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Re: [mythsoc] American Northernness

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  • David Bratman
    There s one significant difference between Tolkien trying to write an Anglo-Saxon myth and someone doing the same for the Inuit. The difference is, Tolkien was
    Message 1 of 14 , May 4, 2005
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      There's one significant difference between Tolkien trying to write an
      Anglo-Saxon myth and someone doing the same for the Inuit.

      The difference is, Tolkien was himself of Anglo-Saxon descent, so were most
      of his immediate readers, and many of who aren't are at least steeped in
      English culture. Whereas very few Americans, or even Canadians, are Inuit.
      There's a distance there, and it's harder to overcome. (Not to say that
      it can't be: myths have been known to reach people very alien from them,
      and Tolkien has been appreciated by people who know nothing of England -
      but he seems to be being appreciated in a very different way.)

      Now's the time to capture Inuit culture, though, as we're so busy melting
      their landscape.

      DB
    • Mike Foster
      Does anyone of translations of Tolkien into any Native American languages, please? Responding to a scholarly query.... Thanks, Mike
      Message 2 of 14 , May 4, 2005
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        Does anyone of translations of Tolkien into any Native American
        languages, please?

        Responding to a scholarly query....

        Thanks,
        Mike

        Elizabeth Apgar Triano wrote:

        >OK, a rambling post, yup
        >
        >(Did I already post my theory/query about how neat it would be if another
        >Tolkienesque genius came along and did for the New World continents what he
        >did for the UK? It could probably be done, but it wouldn't be easy.) The
        >land itself, and the nations before the Europeans came. Much mythic stuff
        >there, and it is being treated all the time, sure, but generally in a
        >specific or regional way. Or in a meaningless mishmash New Age way. The
        >matere is there, all we need is the genius to synthesize it.
        >
        >Now, I am still rolling with the New World theory, and I have recently
        >"discovered" Nunavut, the Canadian Inuit territory. The Inuit language has
        >its own Cyrillic characters, made me think of runes... and its own world
        >and language. I mean, it's not just translation, like going from French to
        >Spanish. There is a whole vista of "New World Northernness" (shades of
        >Sedna!) available out there.
        >
        >Lizzie
        >
        >Elizabeth Apgar Triano
        >lizziewriter@...
        >amor vincit omnia
        >www.lizziewriter.com
        >www.danburymineralogicalsociety.org
        >
        >
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        >
        >
        >The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
        >Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
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      • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
        Yeah, I just read that it was derived from a shorthand symbol set. How unromantic. But perhaps I was reading outdated info. Someone had sent me an image of
        Message 3 of 14 , May 4, 2005
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          Yeah, I just read that it was derived from a shorthand symbol set. How
          unromantic. But perhaps I was reading outdated info. Someone had sent me
          an image of a Nunavut first day cover, and called it "Cyrillic" and I just
          copied their usage. I will keep reading.

          thanks

          Lizzie

          Elizabeth Apgar Triano
          lizziewriter@...
          amor vincit omnia
          www.lizziewriter.com
          www.danburymineralogicalsociety.org


          > [Original Message]
          > From: <alexeik@...>
          > To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
          > Date: 5/4/2005 3:32:21 PM
          > Subject: Re: [mythsoc] American Northernness
          >
          >
          > In a message dated 5/4/5 7:21:04 PM, Lizzie wrote:
          >
          > <<The Inuit language has
          > its own Cyrillic characters, made me think of runes.>>
          >
          > The Inuit of Nunavut don't use Cyrillic characters, they use a syllabary
          that
          > was devised specifically for their language.
          > Alexei
          >
        • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
          *koff* Very good. Hm, yes, in the case of Tolkien, the Anglo invaders became the dominant force, as the Europeans did here, and he was recreating a mythos for
          Message 4 of 14 , May 4, 2005
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            *koff* Very good.

            Hm, yes, in the case of Tolkien, the Anglo invaders became the dominant
            force, as the Europeans did here, and he was recreating a mythos for that
            people, the way one might make one for the "melting pot." But I'd rather
            hear about the Celts and the Native Americans.

            Well, if we want all the oil and diamonds under those glaciers, we gotta
            get rid of them somehow.

