What impresses you most about the books?

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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby Vania tianran Liang » Tue Aug 26, 2014 2:40 am

There's so much I love about Tokien's works and middle earth and I'm afraid it is impossible to list them all. Still, I like it being so complete with history and languages and maps, I like the complexity of the characters, I like the moral and Christian themes, I like the tragic feeling rather than a "perfect" ending, I like the admirable personalities, I like the legends of both great people and the small, I like the language which presents both horror and beauty and splendor so well, I like the exciting plot, I like the pure evil is evil and good is good, I like both its small scenes of family and the big scene of battle field, I like it being mysterious, I like all the unnoticeable details that once you notice you will have a deeper understanding of the story, I like that the writing aren't only meant to please the readers, I like the idea of all the great stories being a tiny part of the great history, I like the warmth between people, I like all the stories connected, I like the logic of the stories that you could hardly make up one that seem more reasonable, I like the feeling of "the doom""the end of everything"and the "impossible but only hope" and"the king"......there's just so much to love! All of them left deep impression on me!
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby Morwenna » Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:26 pm

You've pretty much summarized all I ever thought about it! But this many years later I wouldn't have thought of half those reactions in so many words anymore. (I first read the story in 1967.)
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby TheGreenWizard » Sun Aug 31, 2014 9:45 pm

Longevity is impressive. The fact that the novel is still so incredibly popular after so many years is quite the feat. There are, however, many many works of literature that have stood the test of time, some for much longer, so to me that is not the most impressive trait.

What impresses me the most about tLotR is the fact that the entertainment value does not dull after one read. I have read this novel somewhere between 8 and 10 times and I love each read just as much as the last, perhaps more. I still get the chills reading the first few lines of the story, even after so many reads.
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby RiversDaughter » Sat Sep 06, 2014 9:09 pm

tgshaw54 wrote:No matter how many times it's read, there's always something new to discover.


So many of you have echoed what most impresses me about the books, and there are so many aspects to choose from! I could go on for a while, but I seek to be brief. What tgshaw54 hints at what gets to me the most. It does not matter how many times I read the books or sift through passages--for a myriad of reasons--I continually walk away amazed at the different perspectives I gained in the process. There is always something new to discover, even as these books have become more and more familiar to me over the years. What is most interesting is that I've noticed how I've grown--apart and with the text--over the years. I would say by now that these stories have become a near and dear friend to me, for lack of better words. I don't know many other books that work for me in that way.
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby BerenVonRictoffen » Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:40 am

*edit-- double-post*
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby BerenVonRictoffen » Sun Sep 07, 2014 11:45 am

Melwa wrote:I agree that the detail Tolkien gives to his world is impressive, and I love that the good guys are good, the bad guys are bad and the good guys win!

I think that's the opposite of what Tolkien intended; Frodo became evil at the end, as did Boromir, and even Galadriel almost doing so; and Denethor would have done so if given the chance-- as would anyone, given enough time and the right circumstances.
That's what Tolkien was trying to put across: i.e. no "good guys vs. bad guys," but rather a cautionary tale against nationalism and moral supremacy. However Frodo did become evil in the end, by using the Ring.

The most impressive thing to me is how Tolkien writes "Providentially." The bad things that happen are ultimately used for good. For example, Boromir succumbing to lust for the Ring was awful. If Boromir had not frightened Frodo by trying to take the Ring, the Company would not have split up, and they probably would have all gone on straight to Mordor. If the Company had not split up, there are many things that had to happen for the whole beautiful ending that could not have been. Aragorn would not have brought aid to the battle of the Pelenor Fields. Gimli would not have seen the Glimmering Caves, where he later settled. Pippin would have been unable to save Faramir from burning, and therefore Faramir could not save Eowyn, who could not comfort Eomer for the loss of Theodred. Merry helped kill the Witch-king. Frodo probably would have never gotten to Cirith Ungol if he was with Aragorn, who knew ways to go, and so quite possibly would have been captured at the Black Gate.
Another example: It's awful that Sam thought Frodo was dead at the end of TTT, right? But if he hadn't been sure Frodo was dead, he never would have taken up the Ring. Or put on the Ring to hide from the Orcs. Only one person could hide using the Ring, so if Frodo had been conscious, both hobbits would have been captured. Therefore, the Ring also would have been captured.

