I've red that they are thinking about making 2 movies based on the book. This is great news indeed! I always had the impression that the Hobbit, compared to Lord of the Rings, was a story for kids (awesome still, yet with a lot less dark main theme or central idea). Maybe because I was a kid when I first red it or maybe it was indeed Tolkien's intension to be so, it doesn't really matter.
What's important however is that Tolkien wrote it and that fact alone can make it extremely challenging for anyone to attempt filming a movie that is an adoptation of the book.
Yet I think that since Jackson & co managed to create a movie trilogy for the LotR, one can rest assured that a Hobbit movie (in 2 parts) is coming for us and that it's gonna be really good.
I'm curious though of what actually the 2 movies will be about.
a) 1st movie the Hobbit (whole) and 2nd movie a "bridge" to LotR?
b) 1st movie 1st half of the Hobbit and 2nd movie 2nd half?
I definetely wish it's the latter.
What do you guys think?
Also, The Hobbit is most certainly a children's book, though the filmmakers want to make it more like LOTR (more mature and darker, I would imagine) in that respect.
I agree 100%. It is a children's book. A great many details that are found both in the Hobbit and the LotR highlight this. Gandalf appears less wise, Thorin is presented as noble yet flawed Dwarf lord and the 12 Dwarves that accompany him are depicted as a comical bunch of unarmed bodyguards (at least for the better part of their journey). Noble Balin who leads the tragic -and as it proved short lived- expedition for the retaking and re-colonization of Khazad Dum, appears as a mere second-in-command of the company; Some of the elves of Rivendel appear to be children and that is one of the few hints that the reader gets of their existance during the third age.
And so on.
The fact that they are even remotely thinking about including the background story of the White Council's assault at Dol Guldur in the films proves the intent of focusing in the darker and more mature-audience-friendly side of the story.
I really hope they don't mess it up. Especially when it comes to Saruman's double -or should I say triple-play.
I would rather not write a lecture on how The Hobbit is not a 'children's book' when I have the wrong definition.
That's not to say, however, that it can't be read and enjoyed by adults too. I think there are other children's books as well that have appealed to adults and children alike - including [i:xjkdxiie]The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe[/i:xjkdxiie] and the first few [i:xjkdxiie]Harry Potter[/i:xjkdxiie] books.
I can't think of a reason why it wouldn't count as a children's book, unlike LOTR as a trilogy which is simply factually incorrect (as you probably recall that's a pet peeve of mine ).
I think there may also have been some discussion about how Tolkien felt about "children's" "fairy books" in the biographical notes accompanying [i:vkd0c5e3]Roverandom[/i:vkd0c5e3] (which is an adorable book that more definitively fits the term "children's book". But apparently, if I recall the notes correctly, Tolkien felt a little ashamed of writing "down" to his kids, and resolved not to do that in [i:vkd0c5e3]The Hobbit[/i:vkd0c5e3].
I'm positive that there is also some discussion of how he felt about describing "fairy stories" as "children's books" in his excellent essay [i:vkd0c5e3]On Fairy Stories[/i:vkd0c5e3]. So I am fairly certain that he would have bristled at The Hobbit being called a "children's book". If you can't find a copy of [i:vkd0c5e3]On Fairy Stories[/i:vkd0c5e3], PM Beren, he might be able to help you out.
Second, unfortunately I don't have [i:zplgbde7]Roverandom[/i:zplgbde7] and I couldn't find a reference to the tone of [i:zplgbde7]The Hobbit[/i:zplgbde7] (as opposed to that of LOTR) in the index of Carpenter's biography. I did, however, find numerous references to it in the index of [i:zplgbde7]The Letters[/i:zplgbde7]. For instance, in Letter 215 Tolkien states:
[quote="J.R.R. Tolkien":zplgbde7]When I published [i:zplgbde7]The Hobbit[/i:zplgbde7] -hurriedly and without due consideration - I was still influenced by the convention that 'fairy-stories' are naturally directed to children .... it had some unfortunate effects on the mode of expression and narrative method, which if I had not been rushed, I should have corrected.[/quote:zplgbde7]
Various forms of this appear in a number of other letters, and in most of them Tolkien expresses his regret with the extent to which he aimed [i:zplgbde7]The Hobbit[/i:zplgbde7] at children (or at least, that he did so in the normal way of the time). However, regardless of his later regrets, it's fairly certain that [i:zplgbde7]The Hobbit is[/i:zplgbde7] in fact a book for children, whereas Tolkien's other writings are not. However, regardless of the label (or lack thereof) "children's book", his writings can still be read and enjoyed by people of many different ages.
