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SeanF

Tolkien 3.0

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On 10/9/2019 at 6:08 PM, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

The Spanish Civil War is a hole in my historical knowledge.  Why were Republicans killing Roman Catholic priests?

As SeanF says, it was only the radical elements within the republican side that targeted Catholic priests.

The Republican government was weak, a coalition composed of many parties with diverging interests. The fact that there were anarchists in the government is telling enough. Once the military had rebelled, the government's actual control of the country crumbled, and each zone was in command of a different faction. This was one of the main reasons why the republican side lost the war. While the fascists focused their efforts under a single command, the republicans were a bunch of factions that often fought among them for primacy. In Barcelona, the communists and the anarchists openly engaged in street battles, and once the communists had won, the Stalinists purged the Trotskyst faction and murdered their leaders. All this in the midst of the war and while the enemy armies were advancing.

As to why the most radical groups targeted priests, the Catholic church hierarchy had been a vocal opponent of the Republican government. Not only because they were natural adversaries with the communist and anarchist parties of the government, but also because the government took some controversial anti-Catholic measures (such as forbidding clerics to engage in teaching activities). Once the war started, some Catholic bishops from the fascist-controlled zones openly supported them, with dire consequences for the priests living in areas under Republican control that were seen by some as an hostile group.

Edited by The hairy bear

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On 10/24/2019 at 11:49 AM, The Marquis de Leech said:

I re-read The Silmarillon last week, which allowed me to savor the flipping of each character depicted in the article. It's well done, but regarding the result (credible or not?), it depends on if we keep the traditional mevieval society (thus flipping gender leads to non-credible situations) or if we reverse mindsets as well (going into war would be the normal role for a woman, and flipping gender becomes suddenly credible -and somehow less fun).

A have a question for you, the experts :-)

When Morgoth in defeated during the War of Wrath, it is said that his feet are cut. But normally he has already lost one foot during a previous fight with a guy I can't recall his name... So what? Do we have an explanation somewhere in the late notes gathered by Christopher Tolkien?

 

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On 10/10/2019 at 10:54 AM, The hairy bear said:

As SeanF says, it was only the radical elements within the republican side that targeted Catholic priests.

The Republican government was weak, a coalition composed of many parties with diverging interests. The fact that there were anarchists in the government is telling enough. Once the military had rebelled, the government's actual control of the country crumbled, and each zone was in command of a different faction. This was one of the main reasons why the republican side lost the war. While the fascists focused their efforts under a single command, the republicans were a bunch of factions that often fought among them for primacy. In Barcelona, the communists and the anarchists openly engaged in street battles, and once the communists had won, the Stalinists purged the Trotskyst faction and murdered their leaders. All this in the midst of the war and while the enemy armies were advancing.

As to why the most radical groups targeted priests, the Catholic church hierarchy had been a vocal opponent of the Republican government. Not only because they were natural adversaries with the communist and anarchist parties of the government, but also because the government took some controversial anti-Catholic measures (such as forbidding clerics to engage in teaching activities). Once the war started, some Catholic bishops from the fascist-controlled zones openly supported them, with dire consequences for the priests living in areas under Republican control that were seen by some as an hostile group.

I picked up George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia.  It's my first foray into literature from the Spanish Civil War.  

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12 hours ago, Ser Scot A Ellison said:

I picked up George Orwell's Homage to Catalonia.  It's my first foray into literature from the Spanish Civil War.  

Have to read that one of these days, too. Orwell's experiences in Spain essentially are the foundation and background for both 'Animal Farm' and '1984', and both novels are texts about how Stalism can and did fuck up Leftist revolutions.

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On 10/29/2019 at 7:55 AM, Yet another Arya ! said:

When Morgoth in defeated during the War of Wrath, it is said that his feet are cut. But normally he has already lost one foot during a previous fight with a guy I can't recall his name... So what? Do we have an explanation somewhere in the late notes gathered by Christopher Tolkien?

The line is "his feet were hewn from under him." Which, to my mind, means he was knocked off his feet, not that he had his feet dismembered.

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@The Grey Wolf and Blood-sucking Aristocrat: thank you so much! So far I have read only the French version which is awful: Fingolfin severed ("trancha") Morgoth's left foot and the Valars cut both ("trancha les pieds"). We could conclude that Morgoth had three feet... It is definitly time for me to read it in English!

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6 minutes ago, Yet another Arya ! said:

@The Grey Wolf and Blood-sucking Aristocrat: thank you so much! So far I have read only the French version which is awful: Fingolfin severed ("trancha") Morgoth's left foot and the Valars cut both ("trancha les pieds"). We could conclude that Morgoth had three feet... It is definitly time for me to read it in English!

As I only read in English I always wonder what I’m missing when I read translated classics.

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@Ser Scot A Ellison, whatever the original language, we always miss something when it's translated, even if the translator did a great job. I read a lot of books both in French and English, and the original versions (so the English ones) always were the best, because the closest to the author mind (especially if this mind is complex and seeks to describe moments inspired from drugs experiences -see Brave New World!). And some puns are less fun once translated (in Harry Potter for instance).

Even a "simple" book like ASOIAF was more interesting in English. I tried it in French but I gave up at page 24: the translation was really ugly and flat. So I can't imagine what I missed in LOTR and the Silmarillon...

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21 hours ago, Lord Invictus said:

I am very concerned the Amazon show will muck up the Second Age, in fact I am near certain of it.

 

Since we know so little about the show (other than the fact its set during the Second Age, four reported (but not confirmed by Amazon) actors and the creative time behind it, including the director for the first two episodes), I have basically no expectations at present, whether positive or negative. 

We haven't had any indications as to plot, other than leaked audition scripts (which were likely written specifically for the auditions) for four roles with presumably fake place-holder names. Amazon is running a remarkably tight ship.

So, I'm keeping 'mum' about it at the moment - and withholding judgment until we at least get a scintilla of information. 

On the plus side, the writers room is stacked with great talent. On the negative, the showrunners themselves are rookies (the writers, such as Gennifer Hutchison from Breaking Bad, are leagues more experienced than them. Which seems, somehow, topsy-turvy).

It will be hard, I think, to capture Tolkien's unique mytho-poetic style (in the way Jackson/Boyens/Walsh did so well in the LotR movies but so poorly in the Hobbit) without much in the way of extensive source material from him. 

There is good Second Age dialogue in Unfinished Tales and the Akallabeth (which they probably won't have the rights to, I imagine?) but its threadbare compared with even a single chapter of LotR. The largest amount of dialogue is found in Aldarion and Erendis, an unfinished but rather lengthy prose story, which we don't know if they will be using. Most of the placeholder names from the auditions seem to be for Elven characters (at least three of five are seemingly Elves), so that might suggest Eregion and preclude Aldarion's era. Or it might be that these are simply the only auditions that have been leaked. Who knows, all guesswork.

All we know is that a heck of a lot of money is being poured into this. As its set to be their flagship fantasy show, alongside WoT, one has to hope that it will at least look good, visually, apart from anything else.

I'm not sure anything could be worse than the Hobbit trilogy, so the bar has been set pretty low from the ultimate and unattainable high of the original LotR trilogy. It would have to really suck to be as bad as Jackson's The Hobbit: Battle of Five Armies.

Edited by Krishtotter

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To be honest, I am not overly bothered by the dialogue (within reason) - I'm more interested in the characterisation. We're dealing with a story where the TV writers only have very broad strokes to work with, and as such, the resulting characters will, to a large extent, be original creations with a Tolkienian name attached. Basically, fanfiction.

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