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Why the Red Book?

Beorn

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Why did Tolkien create the idea of the Red Book of Westmarch? Other fantasy writers have just written. Was it to cover up for any mistake he may have made or anything he wanted to correct (such as the Riddle Game)?
 

Turgon

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I'm not sure as to why Tolkien used the Red Book idea - but I think he intended to do the same with the Silmarillion. Which was supposed to be written after the Elder Days had passed by the Men of ME. I remember reading an essay in the 'War of the Jewels' in which Tolkien says, for instance, that the History of the Sun and Moon as we know it (that they are the last fruits of the two trees) is untrue - and that the Elves being close to the Valar in Valinor knew the truth... presumably - that they were created at the same time as Arda and are much like our sun and moon.

I love the Idea of the Red Book though - a kind of fiction with in a fiction. It's one of those thing that make Middle-Earth so rich - like the Legends of the Eldar Days.
 

Rangerdave

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This is one of the greatest gifts of "Mythic Literature". The literary device of using fictional texts as the source of information and lore is a fairly common trick used by Storytellers. Note: that I said storyteller instead of author. There is a vast difference between the two. A storyteller presents his/her audience with what they want or need. An author simply writes a book.

The use of the "Red Book" allowed Tolkien to present his readers with a story that has the same feel of forgoten history. Basicly, Tolkien says to this audience "look what I have found, come share it with me." rather than "look what I have made, admire me."

Plus, Frodo describes the Book as being leather-bound. Take it from me, it is much easier to tan leather red than any other color*

RD

*not including natural brown
 

Lantarion

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Basicly, Tolkien says to this audience "look what I have found, come share it with me." rather than "look what I have made, admire me."
Ooh, excellently put RD. That's exactly what I think. :eek:
 

HLGStrider

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It makes it seem more genueine... genuiene?

If the story does not deny that it is being writen, it must either
A. Acknowledge that there are readers and a writer and in a sense acknowledge that this is fiction (A lot of kids books do this, with side notes to the reader, saying things like "I have heard this can happen, but have never seen it", which you know are being said by the author.)
B. Write the whole thing in first person.
C. Do what Tolkien did and have a character within the story writing it.
D. Claim that the whole text is an old history book, which Tolkien also did.

In some of my writing I have used A and in others D. It takes a better writer than me to do B or C, and D came across strange...

Well, perhaps B is not for better writers... I just don't like first person style.
 

DRavisher

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One question: What is the Red Book? And where should i have read about it???
 

Rangerdave

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Originally posted by DRavisher
One question: What is the Red Book? And where should i have read about it???
The Red Book of the Westmarch is the collective term for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings as written by Mr. Bilbo Baggins and Mr. Frodo Baggins. (With the bit at the end written by Mr. Samwise Gamgee)

This is the fictional book of Hobbit lore that Professor Tolkien "discovered" and "translated" in his storytelling.

Don't feel to bad about missing it, or let anyone hassle you for not catching the refference right away. It is easy to miss. I did the same thing on my first reading oh so many years ago.

RD
:cool:
 

DRavisher

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I did know that Bilbo wrote The Hobbit, and that Frodo wrote The Lord Of The Rings, but I did not know that this was called the Red Book. Thanks for the update:)
 

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