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Old 06-25-2007, 04:04 PM   #281
davem
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thenamir

Assume for a moment that gifted writers would be allowed with the blessing of the Tolkien Estate to write books or collections of short stories as additions to “canon”. Assume further that the overarching LOTR story can be understood and appreciated as genius in other languages, despite the lack of nuance that, presumably, only English readers will “get.” Can new stories be written within the inviolable boundaries of races, lands, and the rich history of the original works, and yet be written in French, Russian, or even the ghastly American dialect, and still be good stories, perhaps even great stories, in themselves?
Yes, but how far can one move away from the original & still have the story be considered 'genuine'? I think the point that's being missed is that the Shire is not England per se, but rural Warwickshire/Berkshire at the time of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee - hence pickles, tomatoes & potatoes. Pop guns & express trains are in there because they are references that the original audience (Tolkien's children) for TH would have gotten. The style & references are of their time.

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I maintain that they can. I don’t find anything particularly wrong with a snorting elf, because within my inferior USian experience a “snort” is not the haughty, rude, and disdainful thing that it seems to be to proper English gentry. If I was writing it, I perhaps would revise it to “(insert elf character name here) lifted an eyebrow in disdain,” but that essentially expresses the same thing to me.
No, 'snort' in reference to Elves is a bit like 'gross' in reference to Hobbits....

Quote:
It could even be said that if the story was rewritten to use different phrasing or perhaps different cultural settings when translated into a new language, it might have equally deep and nuanced meaning as the English version does for the English. I shudder to think what a US-inner-city version of LOTR would look like (the mind recoils in horror at the thought of Bilbo “rappin’” his poetry), but it would perhaps “reach” people that the original does not.
Oh, I'm sure that any sequel would be designed to appeal to as wide an audience as possible. CoH would not have had a chance - that 'boring' start with all the family history, & that depressing ending - & who could identify with that crazy Turin?? Except that anyone familiar with Saga literature would recognise all that as part of the Saga genre, & realise that Tolkien was actually emulating Saga literature. Even Morwen is a classical saga mother-figure. People (& critics in particular) don't read the Sagas & don't get what Tolkien was doing - they don't recognise that, uniquely in modern literature, Tolkien has produced a saga equal to the Icelandic greats. In other words, what Tolkien produced was high art, not stories about Elves & Hobbits, & its the subtleties which are often (dis)missed which are essential to that.
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Old 06-25-2007, 04:52 PM   #282
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Originally Posted by Lalwendë
Have a flick round the Downs. It's been discussed many, many times.
It is better in a discussion to present actual arguments, rather than send people on a wild goose chase - esspecially if it was you in such a thread that mentioned the Shire a case of anarchism.
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Old 06-25-2007, 06:32 PM   #283
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
'fraid the middle classes are the most class conscious of all - they just like to think they aren't....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lalwendë
Aye, spoken as only a modern middle-class Englishman could
Help! Help! I'm being stereotyped ...!

Now, if you will excuse me, I'm far too busy keeping up with the Joneses next door to post any more just now.

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Old 06-25-2007, 09:00 PM   #284
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
What kind of characters would throw around neologisms? Bilbo, Frodo, & the other Hobbits don't say 'lunch', they say 'dinner'. Anyone who can't see that the use of such a neologism by two young men about town is significant is missing a very interesting bit of social commentary on Tolkien's part.
*The Dark Elf feels himself drawn ineluctably back into the digression*

Cannot...help...myself...must...reply...BAH!

You are again incorrect. Totally. Utterly. By your reasoning, Frodo and Bilbo would certainly use the term 'lunch' because the Bagginses (Bilbo and Frodo specifically) are indeed of the same social caste as the Brandybucks and Tooks. They are 'respectable' hobbits, and their speech pathology bears it out (there are neither colorful rustic colloquialisms, nor malaprops, nor droppin' o' the 'aitches in either Frodo or Bilbo's speech). They're family is married into both the Took and Brandybuck families (first cousins, I believe), and are most certainly part of the squirearchy of the Shire.

Frodo and Bilbo bear all the earmarks of English Country gentlemen, and they certainly do not stoop to manual labor (which is what the Gaffer and Sam are for). The entire relationship between Frodo and 'his' Sam bears that out. Sam is the batman or valet to Frodo's Subaltern, a point which cannot be argued because Tolkien refers to it himself. By your convoluted miasma of rambling rhetoric, the term 'lunch' is then totally acceptable for the narrator of the story because Frodo and Bilbo wrote the bulk of the Book of Westmarch.

And please supply a direct quote from any Hobbit character of the lower classes that uses the term 'dinner' for a midday meal. You won't find it, and neither will you find a reference to 'lunch' or 'supper'. The absence of something does not prove you are correct. The only reference to a lower class Hobbit using the term 'dinner' is Old Noakes and that was concerning a meal in the moonlight.

You continue to make glaring errors due mostly to your class biases.

And now for something completely different:

Is the BD Fan-fiction forum for all intents and purposes dead? I posted an offering there starting a week ago, and have not received one scathing review regarding my impudence as an American to dare to add my scant and colonial abilities to the Middle-earth cosmology. Granted, since the tale does not concern hobbits there are no mentions of lunch or dinner, nevertheless (and harkening back to the original premise of the thread), I am wondering if such work that is not wedded to an RPG format is welcomed here any longer.

Oh, and the story can be found here...
http://forum.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin...107&p=1#000001
...your comments and critiques are welcome.
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Last edited by Morthoron; 06-25-2007 at 09:29 PM.
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Old 06-25-2007, 09:33 PM   #285
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lal
You know, like the difference between the films and the books - the former are decent enough, but the latter is the Real Thing.
No question, none whatsoever. And I do not in any wise advocate dumbing-down LOTR to the lowest common denominator -- to do so would be like setting a Shakespeare play in New York City...oh, wait, they did that -- wife and kids were watching Romeo and Juliet, with all the original Elizabethan Englishe, but costumed and set in NYC. I can't imagine something similar done to LOTR, but a different English setting was not my point.

How can I, as an American (i.e. one-who-speaks-only-one-language), have any assurance that the Russian who has read LOTR in only his native tongue knows the subtleties of the English version? I have to trust that the translator has made a good faith effort to become familiar enough with the work so as to render a sound and faithful translation. But to render near-verbatim English-to-(insert favorite language here) translations would mean that nothing short of an annotated version in each language, explaining the context in terms understandable to each varied culture, would suffice to convey the meanings as Tolkien intended.

I hate to keep using Shakespeare as an example, but how many moderately educated people have started to read Hamlet or Richard III, and given up after the first few scenes because the language is so archaic? Unless you annotate the text to bring the meaning up-to-date, so to speak, the brilliance of the Bard will be lost to the masses.

