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Re: [mythsoc] Re: mythology for England

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  • Walter Padgett
    Congradulations, Jason. You have pinched the _flea_ that Stenstrom, Anders Stenström so carefully identified way back in 1992, which is about 15 years ago. No
    Message 1 of 28 , Nov 27, 2006
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      Congradulations, Jason.

      You have pinched the _flea_ that Stenstrom, Anders Stenström so
      carefully identified way back in 1992, which is about 15 years ago.
      No wonder nobody knows that his "theory (probably correct) about how
      the misquote" _may_ "have entered into common usage (pointing to his
      paper in the Proceedings of the 1992 Centenary Conference)" . This
      issue, the issue of where the (exact) phrase actually comes from was
      _scientifically_ and objectively resolved in Stenström's short but
      excellent article. He is the hero, but you have to understand that
      Textual Criticism is an objective science, not theory or (as Bratman
      would say) "quibble" that can be argued back and forth. It is
      something as simple as the _rule_ for when to use one quote ' instead
      of two quotes " when quoting someone who is quoting someone (and the
      confusion that can and does surround such instances in all of academic
      writing) which seeded and sprouted the vast and amazing world of
      criticism surrounding the phrase "_Tolkien's Art: A Mythology for
      England_ by Jane Chance Nitzsche."

      As a light, as a single star of Varda, she came to me. Not through
      some obscure discussion within an incomprehensible (to me as a
      _budding_ Tolkien scholar) biography, a _masterful_ handling of
      Tolkien's life and work (Carpenter's).

      But it is through the picking out and the opening up and the reading
      of the full title of Chance's first book, regardless of any of its
      further content, that I (and many, many others in this world) first
      became aware of the notion that Tolkien wrote a myth for everyone who
      speaks English.

      Wow!

      I defend her not as a scholar, but as a mother, of sorts. I defend
      her diligent acts and the valiance of her struggle in the face of so
      many nay-sayers.

      Tolkien lives! And this in part because of the tireless work of Jane
      Chance, PhD., Rice Univ., Houston, Texas.
      http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~jchance/

      She needs no defense. Nor would I essay to offer one.

      http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~jchance/

      Thanks, Walter./crazywalter....


      On 11/27/06, Jason Fisher <visualweasel@...> wrote:
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > > Jason - Did you? Very good. I hope someday to see this book, to which I contributed
      > > a fair amount I followed your advice to write to that person at the publisher, and got
      > > back an auto-reply saying she's out till later this week.
      >
      > Thanksgiving delays, no doubt; but having been successful myself, I'm sure you will be, too. If Taylor & Francis has basically decided that "encyclopedias aren't profitable," then as far as I'm concerned, they may as well pass out their 800 (instead of 2500) copies to the contributors and others who really care about *this* encyclopedia.
      >
      > > Did you cite Letter no. 180 to "Mr Thompson"? That contains the phrase "present
      > > them [the English] with a mythology of their own," which to my mind is a clearer
      > > indication of his intent in this respect than the more commonly cited paragraph from
      > > the Waldman letter.
      >
      > I did indeed, David. I also cited the Waldman letter, but I led off with the Thompson letter as the stronger, closer evidence. I also summarized Anders Stenström's theory (probably correct) about how the misquote may have entered into common usage (pointing to his paper in the Proceedings of the 1992 Centenary Conference).
      >
      > Jason Fisher
      >
    • William Cloud Hicklin
      OK, could somebody post a summary of the Stenstrom Theory so the rest of us know what you re talking about?
      Message 2 of 28 , Nov 28, 2006
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        OK, could somebody post a summary of the Stenstrom Theory so the
        rest of us know what you're talking about?
      • Walter Padgett
        Hi William, Thanks for your valuable questions and comments. I have written about this issue in my soon to be published MA thesis. Jason Fisher has contributed
        Message 3 of 28 , Nov 28, 2006
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          Hi William,

          Thanks for your valuable questions and comments.

          I have written about this issue in my soon to be published MA thesis.
          Jason Fisher has contributed the summary in his encyclopedia articles.
          The Stenstrom [sic] article can be found in the Mythopoeic Society
          journal _Mythlore_ and you can find more info about it on the mythsoc
          and related websites. The most recent critical treatments will be
          made available soon, I am sure.

          Thanks, Walter.

          On 11/28/06, William Cloud Hicklin <solicitr@...> wrote:
          >
          > OK, could somebody post a summary of the Stenstrom Theory so the
          > rest of us know what you're talking about?
          >
          > The Mythopoeic Society website http://www.mythsoc.org
          >
        • Jason Fisher
          ... Anders could probably summarize himself better than I can, but here s a short excerpt from my Mythology for England Encyclopedia entry: Birth of the Term
          Message 4 of 28 , Nov 28, 2006
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            --- William Cloud Hicklin <solicitr@...> wrote:
            > OK, could somebody post a summary of the Stenstrom Theory so
            > the rest of us know what you're talking about?

