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Old 01-14-2011, 04:22 AM   #76
GreenMonkey
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Actually he denied all of those in at least one published interview and never said anything later to retract or contradict it. I can't remember where or by whom it was published, it being a good 25 years since I read it, but I remember the denial quite well.



I don't think this is correct at all. Tolkien lamented the fact that England, unlike Ireland, Wales and (to a lesser degree) Scotland, lacked a national mythology and it was this that he sought to (sort of) amend. In his search for inspiration he went in particular to Norse mythology and the Finnish Kalevala, which influences are very clear througout his works to anyone familiar with them. Neither, obviously, is Christian, but like all religions and mythologies they contain the themes of light vs dark, etc, etc. Because the theme can be so easily attributed to Christianity, Christians have attempted to claim LotR et al for their side for decades, but in fact there is no basis at all for doing so. Quite simply, all the evidence is to the contrary.
Yes. To all of this. LOTR is NOT CHRISTIAN ALLEGORY and is not overt Christian symobolism. Gandalf is not an allegory for Christ, for example. Tolkien wasn't a fan of that kind of writing. Sure, he was a Catholic, and that surely influenced his character and his writing, but he wasn't writing any sort of Christian allegory.

http://kirjasto.sci.fi/tolkien.htm

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Although critics have seen in The Lord of the Rings allegoric allusions to World War II, Tolkien repeatedly rejected all this kind of explanations. "'The Lord of the Rings' is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision," Tolkien wrote in a letter in 1953 to Robert Murray, a Jesuit priest. "That is why I have not put in, or have cut out practically all references to anything like 'religion,' to cults or practices, in the imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and symbolism." (The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, 1981) Tolkien's Catholicism does not appear overtly in the book. Biblical use of language, on the other hand, gives the work archaic flavor. In his forword to the work Tolkien expressed his dislike of allegory: "As for any inner meaning or 'message', it has in the intention of the author none. It is neither allegorical nor topical... It was written long before the foreshadow of 1939 had yet become a threat of inevitable disaster, and from that point the story would have developed along essentially the same lines, if that disaster had been averted."

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Old 01-14-2011, 09:42 AM   #77
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Now, back to Ender and the Shadow series....I had a hard time with it because I had a hard time dealing with the kids as military powers, I don't know why, it just seemed really far fetched, maybe because it was on Earth and not in Space where they were controlled.

I loved Enders Shadow, that was a great book, but last few just kind of fizzled out and I really had a hard time reading them until towards the end because I did get kind of attached to the Bean character and Petra.
I read those books as the kids were always under the control of adults and were being either strong armed or manipulated. Pretty much every Battle School grad answered to an adult who was jealous of the Battle School Grad. Many of those adults found themselves removed from power when it was clear they were ignoring the advice of the Battle School grad but most were able to thwart the teens for a decent amount of time.

Then you had Graff and Mazar who were always manipulating the kids. They didn't bother trying to hide it, which I think the kids appreciated, but there they were. I don't know how much of the series anyone has read but their end fates are all determined by Graff and Mazar.
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Old 01-14-2011, 01:08 PM   #78
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Well, to some extent, we all are proagandists in the sense that we tend to argue for the positions we believe in. That being said, he does not overtly push his social and political positions in his fiction so with respect to his fiction, he is not really acting as a propagandist.

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He pops up in political discourse often enough to distract me from his art. I too enjoyed Ender's Game and Speaker was okay but he totally lost me with Xenocide. Having grown up in a Libertarian household I may recognize more dogwhistles than some, but whoever it was upthread that said they didn't really want to discuss his politics probably has the proper attitude here.

I didn't mean to start something and then disappear, but frankly I completely forgot that I'd said anything. There was an email in my inbox this morning that reminded me. I'll try to be more conscientious in the future.
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:23 PM   #79
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We are not going to agree on this HarryT, because to me it definately is not "Pure Sci Fi". To Quote OSC himself "Sci-Fi has Rivets, Fantasy has trees", now Considering one of the main plot lines of Speaker for the Dead is about an indigenous species and their religious worship of trees, I feel that the enders game series stopped being Sci-Fi from Speaker for the Dead onwards.
Card's concept of the difference between SF and fantasy is not definitive. Sentient trees are well within the range of science fiction.

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In a later book, a major plot line is a girl who religiously follows the lines of grain in a wooden floor.
Because of a genetically-engineered disease meant to link OCD behavior with intelligence to make a planet of controllable workers.

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The only Sci Fi element I really find in these books, is that they are set on another planet. That for me is not enough!.
FTL communication, slowships that require time differentials to speak with planets, alien races with different evolutionary histories, sentient computer program, genetic engineering of viruses, teleportation by the scientific principles that control the FTL communication... does it not count as SF if it doesn't have lightsabers?
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:55 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by Elfwreck View Post
... FTL communication, slowships that require time differentials to speak with planets, alien races with different evolutionary histories, sentient computer program, genetic engineering of viruses, teleportation by the scientific principles that control the FTL communication... does it not count as SF if it doesn't have lightsabers?
I've recently considered starting a thread about the difference between SF and fantasy, just to see what people thought. Does this conversation suggest there could be interest?
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Old 01-14-2011, 07:56 PM   #81
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Go for it
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Old 01-16-2011, 06:12 PM   #82
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I think that is an unfortunate viewpoint. Not that religion is important but that some how its importance means it is an unsuitable subject for fiction. Sometimes, I believe, things are so important that they are difficult to say -- at least in a way that others will be open to -- that the only way to really say them is in fiction.

