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Re: New Beowulf

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  • ERATRIANO@aol.com
    Oh yeah, Dad said he d save me the Sunday book review from the New York Times, had a write up yesterday. Can t wait to see. Kinda like, not again, but OTOH,
    Message 1 of 27 , Feb 28, 2000
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      Oh yeah, Dad said he'd save me the Sunday book review from the New York
      Times, had a write up yesterday. Can't wait to see. Kinda like, not again,
      but OTOH, kinda like, oooh what have they done now? ggg

      How about some reworkings of Egil's Saga?

      And some antlered lord tales. Why is this figure so elusive?

      Lizzie
    • Lisa Deutsch Harrigan
      Well, I went to the translation section and I do know some Old English (I took it in college many years ago). What I read seemed good. He did give the
      Message 2 of 27 , Feb 28, 2000
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        Well, I went to the translation section and I do know some Old English (I took
        it in college many years ago). What I read seemed good. He did give the
        translation a nice poetic flow and did translate everything, so you don't need
        to know Old English at all. But he did keep in mind the original meanings of the
        words and so kept true to the story. And he seems to keep the words in the right
        order. I could go back to the original and find the words I knew and piece
        together how he did his translation. So if you know a smattering of Old English,
        although it won't teach you the language, you could use it as an aide.

        Mind you, this is only for the bit they had in the article. The translation may
        be completely botched in other spots. Though, since it was a big hit in England,
        I doubt it. The English know and love their Beowulf.

        Since this one has done so well in England, may be they will translate some of
        the other Old Stories? I'd like to see them too.

        Mythically yours,

        Lisa

        ERATRIANO@... wrote:

        > From: ERATRIANO@...
        >
        > Oh yeah, Dad said he'd save me the Sunday book review from the New York
        > Times, had a write up yesterday. Can't wait to see. Kinda like, not again,
        > but OTOH, kinda like, oooh what have they done now? ggg
      • Ted Sherman
        Well, I can tell you that in the international community of Old English scholars, there is a great deal of discussion (and often heated) about Heaney s
        Message 3 of 27 , Feb 28, 2000
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          Well, I can tell you that in the international community of Old English
          scholars, there is a great deal of discussion (and often heated) about
          Heaney's translation. One of the problems for us academics is that
          Heaney apparently knows little OE. Beowulf is probably the most complex
          work of OE poetry, not to mention the longest piece, so one really must
          be proficient in the language to understand the subtle nuances of the
          poem.

          For the record, however; I am quite pleased that the book is getting
          such good press. Perhaps it will turn folks back to Beowulf and we'll
          see a resurgence of students interested in medieval studies in the
          universities. (Sure would make my job more enjoyable!)

          Yours,

          Ted

          PS: Mythlore Issue 85, Volume 22, Number 3 is with the mailing agent and
          should be in the mail beginning tomorrow.

          Lisa Deutsch Harrigan wrote:
          >
          > From: Lisa Deutsch Harrigan <lisa@...>
          >
          > Well, I went to the translation section and I do know some Old English (I took
          > it in college many years ago). What I read seemed good. He did give the
          > translation a nice poetic flow and did translate everything, so you don't need
          > to know Old English at all. But he did keep in mind the original meanings of the
          > words and so kept true to the story. And he seems to keep the words in the right
          > order. I could go back to the original and find the words I knew and piece
          > together how he did his translation. So if you know a smattering of Old English,
          > although it won't teach you the language, you could use it as an aide.
          >
          > Mind you, this is only for the bit they had in the article. The translation may
          > be completely botched in other spots. Though, since it was a big hit in England,
          > I doubt it. The English know and love their Beowulf.
          >
          > Since this one has done so well in England, may be they will translate some of
          > the other Old Stories? I'd like to see them too.
          >
          > Mythically yours,
          >
          > Lisa
          >
          > ERATRIANO@... wrote:
          >
          > > From: ERATRIANO@...
          > >
          > > Oh yeah, Dad said he'd save me the Sunday book review from the New York
          > > Times, had a write up yesterday. Can't wait to see. Kinda like, not again,
          > > but OTOH, kinda like, oooh what have they done now? ggg
          >
          > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
          > Get your money connected @ OnMoney.com - the first Web site that lets you
          > see, consolidate, and manage all of your finances all in one place.
          > http://click.egroups.com/1/1636/3/_/505012/_/951782827/
          > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
          >
          > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org

          --
          Dr. Theodore James Sherman
          Department of English, Box X041
          College of Liberal Arts
          Middle Tennessee State University
          Murfreesboro, TN 37130
          615 898-5836; FAX 615 898-5098
          tsherman@...
          tedsherman@...
        • David S. Bratman
          ... The sad fact is that there s nothing else like Beowulf in Old English literature, and we almost didn t have Beowulf, either: it survives in a single
          Message 4 of 27 , Feb 28, 2000
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            On Mon, 28 Feb 2000, Lisa Deutsch Harrigan wrote:

            > Since this one has done so well in England, may be they will translate some of
            > the other Old Stories? I'd like to see them too.

            The sad fact is that there's nothing else like Beowulf in Old English
            literature, and we almost didn't have Beowulf, either: it survives in a
            single manuscript of unknown provenance, which almost burned in a fire
            some 400-500 years ago, long before it was adequately transcribed.

            There probably were other great Old English epics that _didn't_ survive,
            of which we have only tiny surviving hints: Wayland the Smith, for
            instance. It was because the English didn't have an Edda, or a
            Nibelungenlied, or an Odyssey or Aeneid, or a Charlemagne cycle, that
            Tolkien decided to make one up on his own.

            (As for why the English are so bereft, that permits of a three-word
            oversimpliciation for an answer: the Norman Conquest.)

            David Bratman
            - not responsible for the following advertisement -
          • Steve Schaper
            ... There are some nice fragments from the School of Cynewulf, but nothing like Beowulf. ==================================== Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
            Message 5 of 27 , Feb 28, 2000
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              At 10:52 PM -0500 2/28/00, David S. Bratman wrote:
              >From: "David S. Bratman" <dbratman@...>
              >
              >On Mon, 28 Feb 2000, Lisa Deutsch Harrigan wrote:
              >
              >> Since this one has done so well in England, may be they will
              >>translate some of
              >> the other Old Stories? I'd like to see them too.
              >
              >The sad fact is that there's nothing else like Beowulf in Old English
              >literature, and we almost didn't have Beowulf, either: it survives in a
              >single manuscript of unknown provenance, which almost burned in a fire
              >some 400-500 years ago, long before it was adequately transcribed.
              >
              >There probably were other great Old English epics that _didn't_ survive,
              >of which we have only tiny surviving hints: Wayland the Smith, for
              >instance.
              There are some nice fragments from the School of Cynewulf, but
              nothing like Beowulf.

