Březen 2012

Citáty z dopisů J. R. R. Tolkiena

28. března 2012 v 22:48

Dopis č. 71
25 May 1944

Yes, I think the orcs as real a creation as anything in 'realistic' fiction: your vigorous words well describe the tribe; only in real life they are on both sides, of course. For 'romance' has grown out of 'allegory', and its wars are still derived from the 'inner war' of allegory in which good is on one side and various modes of badness on the other. In real (exterior) life men are on both sides: which means a motley alliance of orcs, beasts, demons, plain naturally honest men, and angels. But it does make some difference who are your captains and whether they are orc-like per se! And what it is all about (or thought to be). It is even in this world possible to be (more or less) in the wrong or in the right.

*****
Dopis č. 96
30 January 1945

As far as we can go back the nobler pan of the human mind is filled with the thoughts of sibb, peace and goodwill, and with the thought of its loss. We shall never recover it, for that is not the way of repentance, which works spirally and not in a closed circle; we may recover something like it, but on a higher plane. Just as (to compare a small thing) the convened urban gets more out of the country than the mere yokel, but he cannot become a real landsman, he is both more and in a way less (less truly earthy anyway). Of course, I suppose that, subject to the permission of God, the whole human race (as each individual) is free not to rise again but to go to perdition and carry out the Fall to its bitter bottom (as each individual can singulariter6). And at certain periods, the present is notably one, that seems not only a likely event but imminent. Still I think there will be a 'millenium', the prophesied thousand-year rule of the Saints, i.e. those who have for all their imperfections never finally bowed heart and will to the world or the evil spirit (in modern but not universal terms: mechanism, 'scientific' materialism. Socialism in either of its factions now at war As far as we can go back the nobler pan of the human mind is filled with the thoughts of sibb, peace and goodwill, and with the thought of its loss. We shall never recover it, for that is not the way of repentance, which works spirally and not in a closed circle; we may recover something like it, but on a higher plane. Just as (to compare a small thing) the convened urban gets more out of the country than the mere yokel, but he cannot become a real landsman, he is both more and in a way less (less truly earthy anyway). Of course, I suppose that, subject to the permission of God, the whole human race (as each individual) is free not to rise again but to go to perdition and carry out the Fall to its bitter bottom (as each individual can singulariter6). And at certain periods, the present is notably one, that seems not only a likely event but imminent. Still I think there will be a 'millenium', the prophesied thousand-year rule of the Saints, i.e. those who have for all their imperfections never finally bowed heart and will to the world or the evil spirit (in modern but not universal terms: mechanism, 'scientific' materialism. Socialism in either of its factions now at war.
...
I have just heard the news..... Russians 60 miles from Berlin. It does look as if something decisive might happen soon. The appalling destruction and misery of this war mount hourly :
destruction of what should be (indeed is) the common wealth of Europe, and the world, if mankind were not so besotted, wealth the loss of which will affect us all, victors or not. Yet people gloat to hear of the endless lines, 40 miles long, of miserable refugees, women and children pouring West, dying on the way. There seem no bowels of mercy or compassion, no imagination, left in this dark diabolic hour. By which I do not mean that it may not all, in the present situation, mainly (not solely) created by Germany, be necessary and inevitable. But why gloat! We were supposed to have reached a stage of civilization in which it might still be necessary to execute a criminal, but not to gloat, or to hang his wife and child by him while the orc-crowd hooted. The destruction of Germany, be it 100 times merited, is one of the most appalling world-catastrophes. Well, well - you and I can do nothing about it. And that shd. be a measure of the amount of guilt that can justly be assumed to attach to any member of a country who is not a member of its actual Government. Well the first War of the Machines seems to be drawing to its final inconclusive chapter - leaving, alas, everyone the poorer, many bereaved or maimed and millions dead, and only one thing triumphant: the Machines. As the servants of the Machines are becoming a privileged class, the Machines are going to be enormously more powerful. What's their next move? .... All the love of your own father.

*****
Dopis č. 131
cca 1951

I dislike Allegory - the conscious and intentional allegory - yet any attempt to explain the
purport of myth or fairytale must use allegorical language. (And, of course, the more 'life' a story has the more readily will it be susceptible of allegorical interpretations: while the better a deliberate allegory is made the more nearly will it be acceptable just as a story.) Anyway all this stuff* is mainly concerned with Fall, Mortality, and the Machine. With Fall inevitably, and that motive occurs in several modes. With Mortality, especially as it affects art and the creative (or as I should say, sub-creative) desire which seems to have no biological function, and to be apart from the satisfactions of plain ordinary biological life, with which, in our world, it is indeed usually at strife. This desire is at once wedded to a passionate love of the real primary world, and hence filled with the sense of mortality, and yet unsatisfied by it. It has various opportunities of 'Fall'. It may become possessive, clinging to the things made as 'its own', the sub-creator wishes to be the Lord and God of his private creation. He will rebel against the laws of the Creator - especially against mortality. Both of these (alone or together) will lead to the desire for Power, for making the will more quickly effective, - and so to the Machine (or Magic). By the last I intend all use of external plans or devices (apparatus) instead of development of the inherent inner powers or talents - or even the use of these talents with the corrupted motive of dominating: bulldozing the real world, or coercing
other wills. The Machine is our more obvious modern form though more closely related to Magic than is usually recognised.

