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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

'Brokeback Mt. Doom' -- BBM Meets LotR.....

Posted on 2006.03.04 at 11:38

Comments:


Mechtild
mechtild at 2006-03-04 23:51 (UTC) (Link)
That is so true - I was just like you at first, couldn't understand what everyone was going on about. But when I re-read the books I could see how it was there for anyone who wanted it to be.

I take it that you mean that it is up to the reader to receive the text the way she wants. Well, that's no doubt what Tolkien meant about how a work of art, once it was out of its creator's hands, struck each person differently, based on her own experiences, understanding, and desires. ("Applicability?")

I'm ok with that, or else I wouldn't be able to write and read fanfiction with such pleasure, some of which diverges widely from the canon text, some less so. But I still like to distinguish what I (or other readers) see in the book from what Tolkien probably meant the reader to see in it. I suppose I keep my book characters in one drawer, and the myriad fanfic versions of characters (including my own) in other drawers.

It would be a lie, though, to say the various visions of LotR(whether PJ's, my fanfic vision, or those of other fanfic writers) haven't coloured my reading of the book, they have. For instance, because of the films, when I read LotR now I have a much, much more sympathetic picture of Boromir than I did. Sean Bean did that with his very accessible, very emotionally appealing performance in the role. I simply hadn't imagined Boromir that sympathetically. His performance, I felt, enriched my subsequent reading. I can't not feel the influence of his portrayal when I read, now.

That's just one example, of course. Other examples have come from pithy fics, fics that gave me a whole range of views of, say, the nature and feel of Frodo's post-Quest malaise. They each have subtly contributed to my reading of Frodo, even when I have disagreed with them. Some of them sway me only when I am under their power, while reading them. But some make more permanent impressions. And I think that's a cool thing. They enlarge my understanding and deepen my appreciation.

Oh, I'm just going on and on again, sorry....
 Paulie
not_alone at 2006-03-06 21:55 (UTC) (Link)
I take it that you mean that it is up to the reader to receive the text the way she wants.

That's right. The first time I read the books (I started reading FOTR just before I saw the film, and finished all 3 during the week after seeing it) I never once considered the many instances of physical contact between Frodo & Sam as anything but friendship, it just didn't occur to me to think of it in any other way. At that time I was completely unaware of the existence of fanfiction/slash. Of course, once I started looking around the internet it wasn't long before I came across it and discovered that there were people who saw the F/S relationship very differently. When I reread the books, I could see plainly how easy it would be for anyone who wanted their relationship to be sexual to interpret all the instances of touching, embracing & kissing.

It would be a lie, though, to say the various visions of LotR(whether PJ's, my fanfic vision, or those of other fanfic writers) haven't coloured my reading of the book, they have

My experience has probably been very different to yours, having seen the films before reading the books. Even though I had read the first few chapters of FOTR, I somehow hadn't been able to put faces to the characters which is unusual for me - I've usually formed a picture in my mind immediately. Perhaps it was fate - because of what was just around the corner for me!! In a way I'm glad - because I've only ever had one Frodo in my mind - and whether I'm reading the books or fanfiction, its Elijah's beautiful face I see, and the same with all the other characters.
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