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NF-Lee's Gildor and Frodo

Happy 116th Birthday to Tolkien: photos, letter #328, and a reflection.

Posted on 2008.01.03 at 15:15
Tags: , , , ,
~*~



John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

January 3, 1892 ~ September 2, 1973


ecause today is Tolkien's birthday, I am posting a few images, a copy of letter #328, and a reflection in his honour.





1. Photos


~ Young J. R. R. Tolkien was known to family and friends by his second name, Ronald. This photo was taken in 1911, when he and his friends at King Edward's School started the secret T.C.B.S. ('Tea Club and Barrovian Society'). Tolkien already was reading in Old and Middle English, and they all were appreciators of Norse saga. He would have been 19 years old, two years after he and Edith Bratt had secretly declared their love for each other. He had tried his hand at verse, and had read and loved the Finnish Kalevala.









~ This photo shows Tolkien asleep with Christopher behind what must be their Oxford house. Christopher, born in 1924, would have barely been toddling in 1925 when Tolkien was brought to Oxford to be the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon. He's still a very small boy in this photograph. I love this picture of the writer I so revere snoozing with the boy who would grow up to be not only a philologist and medievalist in his own right, but, upon Tolkien's death in 1973, his father's literary executor. At eighty-three, Christopher Reuel Tolkien is still bringing his scholarship, understanding and love for his father's work to the task.









~ A nice photo of Tolkien and his wife Edith taken in their later years.









~ One of my favourite "pipe-smoking" shots (very Bilbo- or Gandalf-ish):





More Tolkien photos may be found in last year's birthday entry, ERE.






2. Letter #328.


Below is the draft of a letter Tolkien wrote well after The Lord of the Rings was an established success. Roughly dated as "Autumn 1971", it was written a few months before his wife Edith would die (November 29), and two years before his own death. Perhaps he had a sense of things "winding down", but the mood seems to me contemplative, interested in addressing deeper things.

The letter expresses some of Tolkien's thoughts and feelings about his writing, as well as the fate of his work after publication. What he says about writing really strikes a chord with me, which is why I am posting it. I also love the way he answers Mrs. Batten-Phelps comments (implied in his response), with candour, reflection and depth. (I left one paragraph of the published letter out, as it did not pertain as much to his thoughts on writing.)

I've been thinking a lot about writing lately, perhaps because I am not getting much of it done. But this letter speaks to things I've been thinking about. It resonates with me all the more because of the thoughts and ideas aredhelebenesse and jan-u-wine have been exchanging in the comments thread for my previous post. They've been talking about writing, too, and in depth: why they write [fanfiction], how they write, and what they feel about the things they write. How could this letter *not* come to mind?

So, in honour of Tolkien's 116th birthday, here is a letter that talks about writing.












I first read this letter in the spring of 2004. Coincidentally, it was when I was just beginning to read fanfic, something I had never heard of before becoming involved with online fandom in late 2003. I had been feeling a little iffy about the phenomenon, because of the way fic writers took Tolkien's work and made so free with it. Gap-fillers didn't cause me any alarm, but the more...creative stuff gave me pause. How could they do this to Tolkien's work, I asked myself. When I came across this letter at that time, the last passage leapt out at me particularly:


Of course the L.R. does not belong to me. It has been brought forth and must now go its appointed way in the world, though naturally I take a deep interest in its fortunes, as a parent would a child. I am comforted to know that it has good friends to defend it again the malice of its enemies.

I was involved then in a deep discussion with a scholar and excellent writer of fanfic, trying to understand how, as a Tolkien fan, she could write what she wrote (tame stuff, I later found). She argued that Tolkien fans were free to write what they wished, in spite of what would almost certainly be Tolkien's opinions on what they had done with his story, because the text was now public property, as was every published work. Aesthetically, artistically, the work belonged to its readers. If only on the grounds of "applicability", and Tolkien's expressed hope that future writers would add to the "tree of tales" (of which he thought his work was a small part), fans were given his virtual blessing to develop his secondary world as they felt inspired to do.

