The OF Blog: Interesting article on the "clomping foot of nerdism" and the latest Hobbit movie

Monday, December 15, 2014

Interesting article on the "clomping foot of nerdism" and the latest Hobbit movie

This weekend, The Telegraph ran an article that discussed how the over-emphasis on "realism" in fantasy (or to be more precise, the seeming near-elimination of "imaginative gaps"), especially in relation to adaptations/responses to J.R.R. Tolkien's writings, sucks the joy and wonder out of matters.  While I might quibble a bit on the discussions of Tolkien himself (I think it's a more complex case with him, although I agree that LotR has some significant flaws), I do find myself sympathetic with most, if not all, of the article's claims and statements.

Thoughts on the article?

1 comment:

Mazzack said...

The article has its points, but I think it takes some trends that can be potentially problematic and describes them as ruinous. In addition, I find its overwhelming contempt for nerd culture a bit troubling and disheartening. Nerd culture is a lot more diverse than people often see.

The author of the article writes that "what nerds are chasing when they get passionate about canon is the fantasy of purity". I think what they are really chasing is a concept of cohesiveness. When one is considering a work of art, it is often easier to comprehend if it is cohesive. Beyond that, much of art is actually made more potent by a cohesive message, narrative or style. This is how I see this manifestation of nerdish behaviour.

On a side-note, I have not encountered anyone, including nerds on the internet and off, particularly pleased with the additional content glued to the body of The Hobbit's main narrative. Many have considered it a factor of why they think they are weaker films than Lord of the Rings. This seems to be motivated by the corporate desire for more money rather than a way to fulfill the desires of the fans. I have only seen the first Hobbit film, but I thought one of its worst attributes was its lack of tonal cohesiveness, in that it wedded the silliness of The Hobbit with the grimness of The Lord of the Rings in an inconsistent and ineffective way.

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