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Re: [mythsoc] The people for the myth ?

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  • David Bratman
    Lizzie - The English HAD tales and myths. But they got losted. Most of what we know of Norse mythology, for instance, comes from a 13th-century Icelandic
    Message 1 of 22 , Apr 7, 2005
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      Lizzie -

      The English HAD tales and myths. But they got losted.

      Most of what we know of Norse mythology, for instance, comes from a
      13th-century Icelandic Christian with the improbable name of Snorri, who
      had a fondness for those old pagan tales and decided to write this stuff
      down. Then a manuscript survived, which is another big if.

      For various reasons this didn't happen in England. The closest thing to an
      Anglo-Saxon epic myth we have is the adventure story of a hero called
      Beowulf. It survives in a single manuscript, which almost got burned up in
      a fire around 1700. If it had, we wouldn't have it now.

      There are a few casual references here and there in old literature to
      English myths, which are probably analogues of German and Norse myths, but
      we don't know for sure, and we don't know what distinctive features they had.

      Tolkien felt this loss keenly, and dropped references to these myths into
      the Book of Lost Tales. That's why he gave it that title: he was trying to
      recover lost myths of the English. (Well, sort of.)

      DB


      At 03:33 PM 4/6/2005 -0400, you wrote:
      >
      >But I don't get it. If the English are Angles (and Saxons) what about all
      >the lovely Northern tales? They stayed on the Continent I suppose? The
      >household gods of the settled raiders rusted in the British climate?
    • jt_heyman
      ... In a way, that makes me feel sad ... as if an orphan is making up stories about what his parents were really like. No imagined tale can ever really be as
      Message 2 of 22 , Apr 11, 2005
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        David Bratman wrote:
        > There are a few casual references here and there
        > in old literature to English myths, which are
        > probably analogues of German and Norse myths,
        > but we don't know for sure, and we don't know
        > what distinctive features they had.
        >
        > Tolkien felt this loss keenly, and dropped
        > references to these myths into the Book of Lost
        > Tales. That's why he gave it that title: he was
        > trying to recover lost myths of the English.
        > (Well, sort of.)

        In a way, that makes me feel sad ... as if an orphan is making up
        stories about what his parents were really like. No imagined tale
        can ever really be as satisfying as discovering the truth, but
        perhaps it gives a small sense of comfort.

        Perhaps it is that aspect of "Lord of the Rings" that touched so many
        people in America in the 60's: they were isolated from their American
        culture and, due to the cultural losses of becoming American, they
        had no pre-American culture to which they could retreat. "Lord of
        the Rings" gave them a replacement myth around which they could
        gather. (Frodo lives, indeed.) Not what Tolkien intended, perhaps,
        but since his own desire for a replacement myth was one of the seeds
        of the trilogy, I can see how it might have happened.

        (Now, my non-scholarly opinion can be constructively criticized by
        those more learned list members ... I'm curious to see if my view has
        any merits.)
      • David Bratman
        ... It shouldn t: that s why I wrote Well, sort of -- Tolkien wasn t actually trying to reconstruct what the lost myths would have been like. He was trying
        Message 3 of 22 , Apr 11, 2005
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          At 07:02 PM 4/11/2005 +0000, jt_heyman wrote:
          >
          >David Bratman wrote:
          >>That's why he gave it that title: he was
          >> trying to recover lost myths of the English.
          >> (Well, sort of.)
          >
          >In a way, that makes me feel sad ... as if an orphan is making up
          >stories about what his parents were really like. No imagined tale
          >can ever really be as satisfying as discovering the truth, but
          >perhaps it gives a small sense of comfort.

          It shouldn't: that's why I wrote "Well, sort of" -- Tolkien wasn't actually
          trying to reconstruct what the lost myths would have been like. He was
          trying to create a new myth that might take its place. By the time he
          wrote LOTR he had long since given up that idea, but he did succeed anyway:
          except that the nation that adopted his myth wasn't the English but the
          worldwide community of Tolkien enthusiasts. As you note.

          What's sad is that the original myths were lost in the first place, either
          because nobody ever wrote them down or the writings were destroyed (in this
          case, probably some of both).

          David Bratman
        • Mike Foster
          Dear Lutwidgians, I m currently teaching the Ransom trilogy by CSL in my non-Tolkien course in Fantasy Literature. What is the correct pronuciation of
          Message 4 of 22 , Apr 11, 2005
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            Dear Lutwidgians,
            I'm currently teaching the Ransom trilogy by CSL in my non-Tolkien
            course in Fantasy Literature.

