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Old 07-29-2007, 08:05 PM   #1
Aurel
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Silmaril New stories about elves?

Is it possible to write a story about elves and not be compared to JRRT?

Would you have to follow the guide lines that JRRT set down?
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Old 07-29-2007, 08:47 PM   #2
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Is it possible to write a story about elves and not be compared to JRRT?

Would you have to follow the guide lines that JRRT set down?
Following the precepts of Tolkien would be totally dependent on whether or not you were using Middle-earth as a setting for the story. If the aim was a Middle-earth tale, then certainly the cosmological, ethical and aesthetical principles Tolkien set down would be required. As far as the larger picture concerning Elves, or fantasy tales in general, it is difficult to escape the immense shadow set by the Professor; it seems comparison to him is inescapable in the fantasy genre (with or without Elves).

That being said, a story regarding Elves does not require any precedence to Tolkien's work, as Elves (Alfar) can be found in Norse mythology and the Icelandic Eddas and Sagas, but they do not necessarily bear a resemblance to Tolkien's Elves. Much the same could be said of the Irish Daoine Sidhe or the Seelie and Unseelie Courts of Scotland.
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Old 07-30-2007, 03:03 AM   #3
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If you write about Elves in the way Tolkien 'saw' them then yes you would be compared to him. And loads of fantasy literature alas does have Elves similar to his. 'Alas' because they get on my nerves a bit when they are too priggish. Oh the blasphemy! Sorry, I just wish he'd made them a bit nastier. This is why I like Galadriel, Eol and Feanor. Other writers never seem to throw a few more ambiguous and interestingly flawed Elves into the mix.

If you want to see a really interesting interpretation of Faerie try Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell - you'll find some properly frightening Faeries there. Or Neil Gaiman's Stardust - but make sure to buy the Charles Vess illustrated version.
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Old 07-30-2007, 02:00 PM   #4
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Other writers never seem to throw a few more ambiguous and interestingly flawed Elves into the mix.
Or make them totally "Dark Elves" and think it interesting. Silly! Otherwise, I agree that though Tolkien succeeded in bringing the new image of Elves instead of Fairies, they in time developed in the "braque fantasy" (just love to call it like that) in a race of tall, bow-wielding... well... movie-Legolases... or movie-Haldirs, for that matter... so if I ever were to encounter Elves in yet another story, I'd like to see them different... totally different.
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Old 08-04-2007, 07:49 AM   #5
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or just re-write drizzt do' urden.
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Old 08-22-2007, 10:22 PM   #6
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Sorry, I know it's an old thread...
but, I would like to point out that some people make elves sound ditzy and stupid... like for instance, Santa's elves, and they're short too. It's saddening really.
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Old 08-23-2007, 01:57 AM   #7
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Well, that's exactly the thing Tolkien was "battling" with. I would recommend you, if you haven't done so already, to read Tolkien's essay "On Fairy Stories"; he elaborates on similar topic right at the beginning.
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