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How Did JRRT Write Tengwar?

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  • Kyrmse
    I have just uploaded a file to the Elfscript group. It is called J.R.R.Tolkien Writing Tengwar.pdf and describes a scene where JRRT is shown, pen in hand,
    Message 1 of 5 , Apr 9 8:37 AM
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      I have just uploaded a file to the Elfscript group. It is called
      J.R.R.Tolkien Writing Tengwar.pdf and describes a scene where JRRT is
      shown, pen in hand, inscribing a book with the famous "Elen síla...".

      I would very much appreciate fedback from the group on this, and also
      would like to know whether this file is available in uncorrupted form.
      The one I have is deteriorated after a certain point - luckily after
      JRRT writes, and speaks, beginning at a point where Tom Shippey makes
      a comment. On the soundtrack JRRT is heard saying: "Languages have a
      flavour to me, which are - I never understand people saying [...] this
      is awfully dry [...] because a new language to me is just, is just
      like a new wine, or some new sweetmeat or something. The first [...]
      to invent languages - about when I was thirteen or fourteen, I never
      stopped, really."

      Comments? Feedback? Thank you!
    • Melroch 'Aestan
      ... Most people -- as in most lit.crits. -- never seem to grasp that the whole thing was linguistic in inspiration ... -- /BP 8^) -- Benct Philip Jonsson --
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 9 1:25 PM
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        Kyrmse skrev:
        >
        > I have just uploaded a file to the Elfscript group. It is called
        > J.R.R.Tolkien Writing Tengwar.pdf and describes a scene where JRRT is
        > shown, pen in hand, inscribing a book with the famous "Elen síla...".
        >
        > I would very much appreciate fedback from the group on this, and also
        > would like to know whether this file is available in uncorrupted form.
        > The one I have is deteriorated after a certain point - luckily after
        > JRRT writes, and speaks, beginning at a point where Tom Shippey makes
        > a comment. On the soundtrack JRRT is heard saying: "Languages have a
        > flavour to me, which are - I never understand people saying [...] this
        > is awfully dry [...] because a new language to me is just, is just
        > like a new wine, or some new sweetmeat or something. The first [...]
        > to invent languages - about when I was thirteen or fourteen, I never
        > stopped, really."
        >
        > Comments? Feedback? Thank you!

        Most people -- as in most lit.crits. -- never seem to grasp
        that "the whole thing was linguistic in inspiration"...

        --

        /BP 8^)>
        --
        Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch at melroch dot se
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~__
        A h-ammen ledin i phith! \ \
        __ ____ ____ _____________ ____ __ __ __ / /
        \ \/___ \\__ \ /___ _____/\ \\__ \\ \ \ \\ \ / /
        / / / / / \ / /Melroch\ \_/ // / / // / / /
        / /___/ /_ / /\ \ / /'Aestan ~\_ // /__/ // /__/ /
        /_________//_/ \_\/ /Eowine __ / / \___/\_\\___/\_\
        Gwaedhvenn Angeliniel\ \______/ /a/ /_h-adar Merthol naun
        ~~~~~~~~~Kuinondil~~~\________/~~\__/~~~Noolendur~~~~~~
        || Lenda lenda pellalenda pellatellenda kuivie aiya! ||
        "A coincidence, as we say in Middle-Earth" (JRR Tolkien)
      • mithrennaith
        ... I remember seeing this scene in a documentary (I believe it was used in several documentaries), but with Tolkien continuing to write omentielvo , then
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 9 6:03 PM
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          --- In elfscript@yahoogroups.com, Melroch 'Aestan <melroch@m...>
          wrote:
          > Kyrmse skrev:
          > >
          > > I have just uploaded a file to the Elfscript group. It is called
          > > J.R.R.Tolkien Writing Tengwar.pdf and describes a scene where
          > > JRRT is
          > > shown, pen in hand, inscribing a book with the famous "Elen
          > > síla...".
          > >
          > > I would very much appreciate fedback from the group on this, and
          > > also
          > > would like to know whether this file is available in uncorrupted
          > > form.
          > > The one I have is deteriorated after a certain point - luckily
          > > after
          > > JRRT writes, and speaks, beginning at a point where Tom Shippey
          > > makes a comment.

          I remember seeing this scene in a documentary (I believe it was used
          in several documentaries), but with Tolkien continuing to
          write 'omentielvo', then realises he has forgotten 'lúmenn'', and
          writes it above, with a pothook to indicate it ought to go
          between 'síla' and 'omentielvo'. (I don't actually know whether he
          actually spelled 'lúmenn' omentielvo', I seem to recollect that there
          was a difference).