Yet I kept thinking of that last paragraph. Yes, Tolkien had sent his story out into the world by publishing it, and now it had a life of its own. But, comparing himself to a parent, he said he continued to take "a deep interest in its fortunes", and was comforted to think it was being defended against "the malice of its enemies". This letter to Mrs. Batten-Phelps included a paragraph in which Tolkien thanked her for letting him know she had read his work on the warm recommendation of an old Oxford colleague, a Fellow of Balliol, M. R. Ridley. "Not until I got your letter did I learn that he had done me the honour of placing the works of his old colleague in the ranks of ‘literature’, and gaining me intelligent and well-equipped readers", he wrote of the news. In this context, the "friends" of his child were people like Ridley, the "enemies" critics who had trashed it (and perhaps the cultish American fans who had appalled Tolkien, also mentioned in excised parts of this letter). Tolkien was not talking about fanfiction writers, who practice an art form of which Tolkien had never dreamed.

But if he had known what would be made from his work, what would he think? Agreeing in part with my conversation partner of 2004, I do think that Tolkien actually would be pleased to learn that his work had inspired other writers to enter his world and continue to open it up and out creatively. But not everything they have done with it would please him, I fear. Some things would certainly sadden, even horrify him, if he knew. Were fan writers friends, looking after Tolkien's child, or were they letting it languish while they pursued their own narrative ends? Were they defending it from enemies, or slapping it around, even molesting it? I could not be easy on the matter and continued to read fretfully, chafing at departures from canon.


evertheless, I eventually put my scruples aside and began to write my own fic. I meant to stay true to canon, but I didn't, leading my protagonist almost immediately out of his Tolkien-defined sphere. While I still feel ambivalent about it, I have learned to live with the compromise between trying to be faithful to canon and letting my story have its head. I want to be respectful of Tolkien, yet I want to have my say. I am sure this is not an uncommon feeling for fanfic writers.

In order to prepare for this post, I read letter #328 again. Having effectively made a truce with my feelings about the way I have treated Tolkien's "child", the passage that most spoke to me this time around was the penultimate paragraph. To Mrs. Batten-Phelps statement that she valued "a sanity and sanctity" in LotR which seemed to her to be "a power in itself", Tolkien replied that he was "deeply moved". Such a thing had never before been said to him. He told her then of another conversation he'd had, with a former atheist who said of LotR, "you create a world in which some sort of faith seems to be everywhere without a visible source, like a light from an invisible lamp". Tolkien wrote to Mrs. Phelps,


'Of his own sanity no man can securely judge. If sanctity inhabits his work or as a pervading light illumines it then it does not come from him but through him. And neither of you would perceive it in these terms unless it was with you also. Otherwise you would see and feel nothing, or (if some other spirit was present) you would be filled with contempt, nausea, hatred. “Leaves of the elf-country, gah!” “Lembas—dust and ashes, we don’t eat that.”

Tolkien was not talking about Frodo this time, but conjecturing how light might be perceived as permeating his work. But this passage is so parallel to the way he portrayed the light perceptible in Frodo, I couldn't help seeing a connection.

In a way, Frodo's character is like a metaphor or an icon that points to what Tolkien says here concerning the presence of the transcendent in his writing (or, by extension, in any artistic creation). In Frodo, too, the light could be perceived only by those with eyes to see it. Gandalf, sitting at Frodo's bedside as he recovered from the wound of the Morgul blade, saw it as he slept. Sam saw it as he watched Frodo sleep in Mordor.

In view of this passage, it is interesting that in both instances Frodo is asleep when the "inner light" is seen. For me, this underscores the idea that the light is not Frodo's own, but something that comes through him. It is not affected by his own personality, acts or moods. He is asleep when his light is perceived, apparently peacefully. He isn’t ecstatic or sad; he isn't suffering sacrificially, nor is he in the midst of valourous acts. The light emanates from him when he is doing and feeling relatively nothing. Frodo, as Gandalf said of him, becomes more and more like "a glass filled with a clear light for eyes to see that can." Like the light Tolkien speaks of in his story, Frodo does not himself generate the light: as he was a Ring-bearer, so he is a light-bearer—but not a light-source.

Frodo is, I believe, a figure, or sign, of how Tolkien conjectured light could permeate his story so that it, too, might seem as "a glass filled with clear light". Frodo, the story, and its creator all are vessels through which the same light can be glimpsed. It is their work and gift, their doom and privilege to bear light that is not their own, but which can be seen through them.

Perhaps an artist's job ("Quest"?), at its most profound, is to try to make his or her work such a vessel: transparent, so that the light might be glimpsed through it, even if it is only "for eyes to see that can".


~ Mechtild






~ "Frodo's Meeting With Gildor", by Alan Lee.




