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1 Feb
2023/2/1 1:32:40 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

onthetrail wrote:

northman wrote:

onthetrail wrote:

northman you are preaching to the wrong person. You're just gonna have to accept that people's interpretations will differ from yours and let them be, just as they let you.

But, you can register your disagreement with Dr. Fimi for instance without calling her ideas ridiculous. She is after all just another perspective in a community where there is enough room for everyone.

I did tell her that the claim of such invariability as she spoke of falls apart when reading the lord of the rings or the silmarillion.

My point here though is that I do care about legacy and I dont take it for granted. I think PJS movies did damage. Does that make me a cultist? Maybe. I have to think more about the term as im more used to being called a gatekeeper.

Well, I don't go in for all of the modern terms to describe people and I have no interest in labelling you or anybody else within the community. But whether you care about the legacy or not, neither you nor any of us can really affect where Tolkien’s legacy goes. If you feel that you have to tell others that they are wrong, that's your business, but I think that you are in for a long fight of it. Culture is changing, and for the better, and Tolkien will be addressed and discussed by groups of people who examine Tolkien using a modern lense, I intend to let them get on with it and I'll approach him in my own way. If once in a while someone presents something that helps my own path, then great, if not, I wish them all the best on their own.

What I will say about some of the more modern researchers, I've made some solid friends from all over the world through giving papers and research a chance, even when I've not agreed with the conclusions. I think that speaks volumes about fellowship.

Through tolkien ive made friends from china, algeria, turkey the US and europe. I've had delightful correspondence with fellow tolkienites in Mongolia and Uganda. I think that speaks volumes about the universal appeal of his stories and their moral core. Research is all good and well but I have my way of reacting to what I consider slandering a long dead author.
1 Feb
2023/2/1 4:36:17 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

northman wrote:

Legacy isnt to be taken for granted. He's up for the BBC evil genious test now. I am curious to see how various artists legacy will hold up to the current inquisition. Dimitra Fimi and Mariana Rios could make the ridiculous claim that "Despite Tolkien’s overall message of friendship and co-operation, and despite his raging against the Nazis, the face of evil in Middle-earth is invariably non-white/non-European" without the Tolkien community speaking up. In the case of the Tolkien Society quite the contrary. Legacy can be damaged.

At least one member of this present Tolkien community did point out to them (in the comments to their web article) how plainly wrong it is to claim that "the face of evil in Middle-earth is invariably non-white/non-European".

As for "legacy", it seems simplistic to me to say or imply that so long as Tolkien's magnum opus remains in print, his legacy is safe. There are many, many people, and in rapidly increasing numbers, who have never read Tolkien's own words but think they "know" Tolkien because they've seen Peter Jackson's movies and/or, now, the Amazon series. For them — and for the increasingly non-reading modern culture — these adaptations are Tolkien's legacy: and an academic environment and community of "known Tolkien scholars" has formed that, at least tacitly, encourages this profound shift in cultural and even critical awareness and understanding of Tolkien. That, I believe, is where the concern, indeed dismay, for Tolkien's legacy actually lies — as it certainly did for Christopher Tolkien, in his pre-retirement interview in Le Monde; web translation):

"'Tolkien became a monster, devoured by his popularity and absorbed by the absurdity of the time,' observes Christopher Tolkien sadly. 'The gap that has widened between the beauty, the seriousness of the work, and what it has become, all this is beyond me. Such a degree of commercialization reduces the aesthetic and philosophical scope of this creation to nothing. I have only one solution left: turn my head.'"
1 Feb
2023/2/1 5:50:09 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t seem to find the “nuance” or non-dismissiveness in statements like this:

“Obviously there was going to be push and backlash,” says Tolkien scholar Mariana Rios Maldonado, … “but the question is from whom? Who are these people that feel so threatened or disgusted by the idea that an elf is Black or Latino or Asian?”
1 Feb
2023/2/1 7:44:11 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

northman wrote:

Legacy isnt to be taken for granted. He's up for the BBC evil genious test now. I am curious to see how various artists legacy will hold up to the current inquisition. Dimitra Fimi and Mariana Rios could make the ridiculous claim that "Despite Tolkien’s overall message of friendship and co-operation, and despite his raging against the Nazis, the face of evil in Middle-earth is invariably non-white/non-European" without the Tolkien community speaking up. In the case of the Tolkien Society quite the contrary. Legacy can be damaged.

Morning all (well it is for me at least!)

