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Old 07-03-2014, 09:57 AM   #24
Mithalwen
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Join Date: May 2004
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Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Mithalwen is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
It is a valid topic but it could have been phrased better without the assumptions... an observation not an attack nb. It is a very complex though since individual readers of Tolkien are going to be at different points on various spectrums that may have a factor in their understanding and appreciationof different aspects of Tolkien's work.

Then belief and understanding are not the same.Nor perhaps are understanding and knowledge -the distinction the French make between savoir and connaître. I haven't lost my knowledge and understanding of religion with my loss of faith.

Yes things will be more obvious or resonate if they chime with one's own experience Having roots in the same part of England may help my appreciation, or. y fascination with language but does that count for more than a Finn or Norse scholar's familiarity with the Kalevala and Eddas? Maybe the mathmagicians could work out a formula to decide if a sincere but otherwise ignorant believer has a deeper appreciation than a learned atheist, but it does rather head towards a method acting approach to literary appreciation. It is rather insulting to the human powers of imagination and empathy to think you have to be like the author or stories have to be "relatable". Stories let us try on another's life, another worldview, lead us to find out more and perhaps thereby increase in understanding and compassion.

Not forgetting of course that as our lives may affect our understanding of books, books may affect our understanding of our lives. I don't quite have a "What would Elrond do?" wristband but I discovered Mordor takes many forms.
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