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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Default Tolkien's Lost Recording

    J.R.R. Tolkien Reveals TRUE Meaning Of 'The Lord Of The Rings' In Unearthed Audio Recording | Noble Smith

    Over 20 years ago, a lost recording of J.R.R. Tolkien was discovered in a basement in Rotterdam, but the man who found it kept this important reel-to-reel tape hidden away. Until recently, only he had heard the recording. But now, I am one of those lucky Middle-earth lovers who has listened to this magical magnetic tape, and I happily declare that it is awesome. For it proves once and for all that Professor Tolkien was, in fact, very much the hobbit that we all suspected him to be. What's more, we get to hear Tolkien reading a lost poem in the Elven tongue which he translates into English. And to top it off, he states in unambiguous terms (cue Rohirrim war trumpets) the real meaning of The Lord of the Rings!

    Got chills yet Tolkien fans? Just wait until you hear it yourself.

    The recording took place on March 28th, 1958 in Rotterdam at a "Hobbit Dinner" put on by Tolkien's Dutch publisher and a bookseller. Tolkien's own publisher, Allen and Unwin, paid for his trip to the Netherlands to attend this special party. According to his letters the author was chuffed to find that Rotterdam was filled with people "intoxicated with hobbits." Tolkien showed up at a packed hall where 200 hobbit fanatics had come to hear him and other scholars talk about Middle-earth. The menu for the dinner was whimsically Tolkienesque, with Egg-salad à la Barliman Butterbur, Vegetables of Goldberry, and Maggot-soup (mushroom soup regrettably named after Farmer Maggot). And a Dutch tobacco company supplied the tables with clay pipes and tobacco labeled Old Toby and Longbottom Leaf, which pleased Tolkien, a devotee of the "art" of smoking pipe-weed.

    Accounts of the event have been cobbled together over the years but, sadly, nobody bothered to transcribe exactly what Tolkien said. Christopher Tolkien must have had some of his father's notes for his speech, because a brief passage from Tolkien's Hobbit Dinner oration appears in Humphrey Carpenter's biography, albeit in a slightly different form. Thankfully we now know that someone had made a complete recording of the event. This reel-to-reel tape was discovered in 1993 by a Dutchman named René van Rossenberg, a Tolkien expert who owns a shop in the Netherlands devoted to all things Middle-earth (TolkienShop.com)...
    Acutally, I thought the picture accompanying this was very interesting... his body position and appearance is a bit different than anything i've seen before... even if he looks mildly soused.

    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    suh-weet

  3. #3
    hypersane Hive's Avatar
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    I have all the LotR-novels compiled in one old, very worn hardback book with both the cover and back torn off.

    I've seen the movies and has picked up other details not portrayed in them from Tolkien-fanatic friends. Are they worth reading if I wanna immerse in his works, already familiar with 95% of the content, or would it be better to read Silmarillion? Is the prose good enough to read them anyway?

    The Tolkien universe is something I've been meaning to educate myself about for a long time. These news excite me despite not having read anything of his since Bilbo at the age of 8.
    I FEEL ALRIGHT

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hive View Post
    I have all the LotR-novels compiled in one old, very worn hardback book with both the cover and back torn off.
    Well-loved, I'd say.
    (Or a dog got to it. )

    I've seen the movies and has picked up other details not portrayed in them from Tolkien-fanatic friends. Are they worth reading if I wanna immerse in his works, already familiar with 95% of the content, or would it be better to read Silmarillion? Is the prose good enough to read them anyway?
    Hmmm. It depends partly on what kind of stuff you like.

    Lord of the Rings is basically an adult continuation of The Hobbit, and is a specific narrative of a period of time over a few years -- the war that ended the Third Age, with the resolution of the war with Sauron and the One Ring... all the Rings, as a matter of fact... and of the elves. It zooms the camera in pretty close as a personal narrative, compared to the Similarillion which takes a more "bird's eye" view of events.

    The Silmarillion is more historical and mythic in how it's written. It starts with the creation of the world, where Morgoth/Melkor came from (he wove dark music against the communal music of Eru Ilúvatar's other children, attempting to insert melodies of his own against the grand design.. and thus he fell).

    The name itself comes from The Silmarils, which were three (?) gems of exceeding beauty that captured the light of the Two Trees in Valinor (= heaven) which at some point were sucked dry and killed by Ungoliant, Shelob's mother, with Morgoth's help -- these gems were created by Feanor, one of the high elf craftsman of the time, but basically became the center of a long war due to everyone wanting them. Many of the other stories of middle-earth history revolved around the silmarils, the attempts to steal them, curses that were attached to them, etc. It is a tale of tragedy and woe, pride and destruction. So you are basically tracking important narratives/myths across large expanses of time, seeing how the Silmarils impacted history.