              ====================================
              Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
              sschaper@...
              members.delphi.com/sschaper/web/sschaper.html
              ====================================
            • ERATRIANO@aol.com
              In a message dated 02/28/2000 7:28:40 PM Eastern Standard Time, lisa@harrigan.org writes:
              Message 6 of 27 , Feb 29, 2000
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                In a message dated 02/28/2000 7:28:40 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                lisa@... writes:

                << He did give the
                translation a nice poetic flow and did translate everything >>
                Is it alliterative?

                Lizzie
              • Ted Sherman
                ... Well, it depends on what you mean by like Beowulf. OE literature contains many great work, some short and some long. Beowulf is sui generis in terms of
                Message 7 of 27 , Feb 29, 2000
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                  "David S. Bratman" wrote:
                  >
                  > From: "David S. Bratman" <dbratman@...>
                  >
                  > On Mon, 28 Feb 2000, Lisa Deutsch Harrigan wrote:
                  >
                  > > Since this one has done so well in England, may be they will translate some of
                  > > the other Old Stories? I'd like to see them too.
                  >
                  > The sad fact is that there's nothing else like Beowulf in Old English
                  > literature, and we almost didn't have Beowulf, either: it survives in a
                  > single manuscript of unknown provenance, which almost burned in a fire
                  > some 400-500 years ago, long before it was adequately transcribed.

                  Well, it depends on what you mean by "like Beowulf." OE literature
                  contains many great work, some short and some long. Beowulf is sui
                  generis in terms of its matter; that is, aside from the one surviving
                  manuscript of Beowulf, there are no other stories of Beowulf the Geat.
                  We do have, at the very least, other references to such great Germanic
                  heroes and characters as Siegfried and Sigemund, Attila and Gudrun,
                  Welund and Walter, Finn and Hengist; but there's only one story that
                  mentions Beowulf. BTW, the Beowulf manuscript was damaged in the great
                  fire in 1731 at Ashburnam House, and other manuscripts were destroyed
                  and/or nearly destroyed. One of the current projects at the British
                  LIbrary is to recover the texts--via UV photography with a Kontron
                  camera--contained in some of those burnt mss.

                  > There probably were other great Old English epics that _didn't_ survive,
                  > of which we have only tiny surviving hints: Wayland the Smith, for
                  > instance. It was because the English didn't have an Edda, or a
                  > Nibelungenlied, or an Odyssey or Aeneid, or a Charlemagne cycle, that
                  > Tolkien decided to make one up on his own.

                  Well, England did have its own cycle: the Arthurian cycle. (I know that
                  some/much of the Arthurian material comes from France.) Beowulf is
                  England's Nibelungenlied, and it antedates the Nibelungenlied by at
                  least 175 years. The Brut by Layamon could easily be viewed as England's
                  Odyssey or Aeneid, especially the latter (since it kind of takes up
                  where the Aeneid stops).

                  >
                  > (As for why the English are so bereft, that permits of a three-word
                  > oversimpliciation for an answer: the Norman Conquest.)
                  >
                  Actually, the Norman Conquest is only partially responsible; the main
                  culprits, really, are the Vikings and Henry VIII. When the Vikings began
                  invading in the late 8th century, they sacked and destroyed monasteries
                  and the monastic libraries. It's a miracle that the two greatest OE
                  manuscripts, The Lindisfarne Gospels and the Book of Kells, still
                  survive. In 1536/38 Henry dissolved the monasteries and confiscated
                  them; one of the results was the dispersal of many of the monastic
                  libraries as well as the destruction of the monasteries and their
                  medieval sculptures and stained-glass windows. That's why the Ruthwell
                  Cross--which contains a 7th-8th century runic inscription of portions of
                  the great OE elegy "The Dream of the Rood"--is broken and the
                  inscription so weather damaged. The reformers, following Henry, cast
                  down the cross and left it to weather away. It wasn't until the 19th
                  century that it was put back together (though with part missing) and
                  placed in a chapel.

                  Another BTW: the English don't really value Beowulf as much as the press
                  might lead one to believe. In the past few decades Beowulf and other
                  areas of Anglo-Saxon culture (as in the culture in Britain from c.
                  450-1066) have gradually been removed from the curriculum, so that now
                  relatively few students actually study Beowulf. Also, for the Whitbread
                  Prize, which Heaney's translation won, the vote was split: five judges
                  voted for Beowulf and four for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of
                  Azkhaban. Two different versions of Heaney's Beowulf are now available
                  in the US: a straight translation as well as a copy with Beowulf in OE
                  and Heaney's translation on facing pages.

                  Ted

                  --
                  Dr. Theodore James Sherman
                  Department of English, Box X041
                  College of Liberal Arts
                  Middle Tennessee State University
                  Murfreesboro, TN 37130
                  615 898-5836; FAX 615 898-5098
                  tsherman@...
                  tedsherman@...
                • Stolzi@aol.com
                  In a message dated 2/29/00 9:12:51 AM Central Standard Time, ... Hmm! What exactly does the Whitbread Prize reward? What a combo. I won t say from the
                  Message 8 of 27 , Feb 29, 2000
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                    In a message dated 2/29/00 9:12:51 AM Central Standard Time,
                    tedsherman@... writes:

                    > Also, for the Whitbread
                    > Prize, which Heaney's translation won, the vote was split: five judges
                    > voted for Beowulf and four for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of
                    > Azkhaban.

                    Hmm! What exactly does the Whitbread Prize reward?

                    What a combo. I won't say "from the sublime to the ridiculous," for I quite
                    like Harry, but there =is= a disproportion here.
                  • Ted Sherman
                    The Whitbread is for, if I remember correctly, best book of the year in England. Ted ... -- Dr. Theodore James Sherman Department of English, Box X041 College
                    Message 9 of 27 , Feb 29, 2000
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                      The Whitbread is for, if I remember correctly, best book of the year in
                      England.