What am I saying by all this? That cultural trappings are not the substance. Yes, they are important, even critical, to emulating the style of an author, and even more so playing in his sandbox. But I submit that I have read stories (the aforementioned "The Hobbits" is well worth a read, though I doubt that purists will find it anything other than rubbish) that, for me, were an extension of that world that JRRT first opened for me. Do I confuse them with the originals? Not at all. But they are enjoyable reads for me, and the authors have worked hard and done their best, and I like them. (aside: I've also read much fan trash to find the few treasures...that makes them all the more special.)

Feel free to disagree, and no hard feelings if you do. I have to feel a bit sad, though, for those for whom the only window to Middle Earth is forever closed.

EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Davem
Yes, but how far can one move away from the original & still have the story be considered 'genuine'?
The purpose is not to move away from the original, but to stick as close to it as one can. The closer one is, the more "genuine" it will be. But who is the arbiter of genuineness? Only the reader. (Ai! Not Canonicity again!!)
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Old 06-26-2007, 12:10 AM   #286
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron
You are again incorrect. Totally. Utterly. By your reasoning, Frodo and Bilbo would certainly use the term 'lunch' because the Bagginses (Bilbo and Frodo specifically) are indeed of the same social caste as the Brandybucks and Tooks. They are 'respectable' hobbits, and their speech pathology bears it out (there are neither colorful rustic colloquialisms, nor malaprops, nor droppin' o' the 'aitches in either Frodo or Bilbo's speech). They're family is married into both the Took and Brandybuck families (first cousins, I believe), and are most certainly part of the squirearchy of the Shire.
Nope. Bilbo & Frodo are naturally conservative in behaviour & speech patters. They are old fashioned & would tend to avoid neologisms like 'lunch'. Merry & Pippin are the very opposite - use of new words would certainly reflect Tookishness.

Quote:
Frodo and Bilbo bear all the earmarks of English Country gentlemen, and they certainly do not stoop to manual labor (which is what the Gaffer and Sam are for). The entire relationship between Frodo and 'his' Sam bears that out. Sam is the batman or valet to Frodo's Subaltern, a point which cannot be argued because Tolkien refers to it himself. By your convoluted miasma of rambling rhetoric, the term 'lunch' is then totally acceptable for the narrator of the story because Frodo and Bilbo wrote the bulk of the Book of Westmarch.
Yes, & Tolkien also states that Hobbits are based on rural Englsih folk from the time of the Diamond Jubilee, & they would have said dinner not lunch. Sorry, but you can't use one statement by Tolkien to try & support your argument & then ignore another one which totally destroys it.

Quote:
You continue to make glaring errors due mostly to your class biases.
No. Ask any English person about the use of dinner as opposed to lunch. If an English person uses 'dinner' to refer to the mid day meal rather than 'lunch' you can tell instantly what class they are, what their social background is, what TV programmes they watched as children, what newspapers they read - or at least make a very good guess. Ok, its not quite as clear cut these days as it was back in the late 19th century, but its still there - trust me.
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Old 06-26-2007, 03:33 AM   #287
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Thena brings up a very interesting point about translations. Here in Germany, there are two translations of the LotR, one several decades old, the other was done in 2000. The first is considered better by a majority of book fans, as far as my subjective impression goes; it uses a more formal, old-fashioned language which is appropriate for the tone of the original, though it can be a bit dry.

The second was an attempt (unsuccessful, is the opinion of very many readers!) to modernize the language. It has been heavily promoted by the publisher, of course, and those who can afford only a paperback version have no choice - the older translation is still available, but only in expensive hardback.

Some of the language in the modern translation is like a badly written fan fiction, in my opinion. I am sure Tolkien would not have approved of such things as Sam calling Frodo "Boss", for example!!

However: "For some, the only glimpse. For some the awaking." Has it been positive in introducing a generation to the books? Probably - like the movies. Does it convey the spirit of Tolkien? Only partially - there are plenty of fan fictions that do better! But it's authorized, and for those who cannot read the original (which many German-speaking readers prefer if they know enough English to do so), it's all there is.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Morthoron
Is the BD Fan-fiction forum for all intents and purposes dead? I posted an offering there starting a week ago, and have not received one scathing review regarding my impudence as an American to dare to add my scant and colonial abilities to the Middle-earth cosmology. Granted, since the tale does not concern hobbits there are no mentions of lunch or dinner, nevertheless (and harkening back to the original premise of the thread), I am wondering if such work that is not wedded to an RPG format is welcomed here any longer.

Oh, and the story can be found here...
http://forum.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin...107&p=1#000001
...your comments and critiques are welcome.
Morthoron, I could be facetious and give the usual answer that we're all dead on the Downs at any rate, but I must concede that the fan fiction forum does make a rather dead impression at times. It may the Barrow's Sleeping Beauty, in need of some stout princes to hack their way through the Hedge of Forgetfulness and kiss it awake again! It's good to be reminded of new stories when they are posted there - and it's good to remind authors of unfinished stories (*whistles innocently) that readers may like to find out what happens next. Perhaps I should start a sticky thread for posting about the fan fiction forum - announcements of new stories, etc. could go there.
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Last edited by Estelyn Telcontar; 06-26-2007 at 03:46 AM.
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Old 06-26-2007, 04:47 AM   #288
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
Nope. Bilbo & Frodo are naturally conservative in behaviour & speech patters. They are old fashioned & would tend to avoid neologisms like 'lunch'. Merry & Pippin are the very opposite - use of new words would certainly reflect Tookishness.
Again wrong. It is amazing how you ignore the text to suit yourself; this has been the only consistent point you have maintained through your ever-changing attempts to rewrite the story along your perceived class distinctions:

Quote:
There were three official meals: lunch, tea and dinner (or supper). But lunch and tea were marked chiefly by the fact that at those times all the guests were sitting down and eating together. -- A Long-expected Party
One would think that Tolkien, if he cared in the least for your view or promulgated this distinctive class action, would not have so prominently ordered his meals in such a manner for the most famous occasion to occur in the Shire for years. If one agrees that Tolkien, as a philologist, used his words very succinctly, then he would have not been so blithe as to ignore such a social convention if it mattered to him. It is of note that the author himself uses 'dinner' and 'supper' interchangeably (but not so 'lunch' and 'dinner' throughout this whole sequence), and if you believe that Hobbits wrote LOTR, then this would be a direct reminiscence of Frodo or Bilbo (considering Sam would never use the term 'lunch' *winks*); otherwise, this is Tolkien himself imparting his preferences from Oxford, where they do indeed have lunch.

And as far as neologisms, Bilbo uses a neologism in the Hobbit: the word 'confusticate', as the concoction of such pseudo-Latinate words were very popular in the 19th century.

