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Old 09-08-2019, 06:22 AM   #136
Timboli
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Originally Posted by ZodWallop View Post
It seems to me that you just explained exactly why a moron edition of LOTR is a bad idea. And I agree, that is a sad story.
A total misunderstanding of what I have been saying.

There is a huge difference between leaving out something and changing something.

That said, the difficulty of the way The Night Land was written, has stopped a lot of people from reading it. Lord Of The Rings is child's play in comparison. That means a huge number have never gotten to appreciate such a wonderful unique story, that The Night Land is. So I am not against making that book more accessible ... just not for me, as I like and can cope with the original. I appreciate and respect that is not the same case for others, and don't belittle them for it.

Books that have been modified, are not the same as the original, can never have the same merit, but that doesn't mean they don't have significant other merit. To claim they don't is ludicrous and the height of blind snobbery and even arrogance.

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Old 09-08-2019, 06:37 AM   #137
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The flip side is that a rework of LOTR/The Hobbit wouldn't be even remotely the same thing. That's the whole story teller thing. Part of what makes LOTR/The Hobbit what they were is Tolkien's constantly reworking them over the space of a long period of time. It's the craftmanship. A violin is a violin, yet a Stradivarius is renown for it's craftsmanship. That craftsmanship is what you lose if you go with a "dumbed down", or abridged version of LOTR.
I cannot agree with that.
Yes to hear a wonderful piece of violin music played on a Stradivarius is pure heaven, but it can still be great, even to a high degree, played on another violin.

And frankly, I don't see what I have been suggesting as dumbed down. The words aren't being replaced, there is just less of them regarding descriptive portions, to enhance the flow for some readers who struggle with long descriptions.

In a very real way, that descriptive stuff is like the icing on a cake, wonderful if you like icing, but not so great if you don't. What matters, is if you can appreciate and enjoy the cake, with or without icing ... the cake being the main important bit.

Tolkien's work and craft has plenty of merit aside from the heavily descriptive portions.

You can compare if with a 7 course meal. Still a great meal, even if you only have 4 or 5 of the courses, one of those being the main course.
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Old 09-08-2019, 06:45 AM   #138
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Perhaps it would have been easier to fit the story into a single book if Tad would have just cut out a lot of the fluff...
Funny man.

Do you know of a huge number of readers, as in the case of Tolkien's work, who have struggled to read Tad's for similar reasons? I am not aware of any, which is not to say there isn't some, but throughout my many years I have come across plenty in regard to Tolkien, and I am sure you and many others have as well.

I don't approach such readers as inferior and not worthy of tasting some of the joy of Tolkien. There are many joys to Tolkien's work, and many ways and many people capable of appreciating at least some of them.

Just snobbery in the shrubbery.

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Old 09-08-2019, 06:53 AM   #139
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There are enough books out there that there's no need to abridge LOTR. If you find you cannot read it, then find something else you can. It's not hard to do. Either like it enough to finish reading or stop and move on to something else.
So what you like so many here are saying, is that every story is the same, and so just read any story. In fact, why read Tolkien's work at all, they are just stories and there are plenty of others out there.

You are saying that no story has any merit to differ it from others ... any story will do.

Well, I am sorry, but I happen to know that there is differences, and that even if you make Tolkien's work more easy to read for others, more accessible, it still has oodles of merit and is still unique enough, and still worthy of reading as opposed to something else.

LOL. Some of you are foolishly attempting to have things both ways.

P.S. I do so like a baptism of fire, with people stuck in their little Ego Bubbles. Bring it on.

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Old 09-08-2019, 07:45 AM   #140
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Originally Posted by Timboli View Post
So what you like so many here are saying, is that every story is the same, and so just read any story. In fact, why read Tolkien's work at all, they are just stories and there are plenty of others out there.

You are saying that no story has any merit to differ it from others ... any story will do.

Well, I am sorry, but I happen to know that there is differences, and that even if you make Tolkien's work more easy to read for others, more accessible, it still has oodles of merit and is still unique enough, and still worthy of reading as opposed to something else.

LOL. Some of you are foolishly attempting to have things both ways.

P.S. I do so like a baptism of fire, with people stuck in their little Ego Bubbles. Bring it on.
You are misreading. LOTR is a good story. I've read it a number of times and have had no trouble reading it.

What I am saying is not to abridge LOTR. It should remain as it is. If someone finds it hard to read or doesn't like it, then move on and find something else to read. I'm not saying that every story is the same. I'm saying that there are enough books out there that it's not worth trying to read something you are not enjoying.

Would you continue to read a book you find you are not enjoying?
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Old 09-08-2019, 07:53 AM   #141
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If it made any sort of sense, and it truly didn't "hurt anything," authors and rights-holders would already be falling all over themselves to have multiple editions of their works out there to maximize the potential to be loved by all. i should think the fact that it's NOT already happening would speak volumes.
Yeah, as if. Look at the response by most here.
Snobbery and ego is everywhere, as well as negativity avoidance.

