Moorcock's Miscellany
Go Back   Moorcock's Miscellany > Q&A > Q&A ◦ Questions for Mike & News > The Q&A Archives > Elric of Melniboné Archive

Elric of Melniboné Archive Contains older questions relating to Elric, Stormbringer, Melniboné, the Young Kingdoms, etc. You can reply to existing threads here but not start new ones. For new questions please use the main Q&A forum.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-02-2004, 09:09 AM
sigfpe's Avatar
sigfpe sigfpe is offline
Moonbeam Traveller
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 7
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default Elric/Turambar

A pale-skinned warrior, exiled and doomed leaving a trail of misery behind him. He wields a black sword, one of a pair, with a mind of its own and has a habit of accidentally slaying the wrong person. This warrior also has an incestuous relationship with a close relative. Who am I talking about?

This description fits both Elric of Melnibone and Turin Turambar from the Silmarillion. It's amazing how close they are, down to details like the twin black swords. I think the Silmarillion was actually published after the first Elric stories. Did Tolkien 'borrow' from Moorcock or had Tolkien written the story of Turambar decades before? In which case, is there a common ancestor of these characters in older fantasy literature?

Just wondering.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-02-2004, 05:41 PM
Rookie's Avatar
Rookie Rookie is offline
Sailor on the Seas of Fate
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 60
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Hmm...

The conspiracy deepens...

Dun dun Duhhhhhhhhh!!!! :lol:
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-02-2004, 07:43 PM
JasonStarfire's Avatar
JasonStarfire JasonStarfire is offline
Wanderer of the Mittel March
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio
Posts: 19
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

I believe the most appropriate answer (given the characters involved), would be to say that they were written at exactly the same time! As a result, their fates are forever intertwined. The two characters are destined to coexist in the same genre of literature - neither one ever discovering the existance of the other. A tragic, tragic tale indeed.

*shrugs* Dunno if that's the correct answer, but it certainly makes for an interesting one. :)

~JS... rambling hermit
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-03-2004, 01:27 AM
Anonymous
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Adding a Broken Sword to the mix.

I can't resist chirping up on this one while Mike's away.:roll:

The Broken Sword by Poul Anderson also contains similar elements, and Mike has mentioned it being an influence on his early Elric stories.

Poul Anderson and Tolkien were both big readers of the old Norse stuff so I believe those authors worked those elements into their tales from original sources/influences. Anderson and Tolkien were both unaware of each others use of the material. A case of parallel literary evolution, so to speak, to borrow Jason's concept? Seem to recall Poul mentioning something about this in his intro to Broken Sword, and perhaps Mike may have mentioned something too in Wizadry and Wild Romance. Tolkien was working on his Turambar stuff way before the Hobbit or LotR.

Anybody happen to know what the original saga/Norse legend was?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-03-2004, 02:22 AM
Anonymous
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Tolkien´s tale of Turin Turambar was based on the tale of Kullervo in the Finnish epic Kalevala.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-03-2004, 02:59 AM
MasterGrazzt's Avatar
MasterGrazzt MasterGrazzt is offline
Wanderer of the Mittel March
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 17
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Send a message via AIM to MasterGrazzt
Default

Well, well, it's time for me to relate comics to something again.

Anyway, two examples of this sort of thing are the X-Men and DC's Doom Patrol, two very similar teams, that came out so close to each other that it's just about impossible to claim that somebody ripped off someone else.

The same thing applies to Marvel's Man-Thing and DC's Swamp Thing.

Sometimes though, people look too hard for ripoffs. Not everything similar is.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-03-2004, 03:32 AM
Theocrat's Avatar
Theocrat Theocrat is offline
Eternal Companion
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Sweden
Posts: 771
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Default

Many Tolkien fans have made the parallel ideas about Elric and Turin.
The singer of Blind Guardian made a similar statement. One which is not entirely ludicrous, but very inaccurate. It has even less bearing than the parallel of Wagner's Ring opera and Tolkien's work. Both which share similar backdrops, objects and characters.

This is due to the belief that tolkien was really paramount in originality, in taking old tales and turning them to something new and unprecedented.
And i say "belief" as the popularity of his work has overshadowed many other works of fiction within the same vein, done by ealier writers. And has (to tolkien's own dismay i might add) been turned into almost a scanty religion.

I've read The Silmarillion (although not a hard read as some claim)
i found it intensely boring. I think it was unfinished and unoriginal.

