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Re: How Did JRRT Write Tengwar?

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  • 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 1 of 5 , Apr 9, 2005
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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 2 of 5 , Apr 10, 2005
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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 3 of 5 , Apr 10, 2005
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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
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~__
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