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Author Topic: Help With Self/Peer Reviewing  (Read 7538 times)
Alflor
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« Reply #45 on: April 11, 2011, 01:46:58 AM »

Well, let's be honest here, a lot of stuff in LOTR is purely unnecessary. Tom Bombadil, for instance, is an outdated bit of concept and symbolism. He was alright to include in Tolkien's time, but today you just don't need him. I agree, of course, that the movies are not a substitute for the books. A lot of interesting scenes -- like Saruman's standoff in his tower -- were cut.

As far as Lewis goes... well... they just wanted to squeeze water from a rock, really. His books were meant primarily as a christian propaganda dissemination machine. His themes were so thinly veiled that he might as well have had Aslan introduce himself as Jesus. However, Lewis's books were -- for whatever reason -- widespread. In order to make a profitable movie, the studios needed to do a bit of glitzing. Without it, we'd get a big-budget version of the Veggie Tales -- more religious propaganda, clumsily disguised as children's entertainment.

Mind, Tolkien's books were just as propagandistic as Lewis's, but at least he hid it better.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2011, 01:50:01 AM by Alflor » Logged

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« Reply #46 on: April 11, 2011, 08:18:13 AM »

Oh, dear God, I have to disagree with you there. Lewis at least had some inkling of what it was like to write an adventure series. I was well into my fourth reread before I realized that ohhhh so that's what Aslan is supposed to be, that's who the Emperor Over the Sea is, blablabla. And that realization was exciting. Then eventually I had the usual thoughts about Why Is Susan Not in the Promised Land, What Is Lewis Trying to Say, and that opened up a whole new can of worms and internet vitriol debates, and it became not so exciting.

But the movies.

Godawful tripe.

People say they're better than the books, and well, yeah, they got great CGI and Tilda Swinton and Liam Neeson masquerading as a circus lion - but to call them better? Are you serious? I watched the latest Narnia film on the eight-hour flight back home. I was tired, enervated, depressed, and I just wanted to watch something that required the barest minimum of brain activity. Dawn Treader offered me the chance to reminisce about my childhood while drifting off into the nebulous quagmire of sleep. What it gave me was a headache.

If you thought Lewis was propaganda... dear God. The Narnia films put his allegory to shame. Little details were changed, plot was altered - not for entertainment, but to propound the concept of temptation and the Seven Deadly Sins so strongly, I in my traumatized state had no problem picking them out. It would've been nice if they pulled a Philip Pullman and strengthened the plot, but it wasn't strengthened at all. The resulting story was a ragtag mish-mash of loosely connected scenes that were the poorest excuse for a plot. I counted two blatant non sequiturs before I (thankfully) fell asleep.

Lewis had skill. He was able to reach generations of young and adult readers, provide them a safe world where Everything Was Right, and enough material to fuel debates that continue to rage until now. These films are not Lewis. They are not worthy of being called the spit of Lewis that was spat out on the ground, trod upon by his shoe, licked up and shat out by his mongrel dog. They are Hollywood - that's what they are and that's all they'll ever be.

And now I am getting waist-deep again into shitty rhetoric, so I will stop.


Mind, Tolkien's books were just as propagandistic as Lewis's, but at least he hid it better.
If you're going to look for a book that isn't propaganda, you may have to do a lot of looking, because I do believe that all writing is politics and all art is propaganda. Not some, not most. All.
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« Reply #47 on: April 11, 2011, 11:21:40 AM »

I agree that pretty much all literature is propaganda of some sort or another. Tolkien and Lewis did it well enough that even if you disagree with some of their suppositions, you can find things to like. Tolkien in particular is a master of language and his messages are so subtle that many (like director Peter Jackson) miss them entirely.

Lewis sends mixed signals because he started writing Narnia long before he became a Christian.

Hollywood? Well, they just ruin everything they touch. I really wish they'd leave literature alone and make up their own stories.
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« Reply #48 on: April 11, 2011, 02:56:09 PM »

"...but to call them better? Are you serious?"