    Some of the most important stories are there -- the fall of Morgoth and the rise of Sauron, his lieutenant. The story of Beren and Luthien, which the later relationship between Aragorn and Arwen reflects. The story of the exodus of the elves. The tale of Turin Turumbar. Lots and lots of tragedy in that book, it can be depressing if you don't like tragic stories. I love tragic stories, and sometimes it really hurts to read those stories... especially the Huor and Hurin debacle. But really, Tolkien considered it his main work on Middle Earth.

    As far as the movies go, people vary in their respect for them. I liked the first one and thought it most captured the spirit and tone (and even much of the content) of the book. But I had a lot of trouble stomaching the next two movies (which seemed to deviate more and more, or cheapen certain important things and elevate irrelevant things), and I'm not a big fan of the Hobbit translation to screen either. That's just me, you might differ. If you've seen the movies, you'll have gotten the basic gist of the books. I think some parts of the books are better than the movies, and then some parts of the books can be thoroughly boring (especially some stuff in the Two Towers).

    So it's really up to what you like. You can ask more specific questions, if you have some.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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    My favorite part of the LoTR was always the geography. I own the Atlas of Middle Earth.

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    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    And then he quite plainly spells out what the books are about--something he only alluded to once in a letter, but is incontrovertible in this speech. (If you want to know exactly what he says you'll just have to listen for yourself!)

  7. #7
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    Yes please.

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    I know. That was so cheap!!!
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  9. #9
    hypersane Hive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    Well-loved, I'd say.
    (Or a dog got to it. )
    Actually, I think that was my doing... It wasn't like that when I got it. It was my dad's, probably bought in his teenage years in the late 70's.
    That theory is supported by the fact that I still have the cover here, lol.





    Hmmm. It depends partly on what kind of stuff you like.

    Lord of the Rings is basically an adult continuation of The Hobbit, and is a specific narrative of a period of time over a few years -- the war that ended the Third Age, with the resolution of the war with Sauron and the One Ring... all the Rings, as a matter of fact... and of the elves. It zooms the camera in pretty close as a personal narrative, compared to the Similarillion which takes a more "bird's eye" view of events.

    The Silmarillion is more historical and mythic in how it's written. It starts with the creation of the world, where Morgoth/Melkor came from (he wove dark music against the communal music of Eru Ilúvatar's other children, attempting to insert melodies of his own against the grand design.. and thus he fell).

    The name itself comes from The Silmarils, which were three (?) gems of exceeding beauty that captured the light of the Two Trees in Valinor (= heaven) which at some point were sucked dry and killed by Ungoliant, Shelob's mother, with Morgoth's help -- these gems were created by Feanor, one of the high elf craftsman of the time, but basically became the center of a long war due to everyone wanting them. Many of the other stories of middle-earth history revolved around the silmarils, the attempts to steal them, curses that were attached to them, etc. It is a tale of tragedy and woe, pride and destruction. So you are basically tracking important narratives/myths across large expanses of time, seeing how the Silmarils impacted history.

    Some of the most important stories are there -- the fall of Morgoth and the rise of Sauron, his lieutenant. The story of Beren and Luthien, which the later relationship between Aragorn and Arwen reflects. The story of the exodus of the elves. The tale of Turin Turumbar. Lots and lots of tragedy in that book, it can be depressing if you don't like tragic stories. I love tragic stories, and sometimes it really hurts to read those stories... especially the Huor and Hurin debacle. But really, Tolkien considered it his main work on Middle Earth.
    Going by this, I'm definetely gonna read Silmarillion. I wanna know more about the "inner workings" of Middle Earth, like what role does magic and wizards play (Cuz I get the feeling that wizards are something more than just exceptionally powerful individuals. You don't get to know who Gandalf and Saruman really are, where they come from or how they came to be wizards, what the real difference between a grey and white wizard is except for the wardrobe change and enhanced powers, etc.), what powers or deities that rule their world and so on. I'm especially interested in the story of Sauron. You never get to know anything about him the movies except that he's the bad guy.

    Thanks for the informative answer.

    As far as the movies go, people vary in their respect for them. I liked the first one and thought it most captured the spirit and tone (and even much of the content) of the book. But I had a lot of trouble stomaching the next two movies (which seemed to deviate more and more, or cheapen certain important things and elevate irrelevant things), and I'm not a big fan of the Hobbit translation to screen either. That's just me, you might differ. If you've seen the movies, you'll have gotten the basic gist of the books. I think some parts of the books are better than the movies, and then some parts of the books can be thoroughly boring (especially some stuff in the Two Towers).