            Lizzie

            Elizabeth Apgar Triano
            lizziewriter@...
            amor vincit omnia
            www.lizziewriter.com
            www.danburymineralogicalsociety.org


            > [Original Message]
            > From: David Bratman <dbratman@...>
            > To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
            > Date: 5/4/2005 3:38:36 PM
            > Subject: Re: [mythsoc] American Northernness
            >
            > There's one significant difference between Tolkien trying to write an
            > Anglo-Saxon myth and someone doing the same for the Inuit.
            >
            > The difference is, Tolkien was himself of Anglo-Saxon descent, so were
            most
            > of his immediate readers, and many of who aren't are at least steeped in
            > English culture. Whereas very few Americans, or even Canadians, are
            Inuit.
            > There's a distance there, and it's harder to overcome. (Not to say that
            > it can't be: myths have been known to reach people very alien from them,
            > and Tolkien has been appreciated by people who know nothing of England -
            > but he seems to be being appreciated in a very different way.)
            >
            > Now's the time to capture Inuit culture, though, as we're so busy melting
            > their landscape.
            >
            > DB
            >
          • WendellWag@aol.com
            In a message dated 5/4/2005 11:19:14 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, lizziewriter@earthlink.net writes: Hm, yes, in the case of Tolkien, the Anglo invaders became
            Message 5 of 14 , May 4, 2005
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              In a message dated 5/4/2005 11:19:14 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,
              lizziewriter@... writes:

              Hm, yes, in the case of Tolkien, the Anglo invaders became the dominant
              force, as the Europeans did here, and he was recreating a mythos for that
              people, the way one might make one for the "melting pot."


              The point is that Tolkien was at least partly descended from the peoples
              whose mythology he was trying to recreate. Most English people, with the
              exception of those whose ancestors obviously immigrated to England in the past
              century (mostly those of South Asian or Afro-Caribbean ancestry), have both
              Celtic and Anglo-Saxon (and probably Norman French) ancestry. Tolkien could thus
              be said to be recreating a mythos that he had some cultural and genetic
              connection to. It's hard to see how 95% of present-day North Americans could
              possibly be able to claim that they were recreating their "own" mythos if they
              were to attempt to recreate the mythology of the native peoples of North
              America.

              Wendell Wagner


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • David Bratman
              ... Tolkien wasn t intending a mythos for the melting pot. He was intending one for his people, the English. That others have enjoyed it is wonderful, but it
              Message 6 of 14 , May 4, 2005
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                At 04:51 PM 5/4/2005 -0400, Lizzie wrote:

                >Hm, yes, in the case of Tolkien, the Anglo invaders became the dominant
                >force, as the Europeans did here, and he was recreating a mythos for that
                >people, the way one might make one for the "melting pot."

                Tolkien wasn't intending a mythos for the melting pot. He was intending
                one for his people, the English. That others have enjoyed it is wonderful,
                but it wasn't his original intent back in 1916.

                >But I'd rather
                >hear about the Celts and the Native Americans.

                Don't look to Tolkien for either of those (except a little Welsh linguistic
                influence in Sindarin). He was rather put out at an early reader's
                description of the Silmarillion's "eye-splitting Celtic names." He
                replied, "Needless to say [the names] are not Celtic! Neither are the
                tales. I do know Celtic things (many in their original languages Irish and
                Welsh), and feel for them a certain distate," and he goes on to explain why
                (Letters p. 26). At another time he said his aim was to achieve "the fair
                elusive beauty that some call Celtic, though it is rarely found in genuine
                ancient Celtic things." (Letters p. 144)

                David Bratman
              • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                OK OK never mind. If anyone is interested in discussing how the idea COULD be done instead of how it could NOT be done, I ll see you on DisaffectedMythies.
                Message 7 of 14 , May 5, 2005
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                  OK OK never mind. If anyone is interested in discussing how the idea COULD
                  be done instead of how it could NOT be done, I'll see you on
                  DisaffectedMythies. Tolkien was a wonderful, wonderful genius, but I have
                  to hope that there will be others of his stature.

                  thanks,

                  Lizzie

                  Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                  lizziewriter@...
                  amor vincit omnia
                  www.lizziewriter.com
                  www.danburymineralogicalsociety.org
                • Croft, Janet B.
                  Well, I could see a mythology related more to a place than a people, which might be appropriate for a primarily immigrant population like that of North
                  Message 8 of 14 , May 5, 2005
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                    Well, I could see a mythology related more to a place than a people,
                    which might be appropriate for a primarily immigrant population like
                    that of North America. As a nation we don't have a unified mythology of
                    "a people" to call on, but we do have concepts like "the West" or "the
                    Frontier" or "the Colonies", more tied to a place than a people. So why
                    not "the Great White North" -- and there probably is a mythos of sorts
                    out there, since the phrase exists -- maybe Canadian and not as familiar
                    to us south of the border. I think Orson Scott Card's Alvin Maker
                    series might have touched on this, as well as Neil Gaiman's "American
                    Gods", but it's been too long since I've read either. And IIRC Kim
                    Stanly Robinson's Mars trilogy had some speculation on mythology of
                    place for Mars, drawing on Bradbury.