                      Ted

                      Stolzi@... wrote:
                      >
                      > From: Stolzi@...
                      >
                      > In a message dated 2/29/00 9:12:51 AM Central Standard Time,
                      > tedsherman@... writes:
                      >
                      > > Also, for the Whitbread
                      > > Prize, which Heaney's translation won, the vote was split: five judges
                      > > voted for Beowulf and four for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of
                      > > Azkhaban.
                      >
                      > Hmm! What exactly does the Whitbread Prize reward?
                      >
                      > What a combo. I won't say "from the sublime to the ridiculous," for I quite
                      > like Harry, but there =is= a disproportion here.
                      >
                      > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      > Show your style! Choose from 6 great card designs when you
                      > apply for Capital One's 9.9% Fixed APR Visa Platinum.
                      > http://click.egroups.com/1/1894/3/_/505012/_/951842337/
                      > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      >
                      > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org

                      --
                      Dr. Theodore James Sherman
                      Department of English, Box X041
                      College of Liberal Arts
                      Middle Tennessee State University
                      Murfreesboro, TN 37130
                      615 898-5836; FAX 615 898-5098
                      tsherman@...
                      tedsherman@...
                    • David S. Bratman
                      ... When I wrote that there is nothing else like Beowulf in OE literature, I didn t mean just that there were no other versions of the story of the man
                      Message 10 of 27 , Feb 29, 2000
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                        On Tue, 29 Feb 2000, Ted Sherman wrote:

                        > "David S. Bratman" wrote:
                        > >
                        > > The sad fact is that there's nothing else like Beowulf in Old English
                        > > literature, and we almost didn't have Beowulf, either: it survives in a
                        > > single manuscript of unknown provenance, which almost burned in a fire
                        > > some 400-500 years ago, long before it was adequately transcribed.
                        >
                        > Well, it depends on what you mean by "like Beowulf." OE literature
                        > contains many great work, some short and some long. Beowulf is sui
                        > generis in terms of its matter; that is, aside from the one surviving
                        > manuscript of Beowulf, there are no other stories of Beowulf the Geat.

                        When I wrote that there is nothing else like Beowulf in OE literature, I
                        didn't mean just that there were no other versions of the story of the
                        man Beowulf. There are some great short poems in OE, but I know of no
                        other works of creative art in that language remotely comparable to it in
                        combination of length and quality. If you do, I would like to know of them.

                        > Well, England did have its own cycle: the Arthurian cycle. (I know that
                        > some/much of the Arthurian material comes from France.)

                        For Tolkien, the Arthurian cycle didn't count. He said it was
                        imperfectly naturalized, by which he meant not so much that a great deal
                        of what we think of as Arthurian comes from Chretien and other French
                        romancers, but that the whole retains a Celtic air: it isn't English, and
                        he wanted something English.

                        > The Brut by Layamon could easily be viewed as England's
                        > Odyssey or Aeneid, especially the latter (since it kind of takes up
                        > where the Aeneid stops).

                        A good point, though the Brut is of course not Old English but Middle
                        English. It's not the only English work that is in a sense a sequel to
                        the Aeneid (which certainly seems to have had more of a hold on the
                        British imagination than it does on mine): Geoffrey of Monmouth's History
                        (in Latin, unfortunately for the sake of OE literature) also ties in to
                        the Aeneid, and doesn't "Gawain and the Green Knight" start off with some
                        references to the Odyssey/Aeneid period? (I don't have a copy here to
                        check.)

                        > > (As for why the English are so bereft, that permits of a three-word
                        > > oversimpliciation for an answer: the Norman Conquest.)
                        > >
                        > Actually, the Norman Conquest is only partially responsible; the main
                        > culprits, really, are the Vikings and Henry VIII.

                        As I said, an oversimplification. While the Vikings and H8 did the
                        destruction, they and others like them destroyed many more ancient
                        manuscripts, in many languages in many times and places, than they ever
                        let survive. What's the fault of the Norman Conquest is that there
                        weren't _more (and later) copies_, a few of which might have survived.
                        (The Vikings didn't help much there either.)

                        David Bratman
                        -not responsible for the following advertisement-
                      • ERATRIANO@aol.com
                        In a message dated 02/29/2000 11:43:30 AM Eastern Standard Time, Stolzi@aol.com writes: Yes,
                        Message 11 of 27 , Feb 29, 2000
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                          In a message dated 02/29/2000 11:43:30 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                          Stolzi@... writes:

                          << for I quite
                          like Harry, but there =is= a disproportion here. >>
                          Yes, an interesting assortment. I just started Harry the other day. what
                          fun!

                          Lizzie
                        • David Lenander
                          Yes, I agree with you, Mary. I m dubious about the necessity of rewarding Heaney s translation of Beowulf, for that matter. The news report I saw said that
                          Message 12 of 27 , Feb 29, 2000
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                            Yes, I agree with you, Mary. I'm dubious about the necessity of rewarding
                            Heaney's translation of Beowulf, for that matter. The news report I saw said
                            that in part the award recognizes popularity. Personally, I think such an
                            award is pretty silly. The financial reward and popularity ought to be reward
                            enough, and I don't especially begrudge Harry Potter the popularity, but I
                            think awards to call our attention to lesser-known but worthwhile works make
                            more sense. And today is the deadline for e-mailing nominations to Ellie
                            Farrell for the Mythopoeic Scholarship and Fantasy Awards.

                            This morning in the car we were listening to Jane Yolen's _Wizard's Hall_ on an
                            audiotape. Quite similar in some respects to Harry Potter, it's a earlier book
                            that hasn't had near the the notice or readers. I don't know if the story is
                            any better than Harry Potter, it's much shorter and not so breakneck in pacing,
                            and probably written for slightly younger readers, but it is told with more
                            finesse, grace and style by a writer who has mastered her craft on a level
                            towards which Rowlings is still climbing. Quite different from Harry Potter
                            but likewise worthy of more readers are such past winners of the MFA as Diana
                            Wynne Jones' _Dark Lord of Derkholm_ (last year's children's division winner)
                            and Jane Yolen's "Young Merlin" trilogy (winner the year before). Dark Lord
                            seemed to me as much fun as Harry Potter, but much more complex and
                            interesting, and while "Young Merlin" is not a lot of fun, it's strikingly
                            beautiful in its spare, poetic prose and story construction, and full of action
                            in a story that is probably shorter--in all three volumes--than any one of the
                            Harry Potter books. Both of these books are probably aimed at somewhat older
                            readers than Harry Potter's target audience. In saying this, by the way, I'm
                            not disparaging Harry Potter, which I enjoyed, at least the first two books
                            that I've read (my 10-year old daughter and most of her class at school have
                            avidly read all three).

                            Stolzi@... wrote:

                            > From: Stolzi@...
                            >
                            > In a message dated 2/29/00 9:12:51 AM Central Standard Time,
                            > tedsherman@... writes:
                            >
                            > > Also, for the Whitbread
                            > > Prize, which Heaney's translation won, the vote was split: five judges
                            > > voted for Beowulf and four for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of
                            > > Azkhaban.
                            >
                            > Hmm! What exactly does the Whitbread Prize reward?
                            >
                            > What a combo. I won't say "from the sublime to the ridiculous," for I quite
                            > like Harry, but there =is= a disproportion here.
                            >
                            > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            > Show your style! Choose from 6 great card designs when you
                            > apply for Capital One's 9.9% Fixed APR Visa Platinum.
                            > http://click.egroups.com/1/1894/3/_/505012/_/951842337/
                            > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            >
                            > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                          • Ted Sherman
                            Just to keep this on topic (for those who are unaware), Tolkien was Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford (and wasn t he also later Rawlinson Professor
                            Message 13 of 27 , Feb 29, 2000
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                              Just to keep this on topic (for those who are unaware), Tolkien was
                              Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford (and wasn't he also later
                              Rawlinson Professor when at Merton?).

