Login | Register
 
Message Board | Latest Posts | Your Recent Posts | Rules

Thread: JRR TOLKIEN: THE TRUE TRAGEDY

Is this discussion interesting? Share it on Twitter!

Bottom of Page    Message Board > The Author > JRR TOLKIEN: THE TRUE TRAGEDY   
I believe the True Tragedy of Tolkien's life was that he came to dislike The Hobbit so much. I think I can see some of the forces at work that caused this decline in his appreciation to his Greatest Work, but I was wondering if anyone else had thoughts as to why it occurred?
He seemed to think it was too whimsical :roll: .

In fact, he was rather upset with himself that he had written his Elves in a manner similar to the diminutive and allegedly trivialized Victorian Fairy Tale version which he had grown to despise. To Tolkien, Elves were more the Tall Noble Fair Folk of the Other World of Ancient Myth before Christianity demoted the Norse and Celtic Gods and Spirits into Demons and Fairies. Which just goes to show that Tolkien held a candle for the Ancient Pagan World-view despite his strong Catholicism.

I could go into this more if I can dig up my other posts, essays, research and biographies (which will take some time), but much of this is fairly well known by now.

[b:7t3cb4l2]GB[/b:7t3cb4l2]
Any discussion of any interests will involve going over the same territory time and again, GB. These forums are surely for the enthusiastic and the pedantic, surely? Perhaps some new insights might be found nonetheless! :lol:

Perhaps Tolkien found his Elves in The Hobbit somewhat whimsical. I never did! I always saw the elves to be like Elrond, a character I never thought of as different whether in TH or LotR. (Same way I felt about Gandalf actually, though his Beard is a bit whimsical! <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' /> )

In my mind's eye the Elves woulld never have worked for me as silly childish figures. You take stories as they come, and you may not even understand what the author intended! Actually, I think you overstate the case anyway when you suggest Tolkien saw The Hobbit as whimsical - except in the broadest sense of the word, which of course includes Black Riders and Shelob!

[Mmm. [i:2hp702wr]Lob[/i:2hp702wr] = spider. [i:2hp702wr]She[/i:2hp702wr] = girly-type. Hey! [i:2hp702wr]Girl-spider![/i:2hp702wr] Woooo-oooh! Ooh that's scary! Whimsical, what! <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> ]

Btw I may not have not been very clear in what I'm getting at with this thread. I'm looking for everyone's thoughts about Tolkien's attitude to TH. I don't necessarily want a heap of quotable quotes, dear GB. Your [i:2hp702wr]own [/i:2hp702wr]thoughts are welcome. If you want to quote a few short bits of other critics to support your own opinions, feel free, but it's your [i:2hp702wr]own[/i:2hp702wr] views I'm most interested in. If you need to repeat old opinions of yours, please do, but no cutting and pasting, pleeeeeeeease. If you don't want to [i:2hp702wr]re[/i:2hp702wr]-discuss old stuff, then opt out! :roll:
Nearly everyone agrees (for the most part, even including Tolkien himself) that the Elves in The Hobbit were portrayed quite differently from the Elves in LotR. In fact Tolkien originally began The Hobbit intending for it to be a children's story with no connection to Middle Earth. But he got carried away, hence the problem of internal contradictions arose.

Tolkien eventually solved the problem after the fact in several ways: One was to suggest that it was Bilbo telling the tale as if it were for children, another was to suggest that the Elves of Mirkwood had a different temperance from their cousins. I agree that Elrond and the Rivendell Elves aren't quite so different in TH from LotR. But they were still "whimsical" enough, but this could be now be explained as Bilbo's own embellishment. The Elves in LotR don't sing things like Tra-la-la-la-lally for one thing, nor say things like Bilbo on a pony being delicious :lol: .

But I don't think The Hobbit was silly in any way. And I think Tolkien was wrong to have doubted himself; [b:31xlwovm]in many ways I think the Hobbit is more magical than LotR[/b:31xlwovm] because of the whimsical elements. I don't think "Whimsy" equals "silly", or "nonsense" or any other such pejorative. Black Riders and Shelob weren't whimsical though, by any definition, because they weren't Humourous in the least. Again, the Hobbit has Whimsical elements, but I'm not claiming (and I never did claim) that it is entirely a Whimsy. It is the juxtaposition of Fantastic, and Humourous elements, with some occasionally anachronistic, and/or [i:31xlwovm]seemingly[/i:31xlwovm] unpredictable components that creates a whimsical tone in many parts of The Hobbit.