I find the original older hero stories like Gilgamesh, Kullervo, The Eddas, Parzival et al. To be of better 'value' to read. Since they are apart of the world mythology. And have been interpreted at different levels by different authours over the years since their translation.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-03-2004, 04:14 AM
muckyshoe muckyshoe is offline
Sailor on the Seas of Fate
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: uk
Posts: 60
Thanks: 4
Thanked 5 Times in 4 Posts
Default What the...?

Wait a minute...!

WAIT! A! MINUTE....!

Elric is pale skinned and carries a sword and Ulrich von Bek is pale skinned and carries a sword!

Coincidence?

Hey ! Someone oughta tell Mike some fellas rippin' him off!

(the multiverse slaps its collective forehead in disbelief)
___________________________________________________________________________
"What do you think you're doing? This is a closed set!"
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-03-2004, 04:36 PM
Grey Mouser's Avatar
Grey Mouser Grey Mouser is offline
Champion of the Balance
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Travelling in Time
Posts: 1,433
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
Default

Thanks for the input on the mythic source Olio. I've briefly checked out the Kalevalla on www.sacred-texts.com and I'm thinking it was a significant influence on Anderson's Broken Sword too.

Here's an extract from a translation of Kalevalla:

Quote:
Thereupon the youth, Kullervo,
Rowed with all his youthful vigor,
With the mighty force of magic,
Rowed the bindings from the vessel,
Ribs of juniper he shattered,
Rowed the aspen-oars to pieces.
The metre of the translation is similar (ok I admit not an exact match in the extract I have chosen below) to the one used by Poul in Broken Sword for the wonderful snatches of verse he mixes into his tale:

Quote:
Warlock blade is thirsty,
Howling in it's hunger,
Hews it through the iron,
Sings in cloven skullbones,
Slakes itself in bloodstreams.
To me it looks like Kalevalla influenced Poul's Broken Sword, which inspired some element's in Elric. Mike's often mentioned his admiration for The Broken Sword both here on the board and in an essay in Sojan from back in '63, where he states Tyrfing and Durandal as possible precursors of Stormbringer. There's a good chance Mike had already read the Kalevalla directly too.

Tolkien it seems drew the elements directly from Kalevalla for his tale of Turin. I recall it was one of his earliest and most worked on tales, which he rewrote in prose and poetry. Silmarillion for me didn't hold together as a whole, but the Turin story is one of the best, and can be read independently. What was the name of Turin's cursed sword? Anglachel?

There's no way Tolkien's Turin Tale influenced Elric as Silmarillion wasn't published until around 1977.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-03-2004, 04:46 PM
Jules's Avatar
Jules Jules is offline
Eternal Companion
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 609
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

The Kalevala was also an influence on Longfellow.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-03-2004, 05:39 PM
Grey Mouser's Avatar
Grey Mouser Grey Mouser is offline
Champion of the Balance
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Travelling in Time
Posts: 1,433
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
Default

And I've been wrongly spelling Kalevala. :roll:
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-03-2004, 05:51 PM
HellHound's Avatar
HellHound HellHound is offline
Working The Chaos Clock
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Limbo Void
Posts: 69
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

This is a great site if your looking for similiarities
and inspirations:

http://www.jitterbug.com/origins/lotr.html
___________________________________________________________________________
When it comes time to die
Sing your death song
and die like a warrior.

http://www.aliensurgeon.com
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-04-2004, 02:12 AM
Anonymous
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

In the Kalevala, the central theme is the struggle for possession of a magical/shamanic artefact called Sampo. Sampo was created by the magical smith Ilmarinen, one of the good guys. But the bad guys of Pohjola (Northland) get the Sampo into their possession. The good guys try to steal it back, but Sampo falls overboard during a sea-battle and is lost forever. Possibly this inspired Tolkien´s story of the War of the Jewels, which is the backgound plot in the Silmarillion? The Silmarils were created by a elvish smith, were taken to a evil fortress in the Far North, and were finally lost.

I agree with Gray Mouser of the literary value of the Silmarillion.

