Aagun
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Read the second article (will read the first when I have some time). I thought it was a very good review which also makes some good points about CoH and it's significance as a pre-Christian rather than a Christian work.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:21 pm 
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Nibonto Aagun
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A new article from John Garth

Why World War I Is at the Heart of ‘Lord of the Rings’

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 3:16 pm 
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This article from Slate is one of my favorite "popular" articles about Tolkien (which posits that Tolkien was more insightful than Orwell when it came to depicting the powerful and the paranoid...). It has some errors in it, and I have quibbles with a few points, but it's otherwise spot on.

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/jurisprudence/2013/07/tolkien_v_orwell_who_understood_modern_surveillance_best.html


Last edited by Passdagas the Brown on Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 4:23 am 
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Nibonto Aagun
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Platonic Morality in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit

Quote:
Bilbo, unlike his younger cousin Frodo, uses the ring willy-nilly, yet only to do what is morally right - and occasionally what is comical. Frodo rarely uses the ring and when he does it's often for purposes of self-preservation. Therefore, in terms of Platonic conceptions of morality, Bilbo was a greater hobbit than Frodo. This might seem like a controversial statement, yet it is one that Socrates would certainly agree with.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 2:08 pm 
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Hmmm... as far as I can remember, Frodo only used it three times:

1. He was annoyed at Bombadil, and wanted to make sure that the Ring was the correct one
2. At Weathertop - he later realized that he was putting it on in response to a silent command from the Ringwraiths.
3. At Orodruin, after the Ring overcame his will.

Are there any others I missed?

Of these, only number two could be called self-preservation, and even that's debatable.

Edit: oh yeah, the accident at Bree. Definitely not self-preservation.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 2:44 pm 
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Bree as you mentioned, and Frodo puts it on at Amon Hen to escape from Boromir. So that's five times, twice for self-preservation.

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Bilbo realizes the power of the ring and yet only uses it to the advantage of the people of Middle-earth, often at the expense of his own wellbeing.

Well, Bilbo does not realize the Ring's power - as far as he knows, it is only a nice magic trinket. And we see in LotR that he would have eventually been corrupted by it left to his own devices.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 6:39 pm 
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Bilbo's use isn't exactly willy-nilly; the first time he puts it on it's accidental, but later he does use it for self-preservation with the spiders, and to help the dwarves in the elves' cave. There are a couple times at the Lonely Mountain as well. The more frivolous uses don't happen till he's home in the Shire, and of course he has no idea of its importance.

Frodo puts it on twice at Amon Hen: the first time to escape from Boromir, the second to escape from everybody (though Sam catches on fast). The second time isn't really self-preservation, but the preservation of his companions since he doesn't want to subject them to the dangers ahead and doesn't want to argue about it. So: Bombadil's, Bree, Weathertop, twice at Amon Hen, and Orodruin. Six.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:32 pm 
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OT, but Morwenna! Great to see you here!

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‘There’s no greys, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.’
‘It’s a lot more complicated than that -’
‘No. It ain’t. When people say things are a lot more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.’
Terry Pratchett, Carpe Jugulum


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:32 pm 
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Feeling grateful
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Indeed! :banana:

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