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Old 07-25-2021, 08:38 AM   #16
Legate of Amon Lanc
A Voice That Gainsayeth
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Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.Legate of Amon Lanc is spying on the Black Gate.
Thank you both, Form and LMP, for your responses to my queries. (Also for some reason I had been thinking that the Smith was earlier than the 60s, but now that just further makes me think that there indeed may have been some either conscious or unconscious influence on Tolkien and this possible polemic.)

Originally Posted by Bęthberry View Post
One of the things I have been contemplating as I reread this, is why Fairie has to be limited to just one human with access at a time.

Why does only Smith have access to Fairie and not anyone else? His family knows of it but never joins him. Despite his friendships with the C.B.S. and the Inklings, did he feel that he alone had access to Fairie, no one else?
This is one of the things I have been wondering about too, a lot. Leaving aside the question about Tolkien himself and focussing just on the "in-story" part, it is perhaps the one thing that I personally find somewhat jarring in Smith.

By that I mean that I am not entirely sure that I side with the "heroes" of this story, at least on the emotional level. On the general level, I of course despise the "materialistic" Noakes and I very much appreciate the message, the value of Faery, the beauty, all that. But the way it is presented, if you take it just as a story, it seems at least to me that both the Smith and Alf are terrible jerks. The Smith spends large part of his life leaving his family and work for travelling somewhere away from them. I mean, no problem with recreation - but I have always wondered, why wouldn't he take his wife or kids with him? Instead, he is all "look, kids! I have visited magical places, isn't it cool!" while the kids have to sit at home and probably live as boring life as the old cook. (And here comes the question - obviously the story makes it clear that the kids didn't have the star, but don't tell me that there wouldn't be a way for the Smith to figure something out during all these years. It would be a completely different thing if they weren't interested at all, but they do not seem to be entirely disinterested. Imagine being able to literally walk for example into Middle-Earth and then just always return home late evening to brag about it to your family.)

And as for Alf, he I find him to be quite a manipulative fellow who is terribly full of himself. He does not speak straight and he just installs himself into the village to manipulate human fates. Sure, that is what fairies in traditional mythology *do*. But the story does not show it as in any way problematic, it still presents as if Alf was 100% in the right, the Smith's response to him is very much "yes sir thank you sir I will do as you say sir". For instance Gandalf was similarly manipulative at times, but he had a clear good agenda and he tried to speak openly to the Bagginses once he knew something.

Did anyone else perceive these things as problematic or was it just me?

EDIT: This is not Werewolf, but I feel that it is notable - in terms of the expected level of activity on the 'Downs - that I have apparently just crossposted with two people!
"Should the story say 'he ate bread,' the dramatic producer can only show 'a piece of bread' according to his taste or fancy, but the hearer of the story will think of bread in general and picture it in some form of his own." -On Fairy-Stories
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