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17235Re: [mythsoc] Re: mythology for England

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  • David Bratman
    Nov 29, 2006
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      At 11:15 PM 11/27/2006 -0500, Walter Padgett wrote:

      >Stenström ... is the hero, but you have to understand that
      >Textual Criticism is an objective science, not theory or (as Bratman
      >would say) "quibble" that can be argued back and forth.

      Sir, I do not know what has caused you to criticize me in this manner. I
      have not dismissed the point as a quibble; rather, I was the first person
      in this discussion to point out tht "mythology for England" is not a known
      Tolkien quote. And I also said that while many - including myself, Jason
      Fisher, and Jane Chance - hold that the phrase is, even if not a quote, a
      fair summary of Tolkien's expressed intent, the position is not
      uncontroversial. And it is in fact Strenström, whom you call "the hero,"
      who is the primary advocate of the other point of view, as John Rateliff
      has observed.

      By the way, you don't mean Textual Criticism, which is a not an exact
      science at all, but one requiring vast amounts of deduction, inference, and
      even guesswork. What you mean are the rules of citation, which are indeed
      exact. And while different systems of rules exist, they're all the same on
      the point of quotation. However, there are still several points of
      confusion, most specifically here:

      >It is
      >something as simple as the _rule_ for when to use one quote ' instead
      >of two quotes " when quoting someone who is quoting someone (and the
      >confusion that can and does surround such instances in all of academic
      >writing) which seeded and sprouted the vast and amazing world of
      >criticism surrounding the phrase "_Tolkien's Art: A Mythology for
      >England_ by Jane Chance Nitzsche."

      Both Carpenter's biography and the original edition of _Tolkien's Art_ use
      single quote marks around the phrase not because they are
      quoting-within-quotes (whch would require triple quote marks) but because
      they're using British rather than American punctuation style, in which
      primary quotes use single rather than double marks. But, as on a previous
      occasion, I'm not quite sure what you mean here: your prose is not always
      intelligible to a poor Earthling like myself.

      I am most amused by your pose as a knight errant defending the honor of
      your liege lady, Prof. Chance. But the rest of us are going to go on
      judging the quality of her work by the quality of her work, not by whether
      you have her token pinned to your sleeve.

      David Bratman
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