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RE: [TolkienDiscussions] Re: Earendel

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  • Rob
    Message 1 of 14 , Sep 30 8:41 PM
      <<GUSTAVO: And I read somewhere, possibly 'The Book of Lost Tales II', that
      master Ronald T. HAD to use the "¨" in the "a", although it was to
      be on the "e", because of typological problems.

      So, the name would actually be Ëarendil.

      <<JACK: I don’t think so – the diaeresis mark goes on the second vowel –
      e.g. naïve, Citroën>>

      Gustavo is correct, though, in what he says about BOLT II and the mark being
      on the E in the original conception of JRR's, not the A. That is consistent
      with other elven names whereas Earendil seems to sit outside the usual
      conventions. (For why that is, see quoted text below.)

      The fact that the diaresis is on the A is the main reason I began this
      thread - because reading it made me wonder about the pronunciation of his
      name and how folks dealt with the name, the divided vowel sounds of the E
      and A, and if it was different than the normal way they read Tolkien names.

      Usually the mark is above the E, for example Fëanor. It being above the A in
      Earendil's name combined with the unwieldyness of the name as a whole and
      the way the name came INTO the created mythology/languages from outside
      instead of being borne FROM them as almost all the others seem to be is what
      prompted me to raise the matter. (I just finished BOLT II again, you see.)

      Currently I am reading the Poetic Edda and it is amusing to see how Tolkien
      basically took Old English, Old Norse, etc. and redistributed them to come
      up with his elvish languages. However, this does fit in with JRR's original
      conception of the whole mythology as being "a mythology for England" and
      having happened in the distant past, etc.


      PS: Supplemental info on Earendil's name per Tolkien(s) in BOLT II:

      "This name is' in fact (as is obvious) derived from Anglo-Saxon
      earendel. When first studying Anglo-Saxon professionally (1913- )
      -- I had done so as a boyish hobby when supposed to be learning Greek
      and Latin -- I was struck by the great beauty of this word (or name),
      entirely coherent with the normal style of Anglo-Saxon, but euphonic
      to a peculiar degree in that pleasing but not 'delectable' language. Also
      its form strongly suggests that it is in origin a proper name and not a
      common noun. This is borne out by the obviously related forms in
      other Germanic languages; from which amid the confusions and
      debasements of late traditions it at least seems certain that it belonged
      to astronomical-myth, and was the name of a star or star-group.

      To my
      mind the Anglo-Saxon uses seem plainly to indicate that it was a star
      presaging the dawn (at any rate in English tradition): that is what we
      now call Venus: the morning star as it may be seen shining brilliantly
      in the dawn, before the actual rising of the Sun. That is at any rate how
      I took it.

      Before 1914 I wrote a 'poem' upon Earendel who launched his
      ship like a bright spark from the havens of the Sun. I adopted him into
      my mythology -- in which he became a prime figure as a mariner, and
      eventually as a herald star, and a sign of hope to men. Aiya Earendil
      Elenion Ancalima ([The Lord of the Rings] II.329) 'hail Earendil
      brightest of Stars' is derived at long remove from Eala Earendel
      engla beorhtast. [From the Old English poem Crist: eala! earendel engla
      beorhtast ofer mid-
      dongeard monnum sended.] But the name could not be adopted just like that:
      had to be accommodated to the Elvish linguistic situation, at the same
      time as a place for this person was made in legend.

      From this, far back
      in the history of 'Elvish', which was beginning, after many tentative
      starts in boyhood, to take definite shape at the time of the name's
      adoption, arose eventually (a) the C[ommon]E[lvish] stem (*) AYAR'sea',
      primarily applied to the Great Sea of the West, lying between Middle-
      earth and Aman the Blessed Realm of the Valar; and (b) the element,
      or verbal base (N)DIL, 'to love, be devoted to'- describing the attitude
      of one to a person, thing, cause, or occupation to which one is devoted
      for its own sake.

      Earendil became a character in the earliest written
      (1916-17) of the major legends: The Fall of Condolin, the greatest of
      the Pereldar 'Half-elven', son of Tuor of the most renowned House of
      the Edain, and Idril daughter of the King of Gondolin."

      My father did not indeed here say that his Earendel contained from the
      beginning elements that in combination give a meaning like 'Sea-lover',
      but it is in any case clear that at the time of the earliest extant writings
      the subject the name was associated with an Elvish word ea 'eagle' -- see
      p. 256 on the name of Earendel's first ship Earame 'Eaglepinion'. In the
      Name-list to The Fall of Condolin this is made explicit: 'Earendl [sic]
      though belike it hath some kinship to the Elfin ea and earen "eagle" and
      "eyrie" (wherefore cometh to mind the passage of Cristhorn and the use
      of the sign of the Eagle by Idril [see p. 193]) is thought to be woven of
      that secret tongue of the Gondothlim [see p. 165].'
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