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17228Re: mythology for England

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  • Jason Fisher
    Nov 28, 2006
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      --- William Cloud Hicklin <solicitr@...> wrote:
      > OK, could somebody post a summary of the Stenstrom Theory so
      > the rest of us know what you're talking about?

      Anders could probably summarize himself better than I can, but here's a short excerpt from my "Mythology for England" Encyclopedia entry:

      Birth of the Term

      A �mythology for England��this must surely be the most
      often cited quotation that Tolkien never actually said (at
      least, it is nowhere recorded that he ever said it). The
      genesis of the term occurs in Humphrey Carpenter�s bio-
      graphy of Tolkien, where he refers explicitly to Tolkien�s
      �desire to create a mythology for England� (italics original).
      .... [snip] .... But how did Carpenter�s term become the
      Tolkien misquote that it is today? Anders Stenstr�m lays
      out a convincing reconstruction of how it may have hap-
      pened, the key point being the misapplication of single
      quotation marks to the term in the biography�s index
      (whether Carpenter�s or the publisher�s doing, we do not
      know). Because the term was shown in quotation marks,
      like the one other (legitimate) Tolkien quote referenced
      in the index, it was subsequently accepted by many as a
      bona fide quotation and not an invention.
      But while Tolkien may never have put down this exact
      phrase, we can be relatively certain he would have accepted
      it, just as we can be sure that the creation of a so-called
      mythology for England was indeed one of his early goals ....

      This should at least give you a sufficient context for following the thread of the discussion. The citation, in case you want to look it up, is:

      Stenstr�m, Anders. �A Mythology? For England?� In
      Proceedings of the Tolkien Centenary Conference 1992
      (Mallorn 33 / Mythlore 80). Ed. by Patricia Reynolds
      and Glen H. GoodKnight: 310-314.

      Jason Fisher

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