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Re: [mythsoc] Claims of expertise (was Re: Newest Greenman Review)

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  • Margaret Dean
    ... From my days in the publishing industry I also recall that Anne McCaffrey was extremely generous in the handing out of encomiums to put on book covers.
    Message 1 of 22 , Jul 5, 2004
      Berni Phillips wrote:

      > "Best book I've read all year!" -- Marion Zimmer Bradley ---> seen on
      > so many books it's become a catch phrase in the Bratman household.

      From my days in the publishing industry I also recall that Anne
      McCaffrey was extremely generous in the handing out of encomiums
      to put on book covers.


      --Margaret Dean
      <margdean@...>
    • Jack
      ... What I said was: Now before you run out as a Tolkien fan and purchase the 2002 edition which was released only in Britain by Harper Collins (with a CD of
      Message 2 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
        >More puzzling was Tilendis whining about how boring the scholarly apparatus
        >was. And Jack Merry, reviewer of Swann's _The Road Goes Ever On_, is bored
        >by sheet music. Spare me from the easily bored, or at least spare me from
        >reviews about how easily bored they get.

        What I said was:

        Now before you run out as a Tolkien fan and purchase the 2002 edition which
        was released only in Britain by Harper Collins (with a CD of the songs to
        boot!) be advised that this is mostly sheet music, something that even most
        of the regular members of the Neverending Session in the Green Man Pub
        would find boring. Really boring. But if you're interested in a relatively
        practical look at how some of Tolkien's poetry is as song, this is the book
        for you.

        David, are you a fiddler? Most fiddlers including myself do not find sheet
        music all that exciting. If we did, than such tunes as Simon Jeffe's 'Music
        for a Found Harmonium' would never ahve come to be considered traditional
        by Irish musicians!

        Not everything Tolkien wrote is interesting. This work is a bit of a minor
        fluff.

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Patrick Wynne
        On Jul 7, 2004, at 12:36 PM, Jack wrote, assessing the value of ... The first sentence is a matter of taste; the latter sentence is a bit of major nonsense.
        Message 3 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
          On Jul 7, 2004, at 12:36 PM, Jack wrote, assessing the value of
          _The Road Goes Ever On_:

          > Not everything Tolkien wrote is interesting. This work is a bit of a
          > minor
          > fluff.

          The first sentence is a matter of taste; the latter sentence is a bit
          of major nonsense.

          The scholarly value of Tolkien's linguistic commentaries on
          _Namárië_ and _A Elbereth Gilthoniel_ included at the end
          of RGEO is well known to anybody who has delved into the
          serious study of Tolkien's invented languages. There is much
          information here that is found nowhere else, and RGEO is a
          major text that is regularly cited in linguistic analyses. I should
          know; I've written a lot of them myself.

          To cite one example: RGEO gives a unique version of
          _Namárie_ in which the poem is rearranged in "a clearer
          and more normal style". Comparison of this "Prose
          Namárie" with the poetic original provides an invaluable
          opportunity -- available nowhere else that I know of
          in Tolkien's writings -- to compare poetic word order in
          Quenya with normal, prosaic word order. Whatever
          fiddlers may think of RGEO, to scholars of Tolkien's
          languages the book is anything BUT "minor fluff".

          -- Patrick H. Wynne
        • David Bratman
          ... Oh, are you that Jack? Your e-mail header doesn t give a last name. ... I know a fair number of folk musicians, and they re all happy to learn from sheet
          Message 4 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
            At 01:36 PM 7/7/2004 -0400, Jack wrote:

            >What I said was:

            Oh, are you that Jack? Your e-mail header doesn't give a last name.


            >David, are you a fiddler? Most fiddlers including myself do not find sheet
            >music all that exciting.

            I know a fair number of folk musicians, and they're all happy to learn from
            sheet music if they read music at all. There are plenty of traditional
            Irish fiddle-music books and other traditional folk sheet-music books out
            there, and the folk musicians I know all own plenty of them. And they find
            them pretty interesting books, too. I've never heard a folk musician whine
            about how sheet music is boring. Instead, their interest is in taking
            those printed notes and bringing them alive through their playing. You
            must know a quite different circle of folk musicians than I do.

            If you don't read music and learn everything aurally, that's OK too; but
            then you'd be musically illiterate and therefore as incompetent to review a
            book of sheet music as a person who doesn't read French would be to review
            a book written in French.