Logic and Reason are in short supply, while Fear and Bias are in plague proportions. Courage is in short supply too.
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Old 09-08-2019, 08:03 AM   #142
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You are misreading.
Not at all.
What I said, was tongue-in-cheek, because you seem to want to have it both ways, which gives an inevitable conflict.

In fact, what you and others are saying both proves my points and disproves yours. Or it would, if you didn't go to such pains to contain it all in a bubble, and ignore many of the issues I raise. Just the way some of my responses are taken very narrowly, says it all really. No open-mindedness going on ... or very little. For readers, some of you have lousy interpretation skills and large blinkers.

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Would you continue to read a book you find you are not enjoying?
Of course not, but that doesn't mean it isn't a good book, and doesn't mean it couldn't be easily improved so I could enjoy it. These things can be over a very fine line sometimes. It is rarely ever as Black & White as others pretend it to be.
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Old 09-08-2019, 09:02 AM   #143
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I cannot agree with that.
Yes to hear a wonderful piece of violin music played on a Stradivarius is pure heaven, but it can still be great, even to a high degree, played on another violin.

And frankly, I don't see what I have been suggesting as dumbed down. The words aren't being replaced, there is just less of them regarding descriptive portions, to enhance the flow for some readers who struggle with long descriptions.

In a very real way, that descriptive stuff is like the icing on a cake, wonderful if you like icing, but not so great if you don't. What matters, is if you can appreciate and enjoy the cake, with or without icing ... the cake being the main important bit.

Tolkien's work and craft has plenty of merit aside from the heavily descriptive portions.

You can compare if with a 7 course meal. Still a great meal, even if you only have 4 or 5 of the courses, one of those being the main course.
What you are talking about, an abridged version, has been tried with quite a few longer books over the years. The ebook version of Freeman's "Lee's Lieutenants" is an abridged one volume version of the original three book volume. I've got both the paper version and the ebook version. They used a well known Civil War author and scholar, Stephen Sears, to do the editing. In theory, it makes the work more accessible to the average reader, but I really didn't care for it. So much was missing.

A well edited book really doesn't have a bunch of fluff that can be removed. Everything should have a purpose in a well edited book and something doesn't have a purpose, then it's removed.
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Old 09-08-2019, 09:06 AM   #144
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LOL. Some of you are foolishly attempting to have things both ways.

P.S. I do so like a baptism of fire, with people stuck in their little Ego Bubbles. Bring it on.
Look in the mirror. You are the fool that wants to have it both ways. Just simply accept that nobody here agrees with you concerning the need of a streamlined version. It is not even a version that you personally want.
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Old 09-08-2019, 09:17 AM   #145
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One of the interesting things about Tolkien's works is that we have a wealth of material put out by Christopher Tolkien that shows various pieces of back story changed over the years. The Hobbit came out in 1937. The LOTR (which was intended to be read as a single volume) came out in 1954. Tolkien spent many years refining those books. His initial manuscript of the Hobbit was actually finished in 1932.

We have examples of the retelling or reworking of many, many different stories. The whole host of Greek myths and legends, The Iliad and The Odyssey. Certainly, prose versions of the Iliad and Odyssey make those stories more accessible to many readers. It's not necessarily a bad thing.

The flip side is that a rework of LOTR/The Hobbit wouldn't be even remotely the same thing. That's the whole story teller thing. Part of what makes LOTR/The Hobbit what they were is Tolkien's constantly reworking them over the space of a long period of time. It's the craftmanship. A violin is a violin, yet a Stradivarius is renown for it's craftsmanship. That craftsmanship is what you lose if you go with a "dumbed down", or abridged version of LOTR.

Certainly I'm one of those people who would like to see some of the Tolkien back story given to a quality author. Perhaps, someone will file the serial numbers off of various pieces of the Tolkien back story and write Beren and Luthien as a stand alone novel, or better yet, the Tolkien estate will license it to a quality author, much like Sanderson finished off the WOT. I think it unlikely, but one never knows.
I'm with you partway. I have strict rules about canon, personally. Publication draws a line under reworking a story, even by the author. I don't like revised editions (Waugh's rewriting of Brideshead Revisited as one example; I'm glad the new version wasn't published here). And witterings outside the published material by the author don't count, either. J.K. Rowling needed to shut up a long time ago about gay Dumbledore and all the rest of it. Alas, I admit that if she publishes a book about Dumbledore backstory it becomes canon, as she's the author and it's her right.

That said, I don't care what a greedy, money-grubbing estate licenses, anything by someone other than the original author which fleshes out the published material, whether sequel or backstory, whatever, does not count. It didn't happen, it won't happen. I wish heirs had more respect for the artisty and integrity of that golden-egg-laying goose of an original author.
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Old 09-08-2019, 10:55 AM   #146
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I had a glimpse at the start of the The Iron Tower. I like Tolkien. I've read the main works and some of the other stuff cobbled together by his son.

