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Re: [elfscript] Return of the ElfScribes

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  • Mans Bjorkman
    ... 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,
    Message 1 of 8 , Sep 18, 2000
      Angasule wrote (>) in reply to me (> >):

      > > The only tables with Cirth -- as Tolkien finally conceived them -- are
      > > in The Return of the King, appendix E. The tables in _TI_ shows some
      > > earlier sketches on the same system, but they are very dissimilar from
      > > the final result.
      > Ah, I always found it rather confusing there, maybe I should return to
      > it, I unfortunately lent my copy of The Lord of the Rings (yes, stupid
      > thing to do, I know!!!), so I'll have to wait.

      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, 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.


      > > Appendix E claims that "Among the Eldar the Alphabet of Daeron did not
      > > develop true cursive forms", but leaves it open if it did among the
      > > Dwarves of Moria. Somewhere (I don't have the reference at hand) it says
      > > that Certhas Daeron was used to record the wars with Morgoth, most
      > > likely in the Grey Annals.

      Here is the reference. _The War of the Jewels_, "The Grey Annals" §31:
      "Of the long years of peace that followed after the coming of Denethor
      there is little tale; for though in this time Dairon the minstrel, it is
      said, who was the chief loremaster of the kingdom of Thingol, deviced
      his Runes*, [_added later in margin_: Cirth] they were little used by
      the Sindar for the keeping of records, until the days of the War [...]"

      The footnote reads: "* These, it is said, he contrived first ere the
      building of Menegroth, and after bettered them. The Naugrim, indeed,
      that came to Thingol learned the Runes of Dairon, and were well-pleased
      with the device, esteeming Dairon's skill higher than did the Sindar,
      his own folk; and by the Naugrim they [_later_ > the Cirth] were taken
      east over the mountains and passed into the knowledge of many peoples."


      > Yes, probably the dwarves, then, although I don't recall the book of
      > Mazarbul as having cursive certar? (I only gave a short look to it, with
      > orcs and the balrog behind me! [aka store clerks closing down!])

      Correct; the Book of Mazarbul contains regular, "straight" runes. The
      only "cursive" runes of Tolkien I'm aware of are in the tables in TI, in
      fact.

      I assume it was _Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien_ you looked in? If so, you
      really should get hold of it, since it is no longer in print! (_Artist
      and Illustrator_ only contains one of the pages, and a sketch of
      another.)


      > > There is no Swedish Tolkien Society, but several regional societies.
      > > Gothenburg has a society called Mithlond, the society of Malmö is called
      > > Angmar, Uppsala has Cerin Erain (actually a fief of the Forodrim) etc.
      > I'd be interested in the way they work (statutes and all), I'll look
      > for them next time I'm online.

      They all linked from the homepage of the Forodrim
      (http://www.forodrim.org), though Cerin Erain has no home page.

      The reason for my haste last time was that I was on my way to a
      fall-celebration in Mithlond (Gothenburg is a six-hour drive away from
      Stockholm). These last four days I have feasted together with people
      from all the societies mentioned above, as well as from the Danish
      society Bri (danicised form of Bree) and the Norwegian Arthedain. All in
      all, about 110 people. It was great fun!


      Suilaid an Seryn Tîw a Cirth,
      Måns


      --
      Måns Björkman "Mun þu mik!
      Störtloppsvägen 8, III Man þik.
      SE-129 46 Hägersten Un þu mer!
      Sweden An þer."
    • Lisa Star
      ... **You sound as if you are giving me permission. That s a little presumptious of you! ... **But neither view is the one that I hold, or am working from.
      Message 2 of 8 , Sep 18, 2000
        >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!

        >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.

        **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.

        **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.

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

        ** Lisa Star
        ** LisaStar@...
        ** http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/9902

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      • Mans Bjorkman
        ... 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
        Message 3 of 8 , 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
          out).


          > >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
          nutshell.


          > **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.

          Regards,
          Måns


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