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He didn't say no one should, only that he didn't. I thought it interesting in light of both his extensive fiction and non-fiction writing.

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Old 11-17-2012, 06:49 PM   #83
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Must say that I am 6 books deep into the Ender series and thought very highly of the philosophical ideas in speaker for the dead and children of the mind, especially regarding what gives a being life. But now I stumble on the fact that Card is very anti gay and not to sound discriminatory, but also a Mormon, a religion which has shown many times to ignore people's rights. So my dilemma was can I still give his powerful ideas credit if such basic ethics are flawed. I'm afraid I am too attached to them at this point to not acknowledge them, but I must say I've never had this problem before. But I will not be financially supporting such opinions.
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Old 11-18-2012, 03:26 AM   #84
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It might not hurt to remember two things: 1) Much of what you hear about an author is coming second or third hand (from people with their own agendas), and even what you may find out first hand does not always include the full context. (As is the case with much written correspondence, including this forum.) And 2) Anything actually true you learn about a particular author may simply because they choose to be open about their opinions. You might like to ask yourself about all those authors you are "financially supporting", about whom you know nothing.

Oh ... and a third thought. If I refused to credit powerful ideas from any person that sometimes made mistakes, then I'd still be looking for someone to credit.
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Old 11-18-2012, 07:47 PM   #85
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It might not hurt to remember two things: 1) Much of what you hear about an author is coming second or third hand (from people with their own agendas), and even what you may find out first hand does not always include the full context. (As is the case with much written correspondence, including this forum.) And 2) Anything actually true you learn about a particular author may simply because they choose to be open about their opinions. You might like to ask yourself about all those authors you are "financially supporting", about whom you know nothing.

Oh ... and a third thought. If I refused to credit powerful ideas from any person that sometimes made mistakes, then I'd still be looking for someone to credit.
Excellent suggestion. Why not seek out Card's blog and web site and look for interviews he has done. Then you will get what he really says, not what other's say.

I saw Tom Cruise be interviewed about Scientology and it really turned me off of Cruise's work. Of course Scientology is a good example of the danger of letting science fiction authors start their own church.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:52 AM   #86
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Hmm, I've read this resurrected thread and I have to say that for me the Author of a Story is not the same entity as the person that happens to be the author of the story.

I do not know them personally and frankly I do not what to know them. Just like I do not know film stars, singers, composers, sports personalities.

I think that we read stories or listen to music or see films or watch sports primarily for the emotions they raise in us. In that respect authors, actors, singers, composers and sportspeople are more like tools (I mean no disrespect), more like devices through which we get our emotions played with. This is their talent, their calling but ultimately it is only their job.

What has their brilliance (of the ones who have it) got to do with what kind of people they are when they're not working?
Do you know the political or intellectual leanings of your car mechanic, or dentist or the head of your corporation or even of each of your work colleagues?
Do you have any idea if the grocer is or is not a closet fascist or a closet communist? Does it matter that much?

As for refusing to support repugnant ideas with your money, when you are in fact saying that the books themselves do not promote such ideas do you not think that what you are supporting with your money is not the repugnant ideas of the individual OSC (or whichever) but rather the writing of more good stories.

And whatever happened with tolerance and with giving people a chance? I'm an atheist and so my opinions about Mormonism are clear but I do not like Ender's Game any less because I just found out OSC is a Mormon. (What's so bad about Mormons anyway, the US almost elected one as President?)

Would the world not be a pretty boring place if we all shared the same opinions? Maybe I don't see it. I'm up for being enlightened...
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Old 11-19-2012, 02:03 PM   #87
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You are helping put food in the mouth of the author, regardless of what ideas are or are not in their next book. I find it ethically valid to boycott any entity if you disagree with something else they do. Otherwise, to use an extreme example, we should support British Petroleum because they do some good charity work around the world yet ignore their heinous behavior in offshore drilling?

No, you can't separate a man from his works except by ignorance.
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Old 11-19-2012, 03:15 PM   #88
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I have to agree with Elfwreck and Penforhire. I find Card's politics and viewpoints so much more abhorent than I find enjoyment in his writing that I cannot bring myself to read any of his books.
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Old 11-19-2012, 09:53 PM   #89
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Yawn.......
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:33 PM   #90
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I certainly support your right (some might say responsibility) to boycott the work of someone of whom you disapprove - even if, as in this case, you disapprove of them for speaking according to their beliefs. But if you have already put a loaf of bread on his table by buying and reading one of his books, there is no reason to denigrate that work. A work of art is no less impressive for having been produced by a flawed human being (some might say just the reverse was true).
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