That's not Providence, so much as prophecy; i.e. things working out in strange ways. As Gandalf tells Bilbo, surely you don't believe that all your escapes were due to sheer luck, just for your own sole benefit?"

But that's just interesting fiction, not symbolic of the real world; in fact it's absurd that things would work out so perfectly.
Providence, rather, I think represents adherence to principle rather than pragmatism, causing them to win out in the long run; as Frodo retorts to Bormir:

"I think I know already what counsel you would give, Boromir, And it would seem like wisdom but for the warning of my heart. Against delay. Against the way that seems easier. Against refusal of the burden that is laid on me."

Thus Gandalf, Frodo, Aragorn, and eventually even Sam refuse to kill Gollum-- but only Sam, the story's true hero, refuses out of his own experience. Meanwhile Frodo uses the Ring's power on Gollum, and he becomes evil despite his best intentions.

As Boromir symbolically tells Frodo, "For you seem ever to think only of its power in the hands of the Enemy: of its evil uses not of its good. True-hearted Men, they will not be corrupted. It is mad not to use it, to use the power of the Enemy against him. The fearless, the ruthless, these alone will achieve victory. "
Here Boromir recommends benevolent dictatorship, i.e. supreme rule by the state even in peacetime; and thus he falls to it.

Likewise Denethor says "To use this thing is perilous. Nay, it should have been kept, hidden, hidden dark and deep. Not used, I say, unless at the uttermost end of need, but set beyond his grasp, save by a victory so final that what then befell would not trouble us, being dead."
This symbolizes "conditional" dictatorship, which of course is an oxymoron-- demonstrated by virtually every nation, especially those involved in the World Wars, i.e. the very option to usurp tyrannical power, only prompted tyrants to do so.

This is the story's symbolism against a state having absolute power under any circumstances, since such is a greater danger than an outside force; as Tolkien wrote in Letters, Gandalf would have become worse than Sauron if he had accepted the Ring from Frodo. (This is indeed the main moral of the book, since most people would agree with Denethor's reservation of "emergency powers," as with the US Constitution's permitting suspension of habeas corpus in Article II, the "Emergency Powers Clause" of the Weimar Constitution, martial law in England, etc).

Other symbolisms exist, such as "the eye of Sauron" carrying Orwellian meaning of an all-knowing state, via people spying on each other-- as happens even in the Shire under Saruman:

‘Now you shut up, Hob Hayward!’ cried several of the others. ‘You know talk o’ that sort isn’t allowed. The Chief will hear of it, and we’ll all be in trouble.’
‘He wouldn’t hear naught, if some of you here weren’t sneaks,’ rejoined Hob hotly.
‘All right, all right!’ said Sam. ‘That’s quite enough. I don’t want to hear no more. No welcome, no beer, no smoke, and a lot of rules and orc-talk instead.
[/quote]

This goes to Shagrat's warning Gorbag "I don’t trust all my lads, and none of yours; nor you neither, when you’re mad for fun."

There's also allusions to socialism under the "gathering and sharing" mention of the ruffians stealing crops from the Hobbits on orders from Saruman; and also Saruman's urging Gandalf to ally with Sauron, referring to similar treaties leading to the wars the they were intended to prevent.
Most symbolic of all, however, was the honest refrain from the bias of nationalism and self-indulgence, rather than making the main characters morally superior simply because they were the main characters, rather than adhering to morals and principles.... and suffering the natural consequence of becoming evil, when they failed. Thus even the Shire wasn't safe, when even one single hobbit (i.e. Lotho) became a puppet of the enemy-- similar to Soviet-bloc client states, wherein citizens of neutral states (like Castro in Cuba) would accept outside aid in order to become powerful, and thus such collaborators would become slaves to the new-age empires.

Thus, the story itself was well-written as a work of British mythology, in an entire world created for such; but that was only the vehicle for the greater depth of the story's message, as relates to our own world. In short, it wasn't simply an escapist fantasy by a well-educated dreamer.
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby tauriel14 » Thu Feb 05, 2015 9:24 pm

What impresses ME most about the books is just like alot of other people said. It feels real, like you`re there. i also think that it is really cool how Tolkien made like a whole other world.I mean, all the history ties together, and he invented all those languages!
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby Morwenna » Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:44 am

That probably is the most impressive thing about it, the way it all hangs together. It's so well realized that one wants to know what's in all those blank spaces on the map, what life was like in all those places (not just what the travelers would have seen in wartime), more details about the history touched on in the appendices, and on and on. It's no wonder people have been driven to make stories of these things for themselves.
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby Naeth Dúlinn » Mon Feb 09, 2015 4:50 pm

What I love about the Lengendarium is that all the stories are so expansive, and the universe is just so well-built. It's almost as if it was real life history.

