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233Re: [Lambengolmor] "before" and "after"

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  • Irene A Gates
    Sep 9, 2002
      Carl wrote:

      > _nó_ in particular seems to
      > have had its primary meaning changed by Tolkien, since its usages in both
      > the "_merin_" sentence ('before') and the QL ('after, of time') are
      > temporal and apparently irreconcilable.

      Before we start using it as data: do we know that the "_merin_" sentence
      (_merin sa haryalye alasse nó vanyalye Ambarello_ 'I hope that you have
      happiness before you pass from the world') is authentic? And even if it is,
      do we know that it means what it's purported to mean?

      In a message to Elfling dated 24 April 1999 David Salo tentatively dated
      the "_merin_" sentence to the period 1954-1959. In that same period,
      Tolkien was working on _The Athrabeth_, in which Finrod says, on the
      subject of Elvish and Human forms of mortality:

      "If we are indeed the _Eruhin_, the children of the One, then He will not
      suffer Himself to be deprived of His own, not by any Enemy, not even by
      ourselves. This is the last foundation of _Estel_, which we keep even when
      we contemplate the End: of all His designs the issue must be for His
      Children's joy." (X:321)

      So based on internal evidence, the interpretation 'I hope that you have
      happiness after you pass from the world' is as reasonable as (albeit hardly
      any more tactful than) the one usually given.


      Irene A Gates Webmaster, aviculturist, linguaphile
      Campbellville, Ontario, Canada <112321.3163@...>

      "The function of the expert is not to be more right than other people,
      but to be wrong for more sophisticated reasons"
      -- Dr David Butler, in the Observer, 1969
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