    So it's really up to what you like. You can ask more specific questions, if you have some.
    What important/irrelevant things are cheapened/elevated?

    And yeah, I didn't like The Hobbit film either. I get that it's a children's book, but the "cuteness" of the film really bothered me sometimes.

    Especially Radagast the Brown: "These are Rhosgobel Rabbits. I'd like to see them try."

    The riddles in the dark scene was pretty cool, though.
    I FEEL ALRIGHT

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hive View Post
    Going by this, I'm definetely gonna read Silmarillion. I wanna know more about the "inner workings" of Middle Earth, like what role does magic and wizards play (Cuz I get the feeling that wizards are something more than just exceptionally powerful individuals. You don't get to know who Gandalf and Saruman really are, where they come from or how they came to be wizards, what the real difference between a grey and white wizard is except for the wardrobe change and enhanced powers, etc.), what powers or deities that rule their world and so on. I'm especially interested in the story of Sauron. You never get to know anything about him the movies except that he's the bad guy.
    This is one of the things that I felt was cheapened by the movies -- where they essentially made the wizards (Istari) into AD&D spellcasters.

    The Istari are essentially angels in human skin. Their power comes not through spells and incantations as much as from their angelic nature having power over the physical world. Tolkien didn't seem as clear on this himself at the VERY beginning, but his writing of them quickly clarifies as the stories progress. Gandalf and Radagast and Saruman are actually the same classification as Sauron, believe it or not -- it's just that Sauron is a much more powerful entity.

    Illuvatar (the creator God) created the Ainur, in essence the "angels." There the Valar (the more powerful group of angels, of which there were 15?) and then the Maiar, which were the lesser angels. Sauron was a Maiar who chose to serve Melkor, a fallen Valar.

    The angels of Valinor chose to send a few Maiar in the flesh of mortal man into Middle-Earth to help the people to defend against Sauron's evil. Curumo (Saruman) was the most powerful and the first selected. Alatar (one of the "blue wizards") was another. Olorin (Gandalf) was the third chosen, despite the fact Olorin did not feel he was powerful enough for the task, but the Valar thought this made him an even more suitable emissary. Curumo was to take Aiwendil (Radagast) as a companion, and Alatar to take Pallando. The Istari were forbidding to match Sauron power for power or to dominate the people of Middle Earth. Their job was to encourage and facilitate the people in their fight against Sauron.

    The Istari all seemed to be represented by colors. The two blue wizards went into the east of Middle Earth and either lost their way/mission or were somehow destroyed by Saruman (no one is sure). Saruman the White, the most powerful, eventually fell into darkness and wanted the ring for himself. Radagast become absorbed into the study of plants and animals and nature; in the books, he is even more superfluous than the movies, he doesn't seem to like to intrude into the human drama. Gandalf the Grey is the only Istari who really stuck with the mission to embolden the people of Middle Earth against Sauron's malice.

    I understand that it's easier to film movies if you can externalize these kinds of conflicts, but a director with more abstract capabilities (like Aronofsky, for example) could have conveyed power through "essence" rather than externalizing it into old guys casting spells with obvious physical effects and hitting each other with their staves. Jackson had this issue with other key scenes too -- the balrog looked like a giant A&D/video game monster rather than a maiar (yes, the balrogs were fallen Maiar as well), and Shelob just came off as a giant spider rather than a conscious, cunning force of evil that was in the form of a spider.

    What important/irrelevant things are cheapened/elevated?
    See above for this in context of the Istari.

    And yeah, I didn't like The Hobbit film either. I get that it's a children's book, but the "cuteness" of the film really bothered me sometimes.
    Especially Radagast the Brown: "These are Rhosgobel Rabbits. I'd like to see them try."
    The Radagast scenes were added wholesale. In the books, Radagast appears only briefly on a few occasions, and he looks like a human wizard similar to gandalf... just one seeped in the lore of animals and plants. Tolkien did not use him for comic relief but more as just an example of beings who wanted to "be neutral" and not involve himself in the affairs of people. It's not really clear what happens to Radagast after the War ends, and I'm not sure if Tolkien mentions his fate in any of his supplemental information. (Olorin of course returns to the West, his task accomplished.)

    The riddles in the dark scene was pretty cool, though.
    The "Riddle" scene was pretty close to the books.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

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