Going back to the original question though, I think it safe to call [i:1fu2yi5o]The Hobbit[/i:1fu2yi5o] a children's book as it [i:1fu2yi5o]is[/i:1fu2yi5o] distinctly different than LOTR, though certainly not as puerile as some of his other (non-Middle-earth related) works.
Odo here to purchase a portion of this discussion.
I think TH is a children's book in that it is suitable for children. T seemed to be a bit ambivalent about the book. I think he wrote it as much for himself (the adult him but also the child-in-him) as much as for his children. If we call it a children's book or a fairy story or a tall tale or merely a 'story', I think we still manage to describe TH correctly.
As to LOTR. I see it as Juvenile Fiction (when I'm not seeing it as 'just' a fairy story - which is my usual stance). This is in the historical sense of stories usually being told by adults to kids and young people (ie transitional age groups - half-child-half adults)(with, of course, the oldies sitting around pretending that they don't believe fairy stories!)
I'm fairly sure that folk will take umbrage at LOTR being called 'Juvenile Fiction', but I stand by that. 'Childrens' Fiction' 'Juvenile Fiction' 'Adult Fiction'? Much blurring goes on. But if TH is meant for children, then LOTR is, truth be known, juvenile-ish.
Anyone not interested in the Fantasy Universe, would call all it's many versions 'kids stuff', let's face it. I believe that nearly all fairy-stories (fairy tales) are serious works. Some are written more lightly than others - but dark themes (in the better works) always intrude, in some more subtly than others. Fairy stories amuse (usually) but they tend to be underlined with reality - they 'teach' while allowing us to think for ourselves - and usually without the 'preach' component. Hopefully we all remain 'learners' no matter how old we get (I trust you understand my point?)
(Has anyone read any Roald Dahl? Adult stories disguised as kids stuff - but I digress).
The whole child genre thing seems slightly ridiculous to me. The only books I think of as being 'for' children are those written for tiny tots.
NB This may sound quirky to you guys, but I find things like so-called 'Adult Fiction' more childish than any fairy story could ever be - though 'juvenile-ish' might be a better way to describe it.
But seriously, I find "childrens" fiction, or "young adult" fiction much more satisfying than most "grown up" fiction. And Dahl is the perfect example.
You understand me completely. Yes... 'that' kind of 'Adult Fiction.' But I now include a lot of supposedly mature literature as well. Example: 'The Da Vinci Code'. Full of fantastic silliness - yes indeed (but good fun nonetheless!) Why isn't it in the bookshelves beside TH?
With you all the way on that.
Now, what about Wuthering Heights?
You haven't read Wuthering Heights?
Though it's nice to hear your Mum is so cool. Wuthering heights is a MASTERPIECE. Weird and wild and dark and wonderful. Don't be fooled by any movie you might have seen or heard of.
NB Are there any lasses on this site? If so, please tell Gandalf's Beard to read Wuthering Heights. Surely a lass somewhere on this site has read it! Come forward PLEASE. Don't let GB go on being developmentally stunted!
I was being a bit of a Devils Advocate when I suggested LOTR was 'Juvenile Fiction' to GB. I was waving a red rag, really. After all, GB and I have been exchanging a bit of banter ever since I popped my head into your site. (GB gives as good as he gets! I like that!)
Yes, what does it matter what genre TH and LOTR are in? I'm with you on that. We're just swanning around on a sea of semantics - and it's good fun, isn't it?
You made me think of something I've always found interesting since I learned of it. Rayner Unwin when reviewing TH suggested it would suit, I think, 5-9 year olds. I read it at about 12 - and loved it - but I reckon I would have struggled to get through it if I had tried to read it earlier. And some of the themes and concepts, I thought more likely to interest much older children (including, maybe, adults). TH is not very formulaic when I think about it. It is not the straight forward story some people make it out to be. According to acceptable modern publishing standards (for fantasy), it might not be published if it was submitted today! Thank goodness for young Rayner! I don't think it was (generally) acceptable even back then!
But I ramble...
