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Old 10-01-2002, 09:57 AM   #27
Bęthberry
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Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.Bęthberry is a guest of Elrond in Rivendell.
Boots

My apologies, lmp, if this post goes too far astray of your original idea.

Child, I would like to look at the larger passage of that letter from 16 December 1937 (Letter 19, to Stanley Unwin).

Quote:
But I am sure you will sympathize when I say that the construction of elaborate and consistent mythology (and two languages) rather occupies the mind, and the Silmarils are in my heart. So that goodness knows what will happen. Mr Baggins began as a comic tale among conventional and inconsistent Grimm's fairy-tale dwarves, and got drawn into the edge of it--so that even Sauron the terrible peeped over the edge. And what more can hobbits do? They can be comic, but their comedy is suburban unless it is set against things more elemental. But the real fun about orcs and dragons (to my mind) was before their time. Perhaps a new (if similar) line? Do you think Tom Bombadil, the spirit of the (vanishing) Oxford and Berkshire countryside, could be made into the hero of a story? Or is he, as I suspect, fully enshrined in the enclosed verses? Still I could enlarge the portrait.
Bolding is mine. I think the juxtaposition of these two statements is interesting for two reasons. First, they imply a difference between Bombadil and the hobbits. And second, they suggest something about how Tolkien constructed his narrative. Tom's presence changes the meaning of the hobbits. Thus, his function is not solely to represent the vanishing English countryside. This, to me, is fascinating, for it suggests how aesthetics (narrative structure) creates meaning. And vice versa.

However, I might be the only Downer who is interested in how themes are embodied and not just in the themes themselves.

Respectfully,
Bethberry
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