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

Thread: Tolkien's Expectations

Is this discussion interesting? Share it on Twitter!

Bottom of Page    Message Board > General Discussion > Tolkien's Expectations   
Do you think Tolkien could ever imagine his creation becoming so popular and surpassing all his expectations?

It's safe to say that if Tolkien could look down upon us, and see how far his world has expanded and how many people it's reached, he'd be flabbergasted and utterly surprised how his work just exploded in popularity.

Although when he was still alive and could see how many people fell in love with his work do you think he was impressed with the response people had to his writings? After reading a few of his letters and such I believe The Hobbit and LOTR did better than he thought it would. However, not even in his wildest dreams could he imagine how it's still rapidly growing in popularity to this day.
It was already exceedingly popular during his lifetime, and especially amongst beatniks and hippies (the Beatles, even, were great Tolkien fans and were even thinking about making a movie about LOTR/The Hobbit themselves). JRRT had already experienced both sides of the medal : as people were constantly calling him at night, JRRT even had to change his telephone number.
Quote:
Virumor
JRRT even had to change his telephone number.


Hah now that is funny! J.R.R. 'Don't call me Hollywood' Tolkien.

I don't think it is funny at all! I think is is sad that our mild mannered professor was hounded by his fans as the Hollywood stars and celebrities are hounded by the paparazzi.
hey i'm not one of those fans who even go out of their way to write a letter. At least when you become that popular for your work it's safe to say you're finacially secure... unless you go and do something silly. Wink Smilie
Financial security is irrelevant. To a man who found "bad" language offensive and who wrote of people with high morals, to be "adopted" by modern people with lower morals was probably disturbing to him.
It is ironic that many of Tolkien's fans are drug-using, unmarried social drop-outs, or Orc-minded individuals.
Quote:
It is ironic that many of Tolkien's fans are drug-using, unmarried social drop-outs, or Orc-minded individuals.

Yeah, just look at this site's membership...
Quote:
Thranduil
It is ironic that many of Tolkien's fans are drug-using, unmarried social drop-outs, or Orc-minded individuals.

You also have to look at how the world has changed drastically since Tolkien wrote LOTR.... To sit there and point fingers at certain individuals, when society today helps play a big role in that. My friends weren't always the best role model for me, but i could say the same how i influenced them to do 'naughty' things, point being it works both ways.

Quote:
Virumor
Yeah, just look at this site's membership...

That's probably along the lines of Orc-Minded. Wink Smilie
I t hink that Ronald loved all people;he hated certain ignoble attitudes and behaviours. But he was gentle and kind and understanding and always I think hoped for the very best .
The thing that grieves me for him is that he had so many years of troubles from publishers in other countries trying to completely change his story to fit their 'uneducated' understanding of what he was trying to do linguistically. It caused him so much pain of heart, wasted precious time he could have been spending on his wife and his friends and family.
He did become very well off and it was amazing to him. But he did not enjoy the money except to know that he could afford what he needed and a little of what he wanted. He delighted in using it to bless his family, his children, grandchildren.
But it availed him little joy , for as the world became more and more modern, the dreaded' machinery' was taking over, and he became antiquaited and out of touch with the bustling world he seemed to be very melancholy. Edith became more and more infirm and when she passed out of this world he was so alone and lost. And I remember the last entry in the Tolkien Letters book where he was doing a bit of travelling and recorded that he had lost his wallet and such, it seemed so incredibly painful. He just seemed to be existing.
And as for his work being appreciated the types of people you mention, what of it?It seems that those of his fellows who were so lofty minded and beyond educated were sadly not able to become children for a little and just 'believe.' Hippies , however sad, were at least searching and willing to look and see. Whatever the outside of people, we are all just children deep down. Those who can admit it as adults and live for a little with the wonder and excitement of a child being read a fantastic story to are really in my mind a compliment to an author who has worked so hard on building a fantasy world meant to be explored and enjoyed.
I dont drink, smoke or take drugs, but some of my relatives do and when they say they like my stories and I see happiness on their faces, I could cry. I feel honored.
When i say finacially secure i don't mean you have to be filthy rich. I just mean you don't need to worry about money and have enough to live and not stress out. Which is what most people want I believe... To not have to worry about money to live within their means.

Quote:
Leelee
I don't drink, smoke or take drugs, but some of my relatives do and when they say they like my stories and I see happiness on their faces, I could cry. I feel honored.