            Anders could probably summarize himself better than I can, but here's a short excerpt from my "Mythology for England" Encyclopedia entry:

            Birth of the Term

            A �mythology for England��this must surely be the most
            often cited quotation that Tolkien never actually said (at
            least, it is nowhere recorded that he ever said it). The
            genesis of the term occurs in Humphrey Carpenter�s bio-
            graphy of Tolkien, where he refers explicitly to Tolkien�s
            �desire to create a mythology for England� (italics original).
            .... [snip] .... But how did Carpenter�s term become the
            Tolkien misquote that it is today? Anders Stenstr�m lays
            out a convincing reconstruction of how it may have hap-
            pened, the key point being the misapplication of single
            quotation marks to the term in the biography�s index
            (whether Carpenter�s or the publisher�s doing, we do not
            know). Because the term was shown in quotation marks,
            like the one other (legitimate) Tolkien quote referenced
            in the index, it was subsequently accepted by many as a
            bona fide quotation and not an invention.
            But while Tolkien may never have put down this exact
            phrase, we can be relatively certain he would have accepted
            it, just as we can be sure that the creation of a so-called
            mythology for England was indeed one of his early goals ....

            This should at least give you a sufficient context for following the thread of the discussion. The citation, in case you want to look it up, is:

            Stenstr�m, Anders. �A Mythology? For England?� In
            Proceedings of the Tolkien Centenary Conference 1992
            (Mallorn 33 / Mythlore 80). Ed. by Patricia Reynolds
            and Glen H. GoodKnight: 310-314.

            Best,
            Jason Fisher

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • William Cloud Hicklin
            ... here s a short excerpt from my Mythology for England ... Thanks, Jason. Now I rather shamefacedly see that my previous (forewarded) post was an extended
            Message 5 of 28 , Nov 28, 2006
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              --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Jason Fisher <visualweasel@...>
              wrote:
              >
              > --- William Cloud Hicklin <solicitr@...> wrote:
              > > OK, could somebody post a summary of the Stenstrom Theory so
              > > the rest of us know what you're talking about?
              >
              > Anders could probably summarize himself better than I can, but
              here's a short excerpt from my "Mythology for England"
              Encyclopedia entry:
              > [snip]

              Thanks, Jason. Now I rather shamefacedly see that my previous
              (forewarded) post was an extended restatement of the obvious. In
              my defense, I can say that I was unfamiliar with the secondary
              lit, and worked out half the problem on my own!
            • Jason Fisher
              ... Don t worry about it, William. There s nothing inherently wrong with repaving old ground; it makes the path that much easier for everybody else to follow.
              Message 6 of 28 , Nov 29, 2006
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                > Thanks, Jason. Now I rather shamefacedly see that my previous
                > (forewarded) post was an extended restatement of the obvious. In
                > my defense, I can say that I was unfamiliar with the secondary
                > lit, and worked out half the problem on my own!

                Don't worry about it, William. There's nothing inherently wrong with repaving old ground; it makes the path that much easier for everybody else to follow. :)
              • John D Rateliff
                ... One important additional point not made in the excerpt is that Anders doesn t just trace the history of the term; he rejects the idea that Tolkien ever set
                Message 7 of 28 , Nov 29, 2006
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                  >> --- William Cloud Hicklin <solicitr@...> wrote:
                  >>> OK, could somebody post a summary of the Stenstrom Theory so
                  >>> the rest of us know what you're talking about?


                  >>> --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Jason Fisher <visualweasel@...>
                  >>> wrote:
                  >> Anders could probably summarize himself better than I can, but
                  > here's a short excerpt from my "Mythology for England"
                  > Encyclopedia entry:
                  >> [snip]
                  >
                  > On Nov 28, 2006, at 8:20 PM, William Cloud Hicklin wrote:
                  > Thanks, Jason. Now I rather shamefacedly see that my previous
                  > (forewarded) post was an extended restatement of the obvious. In
                  > my defense, I can say that I was unfamiliar with the secondary
                  > lit, and worked out half the problem on my own!


                  One important additional point not made in the excerpt is that Anders
                  doesn't just trace the history of the term; he rejects the idea that
                  Tolkien ever set out to create a mythology for England or that the
                  legendarium can be called a 'mythology'. He admits that the stories
                  have mythological elements but claims this is backdrop, distinct from
                  the legends or stories themselves. Unfortunately for his argument,
                  Tolkien himself describes the whole legendarium as his "mythology" in
                  his Denys Gueroult interview, which Anders does not cite. My own
                  position is that if the exact phrase "a mythology for England" was
                  Carpenter's coinage, it was an inspired and accurate description of
                  Tolkien's aims when he started, but this remains a contentious point
                  for many.

