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Old 03-12-2003, 08:58 AM   #20
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.

Can't recall the exact reference a the moment - its in one of the letters - Verlyn Flieger quotes it, & as far as I remember, Tolkien does mean it to have a slightly 'negative' connotation. I will try & get the exact quote. The sense I get is that as he got older his views on the Elves' nature became more 'negative', or at least, less idealised than originally. You get the sense from the early works (Book of Lost Tales for instance) that he held the Elves in awe, whereas he moves further away from that as he gets older.
I wonder if his statement that LotR is about the inevitability of Death is actually a criticism of the Elvish tendency to embalming. Without straying into movie forum territory, I have to say while I liked the 'dreamlike' ness of Rivendell & Lorien, I actually found that portrayal as too 'dreamlike' & unnatural, & would have preffered them to be more like 'real' woods. But I think they're are accurate to the books - in other words, I think maybe Tolkien was making a point about the way when you 'magically' embalm or preserve something in a 'perfect' state you can deprive it of its essential nature. Fangorn & the Old Forest are much closer to the way woods should be (including the mystery & Danger). Where do these Elves get off, anyway, deciding what constitutes perfection in nature, & imposing it on things? Do we imagine 'perfect' bugs, fungi, etc in Lorien, or are we looking at a forest that's 'scrubbed clean' of dirt & smells. How 'natural' is Lorien? Haven't the Elves just turned a living eco-system into a museum piece?
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