A quest for information

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AuthorTopic: A quest for information
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #25
How about Superman (the comic)? Not that he was the first, but seeing as comics featuring him appeared in 1938, chances are he saved the world before Frodo Baggins did.
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Electric Sheep One
Member # 3431
Profile #26
But I'd bet that the first Superman comics had him doing lame little things like foiling bank heists. Still, LOTR was 1954. By then maybe Superman had saved the world a time or two? And what about all the pulp sci fi? Didn't some Flash Gordon (or precursor) save us from bug-eyed monsters before '54?

Anyone ever heard of Bulldog Drummond? I faintly remember him foiling a villain with a poison plot that might have been big enough to threaten the world.

It sounds as though plots in which the whole world is threatened, but the threat fortunately miscarries, predate those in which the hero averts the threat personally. This must say something.

For that matter, it is a big deal in LOTR that the threat is not averted by heroism alone: Gollum has to be there at the last moment, too.

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It is not enough to discover how things seem to seem. We must discover how things really seem.
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By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #27
If we consider threat miscarriages, "War of the Worlds" is applicable.
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quote:
Originally written by Student of Trinity:

But I'd bet that the first Superman comics had him doing lame little things like foiling bank heists. Still, LOTR was 1954. By then maybe Superman had saved the world a time or two? And what about all the pulp sci fi? Didn't some Flash Gordon (or precursor) save us from bug-eyed monsters before '54?
I'd thought of this too. But in most of the old sci-fi I've read, the protagonists don't actually seem to do much (witness, say, John Wyndham's The Kraken Wakes, in which the protagonists basically spend most of the book worrying). When they do something, it's generally on a small scale, even if it is as part of a larger, more generalised effort -- and in that case, rebuilding the world is a lot more common than saving it.

But maybe the sci-fi I've been reading isn't pulpy enough.

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Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
? Man, ? Amazing
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For everyone interested in myths, their origins, and supposed meanings, I would highly recommend "When they severed earth from sky" by Barber and Barber. Highly informative, and definitely gives valid basis for some future scenarios. Basic premise is that myth=oral history, short is sweet, message must stay intact through many tellings, and finally the message is usually a warning of disaster.
For example, several figures in Greek myth can be construed both from general description and from greek art work as representations of volcanoes. Two cases are the Gorgons and the Titans.
The most interesting note in the book (imho) is the interpretation of Excalibur. Iron is the key in an era of bronze armor, and an army with iron weapons and armor will crush those with bronze (or cloth). It happens that a tribe of people on the southern coast of the Black Sea were smelting iron long before others in the Med area. The inhabitants of the region were Chalybians, which can be combined with Ex (L. Out of or From) to create the new word for a superior weapon.
Ex-chalybia.
Anyhow it is a good book, full of ideas that could push a wandering designer into a great scenario. As for the original question, creation myths tend to have epic heroes that are given credit for battling the monsters of chaos to make the world safe. Definition of world is the known area at that era and place. We just live in an unfortunate time where the world is the whole planet and almost nothing is left for discovery.
:)
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Makes enough sense. Can't very well save parts of the world that you don't know are there to be saved.

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Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
Shaper
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I'm not sure about this, but The Wiard Of Oz (Australia, 1939) has someting to do with saving things. But I think it may just be the person that is in danger. I'm not sure...

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Polaris
Posts: 2396 | Registered: Saturday, January 29 2005 08:00
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Member # 4592
Profile #32
Wizard of Oz came out, the first one, in 1900, at least in the U.S. It dealt with a kind of saving the world. . . well. . . kind of.

I know this is recent, but I loved the fact that a Sheep called Skippy is saving the world. So to speak.

Kalevala? That's reaching?

Lucian of Samotasa, but one is about flying to the moon and the other includes war but hardly saving the world heroic type. At least not quite.

Actually, this is more of an legend of a legend, so I don't know how true it is or whether to mention it, but here it goes.

According to a theory that is usually laughed at, Neardenthals actually wrote, but they did it in the dirt, or worse, in the shores way too near the water.

Apparently a group of scientists from different parts of the world invented a thingimagij that enabled them to read the traces of Neardenthal writings (this seems like hocus pocus mumbo jumbo to me, but who knows?). And they discovered that, among the many interesting things these people wrote about, there is a legend that would fit the Hero Saving the world theme:

The hero in question (name is full of consonants, so I won't try to write it and get it wrong) and his Autrolopithecus companion/mascot (whom the tribe had somehow managed to keep alive, probably breeding it or something, I don't know) emabarked on a quest that took them through the entire known world in their attempt to save the world from the some evil outer worlders which are rather remeniscent of certain Elder Gods. In the end they managed to save the world and imprison the evil outer worlders in a couple of places where it is rumoured they still are.

