Mudcat Café message #615005 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #42353   Message #615005
Posted By: GUEST,Desdemona
22-Dec-01 - 06:44 PM
Thread Name: I want to start a new LOTR discussion!
Subject: RE: I want to start a new LOTR discussion!
Thanks, all, for your responses.

I suppose I ought to clarify the fact that I am most emphatically NOT a "LOTR geek"! I'm a mediaevalist with a serious background and a serious career. I never cared for "Star Trek" and think of the "Star Wars" movies as rather fun, animated comic books. Neither have I ever been an afficionado of "fantasy" as a literary genre. An analogous reference to "Beowulf" or "The Saga of Hallfred" would resonate more deeply with me than "Vulcan math quiz", and I consider the works of people like Guy Gavriel Kay brain candy at best.

That said, while I did like Clinton Hammond's comparison above of the "LOTR" film to William Goldman's "The Princess Bride" (the good parts version), I'd have to say that one man's good parts are another man's overlong battle sequences, and that an appreciation for "LOTR" no more marks a person as a literary Philistine than a taste for Nathaniel Hawthorne's rather purple & overblown prose (accounted by many as "great"), or a fondness for Jane Austen--considered "light" & essentially inconsequential by many, including the Bronte sisters.

While not worthy of inclusion in the pantheon of great Western literary figures such as Shakespeare, Tolkien can certainly be credited with having created as fully-realised an imaginary world, complete with cultural prejudices, geographical variations, and sense of "place", as any writer of the 20th century. To reduce his work to just another special effects-laden action flick is unworthy of it.