Kevin's Watch Forum Index
 HomeHome   MemberlistMemberlist   RegisterRegister   SearchSearch   ProfileProfile   FAQFAQ   StatisticsStatistics  SudokuSudoku   Phoogle MapPhoogle Map 
 AlbumAlbum StoresStores   StoresItems Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Tolkien vs. Donaldson
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Kevin's Watch Forum Index -> The Library -> J.R.R. Tolkien Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  

Who did it better?
Tolkien!
44%
 44%  [ 37 ]
Donaldson!
40%
 40%  [ 34 ]
Who did what better?
14%
 14%  [ 12 ]
Total Votes : 83

Author Message
High Lord Tolkien
Excommunicated Member of THOOLAH

Male
Joined: 19 Oct 2004
Posts: 6750

Thanks: 9
Thanked 41 Times in 39 Posts

Location: Cape Cod, Mass
1739 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Member of THOOLAH1 Lord Mhoram's Victory


PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2005 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To me it's a question of depth.

The Land is like a box of chocolates.
Middle Earth is also like a box of chocolates plus the factorys that made it plus the suppliers, the advertizing, the distribution centers....

SRD *could* compare to Tolkien but he'd have to backfill the story (history) and he's been clear that he doesn't intend to.
_________________
http://thoolah.blogspot.com/



[Defeated by a gizmo from Batman's utility belt]
Joker: I swear by all that's funny never to be taken in by that unconstitutional device again!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Thanked by: DoctorGamgee
drew
Haligonian

Male
Joined: 12 Sep 2004
Posts: 7866

Thanks: 8
Thanked 10 Times in 10 Posts

Location: Canada
920 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2005 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That being said though, one can follow a Donaldson Story much easier than a Tolkien story.

and In the GAP, SRD Does give you the factories, and such; through the Ancillary Documentations.
_________________
I thought you were a ripe grape
a cabernet sauvignon
a bottle in the cellar
the kind you keep for a really long time
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Phoogle Map
High Lord Tolkien
Excommunicated Member of THOOLAH

Male
Joined: 19 Oct 2004
Posts: 6750

Thanks: 9
Thanked 41 Times in 39 Posts

Location: Cape Cod, Mass
1739 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Member of THOOLAH1 Lord Mhoram's Victory


PostPosted: Sat Nov 26, 2005 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

drew wrote:
That being said though, one can follow a Donaldson Story much easier than a Tolkien story.

and In the GAP, SRD Does give you the factories, and such; through the Ancillary Documentations.


Oops!
I thought we were just doing Land vs ME writings.
I have yet to read any GAP stuff.
Embarassed
_________________
http://thoolah.blogspot.com/



[Defeated by a gizmo from Batman's utility belt]
Joker: I swear by all that's funny never to be taken in by that unconstitutional device again!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Landroval
Stonedownor


Joined: 23 Nov 2005
Posts: 39

Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Times in 1 Posts


2 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Murrin wrote:
Johannson.
Sorry, that one's just too easy, couldn't resist responding.



I would have agreed a month ago; but before you make a final judgement visit the Aeon Flux website!

I'm not convinced that Donanldson is easier to follow that Tolkien, I found the second chronicles quite heavy going at times.
_________________
Even the very wise cannot see all ends.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
sgt.null
jack of odd trades; master of fun

MaleRanyhyn
Joined: 19 Jul 2005
Posts: 40948

Thanks: 43
Thanked 77 Times in 76 Posts

Location: texas
8799 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 2007 Watchies1 2005 Watchies1 2011 Watchies


PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 2:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tolkien. he created a much fuller universe. but I find DOnaldson easier to relate to.
_________________
“life's not a paragraph
And death i think is no parenthesis”
― E.E. Cummings
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Phoogle Map
Thanked by: DoctorGamgee
matrixman
cheek turner


Joined: 10 Jul 2003
Posts: 8361

Thanks: 6
Thanked 28 Times in 27 Posts


8348 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Mon Nov 28, 2005 8:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guys, I'm still agonizing over Johansson vs. Theron. It's not that easy for me, Murrin. Razz

Oh, sorry, this is a Tolkien vs. Donaldson debate? I'm outta here.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger Phoogle Map
Merle
Servant of the Land


Joined: 13 May 2003
Posts: 14

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

Location: Chaos
0 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2006 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm late to this discussion. I picked Tolkien by a very narrow margin, only on personal taste.