I have a question northman - and it's a genuine one (this is no rhetorical shadow boxing): if we allow for a moment that Tolkien's legacy does suffer damage (for any reason) - what are the negative aspects of this for you?
1 Feb (edited)
2023/2/1 9:32:19 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Predictable Matt wrote:

northman wrote:

Legacy isnt to be taken for granted. He's up for the BBC evil genious test now. I am curious to see how various artists legacy will hold up to the current inquisition. Dimitra Fimi and Mariana Rios could make the ridiculous claim that "Despite Tolkien’s overall message of friendship and co-operation, and despite his raging against the Nazis, the face of evil in Middle-earth is invariably non-white/non-European" without the Tolkien community speaking up. In the case of the Tolkien Society quite the contrary. Legacy can be damaged.

Morning all (well it is for me at least!)

I have a question northman - and it's a genuine one (this is no rhetorical shadow boxing): if we allow for a moment that Tolkien's legacy does suffer damage (for any reason) - what are the negative aspects of this for you?

None really apart from seeing it happen to my favourite author and one of my favourite academics. It's just human nature to care about authors or musicians or painters whose works we love i guess. My mother in-law was pondering reading LOTR for the first time in her life but decided to try Jacksons movies first...that put her off reading the book as she doesnt like 'action stuff'. This perception of tolkien bothers me (disclaimer: i dont demand people agree with me and I'm not saying Jackson wasnt in his full rights to make the movies he did. This is my opinion).
1 Feb
2023/2/1 9:42:35 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Aelfwine wrote:

northman wrote:

Legacy isnt to be taken for granted. He's up for the BBC evil genious test now. I am curious to see how various artists legacy will hold up to the current inquisition. Dimitra Fimi and Mariana Rios could make the ridiculous claim that "Despite Tolkien’s overall message of friendship and co-operation, and despite his raging against the Nazis, the face of evil in Middle-earth is invariably non-white/non-European" without the Tolkien community speaking up. In the case of the Tolkien Society quite the contrary. Legacy can be damaged.

At least one member of this present Tolkien community did point out to them (in the comments to their web article) how plainly wrong it is to claim that "the face of evil in Middle-earth is invariably non-white/non-European".


I know Aelfwine, I was in my clumsy way addressing the general lack of response in the community. Granted that silence might have been partially forced as I know moderators at some hubs for tolkienites simply silence people who disagree with them in these matters.
1 Feb
2023/2/1 10:44:15 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

northman wrote:

Predictable Matt wrote:

northman wrote:

Legacy isnt to be taken for granted. He's up for the BBC evil genious test now. I am curious to see how various artists legacy will hold up to the current inquisition. Dimitra Fimi and Mariana Rios could make the ridiculous claim that "Despite Tolkien’s overall message of friendship and co-operation, and despite his raging against the Nazis, the face of evil in Middle-earth is invariably non-white/non-European" without the Tolkien community speaking up. In the case of the Tolkien Society quite the contrary. Legacy can be damaged.

Morning all (well it is for me at least!)

I have a question northman - and it's a genuine one (this is no rhetorical shadow boxing): if we allow for a moment that Tolkien's legacy does suffer damage (for any reason) - what are the negative aspects of this for you?

None really apart from seeing it happen to my favourite author and one of my favourite academics. It's just human nature to care about authors or musicians or painters whose works we love i guess. My mother in-law was pondering reading LOTR for the first time in her life but decided to try Jacksons movies first...that put her off reading the book as she doesnt like 'action stuff'. This perception of tolkien bothers me (disclaimer: i dont demand people agree with me and I'm not saying Jackson wasnt in his full rights to make the movies he did. This is my opinion).

Thanks northman. And it seems that therein lie two distinct things that might be a cause of bother (to differing degrees, depending on our natures) - that a particular view of Tolkien might:

(1) be taken as a view on oneself, as a Tolkien fan/advocate; and

(2) mean that people who haven't read the books may never pick them up, or may not enjoy them as much when they do.

This got me thinking about the reception to Bakshi's film as well, and (2) is elegantly stated by Steven C. Walker in a review in Mythlore 19, where he says (of people who see the film without having read the books): "The mind of the initiate to Middle-earth is likely to fix on Bakshi's relatively limited images before his imagination has had a chance to move through Tolkien's depth and complexity".
1 Feb
2023/2/1 11:44:02 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
For me at least, a more fundamental “cause of bother” is at play, namely, whether a “particular view of Tolkien” is (at least substantially) true or not. And by “true” here I mean “based in and on something Tolkien actually believed”. By all means, criticize (in both chief senses of that word) Tolkien based on this actual legacy, warts and all: doing so shows the actual contours and content of his work and thought, in all their complexity. But if instead it becomes acceptable even among Tolkien scholars to attribute to Tolkien attitudes or beliefs he did not in fact hold, even if it serves some other purpose to do so, I for one regard that as a serious negative, with serious consequences.

(I realize this thread has gone far afield from its original concern, and from the concerns of this forum as a whole, but that’s not especially unusual here, is it? Still, these matters should probably be taken up elsewhere by any interested parties, though where that might be, I don’t know.)
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