Furthermore:
Quote:
"This is the signal for supper!" said Bilbo...There was a splendid supper for everyone; for everyone, that is, except for those invited to the special family dinner-party. --A Long Expected Party
After the 'feast' (a word Tolkien uses several times to define this supper) came the dreaded 'after-dinner speech'. The use of 'supper' as a 'feast' goes directly against your implication that 'supper' is a light meal just before bedtime. There is no second dinner in this application, supper (or dinner) is the meal after tea, and lunch is the mid-day meal. Again, 'dinner' and 'supper' are interchangeable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
Yes, & Tolkien also states that Hobbits are based on rural Englsih folk from the time of the Diamond Jubilee, & they would have said dinner not lunch. Sorry, but you can't use one statement by Tolkien to try & support your argument & then ignore another one which totally destroys it.
I need a reference to where Tolkien states that the Hobbits are only 'based on rural English folk from the time of the Diamond Jubilee'. I emphasize the word 'only' and 'diamond jubilee' here because you are stepping into a quagmire if you believe that Tolkien ever took merely one point of view for any of his characters/races. You supply that quote, and I shall provide several more to the contrary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davem
No. Ask any English person about the use of dinner as opposed to lunch. If an English person uses 'dinner' to refer to the mid day meal rather than 'lunch' you can tell instantly what class they are, what their social background is, what TV programmes they watched as children, what newspapers they read - or at least make a very good guess. Ok, its not quite as clear cut these days as it was back in the late 19th century, but its still there - trust me.
What you believe does not matter (in this instance anyway), sorry. I am reading from the text directly and there is no implication anywhere that there is a societal ban on the term 'lunch'. 'Lunch' is featured prominently in the books, and there is never an aspersion cast on the word. Dinner and lunch and dinner and supper are used interchangeably throughout the text, and you can be as indignant as you wish but that does not change the text.

P.S. Davem, I do not wish to go 'round in circles regarding this digression, all I ask is that you supply textual quotes to bolster your claim. As I mentioned in my previous reply:

Quote:
And please supply a direct quote from any Hobbit character of the lower classes that uses the term 'dinner' for a midday meal. You won't find it, and neither will you find a reference to 'lunch' or 'supper'. The absence of something does not prove you are correct. The only reference to a lower class Hobbit using the term 'dinner' is Old Noakes and that was concerning a meal in the moonlight.
Everything else is merely conjecture. I have supplied specific quotes regarding the interchangeability of the word(s) in question and you have not.
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Last edited by Morthoron; 06-26-2007 at 05:30 AM.
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Old 06-26-2007, 06:31 AM   #289
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It is of note that the author himself uses 'dinner' and 'supper' interchangeably (but not so 'lunch' and 'dinner' throughout this whole sequence), and if you believe that Hobbits wrote LOTR, then this would be a direct reminiscence of Frodo or Bilbo (considering Sam would never use the term 'lunch' *winks*); otherwise, this is Tolkien himself imparting his preferences from Oxford, where they do indeed have lunch.
Hobbits did not write LotR – even if you indulge in the Translator Conceit' then Hobbits wrote only the bulk of the Red Book, which Tolkien translated. Hence, the fact that Tolkien used the word 'lunch' tell us nothing about Hobbit usage of the term – which must be inferred. Bilbo calls the mid-day meal 'dinner' – as we've seen in Rivendell, & the most likely explanation for 'lunch' being used in that context is to avoid confusion for the general reader if 'dinner' was used twice in a list of meals.

Quote:
And as far as neologisms, Bilbo uses a neologism in the Hobbit: the word 'confusticate', as the concoction of such pseudo-Latinate words were very popular in the 19th century.
Confusticate is clearly utilised in TH in order to please the prospective audience – children like strange words. Lunch is a different kettle of fissssh

Quote:
After the 'feast' (a word Tolkien uses several times to define this supper) came the dreaded 'after-dinner speech'. The use of 'supper' as a 'feast' goes directly against your implication that 'supper' is a light meal just before bedtime. There is no second dinner in this application, supper (or dinner) is the meal after tea, and lunch is the mid-day meal. Again, 'dinner' and 'supper' are interchangeable.
I think I stated that supper was generally a light meal before bed.

Quote:
I need a reference to where Tolkien states that the Hobbits are only 'based on rural English folk from the time of the Diamond Jubilee'. I emphasize the word 'only' and 'diamond jubilee' here because you are stepping into a quagmire if you believe that Tolkien ever took merely one point of view for any of his characters/races. You supply that quote, and I shall provide several more to the contrary.
Just as I need a quote where Tolkien stated that Sam is only based on WWI batmen Tolkien knew. Although I never actually stated they are only based on the people Tolkien had known as a child.

Quote:
What you believe does not matter (in this instance anyway), sorry. I am reading from the text directly and there is no implication anywhere that there is a societal ban on the term 'lunch'. 'Lunch' is featured prominently in the books, and there is never an aspersion cast on the word. Dinner and lunch and dinner and supper are used interchangeably throughout the text, and you can be as indignant as you wish but that does not change the text.
Lunch is not 'featured prominently in the text' – it is used by three characters – once by Pippin, twice by Merry & once by Gimli – the other times it appears it is used by the narrator/translator- which may tell us a great deal about the narrator/translator but little about Hobbits. Now, you are free to read the book as you wish. You're free to believe that Tolkien wasn't indulging in social commentary when he used the word. You're free to believe that Hobbits have no connection with rural English folk at the end of the 19th century. You're free to believe what you want. Frankly, I'm not that bothered. Your use of Tolkien's reference to Sam as a WWI batman but your rejection of his statement that Hobbits are based on English rural folk seems a bit selective- if Sam as a batman suits your argument you will use it for support, if Hobbits as rural English folk works against your argument you reject it.

I can only repeat that you do not get the significance of the dinner/lunch thing, or how lunch/dinner are not interchangeable terms to an English person, & which one you habitually use says a very great deal about you. Tolkien was an Englishman & he would not have thought of the terms as interchangeable. However, if you want to ignore the significance you can. You will miss out on a great deal of very interesting social commentary in both TH & LotR if you do ignore such 'trivialities', but its not to everyone's taste. Its there, but you can ignore it. Anyone who is interested can check out Shippey's Author of the Century.

Honestly, I'm not sure this is actually getting anywhere anymore, as we're basically going around in circles. I shall therefore bow out of this digression gracefully
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Old 06-26-2007, 06:35 AM   #290
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thenamir
No question, none whatsoever. And I do not in any wise advocate dumbing-down LOTR to the lowest common denominator -- to do so would be like setting a Shakespeare play in New York City...oh, wait, they did that -- wife and kids were watching Romeo and Juliet, with all the original Elizabethan Englishe, but costumed and set in NYC. I can't imagine something similar done to LOTR, but a different English setting was not my point.

How can I, as an American (i.e. one-who-speaks-only-one-language), have any assurance that the Russian who has read LOTR in only his native tongue knows the subtleties of the English version? I have to trust that the translator has made a good faith effort to become familiar enough with the work so as to render a sound and faithful translation. But to render near-verbatim English-to-(insert favorite language here) translations would mean that nothing short of an annotated version in each language, explaining the context in terms understandable to each varied culture, would suffice to convey the meanings as Tolkien intended.