As far as being a craftsman, I believe Donaldson is as good or better than anyone. My picking LotR is purely because I like the story better. So again looking at the poll question, I think I answered wrongly. Donaldson did it better, but I enjoy reading Tolkien a little better.

Covenant is tough to read. He's not likeable in an ordinary sense. In LotR, all the major characters are basically likeable, except Boromir, and we only have to put up with him through the first volume. That makes LotR much easier to read. And I must say that Books iv and vi, dealing with Frodo, Sam and Gollum are my least favorite parts, because of Gollum.

On the other hand, Covenant has much to teach about ourselves. How do we answer the impossible questions? How do we come to grips? Who is the greater hero, Covenant or Hile Troy? You know, I hated Hile Troy almost instantly. I agreed with Covenant. Troy was incompetent and shouldn't have put himself forward the way he did. Heck, he's the "Fighting Hood of Texas." I like Covenant's answer to the Land much better than Troy's. Covenant mistrusted himself. Troy should have.

Now I'm rambling. Please go back to what you were doing. Wink
_________________
Brick killed a guy! Did you throw a trident?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
A Gunslinger
Mr. Bad Example

MaleRanyhyn
Joined: 08 May 2004
Posts: 8890

Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

Location: Southern WI (Madison area)
1781 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 I Love KW1 Lord's Staff


PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2007 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd go SRD, in that he requires examination of self. There are times when reading SRD you must examine your own moral code in order to continue to sympathize with certain characters and story points.

JRRT requires little in the way of slef-investment, but is still very entertaining, don't get me wrong. Also, there is alot of Christina imagery & philospohy in JRRT that dioes not occur in SRD....though SRD does have some eastern influence (i beleive).
_________________
"I use my gun whenever kindness fails"



Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger
storm
Cassiline in Training

Male
Joined: 14 Aug 2005
Posts: 395

Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

Location: Michigan
766 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Member of THOOLAH1 Forestal


PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 2:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All the elvish in LOTR made it difficult for me at times to truly dive into the stories with both feet. TCTC on the other hand I could dive in, swim with the dolphins and get a good feel for the place.

SRD speaks to my inner druid, the very ground you walk on in the Land lives and is sentient...it gets no cooler than that.
_________________
May you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you're dead.

F.E.M.A. "Ferocious Educational Medical Aptitude" -Esmer

"Honestly; by the end of the Chronicles Lord Foul isn't going to be the Despiser anymore (we all knew he had to come to an end), however I find it vexing that the only reason is because he feels unworthy of the title and resigns to let Linden take his badge, Illearth Stone, and the keys to Linden's Creche."-Revan
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Phoogle Map
Cameraman Jenn
Arch Pimpager

FemaleRanyhyn
Joined: 19 Oct 2006
Posts: 13226

Thanks: 6
Thanked 36 Times in 36 Posts

Location: Albuquerque NM (The Land of Enchantment)
622827 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
3 Sandgorgon2 Ur-vile1 Waynhim


PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2007 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I picked SRD, my reasoning is the depth of his characters. The go through such agonizing heart wrenching soul searching journeys that whether you like the character or not they make you feel deeply. Tolkien is fabulous and I love LOTR but his characters don't go through internal journeys like SRD's. Tolkien's heroes are clearly on the side of good from day one and while he writes them beautifully so that you are rooting for them and entranced by their heroics, SRD's are almost always unwilling and have to learn to become heroic in their own ways.
_________________
Now if I could just find a way to wear live bees as jewelry all the time.....