I don't think I have overstated my case for whimsical elements in The Hobbit given that I am merely employing the spectrum of definitions proffered in nearly every dictionary definition. Though I do think some of the songs are less whimsical than others, and are in fact, quite good poems, I perhaps overstepped myself there by not clarifying that to begin with :roll: . And I have never denied that The Hobbit is Deep, Mythic, a Scholarly Creation, slightly Dangerous and even Dark at times. One does not preclude the other.

This new thread seems an interesting angle to look at the same questions regarding the tone of the Hobbit that we have explored on other threads. But it seems to me a tantamount acknowledgement that Tolkien himself had reservations about elements in The Hobbit that can readily be described as "whimsical".

I WAS going to drop this tack, but seeing as you want to continue the discussion (albeit from a slightly different perspective), I couldn't resist taking the bait. :roll: :lol: :mrgreen:

Again, if you read past the word "whimsy" (of which you only accept the very narrowest of the range of definitions), you can see that we actually agree about The Hobbit in most respects. 8-)

[b:31xlwovm]GB[/b:31xlwovm]
Oh that [i:3ikp4iwh]whimsy [/i:3ikp4iwh]business, GB. Not again! Haven't we moved on from that? <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />

I think it is a tragedy that Tolkien came to have such negative feelings about TH. I think he got too caught in the misguided judgement of others. Though he fought back against critics of his fantasy (whimsy) works, he felt on stronger ground defending The Silmarillion and LotR. TH I feel he conceded too much ground on. Gave up on it, so to speak. refused to stand up for it. Indeed, he agreed it was a sub-par work in his cosmology. I just don't agree and think it sad he did.

I'll tackle one item to begin, so as not to gasbag too much on my post!

Tolkien did not patronize children in the way he wrote The Hobbit. Children love grownups to tell them stories. What Tolkien does in becoming a character of sorts in the tale he is telling is [i:3ikp4iwh]engage[/i:3ikp4iwh] the listener. This is a great tradition. The tradition of the story teller. Nothing he actually says is patronizing in any way. In the act of engagement he most importantly includes his audience in the adventure. All of his, dare I say, moral statements are ones children either understand already or have their minds opened to the idea of. One of his assides about goblins liking explosions and machinery, is of this nature. Tolkien did not trust many modern advances - though I don't actually believe he was against progress per se. Anyway, I'm wandering off from my point. The manner Tolkien makes commentary and adds things the children are aware of, is amusingly entertaining, wonderfully inclusive and just what children love to hear from their story telllers! He never puts kids down or doubts their intelligence, or that they can't understand his jokes to the degree they are experienced enough to comprehend them. Masterly! That's how he does it. Masterly! Only grownups (including Tolkien himself in the end) and older children, too old to like kids stuff anymore, but not old enough to revisit the joy, find his method in TH patronizing.

