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Re: The Ironic Imperative

Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:11 pm
by LĂșthien
Taurandir wrote:I guess what I was really asking is if Tolkien (or his message) is beyond criticism.
Aw, surely you weren't thinking that I was dissing Harold Bloom because he had the audacity to be critical of the untouchable JRR Tolkien? :o

IF you did, please re-read what has been said.

I'm honestly quite surprised that you would ask something like that given everything we discussed before. I'd think we would have excluded such a naive and fundamentalist point of view almost from the start. In fact, I think it was touched upon in one of the early discussions we had.

Look, I wasn't even directly criticising Mr. Bloom in person: I said that I found his being dismissive about fantasy (Tolkien and others) silly.
Well, even very intelligent people can be stone blind in some areas. To take another example: I think Stephen Hawking, surely one of the greatest physicist of this time, is also going beyond his limits with some of the things he says.

I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings re. Mr. Bloom. It was not intentioned like that, but I think you could have concluded that yourself. Why are you so sensitive about it?

Re: The Ironic Imperative

Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 3:27 pm
by Meneldur Olvarion
Just to clarify my position a little, I had never heard of Mr. Bloom before this thread, so I quite literally don't think anything about him. More generally, I don't go in for criticism of any sort because I'm not much interested in what anyone else thinks of anything. Ego-centrism kind of goes with the territory of my form of autism, so I mainly only listen to my own voice when it comes to opinions.

Information, now: that's a different story.

Re: The Ironic Imperative

Posted: Tue Jan 03, 2017 4:49 pm
by LĂșthien
Just to make it explicit in order to remove all room for doubt: no, I don't think that Tolkien isn't above criticism. I wouldn't know why.

Though I do agree with Dave that the notion of criticising Tolkien makes little sense here because Tolkien is an author, and this is not a literary criticism forum.

Tolkien does not make statements of the sort that Harold Bloom makes and that you can agree or disagree with, with the possible exception of his judgement of what a fairy-story should be in "on fairy-stories" and supposedly here and there in his letters. But as far as I'm concerned those are his personal opinions, and I'm not particularly interested in them, at least not in the context of what we're doing here.

I'm interested in his creative work because I find that it lends itself very well to the kind of Imaginal exploration that this forum is about. If Tolkien doesn't work for you that way that's absolutely fine. I don't think that anyone would take offence to that. I think it is one of the hallmarks of gnosis that individual differences like that aren't problematic - because nobody has an interest in winning others over to their particular point of view. We're all somewhat different and that's fine.

Even if you think that Tolkien sucks - fine, then read someone else! Of course I like to talk with people who are moved by his stories in a similar manner as I am, but It would never make me think less of people who don't like his work.

The only really fundamental criticism that I can think of in the context of this board would be something like "you're all dead wrong and misguided to assume that whatever Tolkien's work does to you is in any way related to gnosis. He's an imposter! Read Brat Easton Ellis instead!" - or something like that. I don't expect that you would think something like that given our prior discussions. But even if you did, that'd be fine - we should just all respect "let's agree to disagree".