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Yulaw9460Yulaw9460 Member Posts: 634
edited November 2018 in Off-Topic
Deleted.

Post edited by Yulaw9460 on
sunset00CorvinoCrevsDaaklolien

Comments

  • zerckanzerckan Member Posts: 178
    edited November 2013
    Yulaw9460 said:


    It just hit me that he was pretty much the father of Elven archers, axe-wielding Dwarves and hoarding Dragons. Well, sort of, at least.

    You are totally wrong.
    All of these races like dwarves, elves, orcs, trolls... were believed to exist through ages.
    Some cultures believed them like most cultures believe in angels.
    So Tolkien didn't created them. He just used them in his book.
    That's all.

  • meaglothmeagloth Member Posts: 3,806
    zerckan said:

    Yulaw9460 said:


    It just hit me that he was pretty much the father of Elven archers, axe-wielding Dwarves and hoarding Dragons. Well, sort of, at least.

    You are totally wrong.
    All of these races like dwarves, elves, orcs, trolls... were believed to exist through ages.
    Some cultures believed them like most cultures believe in angels.
    So Tolkien didn't created them. He just used them in his book.
    That's all.
    I think he just meant those stereotypes, not the races themselves. I.e. Though dwarves that wield axes, that elves are tall and graceful and that dragons hoard gold and such. I don't know about that last one, but yeah, Tolkien pretty much invented epic fantasy as we see it today. Before that it was mostly fairy tale stories, which Tolkien also wrote.

    sunset00
  • zerckanzerckan Member Posts: 178
    Dwarves wielded axes and elves were graceful woodland folks before Tolkien wrote too.
    But he took all of them in a pot and stirred with some imagination and with his superb skills.
    Tolkien is great writer without doubt, and his academic career made his works well known even more, but giving him credits for things existed before his grandfathers grandfather was even born is too much.

    sunset00
  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    edited November 2013
    @zerckan They did exist, but he gave us the context that modern Fantasy exists in.

    Before him, Elves were magical creatures that have associations with magic and forests, but varied in size and were often uses as synonyms for pixies, brownies or other Anglo-Saxon/Norse mythological critters. The idea of a cultured & learned society, graceful beauty, immortality and their general appearance as used in modern fantasy is pure Tolkein.

    Dwarves varied enormously as well. There are only scattered references to them actually being short, for example. They were subterranean and associated with knowledge and smithing, but again Tolkein's ideas shape the Fantasy trope of a bearded, ale-swilling warrior culture. Apparently he also based some elements of the scattered society and skilled craftsmanship of the exiled Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain on Western Europe's Jewish populations, so these elements are again directly his interpretation.

    Hobbits/Halflings were more-or-less invented by Tolkein, and there's not really anything close to them in European myth that I'm aware of.

    Orcs, again are shaped by Tolkein. Before him they were generic fairytale creatures, their name meaning evil spirit or similar. The way they are now portrayed is again almost solely due to Tolkien's influence.

    So yes, agreed with the OP. Thanks to Tolkien!

  • zerckanzerckan Member Posts: 178
    edited November 2013
    @Cornivo
    Corvino said:


    Hobbits/Halflings were more-or-less invented by Tolkein, and there's not really anything close to them in European myth that I'm aware of.

    Really? What about Gnomes who are little humanoids live underground?
    Corvino said:


    Orcs, again are shaped by Tolkein. Before him they were generic fairytale creatures, their name meaning evil spirit or similar. The way they are now portrayed is again almost solely due to Tolkien's influence.

    They were also believed to be humanoid monsters relative to goblins and ogres.

    You may thank Tolkien for caves, underground cities and even trees as well.

  • Yulaw9460Yulaw9460 Member Posts: 634
    edited November 2018
    Deleted.

    Post edited by Yulaw9460 on
  • zerckanzerckan Member Posts: 178
    Yulaw9460 said:

    zerckan said:

    Yulaw9460 said:


    It just hit me that he was pretty much the father of Elven archers, axe-wielding Dwarves and hoarding Dragons. Well, sort of, at least.

