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Re: [Lambengolmor] Re: Internal historical aspect of the five Catholic prayers in Quenya

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  • Ales Bican
    ... **Personally, I do not find it extraordinary or even odd. Quenya, though undoubtedly an artistic creation, is a language. One of the major characteristics
    Message 1 of 5 , Jan 14, 2004
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      >[Boris Shapiro] raised a question of whether Tolkien's
      > Catholic prayers in Quenya were meant to be a piece
      > of A.D. (Seventh Age) Quenya or a simple
      > exercise of Tolkien's.

      Carl F. Hostetter replied:

      >> My own take on the Prayers is that they were simply a personal,
      >> private exercise, not intended to have any place within the
      >> mythology. My guess is that Tolkien simply had the Rosary on his
      >> mind one day and decided to see how it might be translated.

      Boris:

      >OK, but won't in [read: it -- ab] be somehow extraordinary?

      **Personally, I do not find it extraordinary or even odd. Quenya,
      though undoubtedly an artistic creation, is a language. One of
      the major characteristics of a language, in fact its raison d'être,
      is its ability to express our thoughts and ideas. Tolkien created
      a language that can be used even beyond his mythological world,
      which he testified by translating the Prayers; and we do something
      similar in our Elvish compositions. There is nothing wrong with
      that -- as I said, Quenya is after all a language and a language
      is a means for communication.


      Ales Bican

      --
      What's in a name? That which we call a rose
      by any other name would smell as sweet. (Juliet, _Romeo and Juliet_)
    • galadhorn
      ... The question Boris had raised long ago is very interesting. Quenya is a language being the expression of the Quendian-culture and Quendian-mythology in
      Message 2 of 5 , Apr 13, 2004
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        --- In lambengolmor@yahoogroups.com, Boris Shapiro <elenhil@u...>
        wrote:

        > Should we analyze the texts as a unique piece of
        > Seventh Age Quenya (probably as spoken in Valinor) and are we
        > to get anything interesting from that?

        The question Boris had raised long ago is very interesting. Quenya
        is a language being the expression of the Quendian-culture and
        Quendian-mythology in whatever context we use it. The words _Eru_,
        _menel_, the expression _i ëa han Ëa_ belong to the mythology
        of Tolkien's sub-creation, his _mythopoeia_. In fact every act of
        Tolkien's _logopoeia_ is the exploration of his myth. It is the way
        every "real" language works (and Tolkien's languages having their
        own mythology, their "sub-creative" context are like real langages,
        and very unlike the languages of the Esperanto-type).

        The prayers (presented in VT 43 and 44) come from the period of the
        1950s, when the mediator between the real history and the mythical
        history of the Elves and Men was Aelfwine/Elendil (cf. "Dangweth
        Pengolodh" in XII:395 from c. 1951-1959). Cannot the Quenya
        prayers be the translation made by Elendil (who was to live in 10th-
        11th C.) himself? Yes and no. Yes, because on that time there were in
        existence already: "Pater Noster", "Gloria Patri (Doxologia
        Minor)", "Sub Tuum Praesidium". No, because "Ave Maria" and "Litany
        of Loreto" are much younger (their final form was achieved in 16th C.).

        In "Qenya Lexicon" we find many words which show that the Elves
        (in the conceptual phase of the "Book of the Lost Tales") knew some
        elements of the Christian faith. There are terms for Holy Spirit,
        Trinity, monks, nuns and monastery. I wonder if Tolkien, translating
        the prayers into Quenya (and into the language of the Quendian
        mythology - I would call it Christian inculturation into the
        mythopoeic context) - had in mind such a possibility that these
        prayers could play any role in his fictitious history. Anyway even
        if it was "only" a linguistic exercise it is worth an analysis of
        how the Quenya terms work incorporated into the Christian context.

        Ryzard Derdzinski
      • lambendil
        In the post 655 (13/04/2004) Ryzard Derdzinski, replying to Boris Shapiro, questions if the catholic prayers presented in VT 43 and 44 could have been
        Message 3 of 5 , Apr 18, 2004
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          In the post 655 (13/04/2004) Ryzard Derdzinski, replying to Boris Shapiro,
          questions if the catholic prayers presented in VT 43 and 44 could have been
          translations made by Aelfwine/Elendil (who was to live in 10th-11th C.). The
          reply was yes and no, because some prayers were already in existence on that
          time (Pater Noster, Gloria Patri, Sub Tuum Praesidium), but the others are much
          younger (the final form of Ave Maria and Litany of Loreto was achieved in 16th C.).