A piece of trivia information for the fantasy movie fans: The Sampo
story has been filmed during 1950´s as a joint Finnish-Soviet project (The Kalevala being considered as a part of the national heritage both in Finland and the Soviet/Russian republic of Karelia). The movie is awful, but it does contain a lot of amusing special effects. The USSR had a busy film industry, whose "fruits" are sadly poorly known in the western countries. I heard they even had a "Eastern" genre of adventure movies as a counterpoint of Westerns!
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-05-2004, 02:46 AM
kard's Avatar
kard kard is offline
Sailor on the Seas of Fate
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 74
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

when re-reading the Narn i hin Hurin ( a different version to the Silmarillion one), you can even better notice that strong resemblance. it is one of my favourites, it is the version in "history of numenor and middle earth".

the hero as tragic figure seems to exist as long as the "brave hero" type. to look at The Illiad and Odyssey of course, or Sophocles.

i would assume that the resemblance is not highly significant, like with the typical hero type you can find in hundreds of fantasy stories. it is not unlikely that a sword has the same colour. green blades wouldn´t make a fierce warrior, would they :D
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-06-2004, 07:09 AM
Anonymous
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Ask Gawain,he who accepted the challenge of the green knight,Bertilak of castle Hutton.Gawain who rushed foward,only to regret his decision.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 08-06-2004, 07:34 AM
Whiskers's Avatar
Whiskers Whiskers is offline
flying cat
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Jhary's shoulder
Posts: 1,945
Thanks: 0
Thanked 85 Times in 40 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grey Mouser
Mike's often mentioned his admiration for The Broken Sword both here on the board and in an essay in Sojan from back in '63, where he states Tyrfing and Durandal as possible precursors of Stormbringer. There's a good chance Mike had already read the Kalevalla directly too.
Is it coincidence that Roland's sword was named Durandana? (sp?) Roland is an incarnation of the Eternal Champion that Corum encounters while sojourning through the spheres.
___________________________________________________________________________
The cat spread its wings and flew high into the air, hovering to keep pace with them as they moved cautiously toward the city. Then, as they climbed over the rubble of what had once been a gateway and began to make their way through piles of weed-grown masonry, the cat flew to the squat building with the yellow dome upon its roof. It flew twice around the dome and then came back to settle on Jhary's shoulder. - The King of the Swords
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 08-06-2004, 07:47 PM
Michael Moorcock's Avatar
Michael Moorcock Michael Moorcock is offline
Site Host
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 13,481
Thanks: 482
Thanked 1,694 Times in 782 Posts
Default

OK. Anderson's a definite influence, as stated. But oddly, the Kalevala was read to us at my boarding school when I was about seven. And, of course, Longfellow pinched the metre from the Finnish, as he stated.
What I haven't read, of course, is the Tolkien, though I believe he began the Silmarrillion earlier than parts of Lord of the Rings, at least. I have to admit here, too, that I haven't read large chunks of Lord of the Rings. I realised this after attending the final movie and realising I had no clear idea what was going to happen, though I remember skipping through the books looking for references to Golem, who could be said to be a much closer to Elric's precurser than any bloody fair-haired elf or other... However, from a very early age I was reading Norse legends and any books I could find about Norse stories, as well as hearing The King of Ireland's Son at the same school. I think the book which I read first was in a Scott Moncrieff series, which I think I've seen reprinted in relatively recent times. I also read a lot of metric romances and so on as a kid,
which would have contained many elements which influenced me. But one thing I'm pretty sure of, I was not in any way directly influenced by Prof. T I'm not familiar with arguments between Torky fans, either. But then they probably don't talk much about Jung, who would tell us all this stuff is from the common race memory, anyway. Early enthusiasm for The White Goddess and The Golden Bough must have had a good deal to do with it, too.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 08-06-2004, 07:56 PM
Michael Moorcock's Avatar
Michael Moorcock Michael Moorcock is offline
Site Host
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 13,481
Thanks: 482
Thanked 1,694 Times in 782 Posts
Default

It might be worth mentioning here that I wasn't the only one to be disappointed when LOTR appeared. Many of us (welll all twelve) had been looking forward to it and I'd started saving up for it. In the case of many sf people, they absolutely hated the thing, almost entirely because of its lack of social reference, as far as I could tell. But Fritz Leiber and I both found it lacking. I think I quote Fritz in W&WR. And there were people who made comparisons with Worm Oroborous or Dunsany or even
David Lindsay, finding Tolkien's book short on substance and texture.
In those early days certainly I was by no means in a minority. The cult which developed with Don Wollheim's pirating of the first book changed all that eventually. And as I've said elsewhere, nieither Lewis nor Tolkien, both very nice people, saw themselves as doing anything remarkably more LITERARY than, say, Leiber, who is actually the best writer. To list Tolkien's 'originals' from talking trees (Lord of the Rings) and all the rest of it, would probably be an equal waste of time.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 08-07-2004, 08:36 AM
Darren Darren is offline
Denizen of Moo Uria
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 131
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default this Thread

This is all getting very literary! Turin Turambar? Kallerva?? Elric one and the same???

