J.R.R. Tolkien discussion

92 views
The Hobbit > Commentary on the Hobbit

Comments Showing 1-30 of 30 (30 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Timothy (new)

Timothy (timothynargi) | 26 comments So I started a commentary on the Hobbit, where every Tuesday I post from one chapter talking about characters/themes/structure. I'm not sure about rules on linking to websites, but you can check out my site from my profile. I've made the first post this past Tuesday on An Unexpected Party. If you're interested check it out and join the discussion, either here or over at my site.

Thanks


message 2: by Anne (new)

Anne Gazzolo | 387 comments Mod
Thanks for the link, Timothy! I signed up to receive your posts. What a great thing you are doing for your son and all of us!

Namarie, God bless, Anne Marie :)


message 3: by Kira (new)

Kira | 2 comments I really enjoyed reading your post! It is great that you are not only talking about the chapter itself but also how Tolkien's life influenced his writing.
Your analysis of his world building is also interesting but I think it should be added that the inspiration for his world came from the mythologies he was fascinated about. But even though he did not invent the creation of a culture in such manner himself (as those already existed in an ancient oral tradition in e.g. Greece or northern Europe) he is still one of the first ones writing it in such a literary form and is of course inspiring for fiction writers, as he is brillant in creating stories on his own, which in the past were created by whole communities.
I am looking forward to the next chapter and may even read the book again :)


message 4: by Timothy (new)

Timothy (timothynargi) | 26 comments Good point Kira. I think some of the Norse or "northern" mythologies will come up as I go forward.
World building has become such a massive part of storytelling that I think a few negative things have resulted because of it. Now I'm referring to not just books, but video games, TV, and movies. The worlds that are built today are so unique and visually stunning, that a lot of stories seem to forget the characters that inhabit these worlds. They are one dimensional, such as many of the Marvel villains and even some of the protagonists. MMORPGs care more about the world and tasks to perform than any character building or over arching themes. Tolkien was able to focus on both and I think that's why we're still discussing him close to 100yrs later.

Look for my next post Tuesday!


message 5: by Kira (new)

Kira | 2 comments Yes, that is unfortunately true and that is why I prefer watching TV series because the protagonists are normally more developed than in movies. I do not really understand why people are satisfied with this kind of storytelling, because I believe storytelling is something that is strongly entrenched in most of human cultures and it used to be more valued. It is a pity that it is not anymore. But as you already said there is still a great demand for great storytelling and that is why Tolkien's stories are loved until today.
I am always excited to read other works of Tolkien because all those extra stories are basically just adding details on things I already knew, because it was mentioned in one of his stories before. And this is only possible because Tolkien did such a great job in creating this world for us.


message 6: by Timothy (new)

Timothy (timothynargi) | 26 comments As promised, here is chapter two of The Hobbit.

Roast Mutton
Bilbo encounters some trolls and has a bit of ‘luck.’
http://letterstoc.com/2017/02/07/roas...


message 7: by Philip (last edited Feb 07, 2017 09:57AM) (new)

Philip Dodd (philipdodd) | 84 comments I have enjoyed reading your commentaries on the first two chapters of The Hobbit. I look forward to next Tuesday to read your commentary on Chapter Three: A Short Rest. You made mention of the cockney talk of the three trolls. It is the closest The Hobbit comes to the orc talk of The Lord of the Rings. I shared your post on the Tolkien Society page on Face Book, a good site to be a member of.


message 8: by Timothy (new)

Timothy (timothynargi) | 26 comments Wow thanks Philip. I just sent a join request to that group.


message 9: by Philip (new)

Philip Dodd (philipdodd) | 84 comments Timothy wrote: "Wow thanks Philip. I just sent a join request to that group."
I think you will enjoy being a member of the Tolkien Society group on Face Book. At the moment I am looking forward to the publication of Beren and Luthien, edited by Christopher Tolkien, in May, 2017.


message 10: by Timothy (new)

Timothy (timothynargi) | 26 comments Hey I don't see your post. Maybe I joined the wrong group.

Could you send me the group link?


message 11: by Philip (new)

Philip Dodd (philipdodd) | 84 comments Timothy wrote: "Hey I don't see your post. Maybe I joined the wrong group.

Could you send me the group link?"