www.fantasybedtimehour.com
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger Phoogle Map
A Gunslinger
Mr. Bad Example

MaleRanyhyn
Joined: 08 May 2004
Posts: 8890

Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

Location: Southern WI (Madison area)
1781 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 I Love KW1 Lord's Staff


PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jenn Cameraman-Galad wrote:
I picked SRD, my reasoning is the depth of his characters. The go through such agonizing heart wrenching soul searching journeys that whether you like the character or not they make you feel deeply. Tolkien is fabulous and I love LOTR but his characters don't go through internal journeys like SRD's. Tolkien's heroes are clearly on the side of good from day one and while he writes them beautifully so that you are rooting for them and entranced by their heroics, SRD's are almost always unwilling and have to learn to become heroic in their own ways.



Which causes the reader to reflect on their own motivations and values...
_________________
"I use my gun whenever kindness fails"



Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Yahoo Messenger
Zarathustra
Be True


Joined: 04 Jan 2005
Posts: 17392

Thanks: 37
Thanked 174 Times in 167 Posts


20151 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2007 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If "it" means fantasy, then I've got to go with Tolkien. He does fantasy better than anyone.

But Donaldson is a better writer. Donaldson can shine no matter what genre he's writing in. On the other hand, Tolkien couldn't convincingly write science fiction, I suspect. For Tolkien, the story wasn't primary. The sub-creation was primary. Creating a mythology for England was primary. Giving it a "historical" authenticity was primary. He defined the genre. He showed us what fantasy is. This means that while Donaldson is a better writer, Tolkien is a better fantasywriter. Donaldson's tale is written better, but Tolkien's fantasy creation itself is better.

I suppose we have to ask ourselves: what is writing? For Donaldson, the characters drive the story. For Tolkien, the world drives the story. Middle Earth is a place where 100s of equally powerful stories could happen. The Land is a place where only one story can happen: the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant.
_________________
Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Thanked by: DoctorGamgee
Auleliel
Lexiphanic Cacoepist

FemaleRanyhyn
Joined: 28 Jun 2007
Posts: 3984

Thanks: 24
Thanked 14 Times in 12 Posts

Location: The Phrontistery
2019 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Member of THOOLAH1 Translation1 Furls Fire


PostPosted: Tue Jul 10, 2007 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I also can't choose for something as vague as "it". IMO, Tolkien's best at creating a complete universe in all of its finest details, Donaldson's best at character development.
_________________
"Persevera, per severa, per se vera." Persist through difficulties, even though it is hard.
Proud Member of THOOOTP.

Buy my best friend's fantastic fantasy book! Pulse is also available here.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger Phoogle Map
burgs
Enthusiastic oenophile


Joined: 12 Jul 2004
Posts: 1043

Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

Location: Chicago
54 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 1:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malik23 wrote:
If "it" means fantasy, then I've got to go with Tolkien. He does fantasy better than anyone.


I'm with you there.

Malik23 wrote:
But Donaldson is a better writer.


Whether one decides that they are annoyed by Donaldson's use of $50 words or inspired, you'd be hard pressed to find many English profs who would not have paroxysms of weeping if asked to read one of Donaldson's books. Academia doesn't have all the answers, I agree, but you would be hard pressed to find an English department anywhere that would support Donaldson's use/misuse of vocabulary.

And there's no question that he has alienated readers because of it. None at all.

There are other measures on which to judge a person as a "writer", but I'm just offering that one because it is so glaring and jolting to many readers.

Malik23 wrote:
Donaldson can shine no matter what genre he's writing in.


While I've read all of his writings, and enjoyed them, I nearly didn't make it through the Gap series because of all of the physical and emotional rape that the characters endured. It was overkill. IMHO, one of SRDs weaknesses as a writer is that he goes a bit too far in presenting damaged characters that require redemption. They don't *all* have to have been raped. (One could even argue that TCs leprosy is a form of rape.) Given the sales figures that SRD has discussed, it's obvious that he lost readers when writing the Gap. Of course many of them simply weren't interested in sci-fi, some weren't interested in anything that wasn't Covenant, but I was a die hard fan, and *I* struggled to get through it.