Comments:


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Shirebound
shirebound at 2008-01-03 21:34 (UTC) (Link)
I love that picture with J.R.R. and his son. What a dear moment.

I'm in awe of the enormity of the fan art (fiction, sculpture, paintings, music, dance, etc.) that has emanated from the original. I believe that most of us expand on the Professor's vision with respect and love, and do our best to allow that same light the space to emanate for other eyes to see, hear, touch, feel... Perhaps LOTR is the phial, and we are the hands that hold it up and pass it along.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2008-01-04 00:49 (UTC) (Link)
I believe that most of us expand on the Professor's vision with respect and love, and do our best to allow that same light the space to emanate for other eyes to see, hear, touch, feel... Perhaps LOTR is the phial, and we are the hands that hold it up and pass it along.

Gosh, Shirebound, that's beautiful. "We are the hands that hold [the phial] up and pass it along." I love that!
MithLuin
mithluin at 2008-01-03 21:50 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for reminding me! I had already planned to watch RotK with my brother tonight, and now it seems quite fitting to do so, as it's the professor's birthday.

I think your discussion of fanfic was very much spot on. We have the author's words saying that the story is 'ours' now, and in a sense we may do with it as we will. But at the same time...some treatments of it might seem painful to him, if he knew - it's his baby, not ours.

Many fanfic writers are very much respectful of his work, or at least try to be. But it is the rare story which the light shines through so clearly - and I think that it takes a special talent to pull off what he did. I could see "But all the fools are not in the other camp," applying to some fanfic stories I have read ;).

None of us write is such a way that our work would be mistaken for Tolkien's, and so we are all of us doing something different from what he did. But I think that many fans of LotR have captured that sense of hope, and put it into their own stories, and that is A Good Thing, I think. And I think Tolkien would agree :).
Mechtild
mechtild at 2008-01-04 00:56 (UTC) (Link)
Mithluin, are you the Mithluin who used to post at TORc (and, perhaps, still does)? I thought your comments were always interesting, if so.

This made me laugh:

I could see "But all the fools are not in the other camp," applying to some fanfic stories I have read ;).

Perhaps that's how I should look at fic that I think has taken the Professor's child and thrashed it black and blue. It's not that they are doing it out of malice, they are merely benighted.

Or maybe I should apply it to my own stuff: "She really loves the Professor and his work, in spite of the appalling tripe she writes."

In any case, your post makes me feel more merciful, towards myself as well as others. As you say,

None of us write [in] such a way that our work would be mistaken for Tolkien's, and so we are all of us doing something different from what he did. But I think that many fans of LotR have captured that sense of hope, and put it into their own stories, and that is A Good Thing, I think.

I wish that to be so.



Rakshi
rakshi at 2008-01-03 22:09 (UTC) (Link)
As always, the gifts you bring stagger me with their rich meaning... and the gift of your thoughts not least among these.

Thank you. I hope your new year is bright and beautiful.

Love...
Mechtild
mechtild at 2008-01-04 00:57 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Rakshi, you are gracious, as always. I appreciate it. Happy New Year to you!
hobbitlove83
hobbitlove83 at 2008-01-03 23:33 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, darling Mechtild!!

And bless the professor-
may he live in our memories forever and ever!!!
Mechtild
mechtild at 2008-01-04 01:11 (UTC) (Link)
We owe him so much happiness and inspiration. I really am humbled by it. Thanks for posting!
(Deleted comment)
Mechtild
mechtild at 2008-01-04 01:15 (UTC) (Link)
Shirebound is Janet, right? If so, she wrote some beautiful stuff up there, you're right. Your own love for Tolkien is evident in your every LotR-related post, Mews. I could see it in the fanfic I read and reviewed last year for MEFA. You must be a long-time reader, and a fan of long-standing. Your dedication to his secondary world, I am guessing, won't be going away any time soon. :)
(Deleted comment)
shelbyshire at 2008-01-04 02:17 (UTC) (Link)
A little after 9 PM EST.

Thank you for the entire post. I've had a very enjoyable time reading this while finishing my drink.

In fact, I'll raise my glass a second time to "The Professor".

Shelbyshire
Mechtild
mechtild at 2008-01-04 03:08 (UTC) (Link)
*clinks glasses with you* (I've been having various beverages.)