                  Re. working out a problem on yr own: there are few things more
                  important than for scholars to go back from time to time and re-
                  examine the conventional wisdom. At the very least, you wind up with
                  a good first-hand knowledge of the evidence supporting that point; in
                  some cases you might realize there are some serious gaps in the
                  evidence and come up with a completely new perspective on the issue.
                  That's how I came to realize that Carpenter was almost certainly
                  wrong when he claimed Tolkien abandoned THE HOBBIT in an unfinished
                  state and only wrote the conclusion years later. What's often
                  dismissed as "reinventing the wheel" is in fact the experience of a
                  new wheelwright learning his or her craft.

                  --JDR
                  current reading: DID GOD HAVE A WIFE?: ARCHEOLOGY & FOLK RELIGION IN
                  ANCIENT ISRAEL by Wm Dever
                • John D Rateliff
                  Earlier this week saw that a new book I d been on the look-out for is finally on the shelves: THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF BEOWULF, CHAMPION OF MIDDLE EARTH,
                  Message 8 of 28 , Nov 29, 2006
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                    Earlier this week saw that a new book I'd been on the look-out for is
                    finally on the shelves: THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF BEOWULF, CHAMPION
                    OF MIDDLE EARTH, edited by Brian Thomsen, who is probably best-known
                    to folks here as compiler of HALFLINGS, HOBBITS, WARROWS & WEEFOLK.
                    This collection reprints an old 19th century translation of BEOWULF
                    along with four new stories of B's "futher adventures"--think of
                    these as "Beowulf: The Lost Episodes", two of which are by friends of
                    mine (Wolfgang Baur and Jeff Grubb; the other two are by Ed Greenwood
                    and Lynn Abbey). However, interspersed between each story is a
                    snippet from Thomsen's framing story, about a visit by Guy Burgess to
                    Tolkien in 1936, with the notorious spy attempting to recruit JRRT
                    for his network. From the quick glance I took at it it looks as if
                    there's a pretty significant historical glitch, in that Burgess seems
                    to be representing the Nazis here while in real life he was a
                    Communist mole within the British intelligentsia and intelligence
                    service. But even that pales for me against the magnitude of the
                    blunder in Owen's HERE, THERE BE DRAGONS where JRRT at one point has
                    to admit, shamefaced, that he can't actually read Old English or even
                    Latin because he cdn't see the point of learning dead languages when
                    there was a war going on. That pretty much sunk Owen to the bottom of
                    the barrel for me, along with the recent spate of books portraying
                    Conan Doyle as Holmes-like. I assume that at some point someone's
                    going to use JRRT as a character or supporting character and more or
                    less get it right, but looks like we'll have to wade through a lake
                    of dreck to get there.

                    --JRRT
                  • Jason Fisher
                    Very well said, John. ... From: John D Rateliff One important additional point not made in the excerpt is that Anders doesn t just
                    Message 9 of 28 , Nov 29, 2006
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                      Very well said, John.

                      ----- Original Message ----
                      From: John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...>

                      One important additional point not made in the excerpt is that Anders
                      doesn't just trace the history of the term; he rejects the idea that
                      Tolkien ever set out to create a mythology for England or that the
                      legendarium can be called a 'mythology'. He admits that the stories
                      have mythological elements but claims this is backdrop, distinct from
                      the legends or stories themselves. Unfortunately for his argument,
                      Tolkien himself describes the whole legendarium as his "mythology" in
                      his Denys Gueroult interview, which Anders does not cite. My own
                      position is that if the exact phrase "a mythology for England" was
                      Carpenter's coinage, it was an inspired and accurate description of
                      Tolkien's aims when he started, but this remains a contentious point
                      for many.

                      Re. working out a problem on yr own: there are few things more
                      important than for scholars to go back from time to time and re-
                      examine the conventional wisdom. At the very least, you wind up with
                      a good first-hand knowledge of the evidence supporting that point; in
                      some cases you might realize there are some serious gaps in the
                      evidence and come up with a completely new perspective on the issue.
                      That's how I came to realize that Carpenter was almost certainly
                      wrong when he claimed Tolkien abandoned THE HOBBIT in an unfinished
                      state and only wrote the conclusion years later. What's often
                      dismissed as "reinventing the wheel" is in fact the experience of a
                      new wheelwright learning his or her craft.

                      --JDR
                      current reading: DID GOD HAVE A WIFE?: ARCHEOLOGY & FOLK RELIGION IN
                      ANCIENT ISRAEL by Wm Dever
                    • David Bratman
                      ... Sir, I do not know what has caused you to criticize me in this manner. I have not dismissed the point as a quibble; rather, I was the first person in this
                      Message 10 of 28 , Nov 29, 2006
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                        At 11:15 PM 11/27/2006 -0500, Walter Padgett wrote:

                        >Stenström ... is the hero, but you have to understand that
                        >Textual Criticism is an objective science, not theory or (as Bratman
                        >would say) "quibble" that can be argued back and forth.