            _The Road Goes Ever On_ isn't particularly interesting as Irish fiddle
            music, but then it's not Irish fiddle music. It's a classical art-song
            cycle with piano, a totally different musical tradition, and it should be
            judged as one. If you don't like that kind of music, then say so. But
            that's not because sheet music as such is boring.


            >If we did, than such tunes as Simon Jeffe's 'Music
            >for a Found Harmonium' would never ahve come to be considered traditional
            >by Irish musicians!

            I'm not sure how that follows.

            Are you saying that they consider it traditional because they learned it
            aurally and therefore didn't know where it came from? If they read Patrick
            Street's CD liner notes, they'd know.

            Or are you saying that if they had only come across it in sheet music, they
            would have ignored it because sheet music is boring?


            >Not everything Tolkien wrote is interesting. This work is a bit of a minor
            >fluff.

            As a book by Tolkien, _The Road Goes Ever On_ is a collection of reprinted
            poems, with some attractive calligraphy, and it should be judged as such.
            As such, it is not "minor fluff."

            As a work by Swann, it is sheet music of a song cycle, and should be judged
            as such. As such, it is not "minor fluff" either.

            If you're going to review a book for something it's not intended to be, why
            not review it for its usefulness at swatting flies? As such, _Road Goes
            Ever On_, a lightweight tome with a big flat surface, is very useful indeed.


            - David Bratman
          • David Bratman
            At 01:09 PM 7/7/2004 -0500, Patrick Wynne wrote ... Oh yeah, and it s got that linguistic (and Middle-earth historical) stuff in the back, too. - David Bratman
            Message 5 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
              At 01:09 PM 7/7/2004 -0500, Patrick Wynne wrote ...

              Oh yeah, and it's got that linguistic (and Middle-earth historical) stuff
              in the back, too.

              - David Bratman
            • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
              Who is Verlyn Flieger? thanks Lizzie Elizabeth Apgar Triano lizziewriter@earthlink.net amor vincit omnia
              Message 6 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
                Who is Verlyn Flieger?

                thanks

                Lizzie

                Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                lizziewriter@...
                amor vincit omnia
              • Anne Petty
                ...why not review it for its usefulness at swatting flies? As such, _Road Goes Ever On_, a lightweight tome with a big flat surface, is very useful indeed.
                Message 7 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
                  "...why not review it for its usefulness at swatting flies? As such,
                  _Road Goes Ever On_, a lightweight tome with a big flat surface, is
                  very useful indeed."

                  > - David Bratman

                  David, you absolutely stop me in my tracks sometimes - thanks for
                  giving me my first howling laugh of the day!

                  Anne Petty
                  acp@...
                • Michael Martinez
                  ... [snipping to get to the point] ... I don t agree. It is an expression of opinion, or preference. It is also an endorsement, but anyone is free to endorse
                  Message 8 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
                    --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, David Bratman <dbratman@e...> wrote:
                    > At 06:52 AM 7/7/2004 -0400, Jack wrote:
                    >
                    > >Grey never claimed to be a Tolkien expert, just a fan.
                    >
                    > On the contrary.

                    [snipping to get to the point]

                    > But Walker didn't say that. Walker said, "If you only have one
                    > reference book on Tolkien on your shelf, it ought to be this one."
                    >
                    > That IS a claim of being a Tolkien expert. It states that the
                    > writer has a thorough knowledge and has made a considered judgment
                    > of the entire field.

                    I don't agree. It is an expression of opinion, or preference. It is
                    also an endorsement, but anyone is free to endorse anything. Idiots
                    and fools make endorsements on every topic every day. Experts do,
                    too. In almost any given field of study, you pretty much have to be
                    or become an expert in order to weed out the informed (unsupported)
                    opinions from the uninformed ones (regardless of whether the latter
                    offer support).
                  • Michael Martinez
                    ... It is a very good resource for the study of the mythological world itself, not simply the linguistics. There are historical and cultural details in this
                    Message 9 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
                      --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Patrick Wynne <pwynne@g...> wrote:
                      > On Jul 7, 2004, at 12:36 PM, Jack wrote, assessing the value of
                      > _The Road Goes Ever On_:
                      >
                      > > Not everything Tolkien wrote is interesting. This work is a bit of a
                      > > minor
                      > > fluff.
                      >
                      > The first sentence is a matter of taste; the latter sentence is a bit
                      > of major nonsense.
                      >
                      > The scholarly value of Tolkien's linguistic commentaries on
                      > _Namárië_ and _A Elbereth Gilthoniel_ included at the end
                      > of RGEO is well known to anybody who has delved into the
                      > serious study of Tolkien's invented languages. There is much
                      > information here that is found nowhere else, and RGEO is a
                      > major text that is regularly cited in linguistic analyses. I should
                      > know; I've written a lot of them myself.