                              "David S. Bratman" wrote:
                              >
                              > From: "David S. Bratman" <dbratman@...>
                              >
                              > When I wrote that there is nothing else like Beowulf in OE literature, I
                              > didn't mean just that there were no other versions of the story of the
                              > man Beowulf. There are some great short poems in OE, but I know of no
                              > other works of creative art in that language remotely comparable to it in
                              > combination of length and quality. If you do, I would like to know of them.
                              >
                              The so-called Caedmonian poems--Genesis (A and B), Exodus, Daniel,
                              Azarias; the Cynewulf poems--Elene, the Fates of the Apostles, Andreas,
                              etc.--as well as Judith (the other poetic piece in Cotton Vitellius
                              A.xv, the Beowulf manuscript): these are all "remotely comparable" in
                              length and quality. The key word, obviously, is "remotely." Then there's
                              some of the fragmentary pieces: Battle of Maldon (simply glorious) and
                              the Finnsbug Fragment.

                              > > Well, England did have its own cycle: the Arthurian cycle. (I know that
                              > > some/much of the Arthurian material comes from France.)
                              >
                              > For Tolkien, the Arthurian cycle didn't count. He said it was
                              > imperfectly naturalized, by which he meant not so much that a great deal
                              > of what we think of as Arthurian comes from Chretien and other French
                              > romancers, but that the whole retains a Celtic air: it isn't English, and
                              > he wanted something English.
                              >
                              Yes, I knew Tolkien didn't count the Arthurian cycle because of its
                              non-native elements as well as its "Celtic air." The problem, however,
                              is with the whole notion of how to define "English." The English
                              are/were an amalgam of native British (read Celtic), Roman soldier
                              immigrants, Germanic invaders, Norse and French invaders, etc. The
                              Celtic air is in the atmosphere of England, just as the Germanic air and
                              French air are.

                              > > The Brut by Layamon could easily be viewed as England's
                              > > Odyssey or Aeneid, especially the latter (since it kind of takes up
                              > > where the Aeneid stops).
                              >
                              > A good point, though the Brut is of course not Old English but Middle
                              > English. It's not the only English work that is in a sense a sequel to
                              > the Aeneid (which certainly seems to have had more of a hold on the
                              > British imagination than it does on mine): Geoffrey of Monmouth's History
                              > (in Latin, unfortunately for the sake of OE literature) also ties in to
                              > the Aeneid, and doesn't "Gawain and the Green Knight" start off with some
                              > references to the Odyssey/Aeneid period? (I don't have a copy here to
                              > check.)
                              >
                              Good point, David, about the Brut being in ME, but keep in mind that
                              there isn't a clear break between Old and Middle English. And much
                              material now in OE was originally written in Latin: Bede's History,
                              Nennius, Gildas, etc.

                              > > > (As for why the English are so bereft, that permits of a three-word
                              > > > oversimpliciation for an answer: the Norman Conquest.)
                              > > >
                              > > Actually, the Norman Conquest is only partially responsible; the main
                              > > culprits, really, are the Vikings and Henry VIII.
                              >
                              > As I said, an oversimplification. While the Vikings and H8 did the
                              > destruction, they and others like them destroyed many more ancient
                              > manuscripts, in many languages in many times and places, than they ever
                              > let survive. What's the fault of the Norman Conquest is that there
                              > weren't _more (and later) copies_, a few of which might have survived.
                              > (The Vikings didn't help much there either.)
                              >
                              Again, I don't know (and I could easily be wrong) that the Norman
                              Conquest is the cause for there not being more and later copies of much
                              OE material. The Normans didn't necessarily lay waste to the monasteries
                              and scriptoria in their conquest of England; they did, however, replace
                              English abbots and bishops with French ones.

                              What the Norman Conquest really did was the screw up the language and
                              spelling of English; but that's another topic.

                              Ted

                              --
                              Dr. Theodore James Sherman
                              Department of English, Box X041
                              College of Liberal Arts
                              Middle Tennessee State University
                              Murfreesboro, TN 37130
                              615 898-5836; FAX 615 898-5098
                              tsherman@...
                              tedsherman@...
                            • David S. Bratman
                              ... Rawlinson _and_ Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, 1925-45, after which he was Merton Professor of English Language and Literature (also at
                              Message 14 of 27 , Feb 29, 2000
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                                On Tue, 29 Feb 2000, Ted Sherman wrote:

                                > Just to keep this on topic (for those who are unaware), Tolkien was
                                > Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford (and wasn't he also later
                                > Rawlinson Professor when at Merton?).

                                Rawlinson _and_ Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford, 1925-45,
                                after which he was Merton Professor of English Language and Literature
                                (also at Oxford, but attached specifically to Merton College); in the
                                latter job he worked mostly on Middle English literature.

                                > > When I wrote that there is nothing else like Beowulf in OE literature, I
                                > > didn't mean just that there were no other versions of the story of the
                                > > man Beowulf. There are some great short poems in OE, but I know of no
                                > > other works of creative art in that language remotely comparable to it in
                                > > combination of length and quality. If you do, I would like to know of them.
                                > >
                                > The so-called Caedmonian poems--Genesis (A and B), Exodus, Daniel,
                                > Azarias; the Cynewulf poems--Elene, the Fates of the Apostles, Andreas,
                                > etc.--as well as Judith (the other poetic piece in Cotton Vitellius
                                > A.xv, the Beowulf manuscript): these are all "remotely comparable" in
                                > length and quality. The key word, obviously, is "remotely." Then there's
                                > some of the fragmentary pieces: Battle of Maldon (simply glorious) and
                                > the Finnsbug Fragment.

                                I know the last two, and they're very short (though good), and I thought
                                Cynewulf's poems were short too. Exodus (which I also know slightly,
                                because Tolkien wrote about it) is much longer, but it's a retelling of
                                the Bible story, so perhaps it doesn't count. (OTOH, who's to say that
                                Beowulf isn't a retelling of something lost? It probably is, come to that.)

                                > Yes, I knew Tolkien didn't count the Arthurian cycle because of its
                                > non-native elements as well as its "Celtic air." The problem, however,
                                > is with the whole notion of how to define "English." The English
                                > are/were an amalgam of native British (read Celtic), Roman soldier
                                > immigrants, Germanic invaders, Norse and French invaders, etc. The
                                > Celtic air is in the atmosphere of England, just as the Germanic air and
                                > French air are.