I hate to keep using Shakespeare as an example, but how many moderately educated people have started to read Hamlet or Richard III, and given up after the first few scenes because the language is so archaic? Unless you annotate the text to bring the meaning up-to-date, so to speak, the brilliance of the Bard will be lost to the masses.

What am I saying by all this? That cultural trappings are not the substance. Yes, they are important, even critical, to emulating the style of an author, and even more so playing in his sandbox. But I submit that I have read stories (the aforementioned "The Hobbits" is well worth a read, though I doubt that purists will find it anything other than rubbish) that, for me, were an extension of that world that JRRT first opened for me. Do I confuse them with the originals? Not at all. But they are enjoyable reads for me, and the authors have worked hard and done their best, and I like them. (aside: I've also read much fan trash to find the few treasures...that makes them all the more special.)
Now a few things spring to mind...

First off, I know full well that a lot of kids feel 'alienated' by being presented with Shaespeare to read, but that is not their problem, nor is it Shakespeare's. It is the teacher's problem, and given the right teaching, ALL readers can come to enjoy Shakespeare! I really, really hate dumbed down curricula which, with the best intentions usually, only deny certain sectors of society from access to quality literature and quality learning. For example, this trend to kids studying excerpts instead of works. A 'sexed-up' modern version (e.g. a film, comic book etc) can stand alongside an original as a fab teaching aid (or as fun - I personally love 'graphic versions' of books), but it can never be a replacement.

Now onto language...a comparison between an British English speaker and any other English speaker might also be found in a modern English speaker and a speaker of Middle English. When I read Chaucer I pretty much understand what he wrote, but inevitably over time nuances have been lost - someone needs to tell me what these are! I am not upset nor is my intelligence insulted that someone steps in (usually a teacher or whoever writes the footnotes) to tell me what that word means, what it meant back then. Let's bring up Shakespeare again (you did so I can :P) - there are many words in his work I didn't understand until I was told what they meant - swive for example, and sneap - this latter I only discovered from talking to a modern day person from Nuneaton who uses the word in her everyday slang. I am really pleased I can find out what these words meant, it gives me greater understanding!

So, I'm not sure why folk get so indignant when say davem brings up examples of language use that are specifically English (as in culturally not linguistically), but I think this could be down to the influence of Political Correctness. It's an uncomfortable, yet inevitable fact to me that when I pick up some Goethe to read (and I do like Faust, it's ace) I will inevitably, as a non-native German speaker (actually a pretty poor speaker of German at all) not understand the full meaning of some of the words therein unless someone tells me about them. However I'm not going to get in a hissyfit over it - it's life.

As for other variations of English, yeah, I struggle with those too, and it causes much hilarity when I get American biscuits confused with English ones (along the lines of: Eyuw! Gravy? On Chocolate Hobnobs? You savages!) for example. but I'm not going to come over all insulted when a kindly American explains the difference! It's actually both funny and interesting to me. Same with a lot of songs - I just do not 'get' the references in the lyrics. Fact of life.

So we have choices:
we accept that sometimes some readers will not 'get' everything.
we accept that annotated versions are actually useful.
we don't get the hump when someone explains something from the culture of the writer.
we carry on as we are, having hissy fits because we have a chip* about thinking the other person considers us a 'colonial' or a 'foreigner' - errr, no we don't, we just want to explain what it means because it's useful and informative. Otherwise it really is Political correctness gone mad...

*it can be one from a sealed foil bag or one out of a dep fat fryer, I don't care either way...

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Originally Posted by Raynor
It is better in a discussion to present actual arguments, rather than send people on a wild goose chase - esspecially if it was you in such a thread that mentioned the Shire a case of anarchism.
Hmmm, but there is a search function, and you shall find many inteersting discussions that way. Alas I aint got time to cross-reference with abandon
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Old 06-26-2007, 06:57 AM   #291
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Throughout this thread there has been mention of fan fiction. It has been said that much of it is rather bad but there are a few treasures among the stuff. Would it be possible for anyone - or several people - to provide links to the absolute best of such Middle-earth fan fiction? Are there any gems, on this site or any other, that many knowledgable fans have developed a consensus as to their quality? I would love to read them if I had a link... or two ... or more.
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Old 06-26-2007, 07:12 AM   #292
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Originally Posted by Lalwendë
Hmmm, but there is a search function, and you shall find many inteersting discussions that way. Alas I aint got time to cross-reference with abandon
Well, you don't need to "cross-reference with abandon". A few evidences would be enough to have a discussion. That is, if you want your new interpretation on this issue of classes to be taken as more than just a personal opinion.
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Old 06-26-2007, 07:23 AM   #293
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Sauron, our very own fan fiction site needs to be promoted more actively! Unlike general fan fiction sites, which often have few restrictions, it is moderated, so that a certain standard of writing is maintained. It is located here. Since recommendations would be taking this thread off-topic (as if it were still on... ), I will start a new thread in the Novices and Newcomers section for fan fiction infos and recommendations. It will be 'stuck' to the top, so do check it out there!
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Old 06-26-2007, 07:42 AM   #294
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For what it’s worth, davem and Lalwendë are, as one would expect, correct in their description of English terminology differing between the classes. In my experience, this is far less of an issue these days, although it can still crop up from time to time (as in the case of the recent fuss over words used by Kate Middleton’s mother, which I personally found rather cruel and silly). However, I still have my lunch during the day and my dinner in the evening, and would find it strange to do otherwise (although I use serviettes, rather than napkins, and relax on the sofa in the lounge, rather than sitting on the settee in the sitting-room ).

It is also fairly clear, in my view, that Tolkien based Hobbit society primarily, although not wholly, on English country life around the turn of the century, and that there is a palpable “class system” in the Shire.

That said, I find the evidence suggesting that Tolkien used the word “lunch” in LotR to support this portrayal of Hobbit society extremely thin. Had he intended to do so, I strongly suspect that he would have been more careful in his use of terminology when acting as narrator, particularly in describing proceedings at the Long Expected Party, and he would not have had Old Nokes use the term “dinner” to describe an evening meal (and nor would he have had Bilbo, an affluent middle-classed Hobbit, use the same term for the midday meal).