Also, the fight. The heroes and heroines are always fighting the good fight (in most cases), and it's just inspiring to see that, to see that things are worth fighting for, even in impossible odds. As the conversation goes:

Sam: It's like in the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn't want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it's only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it'll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?

Sam: That there's some good in the world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for.

The moral lessons are a big part of it for me too. You learn so much from this saga. Sam's loyalty, Aragorn's honor, a warning against Feanor's pride.

Lastly, the valor displayed in the fights. I felt so inspired when Fingolfin rode against impossible odds when his family was slaughtered. When Aragorn rode against the massive army of Mordor in front of the Black Gate. When Sam saved his best friend from Shelob, even though he was shunned.
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby McAleer » Sat Feb 28, 2015 3:51 pm

I most like the fact that Tolkien is an affirmational thinker. There are writers who are pessimists, and those who are critical or suspicious, but Tolkien affirms: beauty, nobility, sacrifice, relationships, craft, and plain good things, to name a small number.

I am also amazed by the depth of his thinking, his philosophical and theological reach. This is another way of agreeing with those who say that what most appeals is the density of his world construction. Absolutely.
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby heliona » Sun Mar 01, 2015 4:14 am

Naeth Dúlinn wrote:Sam: It's like in the great stories Mr. Frodo, the ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger they were, and sometimes you didn't want to know the end because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end it's only a passing thing this shadow, even darkness must pass. A new day will come, and when the sun shines it'll shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you, that meant something even if you were too small to understand why. But I think Mr. Frodo, I do understand, I know now folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn't. They kept going because they were holding on to something.

Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?

Sam: That there's some good in the world, Mr. Frodo, and it's worth fighting for.


All of this is from the film, not the book, so not really relevant to the discussion. The book version goes like this:

Tolkien wrote:'Yes, that's so,' said Sam. `And we shouldn't be here at all, if we'd known more about it before we started. But I suppose it's often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo: adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that's not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually – their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn't. And if they had, we shouldn't know, because they'd have been forgotten. We hear about those as just went on – and not all to a good end, mind you; at least not to what folk inside a story and not outside it call a good end. You know, coming home, and finding things all right, though not quite the same – like old Mr Bilbo. But those aren't always the best tales to hear, though they may be the best tales to get landed in! I wonder what sort of a tale we've fallen into? '

`I wonder,' said Frodo. 'But I don't know. And that's the way of a real tale. Take any one that you're fond of. You may know, or guess, what kind of a tale it is, happy-ending or sad-ending, but the people in it don't know. And you don't want them to.'

'No, sir, of course not. Beren now, he never thought he was going to get that Silmaril from the Iron Crown in Thangorodrim, and yet he did, and that was a worse place and a blacker danger than ours. But that's a long tale, of course, and goes on past the happiness and into grief and beyond it – and the Silmaril went on and came to Eärendil. And why, sir, I never thought of that before! We've got – you've got some of the light of it in that star-glass that the Lady gave you! Why, to think of it, we're in the same tale still! It's going on. Don't the great tales never end? '

'No, they never end as tales,' said Frodo. `But the people in them come, and go when their part's ended. Our part will end later – or sooner.'

'And then we can have some rest and some sleep,' said Sam. He laughed grimly. 'And I mean just that, Mr. Frodo. I mean plain ordinary rest, and sleep, and waking up to a morning's work in the garden. I'm afraid that's all I'm hoping for all the time. All the big important plans are not for my sort. Still, I wonder if we shall ever be put into songs or tales. We're in one, or course; but I mean: put into words, you know, told by the fireside, or read out of a great big book with red and black letters, years and years afterwards. And people will say: "Let's hear about Frodo and the Ring! " And they'll say: "Yes, that's one of my favourite stories. Frodo was very brave, wasn't he, dad?" "Yes, my boy, the famousest of the hobbits, and that's saying a lot."'

