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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Frodo caps, cont'd: The Eyes veiled, in a Purple Lorien....

Posted on 2005.11.16 at 19:43

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Mechtild
mechtild at 2005-11-17 17:47 (UTC) (Link)

"Long Reply" pt. 2

I can see how one can fall in love with one’s own creation.

I wanted to be clear, Estë, that I didn’t mean that we Frodo lovers “created” our love for him, in that we fully-fashioned him in our minds as we watched the films. I guess I wanted to say that his portrayal both answered long-cherished (if shadowy) notions of the lover we most desired, but also exceeded it.

I used my own personalized interpretation of “Pygmalion and Galatea” to illustrate, but I think it was more misleading than helpful. Sorry! *sheepish face* Usually, the myth is used to show how people fall in love with what they have created. That is a strong theme in Tolkien, too, in his stories about the Elves, especially (and in talking about himself, personally). But I wanted to use that myth to talk about how what is created transcends what was intended. I had always dreamed of some ideal lover (although I had forgotten about it for decades), but what I got was more than and different from what I had been dreaming of.

I think Pygmalion, as an artist, started in to create a statue of a beautiful woman, to please himself as an artist and hopefully his patron. If he were successful, he could look at his work with pride and satisfaction, “Great work, if I do say so myself! I hope it wins first place at the Athens Gala! I love it!” But, in the myth, Pygmalion not only loved “it” but “her” – the woman whose image emerged from the marble under his hands. Who was she? Yes, she would have to be an expression of what Pygmalion most deeply wanted. But, even then, I don’t think he would pine the way he did. I think the woman who emerged would have to have been more than, other than what he wanted. If she were only what he had wanted, he would have “accomplished” her; she still would have no life of her own. It’s the “gift” or “inspiration” part of art that allowed what emerged as he worked to be different than, other than, greater than whatever he consciously or subconsciously wished for. He could see that the person in his finished statue was not just his creation, but had a "life" of its own, which is necessary for having a relationship (i.e. fall in love). You can't have a relationship with what is wholly you own creation, you can only admire it.

I guess I am still mulling over why I have responded the way I have to film Frodo. I have had my crushes on men and famous artists over the years (though not in a long time), but nothing like this, and, on no one like him. In some ways, he’s a fulfilment of what I have always admired in men – such as his art-works-classical beauty and his noble character, kind nature, etc. But he is radically different from the types of men (real life or famous/fictional) I have been besotted with in the past. This swoon for Frodo really has taken me into a new world, and into a new self. It has shown a “me” to me that I hadn’t know was there! In that way, he could not possibly be my creation. His very power over my imagination arises from his ... otherness, his ... unexpectedness.

But why should I be so surprised? He came into my world to lead me into his: Faerie. Tolkien said it was a perilous realm where few go and leave unscathed. Some don’t leave at all.
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