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

Stephen Nelson snelson134 at charter.net
Mon, 31 Dec 2001 09:18:53 -0600


Actually, most of this comes from Tolkien's (strict
Catholic) Christianity. First, Christianity teaches that we
live in a Fallen world, where we could have had a Paradise,
but through greed for powers not our own, Man turned his
back on God. Through Christ, we may save our souls, and
regain Parasise, but only by leaving this world... until the
Second Coming when "the world is mended."

In its' extreme form, this leads to an attitude I have
observed in some Christians: Let's make the world as bad as
possible, mirroring where possible the prophecies in
Revelations, in the hope that this will get Christ to come
back sooner. Forex, there are a couple of fundies in my
office who are HOT for a national ID card, because by
requiring it to be used for all purchases, it would mirror
the Mark of The Beast.

This is an incorrect heresy; Christ is recorded in several
places in the Gospels telling the disciples that even He
does not know the day; only God does.

I'm not sure what religion Lois practices, but I doubt it is
anything like Tolkien's... and your religion usually colors
the way you look at the world you live in, and any world you
Sub-Create (as Tolkien calls authorship).

Marci DeLeon wrote:
> 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.  Even as
> early as the Silmarilion (in terms of Middle-Earth
> chronology, not publishing order) it seems that things
> just keep getting worse as time progresses.  The best
> things are the old things, or the things directly part
> of old things (the beauty of Lothlorien, the Numenor
> are much better than other "races" of Men, etc.)
> 
> It puts me in mind of the Greek idea that each
> generation is worse than the one that came before it.
> 
> 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.
> 
> Okay, now to bring this back on-topic.  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.  And the entire idea of
> the curse and the breaking thereof seems to imply that
> progress (not necessarily technical, more the upwards
> progression of the human specie) is possible.  When
> you finish _CoC_, you are left with teh idea that the
> world will get better.  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.
> 
> I could try and examine this more, and I'd like to,
> but it's rather late, so I'll end this here.
> 
> -Marci, who is really into elves right now.  Anyone
> have any good books?
> 
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