                        Sir, I do not know what has caused you to criticize me in this manner. I
                        have not dismissed the point as a quibble; rather, I was the first person
                        in this discussion to point out tht "mythology for England" is not a known
                        Tolkien quote. And I also said that while many - including myself, Jason
                        Fisher, and Jane Chance - hold that the phrase is, even if not a quote, a
                        fair summary of Tolkien's expressed intent, the position is not
                        uncontroversial. And it is in fact Strenström, whom you call "the hero,"
                        who is the primary advocate of the other point of view, as John Rateliff
                        has observed.

                        By the way, you don't mean Textual Criticism, which is a not an exact
                        science at all, but one requiring vast amounts of deduction, inference, and
                        even guesswork. What you mean are the rules of citation, which are indeed
                        exact. And while different systems of rules exist, they're all the same on
                        the point of quotation. However, there are still several points of
                        confusion, most specifically here:

                        >It is
                        >something as simple as the _rule_ for when to use one quote ' instead
                        >of two quotes " when quoting someone who is quoting someone (and the
                        >confusion that can and does surround such instances in all of academic
                        >writing) which seeded and sprouted the vast and amazing world of
                        >criticism surrounding the phrase "_Tolkien's Art: A Mythology for
                        >England_ by Jane Chance Nitzsche."

                        Both Carpenter's biography and the original edition of _Tolkien's Art_ use
                        single quote marks around the phrase not because they are
                        quoting-within-quotes (whch would require triple quote marks) but because
                        they're using British rather than American punctuation style, in which
                        primary quotes use single rather than double marks. But, as on a previous
                        occasion, I'm not quite sure what you mean here: your prose is not always
                        intelligible to a poor Earthling like myself.

                        I am most amused by your pose as a knight errant defending the honor of
                        your liege lady, Prof. Chance. But the rest of us are going to go on
                        judging the quality of her work by the quality of her work, not by whether
                        you have her token pinned to your sleeve.

                        David Bratman
                      • "Beregond. Anders Stenström"
                        This may be the moment to de-lurk, in answer to several recent posts. ... My surname is Stenström, which is a big deal since the Swedish ö , unlike the
                        Message 11 of 28 , Nov 30, 2006
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                          This may be the moment to de-lurk, in answer to several recent
                          posts.

                          William Cloud Hicklin wrote:

                          >OK, could somebody post a summary of the Stenstrom Theory so
                          >the rest of us know what you're talking about?

                          My surname is Stenström, which is a big deal since the
                          Swedish "ö", unlike the German look-alike, is not a variant
                          "o" but a separate letter (the last one in the Swedish
                          alphabet).

                          Jason Fisher wrote:

                          > Anders could probably summarize himself better than I can,

                          Not really: the quoted encyclopedia entry seems to hit it.

                          John D Rateliff wrote:

                          > One important additional point not made in the excerpt is that Anders
                          > doesn't just trace the history of the term; he rejects the idea that
                          > Tolkien ever set out to create a mythology for England or that the
                          > legendarium can be called a 'mythology'. He admits that the stories
                          > have mythological elements but claims this is backdrop, distinct from
                          > the legends or stories themselves. Unfortunately for his argument,
                          > Tolkien himself describes the whole legendarium as his "mythology" in
                          > his Denys Gueroult interview, which Anders does not cite.

                          This does not quite hit it. I will try to make myself clearer
                          in the following.
                          The word _mythology_ is capable of a range of meanings, and the
                          legendarium *can* be called a mythology; at times Tolkien (I think)
                          uses the word in that way. I forgot the interview, but even so I
                          did cite places that show this. According to what I wrote, there are
                          54 instances in _Letters_ of his using "mythology" in relation to his
                          own works, and in 17 of those instances, the sense seems to be
                          'invention; nexus of imaginary tales, epic corpus; construction', and
                          thus applicable to the legendarium as a whole or any part of it. I
                          quote his calling the tale of Beren and Lúthien "the kernel of the
                          mythology", and the placing of Mordor a "narrative and geographical
                          necessity, within my 'mythology'".

                          Larry Swain wrote:

                          > his descriptions of this "cycle of interconnected legends" that he
                          > thought to compose "for my homeland" is as near to the phrase as one
                          > can get without actually using it.

                          Here is a crucial point for me. The words in the Waldman letter,
                          "a more or less connected body of legend, ranging from the large and
                          cosmogonic, to the level of romantic fairy-story", seem to me a good
                          description of what he actually created, and thus a good surmise
                          about what he intended to create; and the word _legendarium_ wraps
                          it up very well.
                          But _mythology_ in a central sense refers to what Tolkien here
                          calls "the large and cosmogonic" (and in 27 of the 54 instances in
                          _Letters_ he seems to be using the term with that reference).
                          Tolkien's mythology, in this sense, is an essential and highly
                          interesting element of his legendarium. If we use _mythology_ about
                          the legendarium, what word do we use about the mythology?