Regarding his mysteries. While they're satisfying and well written, I don't consider them a shining example of a mystery novel.

Make no mistake -- I'm a fan of SRDs work, and am hard pressed to envision a scenario where I don't read everything he publishes. I just don't think he's quite where you've placed him.

Malik23 wrote:
On the other hand, Tolkien couldn't convincingly write science fiction, I suspect.


That's purely speculative. In one of the 12 books of The History of Middle Earth there is a sci-fi story that he wrote, although I believe it's incomplete, and don't remember if I've read it or not. I guess that'll be on my nighstand tonight!

But aside from that, Tolkien published three types of fiction, all in different styles, and all masterful:
    Children's fantasy, The Hobbit
    An adult epic/high/heroic fantasy, The Lord of the Rings
    A book of 'mythology', or a 'Bible of Middle Earth', The Silmarillion


To peg him as simply a fantasy author is not giving him proper credit. All three forms of fiction mentioned above are VERY difficult forms to master. He mastered not only one, but three.

Malik23 wrote:
For Tolkien, the story wasn't primary. The sub-creation was primary. Creating a mythology for England was primary.


You're mostly right, of course, but imagine an author for whom all the above is true writing a story as compelling as Tolkien. I would think that a novel arising from the above mentioned criteria would be like bleaching your hair platinum blonde using Clorox. Or reading an interview where Paolini discusses writing fantasy alongside Phillip Pullman. *shudders*

Tolkien gave us characters to love. If his characters were devoid of personality, or if they all shared the same personality (see most of Eddings work), then it couldn't have worked. I think that sometimes Tolkien isn't given enough credit for the work he did developing character precisely because his "world building" (for lack of a better phrase at the moment) was so perfect, spot on.

The other thing, and by no means is it the least, is that Tolkien wasn't working from a template. He borrowed heavily from other sources, true, but the way in which he told his story was original. Terry Brooks wrote from a template when he wrote The Sword of Shannara, and so did SRD. One's better than the other, of course, but it's impossible to read the First Chrons and not see Tolkien's roadmap.

Donaldson may never have written TC if not for LOTR. Or, if he had, it would have looked more like Narnia than LOTR. Who knows?
_________________
"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." (Anais Nin)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Phoogle Map
jacob Raver, sinTempter
Man-spawn of Hate and Destruction

Male
Joined: 09 Oct 2007
Posts: 1744

Thanks: 8
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

Location: Wisconsin, US
6780 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malik23 wrote:

I suppose we have to ask ourselves: what is writing? For Donaldson, the characters drive the story. For Tolkien, the world drives the story.


Story-telling/writing...or what really drives a good story? I'd disagree with both: plot is what drives a story. Not characters, not worlds...plot. Characters are what/why SRD writes, world-building was what/why Tokien wrote and Jesus was why Lewis wrote. But plot is king, always. And with the first Chrons, SRD basically copied Tolkiens plot mechanisms, not all of them, but the main ones. Three examples: the quest for the SoL into Mt. Thunder is like Tolkien X, Forestals saving the day is like Tolkien X, and the siege of Revelstone as the set-piece of the third book is like Tolkien X. Now, within the larger two, most of the Chrons is very different from Tolkien, but again, plot rules. And, my biggest problem with the 2nd Chrons is the lack of a plot, and I believe it's SRD's biggest weakness.
_________________
Sunshine Music
Deep Music

"I'm gonna eat your brains and gain your knowledge." - Tony Block, Planet Terror
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Phoogle Map
Waddley
Do you realize?


Joined: 17 May 2006
Posts: 2406

Thanks: 2
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

Location: Titan Moon Best Moon
585 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know this is an old thread and all that, but I didn't revive it, so I'll throw in my 2 cents. Let me preface it, though- I don't like Tolkien.