However, while (for these reasons) I find the substance of this digression irrelevant to the main thrust of this thread, it does raise a valid issue, which is the one that Thena has been trying to tease out. Given that Tolkien, being an individual, had a unique perspective on life, no one (not even Christopher, although he would come the closest) could ever write a tale set within Middle-earth which would be entirely consistent with Tolkien’s own Middle-earth writings. None of us would be able to ‘get’, let alone reproduce, every single ingredient which went into making his tales what they are. Does that mean that no one should try? Leaving aside the question of authorisation, which is a matter for the Estate, I cannot for the life of me see why not. If people derive pleasure from writing fan-fic and others derive pleasure from reading it, what is the problem? What does it matter if Hobbits do lunch or Elves snort? If you do not like it, you do not have to read it.
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Old 06-26-2007, 07:51 AM   #295
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Originally Posted by The Saucepan Man
It is also fairly clear, in my view, ... that there is a palpable “class system” in the Shire.
If this is not a matter of personal opinion, I am really looking forward to evidences of this.
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Old 06-26-2007, 08:15 AM   #296
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raynor
If this is not a matter of personal opinion, I am really looking forward to evidences of this.
Well, you can consider it a personal opinion if you disagree, but I think that it’s pretty clear from the speech patterns of the likes of Sam and the Gaffer compared with the likes of Frodo, Pippin and Merry, the relationship between Sam and Frodo (and Sam/the Gaffer and Bilbo) and from the general descriptions given of Shire society.

A fuller discussion of the point does not really belong here. There are threads which touch on this subject, although I cannot find the main the one that I have in mind (to which Child and Squatter contributed in particular, as I recall). If you are interested in exploring the point, the best thing to do (if you cannot find a suitable old thread either) is to start a new thread on the subject.
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Old 06-26-2007, 08:51 AM   #297
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Originally Posted by Raynor
Well, you don't need to "cross-reference with abandon". A few evidences would be enough to have a discussion. That is, if you want your new interpretation on this issue of classes to be taken as more than just a personal opinion.
It in't a new interpretation, plenty of folk have seen how Tolkien gets class and 'status' into his work - the Hobbits are the prime example but you even get it amongst Men, Elves and Orcses. In fact you could say that it's one of the major themes of his work - how even those from the humblest of backgrounds, people like Sam, are just as important as the Aragorns of this world - and how those from the highest strata of society can go astray, people like Boromir.

But no, I really don't have time to be rooting up juicy quotes from aged threads - I'm trying to keep an eye on the flooding situation round here and have been since this time yesterday. Do you really think I would pass up another chance to discuss class in Tolkien's work? I'm not here to write an A level essay, just to have a natter about Tolkien.
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:03 AM   #298
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Do you really think I would pass up another chance to discuss class in Tolkien's work?
Well, if it walks like a duck and if it talks like duck, etc... That is: yes, you seem like you are passing this chance; but, since it seems everyone but me is content with that, I guess I will just have to sit back and enjoy the ever evolving funniness of this thread.
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:29 AM   #299
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So I lied about being done with the digression...

Quote:
dinner
1297, from O.Fr. disner, originally "breakfast," later "lunch," noun use of infinitive disner (see dine). Always used in Eng. for the main meal of the day; shift from midday to evening began with the fashionable classes. Childish reduplication din-din is attested from 1905.
supper
c.1275, "the last meal of the day," from O.Fr. super "supper," noun use of super "to eat the evening meal," which is of Gmc. origin (see sup (1)).
"Formerly, the last of the three meals of the day (breakfast, dinner, and supper); now applied to the last substantial meal fo the day when dinner is taken in the middle of the day, or to a late meal following an early evening dinner. Supper is usually a less formal meal than late dinner." [OED]
Applied since c.1300 to the last meal of Christ.On-line etymology dictionary
The point at issue is whether Tolkien would have considered lunch & dinner to be interchangeable. I say he wouldn't - 'cos he was English. And, as I've stated, Hobbits have 'dinner twice a day when they can get it' so an evening dinner does not preclude a mid day dinner - in fact it requires a mid day dinner - unless they have two dinners at night. Thus, as I stated, Breakfast, second breakfast, first dinner, tea, second dinner, supper - if Hobbits have 'six' meals a day & two of them are breakfasts, two dinners, & there is a tea & a supper in there then tehre's no room for 'lunch'. Tolkien specifically states 'two dinners'.
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:47 AM   #300
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Quote:
Originally posted by SpM
However, while (for these reasons) I find the substance of this digression irrelevant to the main thrust of this thread, it does raise a valid issue, which is the one that Thena has been trying to tease out. Given that Tolkien, being an individual, had a unique perspective on life, no one (not even Christopher, although he would come the closest) could ever write a tale set within Middle-earth which would be entirely consistent with Tolkien’s own Middle-earth writings. None of us would be able to ‘get’, let alone reproduce, every single ingredient which went into making his tales what they are. Does that mean that no one should try? Leaving aside the question of authorisation, which is a matter for the Estate, I cannot for the life of me see why not. If people derive pleasure from writing fan-fic and others derive pleasure from reading it, what is the problem? What does it matter if Hobbits do lunch or Elves snort? If you do not like it, you do not have to read it.
Speaking for myself the writing and reading of fanfiction is not an issue. Of course, no one has yet posted anything to that directly states that Tolkien encouraged such a practice, in which case the answer to the thread's initial question is no. But if persons who have read LotR, etc are inspired to create their own stories and persons read and enjoy these stories, there is no problem there. As you point out, those who don't want to read fanfiction don't have to.
I too would leave the question of authorisation aside. For my part that is what I have objected to/expressed reservations about.
Back to the digression.
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:53 AM   #301
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morwen
Of course, no one has yet posted anything to that directly states that Tolkien encouraged such a practice, in which case the answer to the thread's initial question is no.
Strictly speaking, 'not proven'.
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Old 06-26-2007, 10:15 AM   #302
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Saucepan Man
For what it’s worth, davem and Lalwendë are, as one would expect, correct in their description of English terminology differing between the classes. In my experience, this is far less of an issue these days, although it can still crop up from time to time (as in the case of the recent fuss over words used by Kate Middleton’s mother, which I personally found rather cruel and silly). However, I still have my lunch during the day and my dinner in the evening, and would find it strange to do otherwise (although I use serviettes, rather than napkins, and relax on the sofa in the lounge, rather than sitting on the settee in the sitting-room ).

It is also fairly clear, in my view, that Tolkien based Hobbit society primarily, although not wholly, on English country life around the turn of the century, and that there is a palpable “class system” in the Shire.

That said, I find the evidence suggesting that Tolkien used the word “lunch” in LotR to support this portrayal of Hobbit society extremely thin. Had he intended to do so, I strongly suspect that he would have been more careful in his use of terminology when acting as narrator, particularly in describing proceedings at the Long Expected Party, and he would not have had Old Nokes use the term “dinner” to describe an evening meal (and nor would he have had Bilbo, an affluent middle-classed Hobbit, use the same term for the midday meal).