                          Chivalrous greetings,

                          Beregond, Anders Stenström
                        • Beth Russell
                          ... Apparently he did. Am now reading The Hebrew Goddess by Raphael Patai, which traces the concept of God s wife in Jewish thought from early near Eastern
                          Message 12 of 28 , Nov 30, 2006
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                            >--JDR
                            >current reading: DID GOD HAVE A WIFE?: ARCHEOLOGY & FOLK RELIGION IN
                            >ANCIENT ISRAEL by Wm Dever

                            Apparently he did. Am now reading "The Hebrew Goddess" by Raphael
                            Patai, which traces the concept of God's wife in Jewish thought from
                            early near Eastern and early Hebrew sources through the Kabbalists to
                            the present day. Great reading! Especially for someone interested in
                            Galadriel / Varda / Ungoliant / Shelob.
                            Cheers,
                            Beth



                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • William Cloud Hicklin
                            ... My apologies, Anders: I ve gotten out of the habit of using diacritics on the Internet: first, because Usenet servers and newsreaders generally make a hash
                            Message 13 of 28 , Nov 30, 2006
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                              --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Beregond. Anders
                              Stenström" <beregond@...> wrote:
                              >

                              >
                              > My surname is Stenström, which is a big deal since the
                              > Swedish "ö", unlike the German look-alike, is not a variant
                              > "o" but a separate letter (the last one in the Swedish
                              > alphabet).
                              >

                              My apologies, Anders: I've gotten out of the habit of using
                              diacritics on the Internet: first, because Usenet servers
                              and newsreaders generally make a hash of them, and, second,
                              because unlike my old Mac this PC makes them very
                              inconvenient. But in future on this board I'll include them.

                              -Bill
                            • Walter Padgett
                              Or Durga Dourga for the Hindu Religion, I am assuming...
                              Message 14 of 28 , Nov 30, 2006
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                                Or Durga "Dourga" for the Hindu Religion, I am assuming...

                                On 11/30/06, Beth Russell <russells@...> wrote:

                                >
                                > Apparently he did. Am now reading "The Hebrew Goddess" by Raphael
                                > Patai, which traces the concept of God's wife in Jewish thought from
                                > early near Eastern and early Hebrew sources through the Kabbalists to
                                > the present day. Great reading! Especially for someone interested in
                                > Galadriel / Varda / Ungoliant / Shelob.
                                > Cheers,
                                > Beth
                                >
                                >
                              • Larry Swain
                                ... Hello Anders, Delighted that you ve delurked! I think the problem lies in our definitions and nomenclature. For example, do we call the Bible mythology
                                Message 15 of 28 , Nov 30, 2006
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                                  Anders wrote:


                                  >
                                  > Larry Swain wrote:
                                  >
                                  > > his descriptions of this "cycle of interconnected legends" that
                                  > > he thought to compose "for my homeland" is as near to the phrase
                                  > > as one can get without actually using it.
                                  >
                                  > Here is a crucial point for me. The words in the Waldman letter,
                                  > "a more or less connected body of legend, ranging from the large and
                                  > cosmogonic, to the level of romantic fairy-story", seem to me a good
                                  > description of what he actually created, and thus a good surmise
                                  > about what he intended to create; and the word _legendarium_ wraps
                                  > it up very well.
                                  > But _mythology_ in a central sense refers to what Tolkien here
                                  > calls "the large and cosmogonic" (and in 27 of the 54 instances in
                                  > _Letters_ he seems to be using the term with that reference).
                                  > Tolkien's mythology, in this sense, is an essential and highly
                                  > interesting element of his legendarium. If we use _mythology_ about
                                  > the legendarium, what word do we use about the mythology?

                                  Hello Anders,

                                  Delighted that you've delurked! I think the problem lies in our definitions and nomenclature. For example, do we call the Bible "mythology" or legendarium? The sagas? Beowulf? The Eddas? The Aeneid or Odyssey? All of these larger works include aspects that are "strictly" mythological in a narrow, literary sense, and things that are legendary in a narrow, literary sense, things that are historical, and the thing is that all these mythological, legendary, historical, and narrative elements not only simply exist side by side in a particular work or collection of works, but at the same time flow in and out of one another consistently. As unsatisfactory in some ways as calling Tolkien's Middle Earth works a "mythology" is, I'm not sure that calling it a "legendarium" really works any better.

                                  Larry Swain

                                  --
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                                • Walter Padgett
                                  Well.... This is amusing, indeed. Thanks for so many compliments, Mr. Bratman. Our cursory discussions her have been more than funny. They have edified me
                                  Message 16 of 28 , Nov 30, 2006
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                                    Well.... This is amusing, indeed. Thanks for so many compliments, Mr.
                                    Bratman.

                                    Our cursory discussions her have been more than funny.

                                    They have edified me throughout my struggle.

                                    You 'da man.

                                    Walter.


