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17
Review of 'Body Politic' by J.R.R. Tolkien

B2MeM Challenge: G51: Letís get meta: Tolkien reviews one of your fanfics
Format: fictional non-fiction
Genre: fantasy
Rating: K
Warnings: I didnít read any reviews by Tolkien of other peopleís work before I did this.
Summary: Tolkien returns from the grave, dizzy from spinning so often, to review one of the culprit stories


~~~

Review: Body Politic
By J.R.R. Tolkien


This is a curiously artificial collection Ė I find I am unsure how to understand this insistence upon only one hundred words. It is certainly not a poetic form belonging to England, and seems to be some strangely hybridized form borrowing its numerical obsession from the haiku. It is certainly a clever device, but does it not limit the story somewhat in ways that are harmful? More natural transition could have been made if more time were taken to make it.

But enough of form, the content is certainly not to be found in what I wrote, save for certain symbols whose sense has undergone a rather unforeseen shift. I am not certain to what end this has been undertaken. Admittedly, Aredhel had relatively little to recommend her (she was only a draft of a character, after all), but her allegiance to family should have been clear enough that I should not have imagined it necessary to emphasize it in this manner.

I am grateful that at least the exceptionality of this relationship was admitted on both sides, and am willing to say the admission was artfully interwoven, but I repeat: I am not certain I see the point of it. Could not the entire notion of an embassy to the Sindar have been written without this episode, which takes no serious account of the sense or gravity of such a passion? Clearly it could have been, and had the author seen fit still to include Aredhel (which I am not convinced she would have done, had there not been the prospect of this exceptional interlude), then the entire adventure would have fit the type of amazon or Artemis figure far better. There seems to be either a carelessness to this very diplomatic seduction or else a calculation that is both dismaying and out of place in context.

Despite these serious reservations, which leave me fairly dizzied, I do appreciate the tragic irony of the alliance so concluded, which is in keeping with the destiny of the great among the Noldor and its insidious effects upon the Sindarin Elves.

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