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Thread: The Lord of the Rings

  1. #46
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    Oh, no, Chesterton is in another list, the Little Great Writers. His skills with the text in more than one form (or idea) are superior to all those guys. Probally the best Detective short stories, a very good novel at last, a decent poet, good critic and more like, one of the best ensaists of XX century. He is there with Oscar Wilde, Wells and a few others. The probally limit between the Good minor writers and the Little Great writers is someone like Ray Bradbury.

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    Well, I'm sure you'll get no complaint from Ecurb about Chesterton. I find him a little dated, but someone like that either grabs you by the Testaments or he doesn't. And I'd put Wilde (at his best, anyway) on a higher list. But truth is that we have our own lists. Sometimes they overlap, but (Chesterton notwithstanding), we are better off without orthodoxy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dreamwoven View Post

    What is the difference between a film and a movie, I've always thought of movies as the American word for films?
    A movie is the American word for a film just as rest room is the American word for a lavatory.
    Previously JonathanB

    The more I read, the more I shall covet to read. Robert Burton The Anatomy of Melancholy Partion3, Section 1, Member 1, Subsection 1

  4. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post
    Well, I'm sure you'll get no complaint from Ecurb about Chesterton. I find him a little dated, but someone like that either grabs you by the Testaments or he doesn't. And I'd put Wilde (at his best, anyway) on a higher list. But truth is that we have our own lists. Sometimes they overlap, but (Chesterton notwithstanding), we are better off without orthodoxy.
    Many Chesterton ideas are dated, but the bigger thing, is that often he is somehow more modern than many of today's religious leader. It was not because his roundness that he couldnt see more than one side in one argument.

  5. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pompey Bum View Post
    Well, I'm sure you'll get no complaint from Ecurb about Chesterton. I find him a little dated, but someone like that either grabs you by the Testaments or he doesn't. And I'd put Wilde (at his best, anyway) on a higher list. But truth is that we have our own lists. Sometimes they overlap, but (Chesterton notwithstanding), we are better off without orthodoxy.
    Chesterton was not a great novelist. He's one of my favorite essayists and literary critics. I also like his poetry (although I admit that's an idiosyncratic taste).

    Wilde was also a good literary critic and essayist, and he wrote two of my favorite children's stories (The Happy Prince and The Selfish Giant) and one of the funniest plays (Importance of being Earnest). I'm not sure if Wilde wrote about Chesterton, but Chesterton did write about Wilde, and (as usual) did so trenchantly. Chesterton is certainly dated: I own a book of his newspaper columns, in which, among other things, he argues against women's suffrage. It's fun to see someone as good-hearted and generous as Chesterton tie himself into knots defending a position that we moderns find indefensible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCamilo View Post
    Many Chesterton ideas are dated, but the bigger thing, is that often he is somehow more modern than many of today's religious leader. It was not because his roundness that he couldnt see more than one side in one argument.
    No, I meant I find Ecurb's ideas a little dated. (Just kidding). Chesterton had a heart of gold at times, and that has a timeless quality, I will admit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackson Richardson View Post
    A movie is the American word for a film just as rest room is the American word for a lavatory.
    Like the English call escalators elevators, elevators lifts, suspenders braces, and garter belts suspenders. At least the French know they speak a different language.

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    I like the different meanings of English and American words you describe, Pompey.

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    Its a difficult read compared to the hobbit and the eternal motion can be a bit wearing. I found myself skipping parts filled with flowery language and poetry.
    Tolkien was a devout Catholic and some have compared Frodo to a Christ- like figure who sacrifices himself to defeat evil. The whole story is a mighty evil versus good parable. Saruman is one of the most human characters he plays the field and eventually loses.

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    The saddest part for me was the fate of Arwen Evenstar after Aragorn died. She wandered and ended her days dying on Cerin Amroth, where her green grave lies, forgotten. She had founded a line. But none remembered her. This can be read under the section on "here follows a part of the tale of Aragorn and Arwen."

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    Quote Originally Posted by desiresjab View Post


    Tolkein, whom so many denigrate and demote as a mere teller of fantasy tales, was a bit more, and will go right on hanging in there with literary giants in the longevity wars. Alice In Wonderland is a pure fantasy classic. There are not many. The entire work of Tolkein goes on the list. It is all one cohesive history.

    I do not believe tellers of space tales have yet written a masterpiece of their genre to equal Tolkein's mastery of sword and sorcery. There have been some great space epics, so the point is arguable. No space epic in print rules as the absolute standard for the foreseeable future, which is why I think Tolkein surmounted his genre like few ever manage to do. To consider the greatness it will take to topple him is dizzying. On the other hand, the position is open, I feel, in the space genre, but that epic is not yet written.


    Yes, that's a very good post. I agree.

    I have never been able to make up my mind about Tolkien. On the whole, I do think the Lord of the Rings are magnificent, though I never quite enjoy them as much as I wish I could. I don't know why. But Tolkien certainly had talent. Passages of his work are genuinely poetic and beautiful. And these were not the scribblings of some ridiculous, socially dysfunctional nerd escaping into a fantasy world. Tolkien was a pretty normal, sociable man and a veteran of the Somme, where he had served as a British officer (the Hobbits are based British infantry soldiers he met from rural England).

    One of the things I really admire is the sense you get of an epic struggle between good and evil of something vast and cosmic in the background, and then something simple and good in the foreground (the shire). The books definitely came from some hidden depth in Tolkien. People forget that he was an Oxford professor as well. This was a man with a vast store of knowledge about myth, literature and language to drawn upon.

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