This is why I like Tolkien, and perhaps even more so, The Night Land: These two works have voice. Both authors have a unique voice when they write. Something about their prose is unique. It is recognizable to them. It is the same way that we immediately recognize Jagger's voice. And this voice elevates the story in same way Jagger's voice elevates what are often quite run-of-the-mill songs.

This is also explains why it is impossible to write a dumbed-down version of Hodgson. For the same reason "modern" versions of Shakespeare are like cigarettes with the nicotine removed.

In contrast, from my brief glimpse of the Iron Tower, the voice does not stand out. I find this the case in many modern works, and am turned off by them. To further argue the point--look at Arthur C Clarke, Asimov, etc. They had voice, especially Clarke. All his great prose dripped with eons and tragedy and striving. It was gigantic in tone, like Hodgson's greatest work. And King to the illustration. He has remarkable voice. Read the Long Walk. And Chandler. And Fitzgerald. The list goes on.

So yeah, that's why I like Tolkien and not the Iron Tower. The latter comes across as a generic rip off not only because it is a weak imitation in terms of story, but because it has no distinct voice.

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Old 09-08-2019, 11:01 AM   #147
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That said, the difficulty of the way The Night Land was written, has stopped a lot of people from reading it. Lord Of The Rings is child's play in comparison.
The Silmarillion and The Night Land is a more even comparison, IMO. The technique of using a faux antique style is interesting. Meade did it in Moonfleet, though it is much less extreme. A very fine book. But the style made it less accessible to future generations of children. Previously it had been very popular.

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Old 09-08-2019, 11:17 AM   #148
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Yeah, as if. Look at the response by most here.
Snobbery and ego is everywhere, as well as negativity avoidance.

Logic and Reason are in short supply, while Fear and Bias are in plague proportions. Courage is in short supply too.
I was quite impressed for a while. While I didn't agree with your premise, you actually managed to carry on a decent conversation with others for a few pages, there. Too bad the wheels had to fall off the bus again.
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Old 09-08-2019, 11:34 AM   #149
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I had a glimpse at the start of the The Iron Tower. I like Tolkien. I've read the main works and some of the other stuff cobbled together by his son.

This is why I like Tolkien, and perhaps even more so, The Night Land: These two works have voice. Both authors have a unique voice when they write. Something about their prose is unique. It is recognizable to them. It is the same way that we immediately recognize Jagger's voice. And this voice elevates the story in same way Jagger's voice elevates what are often quite run-of-the-mill songs.

This is also explains why it is impossible to write a dumbed-down version of Hodgson. For the same reason "modern" versions of Shakespeare are like cigarettes with the nicotine removed.

In contrast, from my brief glimpse of the Iron Tower, the voice does not stand out. I find this the case in many modern works, and am turned off by them. To further argue the point--look at Arthur C Clarke, Asimov, etc. They had voice, especially Clarke. All his great prose dripped with eons and tragedy and striving. It was gigantic in tone, like Hodgson's greatest work. And King to the illustration. He has remarkable voice. Read the Long Walk. And Chandler. And Fitzgerald. The list goes on.

So yeah, that's why I like Tolkien and not the Iron Tower. The latter comes across as a generic rip off not only because it is a weak imitation in terms of story, but because it has no distinct voice.
Well yes, it's true that great authors have a unique voice. But most authors don't and it's not necessary for me personally to enjoy a book, if the story and characters are well done. Moreover, if I happen not to like the author's voice, then it will be impossible for me to like their books, no matter how good they are. That's the case with Stephen King, for example. It's also the reason I don't read classics anymore. More often than not I don't like the "voice". So the author's "voice" can be a curse or a blessing.

But I agree, the voice thing makes it pretty much impossible to write a good abridged version of LoTR.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:37 AM   #150
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Originally Posted by issybird View Post
I'm with you partway. I have strict rules about canon, personally. Publication draws a line under reworking a story, even by the author. I don't like revised editions (Waugh's rewriting of Brideshead Revisited as one example; I'm glad the new version wasn't published here). And witterings outside the published material by the author don't count, either. J.K. Rowling needed to shut up a long time ago about gay Dumbledore and all the rest of it. Alas, I admit that if she publishes a book about Dumbledore backstory it becomes canon, as she's the author and it's her right.

That said, I don't care what a greedy, money-grubbing estate licenses, anything by someone other than the original author which fleshes out the published material, whether sequel or backstory, whatever, does not count. It didn't happen, it won't happen. I wish heirs had more respect for the artisty and integrity of that golden-egg-laying goose of an original author.
Well, of course it won't be canon and of course it won't be Tolkien. It would be someone else. Just look at the sheer number of authors, some of them quite well known, such as Robert Jordan and de Camp, who have written Conan the Barbarian books. I think there are some 50 Conan books that were written after Howard died. This whole, Thou Shall No Write in Another Author's Universe, commandment is a very recent thing.

What would happen if it got opened up? Probably the same thing as you got with the Conan books and the Star Wars books, 90% of it drek with a handful of quite good works, but non of it canon.
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