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View Diary: Books Go Boom! How 'Lord of the Rings' is Not a Very Good Book - and Yet, is a Great One (296 comments)

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  •  Aragorn in 3-D (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt, ebohlman, chicagobama, No Exit, Brecht

    I can't find it at the moment but somewhere I have a collection of essays on LOTR by a writer named Paul L. Kocher titled The Master of Middle-Earth.  One of his essays is an in-depth exploration of Aragorn and argues that far from being a cardboard Good Guy, there is more depth to his characterization than is sometimes credited to him.

    It's been a while since I've read the essay, so I doubt I can do Kocher's arguments justice, but his book is a good one and worth reading by the Tolkien fan.

    Read my webcomic, "Hannibal Tesla Adventure Magazine" at http://www.kurtoonsonline.com/

    by quarkstomper on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 12:00:47 PM PDT

    •  Agree. It's out of print (4+ / 0-)

      but well worth the effort to find Kocher on e-Bay.  I was disappointed in his analysis of The Silmarillion, but his Master of Middle-earth book is outstanding.

      "If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all." — Oscar Wilde

      by chicagobama on Sat Apr 05, 2014 at 05:15:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A crucial tension in 'LotR' is the electromagnetic (3+ / 0-)

      moral field, which surrounds the characters, and is pulling them both toward the light and the dark. Gandalf is nicely gray - but then he gets pulled too.

      Tolkien had studied enough literature to see many elements, which he chose not to develop in his own work. Here, from various letters Tolkien wrote, are 5 Tips for Creating Complex Heroes.

      There are depth and mystery in Aragorn. There are also complex personalities if you choose to read the main hero as spread out across three or four of the ring bearers; and the Sam/Frodo/Gollum interplay gets almost Dostoevskian.

      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

      by Brecht on Sun Apr 06, 2014 at 05:45:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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