          As Ryzard notes, the question of authorship of the different parts of
          the Quendian mythology, on the internal point of view, is always and
          interesting but a complicated matter. Internal authorship shifted during
          the external evolution of some tales and he sometimes merged the real
          and fictional world (like in the LR Appendix where he appears as the
          translator of the red Book, not as the author of the novel).

          The place of the Catholic prayers in the main work is of course very
          special since they do not, _a priori_, belong to the Quendian
          mythology. But, as Ryszard remarks pertinently, "Quenya is a language
          being the expression of the Quendian-culture and Quendian-mythology in
          whatever context we use it" and "every act of Tolkien's _logopoeia_ is the
          exploration of his myth". So, the only fact that the prayers were written in
          Elvish connects them with the Quendian mythology, even if it creates a kind
          of paradox.

          But I think this paradox might perhaps be removed or at least find
          plausible explanations.

          In his post, Ryzard notes that we find many words in the "Qenya Lexicon"
          which show that the Elves (in the conceptual phase of the "Book of the
          Lost Tales") knew some elements of the Christian faith (terms for Holy
          Spirit, Trinity, monks, nuns and monastery).

          In a first version of the present post post (which was returned for
          revision !), I remarked that there are several words in the Lexicons
          that referred to our 'real, modern, world' and I quoted _Andesalke_,
          Salkinôre_ 'Africa' (QL/31, 84), _kalimba(n)_ '"Barbary", Germany',
          _kalimabardi_ 'the Germans' (QL/44), _Îverind-_ 'Ireland' (QL/43),
          _i•Ponôrir_ 'the Northlands (Scandinavia)' and _ponôre_ 'Norway' (QL/74).

          I tought that these names could give some clues about the authorship of the
          Lexicons, but as Carl Hostetter has pointed out in his private reply to my
          first post, "there's nothing in there that necessarily refers to our 'real,
          modern world'. None of the nations mentioned there were unknown in
          even Classical times, and all have their equivalents in classical
          Greek and Latin. That Tolkien translates them with modern country
          names instead of their Greek, Latin, or even Anglo-Saxon names
          is completely in accord with every other gloss in the Lexicons".

          This made me think of something else : if the Lexicons are the work of
          Aelfwine/Elendil during his sojourn in Tol Eressea, the original
          manuscript would have been written in Old English. Hence, the actual
          version of the Lexicons must have been translated in modern English
          (excatly the same way as the LR is presented as the translation of the
          Red Book in English, merging real and fictional world).

          Some words in the Lexicons are given with Anglo-Saxon, Latin or Greek
          glosses. This suggests, either that these non-English references were
          left intentionally by the translator or that the Lexicons are much
          latter, dating from the XXth century, and are the work of a man with
          very good linguistic knowledge that had some knowledge of the Quendian
          world and mythology.

          We can find in Tolkien's work some characters that fit this portrait,
          characters that lived in our modern age and who had dreams or visions
          of the mythical world of the Elves: Audoin and Alboin Errol of "The
          Lost Road" (V/36-106, c. 1936-37) and Arundel Lowdham of the Notion
          Club (IX/145-330, c. 1945-46). Even if he never finished none of his
          time-travel stories, the fact that Tolkien began two stories of this
          kind seem to show that Tolkien took this narrative process to heart.

          Of course, the mediators cited before are older than the prayers,
          externally speaking (30s and 40s vs. 50s), but a philologist like
          Lowdham might have been fully qualified to try a translation in
          "Avallonian" of some known catholic prayers (and even several attempts
          for some of these prayers !).

          Finally, we have a third possibility. We could think of some Elves who
          would have chosen to stay in the mortal lands and who would have
          withered to become spirits (a very old conception dating from the
          _Lost Tales_). Theses spirits may have contacted some open-minded
          humans and instructed them about the matter of the Elves, their
          history and their languages. Theses spirit-Elves could even have
          taught their tongues to a well-known English philologist of the XXth
          century...

          Sébastien Bertho
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