Thursday, February 11, 2010

Tolkien Rant Exemption

I exempt from the previous post those rude comments of Tolkien's which were entirely just. His sputtering about the proposed screenplay for an animated version of LOTR in the 50's is highly enjoyable; the book is worth reading for that alone.

Yes, it was a private communication never intended for public consumption; yes, some descendant of the scriptwriter may still survive and be hurt by the insults hurled at Daddy or Grampa. But the criticisms were deserved, as it is clear that the writer missed the entire point (or perhaps merely skimmed) of Middle-Earth. Eagles swoop down and transport the party frequently, for example, suggesting that he thought the books popular merely for their marvels.

But the best is the meeting of the young hobbits at Isengard by Gimli, Aragorn, and Legolas. Upon discovery, Merry and Pippin are not relaxing with pipes, but with "ridiculously long sandwiches."

This is a scriptwriter who just doesn't get it. One can imagine the stereotypical Hollywood American: "Ron, Ronny, I love this with the hobbits here. But you know what would be even funnier? Sandwiches. You see how that works? Ridiculously long sandwiches. It'll be a laff riot."

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