However, while (for these reasons) I find the substance of this digression irrelevant to the main thrust of this thread, it does raise a valid issue, which is the one that Thena has been trying to tease out. Given that Tolkien, being an individual, had a unique perspective on life, no one (not even Christopher, although he would come the closest) could ever write a tale set within Middle-earth which would be entirely consistent with Tolkien’s own Middle-earth writings. None of us would be able to ‘get’, let alone reproduce, every single ingredient which went into making his tales what they are. Does that mean that no one should try? Leaving aside the question of authorisation, which is a matter for the Estate, I cannot for the life of me see why not. If people derive pleasure from writing fan-fic and others derive pleasure from reading it, what is the problem? What does it matter if Hobbits do lunch or Elves snort? If you do not like it, you do not have to read it.
I think most readers of Tolkien get the point, SpM, about terminology and class distinctions. To belabour the point is to impose an inviolable meaning on the usage that is not consistently born out by the text--it is, as you say, "thin". After all, all this digression really arose from the complaint about a fanfiction that used the term "lunch" for hobbits. It was said to demonstrate the difficulty in emulating Tolkien's style.

Quote:
The style/language associated with M-e is Tolkien's own, & in a strange way the tales, for me have to be told in that style, using that language. The style is an essential part of the tale being told. Hence my sudden feeling of 'NO!!!' when on reading Mith's tale of Eressea last night I came across 'Pengolodh snorted'. Elves do not 'snort'. Well, Tolkien's Elves don't. Come to that, I read one of the Downs RPG's long ago, in which a character had to run home for 'Lunch'. Now, lunch is wrong. 'Luncheon' is pushing it. 'Nuncheon' might work for a midday meal, but Hobbits would have Dinner at mid-day. Breakfast, dinner, tea, supper. That's what Tolkien's models in Warwickshire & Berkshire would call them. Hobbits, in short, never, ever have 'lunch'. Even something as trivial as that will jar some of us out of the story.
With the several examples, from both hobbits and narrator, that some of Tolkien's hobbits did in fact do lunch, the original complaint about a fanfiction's incorrect style should, I think, now be dismissed.

The interpretation of Thena's point applies not only to Christopher Tolkien but to Tolkien himself. After all, he was constantly revising for consistency, no? It is difficult to define absolutely a "Style" that evolved even with the original author, over decades.
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Old 06-26-2007, 10:17 AM   #303
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Quote:
Originally posted by SpM
Strictly speaking, 'not proven'. [img]ubb/wink.gif[/img]
True . Still, after 300 posts somebody should have come up with something. Well, I did ask Sauron the White a while back if he could point to a quote showing Tolkien's encouragement of other tales but I believe he couldn't find any.
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Old 06-26-2007, 10:55 AM   #304
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True . Still, after 300 posts somebody should have come up with something.
You asked for it.
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:06 AM   #305
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Well what I actually asked for is a quote from Tolkien expressing his views on the matter, which perhaps people might provide after voting in your poll.
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:42 AM   #306
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Morwen
Well what I actually asked for is a quote from Tolkien expressing his views on the matter, which perhaps people might provide after voting in your poll.
What has been offerred is Tolkien Sr's own handling of the matter, within his written work and within his own papers. In LotR, he sets up the model of the translator and refers several times to how the papers come down through Bilbo and then Sam's family. Then with his own papers, he gives his son extensive rights to publish or destroy his vast collection of drafts and unpublished work. Christopher Tolkien then has himself gone through several models of editorship, from the intrusive one in The Silm, to the hands off of UT, now to CoH, which CT himself has called an artificial text (p. 289). CT calls his work trying to simulate what he [JRRT] himself did not do (p. 288).

Actions, it is said, speak louder than words.
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:56 AM   #307
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The fact that you choose to see his actions as encouraging new tales is your opinion. It can't be offered as conclusive proof of Tolkien's encouragement of new tales. As I see it, his actions, at best, might indicate that he thought Christopher might carry on the work, not that he thought that anybody might do so. This is of course my opinion and also not conclusive proof of what Tolkien may have thought.
And we could go on, exchanging opinions and speculations. What I have asked for is some concrete evidence of what Tolkien thought on the matter.
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Old 06-26-2007, 12:30 PM   #308
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What I have asked for is some concrete evidence of what Tolkien thought on the matter.
Well, I know that we jokingly call ourselves dead here, but I didn't think CSI type forensic data was the bailiwick of literary discussions.

alatar could be heading us in that direction though, with his scientific threads and all.
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Old 06-26-2007, 12:52 PM   #309
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Originally Posted by Bęthberry

With the several examples, from both hobbits and narrator, that some of Tolkien's hobbits did in fact do lunch, the original complaint about a fanfiction's incorrect style should, I think, now be dismissed.
The fanfic or rpg - whichever it was (can't remember) was set in a rural Hobbit community & I think I've shown that rural usage would exclude the usage of 'lunch' for the mid-day meal. That was the point I was making. I'm sorry that American English doesn't correspond exactly to British-(let alone late 19th Century Warwickshire-) English, but that doesn't justify dismissing as non-existent something which any English speaker of English would recognise as significant. Claiming the evidence is 'thin' is hardly relevant or correct here - I ask again whether any English person (up to very recent times at least) would not naturally choose one over the other & whether they would not be able to tell which class said choice would place a speaker in. Again, sorry, but just because in American/Canadian usage there is no significant difference between the two doesn't mean there is no significance in English usage. Unfortunately for some Tolkien was English & there are subtleties of English usage which non English people will not pick up on.

These are cultural niceties, admittedly. I'm sure, for example, a Canadian would have no problem with an American 'dismissing' similar uniquely Canadian cultural niceties & turns of phrase as meaningless, or refusing to acknowledge they even exist ....

EDIT oh yes....

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Old 06-26-2007, 01:01 PM   #310
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bęthberry
Well, I know that we jokingly call ourselves dead here, but I didn't think CSI type forensic data was the bailiwick of literary discussions.

alatar could be heading us in that direction though, with his scientific threads and all.
In this case we are addressing a specific question, the answer to which may or may not appear in material written by Tolkien and published either before his death or after. If it is that someone is convinced that Tolkien did encourage more ME stories by other writers, then I think the first question to ask is "Did he say so?" Looking at his actions to establish that he did encourage new tales has to be a secondary activity, a question of looking for indirect evidence where direct evidence doesn't exist. "Actions speak louder than words" isn't applicable here. Words directly address the issue. Actions have to be interpreted and interpretations may differ.
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:41 PM   #311
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I'm sorry that American English doesn't correspond exactly to British-(let alone late 19th Century Warwickshire-) English, but that doesn't justify dismissing as non-existent something which any English speaker of English would recognise as significant.
The very point I've been trying to make, so far unsuccessfully, is not that such cultural minutia is non-existent (though it might be), but that whether or not it exists it is irrelevant to the enjoyment and understanding of the story as Tolkien intended it for a worldwide audience.

I have read all the foregoing posts about the varying interpretations of the noonday meal versus the evening meal, and come away not only unconvinced one way or the other, but reduced to a frustrating apathy about it. To me, if Tolkien had intended to make some kind of statement about the English classes, he was possessed of the wit, vocabulary, and intelligence to make it as obvious as he desired in the text, something that would be readily discerned in whatever language into which LOTR might be translated. The fact that it is not obvious (as shown by the fact that it has to be dragged through such pointed discussion) demonstrates to my own satisfaction that the niceties of meal timing were not uppermost in the author's intents.

