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Re: New Beowulf

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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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          --
          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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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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