My post is yet to be approved by the Administrator of the group. I will let you know if my post is approved and appears on the site. The group is called The Tolkien Society. Here is the link:
facebook.com/groups/TheTolkienSociety...


message 12: by Timothy (new)

Timothy (timothynargi) | 26 comments So did they approve your post? I joined and was added to the group. That looks like a fun group.


message 13: by Philip (new)

Philip Dodd (philipdodd) | 84 comments My post is still "pending approval" by the moderator. The Tolkien Society is a good group to be part of on Face Book. Every day there are interesting posts to read.


message 14: by Timothy (new)

Timothy (timothynargi) | 26 comments Chapter 3 is now posted. It's a very short chapter, so it's a very short commentary.

A Short Rest
Bilbo and company take a break.
http://letterstoc.com/2017/02/14/a-sh...


message 15: by Philip (new)

Philip Dodd (philipdodd) | 84 comments Hello, Timothy. Your Roast Mutton post appeared on the Tolkien Society page on Face Book today, having been approved by the Administrator.


message 16: by Timothy (new)

Timothy (timothynargi) | 26 comments Ch. 4

Over Hill & Under Hill
http://letterstoc.com/2017/02/21/over...


If anyone is reading these, please post your thoughts for discussion.


message 17: by Philip (new)

Philip Dodd (philipdodd) | 84 comments I first read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien in 1968 when I was sixteen. Looking back, I remember how amused I was by the Great Goblin in the chapter called Over Hill and Under Hill in The Hobbit. The thought of him was really funny. I found your commentary on that chapter very interesting, Timothy. That J.R.R. Tolkien rooted the battle of the giants in the mountains in his memories of his walks in Switzerland was good to know. It will be interesting to read what you say about Gollum in your commentary on Riddles In The Dark. Where Gollum came from in the mind of J.R.R. Tolkien, I have often wondered.


message 18: by Timothy (new)

Timothy (timothynargi) | 26 comments Yes chapter 5 is fascinating. I look at that chapter and its revisions and see the logical Tolkien very clearly. He wanted his mythology to be without contradictions. What surprises me though is that he didn't synthesize the LOTR to the Hobbit, he did it the other way around. I wonder if he just could not do it any other way, OR, he came up with the best story possible and just had to rewrite Chapter 5. I do like how he used a story within his world to explain the revisions, instead of just ignoring it completely. I'll touch on that some.


message 20: by Philip (new)

Philip Dodd (philipdodd) | 84 comments Riddles In The Dark is one of my favourite chapters in The Hobbit. No doubt the riddles he read in his study of Anglo-Saxon literature influenced J.R.R. Tolkien in the riddles he created in the riddle game played between Bilbo Baggins and Gollum. I think he must have enjoyed creating those riddles, as a scholar and an author. If it is clear an author enjoyed what he wrote, the reader will enjoy it, too. In one of the negative reviews of The Lord of the Rings, the critic who wrote the review said that Gollum was the only real character in the book. Certainly, I think Gollum is one of J.R.R. Tolkien's most original creations. Another is Treebeard the Ent. When his publishers asked him to write a sequel to The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien finally decided that the magic ring Bilbo found would be the link between the two books. In The Hobbit, the magic ring makes its wearer invisible, and that is all. You write well on the serious moment in Riddles In The Dark, that moment when Bilbo spares Gollum's life out of pity for him.


message 21: by Anne (new)

Anne Gazzolo | 387 comments Mod
I love this chapter. Great insight of Bilbo losing his buttons to be losing his Baggins side (or submerging it at least). It's also interesting Bilbo does not choose to put the Ring on while in flight from Gollum, the Ring chooses to put itself on the hobbit's finger.

Namarie, God bless, Anne Marie :)


message 22: by Timothy (new)

Timothy (timothynargi) | 26 comments I missed last week due to travel, but here are chapters six and seven

https://letterstoc.com/2017/03/14/six...


message 26: by Timothy (new)

Timothy (timothynargi) | 26 comments Ch. 12 Never laugh at live dragons

https://letterstoc.com/2017/04/11/nev...


message 28: by Timothy (new)

Timothy (timothynargi) | 26 comments There & Back Again
The following covers chapters 16-19, and thus concludes my pithy commentary on The Hobbit. http://letterstoc.com/2017/04/25/ther...


message 29: by Anne (new)

Anne Gazzolo | 387 comments Mod
Timothy wrote: "There & Back Again
The following covers chapters 16-19, and thus concludes my pithy commentary on The Hobbit. http://letterstoc.com/2017/04/25/ther..."


Thanks for posting these, Timothy! Are you going to do LOTR?

Namarie, God bless, Anne Marie :)


message 30: by Timothy (new)

Timothy (timothynargi) | 26 comments Also doing LOTR would be a huge undertaking. I was hoping the Hobbit would have generated more discussion from more people because I wanted to hear what others thought as well. Maybe one day!


back to top