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PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 4:09 pm 
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What I find funny is how if you criticise - or even simply say you don't like - something that's popular, you so often get accused of being a snob, or being prejudiced against this genre or that.

To my mind a snob is someone who dismisses something out of hand without even exploring it, simply because it's not rated by their peer group. That couldn't be further than the truth with me and Tolkien. I tried LOTR in my early- to mid-teens because quite a few of my peers were raving about it. However, I just didn't get it. I didn't like the writing, and didn't find the story engaging, so pretty soon decided it wasn't for me.

20-odd years later, hearing people raving about the films, I watched them (yes, sat through them all!) in the hope that I might discover what people see in it all, and I have to say I'm really none the wiser. The only character that was remotely engaging was Gollam, but the resolution of his interior conflict was ultimately disappointing. As to the other characters, well I couldn't really care less about them. I just wanted to slap them most of the time.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 29, 2008 4:27 pm 
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Mike A wrote:
..other characters, well I couldn't really care less about them. I just wanted to slap them most of the time.


Especially Frodo and Sam, right?
:wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 1:52 pm 
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The hive mind demands acquiescence.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:27 pm 
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I started this thread to highlight the responses to Nick Lowe's piece not for the Tolkien viewpoints. That's why I suggested you start downthread.

My own feeling is that LOTR suffers because many readers come to it after reading Terry Brooks


So I finally read the Nick Lowe piece and thoroughly enjoyed it since I knew what he was talking about, since it was written way back in 1986. Then I sat down to read Matter and on p. 39 what should leap out at me but the word 'clenched'.
And I realise this is a Sign that I should heed the Wisdom of the Ancient Ones... :twisted:


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 6:18 pm 
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Mike A wrote:
To my mind a snob is someone who dismisses something out of hand without even exploring it, simply because it's not rated by their peer group.


Many do of course have their own reasons for disliking LOTR, the problem is that many with literarty pretensions noisily dislike it in an attempt to demonstrate how they are so far above anything popular, because obviously if it's popular it's not sufficiently worthy - a general opinion held by the rest of what they consider their peer group. The same people will then claim a love for the something obscure turgid and political, if it's a book, and noir, surreal and often black-and-white and French if it's a film. Whenever I hear that noisy, "I don't like LOTR," I start watching for further signs of pretension.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:04 pm 
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There are certainly people who do exactly that, in every field of culture there is. But I feel the term "many" is a bit disingenuous - how many is "many"? The implication is "most", and as stated above I think that's a remarkably reductionist way of lumping a very various set of people into one convenient target - as well as being mathematically incorrect, as far as I can tell, though feel free to provide evidence to the contrary.

As also stated above, it's quite possible that a lot of people who say "I didn't like LOTR" just, y'know, didn't like it. If they choose to make some political statement out of that, then by all means take them to task on it if you so wish.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 7:33 pm 
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Yeah, reductionist to a degree and "many" would be disingenuous if it wasn't actually "many with literarty pretensions". I also didn't claim that everyone who says they dislike LOTR does so for ulterior motives. Read what was written, not what you think was written, Paul.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:00 pm 
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I can understand a lot of people not liking LOTR enough to get through that first 100 pages. I only carried on because so many friends had told me how good it was.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:14 pm 
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My apologies; years on rock music forums have taught me to beware the zombie threads that rise again, and I was pre-emptively staking a corner to debate from. My comments we're not aimed exclusively at your response, but I can see how it would have appeared that they were.

As you've probably already determined, the binary stereotype is my irresistible knee-jerk topic, and I have a bit of a hair-trigger on it sometimes.

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