Hi, Shelbyshire!
Lavender Took
lavendertook at 2008-01-04 03:06 (UTC) (Link)
As with many an in-law, he might not ever approve of our love for his child, but it does not mean it is not a good love--just a different one from what he would have chosen for his child. He understood this when he wrote that the LotR doesn't belong to him, so I think we needn't worry. Even if those were some of the issues he had later in life with his own children, the philosophy he shows in this letter says he did understand--even if he couldn't apply it in the flesh-- the importance, and unavoidability, of setting his textual child free and respecting its difference, the difference it will bear in the hands of each reader, and re-teller.

That's a lovely choice of letter you made. I do love his letters.

To the Professor!(-:
Mechtild
mechtild at 2008-01-04 03:11 (UTC) (Link)
That's a lovely choice of letter you made. I do love his letters.

Me, too. I wish someone would publish more of them. I think it won't happen until Christopher dies, though. Perhaps they are too personal, in his opinion. But based on the recent books using various archives of Tolkien material, there have got to be a lot more. Thanks for posting! To the Professor!
Illyria
illyria_novia at 2008-01-04 05:18 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you, Mechtild, for the photos of the Professor and this illuminating excerpt from his letter. I am especially moved by, and agree wholeheartedly with this

If sanctity inhabits his works or as a pervading light illumines it then it does not come from him but through him. And neither of you would perceive it in these terms unless it was with you also."

along with your analysis of the nature of illumination that comes off Frodo.

And it's also humbling, and quite a reminder, the resignation the Professor feels about LOTR after the conversation with 'Gandalf', and the trust he placed on the friends of his 'child'.

Once again, thank you, Mechtild. Reading your posts has always been a very educational pleasure.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2008-01-04 14:38 (UTC) (Link)
Thank you so much for your reflective comments, Illyria!

When you said, "it's also humbling, and quite a reminder, the resignation the Professor feels about LOTR after the conversation with 'Gandalf'", I wondered if you meant this passage*:

I was too well acquainted with G. to expose myself rashly, or to ask what he meant. I think I said: ‘No, I don’t suppose so any longer.’ I have never since been able to suppose so. An alarming conclusion for an old philologist to draw concerning his private amusement. But not one that should puff any one up who considers the imperfections of ‘chosen instruments’, and indeed what sometimes seems their lamentable unfitness for the purpose.

This interested me, not only because I have felt it writing myself, but because I learned it from Tolkien. That he didn't always realise it is interesting, and encouraging to me: by his example he shows that people continue to learn, never stopping throughout the course of their lives. I thought the "imperfections of 'chosen instruments'", sort of in line with the thinking of the rest of my discussion, could apply as aptly to Tolkien, the story, or to the characters of Frodo himself.

* If you tried to copy and paste an excerpt from letter 328, I realise now it's impossible. So that I could make the letter look fancier, and with a "look" from an earlier time, I put it into a "make a flyer" document, so that I could absolutely control the typeface, size, colour, and margin size once it was loaded into an LJ entry. To use it here, I saved it as a jpg image and uploaded it into Photobucket, which is hosting it as an image file. That's why no part of it can be selected and copied for quotes, dang it all. Guess I got too fancy for my own good!

But I hate the way I spend so much time choosing typefonts and formatting, only to find that they all fall out if my journal is being read by anyone who is not viewing from a paid Livejournal account. I was very discouraged looking at my posts from machines at work, and seeing for the first time what happened to them for most of my readers. Why did I get a paid account, then?
Mariole
mariole at 2008-01-04 17:23 (UTC) (Link)
I didn't have a chance to comment yesterday, but I just loved this! The whole thing is supremely gorgeous.

I also feel parental (vs possessive) toward my stories, but this struck me as particularly true:

"I take a deep interest in its fortunes, as a parent would a child. I am comforted to know that it has good friends to defend it again the malice of its enemies."


Notice the _author_ does not defend the story. The "good friends" so do. I believe this is right and proper. By producing the story, the author has spoken. Now it's out in the world, for everyone to judge or cherish as they see fit. It's all part of the magic of creation.

Thank you for posting such a lovely entry.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2008-01-04 17:42 (UTC) (Link)
Hi, Mariole! I loved your icon choice, "choked-up-at-the-end-of-filming-EW", who also had to send his "child" out into the world--the finished portrayal of Frodo--and let the viewers cherish or deride it. Very appropriate!

Notice the _author_ does not defend the story. The "good friends" so do. I believe this is right and proper. By producing the story, the author has spoken. Now it's out in the world, for everyone to judge or cherish as they see fit. It's all part of the magic of creation.