            What is the correct pronuciation of "pffifiltriggi" [sp. almost
            certainly], if there is one?

            My guess sounds like Sylvester with a mouthful of Tweety Bird.

            Thanks,
            Mike


            David Bratman wrote:

            >At 07:02 PM 4/11/2005 +0000, jt_heyman wrote:
            >
            >
            >>David Bratman wrote:
            >>
            >>
            >>>That's why he gave it that title: he was
            >>>trying to recover lost myths of the English.
            >>>(Well, sort of.)
            >>>
            >>>
            >>In a way, that makes me feel sad ... as if an orphan is making up
            >>stories about what his parents were really like. No imagined tale
            >>can ever really be as satisfying as discovering the truth, but
            >>perhaps it gives a small sense of comfort.
            >>
            >>
            >
            >It shouldn't: that's why I wrote "Well, sort of" -- Tolkien wasn't actually
            >trying to reconstruct what the lost myths would have been like. He was
            >trying to create a new myth that might take its place. By the time he
            >wrote LOTR he had long since given up that idea, but he did succeed anyway:
            >except that the nation that adopted his myth wasn't the English but the
            >worldwide community of Tolkien enthusiasts. As you note.
            >
            >What's sad is that the original myths were lost in the first place, either
            >because nobody ever wrote them down or the writings were destroyed (in this
            >case, probably some of both).
            >
            >David Bratman
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
            >Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >
            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Stolzi
            This is why reading to oneself is so comforting... I would guess (p)FIFFLE - TRIGGY. As much of the p sound as you can manage (think of Nero Wolfe saying
            Message 5 of 22 , Apr 11, 2005
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              This is why reading to oneself is so comforting...

              I would guess (p)FIFFLE - TRIGGY. As much of the "p" sound as you can
              manage (think of Nero Wolfe saying "Pfui!") and accent the FIF (primary
              accent) and the TRIG. Hard G's.

              Best: find a pfifltrigg and ask him.

              Looking up that singular form, I found that pfifltriggi had crept in, rather
              oddly, to a big fancy Philosophy course.
              Read syllabus here:

              http://www-phil.tamu.edu/Philosophy/Faculty/Stadelmann/251.old.html

              (Don't understand that bit about the Popcorn.)

              I also found two champion dogs whose breeder was obviously a Lewis fan:

              Ketka Pattertwig, CH
              Ketka Pfifltrigg, CH


              Diamond Proudbrook
            • Bonnie Callahan
              Hi Mike: We always pronounced it Fiffle-triggy (accents on first syllables) in discussion groups. Bonnie
              Message 6 of 22 , Apr 11, 2005
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                Hi Mike:

                We always pronounced it "Fiffle-triggy" (accents on first syllables) in
                discussion groups.

                Bonnie

                Mike Foster wrote:

                > Dear Lutwidgians,
                > I'm currently teaching the Ransom trilogy by CSL in my non-Tolkien
                > course in Fantasy Literature.
                >
                > What is the correct pronuciation of "pffifiltriggi" [sp. almost
                > certainly], if there is one?
                >
                > My guess sounds like Sylvester with a mouthful of Tweety Bird.
                >
                > Thanks,
                > Mike
                >
                > David Bratman wrote:
                >
                > >At 07:02 PM 4/11/2005 +0000, jt_heyman wrote:
                > >
                > >
                > >>David Bratman wrote:
                > >>
                > >>
                > >>>That's why he gave it that title: he was
                > >>>trying to recover lost myths of the English.
                > >>>(Well, sort of.)
                > >>>
                > >>>
                > >>In a way, that makes me feel sad ... as if an orphan is making up
                > >>stories about what his parents were really like. No imagined tale
                > >>can ever really be as satisfying as discovering the truth, but
                > >>perhaps it gives a small sense of comfort.
                > >>
                > >>
                > >
                > >It shouldn't: that's why I wrote "Well, sort of" -- Tolkien wasn't actually
                > >trying to reconstruct what the lost myths would have been like. He was
                > >trying to create a new myth that might take its place. By the time he
                > >wrote LOTR he had long since given up that idea, but he did succeed anyway:
                > >except that the nation that adopted his myth wasn't the English but the
                > >worldwide community of Tolkien enthusiasts. As you note.
                > >
                > >What's sad is that the original myths were lost in the first place, either
                > >because nobody ever wrote them down or the writings were destroyed (in this
                > >case, probably some of both).
                > >
                > >David Bratman
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                > >Yahoo! Groups Links
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                > >
                >
                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                >
                >
                > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
                > Yahoo! Groups Links
                >
                >
                >
                >
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