||The LOTR Movie Site
November 29, 2000
Greetings. Thanks for your response; I definately appreciate
your taking the time to include the excerpts.
1. "To be honest, I'd thought I had pointed it out in my first response. There is no
'logical conclusion' in following on from the developing of women's roles in LOTR and the
sudden inclusion of Smurfs."--Let me elaborate. I agree that Smurfs and developing
women's roles are two dramatically different examples, and at first glance don't seem
related. But for our purposes here we simply need to allow that they are both CHANGES. The
real difference between the two is a matter of degree, the former is much more drastic
than the latter. Now, before we make any changes at all, we must have some underlying
principle by which to judge the alterations. Which ones are allowable and which ones are
out of bounds? The trouble is, (apologies if this is an oversimplification) your stated
standard, death-of-the-author/text-as-an-artifact, does not in itself supply ANY limits on
what kinds of changes can be made. The justifications that you give to allow a greater
role for women can just as easily be used in and of themselves to add the smurfs. The
thrust of my line of reasoning is that you can't just say "Smurfs are silly and I
would never put them in!" and be done with it. That statement by itself can easily be
tantamount to "I choose not to put them in, but have no real reason to prevent their
inclusion." What if someone comes along and wants to make a change that we all agree
is ridiculous? What would you say to them? I don't think that you can prevent it and stay
consistent with your line of reasoning thus far. As such, I think you have do do more to
defend your position than to point of a difference of degree. You have to point to
consistent reasons why your argument can't go there.
2. "The fellowship is a major chunk of plot and screentime, the addition or
alteration of a member is no true problem as I see it, not for the audience and not for
the movie."--Which is where we continue to differ. You're right, it is a major chunk
of the plot, and altering in such a way would recreate the story rather than interpret it.
The more inportant the chunk, the less it should be touched.
3. "email, perhaps?"--You'll find a working secondary e-mail address on my old
web site (that hasn't been updated in more than a year!): http://homepages.go.com/~helms_deep/index.html
I'm afraid I can make no promises on how often I'll be able to reply though. I'll do my
4. "Again, I am not a PM theorist."--I read that after I sent the essay in! ;)
I'm a little behind in my philosophy, but I assume that PPM is still based on relativism.
If so, I would still argue along the same lines as I do. Still, I see this issue as tied
into the debate. Its likely a relativistic presupposition that underlies your method of
textual criticism. Until we deal with that, we're operating on two different wavelengths.
And unlike others I've met, I think we actually can hack this out as long as both of us
are willing to concede the possibility that we can be wrong.
5. "If the reconstructions to the castle are not that monumental...I have no qualms.
I also find that I do not believe that the transfer of a work from one medium to
another...need keep so stringently to the original architecture of the design."--I'm
rapidly running out of time, but I think this is one of the most useful threads you and I
have hit on so far. We agree in that some changes are necessary, but still disagree in
what qualifies as "monumental". I think that we should use the author as our
guide, through his/her expressed will in the text, and you don't feel bound by that. I
want to keep running with this, if you're willing, but I have to go.
Please pardon errors, but I must be off rapidly. Best to all.