As I re-read a few pages of The Hobbit earlier tonight, it reinforced my view that between the advanced language, the layers of meaning and mythopoetic allusions, the Hobbit really is much more than a "children's" book, even though that was Tolkien's originally intended audience. But then most Tolkien Fans seem more advanced linguistically than readers who just read "the other sort" (to borrow a phrase from Lewis).
I must say there a lot of very young people on this site who seem so stunningly erudite and well read. It's wonderful to see, but quite daunting really. How did they all become so wise so young? It's often said each new generation is smarter than the one preceding it. And this site does seem to support the idea.
NB My kids keep telling me they're smarter than I am. I stamp my foot, yell "Balderdash!" and throw rocks at them. But I know they're right.
Hey! I hardly think it fair either that your Mum was a school teacher. What an unfair advantage! I had to marry a school teacher to get some intelligence into my bloodline!
Going home to bed now. See you folk later.
It's your chat thread speaking lol
First of all I think it's a great honor to have your noob-ish comment expanded to a 4-pages chat thread(!)
Oh and please pardon my grammar or other errors, unfortunately english is not my mother language.
Anyway, I wanted to apologize for causing such a turbulence by calling the hobbit a "children's book". I never meant to insult or offend anyone in this forum or -even worse- imply anything about this excellent book. I'll be brief. Tolkien is simply peerless. He and his work belong to the world; he will ever have a place among the true geniuses of literature like Fiodor Dostoyefski, Franz Kafka, John Steinbeck and others.
What I meant by calling it a "children's book" is that I find it so much friendlier to younger readers than the Silmarillion or the LotR. Simple as that. Even if Tolkien himself hadn't implied it, it would still be a reasonable conclusion. Yet there lies the magnificence of Tolkien; He wrote a book about a small creature going out in the great world and making a difference. This notion itself is enough to grab a young reader's attention all through the end. A mature reader would be already there whithout any help.
I do not claim that I have enough knowledge about literature in general to even attempt to analyze Tolkien's writing. I am just grateful that he published his works and now everyone can enjoy them. And I think it's a shame to compare Tolkien's Arda with other lesser speciments of epic fantasy literature. Harry Potter? Who the h*** is that? It's like trying to compare a tall mountain with a pile of rocks- nonsense!
I for one thing, grew to cherish the english language because of Tolkien.
Someone said that when Tolkien wrote about Bilbo's magic ring he didn't know that it would turn out to be the One ring, one of the main motifs in the LotR. In the Hobbit we get only glimpses of the main theme that rules his other books- the climactic march towards a permanent transformation of the world. But that's perfectly understandable since it's the story of an adventure from the hobbit's point of view. Not Thorin's, not Gandalf's, not Beorn's. Bilbo's. So that the reader- even a young one- can relate more easily to the protagonist. The idea of the book is that of a journey to the unknown. As the hobbit slowly learns more about the world as he goes on, so does the reader slowly immerses himself into Tolkien's world. Your first impression of a merry little story changes very soon and dramaticaly. The story soon turns into a darker hue as places and characters get introduced, sometimes in detail, others with just a brief background story, others with none at all. Just the way human memory works. Take one of your journeys for example. Do u get to know and then recall every detail of every place u visited or person u 've met along the way?
Ahemm, well... pardon me friends, I got too excited.
Not a children's book, a book that would make even children go nuts!
English not your first language! You could have fooled me. You now make me think my first language isn't English either - I do struggle with it a bit (it's all the grammar I think - and all the borrowings of words from other languages! Yes, that must be it!).
You know it even makes me wonder what my first language might be?
As to this "Children's Book" discussion. I've had a bit of a back flip. I actually think it is quite accurate to call books like TH "Childrens Fiction". I'm thinking about oldies sitting around the cook fire in a cave (somewhere in France about 80,000 years ago - about five thousand if you happen to be a Creationist, of course) grunting guttural tales to explain to their children about things they didn't understand in the first place, but certainly were confident enough to speculate about!
Of course, all the older tribes-folk (cave-folk?) would have sat around chewing their elk and listening too with just as much interest...
Hey! And maybe Mature Fiction didn't even exist back then, which would make, by my reckoning, "Childrens' Fiction" actually "Adult Fiction" as well...
Now Ive really managed to confuse myself.
I don't know for sure, Bofe - if I may be so familiar! -but I feel your thread has got me thinking... that surely can't be good.
NB I find this thread terribly liberating... Thanks Bofur!
NB Where does the apostrophe go in Children's'? (And is it even an aposrophe? ''''')