*****
Dopis č. 229
23 February 1961

Here [in Mordor] rules the personification of satanic might Sauron (read perhaps in the same
partial fashion [as other identifications Ohlmarks has made] Stalin). There is no 'perhaps' about it. I utterly repudiate any such 'reading', which angers me. The situation was conceived long before the Russian revolution. Such allegory is entirely foreign to my thought. The placing of Mordor in the east was due to simple narrative and geographical necessity, within my 'mythology'. The original stronghold of Evil was (as traditionally) in the North; but as
that had been destroyed, and was indeed under the sea, there had to be a new stronghold, far
removed from the Valar, the Elves, and the sea-power of Númenor.

*****

Zdroj:
(nebo THE LETTERS OF J. R. R. TOLKIEN - soubor PDF na googlu)

Star Trek a jeho svět

26. března 2012 v 21:59
Neo-marxistická analýza Star Treku
18. června 2009

"Federace a říše: Federace, Vulkánci, Klingoni a Romulani"* je kritickou, neo-marxistickou analýzou Star Treku, zaměřující se na původní televizní sérii (1966-1969). Autor nahlíží na liberalismus Star Treku jako na decentně zamaskovanou omluvu za americký imperialismus a do určité míry to ilustruje na příkladech z řady episod a veřejných prohlášení Gene Roddenberryho a dalších osob stojících za tímto seriálem.

Roddenberryho Star Trek předestírá budoucnost světa jako ze skladby Johna Lennona "Imagine" : "Představ si, že neexistuje nebe …žádný majetek … potřeba chamtivosti či hlad / Bratrstvo člověka". S bezpeněžní ekonomikou, bez náboženských fanatiků, bez vnitřních sporů - zní to jako socialistická či anarchistická utopie. Přesto je tento utopistický svět každodenního života něčím, co nikdy nespatříme. Namísto toho cestujeme na vojenské válečné lodi ... ehm! … mírumilovném průzkumném plavidle, na němž je udržována přísná hierarchie vojenské disciplíny.

Roddenberry se také snažil překonat kulturní bariéry tím, že zahrnul v posádce černošku (v době, kdy "hnutí za občanská práva"** bylo ještě v plném proudu), Rusa (v době studené války), Japonce (ne tak dlouho po druhé světové válce) a mimozemšťana se špičatýma ušima (ne tak dlouho po Roswellu J). A přitom jsou tito muži (a žena) symboly, které svou exotičností jen zpestřují mozaiku jinak typické průměrné americké domácnosti. (Ale s ohledem tematiky pohlaví, jde o krok zpět od neodvysílaného pilotního filmu, kde hrála roli prvního důstojníka Majel Barrett.)
Lennon také řekl "Představte si, že neexistují žádné státy … Nic, pro co bojovat či zemřít … představte jak všichni lidé žijí v míru." Enterprise se tváří jako mírová loď a Federace jako post-nacionalistický mírový spolek planet. Přitom je Federace expansionistická, pokouší se začlenit do svého spolku nové světy (a nové - pro nás! - civilizace) a ne tak úplně náhodou je ve válce s nevyzpytatelnými Romulany a barbarskými a proradnými Klingony (kteří získají svá hrbolatá čela a smysl pro čest až dlouho po původních seriích). Ve skutečnosti je epizoda "Malá soukromá válka"*** velice přímou alegorií na válku ve Vietnamu, ospravdlňující činy Ferderace jako nezbytný, i když neetický krok proti výbojům Klingonů (Sovětský svaz). (Motivy Federace jsou zpytovány v epizodě "Věc soucitu"****, ale nic zásadního se nezmění.)

Z pohledu autora je veškerý liberalismus studené války ve Star Treku pouze... liberalismem studené války. Star Trek kritizuje současnou situaci pouze umírněně, a předpoklad, že americké hodnoty a hodnoty střední třídy v Americe jsou v podstatě dobré, je více méně nezpochybněn. (To ale neznamená, že tento pohled není občas lehce pozměněný, jako když Čechov hovoří s Klingonským kancléřem o nezcizitelných lidských právech ve "Star Trek VI".)
Jedna z mých oblíbených částí knihy je ta, kde autor vysvětluje poměrně zřejmé ekvivalence mezi současnými národy a spojenci a rivaly Federace. Klingoni jsou zřejmým zastoupením pro Sovětský svaz. Méně zřejmou, ale nijak skrytou, je ekvivalence mezi Romulany a Číňany. V původních sériích jsou Romulané tajnůstkářští a rezervovaní a je o nich známo jen málo. Jsou bojovní, ale nepředstavují takovou hrozbu jako Klingoni. Zajímavé je, že jsou blízcí příbuzní Vulkánců, kteří jsou mimozemšťané (ve vztahu k lidem), ale přesto součástí Federace. Vulkánci jsou tak ekvivalentem k Japoncům, kteří nejsou jen "blízcí příbuzní" (nebo přinejmenším sousedé) Číňanů, ale jsou známí nechutí k vyjadřování silných emocí na veřejnosti. Hm.

Každopádně, tato kniha nabízí poučnou alternativní perspektivu Star Treku, přičemž není příliš puntičkářská. Pro skutečné fanoušky, kteří se zajímají o tyto věci, stojí za to si ji přečíst.

* "Federation & Empires: Federation, Vulcans, Klingons and Romulans"
** "Civil Rights Movement"
*** "A Private Little War"
**** "Errand of Mercy"

Překlad anotace na knihu Johna Peela "Federation & Empires: Federation, Vulcans, Klingons and Romulans" :