                                Dorothy Sayers liked to make that point: that the English were not only a
                                mongrel nation, they were uniquely proud of it. That's not how Tolkien
                                viewed things, though. He felt there was a pure Anglo-Saxon strain which
                                he wished to isolate. As Americans, with our melting pot, we're used to
                                things being naturalized as soon as they step off the boat. Many
                                Europeans view things differently (one reason for the xenophobic politics
                                that look so strange to us). "How many years does it take to make a
                                steward a king, if the king return not?" "Few years, maybe, in other
                                lands. In Gondor ten thousand years would not suffice."

                                > Good point, David, about the Brut being in ME, but keep in mind that
                                > there isn't a clear break between Old and Middle English. And much
                                > material now in OE was originally written in Latin: Bede's History,
                                > Nennius, Gildas, etc.

                                A fairly clear break, I think, as far as creative literature is concerned,
                                there being a long gap without much except the Ancrene Wisse, which I
                                believe is clearly ME, though certainly early ME. As for the Latin
                                stuff, precisely because it's in Latin it's not OE literature in the
                                language sense, except insofar as the translations are literature.
                                (Which they are: after all, King Alfred translated Boethius, who wasn't
                                English by nationality let alone language, and that's considered a
                                masterpiece of OE literature.)

                                > Again, I don't know (and I could easily be wrong) that the Norman
                                > Conquest is the cause for there not being more and later copies of much
                                > OE material. The Normans didn't necessarily lay waste to the monasteries
                                > and scriptoria in their conquest of England; they did, however, replace
                                > English abbots and bishops with French ones.

                                I didn't mean that the Normans destroyed things, but by taking over and
                                putting the cultured use of the English language on ice for a couple
                                hundred years, they severely reduced the impetus to make more copies.
                                Considering how very few manuscript copies were made of anything
                                pre-Gutenberg, in any country, and how very fewer of them survived the
                                vicissitudes of the centuries, any marginal difference can be vitally
                                important.

                                David Bratman
                                -not responsible for the following advertisement-
                              • WendellWag@aol.com
                                In a message dated 2/29/00 12:34:09 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... England. To be more precise, there are Whitbread awards for best novel, best first novel,
                                Message 15 of 27 , Feb 29, 2000
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                                  In a message dated 2/29/00 12:34:09 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                                  tedsherman@... writes:

                                  > The Whitbread is for, if I remember correctly, best book of the year in
                                  England.

                                  To be more precise, there are Whitbread awards for best novel, best first
                                  novel, best biography, best book of poetry, and best children's book. Each
                                  of them is worth 2000 pounds, except for children's book, which is worth
                                  10,000 pounds. There is also an overall award chosen from the winners, which
                                  is the book of the year, and this wins 21,000 pounds in addition.

                                  Whitbread, which sponsors the award, is one of the biggest breweries in
                                  England.

                                  See

                                  http://www.whitbread-bookawards.co.uk/

                                  for more information.

                                  Wendell Wagner
                                • Ted Sherman
                                  ... The Battle of Maldon is approximately 350 lines, whereas the Finnsburg fragment is only about 35-40. Why wouldn t a retelling of a Bible story count?
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Feb 29, 2000
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                                    "David S. Bratman" wrote:
                                    >

                                    > > some of the fragmentary pieces: Battle of Maldon (simply glorious) and
                                    > > the Finnsbug Fragment.
                                    >
                                    > I know the last two, and they're very short (though good), and I thought
                                    > Cynewulf's poems were short too. Exodus (which I also know slightly,
                                    > because Tolkien wrote about it) is much longer, but it's a retelling of
                                    > the Bible story, so perhaps it doesn't count. (OTOH, who's to say that
                                    > Beowulf isn't a retelling of something lost? It probably is, come to that.)

                                    The Battle of Maldon is approximately 350 lines, whereas the Finnsburg
                                    fragment is only about 35-40. Why wouldn't a retelling of a Bible story
                                    count? Genesis B contains material based on Genesis, but it also
                                    contains material that John Milton likely used in Paradise Lost. It's as
                                    literary as one can get. Refashioning earlier texts was common
                                    throughout the Anglo-Saxon period--and later.

                                    >
                                    > > Yes, I knew Tolkien didn't count the Arthurian cycle because of its
                                    > > non-native elements as well as its "Celtic air." The problem, however,
                                    > > is with the whole notion of how to define "English." The English
                                    > > are/were an amalgam of native British (read Celtic), Roman soldier
                                    > > immigrants, Germanic invaders, Norse and French invaders, etc. The
                                    > > Celtic air is in the atmosphere of England, just as the Germanic air and
                                    > > French air are.
                                    >
                                    > Dorothy Sayers liked to make that point: that the English were not only a
                                    > mongrel nation, they were uniquely proud of it. That's not how Tolkien
                                    > viewed things, though. He felt there was a pure Anglo-Saxon strain which
                                    > he wished to isolate. As Americans, with our melting pot, we're used to
                                    > things being naturalized as soon as they step off the boat. Many
                                    > Europeans view things differently (one reason for the xenophobic politics
                                    > that look so strange to us). "How many years does it take to make a
                                    > steward a king, if the king return not?" "Few years, maybe, in other
                                    > lands. In Gondor ten thousand years would not suffice."
                                    >
                                    Frankly, I don't see the point of the latter quotations. JRRT might have
                                    wished to isolate a "pure Anglo-Saxon strain" but he needn't have tried.
                                    There wasn't one. Just when the "English" did begin to develop into
                                    their own people and own country, they would be disturbed from Outside.
                                    Those disturbances came from the Vikings, the Normans, and later the
                                    Flemish, Italians, Dutch, etc., from the late Middle Ages on. King
                                    Alfred was probably the closest one could come to a "pure Anglo-Saxon"
                                    but his entire life--almost--was spent confronting the Danes.

                                    > > Good point, David, about the Brut being in ME, but keep in mind that
                                    > > there isn't a clear break between Old and Middle English. And much
                                    > > material now in OE was originally written in Latin: Bede's History,
                                    > > Nennius, Gildas, etc.
                                    >
                                    > A fairly clear break, I think, as far as creative literature is concerned,
                                    > there being a long gap without much except the Ancrene Wisse, which I
                                    > believe is clearly ME, though certainly early ME. As for the Latin
                                    > stuff, precisely because it's in Latin it's not OE literature in the
                                    > language sense, except insofar as the translations are literature.
                                    > (Which they are: after all, King Alfred translated Boethius, who wasn't
                                    > English by nationality let alone language, and that's considered a
                                    > masterpiece of OE literature.)
                                    >
                                    No, not really. There is much early creative material, it's just not
                                    very popular today, nor is it studied or read much because of its
                                    didactic and hagiographic elements. There are early ballads and lyrics,
                                    and a few of the romances (Havelock the Dane comes to mind) are rather
                                    early. Alfred's Boethius is considered a masterpiece of OE literature
                                    precisely because Alfred rendered it into English. Just as Bede's
                                    History is a masterpiece. There are also the riddles, chronicles,
                                    saints' lives and numerous other works that were translated into OE that
                                    are masterpieces of OE prose and/or poetry.

