Hound of UIster wrote:
It just seems to me that you problem with him is that you want Tolkien to write with current sensibilities when that clearly isn't possibly.
Or there could be some confusion.
Let's have some clarity.
Take this argument for example:
Adventures of the washerwoman and the dirty shirts would make a boring story.
Yes, because if there's one thing we know for certain, it's that telling the stories of female characters in a pseudo-medieval society is extremely boring... or wait, the exact opposite of that.
Hound of UIster wrote:
You don't seem to understand that many of these fantasy tropes were yet to be developed or were in their infancy at this time. Most of the material emphasizing female warriors came from the S&S side of the fantasy genre derived from the pulps of that era.
As one can see in this argument, it actually begins discussing the merit of women's stories in settings like LOTR period
, where the first person dismisses them as entirely worthless. I do not need to consider the perspective of Tolkein's stories to reject that out of hand because that's not even the issue here.
But besides which? As I just said upthread, women warriors. Not a new idea in fiction. Or history either. Swords and sorcery certainly was not making any innovations there.
But generally, about the idea that I wanted Tolkein to be different from what he is...
I love Wagner's Ring cycle. To the point I've sat through more than one production, something I can't say really of many other operas. But I'm not going to pretend that Wagner isn't anti-Semitic, because he is, or that one can very easily see his portrayal of the dwarves as anti-semitic, because one can.
Nor am I going to turn around and insist his portrayal of Brunnhilda, a warrior maid who gets to be a shield-maiden but once there's the threat of being involved with men is gradually domesticated is some kind of notable 'strong female character'.
There's unquestionably nasty things about Wagner that justify any hatred of him or his work even if one ignores his idolisation by the Nazis (and it's really hard not to) but the epic pomposity and grandiose vigour and titanic operatic struggles of it all still entertain me. I can acknowledge the former and the latter simultaneously.
Is Tolkein not as bad as Wagner? Sure. Is that an incredilby low bar to vault? Yeah. It is. Should I jump to the defence of anything that's dated in his work? No, because that's not really why I like Tolkein in the first place, is it?