`It's saying a lot too much,' said Frodo, and he laughed, a long clear laugh from his heart. Such a sound had not been heard in those places since Sauron came to Middle-earth. To Sam suddenly it seemed as if all the stones were listening and the tall rocks leaning over them. But Frodo did not heed them; he laughed again. 'Why, Sam,' he said, 'to hear you somehow makes me as merry as if the story was already written. But you've left out one of the chief characters: Samwise the stouthearted. "I want to hear more about Sam, dad. Why didn't they put in more of his talk, dad? That's what I like, it makes me laugh. And Frodo wouldn't have got far without Sam, would he, dad? " '

`Now, Mr. Frodo,' said Sam, 'you shouldn't make fun. I was serious. '

`So was I,' said Frodo, 'and so I am. We're going on a bit too fast. You and I, Sam, are still stuck in the worst places of the story, and it is all too likely that some will say at this point: "Shut the book now, dad; we don't want to read any more." '

`Maybe,' said Sam, 'but I wouldn't be one to say that. Things done and over and made into part of the great tales are different. Why, even Gollum might be good in a tale, better than he is to have by you, anyway. And he used to like tales himself once, by his own account. I wonder if he thinks he's the hero or the villain?

`Gollum!' he called. `Would you like to be the hero – now where's he got to again?'


Depending on how you view what Sam meant in the film by "worth fighting for", Tolkien said the same, but in much more subtle way, by showing Frodo and Sam struggle on. Although by the end, Frodo couldn't remember the good in the world, and was merely putting one step in front of the other because there was nothing else to be done.

Tolkien wrote:Frodo took the cloak and fastened the brooch. ‘That’s better!’ he said. ‘I feel much lighter. I can go on now. But this blind dark seems to be getting into my heart. As I lay in prison, Sam. I tried to remember the Brandywine, and Woody End, and The Water running through the mill at Hobbiton. But I can’t see them now.’
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Re: What impresses you about the books?

Postby FrodoTook » Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:34 pm

The rhythm and sound of the writing also appealed to me very much.


Well said. Well said indeed.
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Re: What impresses you about the books?

Postby FrodoTook » Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:46 pm

Chubb wrote: there is dignity in the writing, which I love.


Well said my friend.

Thank you.
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby markkur » Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:59 pm

I enjoy so many things but, as Tolkien defined it, mine was my Recovery; paying attention and appreciating the view in my life. I don't know if other folks find themselves too often lost in what I will call "auto-pilot" but I did and have always had to be on guard against the dread habit of worry/care over sight and interaction. Like getting in a car and going from point-a to point-b and remembering nothing of the drive. Tolkien accomplished his aim by waking me to realize the magic that is about me everywhere, even in those pesky Gum trees in my front yard tossing their porcupine eggs. :D
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby Morwenna » Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:51 pm

Is it crass to say "Me too"? :)

I was made much more aware of my surroundings after reading LOTR. I took in detail after detail where I used to just barrel along with nothing in view by my objective. Not any longer! (Though I admit to having relapsed somewhat in after years; maybe it's time for a re-reading?)
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby markkur » Thu Mar 19, 2015 5:43 am

Morwenna wrote: (Though I admit to having relapsed somewhat in after years; maybe it's time for a re-reading?)


As our wise and beloved Gandalf would say; "you're darn tootin'!" :D

Although. I know it is likely a timeless stroll in Imladris that every one of us yearns.

My wife and I have discussed this "longing" many times. The best explanation is that we, meaning all of us, carry a vision of heaven that is far more the same than different. <imo> What Tolkien had Thorin see in the end, is like a blueprint of the human heart. I might be giving the Professor too much credit for teaching me but I don't think so; he was indeed the grandfather I never had.

Like most everyone here I've informed friends of this epic tale over the years. I'll never forget this result; One day, a friend finished the trilogy around midnight and then called me to say; "Thanks a lot! What do I do now?" :D
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby Morwenna » Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:02 am

C.S. Lewis wrote about that kind of longing and came to the same conclusion.