*That's* right on the money (Elf, hobbit, orc). I suppose it must be so for every sort of artist who creates art to be shared. If one acts only in front of a mirror or never shows one's pictures, plays one's compositions, or writes only for one's self, it never comes to having to separate from it and let it be judged on its own, defended or thrashed.

Thanks for such a thoughtful reply!
ellinestel
ellinestel at 2008-01-04 17:38 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, Mechtild, thank you so much for this post. It is perfect.
Mechtild
mechtild at 2008-01-04 17:44 (UTC) (Link)
Hi Ellin Estel! I was thrilled to see your birthday toast to the Professor in your LJ; I commented on every toast on my f-list. I am just so grateful to him as a man and artist, for writing the books, the letters, and inspiring the films.

Thanks again for commenting here!

Edited at 2008-01-04 05:45 pm (UTC)
Whiteling
whiteling at 2008-01-04 19:14 (UTC) (Link)
Oh, what a beautiful post, Mechtild. Thanks so much, and happy belated birthday, dear Master Tolkien! I celebrated by watching "LOTR - The Two Towers", which was shown on TV yesterday evening. And although TT is my least favourite film in the trilogy, I enjoyed seeing it again tremendously. Last week they aired "The Fellowship", and having been to the cinemas a few days before, seeing "The Golden Compass", I again felt so grateful for the passionate, luscious film adaption PJ gifted us with. "The Golden Compass" is technically flawless, but it has no heart and no soul. At least I didn't feel it. Hubby read the book afterwards and said, it would be much better than the film. I'm not sure if I'm going to read it though.

Frodo is, I believe, a figure, or sign, of how Tolkien conjectured light could permeate his story so that it, too, might seem as "a glass filled with clear light". Frodo, the story, and its creator all are vessels through which the same light can be glimpsed. It is their work and gift, their doom and privilege to bear light that is not their own, but which can be seen through them.

Perhaps an artist's job ("Quest"?), at its most profound, is to try to make his or her work such a vessel: transparent, so that the light might be glimpsed through it, even if it is only "for eyes to see that can".

I loved this part so much! I think, artists are at their best, when they are vessels for what is flowing through them, and art is the most touching art, when this light shines through. Yep. Thanks for putting it so beautifully!

(Btw, those initals are fantastic!)
pearlette
pearlette at 2008-01-04 21:21 (UTC) (Link)
That letter rocks. I've read it before, of course, because I have the Collected Letters. I love what that guy said to him, that he didn't suppose he wrote all that book himself. :)

I'd not seen that photo of Tolks with toddler Christopher before. How touching. :)

That Alan Lee painting of the hobbits meeting Gildor is one of my favourites.

The story does have sanctity. A rare quality.

Mechtild
mechtild at 2008-01-05 00:32 (UTC) (Link)
Hi, Pearl! I've just been chatting with Mithluin up there. I hadn't realised that the mithluin on your LJ, discussing HP and snape, was the same Mithluin from TORc. Small world! Thanks for keeping up connections!

(That Alan Lee painting is just wonderful, I agree. I love the way it conveys the magical quality and gravity of that book scene.)
(Anonymous) at 2008-01-04 21:50 (UTC) (Link)
Dear Mechtild....when you first spoke to me about making a post for JRRT's birthday, you were a bit sad that you'd not have the time to do the sort of post you'd done last year.

Yet look at what you've done!

I submit that the light you speak of in such loving and passionate terms touched *you*, refracting in ways both beautiful and rare to form this post.

Sometimes I wonder if the "light" isn't that which shines from us simply when are most heart-engaged, when that which we call our 'heart' speaks to the great truths of our own lives, and/or the truths of those who have gone before.

Certainly, you have shown (again) that you are a conductor of Light. Or, if you will, a Lightbearer.

Ever so much nicer than that *other* 'bearer' thing......

I think Professor Tolkien would be so happy to read this remembrance, this *enyalie* along with the loving and intelligent replies to the post. *This* is what he invited us to share in, I think: love and hope and high beauty, even the sort(or maybe ESPECIALLY the sort) that cuts into the very heart of us with its too-beautiful-to-be-borne truth. How can we not, after all, be vessels of light, ourselves, if we've been pierced by it? Thank you, dear Mechtild!

jan
Mechtild
mechtild at 2008-01-05 00:37 (UTC) (Link)
Jan, you wear me to the bone (*teasing*). I had to go on Google and look up "enyalie".

