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Old 03-12-2003, 07:15 AM   #18
Itinerant Songster
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: The Edge of Faerie
Posts: 7,072
littlemanpoet is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.littlemanpoet is battling Black Riders on Weathertop.

I think we're in danger of using this word "embalmed", too much, and perhaps in a sense that Tolkien did not intend. Its connotations have "mummy" all over them. Clearly, we don't mean that, but the connotation remains. When we speak of Lorien and Rivendell embalmed, what we mean to say is not something so - chthonic.

Can anyone produce the correct quote in which Tolkien uses 'embalm'? I think it would help our discussion. I would, but I don't have the book.

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'.
As tifo gcs says, Elvish preservation it as a much higher level of exquisiteness than anything else in Middle Earth, or our Earth for that matter. Lorien and Rivendell ARE places worth living in. Perhaps old age is necessary (as in Bilbo) to be able to truly be content and not get wanderlust.

I do not quibble with your point that the preservation was doomed to failure. Wrong? Who is to say? Considering that it was fated (Elves do not live outside of fate), rightness or wrongness seems not to the point. What can be learned from it or experienced by it? This question seems more important to me.
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