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Green Gogol

On realism, grimdark and childishness

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I love how Tolkien points out, "You realize Romani are Aryan, right?"

Oh, eugenics.

Such a junk science.

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1 hour ago, C.T. Phipps said:

Dwarves are definitely Tolkiens' conception of Jews. However, I also think this is a case of a "ehhh" because while Thorin Oakenshield is a fool, the other 11 dwarves are likable supporting characters. Thorin also gets a redemption at the end of the story with Bilbo's relationship with him growing over the story. He's meant to be a flawed character but not an evil or even irredeemably flawed one (and the elves and humans ALSO display gold fever).

Tolkien made his dwarves from a bunch of Jewish stereotypes as well as mythological Norse references fused together but these include positive ones as well as negative: a proud, honorable, hardworking warrior race.

I.e. Tolkien wasn't deliberately setting out to be negative.

The dwarves in the story also break the stereotypes of them in-universe as often as they are reinforced. So I think it perhaps falls under Fair for its Day.

Edit:

Bilbo is a landed gentleman on his mother's side so he's not much of a commoner, just a different sort of aristocrat than the actual feudal nobility. The Dwarves are an interesting mix of royals and commoners who are more or less equals.

Bilbo's family seemed more to me like the Bennet family in P&P, landed gentry, not aristocrats at all,  starting in that generation a gentle slide down the financial scale -- except he got a trunk of gold, as a gift from the grateful for services rendered. Like Bennet pere, the Hobbiton Bilbo is never seen working, before or after the Great Adventure,  beyond putting together meals.

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4 hours ago, Zorral said:

What do you call fairy tales with the cleaned up for modern, as opposed to the folk audience, that conclude with "They lived happily ever after?"  

Your view looks too narrow and flat for the way real and effective story telling works.  Which is why so many, including yourself it seems from other of your posts, dislike these arbitrary publishing industry marketing generic divisions. This is particularly so as genre, being generic, grabs from every other sort of story telling trope as from a rag bag to create it's own pop culture flavor.  The tropes of the Hero, the Aristocratic Hero, just beginning with the aristo baby that was lost, stolen or supposedly killed, has been the basis of myth and epic, biblical stories, folktale, fairy tale, the Romance (don't mean what publishing means by it, but works such as Gottfried von Strassburg's Tristram, courtly love Romance authors, and Mallory and  -- now there is found some gritty and dark -- genre fantasy forever.  As well as adventure - historical fiction too.  The Discovery of the Hero's True Identity being the restoration of order and a dawn of a new golden age.  Genre fiction didn't create that! Nor did it invent that, though certainly super hero genre has run with it forever, even before Tarzan (a British aristo sort) and John Carter (a confederate aristo)  and Look Up Into the Sky!  It's SUPERMAN!

What is really interesting about all this in terms of Fantasy is that the restoration of a golden age and order, or at least stability and a silver waning nostalgic sweetness of LoTR's conclusion with the crowning of Aragorn, is the perfect booked to ASOIAF, even as it stands w/o ever being finished.  Whoever take the Iron Throne -- or doesn't take the Iron Throne -- there will be no golden age restored, any more than when Henry Tudor took the throne in England, or when the second Valois followed the feckless King Jean.*

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

* As mentioned here before, when reading the history of the 14th and 15th century in France, ASOIAF seems to follow those events a whole lot more closely than anything to do with the English Wars of the Roses -- including wholesale pulls of proper names, events -- even a version of the Red Wedding, though that trope too is ancient and found in myth, the Old Testament, and historically, from Nordic to Italian city states' conflicts, to Native Americans enclosed and set on fire at a celebration. GRRM has talked frequently about the Maurice Druon historical series set in that era from which he drew a great deal of inspiration.

 

I have no idea what you're talking about.

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When a story is unrealistic, we simply call it fiction. James Bond isn't fantasy no matter how many people he kills or women he beds.

When it's about impossible fantastical things, we call it fantasy.

Edited by C.T. Phipps

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1 hour ago, SeanF said:

That letter is awesome.  Just dripping with justified sacasm.

I am as familiar with this letter as anybody else who love LOTR.

