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_The Lord of the Rings 1954–2004: Scholarsh ip in Honor of Richard E. Blackwelder_

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  • Carl F. Hostetter
    Marquette University Press have announced the publication of _The Lord of the Rings 1954–2004: Scholarship in Honor of Richard E. Blackwelder_, sc., the
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 9, 2006
      Marquette University Press have announced the publication of _The
      Lord of the Rings 1954–2004: Scholarship in Honor of Richard E.
      Blackwelder_, sc., the proceedings of a conference held at Marquette
      in Oct. 2004, organized by Matt Blessing of the Marquette Libraries'
      Department of Special Collections and University Archives, which
      house the manuscripts of _The Hobbit_ and _The Lord of Rings_. The
      announcement, and ordering information, is given at:


      (I also highly recommend the exhibit catalog, "The Invented Worlds of
      J.R.R. Tolkien: Drawings and Original Manuscripts from the Marquette
      University Collection", also available on the same page.)

      Of particular interest to list-members are four papers:

      "The AB Language Lives" by Arne Zettersten

      The AB language was identified by J.R.R. Tolkien in a famous essay
      published in Essays and Studies, 14, in 1929. Tolkien was able to show
      that the scribes of MS Corpus Christi College Cambridge of the Ancrene
      Riwle, also called the Ancrene Wisse (==A) and MS Bodley 34 of the
      Katherine Group (==B) used a language and spelling nearly "as
      indistinguishable as that of two modern printed books." Tolkien had
      hereby proposed the existence of a 'new' Middle English literary standard.

      In 1962 Tolkien continued his AB language research by completing his
      edition of the Ancrene Wisse for the Early English Text Society, Oxford. The
      aim of this Oxford project was to edit all the 17 MSS, starting with the Latin
      and French editions in 1944. The project was completed in the year 2000
      by Zettersten's edition of MS Vernon, Bodleian Library, Oxford. In this paper,
      Zettersten gives an account of his acquaintance and collaboration with Tolkien
      and the continued interest in the AB language towards the end of the past
      century and at the beginning of the new millennium. The AB language lives
      and, as Tolkien predicted, it has already created an important 'literature' of its

      Arne Zettersten has been a professor of English language and
      literature at the University of Copenhagen since 1975. From 1959 to 1973 he
      collaborated with J.R.R. Tolkien on the editing of the manuscripts of the Ancrene
      Riwle, subsequently preparing three important editions of the manuscript. The
      author of many books and articles, he has been a visiting professor at Zurich
      University, Siege, Vienna, and UCLA. In 1991 he was a Fulbright Scholar at the
      University of California at Berkeley. He is currently working on
      a book based on his collaboration and friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien.


      "History in Words: Tolkien's Ruling Passion" by Thomas A. Shippey

      Two remarkable features of Tolkien's style are, first, his
      extraordinarily large vocabulary, and second, his constant invention of names
      for people, objects, and places. Motivating both of these were the many
      discoveries of Tolkien's professional predecessors, the philologists of the 19th
      century, and their demonstration that words and names could carry far more
      "information," in a technical sense, than their users realized. Shippey will
      consider and exemplify Tolkien's lifelong fascination with the history of words
      and the history in words, making use of Richard E. Blackwelder's invaluable
      Tolkien Thesaurus.


      "Tolkienian Gothic" by Arden R. Smith

      Tolkien's introduction to the Gothic language coincided with his
      introduction to the principles of historical philology, and both interests would
      continue to have an impact on his writings for the rest of his life. Smith
      investigates the instances in which these two related interests merged, examining
      Tolkien's varied applications, modifications, and reconstructions of Gothic vocabulary.
      These range from individual names and brief captions, to longer inscriptions and
      poetry, frequently incorporating words not attested in the historical Gothic corpus.


      "Elvish As She Is Spoke" by Carl F. Hostetter

      The invented languages of J.R.R. Tolkien have garnered the
      appreciation and attention of linguists and enthusiasts since the publication of
      The Lord of the Rings in 1954-1955. Although Tolkien described his languages
      as "a private enterprise undertaken to give pleasure to myself by giving expression
      to my personal linguistic 'aesthetic' or taste", the exemplars Tolkien provided in
      his novel naturally invited others to explore and discuss them. The recent release
      of an immensely popular film adaptation of Tolkien's novel has further fueled
      interest in Tolkien's languages, both as linguistic and artistic systems worthy of
      study, and more dramatically in seeking to "complete" and "standardize" them
      for use as spoken tongues. Hostetter examines the suitability of Tolkien's Elvish
      languages to such efforts, contrasting Tolkien's own artistic methods and purposes
      with the utilitarian means and goals of those who would "speak Elvish".
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