And all this webchat about 'coincidence' and 'synchronicity'. It appears you've activated your Collective Neurogenetic circuit! I bet you could tell me what James Joyce's writing-stream-of-talking was all about.

Here are some of my synchronicities(of course in a random but seemingly patterned order):

Having read Tolkien while working in the bowels of the BM came across Sweets Anglo Saxon Primer. Is that a synchroncity I hear you say? Well, learned later from Humphrey Carpenter's biography that Tolkien was a Philologist. At twelve I asked my evil Step Dad to put a deposit on a linguaphone course in Gaelic. Then, in the vicinity of the BM, when there was a magic shoppe staring it in the face and Alan Alans was the jokey magic shoppe on Southampton Row came across a book going deeply into the Norse themes, motifs etc in Tolkiens book from the infamous 'New Age' occult bookshoppe, Atlantis, later saw featured in Gumshoe starring Albert Finney as Eddie Shoestring (whom I met years later while working in Fitzrovia with an Animation company, he shook my hand, probably would remember me, I think) and by a very creative circuitous route back to Sweet who I learned was the inspiration behind GBShaw's Prof Higgins.

All I can remember of delving into Tolikiens Silmarillion was the Vampire, I think, Thuringwathil, don't quote me. I PMTed (Photo Mechanically Transferred) it from an Iron Crown Enterprise gamebook, that I put on the darkroom door. I remember Valerie from Conservation had taken a shine to me but that's another story...

Of course synchronicities regarding your eminently rotund self are legion which I shan't go into as I need to develop my right brain and take up the sketch pencil once more, all these left brain words are giving me ear ache.

:roll:
___________________________________________________________________________
\'You know my destiny?\' said Elric eagerly. \'Tell me what it is, Niun Who Knew All.\'
Niun opened his mouth as if to speak but then firmly shut it again. \'No,\' he said. \'I have forgotten.\'
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 08-12-2004, 07:20 AM
Oren's Avatar
Oren Oren is offline
Guardian of the Grail
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Milton Keynes
Posts: 486
Thanks: 26
Thanked 38 Times in 22 Posts
Send a message via ICQ to Oren Send a message via MSN to Oren
Default

Michael, I really think you should give The Silmarillion a try! I believe you would discover there all those "tragic overtones" you found The Lord of the Rings lacking of. Myself - I found The Silmarillion to be a hidden stash of tragic overtones! I had a very similar experience reading it and reading The Black Sword (in its original form). Just give the Old Prof. this one last chance to redeem himself in your eyes, eh? :D

Regards,

Oren
Reply With Quote
Reply
Go Back   Moorcock's Miscellany > Q&A > Q&A ◦ Questions for Mike & News > The Q&A Archives > Elric of Melniboné Archive

Tags
Elric, Fritz Leiber, Norse, Poul Anderson, Tolkien, Wizardry and Wild Romance

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
HELP! COLLEGE ELRIC THESIS! How many copies of Elric books have been sold worldwide? boesf982 Elric of Melniboné Archive 3 10-01-2010 12:23 PM
Elric fan art- Elric as an asian ball-jointed Doll! ElysionGear Enclave at the End of Time ◦ Members' Work 7 09-23-2008 08:24 PM
Influence of Turin Turambar? The Cosmic Balance Sporting Club Square Archive 0 10-24-2007 04:05 AM
ELRIC VOLUME 1: ELRIC OF MELNIBONE AUDIO EDITION terryallenuk Chronicles of the Black Sword ◦ Mike's Books 1 07-25-2006 09:50 AM

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Become a Member

Register


Michael Moorcock

Home Page
Author Biography
The Q&A
Contact Policy
Reviews
Bibliography
Reading List
Web articles/stories


The Miscellany

Forums
Image Hive
Media Hive
Wikiverse
Buy Books


About Moorcock's Miscellany

Code of Conduct
Site History
Site Policies
FAQ
Credits
Copyright Notice
Make a Donation


Search

Search HOWTO
Google Search
Forum Search
Forum Tag Swarm
Image Search
Image Tag Swarm
Wiki Search
Random Wiki Page


Join us

Announcement emails
@MoorcocksMisc on Twitter
Jerry Cornelius on Facebook
RSS Feed


JAYDE DESIGN has a large selection of M.M. books and magazines for sale. Several hundred items, including many first editions, "Eternal Champion" omnibuses,
scarce 'New Worlds' issues, plus many other items...

For a full, printed for-sale list, or if you have specific wants, please e-mail:

JaydeDesign@
CompuServe.com



All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:17 AM.