Oh goodie, now it's my turn to pull out the "REREAD WHAT I WROTE BECAUSE I'M NOT WRITING IT AGAIN" stamp. Never did I say that the movies were better. In fact, I recall saying something of the opposite variety. "I agree, of course, that the movies are not a substitute for the books."
When it comes to Lewis, of course, I didn't get past the Prince Caspian film because... well... I felt like those few hours could be better spent jamming my fingers into a closing door-hinge. Same thing happened with the books, but I actually made it to The Silver Chair-- Kudos to Lewis, I guess... he held my attention for just a bit longer.

Also, never did I say that the movies were strengthened. I recall using a word of my own invention: "glitzing"... which means just what you said, Reiter -- adding better CG, making stuff look "cool" to hold the attention little children and older children with ADD.

Oh, and by the way, I'm not looking for non-propagandistic books, I just want the propaganda to be SO expertly disguised that I NEVER pick it up no matter how many times I read. Tolkien's a good example. Had I not read all the dissections of his writing, I would never have known. And in this case... ignorance is bliss.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2011, 03:00:16 PM by Alflor » Logged

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« Reply #49 on: April 11, 2011, 03:54:10 PM »

*laughs* Oh, Alflor. If I didn't know any better, I'd say you were intentionally looking for spots to nitpick just so you could jump on me from behind. Or maybe you really were? Wink But whatever. Ignorance is bliss! (I don't quite agree, but that's a different story.)

People say they're better than the books ... but to call them better? Are you serious?
And that's that. It's a general "you", as in the "you" you use in fiction (or the "you" I just used right now). It's not a specific "you" at all, but in retrospect somewhat easy to mistake if you read through quickly.

Here's another one:

Quote
If you thought Lewis was propaganda... dear God.
Could be taken either way, but I was just bitching about the film adaptations in general. Angry Person needs something to be Angry about!

I confess, though - I *did* think your "glitz" meant something like "spruce up" or "beautify". I guess our misunderstanding just shows us our cultural differences: you instinctively see this making-things-attractive process as adding superficial embellishments, whereas I see it as fixing up the foundations themselves.
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Alflor
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« Reply #50 on: April 11, 2011, 04:05:34 PM »

Well, the dictionary definition of "glitzy" is: ostentatious, superficial and showy. So no, I meant what I meant, and no amount of cultural difference makes it otherwise.

And that wasn't an attempt to jump on you from behind. It was an attempt to show you how annoying it is when someone constantly references their past replies, assuming for whatever reason that the other person hadn't bothered to read those replies prior to writing their response.
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"The only people who write bad fiction are writers."
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"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use." -Soren Kierkgard

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« Reply #51 on: April 11, 2011, 04:12:06 PM »

Let's keep it classy, guys. OK?

I'm sure you don't really mean to have a fight over this, but it is sounding a bit heated at times.
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Alflor
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« Reply #52 on: April 11, 2011, 04:15:24 PM »

Let's keep it classy, guys. OK?

I'm sure you don't really mean to have a fight over this, but it is sounding a bit heated at times.

I know, I'm sorry.
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"The only people who write bad fiction are writers."
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alflor.com <-- You should go there. You should go there now.
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« Reply #53 on: April 11, 2011, 04:39:14 PM »

Thanks to both of you. I want you both to realize that your participation here is greatly valued. I'd hate to have a minor disagreement end in someone going away mad.
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Alflor
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« Reply #54 on: April 11, 2011, 04:45:39 PM »

Oh, well thank you =)
Also, so long as things don't get personal -- and without really knowing the other person, how can they?-- it's all in good fun. We're all adults here, or at the very least mature. I actually find it nice that we can have these sorts of discussions. I like seeing different people's views on certain subjects.
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"The only people who write bad fiction are writers."
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"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use." -Soren Kierkgard

alflor.com <-- You should go there. You should go there now.
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