Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: New Beowulf

Expand Messages
  • ERATRIANO@aol.com
    In a message dated 02/29/2000 11:43:30 AM Eastern Standard Time, Stolzi@aol.com writes: Yes,
    Message 1 of 27 , Feb 29, 2000
    • 0 Attachment
      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 2 of 27 , Feb 29, 2000
      • 0 Attachment
        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 3 of 27 , Feb 29, 2000
        • 0 Attachment
          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 4 of 27 , Feb 29, 2000
          • 0 Attachment
            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 5 of 27 , Feb 29, 2000
            • 0 Attachment
              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 6 of 27 , Feb 29, 2000
              • 0 Attachment
                "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 7 of 27 , Mar 1, 2000
                • 0 Attachment
                  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 8 of 27 , Mar 3, 2000
                  • 0 Attachment
                    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 9 of 27 , Mar 3, 2000
                    • 0 Attachment
                      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 10 of 27 , Mar 3, 2000
                      • 0 Attachment
                        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 11 of 27 , Mar 3, 2000
                        • 0 Attachment
                          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 12 of 27 , Mar 3, 2000
                          • 0 Attachment
                            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
                            >
                            > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            > DON'T HATE YOUR RATE!
                            > Get a NextCard Visa, in 30 seconds! Get rates as low as
                            > 0.0% Intro or 9.9% Fixed APR and no hidden fees.
                            > Apply NOW!
                            > http://click.egroups.com/1/2120/3/_/505012/_/952097429/
                            > ------------------------------------------------------------------------
                            >
                            > 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 13 of 27 , Mar 3, 2000
                            • 0 Attachment
                              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 14 of 27 , Mar 3, 2000
                              • 0 Attachment
                                ----------
                                >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 15 of 27 , Mar 3, 2000
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  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 16 of 27 , Mar 3, 2000
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    "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@...
                                  Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.