[LMB] Re: LOTR, Modern Fantasy, and Chalion

PAT MATHEWS mathews55 at msn.com
Mon, 31 Dec 2001 07:41:27 -0700


>From: Marci DeLeon <agent_a_99 at yahoo.com>
>Reply-To: lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk
>To: lois-bujold at vrondi.herald.co.uk
>Subject: Re: [LMB] Re: LOTR, Modern Fantasy, and Chalion
>Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2001 23:59:57 -0800 (PST)
>
>--- Tony Zbaraschuk <tonyz at eskimo.com> wrote:

>  New things arise.  > There is regret for what was lost; there must be,
>for beauty passed away, and tales no longer told, and
>songs no longer sung.  But a new Age is dawning, and
>new things with it...
> >
>
>Lovely analysis, Tony; that you for pointing that out.
>  I like it.
>
>However, there still seems to be a sense of fatalism.
>The idea that things are changing, yes, but also that
>they are changing for the worse.  The most people can
>do is make it less worse than it could be.
>
>Now, keep in mind that I am a USAian, and as such, I
>don't have a sense of history as Tolkien saw and
>experienced it.

The effect of World War I on Britain - and on Europe - can not be 
underestimated. It was extremely nasty, in a sense it was Britain's VietNam, 
and it was about the World War I vets that the phrase "a lost generation" 
was coined. But moreover, IMO it was the end of a phase of civilization 
which had about a 500 year run, and certainly the end of the comfortable, 
often elegant (and yes, I've read Dickens, I know the era's dark side), 
certainly mannered civilization Tolkien knew and loved and which, as I 
suggested, had marinated since the Tudor days. And now was lost in the 
machinery and frenetic jazz-age after the war, followed by the utter horrors 
of World War II. Elegiac? He could hardly be otherwise!

The world of
>Chalion seems to bear little of this Grecian fatalism.
>  Yselle (sp?) and Bergeron truly beleive that they can
>make the world a better place.

But Chaliion's is  renaissance society, which is by definition new and 
hopeful.

Whereas it is possible to end
>LotR with the feeling that now that the Elves have
>passed out of the world, the world is greatly
>dimisnished, and it will not recover from that
>diminishment.
>
It hasn't, either. You may prefer it as it is now, but the elves are gone 
and Mordor in its various incarnations is still around. Of course, it always 
was. "Where once there used to walk abroad the elf, today there walks the 
limiter himself, and he has no designs, but on your virtue...." and that 
from the ambitious, worldly, utterly practical Wife of Bath!




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