                                    On 11/29/06, David Bratman <dbratman@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > At 11:15 PM 11/27/2006 -0500, Walter Padgett wrote:
                                    >
                                    > >Stenström ... is the hero, but you have to understand that
                                    > >Textual Criticism is an objective science, not theory or (as Bratman
                                    > >would say) "quibble" that can be argued back and forth.
                                    >
                                    > Sir, I do not know what has caused you to criticize me in this manner. I
                                    > have not dismissed the point as a quibble; rather, I was the first person
                                    > in this discussion to point out tht "mythology for England" is not a known
                                    > Tolkien quote. And I also said that while many - including myself, Jason
                                    > Fisher, and Jane Chance - hold that the phrase is, even if not a quote, a
                                    > fair summary of Tolkien's expressed intent, the position is not
                                    > uncontroversial. And it is in fact Strenström, whom you call "the hero,"
                                    > who is the primary advocate of the other point of view, as John Rateliff
                                    > has observed.
                                    >
                                    > By the way, you don't mean Textual Criticism, which is a not an exact
                                    > science at all, but one requiring vast amounts of deduction, inference,
                                    > and
                                    > even guesswork. What you mean are the rules of citation, which are indeed
                                    > exact. And while different systems of rules exist, they're all the same on
                                    > the point of quotation. However, there are still several points of
                                    > confusion, most specifically here:
                                    >
                                    > >It is
                                    > >something as simple as the _rule_ for when to use one quote ' instead
                                    > >of two quotes " when quoting someone who is quoting someone (and the
                                    > >confusion that can and does surround such instances in all of academic
                                    > >writing) which seeded and sprouted the vast and amazing world of
                                    > >criticism surrounding the phrase "_Tolkien's Art: A Mythology for
                                    > >England_ by Jane Chance Nitzsche."
                                    >
                                    > Both Carpenter's biography and the original edition of _Tolkien's Art_ use
                                    > single quote marks around the phrase not because they are
                                    > quoting-within-quotes (whch would require triple quote marks) but because
                                    > they're using British rather than American punctuation style, in which
                                    > primary quotes use single rather than double marks. But, as on a previous
                                    > occasion, I'm not quite sure what you mean here: your prose is not always
                                    > intelligible to a poor Earthling like myself.
                                    >
                                    > I am most amused by your pose as a knight errant defending the honor of
                                    > your liege lady, Prof. Chance. But the rest of us are going to go on
                                    > judging the quality of her work by the quality of her work, not by whether
                                    > you have her token pinned to your sleeve.
                                    >
                                    > David Bratman
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >


                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Walter Padgett
                                    ... science at all, but one requiring vast amounts of deduction, inference, and even guesswork. What you mean are the rules of citation, which are indeed
                                    Message 17 of 28 , Nov 30, 2006
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                                      On 11/29/06, David Bratman <dbratman@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >By the way, you don't mean Textual Criticism, which is a not an exact
                                      science at all, but one requiring vast amounts of deduction, inference, and
                                      even guesswork. What you mean are the rules of citation, which are indeed
                                      exact. And while different systems of rules exist, they're all the same on
                                      the point of quotation. However, there are still several points of
                                      confusion, most specifically here:

                                      >It is something as simple as the _rule_ for when to use one quote ' instead
                                      >of two quotes " when quoting someone who is quoting someone (and the
                                      >confusion that can and does surround such instances in all of academic
                                      >writing) which seeded and sprouted the vast and amazing world of
                                      >criticism surrounding the phrase "_Tolkien's Art: A Mythology for
                                      >England_ by Jane Chance Nitzsche."

                                      Both Carpenter's biography and the original edition of _Tolkien's Art_ use
                                      single quote marks around the phrase not because they are
                                      quoting-within-quotes (whch would require triple quote marks) but because
                                      they're using British rather than American punctuation style, in which
                                      primary quotes use single rather than double marks. But, as on a previous
                                      occasion, I'm not quite sure what you mean here: your prose is not always
                                      intelligible to a poor Earthling like myself.
                                      ------------------

                                      Yes, David.

                                      Thanks. This is new to me. It will be helpful in the future. I
                                      recite your explanation not only for myself, but for its value in a
                                      continuing discussion of Anders Stenstrom's [sic] quest into the
                                      resolution of the question of the way "myth" can operate through texts
                                      to localize linguistically connected experiences, and provide ground
                                      upon which mere Earthlings can communicate meaningfully, within a
                                      context familiar to others.

                                      I really do think of Stenström as a hero, for his critical focus
                                      apprehended the most minute issue, the exact fulcrum, if you will,
                                      upon which my understanding of the larger discussions of "A Mythology
                                      for England" can be balanced, if only within the context of my own
                                      understanding.

                                      To be grounded in the rules with which Textual Criticism is concerned
                                      is, to me, a safe place from which to defend. A "Helm's Deep" that at
                                      once gives quarter to attackers while offering shelter and resistance
                                      within in its many coloured caves to the rear.

                                      A metaphor, if you like. Even if it is a little over the top.

                                      Thanks, Walter.
                                    • "Beregond. Anders Stenström"
                                      ... No need for an apology; I only wished to clarify the proper spelling of my surname, as some uncertainty seemed to be expressed in some earlier message in
                                      Message 18 of 28 , Nov 30, 2006
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                                        William Cloud Hicklin wrote:

                                        > My apologies, Anders: I've gotten out of the habit of using
                                        > diacritics on the Internet: first, because Usenet servers
                                        > and newsreaders generally make a hash of them, and, second,
                                        > because unlike my old Mac this PC makes them very
                                        > inconvenient.