LOTR is a genius fantasy with soaring overarching themes: Justice, mercy, defeat, triumph, comradeship, loyalty, honor, courage...and here we are consuming prodigious quantities of Net bandwidth discussing the definition of "dinner". PUH-lease, do you not see the absurdity of it?
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Old 06-26-2007, 02:54 PM   #312
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I am the culprit.

I used the word "lunch" in my fan fiction!

In the serious one, telling the story of Frodo's friend Folco, who is mentioned at the beginning of LotR and then drops completely out of the story.

However, as I researched painstakingly, the "lunch" reference came directly from Tolkien's own words. In "Three is Company", we read:
Quote:
Folco went home after lunch...
Since it is the last time one of Frodo's closest friends is mentioned in the book, that line sparked my interest and led me write the story.

So sue me.
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Old 06-26-2007, 03:44 PM   #313
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thenamir
The very point I've been trying to make, so far unsuccessfully, is not that such cultural minutia is non-existent (though it might be), but that whether or not it exists it is irrelevant to the enjoyment and understanding of the story as Tolkien intended it for a worldwide audience.

I have read all the foregoing posts about the varying interpretations of the noonday meal versus the evening meal, and come away not only unconvinced one way or the other, but reduced to a frustrating apathy about it. To me, if Tolkien had intended to make some kind of statement about the English classes, he was possessed of the wit, vocabulary, and intelligence to make it as obvious as he desired in the text, something that would be readily discerned in whatever language into which LOTR might be translated. The fact that it is not obvious (as shown by the fact that it has to be dragged through such pointed discussion) demonstrates to my own satisfaction that the niceties of meal timing were not uppermost in the author's intents.
LOTR is a genius fantasy with soaring overarching themes: Justice, mercy, defeat, triumph, comradeship, loyalty, honor, courage...and here we are consuming prodigious quantities of Net bandwidth discussing the definition of "dinner". PUH-lease, do you not see the absurdity of it?
I don't think Tolkien intended hos work for any audience in particular beyond his kids for The Hobbit and himself and the Inklings for LotR, all people from his little world. He had no 'global vision' in mind - such things are reserved for the modern writer and we are imposing our modern views upon him. Had he been intending such Politically Correct things for his work he might also have been a tad more careful about his 'swarthy' baddies and his lack of modern bluestocking women he was also not given to writing things that might hit the reader over the head with a sledgehammer to make a 'point'. He spoke of how he disliked the tendency of Lewis to do this, he spoke of his dislike of allegory. He was subtle. Of course it is not obvious to all, but his use of class is certainly obvious to many - not only me, davem, SpM have noticed it, but you'll find Shippey and Garth too have noticed it.

The Sackville-Baggins are directly drawn from a certain class of arriviste, nouveau, middle-class English that were (and still are) prevalent when Tolkien wrote - their vocal and visible pre-occupation with money and property in contrast to Bilbo's quiet gentility.

Garth and Shippey also pointed out that they are also drawn from Tolkien's particular distaste for the self-styled Aesthetes and the Bloomsbury Set. Sackville? A name also to be found in one Bloomsbury personage Vita Sackville-West. Tolkien was known to associate more with the 'hearty' set at Oxford.

Another example is the wonderful flustering of Bilbo early in the Hobbit - it is exactly the reaction of a typical English person to an unwanted visitor - unable to turn Gandalf away and yet desperate to do so. He's suspicious of strangers, as are all Hobbits, yet unable to bring himself to be rude to them. He does not want these Dwarves eating his food yet he feels he must be hospitable. It's just wonderful. Bilbo is the perfect gentle pen-picture of the Little Englander.

And of course we all know about Sam, drawn from the ordinary English soldier, the rural boy cast into desperate circumstances.

Now, why can nobody answer my question about why you are all so flustered by the simple fact that Tolkien was English and did make use of English things? Why must we be so bland and Politically Correct? People the world over love Tolkien, Americans more than most, but they can also accept the wonderful quirky English stuff contained therein.

I know it's a hard thing to take on board that some (not necessarily all) British readers will understand some of the subtleties more than some (not necessarily all) non-British readers, but hey, it's a fact that I really don't understand many of the references in Hollywood films - I'm not insulted when someone explains them though. Someone please answer exactly what is so insulting about a British reader pointing up a British quirk to be found in a British book? Are you also insulted by reading footnotes in a Chaucer text? The Director's commentary on a difficult arty film?

So, if nobody can answer that, then the position now is that his Englishness and his class and his background is just a bit dirty somehow? Is that Political Correctness not also insulting to British readers and to Tolkien himself?
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Old 06-26-2007, 04:16 PM   #314
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Quote:
Now, why can nobody answer my question about why you are all so flustered by the simple fact that Tolkien was English and did make use of English things?
I'm not flustered, except by the noise being generated by arguing the point, not whether Tolkien acknowledged class differences in the Shire, which could very well be, but by the flatulence being spewed over "dinner" versus "supper".
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Old 06-26-2007, 04:37 PM   #315
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thenamir
The very point I've been trying to make, so far unsuccessfully, is not that such cultural minutia is non-existent (though it might be), but that whether or not it exists it is irrelevant to the enjoyment and understanding of the story as Tolkien intended it for a worldwide audience.
Its not 'irrelevant' if Tolkien put it in. Look at the nasturtians vs. nasturtiums thing. Its not a major theme in the book, & the bigger themes are accessible to everyone. But the little things which are interesting & enlightening in their own way too. If Tolkien had only wanted to focus on the big things there would be no Hobbits in the book.

Quote:
I have read all the foregoing posts about the varying interpretations of the noonday meal versus the evening meal, and come away not only unconvinced one way or the other, but reduced to a frustrating apathy about it. To me, if Tolkien had intended to make some kind of statement about the English classes, he was possessed of the wit, vocabulary, and intelligence to make it as obvious as he desired in the text, something that would be readily discerned in whatever language into which LOTR might be translated. The fact that it is not obvious (as shown by the fact that it has to be dragged through such pointed discussion) demonstrates to my own satisfaction that the niceties of meal timing were not uppermost in the author's intents.
Well, first of all, to me it is glaringly obvious - it screams out. But it wouldn't necessarily do so to a non-English reader. Look, this isn't about whether the mid-day meal is called dinner or lunch. Its about who calls the mid day meal what. 'Lunch' is a term used by one class & 'dinner' is used by another class. And for the record Bilbo & Frodo are certainly not the same class as Merry & Pippin. Merry & Pippin are the closest the Shire has to an upper class, yet they are clearly not 'upper class' in the sense that Aragorn, Elrond & Galadriel are - they are 'Gentry'. Bilbo & Frodo are middle-class - but of a particular kind - Bilbo in particular is a one-nation Tory & Frodo shows much the same inclinations. M&P, to my mind, are Blairites - which is why they will adopt a neologism like 'lunch' over 'dinner', because they are 'trendy liberals' - or like to think of themselves so (as long as they can keep their nice stuff & give orders to the lower orders when necessary. Bilbo & Frodo, like Sam & the Gaffer, will favour older terms like 'dinner'. Its not about the words, but about who is speaking them. Hence, these terms are not 'interchangeable'.

