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Somewhat ironically, given what he was basing it on...
Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:54am

It seems to me that Tolkien has a very West African attitude towards magic, wherein magic is created by making things rather than saying words. So the answer to your obviously-rhetorical question about whether elven cloaks or mithril armour or sweet-sounding instruments constitute magic is, frankly, yes. They do. Magic-as-magic words is very much a European thing, and does not have the universality that Western fiction ascribes to it.

Also, your comment about whether or not fireworks are magic reminds me that I really, really have to write finish that story plan I wrote up ages ago about Moria and Erebor dwarfs reinventing gunpowder, because those are some excellent parallels and I think it'd make for a more interesting and well-rounded fic. =]

  • So that last one.Huinesoron, Fri Aug 24 4:48am
    Do you discuss what Tolkien actually means when he says 'magic'? There's some very telling quotes in the Lothlorien chapters, starting with this from Galadriel: "[The Mirror] is what your folk would... more
    • To some degreeSnowy the Sane Fangirl, Wed Sep 5 3:37am
      The scope of the essay I was writing was bigger than that, so I touched on it only briefly. You make some good points, but I would like to add an additional observation: "magic" in The Lord of the... more
    • Somewhat ironically, given what he was basing it on... — Scapegrace, Fri Aug 24 9:54am
      • Not so rhetorical.Huinesoron, Fri Aug 24 10:32am
        Pippin definitely considers the cloaks of Lorien magic; just as definitely, the elves of that wood don't. So the question 'are they magic' has a very Elvish answer - 'both yes and no'. To the elves,... more
      • Stupid HTML... (nm)Scapegrace, Fri Aug 24 9:55am
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