Pete Kendall's Socio Times: A Socionomic Commentary

April 17, 2007
Lord of the Ruins
J.R.R. Tolkien's son Christopher spent more than 30 years piecing together fragments his father left behind. Now readers can learn what happened 6,000 years before Bilbo Baggins found the One Ring.

On his death in 1973, Tolkien left behind the unpublishable ruins of a vast body of legendary literature, encompassing an entire imaginary history of the world from its creation nearly until modern times. That history's grand heroic episodes -- the elements he believed were most important -- he wrote only in summary or in fragments, despite numerous attempts to craft them into prose narrative or epic poetry. He had significant academic success as an Oxford linguist and philologist, but most of his literary career was spent frittering away his energies on projects he never completed. He was plagued by writer's block, black moods and numerous changes of direction.

The Children of Húrin will thrill some readers and dismay others, but will surprise almost everyone. There are no hobbits here, no Tom Bombadil, no cozy roadside inns and precious little fireside cheer of any variety found here. This is a tale whose hero is guilty of repeated treachery and murder, a story of rape and pillage and incest and greed and famous battles that ought never to have been fought. If Lord of the Rings is a story where good conquers evil, this one moves inexorably in the other direction.

Any midlevel Tolkien fans with an appetite for the stranger, darker corners of his realm will rapidly be caught up in the fiery saga of Húrin, who defies the dreaded Morgoth and is mercilessly tortured, and Túrin, the legendary warrior whose great deeds drag everything and everyone he loves toward total disaster. At least, they'll get swept up in it if they can plow through the first few pages. This entire story presents a dark, visceral view of life, much closer to the fatalism of early European myth than to the rural, commonsensical Englishness of the hobbits that forms the moral bedrock of "Lord of the Rings."

Part of this stems from the fact that The Children of Húrin is primarily a story about human beings, always the most morally ambiguous figures in Tolkien's universe.

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In His New Book, Tolkien Mines the Murky Depths of a Falling Trend
Category: NEWS
By: Pete Kendall, April 17, 2007
J.R. R. Tolkien wrote his first book, The Hobbit, near the bear market low of 1932, and his works became popular in the United States during the bear market that started in 1966. As the bear market wore on, his works inspired the popular fantasy game Dungeons and Dragons. This much higher degree bear market will create even more dragons, many of which are likely to be real.
The Elliott Wave Financial Forecast, March 2003

Dark Tolkien.
--John Hinton

We’re not in the Shire anymore, Bilbo. How appropriate. Tolkien’s fictional universe, which was first conceptualized in the bear market of the 1910s, captured in novel form in the Great Depression (The Hobbit), popularized in the bear market of 1966-1974 and turned into hit movies in the first leg of the current bear market (The Fellowship of the Ring 2001, The Two Towers 2002 and The Return of the King 2003), is back. 

It's probably not a coincidence that Húrin now captures the resplendent gloom that somehow evaded J.R. Tolkien during his lifetime. Maybe, the larger bull market that was in place through all of Tolkien's life contributed to his writer's block . Released from the confines of an uptrend, the younger Tolkien has completed a work that sounds like bear market fiction at its best. It’s not just the darkness and gore that suggests it. Moral ambiguity and complexity are bear market traits. Of the hero, Túrin, Salon writes: he cannot “be described as good or evil” Instead, “he is defined by the dark cloud of doom hanging over him. He has been cursed by a power too great for him to defeat or outrun, but his own temperament only makes things worse. He is arrogant, headstrong, short-tempered and prone to violence, and those who love and befriend him are sucked into his dark vortex.” This is a great description of what happens to people in bear markets. Ruin strikes when they obstinately refuse to recognize the dominance of a new order.

dragonSalon also offers a great explanation for Tolkien’s bear market appeal. “What sits in the foreground is that persistent Tolkienian sense that good and evil are locked in an unresolved Manichaean struggle with amorphous boundaries, and that the world is a place of sadness and loss, whose human inhabitants are most often the agents of their own destruction.” With stock prices near their highs, book buyers may not be ready for The Children of Húrin now, but they’ll probably develop a taste for it as the second leg of the bull market digs in.

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