This is [b:3ikp4iwh][i:3ikp4iwh]one [/i:3ikp4iwh][/b:3ikp4iwh]aspect of the Personal Tragedy that aflicted the poor Professor. He sold short on his skill and forgot the love that impelled and suffused his style. Love of stories. His love of his children - and all children by extension. Poor poor Professor. :cry:
I kind of agree with GB, I didn't really like the elves in the Hobbit because they seemed to jovial and gay, and after reading the Silmarillion, they don't seem they would act so happy (especially after knowing how depressing their past was)
I remember reading the part when they were walking into Rivendell and all the elves in the trees were singing, and (having seen the movies prior to reading the books) I thought "This isn't what they're like! They're more serious than that!" Though, one could argue that Legolas seemed a bit airheaded at times (not stupid, just, well, whimsy :lol: ) Though I still love his character! I always felt that the elves were always somewhat depressed, especially the Noldor. And in the Hobbit, they just seemed like mythical creatures who laughed and played all the time or were greedy. I can see why he's disappointed with the Hobbit. And after writing all of his other novels, who could blame him! He already changed the Hobbit once to go with LOTR, but I suppose that wasn't enough.
When I read TH to my little brother when he was about 6 or 7 I found the story teller role an excellent way to engage him in the story. When you are reading it to a child lines like "when Big Folk like you and I come stomping along" (paraphrasing I know) its a very direct connection between reader, child and story. It works very well.
As to Tolkiens dilemna with TH I can see where it comes from. As a stand alone childresn book TH is excellent, but as a part of the History of ME it is a bit odd and apart. Personnaly I dont see this as a problem, for me the tales in the Bible are no less odd or apart from the over all History of the World so having a world (ME in this case) with tales of different tone and complexity seems fine.
I share pretty much the same view as you, Mr Tyrant. To me if you talk about stories from 'history' you get various accounts, styles and approaches. The same goes for legendary history. For example, if you like to read about King Arthur, then you might read the "Mists of Avalon"by Marion Zimmmer Bradley, or "The Sword in the Stone" by T.H. White. Poles apart really, but from the same legendary history. Now with ME we have accounts based on the Red Book of Westmarch. Bilbo's notes and Frodo's notes. They are not the actual texts from Tolkien's books are they? Another author surely would have used them as a basis for TH and LotR (and Simarillion?) Yes, Tolkien himself. Bilbo's account was presumably done more lightly than Frodo's because of some flavor in the way Bilbo wrote his account. Bilbo clearly could smile about things, Frodo was substantially humourless. (I suspect Sam had quite a lot to do with refashioning the TH section of the Red Book too. :lol: ) Anyhow, TH and LotR are two stories from a certain era in time.

I'm still a little taken aback that people see the Elves of Rivendell as being whimsical by nature rather than whimsical by (occasional) mood. I'm a serious kind of guy, but I can be whimsical at times (to a point! :cry: ) Does this make me whimsical, full stop? I'm more nuanced than that. So are The Hobbit Elves.

Anyway, this is all a digression really. The point is that Tolkien came to think he needed to adultify the The Hobbit and no longer liked it, thought it sub-standard compared to his other ME books. That's still a Tragedy. I hold this as being especially tragic because The Hobbit is Tolkien's best realized book in nearly all ways.
On the topic of The Hobbit Elves and LOTR Elves, PJ definitely depicted the LOTR elves incorrectly. I do believe The Hobbit Elves are happier because it is merely a happier time. There are not as many terrors to worry about as there are in LOTR. In Lord of the Rings the Nazgul are about, the Ring could slip into the wrong hands at any time, the Eye is fixed on Rivendell, the time of the Elves is over, Middle Earth is in the hands of Men, and it looks like the race of Men is just about to fall, and the Elves' and everyone else's hope is in a Hobbit.

Now that seems [i:qzef7xh3]incredibly[/i:qzef7xh3] depressing, yes, but the Elves that Tolkien depicts in Lord of the Rings seem only less-energetic, but still cheerful.

[i:qzef7xh3]"Frodo opened his eyes and saw that Bilbo was seated on his stool in a circle of listeners, who were smiling and applauding."[/i:qzef7xh3]

Elrond is also mentioned to laugh and smile throughout the "Many Meetings" chapter.
[i:qzef7xh3]
"The feast was merry and the food all that his hunger could desire..."

"As Elrond entered and went towards the seat prepared for him, Elvish minstrels began to make sweet music."

"There he wandered long in a dream of music that turned into running water, and suddenly into a voice."
[/i:qzef7xh3]
Now I don't know about you, but I didn't see or hear much music or merriment in Rivendell in the Lord of the Rings movie, and obviously in the book there are such things. That last quote simply seems heavenly to me. <img src='/images/smileys/wink.gif' border='0' alt='Wink Smilie' />

I think the Elves in Lord of the Rings are still happy and cheerful, just less so than they are in The Hobbit.
Hail !! Durin.

You couldn't be more right if you were........ Mr Right !!! :lol:
This strikes to the heart of what I'm trying to get at in this thread. It's tragic Tolkien thought so poorly of The Hobbit. It's almost as if he thought The Hobbit not serious enough. That what he had created did not deserve to be seen as anything but a transport for light hearted amusement. His humour is always 'situational' or comes from the (deliberate) frivolity of his cast, but the tone of the book is usually quite serious. The Elves can be jolly when the mood is upon them. They can sing "Tra la lally" without being seen as lightweight or foolish. I think Tolkien began to believe his Press (that is the Negative I'm-an-adult-literary-critic Press). By the way he uses Elrond (who is in no way different to his depiction in LotR) I feel we see on to the underlying seriousness of even his The Hobbit Elves. You put this idea well, Durin, in the way you speak of them. Tolkien should have grown old proud of his story, not ashamed, for it is a Literary Classic. Note: I do not use the term Childrens Classic, though it is that as well.

