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Old 11-21-2016, 08:58 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Zigūr View Post
An idea from "The New Shadow" which has resounded with me in recent months is that of "Gondorian boys [...] playing at being Orcs and going round doing damage".

"Shall I gather my band and go and cut down his trees? Then he will think that the Orcs have really returned."

I find it very insightful to see Professor Tolkien imagining a world in which terrible evil is treated as a joke, not taken seriously, or even admired by people too young and comfortable to recognise how bad things really once were.

Despite probably being unintentional, I think the narrative works surprisingly well cutting off when it does. It doesn't really matter what's in Borlas' house, in my view at least. What matters is the almost wearied recognition that, in some shape or other, evil will indeed persist.

"He halted in the narrow passage that ran through the house, and it seemed that he was wrapped in a blackness: not a glimmer of twilight of the world outside remained there."

This puts me in mind of a horror film, oddly enough.

It really is a remarkable piece of prose, in my opinion.
The writing is brilliant. I think what put Tolkien off continuing the story was that it would have implied that the mere IDEA of Sauron was potent, even though the actual Sauron no longer had a physical form or presence.

That IS depressing, and all too reminiscent of the real world. After all, Hitler was killed in 1945 and yet we are still plagued by Neo-Nazis. Although The New Shadow might have been able to explore a powerful theme, and not just be a horror story or murder mystery, it still would have too many parallels to the real world for JRRT’s liking.
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