Of Giants in the first Hobbit Movie and Confusion between CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien and a Maladroit Malapropism in Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections

Looks like there will be giants in the first Hobbit movie, An Unexpected Journey:

From the book: “When [Bilbo] peeped out in the lightning-flashes, he saw that across the valley the stone-giants were out, and were hurling rocks at one another for a game, and catching them, and tossing them down into the darkness where they smashed among the trees far below, or splintered into little bits with a bang.” Looks like that has inspired a scene here – we see a later glimpse of such a giant rolling headlong down the mountain past a ledge where the terrified company cower.
Empire, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – Trailer Breakdown

Stone Giants, The Hobbit
Stone Giants, The Hobbit

And this leads me to something that Jonathan Franzen wrote. In the same year that The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was released (2001), following years of hype about the filming of J.R.R. Tolkien’s famous trilogy, Franzen penned this line in The Corrections:

Caroline did not entirely approve of Narnia – C.S. Lewis was a known Catholic propagandist, and the Narnian hero, Aslan, was a furry, four-pawed Christ figure.
– Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections (2001), p. 141

Now J.R.R. Tolkien might rightly be described as “a known Catholic propagandist”, but C.S. Lewis was Protestant. He was baptised and grew up Anglican and, after a short bout of unbelief, reaffirmed his allegiance to the Church of Ireland (the Irish version of the Church of England). Much to the dismay of his friend and fellow author, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, Clive Staples Lewis rejoined the Prods.

In addition to this apparent confusion of Tolkien for Lewis, I also found a malapropism in The Corrections – a possible side-effect of Franzen being a first-rate wordsmith, as all this play in the rhythms and sound of language might make one prone to slipping in an accidental homophone. On p. 203, “an access of ANHEDONIA” should be “an excess of ANHEDONIA”. I’d go on, but I wouldn’t want to be accused of being pedantic and nerdish.

Readers of Remnant of Giants should be aware that, unlike in The Hobbit, there are no giants in Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections. There is a talking turd, which is certainly Rabelaisian; but none of the big fellas.


Jack the Giant Slayer – Movie Trailer Out

Jack the Giant Slayer was originally going to be called Jack the Giant Killer:

But the new name certainly gives it that lighter, Buffy-like feel. It also distinguishes it from the 1962 movie:

It’s an adaptation of Jack and the Beanstalk:

Jack the Giant Slayer tells the story of an ancient war that is reignited when a young farmhand unwittinglyopens a gateway between our world and a fearsome race of giants. Unleashed on the Earth for the first time in centuries, the giants strive to reclaim the land they once lost, forcing the young man, Jack, into the battle of his life to stop them. Fighting for a kingdom, its people, and the love of a brave princess, he comes face to face with the unstoppable warriors he thought only existed in legend–and gets the chance to become a legend himself.

For the true purist, however, there is only ever the 1917 silent movie, Jack and the Beanstalk:

2012: A Giant Year for Giant Movies!

Giants are so cool.

2011 may be almost over, and the Hitch and Kim Jong Il are no longer with us – but 2012 brings us two movies featuring Giants!

1. Wrath of the Titans – featuring the titanomachy in 3-D, and Titans who look like the volcanoes under which they were buried.

Watch the preview:

Wrath of the Titans
Wrath of the Titans

2. Jack the Giant-Killer – The story of Jack and the Beanstalk,  with the sci-fi-influenced addition of gateways between worlds for added realism.

Watch the preview:

Jack the Giant-Killer
Jack the Giant-Killer