NB I have always found The Hobbit Elves (Rivendell and Mirkwood) more believable than his Silmarillion Elves. The latter are Legendary/Mythological creatures, hardly true personalities most of them, cardboard cut outs, while the former are more Earthly and more Real.
While I disagree that the tone of The Hobbit overall is "quite serious", I wouldn't deny that TH has a serious [b:2w509mkv]Under[/b:2w509mkv]tone. Otherwise I couldn't agree more with most of your points Odo. The "kiddie" version of Middle Earth in The Hobbit, Elves and All, is much more appealing than the "adultified" version in the Silmarillion and LotR.

[b:2w509mkv]GB[/b:2w509mkv]
I think we should count ourselves blessed that Tolkien gaves us a splendid childrens world to explore whilst we were children, and then when we grew up and wanted more 'realistic' matter and depth and detail he gave us LoTR and Silmarillion with enough to last a lifetime, and still we have our own personal memories of TH to cherish and revisit and remind us of the child we all still are inside. How lucky are we? <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' />
[quote="pettytyrant101":1h5p4u3h]I think we should count ourselves blessed that Tolkien gaves us a splendid childrens world to explore whilst we were children, and then when we grew up and wanted more 'realistic' matter and depth and detail he gave us LoTR and Silmarillion with enough to last a lifetime, and still we have our own personal memories of TH to cherish and revisit and remind us of the child we all still are inside. How lucky are we? <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' />[/quote:1h5p4u3h]

Indeed, having both of these differently styled books to explore is a blessing.

However, I think we can see the key difference between Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit based on Gandalf. This may seem like a curious thing to say, but I think it shows a lot unto what Tolkien was trying to portray through his books.

"Now we are all here! Quite a merry gathering! I hope there is something left for the late-comers to eat and drink! What's that? Tea! No thank you! A little red wine, I think for me."

"... and there was Gandalf standing behind, leaning on his staff and laughing, he had also made quite a dent on the beautiful door..."

Gandalf here seems almost as clumsy and happy-go-lucky as the Dwarves here, seeming more like a magical jester than a wizard, in The Hobbit. It is also interesting to note that Gandalf sat in watch as the Dwarves seemed to tear up poor Bilbo's house during this scene. Gandalf seems somewhat more or less carefree. No quotes of life meaning really come from Gandalf's mouth in this book. Gandalf uses many exclamation points in The Hobbit.

Now something interesting to note is that near the end of the book, the very meaningful "Roads go ever ever on" poem is there. It seems the book gets more and more serious as we go on, which is something interesting to note as well.

Now in Lord of the Rings, you can notice that the poems are much more meaningful, actually written in Elvish, singing of the Gods of Middle Earth. No "Tra-la-la-la-ly, back in the valley" etc, etc. Now back to Gandalf...

"So do I," said Gandalf, "and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us."

"Pity? It was Pity that stayed his hand. Pity, and Mercy: not to strike without need. And he has been well rewarded, Frodo. Be sure that he took so little hurt from the evil, and escaped in the end, because he began his ownership of the Ring so. With Pity."

"Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. I have not much hope that Gollum can be cured before he dies, but there is a chance of it. And he is bound up with the fate of the Ring. My heart tells me that he has some part to play yet, or good or Ill, before the end; and when that comes, the pity of Bilbo may rule the fate of many - yours not least."

Quotes like these seem much too genuine for Tolkien to merely say it was Gandalf who was thinking these things, it makes more sense to think that Tolkien was trying to convey these thoughts (among others) to his readers, obviously.

I wouldn't say Lord of the Rings is more "serious" than The Hobbit, really, I would simply say that Middle Earth is going through darker times, and that Tolkien wanted to convey his thoughts in a beautiful way, in a way that he couldn't do so in The Hobbit, and chose to do it in Lord of the Rings.


Also.

