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Old 03-11-2003, 03:19 AM   #11
Illustrious Ulair
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Join Date: Aug 2002
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.

Yes, Littlemanpoet, but, the Elves are a problem. On the one hand, they're the closest to nature, with the strongest love of the natural world, of any of Tolkien's races, but at the same time, in their essential nature, they're the mostun-natural, in that they don't die. Everything else, including the Stars which they most love, 'dies', ie, at some point ceases to exist.
In his essay 'On Fairy Stories' Tolien speculates that the tales of the Elves will be full of the 'escape from Deathlessness'. Yet, the Elves make the Three Rings in order to 'preserve' (in one of his letters he even uses the word 'embalm') the natural world in some kind of state of 'perfection'. But in what sense is a frozen, embalmed, perfection 'natural'?
The Undying Lands are the most 'unnatural' of all places. In nature birth, growth, mauturity & death, evolution from state to state, is the natural process. In Tolkien's Legendarium Death isn't even a 'punishment', its a 'gift'.
So in the Elves, the race most out of step with 'nature' are most in love with it, or maybe it would be truer to say they have the greatest desire for it. Their very desire for natural beauty seperates them from a true relationship with it. On the other hand, Humans, who are part of the natural process, in that we do, like all other things, die, don't have that same deep desire for the natural world. For Tolkien, we're drawn away, towards some other 'reality', 'beyond the circles of the world'. Our destiny doesn't lie within the world, yet, we seek to avoid death, as do the Elves, but for different reasons. We seek to avoid our own death, the Elves seek to avoid the death of other things.
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