> That is a point. The historical meaning of _legendarium_ is,
> I think, 'a collection of saints' lives'. But I suppose the word
> is now so exotic that that sense does not interfere much, while
> it sounds fitting as a label for the kind of thing Tolkien
Well, not exotic for some of us.....
It works better than _mythology_ by being unfamiliar: it
> makes fewer false suggestions.
I'm not convinced this is true though.
If it overemphasizes the legendary
> element, well, that is a point against _legendarium_, but not a
> point in favour of _mythology_.
Agreed, my point being that replacing one unsatisfactory and misleading term with another unsatisfactory and misleading one (even if misleading by some degrees less than the former) isn't really all that satisfactory.
> Another of Tolkien's terms for what he did, that I also like
> to use, is _feigned history_; it is in fact on the whole more
> historical than legendary in kind.
> (There is also the word _matter_, as in the "Matters" of Rome,
> Britain, and Charlemagne; but it is perhaps a bit awkward.)
I like "Matter" in fact, the Matter of Middle Earth has a nice alliterative quality, is descriptive, and I think gets at the various genres and kinds of things that are in Tolkien's writings than anything else--and can be stretched a little to include the modern elements as it has in the Matter of Britain too.
> I also repeat my question: if we use _mythology_ about the
> legendarium, what word do we use about the mythology? Tolkien's
> whatchamacallit contains a lot of mythology (both in chunks and
> blended into the rest), and I think we will want to talk about
> that and will need the word for that purpose.
Sure, but the same problem pertains to _legendarium_, Tolkien's whatchamacallit contains a lot of legendary material both in chunks and blended into the rest, and when we want to talk about that we need a word for that: does "legend" really have enough difference from "legendarium" to adequately do this and is legendarium sufficiently large to include all the various types of literature that need to come under that umbrella? I'm not necessarily arguing for a term I use, just pointing out the inadequacies we face regardless of what we end up calling it.
Perhaps Mytho-Legedendariumlike Matter of Middle Earth's Feigned History: Molmefh.
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