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Talk:World War I

[edit] Out-of-Universe Materials

OK, I understand the applicability of WWI to Tolkien's life, but this seems like a slippery slope. Will we start including more real-world events because of a Tolkien connection? How about the Falklands War if one of Christopher's Tolkien kids fought there? Where do we draw the line on the o-o-u stuff? -- Theoden1  talk  contribs  edits  19:48, 26 August 2008 (UTC)

Well, this "timeline" is the timeline of Tolkien and the TCBS. I focused on them, and kept the causes etc. to the wikipedia article. I for one don't think WWII should have an article - Tolkien was an Air Warden - and the Falklands even less. But if we could expand this article with "Influence on Tolkien", that would be good. As for the "real-world" - I usually draw the line at JRRT; several entries in this timeline don't appear on their corresponding dates, because they belong to Gilson or Wiseman. -- Ederchil (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 20:14, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
WWI was a pretty big event in Tolkien's life and thus a major influence on his writings. I think we can expand this quite a bit beyond the Timeline, which is great. An article on a war which JRRT's son's child fought in is definitely slippery slope, a major event in JRRT's life spanning several years and drastically affecting his life certainly seems noteworthy in my opinion. There is no straight line we can draw on articles like these so the noteworthiness of them just needs to be taken on a case-by-case basis. I would say any event which someone can write an entire book on is certainly worth having an article on :) A good standard might be looking to see if Tolkien scholars have written any essays/articles on the connection between Tolkien and the out-of-universe subject, if someone has then that probably is enough justification to have an article on the wiki. --Hyarion 20:33, 26 August 2008 (UTC)
As Ederchil and Hyarion have argued this article definitely merits inclusion. It's a stub at the moment really: there's still lots to be said about Tolkien's activities during the war and how it affected his life and work (according to both Tolkien and later biographers and scholars). However I think as this article is expanded we need to be careful about what is the appropriate focus and level of detail. As this is a Tolkien wiki the article should be about Tolkien in WWI, which is distinct from WWI in general but also WWI with reference to Tolkien. For example, I've just changed the opening line from
World War I, the "Great War", was fought with J.R.R. Tolkien as a participant, most notably in the Battle of the Somme.
to
J.R.R. Tolkien served in the British Army during World War I (or the "Great War"), most notably in the bloody Battle of the Somme.
To me the previous edit sounded too much like WWI with reference to Tolkien and its tone sort of awkwardly suggested "there was this Great War and the most notable thing about it was that JRRT was there". My revision, I hope, is more Tolkien in WWI--i.e. it makes clear that the primary focus is this aspect of Tolkien's life, not the war with Tolkien as an afterthought. I also removed the infobox, because it had a lot of general information (including historically debatable statements like "phyrric victory for the Allies") which didn't have much to do with Tolkien. If people want to read about WWI in general, they're not going to do it here.
Maybe I'm being too fineckity (and rambling), but it seems like an interesting but sensitive subject that's worth getting right. --Aule the Smith 14:43, 3 August 2010 (UTC)