13655Re: [mythsoc] Tolkien on Film
- Jan 24, 2005I am signed up to receive TMatt's columns regularly and he and I already
discussed this one; I had to tell him that "eucatastrophe" does NOT "blend
Eucharist and catastrophe," linguistically speaking. But it was too late
for him to correct the published version.
Tolkien explains in "On Fairy-Stories," which as you say, the NZers did not
read, that he coined this term for the "turn" at the end of a fairy-story,
what is commonly called the "happy ending."
It is taken from "catastrophe" (of course) and the Greek root "eu-" for
"good," which is =part= of the word "Eucharist," which literally means
"thanksgiving." (From eu- "good" plus "charis" grace, favor)
Tolkien also refers more than once in that section of "On Fairy-Stories" to
the Gospel, calling it "Evangelium" in Latin, which is again related to the
same root, "eu-angelion" = "Good News."
I told Terry that of course the Eucharist (Mass, Lord's Supper) spells out
sacramentally some of the meanings of the Gospel. But it is primarily to
the "happy ending" of the Gospel that Tolkien is referring, rather than to
this specific sacrament..
Carl will correct me where I am wrong, I can be assured :)
Wish I knew whether =my= copy of TOLKIEN ON FILM is on its way. I sent a
check, before the Paypal was set up, and didn't send xactly the right
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