                                    BTW, when I mentioned the break between OE and ME, I was referring more
                                    to the language. Parts of the island probably retained OE well into the
                                    late 12th century, if not the early 13th. The earliest datable document
                                    in ME is the entry for the year 1135 in the Peterborough Chronicle of
                                    the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

                                    > > Again, I don't know (and I could easily be wrong) that the Norman
                                    > > Conquest is the cause for there not being more and later copies of much
                                    > > OE material. The Normans didn't necessarily lay waste to the monasteries
                                    > > and scriptoria in their conquest of England; they did, however, replace
                                    > > English abbots and bishops with French ones.
                                    >
                                    > I didn't mean that the Normans destroyed things, but by taking over and
                                    > putting the cultured use of the English language on ice for a couple
                                    > hundred years, they severely reduced the impetus to make more copies.
                                    > Considering how very few manuscript copies were made of anything
                                    > pre-Gutenberg, in any country, and how very fewer of them survived the
                                    > vicissitudes of the centuries, any marginal difference can be vitally
                                    > important.
                                    >
                                    But copies were being made in the ME period; just look at one of the
                                    volumes in the Index of Middle English Verse to see how many works were
                                    copied. There are numerous copies of Monmouth's History, and they were
                                    all copied in the ME period. There are redactions and redactions of
                                    numerous works, making the lives of us textual editors interesting.
                                    Again, while numerous manuscripts and tales/poetry undoubtedly were
                                    destroyed during the centuries, it is quite amazing, really, that we
                                    have the number of manuscripts that do survive from the OE and ME
                                    periods.

                                    Ted
                                    --
                                    Dr. Theodore James Sherman
                                    Department of English, Box X041
                                    College of Liberal Arts
                                    Middle Tennessee State University
                                    Murfreesboro, TN 37130
                                    615 898-5836; FAX 615 898-5098
                                    tsherman@...
                                    tedsherman@...
                                  • WendellWag@aol.com
                                    In a message dated 2/28/00 6:43:17 PM Eastern Standard Time, ... Huh?
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Mar 1, 2000
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                                      In a message dated 2/28/00 6:43:17 PM Eastern Standard Time,
                                      ERATRIANO@... writes:

                                      > And some antlered lord tales. Why is this figure so elusive?

                                      Huh?
                                    • David S. Bratman
                                      ... I expect because it s not fully naturalized, as Tolkien said of the Arthurian material. Whether it s a re-telling doesn t count. You d have to ask
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Mar 3, 2000
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                                        On Tue, 29 Feb 2000, Ted Sherman wrote:

                                        > Why wouldn't a retelling of a Bible story
                                        > count? Genesis B contains material based on Genesis, but it also
                                        > contains material that John Milton likely used in Paradise Lost. It's as
                                        > literary as one can get. Refashioning earlier texts was common
                                        > throughout the Anglo-Saxon period--and later.

                                        I expect because it's not fully naturalized, as Tolkien said of the
                                        Arthurian material. Whether it's a re-telling doesn't count. You'd have
                                        to ask Tolkien, really; he, not I, was the one who originally said there
                                        was no real Anglo-Saxon mythology, and surely these major OE texts didn't
                                        just slip his mind.

                                        > > He felt there was a pure Anglo-Saxon strain which
                                        > > he wished to isolate. As Americans, with our melting pot, we're used to
                                        > > things being naturalized as soon as they step off the boat. Many
                                        > > Europeans view things differently (one reason for the xenophobic politics
                                        > > that look so strange to us). "How many years does it take to make a
                                        > > steward a king, if the king return not?" "Few years, maybe, in other
                                        > > lands. In Gondor ten thousand years would not suffice."
                                        > >
                                        > Frankly, I don't see the point of the latter quotations. JRRT might have
                                        > wished to isolate a "pure Anglo-Saxon strain" but he needn't have tried.
                                        > There wasn't one. Just when the "English" did begin to develop into
                                        > their own people and own country, they would be disturbed from Outside.
                                        > Those disturbances came from the Vikings, the Normans, and later the
                                        > Flemish, Italians, Dutch, etc., from the late Middle Ages on. King
                                        > Alfred was probably the closest one could come to a "pure Anglo-Saxon"
                                        > but his entire life--almost--was spent confronting the Danes.

                                        The point of the quotation is that, by analogy, mere residence in a
                                        country doesn't make one part of an ethnic group. What you say shows
                                        that there was no time when the Anglo-Saxons had Britain quietly all to
                                        themselves. This is reflected in LOTR when Frodo bristles at the notion
                                        of the Nazgul wandering around in his own Shire. "But it is not your own
                                        Shire," says Gildor. "Others dwelt here before hobbits were; and others
                                        will dwell here again when hobbits are no more. The wide world is all
                                        about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it
                                        out."

                                        So you can't write about hobbits without including their relationship
                                        with other peoples, and indeed Tolkien doesn't. But that doesn't make
                                        hobbits any less of an individual, separable people with their own
                                        traditions and their own customs. And the same is true of the
                                        Anglo-Saxons. However much time they spent interacting with French and
                                        Germans, and however many Celts and Vikings were also occupying Britain,
                                        the Anglo-Saxons were their own people with their own ethnic identity (as
                                        we'd say today), and the heart of England, the land Tolkien loved, was
                                        their own country, even though it hadn't always been, and even though
                                        others might also claim it as their own. (It's not incompatible.)

                                        > > A fairly clear break, I think, as far as creative literature is concerned,
                                        > > there being a long gap without much except the Ancrene Wisse, which I
                                        > > believe is clearly ME, though certainly early ME. As for the Latin
                                        > > stuff, precisely because it's in Latin it's not OE literature in the
                                        > > language sense, except insofar as the translations are literature.
                                        > > (Which they are: after all, King Alfred translated Boethius, who wasn't
                                        > > English by nationality let alone language, and that's considered a
                                        > > masterpiece of OE literature.)
                                        > >
                                        > No, not really. There is much early creative material, it's just not
                                        > very popular today, nor is it studied or read much because of its
                                        > didactic and hagiographic elements. There are early ballads and lyrics,
                                        > and a few of the romances (Havelock the Dane comes to mind) are rather
                                        > early. Alfred's Boethius is considered a masterpiece of OE literature
                                        > precisely because Alfred rendered it into English. Just as Bede's
                                        > History is a masterpiece. There are also the riddles, chronicles,
                                        > saints' lives and numerous other works that were translated into OE that
                                        > are masterpieces of OE prose and/or poetry.