Exactly! it doesn't matter what type of crowd you can reach out to with your influence and stories, as long as you can reach out to people in positive ways. Just because someone, such as myself, does like to drink, smoke and occasionally take some illicit substances, recreational not habitual (anymore) doesn't mean I'm an evil person, in fact i'm overall a good guy at heart and show respect to others if they do the same to me.
Well you sound pretty wonderful to me and I don't believe the outward life style, unless it is used to harm others , can ever be judged by another. I know a few totally 'upright, rather perfect' individuals who I doubt if Tolkien would have liked all that much. They look oh so good on the outside and are 'exemplary' in all they do.
the only trouble is they care for noone and live only for themselves. And they would probably, from what they have said, use the LOTR books for door stops.
Or perhaps fuel in their trendy fireplaces.
So..........are you available to read some of my Celtic myth/faeirie stories? Smile Smilie hahahaha.
To care for everyone is correct, and to hope that all can come to their true potential. The people I mentioned aren't bad themselves, but the culture and society we now live in IS.
Money is rated more highly than compassion, and sensual pleasures more highly than love. If Tolkiens works can show any one person that life itself is a thing of beaty then I'm sure it would make him happy.
As for using his books for doorstops; I myself use modern media magazines.
Quote:
Financial security is irrelevant.

Well, the leprechauns or the tooth fairy don't pay the bills for me at the end of the month. Greedy buggers.

Quote:
Money is rated more highly than compassion, and sensual pleasures more highly than love.

Well, to be fair, I think our membership rate those nifty sensual pleasures at least equal as money, so looks like we're home free!

Oh wait...
It is true Thranduil money does corrupt a lot of people, not everyone, but very many. However it's not just a present day, blame today's society, kind of thing. If you look back on history, objects worth value like currency and land a have always been a form of corruption. Kingdoms and countries have gone to war ever since the beginning of mankind. The cause for most wars were for land, wealth and religion and that hasn't changed much at all. War is still fought for wealth or objects with great wealth (such as oil) and religion.

Weird how mankind has grown so smart but we still squabble over the same things. Maybe that is our doom...

War is almost always a selfish act...... Moderator Smilie Sorry, I had to step in here and delete some text, even if I agree whole heartedly with it, other members might not and politics and religion being topics of contention, are off limits. Orc Sad Smilie - Grondy Moderator Smilie

bottom line: It's hard to point the finger at why exactly the world and history unfolds as it does and the problems with and why society is the way it is, because it's a lot more than just one problem.

Life is like a plant and a plant has and needs more than just one root to unfold and grow. You can dismember one root from that plant but it will still keep growing new roots.

Quote:
Leelee
are you available to read some of my Celtic myth/faeirie stories? hahahaha.

Sure i'd love to. Smile Smilie

Moderator Smilie This last bit is the reason why we have PMs I suggest our members use them to exchange email addresses and private correspondence. - Thanks Happy Elf Smilie Moderator Smilie
oops sorry, I am still learning the ropes here.
Anyway I was just kidding.
so you were saying..................
Oops sorry Grondy, i thought i made some good points and didn't think it would offend anyone. Oh ya and Leelee if you want me to read any of your writings just private message me.
Not really a problem guys, Elf Winking Smilie I just wanted to throw my weight around and towards keeping this pretty good discussion on topic, it was.....
Quote:
Do you think Tolkien could ever imagine his creation becoming so popular and surpassing all his expectations?
Well, I don't think he ever imagined that. I think he just wrote because he was so endorsed with this world he created. He would not waste his precious time wondering about his future fans; he'd much rather spend time wandering through Middle-earth or Valinor, see some fictitious friends and make up some battles and all that.
Quote:
Cloverness
Well, I don't think he ever imagined that. I think he just wrote because he was so endorsed with this world he created. He would not waste his precious time wondering about his future fans

I'm sorry but I have to disagree there, because anyone who publishes their work always wonders what other people will think about it, or else they would not publish it, if you're going to keep it to yourself just write a diary, no?

I just can't agree what you said because any author who writes a story, even if it's their passion just to write for themselves, because a story is meant to be told and unfortunatly usually sold. So in that case when you tell a story you tell it to your audience and when you have an audience you can't ignore the reaction.... As i write this post i'm waiting for a reaction... For good or ill.
Oh I hope good.
And I also agree with that. It really DOES matter because if it did not you would not put it out there.
Tolkien was very specific in some ways about his hopes and dreams. He was a sort of resigned person in the fact that after any rejection he didn't hope much , but he dreamed much. Of course he wanted the whole world if it could, in my opinion , to learn of his languages and all that he had created by himself.It is just sharing and basking in the words of joy that come back to you. You know you cannot please everyone but you hope, you very much hope you please some.
And he of course loved it when people understood what he was aiming for, cared about his use of language, his creation of new languages.So although part of him was constantly amazed at the acclaim, part of him delighted in it and I think hoped for more.
Grondmaster, something about you reminds me of Father Christmas. Smile Smilie
Well, Tolkien was seeking to create a sort of myth, that could be reiterated all over England and possibly beyond. I see him as a sort of missionary, destined to bring to us the mythology of Arda. Sort of like Jesus and Muhammad, only more modern, and less influential.
less influential?? i don't think so. many people may like him but not all have the net like us to communicate to each othe rand although they may not be addicts like us they certainly like him and i'm speaking from presonal experience
Sorry Cloveress i just don't see where you are trying to go with your last couple posts. Your latest post goes against what you were trying to say in the first post.

