Middle-earth (According to Mordor)

Was Albert Camus a better goalkeeper than George Orwell? Have your say here.
Post Reply
User avatar
Travis
Preternatural Poster
Preternatural Poster
Posts: 1906
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:00 am
antispam: no

Middle-earth (According to Mordor)

Post by Travis » Sun Feb 27, 2011 10:54 pm

A newly translated Russian novel retells Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" from the perspective of the bad guys.

In Yeskov's retelling, the wizard Gandalf is a war-monger intent on crushing the scientific and technological initiative of Mordor and its southern allies because science "destroys the harmony of the world and dries up the souls of men!" He's in cahoots with the elves, who aim to become "masters of the world," and turn Middle-earth into a "bad copy" of their magical homeland across the sea. Barad-dur, also known as the Dark Tower and Sauron's citadel, is, by contrast, described as "that amazing city of alchemists and poets, mechanics and astronomers, philosophers and physicians, the heart of the only civilization in Middle-earth to bet on rational knowledge and bravely pitch its barely adolescent technology against ancient magic."

Read on...
There's only one rule in street and bar fights: maximum violence, instantly. (Martin Amis, "Money")

k-j
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 2978
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 10:37 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Re: Middle-earth (According to Mordor)

Post by k-j » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:19 am

Yes, I heard about this. It sounds great! Cheers for the Salon link which I look forward to reading at leisure. Of course coming from a russki, you're fighting the temptation to read it as an allegory of the USSR... well I am anyway.

Sauron himself I find too impersonal to sympathise with, but I have always felt a pang for the peoples of Harad and Khand and the mysterious Easterlings, and I remember wondering whether they knew that Sauron was evil, and to what extent they fought willingly against Gondor.
fine words butter no parsnips

brianedwards
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 5375
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:35 am
antispam: no
Location: Japan
Contact:

Re: Middle-earth (According to Mordor)

Post by brianedwards » Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:42 am

Are you guys LOTR fans?

User avatar
Travis
Preternatural Poster
Preternatural Poster
Posts: 1906
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:00 am
antispam: no

Re: Middle-earth (According to Mordor)

Post by Travis » Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:44 pm

It might be more accurate to say I'm a Tolkien fan.

I won't speak for kj directly, but all indications are that he enjoys a good romp through Fangorn once in a while.
There's only one rule in street and bar fights: maximum violence, instantly. (Martin Amis, "Money")

David
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 13144
Joined: Sat Feb 18, 2006 4:40 pm
Location: Ellan Vannin

Re: Middle-earth (According to Mordor)

Post by David » Thu Mar 03, 2011 7:25 pm

The Tolkien Estate is fiercely litigious, so I don't think there's much chance of this getting a proper publication. I also think I'm getting to the age where I wonder whether I really need to spend my time reading a mirror version of LOTR. I haven't read the thing itself since my teenage passion for it subsided.

I will still watch pretty much any of the films at the drop of a hat, though.

k-j
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 2978
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2005 10:37 pm
Location: Denver, CO

Re: Middle-earth (According to Mordor)

Post by k-j » Thu Mar 03, 2011 10:25 pm

Select Samaritan wrote:It might be more accurate to say I'm a Tolkien fan.
I'm the opposite. I like LOTR but the rest of Tolkein leaves me cold (well, I suppose I did enjoy The Hobbit when I was a kid).

There are some fairly major things wrong with LOTR - Tolkein's over-indulgence in archaisms and the way he studiously ignores women and commoners - but I've always loved it nonetheless. I love the made-up languages, the epic geography, the comic songs, the pipe-smoking - and I love the relentless, throbbing, evil presence of the ring.
I won't speak for kj directly, but all indications are that he enjoys a good romp through Fangorn once in a while.
Is that a euphemism for something filthy?
David wrote:I will still watch pretty much any of the films at the drop of a hat, though.
Me too, the films are masterpieces. And I am looking forward to seeing the Hobbit movies. Whatever you might think of his acting ability, Martin Freeman is a natural born hobbit. Much better than fey Elijah Wood.
fine words butter no parsnips

User avatar
Travis
Preternatural Poster
Preternatural Poster
Posts: 1906
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:00 am
antispam: no

Re: Middle-earth (According to Mordor)

Post by Travis » Thu Mar 03, 2011 11:43 pm

To be honest David, I doubt I'll be reading it either.
Select Samaritan wrote: It might be more accurate to say I'm a Tolkien fan.
k-j wrote: I'm the opposite. I like LOTR but the rest of Tolkein leaves me cold (well, I suppose I did enjoy The Hobbit when I was a kid).
I extended my ardor beyond LOTR and out to the man himself precisely because of The Hobbit, which to this day remains one of my favorite novels.

As for the rest of his stuff, I've only read The Silmarillion. But yeah, meh. It's for the real fanboys and girls.
k-j wrote: There are some fairly major things wrong with LOTR - Tolkein's over-indulgence in archaisms and the way he studiously ignores women and commoners - but I've always loved it nonetheless. I love the made-up languages, the epic geography, the comic songs, the pipe-smoking - and I love the relentless, throbbing, evil presence of the ring.
You might like this.

Excerpt, before the inevitable BUT:

J. R. R. Tolkien wrote his epic -- including its prequel, The Hobbit -- during the dark middle decades of the Twentieth Century, a time when modernity appeared to have failed in one spectacle of technologically amplified bloodshed after another. From the nineteen-thirties through the fifties, planet Earth fell into armed camps of starkly portrayed characters, tearing at each other in orgies of unprecedented violence. Titanic struggles, with the fate of all the world at stake.

LOTR clearly reflected this era. Only, in contrast to the real world, Tolkien's portrayal of "good" resisting a darkly threatening "evil" offered something sadly lacking in the real struggles against Nazi or Communist tyrannies -- a role for individual champions. His elves and hobbits and uber-human warriors performed the same role that Lancelot and Merlin and Odysseus did in older fables, and that superheroes still do in comic books. Through doughty Frodo, noble Aragorn and the ethereal Galadriel, he proclaimed the paramount importance -- above nations and civilizations -- of the indomitable romantic hero.

me wrote: I won't speak for kj directly, but all indications are that he enjoys a good romp through Fangorn once in a while.
k-j wrote: Is that a euphemism for something filthy?
No more so than that relentless, throbbing, evil presence of the ring...
There's only one rule in street and bar fights: maximum violence, instantly. (Martin Amis, "Money")

User avatar
pseud
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 2867
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2005 1:19 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Middle-earth (According to Mordor)

Post by pseud » Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:14 am

Image

Reminded me of this
"Don't treat your common sense like an umbrella. When you come into a room to philosophize, don't leave it outside, but bring it in with you." Wittgenstein

User avatar
Ros
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 7950
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:53 pm
antispam: no
Location: this hill-shadowed city/of razors and knives.
Contact:

Re: Middle-earth (According to Mordor)

Post by Ros » Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:08 am

Rivendell in France? I'm not at all sure about that...

Ros
Rosencrantz: What are you playing at? Guildenstern: Words. Words. They're all we have to go on.
___________________________
Antiphon - www.antiphon.org.uk

User avatar
pseud
Perspicacious Poster
Perspicacious Poster
Posts: 2867
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2005 1:19 am
Location: St. Louis, MO

Re: Middle-earth (According to Mordor)

Post by pseud » Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:43 am

I agree, I think that is the weakest. Especially with Venice so close. Paris is one flat shade of grey, could be Gondor...
"Don't treat your common sense like an umbrella. When you come into a room to philosophize, don't leave it outside, but bring it in with you." Wittgenstein

Post Reply