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60Re: [elfscript] Return of the ElfScribes

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  • Mans Bjorkman
    Sep 18, 2000
      Lisa Star wrote:

      > >Mans Bjorkman <mansb@...> wrote:
      > >Lisa Star has pointed out that she uses the runes in TI for the
      > >languages in Tolkien's creation that are contemporary with them. That is
      > >fine, of course,
      > **You sound as if you are giving me permission. That's a little
      > presumptious of you!

      I apologize for causing this misunderstanding. I meant nothing of the
      kind! My intention was merely to point out that one can view Tolkien's
      material in many different ways (not just two, as you rightly point

      > >and illustrates that one can perceive the subcreation
      > >in two different ways: either as multiple layers of writings from
      > >different periods of Tolkien's life, where each layer is worth studying
      > >in its own right; or as a single, unified body of divergent texts --
      > >where newer texts contradict with older ones, they are usually closer to
      > >the "truth". Both views must be held equally valid, though I confess
      > >myself to the latter.
      > **But neither view is the one that I hold, or am working from. There are
      > more views than you know of, obviously.

      Obviously. I have never investigated the views held by all my fellow
      Tolkienites (not even the ones I know of).

      > **The scheme that I use is that Tolkien studied during his lifetime many
      > texts from many different eras of Middle-earth. The material in Etymologies
      > and most of the cirth charts in TI are from the First Age, and so they
      > accurately reflect the languages and alphabets in use in the First Age. Of
      > course they will show differences from the languages and alphabets used in
      > the much later Third Age. In addition, Tolkien's understanding of the
      > material grew the longer he studied it, so later translations and language
      > studies are more accurate than earlier ones. That doesn't mean that the
      > earlier ones need to be discarded--they are the best source we have on
      > earlier periods in Middle-earth.

      I agree with you that 1) Tolkien's understanding of the texts grew as he
      studied them, and 2) the earlier material should not be discarded. I do
      *not* agree the Etymologies and the "Appendix on Runes", as they stand,
      are more reliable sources on the First Age than later writings,
      specifically _The Lord of the Rings_!

      > **There is the additional problem that even some of the later material is
      > contradictory or can't be made to fit, so one has to deal with it somehow.
      > That's part of the fun for me, but I don't think there will ever be--or that
      > there ever was--one perfect conception of Middle-earth, or specifically its
      > languages and alphabets, so I don't think it makes sense to argue that there
      > is one perfect interpretation.

      So your view is that there are several equally correct conceptions of
      Middle-earth -- divided, perhaps, by the changes that Tolkien made over
      time? So that in one conception there are "Ilkorin" elves that use the
      "Runes of Beleriand" of AR, in another there are Sindar who use the
      Certhas Daeron as described in LR? I think this, in essence, summarizes
      the view I so bluntly ascribed to you.

      I agree there is no single perfect conception of Arda -- after all,
      Tolkien's sources were written during a period of several thousand years
      -- but I beleive the later discoveries of the Author to be usually more
      accurate than the earlier, thereby superceding them. Sometimes there is
      indeed a choice between two late contradictory sources, but never
      between one late source and one early. And there's my view in a

      > **Of course, I give you permission to do whatever you like, too :-)

      Thank you. I hope, then, that I have not insulted you beyond redemption.


      Måns Björkman "Mun þu mik!
      Störtloppsvägen 8, III Man þik.
      SE-129 46 Hägersten Un þu mer!
      Sweden An þer."
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