Death Penalty

Dennis R Redmond dredmond at OREGON.UOREGON.EDU
Thu Mar 4 15:51:02 PST 1999

On Thu, 4 Mar 1999, J. Barkley Rosser, Jr. wrote:

> Last time I checked, Russia still had the death penalty. I think it
> also still qualifies as "an advanced industrial country," sort of.

Hmm, I dunno, then you'd have to include Thailand, Brazil and other countries with industry as advanced. How about "dependently industrialized countries"?

> shows up in the much less widely read _Silmarillion_, published in 1977
> after Tolkien's death with editing by one of his sons, not the more popular
> _Lord of the Rings_. Tolkien does a plain-out steal of _Paradise Lost_
> which annoys Carrol Cox for good reasons.

Not too obscure for this particular litcritter -- the "Silmarillion", incidentally, dates back to WW I, I think, where Tolkien served in the BEF in France, so it's more like the dry-run for the Ring trilogy than anything else. The language is still epic-heroic, a weird mix of Biblical thunder and Middle English wordplay. Tolkien apparently was deeply affected by the nightmarish trench-slaughter and the poisoned wastelands of the front, and the Silmarillion was his attempt to reconcile the glory of Imperial Albion with the realities of mustard-gas. It didn't work, and he later junked it for the powerfully plebian and populist undertones of the Ring series, where the Little People of history turn out to be the real heroes. Deeply radical stuff -- the end of the trilogy is practically a blueprint for the May '68 uprisings. Funny as it sounds, in literature the text is often light-years more radical than the author.

-- Dennis

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list