                                        No need for an apology; I only wished to clarify the
                                        proper spelling of my surname, as some uncertainty seemed
                                        to be expressed in some earlier message in the thread.
                                        Many Swedes that go abroad and write home using foreign
                                        keyboards also give up and use "o" for "ö". But more
                                        properly, it may be transliterated by "oe".

                                        Chivalrously,

                                        Beregond
                                      • "Beregond. Anders Stenström"
                                        ... Right; and so in Tolkien s works. ... That is a point. The historical meaning of _legendarium_ is, I think, a collection of saints lives . But I suppose
                                        Message 19 of 28 , Dec 1, 2006
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                                          Larry Swain wrote:

                                          > Delighted that you've delurked! I think the problem lies in our
                                          > definitions and nomenclature. For example, do we call the Bible
                                          > "mythology" or legendarium? The sagas? Beowulf? The Eddas? The Aeneid or
                                          > Odyssey? All of these larger works include aspects that are "strictly"
                                          > mythological in a narrow, literary sense, and things that are legendary
                                          > in a narrow, literary sense, things that are historical, and the thing
                                          > is that all these mythological, legendary, historical, and narrative
                                          > elements not only simply exist side by side in a particular work or
                                          > collection of works, but at the same time flow in and out of one another
                                          > consistently.

                                          Right; and so in Tolkien's works.

                                          > As unsatisfactory in some ways as calling Tolkien's Middle
                                          > Earth works a "mythology" is, I'm not sure that calling it a
                                          > "legendarium" really works any better.

                                          That is a point. The historical meaning of _legendarium_ is,
                                          I think, 'a collection of saints' lives'. But I suppose the word
                                          is now so exotic that that sense does not interfere much, while
                                          it sounds fitting as a label for the kind of thing Tolkien
                                          produced. It works better than _mythology_ by being unfamiliar: it
                                          makes fewer false suggestions. If it overemphasizes the legendary
                                          element, well, that is a point against _legendarium_, but not a
                                          point in favour of _mythology_.
                                          Another of Tolkien's terms for what he did, that I also like
                                          to use, is _feigned history_; it is in fact on the whole more
                                          historical than legendary in kind.
                                          (There is also the word _matter_, as in the "Matters" of Rome,
                                          Britain, and Charlemagne; but it is perhaps a bit awkward.)

                                          I also repeat my question: if we use _mythology_ about the
                                          legendarium, what word do we use about the mythology? Tolkien's
                                          whatchamacallit contains a lot of mythology (both in chunks and
                                          blended into the rest), and I think we will want to talk about
                                          that and will need the word for that purpose.

                                          Chivalrously,

                                          Beregond
                                        • Wayne G. Hammond
                                          ... I m afraid that I have a problem accepting that the placing of a phrase in quotation marks in an index, indeed buried in an index as a
                                          Message 20 of 28 , Dec 1, 2006
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                                            Jason wrote:

                                            > But how did Carpenter’s term become the
                                            > Tolkien misquote that it is today? Anders Stenström lays
                                            > out a convincing reconstruction of how it may have hap-
                                            > pened, the key point being the misapplication of single
                                            > quotation marks to the term in the biography’s index
                                            > (whether Carpenter’s or the publisher’s doing, we do not
                                            > know). Because the term was shown in quotation marks,
                                            > like the one other (legitimate) Tolkien quote referenced
                                            > in the index, it was subsequently accepted by many as a
                                            > bona fide quotation and not an invention.
                                            > But while Tolkien may never have put down this exact
                                            > phrase, we can be relatively certain he would have accepted
                                            > it, just as we can be sure that the creation of a so-called
                                            > mythology for England was indeed one of his early goals ....

                                            I'm afraid that I have a problem accepting that the placing of a phrase in
                                            quotation marks in an index, indeed buried in an index as a
                                            sub-sub-sub-reference, could cause readers -- who as a rule don't take much
                                            notice of indexes except at need -- to take it as Tolkien's own words. I
                                            would say, rather, that Carpenter's coinage proved so apt that one can't
                                            help but repeat it.

                                            In regard to the certainty of "a mythology for England" as one of Tolkien's
                                            early goals -- "early" being a relative term -- Carpenter in the Biography
                                            (p. 59 of the first edition) at first cautiously suggests that "perhaps"
                                            Tolkien was already thinking of it while an Oxford undergraduate, and later
                                            writes of it more as a matter of fact. The basis of his first comment,
                                            however, is a paper on the Kalevala that Tolkien read to college societies
                                            at Oxford, in which he refers to the mythology found in the Finnish poems.
                                            Carpenter quoted: "'These mythological ballads,' he said, 'are full of that
                                            very primitive undergrowth that the literature of Europe has on the whole
                                            been steadily cutting and reducing for many centuries with different and
                                            earlier completeness among different people.' And he added: 'I would that
                                            we had more of it left -- something of the same sort that belonged to the
                                            English.'"

