Monday, 12 August 2013

Tolkien's elves - the opposite of dreamy...


It is interesting that the subject of elves is associated with dreaminess, with misty imprecision - but in actuality Tolkien's elves are the opposite of dreamy.

Tolkien's elves are all clarity and precision.


For high elves, the sacred is (or was, or will be) a matter of everyday reality: they lived with the gods (the Valar), and spoke with them face to face. This, for elves there is no gulf between the everyday and the divine.


Elven eyesight is sharp, detailed, telescopic.

Elven voices are clear and pure.

Elven dreams are lucid - like a replay of the waking state.

Elven arts are crafts are exact, detailed, crisp.


Mortals may be dazzled by the elves; high elves may even be perceived as surrounded by a shimmer or glow.

So the dreaminess of elves is a matter of mortal imperfection - not intrinsic to the elves.


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