                                        But they're not major works of the _native OE creative imagination_ the
                                        way that Beowulf is (even if what we have is a retelling). That's the
                                        difference. I wouldn't allow my love for the Silmarillion, or the
                                        History of Middle-earth, or Farmer Giles of Ham, to blind me to the fact
                                        that LOTR is Tolkien's single outstanding masterpiece; nor does this
                                        other stuff take away from Beowulf's unique status.

                                        > BTW, when I mentioned the break between OE and ME, I was referring more
                                        > to the language. Parts of the island probably retained OE well into the
                                        > late 12th century, if not the early 13th. The earliest datable document
                                        > in ME is the entry for the year 1135 in the Peterborough Chronicle of
                                        > the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.

                                        No language break is is perfectly sharp, either chronologically or
                                        geographically, but those between OE and ME, and ME and Modern English,
                                        are sharper than most. In any case the OE/ME evolution was long over
                                        before the 14th century which was the time of all the major ME literary
                                        masterpieces. (Yes, I know there was plenty of other literature. I'm
                                        talking about outstanding masterpieces.)

                                        > But copies were being made in the ME period; just look at one of the
                                        > volumes in the Index of Middle English Verse to see how many works were
                                        > copied. There are numerous copies of Monmouth's History, and they were
                                        > all copied in the ME period. There are redactions and redactions of
                                        > numerous works, making the lives of us textual editors interesting.
                                        > Again, while numerous manuscripts and tales/poetry undoubtedly were
                                        > destroyed during the centuries, it is quite amazing, really, that we
                                        > have the number of manuscripts that do survive from the OE and ME
                                        > periods.

                                        The glass is half-full! No, the glass is half-empty!

                                        It would be a lot fuller if the OE literary, linguistic and ecclesiastical
                                        traditions hadn't been so severely disrupted by the Normans. We can be
                                        delighted with what we have, and still note there could have been a lot
                                        more. In particular, as Tolkien noted, there are many OE legendary
                                        figures (Wayland the Smith comes to mind) of whom we know nothing but
                                        their names and a few scraps, but of whom mighty epics were perhaps once
                                        told. No way to be sure.

                                        If there's any distinctively native English mythology that Tolkien
                                        ignored when he made his complaint, it's Robin Hood. But not only is
                                        Robin Hood ME and not OE (thus irrelevant to Lisa's original comment),
                                        but the literature consisted of ballads and other short works, didn't
                                        receive any full-scale treatments until the 19C, and unless you count
                                        Howard Pyle still lacks IMHO a good one.

                                        David Bratman
                                        - not responsible for the following advertisement -
                                      • WendellWag@aol.com
                                        In a message dated 3/3/00 6:18:11 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... So Tolkien wasn t really English, but German like his ancestors (or some of them anyway)?
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Mar 3, 2000
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                                          In a message dated 3/3/00 6:18:11 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                                          dbratman@... writes:

                                          > The point of the quotation is that, by analogy, mere residence in a
                                          > country doesn't make one part of an ethnic group.

                                          So Tolkien wasn't really English, but German like his ancestors (or some of
                                          them anyway)?
                                        • David S. Bratman
                                          ... Man, I m getting it from both sides this week, aren t I? If by his German ancestors, you mean the ones who _weren t_ Anglo-Saxons, and who were responsible
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Mar 3, 2000
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                                            On Fri, 3 Mar 2000 WendellWag@... wrote:

                                            > > The point of the quotation is that, by analogy, mere residence in a
                                            > > country doesn't make one part of an ethnic group.
                                            >
                                            > So Tolkien wasn't really English, but German like his ancestors (or some of
                                            > them anyway)?

                                            Man, I'm getting it from both sides this week, aren't I?

                                            If by his German ancestors, you mean the ones who _weren't_ Anglo-Saxons,
                                            and who were responsible for the name Tolkien, please refer to Letter 95
                                            ("For barring the Tolkien (which must long ago have become a pretty thin
                                            strand) you [CT] are a Mercian or Hwiccian on both sides"), Letter 44
                                            ("Though a Tolkien by name, I am a Suffield by tastes, talents, and
                                            upbringing"), and Letter 165 ("I am neither `foolhardy' not German,
                                            whatever SOME [emphasis added] remote ancestors may have been. They
                                            migrated to England more than 200 years ago, and became quickly intensely
                                            English ... I am in fact far more of a Suffield"). In other words, the
                                            German side was a tiny strand in his ancestry, which would never have
                                            been noticed had it not been the line that provided his surname. In any
                                            case they did naturalize, and it was thus more than mere residence.

                                            If by his German ancestors you mean the fact that the Anglo-Saxons
                                            originally came from Germany, that's reductionist. The point of my
                                            quotation about Gondor and the 10,000 years was that it takes time to
                                            naturalize, a long time. But England isn't Gondor, either, and 1500
                                            years is surely long enough.

                                            David Bratman
                                            - not responsible for the following advertisement -
                                          • WendellWag@aol.com
                                            In a message dated 3/3/00 7:20:01 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... I m sorry if that came out sounding nasty. I didn t mean it as an attack on you. An attack on
                                            Message 21 of 27 , Mar 3, 2000
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                                              In a message dated 3/3/00 7:20:01 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                                              dbratman@... writes:

                                              > Man, I'm getting it from both sides this week, aren't I?

                                              I'm sorry if that came out sounding nasty. I didn't mean it as an attack on
                                              you. An attack on Tolkien, possibly, but not on you.

                                              I was referring to Tolkien's German ancestors, who were 1/64 of his ancestry
                                              (or was it 1/32 or 1/128?). There are Americans who make a big deal of what
                                              country their ancestors immigrated from, even if they immigrated over 200
                                              years ago. There's something a bit odd about an Englishman making a big deal
                                              about his ethnic identity. It's not as odd as an American making a big deal
                                              about his ethnic identity, but it's odd nevertheless.

                                              Maybe my testiness about this comes from having a two-year argument in the
                                              letters column of _Amon Hen_ (the Tolkien Society quarterly newsletter) about
                                              the "Englishness" of _The Lord of the Rings_. There are some T. S. members
                                              who think that the appearance of any American voices in a movie version of
                                              the book would be utter heresy.

