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Tolkien (2 Viewers)

tissue

Member
I personally find JRR Tolkien to be one of the literary genius's ever. His style of writing gave the characters almost a fourth dimension. Any thoughts on this?
 

rcallaci

Staff member
Administrator
He is the Father of the fantasy genre, and much more then that. I first read Tolkien over thiry two years ago in the jungles of vietnam and his writings made me see the world differently ever since. His work is magical in the purest sense, and the world he has created will live on long after we're all gone.

Warm Regards,
Bob
 

Kimberly Bird

Senior Member
I completely agree, Tolkien is one of the better writers out there. But I wonder how many fans he would have had today if the movies didn't come out? Not many but the older ones I would say. Tolkien was all but petered out by late 70's, dead in the 80's & 90's. I keep thinking the director may have been looking at Harry Potter's movie and thought, 'damn if I can't bring this series back to life, and get a new group of followers for it.' There is a whole new group out there of cultish followers who now believe every word he wrote came from the Gods and believe he created the elfish language, which was the Finnish language I believe? Anyhow, just rambling and wanted to share my thoughts on it. I saw both movies, but I still enjoy the books more.

Kimberly
 

Bartleby

Senior Member
Kim~

I think you may be giving fantasy fans the short end of the stick, by saying that Tolkien was petering out before the release of the movies. After all Tolkien's book have been on the shelf in constant print as long as I can recall, which while not an awfully long time but certainly covers the 80's. Just my two cents.
 

Anonymous

Senior Member
tissue said:
I personally find JRR Tolkien to be one of the literary genius's ever. His style of writing gave the characters almost a fourth dimension. Any thoughts on this?

What do you think it was about his writing that gave the characters such depth?

Personally, I didn't find much depth to the characters. His attention to detail in Middle Earth is staggering, but I didn't get a lot of depth from the characters. Character felt like a shortcoming of Tolkien's, to me. Walking away from the series, I couldn't tell you what it was about Gimli, specifically, that Legolas likes so much. I took their relationship more as a symbol that bigotry plagues both sides. But their characters? Sorry, not much there.

Its a great series, but not on the merit of the depth of its characters.

Stephen King is another *brilliant* writer who I can while away hours and hours with. But his characters haven't got much depth. He makes great use of characters already in our lives and has us flesh out the skeleton he describes.
 
C

Chuckwrox

Whoops. I neglected to sign in before posting the above note. Sorry! That's me, above!
 

Fantasia

Senior Member
I have the greatest respect for Tolkien. His imagination is -- well -- fantastic! His imagery is rich, his plot revolutionary (how many stories/cartoons/movies have we seen with the same basic story line: A group of individuals with different powers, brought together by a common destiny...) and his use of words brilliant!

However... maybe I'm not smart enough, but his attention to detail could get really boring, to put it simply. I have to admit that it was a chore reading it before and I never really finished. When the movies came out, I said to myself, "Maybe I'll find it easier to read this time!" But I suppose I haven't grown any smarter.
 

godisthyname

Senior Member
I like Tolkien but you don't think he can be a bit too over descriptive? To describe a great big mountain will take him 20 pages alone. Good at imagery and larger than life characters if you can spare the attention span required. I prefer the style of someone like Evelyn Waugh personally, just because of his light and flowing narrative and humourous dialogue. Then again I neve understood fantasy or sci-fi to the same degree as other literature.
 

kinetickyle

Senior Member
godisthyname said:
I like Tolkien but you don't think he can be a bit too over descriptive? To describe a great big mountain will take him 20 pages alone.

Amen! I tried to read one of the LOTR books, and it was like reading Tom Clancy. While I respect the man's vision and characterizations, I can't stand his writing style. It seems like so many of the words just bog the story down. I know there's a lot of people who are not gonna agree with me, but a story has to move fairly rapidly to hold my attention.
 

Elphaba

Senior Member
I wholeheartedly (and second that "Amen!") agree that Tolkien's overly descriptive. It got to be so much of a chore that I just started skipping over the geographical parts, because I *knew* I wasn't going to remember them anyway.

I never finished "Return of the King", not so I'd be surprised by the movie, but because my head was too full.
 

AdamR

Senior Member
I actually enjoy Tolkein's 'overly' descriptiveness. Once he's done describing something, you can see exactly in your mind what he is talking about. I promise you that if Tolkein wasn't as descriptive as he was, the LOTR movies wouldn't have been nearly as good as far as scenery goes.

True, authors CAN get too overly descriptive. But Tolkein does it in a way where it is not boring and highly enjoyable, IMHO.
 

Fantasia

Senior Member
No argument that the descriptions in the book made the movie magnificent, but I really gotta say that Tolkien's the most the descriptive of the most descriptive.
lmao.txt
Maybe I have A.D.D. or something, but it was a bit too much to keep my interest for too long. I like descriptions, but I'd like to imagine some things by myself too.

Tolkien's awesome as a writer, but his material's just not my type of reading, 'sall.
 