I mean, dude. Gandalf had a giant flippin bird that could have flown to Mordor at ANY TIME to drop the ring into Mt. Doom?? Really? People died, Gandalf. Boramir died. This isn't a game. Hell, Frodo could have ridden on the giant bird all the way there, did his little ring dropping thing and flown back and it'd be all over before supper. But did he think of that? Nope. And now Boramir is dead. And some elves, too, I think... but who pays attention to elves, anyway?

I also am not fond of Tolkien's writing style.

So I voted for SRD. I'm glad that I tied up the results.
_________________
"Let my inspiration flow in token rhyme, suggesting rhythm." -Robert Hunter
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website AIM Address Phoogle Map
matrixman
cheek turner


Joined: 10 Jul 2003
Posts: 8361

Thanks: 6
Thanked 28 Times in 27 Posts


8348 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Mon Mar 02, 2009 4:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm reluctant to join in such debates as this because I don't like flame wars. However, having only recently read LOTR, I can see better the similarities between that work and TCTC - but also the profound differences.

It took some time for me to adjust to Tolkien's style before I could enjoy LOTR. Donaldson is often criticized - and I think to an unfair degree - for his use of esoteric words, but in reading LOTR, I was befuddled on a number of occasions by Tolkien's more fanciful - baroque? - passages. That, of course, must sound like blasphemous talk to hardcore Tolkien fans. But the important point is that I got over Tolkien's prose (for the most part), and once I did, I was able to throw myself completely into the books. Niggly issues aside, LOTR had many scenes written with such eloquence, beauty and power that I was actually moved to tears. (Donaldson and Orwell are the only other writers to have done that to me, I think.) So I'm glad I read the books.

However, this new-found admiration for LOTR does not in any way diminish TCTC in my eyes - because they are really entirely different things, no matter the surface similarities. I can appreciate Tolkien's achievement, but LOTR is not wedded to my heart and soul as the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant are.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message MSN Messenger Phoogle Map
jacob Raver, sinTempter
Man-spawn of Hate and Destruction

Male
Joined: 09 Oct 2007
Posts: 1744

Thanks: 8
Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

Location: Wisconsin, US
6780 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2009 7:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

okay...what's with the whole "eagles can just fly into Mordor" crap? What about the fell beasts and the flying monk...oh, wait...
_________________
Sunshine Music
Deep Music

"I'm gonna eat your brains and gain your knowledge." - Tony Block, Planet Terror
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Phoogle Map
Zahir
Malkavian Primogen


Joined: 02 Dec 2002
Posts: 1302

Thanks: 7
Thanked 34 Times in 29 Posts

Location: Los Angeles, CA
4921 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:


PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And a hundred thousand Orc archers--plus the fact that according to the book no one (presumably including the eagles) could avoid being corrupted by the Ring over time.
_________________
"O let my name be in the Book of Love!
It be there, I care not of the other great book Above.
Strike it out! Or, write it in anew. But
Let my name be in the Book of Love!" --Omar Khayam
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Phoogle Map
Vraith
LibTard, Mr. Reliable.


Joined: 21 Nov 2008
Posts: 10201

Thanks: 17
Thanked 94 Times in 91 Posts

Location: everywhere, all the time
28351 White Gold Dollars
Tokens
HP

User Items:
1 Raver1 Wraith1 Caesure


PostPosted: Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tolkien is a better historian, but Donadson is a better writer/storyteller.
[like a Beetle is a car, but a Rolls is ride]
_________________
the difference between evidence and sources: whether they come from the horse's mouth or a horse's ass.
-------------------------------------------------------
"Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation."
-------------------------------------------------------
the hyperbole is a beauty...for we are then allowed to say a little more than the truth...and language is more efficient when it goes beyond reality than when it stops short of it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Kevin's Watch Forum Index -> The Library -> J.R.R. Tolkien Forum All times are GMT
Goto page Previous  1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Page 2 of 4

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by Earthpower © Kevin's Watch