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Old 05-21-2005, 05:36 AM   #78
Bęthberry
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Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
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I have no quarrel with anyone who is happy reading the archaic/ornate style and, as I said earlier, my intention is not to persuade people to my point, simply to respond to the thread topic. However, I would like to make a few comments about some of the points raised.

Lalwendë, you raise several interesting points, but my problem with these passages is not the general need for a more formal style to suit the earth-shattering events. I would be quite happy reading a story with great heterogeneity of style. It is how the style is handled in the particular contexts. Also, I find that we tend to bring in this conceit of the Redbook to explain away many difficulties of the text--do we really at the time of reading say, 'Oh, this is the Redbook's writer writing here and not the story's usual narrator'--do we remember that all in the breathless excitement of reading--but I don't think we've ever really had a thread to examine this conceit closely. Frankly, I don't think it works here as a justification for radical changes to character's style of dialogue.

Interesting that you bring in the verses recited over Boromir. That leave-taking scene has always given me a strong sense of the importance in Middle-earth of the rituals of death and remembrance and lamentation. I think some sort of recitation by Éomer would be absolutely fitting and in keeping with the nature of the Rohirrim. All I am saying is that to my ear this passage was abruptly handled and I would, to keep the enchantment up, like more writing devoted to this scene, to establish its tone and tenor.

Nothing, I think, can address the issue of why the style of dialogue--one of the fundamental aspects of characterisation in this work--changes so fundamentally.

Heren, right you are to point out that you learnt your letters at Tolkien's knee! It is possible that someday we could have a long discussion on what is "natural"--for that feeling is a function of various qualities and not an absolute standard--but that is probably for another time.

I don't wish to belabour my readings. I simply gave in response to littlemanpoet's example some examples of my own and I will now shut up.

Interesting that no one here has replied to littlemanpoet's observation that Sam's "lor' help me" is inappropriate to Middle-earth. Any thoughts?
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