Anonymous

Senior Member
I love the world he created and the story he told. Most of his characters lack depth... but I think the focus of the story rested on hobbits... and the four hobbits he engaged in the story were quite well-developed. But that's obviously just an opinion! :wink:

Occasionally, the reading can be tedious... but I felt there was a payoff in the end.

Some things I've HEARD about Tolkien but won't take the time to verify (except through my own sources)...
-He wrote one sentence a day. He thought about it all day long. (According to my computer tech and amateur jeweler friend.)
-He created an entire language. The elvish language he uses in the book. He studied many languages and was interested in their origins. The language he created was the only one created by one person to be grammatically and syntactically correct. (Two teachers said something to this effect. One was my sixth grade teacher, who introduced these novels and other fantasies to me. The other was an arrogant college english professor I didn't like, even though he still managed to teach me a great deal.)
-He and CS Lewis were good friends. (I think I read this somewhere.)
-He heard of fanatics who would go off into the wilderness and live in 'elvish' colonies, have 'elvish' ceremonies, and get married using the elvish language he created. He deemed them lunatics and said something like, "I created this world and no one is more aware that it is a fictional place than I am." Apparently, the 'elf-worship' irked him a bit! (This was also a story told me by my jeweler friend.)

Anyway, the movies have certainly raised more interest in his saga. My mother, though she'd heard of the books before, didn't actually have any desire to read them until she'd seen the movies. There is nothing wrong with new fans!
 

AdamR

Senior Member
Anonymous said:
Some things I've HEARD about Tolkien but won't take the time to verify (except through my own sources)...
-He wrote one sentence a day. He thought about it all day long. (According to my computer tech and amateur jeweler friend.)
-He created an entire language. The elvish language he uses in the book. He studied many languages and was interested in their origins. The language he created was the only one created by one person to be grammatically and syntactically correct. (Two teachers said something to this effect. One was my sixth grade teacher, who introduced these novels and other fantasies to me. The other was an arrogant college english professor I didn't like, even though he still managed to teach me a great deal.)
-He and CS Lewis were good friends. (I think I read this somewhere.)
-He heard of fanatics who would go off into the wilderness and live in 'elvish' colonies, have 'elvish' ceremonies, and get married using the elvish language he created. He deemed them lunatics and said something like, "I created this world and no one is more aware that it is a fictional place than I am." Apparently, the 'elf-worship' irked him a bit! (This was also a story told me by my jeweler friend.)

I can neither verify all of these, although I can say that points 2 and 3 are correct.

He did write a complete syntactical language that can be learned and spoken fluently. Tolkein was a linguist. :wink:

Tolkein and Lewis were absolute best of friends.
 

Allusearna

Senior Member
He made up SEVERAL languages, the forms of Elvish only being a few of them (and yes, he DID base the sounds on Finnish and Latin, for those who were wondering) but he spent his entire life making up languages, see http://www.ardalambion.com/ if you want to know about them.

He did write a complete syntactical language that can be learned and spoken fluently. Tolkein was a linguist

Yes, he did. I know people who speak them :)

The language he created was the only one created by one person to be grammatically and syntactically correct

Not sure about this one, though, I know that thousands of languages have been created (there is a whole hobby out there called model/constructed languages, look it up on the net sometime). But if you could find out more information that would be great. I will agree that his elvish languages are the BEST. Also, when you say ‘the language’ which one do you mean?

I first read LOTR when I was 11, and have loved it ever since. It was about 1999 when I found out that the book was being made into a movie, so that didn’t move me to read them.

Tolkien was all but petered out by late 70's, dead in the 80's & 90's. I keep thinking the director may have been looking at Harry Potter's movie and thought, 'damn if I can't bring this series back to life, and get a new group of followers for it.'

Hmmm… I don’t think that LOTR were dying out, well not in my corner of the world, but the movies certainly sparked even more interest. And Peter Jackson (the director) had been waiting for 20 years for someone to make the book into a movie, and no one did. That’s one of the reason’s he made the movie. He loved the books so much and couldn’t wait to see them on screen. Well, that’s what he told me, anyway (yes, I DID grow up in NZ and my Aunt used to be personal friends with Peter so I know heaps of people who worked on the movies)

But to finish off, Tolkien is a genius.
 

Farror

WF Veterans
At the moment, I'm reading a short biography on Tolkien, the elvish language was based on latin and finnish, although he never really mastered the later. He based a good deal of the scenery on his child hood memories, such as the mill that he lived near, it was used as the mill in the shire. Would you not enjoy putting as much description as he did if you where describing childhood memories?

A few more interesting facts:

-When Tolkien was a child, he lived in Africa and was bitten by a terantula and would have died if a quick witted servant had not sucked the poison out, that is probably why he included spiders in his novel

-The name Samwise Gamgee comes from the local
dialect, a cotton ball was a gamgee because it had been invented by Samson Gamgee.

-Tolkien based most of his characters personalities on people that he met in in the many places that he traveled too.

Anyways, I read Tolkien's books two years ago and loved them, they are fantasticly written and it is not suprising that they have always been very popular.
 
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