    You are totally wrong.
    All of these races like dwarves, elves, orcs, trolls... were believed to exist through ages.
    Some cultures believed them like most cultures believe in angels.
    So Tolkien didn't created them. He just used them in his book.
    That's all.
    You are right, of course. D&D as we know it would be identical to what it is today, even if Tolkien never existed. Hell, Imoen would probably even still prefer pink.

    What was I thinking?
    You even thank Tolkien for Dragons.

    What else should i say to you?

  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    Prior to Tolkein there was a lot of fluidity and non-specificity with regards to most fairytale/mythical creatures. In the prose Edda the words for Dark Elf and Dwarf may in fact be synonyms. Similarly the word for elf in European folklore could refer to anything from a tiny, solitary woodland spirit to a man-sized creature with their own kingdoms. Similarly Gnomes (who Tolkien doesn't really mention) are a much later medieval invention and are even so often used interchangeably with Dwarves.

    So what Tolkein did was take a mish-mash of folklore and break it up into the categories we know today. He never claimed to have invented them, but he did set in stone the conventions of the modern Fantasy genre which until then in the works of Lord Dunsany and others had been more fluid and fariy-tale influenced.

    Edwin
  • SchneidendSchneidend Member Posts: 3,190
    edited November 2013
    Tolkien: great at world-building, folklore, and linguistics, but garbage for prose.

    DrugarCorvinoCrevsDaak
  • CrevsDaakCrevsDaak Member Posts: 7,144
    Beowulf, anyone?? Tolkien based "The Hobbit" in that poem (you might know it as a tale, but it was a poem originally).

  • meaglothmeagloth Member Posts: 3,806
    edited November 2013

    Tolkien: great at world-building, folklore, and linguistics, but garbage for prose.

    Sure. Whatever you say.

  • CorvinoCorvino Member Posts: 2,269
    edited November 2013
    @Schneidend - I completely agree. Fantastic imagination, but his pacing is awful and the songs make me want to bang my head on a big wall. Everything happens at a crawl and he's completely reliant on Deus Ex Machina.

    If he wasn't an obsessive visionary his writing would be crap. But he was an obsessive visionary. *Edit* I love the story of Lord of the Rings and have read the books, but I don't think I'd do it again.

    Schneidend
  • Kitteh_On_A_CloudKitteh_On_A_Cloud Member Posts: 1,629
    Ehh, I haven't read 'The Hobbit' or 'lord of the Rings' myself, so I cannot comment on the quality of Tolkien's writing. Yet, I can have nothing but respect for him for having written such an influential work of fantasy. Try writing a book of 1000 pages yourself, guys. You'll quickly realise it ain't as easy as writing it off as 'bad prose'. Criticism is easy, doing the job yourself? Not so much.

  • zerckanzerckan Member Posts: 178

    Ehh, I haven't read 'The Hobbit' or 'lord of the Rings' myself, so I cannot comment on the quality of Tolkien's writing. Yet, I can have nothing but respect for him for having written such an influential work of fantasy. Try writing a book of 1000 pages yourself, guys. You'll quickly realise it ain't as easy as writing it off as 'bad prose'. Criticism is easy, doing the job yourself? Not so much.

    I don't think this is a good point of view. You have your right to dislike any product and it doesn't mean you have to do it better.
    A person can be better than you at singing but that doesn't make him a good singer.

    Schneidend
  • SchneidendSchneidend Member Posts: 3,190
    edited November 2013

    Ehh, I haven't read 'The Hobbit' or 'lord of the Rings' myself, so I cannot comment on the quality of Tolkien's writing. Yet, I can have nothing but respect for him for having written such an influential work of fantasy. Try writing a book of 1000 pages yourself, guys. You'll quickly realise it ain't as easy as writing it off as 'bad prose'. Criticism is easy, doing the job yourself? Not so much.

    Well, as Oscar Wilde said, criticism itself is art, IE writing. So, by criticizing, I did do the job myself. Boosh.

