(urth) The Politics Of Gene Wolfe

John Watkins john.watkins04 at gmail.com
Thu Mar 19 12:47:28 PDT 2009

On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 3:40 PM, Jeffrey Brent McBeth <mcbeth at broggs.org>wrote:

> On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 12:27:43PM -0700, Dan'l Danehy-Oakes wrote:
> > On Thu, Mar 19, 2009 at 12:20 PM, John Watkins <john.watkins04 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > > Agreed...but this is in the context of a discussion of Tolkien's work.
> > > Tolkien veers between a benign anarchism (The Shire) and
> divinely-appointed
> > > or at least divinely-sanctioned kings.  It seems then that "good
> government"
> > > is holy or ideal government--government by the best (in the sense of
> "most
> > > moral") people.
> >
> > However, the point is made at least once (by Aragorn), and so Gene "I
> hate
> > it when they repeat things" Wolfe is bound to have noticed, that the
> "benign
> > anarchism" of the Shire is permitted to exist only because of the labors
> of
> > the Rangers, i.e., the King and his followers. Tolkien doesn't really
> "veer,"
> > he's definitely in the "divinely-appointed King" camp.
> Of the three major races in Tolkien (Man, Elves, Dwarves), only the
> Men have the semblance of a divinely-appointed king.

I'm sorry, that's just not true.  The Dwarves have Durin, a direct creation
of Aule who they believe to reincarnate every several generations.  Whether
or not it's true, it reflects a privileging and longing for divine authority
over at least the most significant branche of Dwarves.  Likewise the Elves
have a variety of government structures at different times, but the one that
Tolkien holds up as the ideal is the government of the Vanyar--indeed, Ingwe
is the High King of all the elves in theory if not in fact and he receives
his authority directly from the Valar.

> The elves appear to be a meritocracy, and only in, one occasion can I
> think of, do the elvish choices coincide with those most liked by the
> gods.
> The dwarves claim to be hereditary from the original 7 dwarves, and
> seem to be largely ignored by any except Aule, which seems to be the
> god that the bad guys in LOTR come from (Saruman, Sauron)
> Jeff
> --
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> "The man who does not read good books has no advantage over
>  the man who cannot read them."
>  -- Mark Twain
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)
> iD8DBQFJwp+vXazNjIaibJERAp4kAKCUhxGLeK5XkCdMWsRBrcg3YLVdGwCaA+ra
> tC/y/mBmah+MQgJrlJ99igk=
> =JFuX
> _______________________________________________
> Urth Mailing List
> To post, write urth at urth.net
> Subscription/information: http://www.urth.net
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.urth.net/pipermail/urth-urth.net/attachments/20090319/37b17957/attachment-0004.htm>

More information about the Urth mailing list