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Old 04-23-2007, 10:57 AM   #9
davem
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Location: In the home of lost causes, and forsaken beliefs, and unpopular names,and impossible loyalties
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davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.davem is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.
Just been re-reading the essay/review I linked to. The writer seems to see CoH as a work 'reflecting' what he sees as the pre-Christian world, full of hopeless, futile heroics which lead to disaster even as they achieve (transitory) victory. He also seems to believe that LotR is a work that reflects the 'Christian' world which superceded the 'Pagan'. Heroism is neither hopeless nor futile & victory may be permanent. God is (as far as the writer is concerned at least) fully present in the world of LotR, whereas he is conspicuous by his absence in CoH. Now, as I've pointed out, if we take the stories in chronological order in M-e history this theory fits as a 'reflection' of Primary world history - the world of CoH is the First Age, that of LotR is the Third.

If, however, we look at when the two works were published then we see the opposite - LotR appeared in the mid 1950's, when Churchgoing (in Britain/Europe at least) was the norm. Every home had a Bible, (which was well read, btw) & most everyone (in Britain again) considered themselves Christian. CoH has just appeared, in 2007, in (again from the British/European perspective) a post Christian world.

Quote:
"The Valar! They have forsaken you, and they hold Men in scorn. What use to look westward across the endless Sea to a dying sunset in the West? There is but one Vala with whom we have to do, and that is Morgoth; and if in the end we cannot overcome him, at least we can hurt him and hinder him ... Though mortal Men have little life beside the span of the Elves, they would rather spend it in battle than fly or submit."
This statement reflects, for the majority in the post-Christian world, our shared worldview far better than the 'Estel' we find in LotR. In short, it seems to me that the books have actually appeared in the correct sequence to reflect the change that has taken place in the Primary world...

Doesn't CoH actually feel more 'contemporary' than LotR?
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