    But, for the non-smartass answer, @zerckan is right. You don't need to be a published author to criticize the work of published authors. If only writers could criticize, academia and criticism in general would not exist. Also, you don't get to criticize the critic when you yourself have not read the work.

    As @Corvino said, Tolkien simply refused to make the work for which he is most famous a readable affair. He built a hell of a world, he established so much of the fantasy genre as we know it today, but I shudder when I think about reading line after line of what Sam is carrying on his goddamn mule. At least when Tim O'Brien wrote The Things They Carried he made the lists of stuff the guys carried part of their characters, part of establishing tone and setting.

    The Hobbit is actually pretty great, though. If he wrote like The Hobbit all the time, I would have enjoyed LoTR a lot more.

    @meagloth
    Believe it or not, nothing is perfect, not even Tolkien. Doing important work does not mean that work is beyond reproach.

    Post edited by Schneidend on
    Corvino
  • meaglothmeagloth Member Posts: 3,806
    @schneidend: nothing be perfect maybe, but Tolkien is the closest I've ever seen. Methinks this is more about your attention span than than Tolkien's writing ability. I've never heard anyone say that Tolkien had bad pacing.

  • SchneidendSchneidend Member Posts: 3,190
    meagloth said:

    @schneidend: nothing be perfect maybe, but Tolkien is the closest I've ever seen. Methinks this is more about your attention span than than Tolkien's writing ability. I've never heard anyone say that Tolkien had bad pacing.

    Your assumption that the fault must lie with me is adorable. I'm an English major. Reading through dense, boring tomes is basically my job right now, or one of them, anyway. Hell, sometimes, I do it for -fun-. Right now I'm dividing my reading between a flavorless version of Chaucer's Canterbury tales with all pretenses of poetry stripped from it in the translation, and a critical analysis book from the 70s about psychology in German films during World War I and II. So, yeah, my attention span is clearly the heart of the issue. Obviously.

    Part of criticism is giving the good with the bad. Arguably, Tolkien is better at more things than at which he is bad. Count 'em and see. I listed them in a very concise and enumerable manner. The fact remains, though, that if you attempted to turn in something written like William Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! or Lord of the Rings into a Creative Writing class in which the hypothetical professor had somehow never heard of either text, you would more than likely fail. Being part of the so-called canon of literature doesn't mean I have to like every facet of a work.

  • ryuken87ryuken87 Member Posts: 563
    Corvino said:

    Similarly Gnomes (who Tolkien doesn't really mention) are a much later medieval invention and are even so often used interchangeably with Dwarves.

    Interestingly, Tolkien originally referred to one of his elf sub-races (the Noldor) as gnomes. See The Book of Lost Tales.

    rexreg
  • RiduyRiduy Member Posts: 6
    A lot of butt-hurt in this thread. Elves, dwarves, orcs may well have existed for centuries prior the Tolkien, but he is still very influential. When you speak of these things, most people will imagine the beautiful, graceful forest-dwelling elves, the burly-bearded axe-wielding dwarves, and the repulsive and savage orcs. It's just a testament to how well-received his works have been, whether he invented them or not is insignificant.

  • zerckanzerckan Member Posts: 178
    Riduy said:

    A lot of butt-hurt in this thread.

    Butt-hurt? For not thinking like you?
    We have a badass here nice, now you can go back to blizzard forums.

  • CandleBesideCandleBeside Member Posts: 38
    I absolutely agree with the initial post.
    Its like Tolkien dug out some rare elements and forged them together into a cool alloy. And thats not so easy to do.

  • old_jolly2old_jolly2 Member Posts: 453
    I really hated the "Tolkien version" of an elf-dwarf fantasy , where the references in the book were cast very evil and dark , and cowardly uncharismatic , thus tranquilizing.

  • SchneidendSchneidend Member Posts: 3,190

    I absolutely agree with the initial post.
    Its like Tolkien dug out some rare elements and forged them together into a cool alloy. And thats not so easy to do.

    I certainly agree with that, too. I never questioned his knowledge of folklore or his ability to build worlds. In fact, I praised both of those aspects of his work.

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