Quote:
LOTR is a genius fantasy with soaring overarching themes: Justice, mercy, defeat, triumph, comradeship, loyalty, honor, courage...and here we are consuming prodigious quantities of Net bandwidth discussing the definition of "dinner". PUH-lease, do you not see the absurdity of it?
Hobbits are 'absurd'. And in a sense that is the real point. Tolkien points up their absurdity repeatedly. 'We can't live too long on the heights'.
Quote:
Justice, mercy, defeat, triumph, comradeship, loyalty, honor, courage.
Yes, yes. The Sil is full of that - & there's no arguing about whether its lunch or dinner in there.....only thing is The Sil doesn't touch our hearts in the way LotR does. If you look at the greats of English literature - from Chaucer down through Austen to the Brontes & Hardy, you'll find subtle commentaries on social mores - & I dare say most readers miss out on a lot of them, or dismiss them as irrelevant to the bigger points the author is making.

Everything in LotR is in there because Tolkien chose to put in there. To say 'I acknowledge it's there, but it doesn't interest me' is fine. To say 'It's not there' when it clearly is is not. Hobbits are not Numenoreans - ie they are not some kind of mid Atlantic race & The Shire is not the 51st State. It is an idealised (though not perfect) representation of the rural England Tolkien knew as a child - with its class differences, its language & its values. You can't simply dismiss that. Now, once the Shire is left behind we enter a more universal, historical/mythical world. This is not about staking a claim to Tolkien's work - its about acknowledging the sources Tolkien drew on.

Last edited by davem; 06-26-2007 at 04:43 PM.
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Old 06-26-2007, 07:08 PM   #316
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Ah ha! Estelyn has spilled the beans, drawn my thunder, precipitated my plans. I was all set to announce a contest where we all read the BD fanfiction and RPGs to find this lunch that was so nauseating for davem, but alas elves pulled me away from this sub-topic and now we all know to pursue the MeriSue.

The point is not that we North Americans just don't get English social status. We do. The point is not that we demand some bland Politically Correct interpretations. We don't. Those are mischaracterisations of the argument here. They are in fact red herrings that ignore the basic thrust of the various positions here.

The point is that there is no one absolute, authoritative way to read LotR or to judge its style or to hold fanfiction writers to some absolute way of writing. If lunch jumps out for some Yorkshire readers, Roman Catholic symbols and colours jump out for other readers. And literary allusions to all kinds of sagas, myths, legends, literary works, and archetypes keep wafting into other readers' minds, like savoury stew simmering.

Language changes over time as well as over water. What may serve to inspire readers of one generation will perhaps bore another generation, who will find something else in the books. And the really good fanfiction writers will be doing that mediating between their culture and the books and the milieu which formed Tolkien, if they are to attract readers to their imagined world of Middle-earth.

There are, indeed, many ways to do lunch.
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Old 06-26-2007, 08:32 PM   #317
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davem
The point at issue is whether Tolkien would have considered lunch & dinner to be interchangeable. I say he wouldn't - 'cos he was English. And, as I've stated, Hobbits have 'dinner twice a day when they can get it' so an evening dinner does not preclude a mid day dinner - in fact it requires a mid day dinner - unless they have two dinners at night. Thus, as I stated, Breakfast, second breakfast, first dinner, tea, second dinner, supper - if Hobbits have 'six' meals a day & two of them are breakfasts, two dinners, & there is a tea & a supper in there then tehre's no room for 'lunch'. Tolkien specifically states 'two dinners'.
Give it up, Davem, please. I find it interesting that you would quote the 'narrator' regarding the single mention of 'dinner twice a day if they can get it', and ignore the several uses of the term lunch from said narrator. You have continually discounted the narrator's mention of anything contradicting your beliefs. Oh, as a matter of fact, here's your quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davem
Lunch is not 'featured prominently in the text' – it is used by three characters – once by Pippin, twice by Merry & once by Gimli – the other times it appears it is used by the narrator/translator- which may tell us a great deal about the narrator/translator but little about Hobbits.
What it tells me is that the narrator used lunch and dinner and dinner and supper interchangeably; therefore, you can't alight on the single white poppy in a whole field of red ones and say, 'Hah! All poppies are white!'

I will ask a third time, in fact I will post the same request I posted the first two times:

Quote:
And please supply a direct quote from any Hobbit character of the lower classes that uses the term 'dinner' for a midday meal. You won't find it, and neither will you find a reference to 'lunch' or 'supper'. The absence of something does not prove you are correct. The only reference to a lower class Hobbit using the term 'dinner' is Old Noakes and that was concerning a meal in the moonlight.
Anything else is conjecture on your part and cannot be verified. Also, please forego outside sources that have no bearing on the text. Your original claim that Hobbits would not use the term 'lunch' has already been proven false, and you have yet to prove that dinner and lunch are not interchangeable. I have provided ample proofs that they indeed are interchangeable (and in addition to 'lunch' being an 'official' meal of Bilbo's birthday party, there is also "Folco went home after lunch" with Frodo). What it comes down to is 'lunch' is indeed a term used by Hobbits, and therefore is acceptable in a fan-fic or a new revisualization of Middle-earth.

If you'd like to discuss something that has an actual bearing on class distinctions among Hobbits (and there were many and easily discernible and textually provable), then please drop this farcical argument.
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Old 06-26-2007, 10:54 PM   #318
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Forget wings...do Balrogs have 'lunch'? That's what this debate has become. Rather than discuss the thread topic, we digress into whatever controversy best facilitates argument without resolution, continued restatements and rehashings of tired points, seldom even dressed in new verbage. Please forgive me for interjecting my thoughts, and getting in the way of a good row.
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Old 06-27-2007, 12:31 AM   #319
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http://www.putlearningfirst.com/lang...al/dinner.html

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Old 06-27-2007, 01:36 AM   #320
Estelyn Telcontar
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At this point, this discussion is generating more heat than light. I am therefore temporarily closing the thread to give participants time to reread the beginning pages and remember what the actual topic is. It would also be nice if the interim could be used for finding other threads or starting new, interesting discussions that will provide us all with real food for thought.

Either that, or you may use this commercial break to have breakfast, lunch, a snack, dinner, supper, or whatever you choose to call the intake of edibles at this or any other time of day in yours or any other country!
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