Something to think about is to think about The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings as you would an artist's music, let's take Billy Joel for example, because I love Billy Joel. "Tell Her About It" is a great song, yes, and it's very upbeat, and some could say it is his greatest work, even though it is not necessarily as meaningful as, say, "The Stranger". Both have definite different tones, yet still hold the same great emotion and taste of the same artist, Billy Joel. Billy Joel was just feeling different things when he was writing these songs, and wanted to convey different thoughts.

If Billy Joel only wrote songs in the style of "Tell Her About It", let's face it, Billy Joel's career would have been much less successful, but since you put all of his works together, it leaves a legacy behind for us. Like Tyrant said with Tolkien, we can apply to Billy Joel. It is a blessing that we can go through all of his different styles of music through our lifetime.
I agree with your assessment Durin on the difference in Gandalf. I said on the WC thread (I think) that the Gandalf of TH is not Wise more enigmatic. And TH does kind of grow into the world of LotR at the very end from quite a fanciful start (comparatively).
To some degree I think Toklien was just finding his writers voice. With TH he had his ideas and his world which slowly started to find ways out in his writing but he hadn't yet found a voice he was comfortable with. He found that voice in LOTR so I can understand, looking at Tolkien as a writer, that he would be disappointed with TH because he wrote it in the wrong voice from his point of view.
For me the major differences between TH and LotR are (1) There is less description; (2) there is more humour, a willingess to laugh at the quainter side of middle-class culture while being pointed and self-knowing; (3) there is a lot more spark and liveliness in Th, no long turgid passages, poetry that is better wrought and lighter, simpler and more subtle in their resonances than those of LotR; and (4) meaning is conveyed more succinctly and with a wry and not so obviously preachy eye. TH is simple like Hemingway. LotR is a childrens world attempting to be grownup. Btw Mr Tyrant, I don't return to TH just to revisit childhood feelings, I return to it because it is a great book which contnues to reveal it's nuances and poetic depths. I don't think of LotR as any less of a childrens book than TH, though it's deeper meanings are presented in a more clunky and superficially more literary way. It is no less fantastic and whimsical either. You guys give me the impression that you think it [i:wvqrz905]grownup[/i:wvqrz905] to read LotR, and TH is suitable only for children or the nostalgic [i:wvqrz905]child[/i:wvqrz905] in adults. Don't kid yourself. People who are not into fairy-stories will see both books as kid's stuff. That's another part of the Tolkien Tragedy, he actually thought LotR was more grownup than TH. It weren't really. (I thought your views very insightful, Durin. I suspect you [i:wvqrz905]'get' [/i:wvqrz905]TH. What you said was clear eyed and properly respectful <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> ).
Yep, not to mention, the Hobbit is a lot easier to follow! :lol: :ugeek:
You posted while I was composing, Mr Tyrant! Ships pasing the night again!

