Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Another Look at Middle-Earth

McSweeney's has a conversation between Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky about Lord Of the Rings.
CHOMSKY: We should examine carefully what’s being established here in the prologue. For one, the point is clearly made that the “master ring,” the so-called “one ring to rule them all,” is actually a rather elaborate justification for preemptive war on Mordor.

ZINN: I think that’s correct. Tolkien makes no attempt to hide the fact that rings are wielded by every other ethnic enclave in Middle Earth. The Dwarves have seven rings, the Elves have three. The race of Man has nine rings, for God’s sake. There are at least 19 rings floating around out there in Middle Earth, and yet Sauron’s ring is supposedly so terrible that no one can be allowed to wield it. Why?

CHOMSKY: Notice too that the “war” being waged here is, evidently, in the land of Mordor itself — at the very base of Mount Doom. These terrible armies of Sauron, these dreadful demonized Orcs, have not proved very successful at conquering the neighboring realms — if that is even what Sauron was seeking to do. It seems fairly far-fetched.
In a related development, Tim Keller has translated the Bible into Sindarin.


Cambias said...

It's telling that I wasn't sure if this was a satire or not.

lelia said...

Oh, it hadn't occurred to me that this might be satire. I was too busy reattaching my jaw.

Sam L. said...

They are both Sauron admirers.

Korora said...

They would not call him Sauron ("The Abhorred One"). They would call him by his pre-corruption name of Mairon ("The Admired One") or his alias of Annatar ("Father of Gifts").

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Those must be from the Silmarillion, as I do not recall them from the appendices of LOTR.