Cu Chulainn would also be part of the world, so that's out I guess.

EDIT: URL edited out. It links to a site which attempts to (or has advertisments which attempt to) download malware to your computer.

[ Tuesday, May 03, 2005 09:14: Message edited by: Imban ]

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quote:

"I suffer from spiritual malaise," said Cugel meaningfully. "which manifest itself in outburst of vicious rage. I implore you to depart, lest, in an uncontrollable spasm, I cut you in three pieces with my sword, or worse, I invoke magic."
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Posts: 604 | Registered: Sunday, June 20 2004 07:00
Law Bringer
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Do you mean Neanderthals?

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Posts: 8752 | Registered: Wednesday, May 14 2003 07:00
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Aran: Yup. Splanglish lapsus mentis.

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quote:

"I suffer from spiritual malaise," said Cugel meaningfully. "which manifest itself in outburst of vicious rage. I implore you to depart, lest, in an uncontrollable spasm, I cut you in three pieces with my sword, or worse, I invoke magic."
Random Jack Vance Quote Manual Generator Apparatus (Cugel's Saga)
Posts: 604 | Registered: Sunday, June 20 2004 07:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #35
All right, how about the story of Typhon in Apollodorus' Library and Epitome, when Zeus saves creation from the worst monster ever? Apollodorus of Athens was born in 140 B.C., from what I understand. Here's the pertinent section:

quote:
When the gods had overcome the giants, Earth, still more enraged, had intercourse with Tartarus and brought forth Typhon in Cilicia,1 a hybrid between man and beast. In size and strength he surpassed all the offspring of Earth. As far as the thighs he was of human shape and of such prodigious bulk that he out-topped all the mountains, and his head often brushed the stars. One of his hands reached out to the west and the other to the east, and from them projected a hundred dragons' heads. From the thighs downward he had huge coils of vipers, which when drawn out, reached to his very head and emitted a loud hissing. His body was all winged: unkempt hair streamed on the wind from his head and cheeks; and fire flashed from his eyes. Such and so great was Typhon when, hurling kindled rocks, he made for the very heaven with hissings and shouts, spouting a great jet of fire from his mouth. But when the gods saw him rushing at heaven, they made for Egypt in flight, and being pursued they changed their forms into those of animals. However Zeus pelted Typhon at a distance with thunderbolts, and at close quarters struck him down with an adamantine sickle, and as he fled pursued him closely as far as Mount Casius, which overhangs Syria. There, seeing the monster sore wounded, he grappled with him. But Typhon twined about him and gripped him in his coils, and wresting the sickle from him severed the sinews of his hands and feet, and lifting him on his shoulders carried him through the sea to Cilicia and deposited him on arrival in the Corycian cave. Likewise he put away the sinews there also, hidden in a bearskin, and he set to guard them the she-dragon Delphyne, who was a half-bestial maiden. But Hermes and Aegipan stole the sinews and fitted them unobserved to Zeus. And having recovered his strength Zeus suddenly from heaven, riding in a chariot of winged horses, pelted Typhon with thunderbolts and pursued him to the mountain called Nysa, where the Fates beguiled the fugitive; for he tasted of the ephemeral fruits in the persuasion that he would be strengthened thereby. So being again pursued he came to Thrace, and in fighting at Mount Haemus he heaved whole mountains. But when these recoiled on him through the force of the thunderbolt, a stream of blood gushed out on the mountain, and they say that from that circumstance the mountain was called Haemus. And when he started to flee through the Sicilian sea, Zeus cast Mount Etna in Sicily upon him. That is a huge mountain, from which down to this day they say that blasts of fire issue from the thunderbolts that were thrown. So much for that subject.


[ Tuesday, May 03, 2005 04:37: Message edited by: andrew miller ]
Posts: 2242 | Registered: Saturday, April 10 2004 07:00
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Well, I'll grant that so far as scale goes, that's pretty damn impressive. (What is it with the ancients and creepy semi-metaphorical sexual liaisons between gods leading to unfortunate results, anyway?)

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Posts: 9973 | Registered: Saturday, March 30 2002 08:00
By Committee
Member # 4233
Profile #37
Well, I reckon that anyone who can reach both the East and the West while stretching out his arms is one bad dude. I definitely think Typhon could take Sauron and his armies without breaking a sweat.

EDIT: Here's a satellite image of Typhon, still smoldering with rage under Mt. Etna in Sicily.

IMAGE(http://www.innovations-report.com/bilder_neu/14098_etna.jpg)

[ Tuesday, May 03, 2005 05:52: Message edited by: andrew miller ]
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