It's ugly, big-nosed dude week here at JONJ! Nah, just kidding. Barbara Boxer isn't a dude!
Anyway, Gimli has actually been hanging around for a while, but there's only so many geeky profiles one site can write. At least that's what we keep telling ourselves...
Thanks to Lenny from Massachusetts, David from San Francisco, and Ben from Canada for the suggestions.
I like the funny take -- Tolkien was wrong about much of his own writing -- but there is an unfunny answer to the same point. Tolkien didn't like Jews -- the idea of them, not the fact (he was pretty good about entering into conversation with Jews and he was, I gather, very tolerant for someone who felt he glimpsed a true faith) -- and that's why he understands his dwarves as Jewish.ReplyDelete
If you read his Silmarillion and look at the origin of the dwarves -- now that's geeky! -- you'll find that the dwarves are the first creatures born, but they're outside the real, holy plan. One of the lesser gods makes them because he's impatient for the arrival of the elves and then the men. The big boss god takes pity on them but puts them to sleep until after the elves arrive. It's a sloppy solution to a real theological problem for Tolkien: the dwarves, like the Jews, really are the elder people, but he has to find a way to supplant them, to take away their birthright.
The dwarves are noble, but they're also greedy and self-destructive. They do search for a grand, lost past, and they wander. But dirt makes sense for them because, schlemiels that they might be, they don't recognize the true light of the stars or the slightly lesser light of the trees. The dwarves worship the false light of gold and jewels. Hence, as the analogy goes, they have no chance of being 'saved' by the true powers of the West.