Amazing, isn't it, that Lewis was so good at explicating these things (both spiritual and literary) but his own fiction is only OK to me? I enjoy it but I wouldn't go head over heels for it. I read Lewis because he was a friend of Tolkien and was said to express a similar view. If I had read Lewis first and heard that Tolkien had something in common with Lewis, I might never have gotten around to reading Tolkien!
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby markkur » Sat Mar 21, 2015 2:09 pm

Morwenna wrote: C.S. Lewis wrote about that kind of longing and came to the same conclusion. Amazing, isn't it, that Lewis was so good at explicating these things (both spiritual and literary) but his own fiction is only OK to me? I enjoy it but I wouldn't go head over heels for it.


I wonder how many of us here think the same? Honestly the two books by CSL that I think are very good are his "gifts to the world" Mere Christianity and The Problem of Pain. I'm sure you know MC was not a book in the usual sense, because he put into print what he had said to the nation during WWII. So, I certainly understand and agree with your perspective.

Morwenna wrote: I read Lewis because he was a friend of Tolkien and was said to express a similar view. If I had read Lewis first and heard that Tolkien had something in common with Lewis, I might never have gotten around to reading Tolkien!


:D My experience went the other way. I would guess that I would have read CSL no matter what, because I took a long route through the whole history of Christian lit and I don't think someone serious can miss his footprint. He remains very important to this day.

Here's a couple of links I bet you and others here will enjoy if not already viewed.

The first is Actor David Payne's wonderful performance of "C.S. Lewis: My Life's Journey"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96uT-BvRi-k

The second is an in-depth look at the friendship between the two men over the years. The teachers name escapes me but he gave what I think is a solid, honest look into the relationship of our two heroes.

Lewis and Tolkien: Scholars and Friends
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNhCMRe ... re=related

Make it great!
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby Morwenna » Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:25 pm

I've read all Lewis's fiction and some of his Christian works, and some of his works on literature. Honestly, my favorite of all his books are An Experiment in Criticism (which I think ought to be required reading for all literature majors all over the world) and The Four Loves, which is not without its faults but is still great. Also Of Other Worlds contains some essays on literature, some unfinished, which ought to go along with Experiment.

As for his fiction, I don't doubt that it's great; I've enjoyed the Space Trilogy especially. But it didn't move me the way Tolkien's work did. Nothing has, before or since.
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby Numenohtar » Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:04 pm

I think the most impressive aspect of the books is the linguistic dimension, that is to say, the languages that Tolkien invented. His "Secret Vice" is what makes Arda authentic. Simultaneously, his "Secret Vice" is what makes us Tolkien-lovers seem unacceptable. For example, we are more interested in what is going on in Dor-lomin or Esgaroth than in some obscure part of the world we live in.

Basically, with the publication of the Lord of the Rings and the Silmarillion, Tolkien's "Secret Vice" became disseminated. Along with T.R. O'Neill, I totally believe that this "Secret Vice" (which is deemed escapist) is in fact the mythical and symbolic corpus necessary to reinvigorate a degenerated modern world. We are not without myth in modernity, but we are without myths that benefit us on an individual-growth level. Thus, people look at the Silmarils simply as precious commodities, or Morgoth simply as an action movie villain or what have you. If they had the Vice we have (that is to say, if they could take myth seriously), they could tear off these blinders.

Without the languages, the names of Luthien, Turin and Aragorn would dissolve into meaninglessness. Place-names would disappear, and caprice would reign.
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby Morwenna » Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:13 pm

Welcome, Numenohtar! You make a very good point.
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby Numenohtar » Mon Mar 23, 2015 7:32 pm

Morwenna wrote:Welcome, Numenohtar! You make a very good point.


Thank you, my fellow New Englander! Glad you liked it.
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby ngaur » Tue Mar 24, 2015 1:08 pm

the mythical and symbolic corpus necessary to reinvigorate a degenerated modern world.


You mean our world?
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby markkur » Wed Mar 25, 2015 3:55 am

Numenohtar wrote:I think the most impressive aspect of the books is the linguistic dimension, that is to say, the languages that Tolkien invented. His "Secret Vice" is what makes Arda authentic. Simultaneously, his "Secret Vice" is what makes us Tolkien-lovers seem unacceptable.


I enjoy so many aspects, that is another. One more area that I've both learned a lot from him is the idea of place-names. The history of neighborhood and giving directions <L> has been enjoyable and walks thru the Ordnance Survey maps prolific for many a purpose. Finding Middle-Earth names all over England was another bonus.