                                            "The implication", Christina has written, "is that these words come from
                                            the paper that Tolkien wrote and delivered at Oxford in 1914 and 1915 --
                                            words which have been frequently quoted in association with the earliest
                                            poems of his 'Silmarillion' mythology, and as written before he commenced
                                            The Book of Lost Tales in which the history of the Elves has close ties
                                            with England. Although a variant of his first sentence ('These mythological
                                            ballads . . .') is in the paper as first written, the second ['I would that
                                            we had more . . .']" appears only in a revised version of most of his
                                            Kalevala lecture which Tolkien made in the early 1920s and delivered
                                            probably to an audience at Leeds -- "after Tolkien had written and
                                            abandoned The Book of Lost Tales. He may, then, have thought about creating
                                            a 'mythology for England' in 1914, but he did not write 'I would that we
                                            had more of it left -- something of the same sort that belonged to the
                                            English' until nearly a decade later" (The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and
                                            Guide, vol. 2, p. 441, based on study of Tolkien's Kalevala papers at the
                                            Bodleian).

                                            Beregond wrote:

                                            >But _mythology_ in a central sense refers to what Tolkien here
                                            >calls "the large and cosmogonic" (and in 27 of the 54 instances in
                                            >_Letters_ he seems to be using the term with that reference).
                                            >Tolkien's mythology, in this sense, is an essential and highly
                                            >interesting element of his legendarium. If we use _mythology_ about
                                            >the legendarium, what word do we use about the mythology?

                                            "Mythology" will do for both, if understood in context.

                                            Wayne Hammond


                                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          • auricdor
                                            Heh. Sir, you ve caught me out. The fact that the story is a fictionalization hasn t kept me from attempting to adhere to as many factual aspects of my chosen
                                            Message 21 of 28 , Dec 1, 2006
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                                              Heh. Sir, you've caught me out.

                                              The fact that the story is a fictionalization hasn't kept me from
                                              attempting to adhere to as many factual aspects of my chosen
                                              protagonists as I could manage - however, as you point out, my
                                              presentation of his abilities (at that point in his life) was clumsily
                                              worded.

                                              I'd compressed certain aspects of his academic attitudes and
                                              performance (as I'd interpreted them), and re-presented them in my
                                              fictional version - but I think you're dead on with your specific
                                              criticism. All I can guess (at this point, nearing completion of the
                                              second book), is that for that moment in the story, I was serving the
                                              immediate dramatic purpose more than thinking of the fidelity of a
                                              straight presentation of real facts.

                                              Certainly, I'd never intended to have the book taken as academic in
                                              any way - my H.G. Wells is ENTIRELY fictionalized, for example, at a
                                              time HE was still living as well - and to that end have gently pointed
                                              out that my story is more about John, Jack, and Charles, than it is
                                              Tolkien, Lewis, and Williams (if you see my distinction). And I did
                                              telegraph this in the first chapter, by having them retire to 221B
                                              Baker Street - which does not, in fact, exist.

                                              Still, I regret that you didn't enjoy my book, and I hope that you'll
                                              give the next one a look come October, to see if it might better suit
                                              your taste.

                                              Best regards,

                                              James A. Owen





                                              --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              > Earlier this week saw that a new book I'd been on the look-out for is
                                              > finally on the shelves: THE FURTHER ADVENTURES OF BEOWULF, CHAMPION
                                              > OF MIDDLE EARTH, edited by Brian Thomsen, who is probably best-known
                                              > to folks here as compiler of HALFLINGS, HOBBITS, WARROWS & WEEFOLK.
                                              > This collection reprints an old 19th century translation of BEOWULF
                                              > along with four new stories of B's "futher adventures"--think of
                                              > these as "Beowulf: The Lost Episodes", two of which are by friends of
                                              > mine (Wolfgang Baur and Jeff Grubb; the other two are by Ed Greenwood
                                              > and Lynn Abbey). However, interspersed between each story is a
                                              > snippet from Thomsen's framing story, about a visit by Guy Burgess to
                                              > Tolkien in 1936, with the notorious spy attempting to recruit JRRT
                                              > for his network. From the quick glance I took at it it looks as if
                                              > there's a pretty significant historical glitch, in that Burgess seems
                                              > to be representing the Nazis here while in real life he was a
                                              > Communist mole within the British intelligentsia and intelligence
                                              > service. But even that pales for me against the magnitude of the
                                              > blunder in Owen's HERE, THERE BE DRAGONS where JRRT at one point has
                                              > to admit, shamefaced, that he can't actually read Old English or even
                                              > Latin because he cdn't see the point of learning dead languages when
                                              > there was a war going on. That pretty much sunk Owen to the bottom of
                                              > the barrel for me, along with the recent spate of books portraying
                                              > