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Old 01-14-2013, 10:29 AM   #81
combatmedic
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Default Re: Fourth Age of Middle Earth gaming

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Originally Posted by whswhs View Post
Tolkien explicitly used the phrase "Secondary World" in his essay "On Fairy Stories." But he didn't mean an alternate history or a parallel world or even an alternate universe such as Narnia. He meant a fictional world that existed in the imagination of a human being. That's why it was "secondary" and not "parallel."

But he also used the fictional device of saying, "This story is taken from a historical document left by participants in its events." This was a common framing device in fiction of many sorts; Mary Shelley used it in Frankenstein, for example, and epistolary novels such as Les liaisons dangéreuses were effectively doing the same thing. And a lot of fantasy, in the days when archaeological knowledge was less advanced, used the device of setting a story in the remote past to suspend disbelief in magic and monsters.

Bill Stoddard


I grok it.





RE: Narnia

I find Middle Earth more congenial to gaming. It might be because the religious subtext is deeper and subtler, or because Middle Earth feels better-developed, more like a ‘full world.’

But I do enjoy Narnia quite a lot. I think it would be game-worthy if one ran in an age during which Aslan was away from Narnia.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:07 PM   #82
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Default Re: Fourth Age of Middle Earth gaming

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I find Middle Earth more congenial to gaming. It might be because the religious subtext is deeper and subtler, or because Middle Earth feels better-developed, more like a ‘full world.’
Narnia feels a whole lot less "real" to me, probably because of its lack of development. The allegory is a bit unsubtle, too.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:29 PM   #83
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Default Re: Fourth Age of Middle Earth gaming

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Narnia feels a whole lot less "real" to me, probably because of its lack of development. The allegory is a bit unsubtle, too.
The religious elements are general enough to apply to most messianic religions. So I think it loops back around to general fantasy. :)
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:30 PM   #84
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Default Re: Fourth Age of Middle Earth gaming

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Narnia feels a whole lot less "real" to me, probably because of its lack of development. The allegory is a bit unsubtle, too.
Right. That's kind of the point in Narnia, though. Without quite spelling it out, Lewis strongly implies that Aslan is a fictional 'face ' of Christ.



Tolkien was far more subtle with his religious themes. Middle Earth is suffused with Christian ideas, but some people might miss all that if they lack the cultural background knowledge.
History-- not allegory!

But I do like Spenser’s Faire Queene and that is certainly an allegory. Allegory can be good. It’s just often badly handled in recent fiction, IMO.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:34 PM   #85
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Default Re: Fourth Age of Middle Earth gaming

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....
Tolkien was far more subtle with his religious themes. Middle Earth is suffused with Christian ideas, but some people might miss all that if they lack the cultural background knowledge.
History-- not allegory!
....
Wow, they cut a lot out for the movies. There wasn't a d*mn bit of Christianity in LOTR. I wish I could slog through his writing style.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:38 PM   #86
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The religious elements are general enough to apply to most messianic religions. So I think it loops back around to general fantasy. :)
What other 'messianic' religions did you have in mind?

The circumstances, purpose, and manner of Aslan's death and resurrection echo Christ's death and resurrection.
He is the son of the 'Emperor over the Sea.'
And he actually tells the children that in their world he is known by another name.

It's pretty clear what Lewis meant, IMO.



Have you read much of Lewis' other work?
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:41 PM   #87
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What other 'messianic' religions did you have in mind?

The circumstances, purpose, and manner of Aslan's death and resurrection echo Christ's death and resurrection.
He is the son of the 'Emperor over the Sea.'
And he actually tells the children that in their world he is known by another name.

It's pretty clear what Lewis meant, IMO.



Have you read much of Lewis' other work?
The ancient world was positively dripping with messianic religions, virgin births, popping up from the dead three days later, etc. Just because only one major one is still going, shouldn't mean that a writer can only refer to that one. If the author admitted that's what he meant, then cool. Otherwise it's a bit insulting, in my opinion.
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Old 01-14-2013, 02:51 PM   #88
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Wow, they cut a lot out for the movies. There wasn't a d*mn bit of Christianity in LOTR. I wish I could slog through his writing style.








The movies cannot possibly provide the full context.

I recommend the books for many reasons. Subtext is just one of those reasons.


But even if you read the books I'm not sure you'd be able to understand them on that level. Or maybe you'd just not wish to see it.
To take a small example, I doubt you'd even notice that the eagles rescue Sam and Frodo from Mordor on Good Friday. I'm not even sure if you know what Good Friday is. Or would you be able to see the Christian significance in deliberate acts of mercy and pity leading to the destruction of the One Ring, and not just heroic 'pagan' courage and valor? Likewise I don't know if you'd grasp the mythological similarities between the Silmarillion and the Old Testament. Would you be perplexed to hear Tolkien describe the Elves making war on 'The Devil' in a radio interview? In fact, Tolkien himself described his works as being deeply influenced by his Catholic and Christian worldview.
You don’t have the knowledge of the cultural material or the openness to the worldview to properly understand this background stuff, I’m afraid. But that doesn’t prevent you from enjoying the story as a story, which is of course the main point in anyone telling a good tale.
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Old 01-14-2013, 03:00 PM   #89
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Default Re: Fourth Age of Middle Earth gaming

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
The ancient world was positively dripping with messianic religions, virgin births, popping up from the dead three days later, etc. Just because only one major one is still going, shouldn't mean that a writer can only refer to that one. If the author admitted that's what he meant, then cool. Otherwise it's a bit insulting, in my opinion.
You are either being very politically correct or else you know nothing about C.S Lewis. Go and read some of his other works, his letters, and any halfway decent biography and then get back to me. Heck, even browse the wiki page on the man.

Since you seem to know essentially nothing about Lewis:
After a period of atheism as a younger man, he converted as an adult. He became a famous Christian apologist through works of non fiction like 'Mere Christianity.' His works of fiction are chock full of Christian elements, sometimes subtle and sometimes quite overt.
He was a good friend of Tolkien’s, by the way.

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Old 01-14-2013, 03:01 PM   #90
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Default Re: Fourth Age of Middle Earth gaming

If he admitted to cribbing from his understanding of Christianity, then I can't deny it. But it diminishes his originality then. To you that may be uplifting, but to me it's kind of sad and a failure of story telling. But to each their own.
When I read fantasy, I don't want to get unexpectedly slapped by sections of, or references to, an entirely unrelated mythology.
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