                                              Wendell Wagner
                                            • Ted Sherman
                                              David, I also was not attacking you, or JRRT; this is just an instance where I think he was wrong (thankfully, there are very few times where I disagree with
                                              Message 22 of 27 , Mar 3, 2000
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                                                David,

                                                I also was not attacking you, or JRRT; this is just an instance where I
                                                think he was wrong (thankfully, there are very few times where I
                                                disagree with him).

                                                Ted

                                                WendellWag@... wrote:
                                                >
                                                > From: WendellWag@...
                                                >
                                                > In a message dated 3/3/00 7:20:01 AM Eastern Standard Time,
                                                > dbratman@... writes:
                                                >
                                                > > Man, I'm getting it from both sides this week, aren't I?
                                                >
                                                > I'm sorry if that came out sounding nasty. I didn't mean it as an attack on
                                                > you. An attack on Tolkien, possibly, but not on you.
                                                >
                                                > I was referring to Tolkien's German ancestors, who were 1/64 of his ancestry
                                                > (or was it 1/32 or 1/128?). There are Americans who make a big deal of what
                                                > country their ancestors immigrated from, even if they immigrated over 200
                                                > years ago. There's something a bit odd about an Englishman making a big deal
                                                > about his ethnic identity. It's not as odd as an American making a big deal
                                                > about his ethnic identity, but it's odd nevertheless.
                                                >
                                                > Maybe my testiness about this comes from having a two-year argument in the
                                                > letters column of _Amon Hen_ (the Tolkien Society quarterly newsletter) about
                                                > the "Englishness" of _The Lord of the Rings_. There are some T. S. members
                                                > who think that the appearance of any American voices in a movie version of
                                                > the book would be utter heresy.
                                                >
                                                > Wendell Wagner
                                                >
                                                > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
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                                                > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                >
                                                > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org

                                                --
                                                Dr. Theodore James Sherman
                                                Department of English, Box X041
                                                College of Liberal Arts
                                                Middle Tennessee State University
                                                Murfreesboro, TN 37130
                                                615 898-5836; FAX 615 898-5098
                                                tsherman@...
                                                tedsherman@...
                                              • David S. Bratman
                                                ... Americans tend not, however, to make a big deal out of ancestors who were only 1/64th of their ancestry, unless it s something rare and special. I know
                                                Message 23 of 27 , Mar 3, 2000
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                                                  On Fri, 3 Mar 2000 WendellWag@... wrote:

                                                  > I was referring to Tolkien's German ancestors, who were 1/64 of his ancestry
                                                  > (or was it 1/32 or 1/128?). There are Americans who make a big deal of what
                                                  > country their ancestors immigrated from, even if they immigrated over 200
                                                  > years ago. There's something a bit odd about an Englishman making a big deal
                                                  > about his ethnic identity. It's not as odd as an American making a big deal
                                                  > about his ethnic identity, but it's odd nevertheless.

                                                  Americans tend not, however, to make a big deal out of ancestors who were
                                                  only 1/64th of their ancestry, unless it's something rare and special. I
                                                  know people who are 1/64th Amerind, and proud of it.

                                                  Tolkien didn't make a big deal out of his ancestry: these are three
                                                  letters over an entire lifetime! But to the extent that he did, it was
                                                  1) to correct the misapprehension, from his name, that he was German; 2)
                                                  because he loved his homeland and felt a special connection with it.
                                                  There's nothing wrong with that: here in California, people whose
                                                  ancestors have been here for a whole hundred years feel a special sense
                                                  of connectedness which they hold over those of us who've only been here
                                                  for 30 or 40 years; and we, in turn, who can remember Silicon Valley
                                                  before it was called that, and when it was full of orchards, have
                                                  something over the dot-com weenies.

                                                  > Maybe my testiness about this comes from having a two-year argument in the
                                                  > letters column of _Amon Hen_ (the Tolkien Society quarterly newsletter) about
                                                  > the "Englishness" of _The Lord of the Rings_. There are some T. S. members
                                                  > who think that the appearance of any American voices in a movie version of
                                                  > the book would be utter heresy.

                                                  I agree with them!

                                                  David Bratman
                                                  - not responsible for the following advertisement -
                                                • Berni Phillips
                                                  ... Hmmph. Surely they would agree to let Americans voice the orcs! Berni David Bratman is not responsible for the following message: (Just kidding, dear!)
                                                  Message 24 of 27 , Mar 3, 2000
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                                                    ----------
                                                    >From: "David S. Bratman" <dbratman@...>

                                                    >On Fri, 3 Mar 2000 WendellWag@... wrote:

                                                    >> Maybe my testiness about this comes from having a two-year argument in the
                                                    >> letters column of _Amon Hen_ (the Tolkien Society quarterly newsletter) about
                                                    >> the "Englishness" of _The Lord of the Rings_. There are some T. S. members
                                                    >> who think that the appearance of any American voices in a movie version of
                                                    >> the book would be utter heresy.
                                                    >
                                                    >I agree with them!

                                                    Hmmph. Surely they would agree to let Americans voice the orcs!

                                                    Berni
                                                    David Bratman is not responsible for the following message:
                                                    (Just kidding, dear!)
                                                  • David S. Bratman
                                                    ... What, I _am_ responsible for the following message? DB
                                                    Message 25 of 27 , Mar 3, 2000
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                                                      On Fri, 3 Mar 2000, Berni Phillips wrote:

                                                      > David Bratman is not responsible for the following message:
                                                      > (Just kidding, dear!)

                                                      What, I _am_ responsible for the following message? <g>

                                                      DB
                                                    • Ted Sherman
                                                      ... David, Your comment about the orchards brought back a flood of memories of the Santa Clara Valley when it still have more orchards than concrete. I can
                                                      Message 26 of 27 , Mar 3, 2000
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                                                        "David S. Bratman" wrote:
                                                        >
                                                        >and we, in turn, who can remember Silicon Valley
                                                        > before it was called that, and when it was full of orchards, have
                                                        > something over the dot-com weenies.
                                                        >
                                                        David,

                                                        Your comment about the orchards brought back a flood of memories of the
                                                        Santa Clara Valley when it still have more orchards than concrete. I can
                                                        remember looking down over the valley from Skyline or the Saratoga Gap
                                                        and seeing blossoms--plum and apricot--from the Santa Cruz foothills to
                                                        the Mt. Hamilton range.

                                                        Thanks for the jolt to my memory!

                                                        Ted
                                                        --
                                                        Dr. Theodore James Sherman
                                                        Department of English, Box X041
                                                        College of Liberal Arts
                                                        Middle Tennessee State University
                                                        Murfreesboro, TN 37130
                                                        615 898-5836; FAX 615 898-5098
                                                        tsherman@...
                                                        tedsherman@...
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