                      It is a very good resource for the study of the mythological world
                      itself, not simply the linguistics. There are historical and cultural
                      details in this book which are found nowhere else.

                      So, I would strongly agree that THE ROAD GOES EVER ON is anything but
                      fluff.
                    • Berni Phillips
                      From: David Bratman ... I don t know who this Jack Merry is (I read the review, too), but if he s bored by sheet music, he s no
                      Message 10 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
                        From: "David Bratman" <dbratman@...>
                        >
                        > And Jack Merry, reviewer of Swann's _The Road Goes Ever On_, is bored
                        > by sheet music. Spare me from the easily bored, or at least spare me from
                        > reviews about how easily bored they get.

                        I don't know who this Jack Merry is (I read the review, too), but if he's
                        bored by sheet music, he's no musician! I would much rather have a copy of
                        the sheet music than recorded music. I find it quite helpful not to have
                        someone else's interpretation (many of which I dislike anyway) of music. I
                        much prefer the source.

                        Berni
                      • Berni Phillips
                        From: Jack ... Music ... David s not but I am. But you re talking about traditional folk music and _The Road Goes Ever On_ is
                        Message 11 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
                          From: "Jack" <jack@...>

                          > David, are you a fiddler? Most fiddlers including myself do not find sheet
                          > music all that exciting. If we did, than such tunes as Simon Jeffe's
                          'Music
                          > for a Found Harmonium' would never ahve come to be considered traditional
                          > by Irish musicians!

                          David's not but I am. But you're talking about traditional folk music and
                          _The Road Goes Ever On_ is *art song*, a whole other genre of music.

                          It's more like Shubert -- you must look at the original source, both text
                          and music. See how the composer set it. In art song, the piano and voice
                          are partners -- Schubert was really the first to make them equal partners in
                          his lieder. Listen to his "Gretchen am Spinnrade" and you can hear the
                          piano filling in the emotional moods in places where the text has broken.
                          After the singer sings about his kiss, the spinning wheel accompaniment of
                          the piano stops and makes a few tentative starts, unable to get back to
                          business, as it were. After a few measures, both singer and piano are back
                          on the main theme. This is the tradition which Swann is working in.

                          Berni

                          P.S. "Erlkoenig" is very mythopoeic, too.
                        • Berni Phillips
                          From: Michael Martinez ... Best book I ve read all year! -- Marion Zimmer Bradley --- seen on so many books it s become a catch
                          Message 12 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
                            From: "Michael Martinez" <Michaelm@...>
                            >
                            > It is also an endorsement, but anyone is free to endorse anything. Idiots
                            > and fools make endorsements on every topic every day. Experts do,
                            > too. In almost any given field of study, you pretty much have to be
                            > or become an expert in order to weed out the informed (unsupported)
                            > opinions from the uninformed ones (regardless of whether the latter
                            > offer support).

                            "Best book I've read all year!" -- Marion Zimmer Bradley ---> seen on so
                            many books it's become a catch phrase in the Bratman household.

                            Berni
                          • dianejoy@earthlink.net
                            A wonderful writer and scholar on the Inklings. The work I know of hers best is *Splintered Light: Logos and Light in Tolkien s World.* It s published by
                            Message 13 of 22 , Jul 7, 2004
                              A wonderful writer and scholar on the Inklings. The work I know of hers
                              best is *Splintered Light: Logos and Light in Tolkien's World.* It's
                              published by Eerdman's in Grand Rapids, MI. An Amazon search may net you
                              some of her later work.

                              Original Message:
                              -----------------
                              From: Elizabeth Apgar Triano lizziewriter@...
                              Date: Wed, 7 Jul 2004 14:41:05 -0400
                              To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Newest Greenman Review


                              Who is Verlyn Flieger?

                              thanks

                              Lizzie

                              Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                              lizziewriter@...
                              amor vincit omnia






                              The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
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