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Re: New Beowulf

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  • 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 1 of 27 , Mar 3 3:24 AM
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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 2 of 27 , Mar 3 4:18 AM
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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 3 of 27 , Mar 3 7:30 AM
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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 4 of 27 , Mar 3 8:08 AM
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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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            --
            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 5 of 27 , Mar 3 5:40 PM
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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 6 of 27 , Mar 3 6:51 PM
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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 7 of 27 , Mar 3 7:37 PM
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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 8 of 27 , Mar 3 9:29 PM
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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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