Quote:
Cloveress
Well, Tolkien was seeking to create a sort of myth, that could be reiterated all over England and possibly beyond. I see him as a sort of missionary, destined to bring to us the mythology of Arda.


So what you're trying to say is he was a missionary and his writing was influential, look at how many other authors created worlds derived from his writings.

If your writing influential work you can't be ignorant to the reactions you are received because if you are you will fail to influence the people you are reaching out to.

Usually when i try to make a certain point in my opinion, i think about the what i want to say and i stick with that theory, and even though i'm often proved wrong at times, and i can agree with being wrong, i'll then admit to it. However i'm careful not to give my input on a certain subject, and then completely change my argument to the exact opposite of what i was originally trying to say. Wink Smilie
I think Clover is just saying that she believes Tolkien never expected his pretend past to become as popular as did, and that he was more interested in creating and sharing his stories, than worrying about if what he wrote would be approved. Pouring his heart and soul into his stories, not making soap operas.
By less influential, I meant that his work did not cause huge civilisation-tearing wars or the change in culture of a whole society. I mean, I personally think that I am correct in saying that Tolkien is less influential than Jesus or Muhammad.

And thank you Turin for the hint. I do admit I have not been clear in my posts, and that they have been hard to follow. Thus, I hope this post will clarify things, and provide an easy-to-follow structure of thought, so that most of you can see the logic behind my argument, even if you do not agree with it.

Tolkien had inspiration for his work, from Scandinavian mythology and whatever else it says in his many works. I'm sure you all know when a thought so wonderful and so perfect gets in your head, you get that feeling of a great desire to work, and to toil until that wonderful vision in your head is completed.

I think that this is the part where our opinions go our separate ways.

I think that the wondrous vision in Tolkien's head was a vision of Arda and Elves, Dwarves, Valar Men etc. The emphasis of achievement was on the content itself and not on the reactions of other people. I do not deny that he did publish his works, but I think the publication of his works come from a desire to share such a beautiful thing he'd created, because he thought that England lacked such a beautiful thing (it didn't have satisfactory mythology, from Tolkien's point of view).

Now for the opposing viewpoint. Many of you think that this vision that Tolkien sought to achieve was one of people in this world picking up his books, and praising his creative mind, immersing themselves in the world he created and such. The emphasis of achievement here is laid on the reaction of other people and not on the content of the creation itself. This would lead to a conclusion that he wrote his work thinking of publishing it, as opposed to finishing his work, being stunned by the genius of it, and then filled with a desire to publish it so that everyone could share the beauty.

Why I think that Tolkien did not write his books for the purpose of publication is quite simple. He was a Christian, and in those days being Christian was quite different from being Chrsitian nowadays. A book like the LOTR or the Silmarillion are certainly heresies and if Tolkien's goal was to make everyone fall in love with his work, he would certainly not have written such contrary works. Thus, I think that Middle-Earth and Arda started out as fantasies and pleasures of the professor's.

So, does that clear things up a little, Turin?
Quote:
The emphasis of achievement here is laid on the reaction of other people and not on the content of the creation itself. This would lead to a conclusion that he wrote his work thinking of publishing it, as opposed to finishing his work, being stunned by the genius of it, and then filled with a desire to publish it so that everyone could share the beauty.

JRRT did write in the prologue of LOTR that he wrote his works not as an allegory, but just to share a story with his readers, and possibly move them, etc.

So it does seem that whilst in the process of writing it, he thought about publishing it, although it was not the main reason why he wrote it.
I think the same as Vir, however I wonder if even JRR told the real depths of why he did such and such. I think even he kept certain things and feelings and agendas close to his heart and only shared what he felt like, except to h is beloved Luthien and maybe Christopher. Who knows.
I think publishing it once it was done was or became quite important to him, because something deep inside him knew it would be a good thing and he wanted as many as possible on the other earth to share in this grand world he had created.
or not...............Smile Smilie
Fair enough i can see where you guys and girls are comming from, however, I agree with what Cloveress is saying to some point, but i think if you looked up how that little debate started it was one of my posts saying when Tolkien published, true it wasn't to get rich but as it's been stated above, to share with the world, his own wonderful world and by doing so I still say he then has expecations and waits on the reactions of his readers. Not as much as most authors do, but unless he wasn't human and showed no human emotions, then he would still be waiting for reactions from people towards his work.
exactly. you put it so well.