I particularly note your suggstion that he was not happy with his 'voice' in TH, Mr Tyrant. You're absolutely right about that. The irony is, it was his Hobbit 'voice', part of which reappears now and then in LotR, that was indeed his most consistently successful 'voice' even in LotR! It is seen mostly in scenes where the hobbits, or Tom Bombadil, or Smeagol as the key characters. I find his depictions of the more serious characters, like Elves and Men, much less successful. His 'serious' characters - the [i:ul5qr8k6]noble[/i:ul5qr8k6] [i:ul5qr8k6]mock-chivalric[/i:ul5qr8k6] characters - are paper cut outs. The hobbits and Tom Bombadil and Smeagol are alive, the Ents too - they belong better in the world of TH.
I agree with your assessment, Tin! <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' />
I agree with that Odo- one critic said of Aragorn "he has all the characteristics of a noble horse" and whilst that's harsh its not without an element of truth to it.
On TH I didn't mean to imply it has to be treated as a children's book- but it was written for children (his own in fact) and I read it as a child so any rereading of it on my part, whilst I can appreciate it as a work in and of itself, comes with a hint of nostalgia for the years when I read it first (and the same is true of LOTR I might add). Think of my last post as being one from the heart rather than the head!
Well, the [i:czxuy92b]heart[/i:czxuy92b] is where any discussion of Tolkien should come from, I cannot criticize that! I'm glad you revealed your broader view, though. (You know, there are some who don't take TH seriously enough! Don't look so shocked! They don't!)
I think you can discern from TH scripting effort that I take it seriously as a work. Reminding myself that I saw it a little differently as a child is no bad thing.
[quote="Odo Banks":18c5nmit]For me the major differences between TH and LotR are (1) There is less description; (2) there is more humour, a willingess to laugh at the quainter side of middle-class culture while being pointed and self-knowing; (3) there is a lot more spark and liveliness in Th, no long turgid passages, poetry that is better wrought and lighter, simpler and more subtle in their resonances than those of LotR; and (4) meaning is conveyed more succinctly and with a wry and not so obviously preachy eye. TH is simple like Hemingway. LotR is a childrens world attempting to be grownup. Btw Mr Tyrant, I don't return to TH just to revisit childhood feelings, I return to it because it is a great book which contnues to reveal it's nuances and poetic depths. I don't think of LotR as any less of a childrens book than TH, though it's deeper meanings are presented in a more clunky and superficially more literary way. It is no less fantastic and whimsical either. [b:18c5nmit]You guys give me the impression that you think it [i:18c5nmit]grownup[/i:18c5nmit] to read LotR, and TH is suitable only for children or the nostalgic [i:18c5nmit]child[/i:18c5nmit] in adults. Don't kid yourself. People who are not into fairy-stories will see both books as kid's stuff. That's another part of the Tolkien Tragedy, he actually thought LotR was more grownup than TH. It weren't really.[/b:18c5nmit] (I thought your views very insightful, Durin. I suspect you [i:18c5nmit]'get' [/i:18c5nmit]TH. What you said was clear eyed and properly respectful <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' /> ).[/quote:18c5nmit]

While I concur with Petty that it's cool to have both styles of Middle Earth available, I think Odo is right on the mark. Except I would turn it around and suggest that both books are more "grown-up" than non-Fantasy-fiction. Maybe it's just the Fantasy Geek in me (and Tolkien and Lewis who seem to share my view on this), but I think one can discover more about the World and ourselves in Fairy Story (and Sci Fi) than one can in drab so-called "reality-based" fiction (not to say some of that isn't good though). People who sneer at Fantasy as "kid-stuff" lack the imagination to truly properly "grow up". They are stuck in a smug erroneous sense of intellectual superiority that is more adolescent than adult (unfortunately true of far too many adults).

[b:18c5nmit]GB[/b:18c5nmit]
[quote="Gandalfs Beard":3htito6o]

While I concur with Petty that it's cool to have both styles of Middle Earth available, I think Odo is right on the mark. Except I would turn it around and suggest that both books are more "grown-up" than non-Fantasy-fiction. Maybe it's just the Fantasy Geek in me (and Tolkien and Lewis who seem to share my view on this), but I think one can discover more about the World and ourselves in Fairy Story (and Sci Fi) than one can in drab so-called "reality-based" fiction (not to say some of that isn't good though). People who sneer at Fantasy as "kid-stuff" lack the imagination to truly properly "grow up". They are stuck in a smug erroneous sense of intellectual superiority that is more adolescent than adult (unfortunately true of far too many adults).

[b:3htito6o]GB[/b:3htito6o][/quote:3htito6o]

Wiser words than this are rare to come by. <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' />
[quote="Gandalfs Beard":2w27vk8z]People who sneer at Fantasy as "kid-stuff" lack the imagination to truly properly "grow up". They are stuck in a smug erroneous sense of intellectual superiority that is more adolescent than adult (unfortunately true of far too many adults).[/quote:2w27vk8z]

I agree. In fact, your post reminds me of a quote from someone who knew quite a bit about fantasy...

[quote="C.S. Lewis":2w27vk8z]When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.[/quote:2w27vk8z]
[quote="Eldorion":fj44vhcu]C.S. Lewis wrote:
When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.[/quote:fj44vhcu]

What was that thing Saint Paul said? Something about drinking milk when you are a babe and having stronger stuff later, and that thing about putting childish things asside when you mature? Does that conflict with that great Christian C.S. Lewis! Me? I'm still a child, and, yes, ashamed about it, but I'm far too old to change - call me a Stoic! <img src='/images/smileys/bigsmile.gif' border='0' alt='Big Smile Smilie' />