If possessing child-like awareness and awe are unacceptable, may I ever remain a rebel. Let the masses escape to the "check-out" all they wish. :D
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby Elvish Hobbit » Wed Mar 25, 2015 7:16 am

There is so much that impresses me and I don't find myself worthy of even saying so. Tolkien's work is a masterpiece that doesn't happen everyday. What I could say nearly all the members must have already said(though I have not read the entire thread), but still I feel there is much more that I love and adore. The depth of the characters, the adventures, the dangers, the magic, the beauty (am I repeating what everyone's said?) makes me feel I'm with the characters I love so much. Still remember reading LOTR. How I was feeling throughout the while going through Frodo and Sam's journey or Eowyn killing the Witchking or Gandalf's return can't be explained in words. And suddenly the book came to an abrupt halt with Sam's, "Well, I'm back." wish we could get more of the Ring-bearers post their departure in the Undying Lands. :)
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby Numenohtar » Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:49 pm

ngaur wrote:You mean our world?


Yes. We spent the majority of our human existence mediating our lived experience through myth. Now that we have killed off all the Gods and use the word "myth" pejoratively to describe something that is untrue, we yearn for things with a mythical form more than ever. We love to hear about dragons and mountains and hidden beings, which are in fact the symbolic vocabulary of our ancestral myths...
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby Numenohtar » Wed Mar 25, 2015 1:00 pm

markkur wrote:If possessing child-like awareness and awe are unacceptable, may I ever remain a rebel. Let the masses escape to the "check-out" all they wish. :D


Hear, hear!

And yeah, place names... The geography of Arda is very important for me, too. I've been exploring The Atlas of Middle-Earth and contemplating Tolkien's geography through a lens suggested by the Jungian Pia Skogemann (in "Where the Shadows Lie: A Jungian Interpretation of Lord of the Rings"). She writes of certain cities and realms having the "structure of a mandala." Timothy R. O'Neill (another Jungian reader of Tolkien) says similar things, pointing out the whole language of polarity in the Third Age: separated by Osgiliath, you have Minas Tirith (sun) versus Minas Morgul (originally moon); on the side of the former, the White Mountains, on the latter, the Mountains of Shadow...
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby Billobob » Thu Mar 26, 2015 1:56 pm

What impresses me the most is the fact that even though the world is not real it's so realistic that it seems real. Also I love all the background info adds depth.
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby FrodoTook » Fri Apr 03, 2015 8:36 pm

I thank all of you for sharing your thoughts of appreciation.

After many readings of Lord of the Rings, which I first read in 1975 ( I was 22 then ) , I am impressed that it remains "fresh".

I still get totally immersed in the tale. Tolkien takes me "to Middle Earth." I am there and LotR remains a glorious "page turner", one which I am glad to have found.

Now, at age 61, I am still yet to find a more enjoyable book to read.

I sincerely considerate myself fortunate to have lived during the time to enjoy his shares. LotR had such compelling history to me that I wanted to know more and was moved to read The Silmarillion, which I pre-ordered back in 1976.

That said, I was actually a late comer to Tolkien and was so happy to meet others ( here on TORC ) who had read Tolkiens' works before me ( and after me )
and have the opportunity to learn from and get a better appreciation of Tolkiens works from all of you.

I thank you all sincerely for sharing your thoughts.
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Re: What impresses you most about the books?

Postby markkur » Mon Apr 06, 2015 6:58 am

FrodoTook wrote: After many readings of Lord of the Rings, which I first read in 1975 ( I was 22 then ) , I am impressed that it remains "fresh".


I was not going to ramble any more but you changed that Frodo Took. :D

I could/should have quoted everything you said and in total agreement but that one comment seemed to jump off the page.

I could write a book about the marvels of Middle-Earth and all that follows but, as you said, the books do retain an eternal quality of a sort and that is a powerful magic seldom cast.

Sometimes, just past the age of 60 myself, I "need" to read a bit of the story to refresh myself. Now that is what my Bible is for but it's more the manual of my life while the Lotr is more the childlike creation class that goes on a field-trip where I stay alert on the road ahead but try not to lose sight of Sam and Pippin; they have wonderfully free spirits and know how to love in the worst of times.

Make it great!
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