What a beautiful thing to say, Jan. You really do me too much honour. I am not the light, but I do try to bear witness--*point*--to the light, in so far as I perceive it. I agree, too, that the post has called forth some very insightful replies. I am grateful.

I just wanted to say I loved what you expressed here, and how you expressed it:

Sometimes I wonder if the "light" isn't that which shines from us simply when are most heart-engaged, when that which we call our 'heart' speaks to the great truths of our own lives, and/or the truths of those who have gone before.

"Heart-engaged"...what a wonderful, perfect expression! I won't forget it.
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(Anonymous) at 2008-01-05 22:06 (UTC) (Link)
What a super birthday tribute to the Professor, Mechtild.

I like how J. R. R. replies to his readers at length and in such depth ~ never a cursory 'thank-you' note. For me, 'Letters' makes compelling reading, as Tolkien often reveals more about his characters than we glean from within the pages of LOTR itself. Of course I cannot agree with his declaration that he found Sam more 'interesting' than Frodo, but I think it's delightful how he describes Faramir's unexpected appearance in the woods of Ithilien.

I don't read much fan-fic, but personally I do prefer those stories that adhere more-or-less to canon, in which Frodo 'feels' like the Frodo I know and love. Peter Jackson certainly took a few liberties with Tolkien's work; film-Frodo was hardly book-Frodo was he? But as others here have pointed out, LOTR is out in the world and therefore open to interpretation by fan-fic writers and film-makers alike. And well, film-Frodo is so beautiful it's impossible not to love him too.

Thanks so much for this, and Happy New Year.

~ Blossom.

By the way, Mechtild, I would love to put links to your Frodo Screencap Series from my own little Frodo web-site ~ would that be OK with you?



Mechtild
mechtild at 2008-01-06 00:18 (UTC) (Link)
film-Frodo was hardly book-Frodo was he? But as others here have pointed out, LOTR is out in the world and therefore open to interpretation by fan-fic writers and film-makers alike. And well, film-Frodo is so beautiful it's impossible not to love him too.

This is very true. He's not book Frodo to me, either, but he's an interpretation of the character with a great deal of beauty, and I don't mean just to look at. In a way, the film version is as much a fanfic as the ones that appear in fan archives. Every adaptation is going to end up being an interpretation. But I agree with you above, about preferring fanfic that is closer rather than further away from the original text. There are some exceptions, and I can like them thinking of them as conjectures, or imaginative extensions of "what if...?" I only am aggravated if the author insists their story is the "real" story, if only Tolkien had realised it was there to lift it out--or felt liberated enough to *let* it out.

I would be honoured to have the screencap posts linked from your web-site.

I don't know if you are familiar with my "tables of links" (on the side bar), but here's the main page. From it you can open sub-pages of links, which include the screencap entries, divided up by the three films, plus one for behind-the-scenes and miscellaneous LotR-related Frodo shots. You could link this main page, or the separate pages if you think your readers would find that easier.

Main page of links: http://mechtild.livejournal.com/22759.html

Thanks so much for commenting, Blossom!

~ Mechtild

P.S. Happy New Year to you, too!!!! *party horn noises*



Edited at 2008-01-06 12:21 am (UTC)
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Estë   (or ST for short)
este_tangletoes at 2008-01-06 13:52 (UTC) (Link)
A wonderful tribute full of love for the Professor. Thank you so much, Mechling. The illuminated letters are really gorgeous. You put so much work into all of your projects and you know it is greatly appreciated by us.

I caught a glimpse of The Two Towers on TV last night - I could not watch it comfortably due to all the adverts and Lotteries that dissected it - so I gave up and read a book instead. The glimpse I had was Merry and Pippin with Treebeard. It might be my hopeful imagination but I convinced myself that, film Treebeard bore a resemblance to the Professor. Has this been mentioned before?

--Estë
Mechtild
mechtild at 2008-01-06 14:45 (UTC) (Link)
I convinced myself that, film Treebeard bore a resemblance to the Professor. Has this been mentioned before?

I don't know, Estë. I know that when I was following TORc's super "M00bies reads the b00ks", someone brilliant discussing the Fangorn chapter noted that Treebeard (and all the Ents?) was a philologist, always interested in and meditating on language and words--their formation and origin, and the power of naming, all subjects dear to the Professor's heart and mind.

But you're right. One can almost picture the Treebeard designed for the films smoking a pipe like "Ronald's".

Thanks so much for posting, Estë!
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