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42 minutes ago, Zorral said:

I am as familiar with this letter as anybody else who love LOTR.

Great movies. They should make a book.

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Another term, new to me, as antithesis of grimdark, and just as bad as noble bright: 'lawful good.'' But it's baked into the sf/f genre to quantify and qualify, so there ya go!

Well, entertaining as all this may be, the weather is dreadful and I leave very early for some really good and beautiful weather and -- even fun.  Supposedly work but this time around not so much, it looks like. May or may not be able to check in from down there, but in the meantime, this has been an interesting discussion, and will surely continue.

 

Edited by Zorral

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12 hours ago, C.T. Phipps said:

That's exactly why I (and other writers) chose it as a definition after studying the subject. People keep trying to assign these weird specific elements to it and philosophies.

But you can’t choose a definition that you like and try to impose it on others. That’s not how languages work. Language is an organic, living thing that refuse to be controlled. People don’t try to assign weird specific elements and philosophies to the word grimdark. It’s how it is understood by most people. 

 

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6 hours ago, C.T. Phipps said:

Dwarves are definitely Tolkiens' conception of Jews. However, I also think this is a case of a "ehhh" because while Thorin Oakenshield is a fool, the other 11 dwarves are likable supporting characters. Thorin also gets a redemption at the end of the story with Bilbo's relationship with him growing over the story. He's meant to be a flawed character but not an evil or even irredeemably flawed one (and the elves and humans ALSO display gold fever).

Tolkien made his dwarves from a bunch of Jewish stereotypes as well as mythological Norse references fused together but these include positive ones as well as negative: a proud, honorable, hardworking warrior race.

I.e. Tolkien wasn't deliberately setting out to be negative.

The dwarves in the story also break the stereotypes of them in-universe as often as they are reinforced. So I think it perhaps falls under Fair for its Day.

Edit:

Bilbo is a landed gentleman on his mother's side so he's not much of a commoner, just a different sort of aristocrat than the actual feudal nobility. The Dwarves are an interesting mix of royals and commoners who are more or less equals.

I really wouldn't push the Dwarf-Jews thing too far. Bombur munches on a pork pie, for instance. Back in October 2016, I wrote a blog post addressing one academic paper on the subject - 

https://phuulishfellow.wordpress.com/2016/10/27/tolkiens-dwarves-and-alleged-anti-semitism/

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5 hours ago, Zorral said:

Bilbo's family seemed more to me like the Bennet family in P&P, landed gentry, not aristocrats at all,  starting in that generation a gentle slide down the financial scale -- except he got a trunk of gold, as a gift from the grateful for services rendered. Like Bennet pere, the Hobbiton Bilbo is never seen working, before or after the Great Adventure,  beyond putting together meals.

Bilbo's mother was an aristocrat. His father's side is middle-class (Belladonna Took married down). The result is that he's comfortable upper-middle-class himself.

https://phuulishfellow.wordpress.com/2018/08/25/cracking-the-social-code-class-in-tolkiens-shire/

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On 2/12/2019 at 2:40 AM, C.T. Phipps said:

My History degree was in Medieval History and one of the things I was fascinated about was the Crusades as well as how completely insane the whole of the Eastern Roman Empire and Arabic world was to the Franks. Everything from glass windows to plumbing. The wealth on display was beyond their comprehension and the trade routes that made it all possible were simply things no one had access to. Feudalism had made cultural development stagnate and even effectively stop while it had thrived beyond. There's a good arguement that the Crsuades also essentially re-established the routes and helped lead to the Renaissance.

That may be so, but it is also worth bearing in mind that even the richest pre-industrial societies were on the level of present day third world countries. Plumbing in some town houses and castles or not, the difference in levels of economic development between states were not all that great*, and could not be either. At the end of the day the large majority of the population in any agricultural civilization were farmers, and most of the rest craftsmen of some sort, all operating with little or no mechanical aid. There is only so much in terms of output per worker that you can achieve with that, even if you happen to be unusually well organized. 

*At least not anywhere near how great they are today. 

Edited by Khaleesi did nothing wrong

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