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Old 10-02-2002, 10:00 AM   #31
Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 228
Nar has just left Hobbiton.

Bethberry, I would say that JRRT saw past ages as slightly different than modern ages, in that evil aspects were clearer to see-- more embodied and less distributed, if you know what I mean? And that in past ages, nearly-unmarred islands existed, one type in Elf-havens and the other in Bombadil and Treebeard (call them spirit/light and earth/water) whereas now, there are no more less-marred islands. Corruption is smoothly distributed throughout all-- now we suffer psychological darkness rather than epic darkness. I don't mean that there was no inner conflict then, but inner conflict connected to a dark lord then, now it's all distributed through us.

Interested in narrative structure? Of course! The principle one I see is the broad, green, human-scale valley of the hobbit's story, with a broad, friendly river in it, running on and on up into the mountains --epic-- purple mountains majesty-- Aragorn/Elves and the little green valley getts higher and thinner, the river becomes thin, fierce rapids it becomes more difficult for the small, humane heroes to breathe, but the perspective on Kings, Heroes, Enemies, purple mountains majesty is more amazing-- then, just at the pinnacle, the little green valley begins to wind downward, river widening and gentling and deepening, widening and widening until all reach the sea, which is another thing entirely --where the river that was alongside the whole time makes its nature and true depth known.

(geographic details may be a bit fuzzy there at the pinnacle-- don't work the analogy too hard!)

One sign I see that the story's in the peaks is that remote, poetic langage, and that the story's seen --as Theoden's charge is seen-- as if a vision burned through the pages of the book one is reading-- whereas a sign of the green valley/hobbit theme is that the narration's standing on the ground and there's a strong sense that one is in the landscape. I don't know where I'm standing on the fields of Pelannor-- mainly I'm seeing and hearing a battlesong and I seem to be floating, seeing and hearing from elsewhere. I know exactly where I'm standing reading Frodo and Sam in Mordor, how it physically feels-- or how it feels in the marsh between midges and neekerbreekers. The braiding of two different narrations and perspectives and genres is one of the most exciting parts of the book for me.

Child, I like your onion analogy very much. I'm trying to edit a post for your other thread, but I had to put it up last night as my poor head was aching! It's something to do with standing on the grass in the fields of Rohan-- the one point where I'm physically present in the narration and also seeing a remote vision. It seems those roots you mention are the parts of the story where it seems like a vision has burned through some unknown manuscript I'm holding in my hands. Anyway, my reaction to you saying 'is it specifically English?' is 'Yes!'
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