He had imagined himself a soldier in the struggle to create a literature that could stand on equal terms with the literatures of Europe . . . . Disaffection became Wilson’s customary response to contemporary life and literature.
Estraa wrote:Tolkien's difference is perhaps even easier to see today than back in the fifties, now that we have many competent imitators to compare him with but, curiously, no first-rate imitators.
DavidTate wrote:As for attempts to do what Tolkien was attempting...
One notable point about this list is that no two on it, arbitrarily paired, will be much alike in their works, and most such random pairings will show wild dissimilarities. Each of this dozen carved out a universe--or universes--of his own.
Another notable point: "heroic" fantasy is only lightly represented: Eddison and Tolkien, and--on one occasion only, with The King of Elfland's Daughter--Dunsany.
Estraa wrote:DavidTate wrote:As for attempts to do what Tolkien was attempting...
You're now trying to divine motives, some deeper structure perhaps only known to the author himself (if even him),
while I was referring to apparent similarities, of which there ought to be a few prominent ones between the LotR and various fat-volume trilogies that flooded the market it had created. These could include a relatively clear distinction between good and evil, and the "good guys" and the "bad guys" (there is a difference here, because sometimes a good guy does a bad thing, and a bad guy might do a good thing; morality is more a question of character than of single actions and their consequences). They could include very close similarities of character types and plot. Etc.
I realize that it's a cliché among literary critics that LotR is all black and white, but I've always taken that as evidence that the critics hadn't actually read the book.
Estraa wrote:it seems to me that "a world governed by definite morality" is not, at any rate, gray, and Tolkien's world is not a rainbow world of relativism either, and so the most natural metaphor for it would be some manner of "black and white", notwithstanding the sometimes negative connotations of it.
[I]t seems to me that "a world governed by definite morality" is not, at any rate, gray . . . .
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