                    Janet Brennan Croft

                    -----Original Message-----
                    From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf
                    Of Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                    Sent: Thursday, May 05, 2005 8:09 AM
                    To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                    Subject: Re: [mythsoc] American Northernness

                    OK OK never mind. If anyone is interested in discussing how the idea
                    COULD be done instead of how it could NOT be done, I'll see you on
                    DisaffectedMythies. Tolkien was a wonderful, wonderful genius, but I
                    have to hope that there will be others of his stature.

                    thanks,

                    Lizzie

                    Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                    lizziewriter@...
                    amor vincit omnia
                    www.lizziewriter.com
                    www.danburymineralogicalsociety.org






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                  • alexeik@aol.com
                    In a message dated 5/5/5 7:45:30 PM, Lizzie wrote:
                    Message 9 of 14 , May 5, 2005
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                      In a message dated 5/5/5 7:45:30 PM, Lizzie wrote:

                      <<OK OK never mind. If anyone is interested in discussing how the idea COULD
                      be done instead of how it could NOT be done, >>

                      Actually, someone who *is* doing it is Orson Scott Card, in his "Alvin Maker"
                      series. He's doing it not by cannibalising the mythologies of culturally
                      alien Native peoples but by imagining an alternative America in which the great
                      themes that have been perceived (and given mythic resonance) in accounts of
                      American history are articulated in a different way that highlights their value as
                      myth.
                      Alexei
                    • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                      Splendid! Thank you, Alexei! I think I read one of those books early on, or a short story, and I always meant to get back to them. Orson Scott Card is a
                      Message 10 of 14 , May 6, 2005
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                        Splendid! Thank you, Alexei! I think I read one of those books early on,
                        or a short story, and I always meant to get back to them. Orson Scott Card
                        is a master storyteller isn't he? What's his background?

                        Lizzie

                        Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                        lizziewriter@...
                        amor vincit omnia
                        www.lizziewriter.com
                        www.danburymineralogicalsociety.org


                        > [Original Message]
                        > From: <alexeik@...>
                        > To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                        > Date: 5/5/2005 4:04:31 PM
                        > Subject: Re: Re: [mythsoc] American Northernness
                        >
                        >
                        > In a message dated 5/5/5 7:45:30 PM, Lizzie wrote:
                        >
                        > <<OK OK never mind. If anyone is interested in discussing how the idea
                        COULD
                        > be done instead of how it could NOT be done, >>
                        >
                        > Actually, someone who *is* doing it is Orson Scott Card, in his "Alvin
                        Maker"
                        > series. He's doing it not by cannibalising the mythologies of culturally
                        > alien Native peoples but by imagining an alternative America in which the
                        great
                        > themes that have been perceived (and given mythic resonance) in accounts
                        of
                        > American history are articulated in a different way that highlights their
                        value as
                        > myth.
                        > Alexei
                        >
                      • Stolzi
                        ... From: Elizabeth Apgar Triano ... Card ... Mormon (Latter Day Saints) - a church very focused upon events on the N. American
                        Message 11 of 14 , May 6, 2005
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                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "Elizabeth Apgar Triano" <lizziewriter@...>


                          > Splendid! Thank you, Alexei! I think I read one of those books early on,
                          > or a short story, and I always meant to get back to them. Orson Scott
                          Card
                          > is a master storyteller isn't he? What's his background?


                          Mormon (Latter Day Saints) - a church very focused upon events on the N.
                          American continent.

                          Diamond Proudbrook
                        • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                          OK. Does he have a profession other than writer-of-stories I guess should have been my question. Although yes that is a relevant answer, certes. I am
                          Message 12 of 14 , May 6, 2005
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                            OK. Does he have a profession other than writer-of-stories I guess should
                            have been my question. Although yes that is a relevant answer, certes. I
                            am thinking, like, David Brin (physicist), Isaac Asimov (some kind of
                            sciencey background), C.S. Friedman (stage costuming, etc.), J.R.R. Tolkien
                            (philologist).

                            Lizzie

                            Elizabeth Apgar Triano
                            lizziewriter@...
                            amor vincit omnia
                            www.lizziewriter.com
                            www.danburymineralogicalsociety.org
                            >
                            > Mormon (Latter Day Saints) - a church very focused upon events on the N.
                            > American continent.
                            >
                            > Diamond Proudbrook
                            >
                            >
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