          I also recollect the interuption by Tom Shippey, I believe the scene
          went on after that.

          > > On the soundtrack JRRT is heard saying: "Languages have a
          > > flavour to me, which are - I never understand people saying [...]
          > > this
          > > is awfully dry [...] because a new language to me is just, is just
          > > like a new wine, or some new sweetmeat or something. The first
          > > [...]
          > > to invent languages - about when I was thirteen or fourteen, I
          > > never
          > > stopped, really."
          > >
          > > Comments? Feedback? Thank you!
          >
          > Most people -- as in most lit.crits. -- never seem to grasp
          > that "the whole thing was linguistic in inspiration"...
          >
          > --
          Letter nr 165 puts it: "that my work is all of a piece, and
          _fundamentally linguistic_ in inspiration".
        • Johan Winge
          On Sun, 10 Apr 2005 01:03:20 -0000, mithrennaith ... Yes, that sounds like the same documentary that I have on VHS (a copy, possibly of a copy, of a recording
          Message 4 of 5 , Apr 10 12:46 AM
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            On Sun, 10 Apr 2005 01:03:20 -0000, mithrennaith
            <harm.j.schelhaas@...> wrote:

            > I remember seeing this scene in a documentary (I believe it was used
            > in several documentaries), but with Tolkien continuing to
            > write 'omentielvo', then realises he has forgotten 'lúmenn'', and
            > writes it above, with a pothook to indicate it ought to go
            > between 'síla' and 'omentielvo'. (I don't actually know whether he
            > actually spelled 'lúmenn' omentielvo', I seem to recollect that there
            > was a difference).
            >
            > I also recollect the interuption by Tom Shippey, I believe the scene
            > went on after that.

            Yes, that sounds like the same documentary that I have on VHS (a copy,
            possibly of a copy, of a recording of the documentary when it aired on
            swedish television, in 1992 I think.)

            After the interruption (not of Shippey, but Christopher), he continues
            writing the following tengwar in the following order (with strokes in the
            "natural" order and direction, unless otherwise noted): long carrier,
            u-tehta (from the bottom up!), malta, anto (in one stroke), i-tehta,
            e-tehta over malta, fixing up serif on anto, short carrier, i-tehta,
            lambe, vala, o-tehta (from the bottom up), then hastier above siila:
            lambe, double u-tehta (bottom up), malta, nuumen, e-tehta over malta.

            During this he speaks: "What I do now is to, trying write, in Elvish -
            [but you see,?] my writing is very inferior to the elves' - a standard
            greeting [on a?] meeting: A star shines upon our meeting. [Pause. Then
            when writing the lambe of omentielvo:] O lord, I made a mistake in my
            mind. [Pause.] And that's, stands for "elen sila luumen omentielvo". A
            very simple and rather beautiful language [I think?]."

            I don't think we are dealing with a different orthography here - he simply
            makes a lot of mistakes. That of luumen is of course the most striking,
            but he also mixes up the dot and the stroke for e, and so also mixes up
            nuumen and malta. Also note the absens of the doubling under-stroke in
            luumen (in error or not).

            -- Johan Winge
          • Melroch 'Aestan
            ... It seems I can t trust my ol memory at all any more. A sure sign of mortality. -- /BP 8^) -- Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch at melroch dot se
            Message 5 of 5 , Apr 10 10:26 AM
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              mithrennaith skrev:

              >>Most people -- as in most lit.crits. -- never seem to grasp
              >>that "the whole thing was linguistic in inspiration"...
              >>
              >>--
              >
              > Letter nr 165 puts it: "that my work is all of a piece, and
              > _fundamentally linguistic_ in inspiration".
              >

              It seems I can't trust my ol' memory at all any more.
              A sure sign of mortality.

              --

              /BP 8^)>
              --
              Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch at melroch dot se
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~__
              A h-ammen ledin i phith! \ \
              __ ____ ____ _____________ ____ __ __ __ / /
              \ \/___ \\__ \ /___ _____/\ \\__ \\ \ \ \\ \ / /
              / / / / / \ / /Melroch\ \_/ // / / // / / /
              / /___/ /_ / /\ \ / /'Aestan ~\_ // /__/ // /__/ /
              /_________//_/ \_\/ /Eowine __ / / \___/\_\\___/\_\
              Gwaedhvenn Angeliniel\ \______/ /a/ /_h-adar Merthol naun
              ~~~~~~~~~Kuinondil~~~\________/~~\__/~~~Noolendur~~~~~~
              || Lenda lenda pellalenda pellatellenda kuivie aiya! ||
              "A coincidence, as we say in Middle-Earth" (JRR Tolkien)
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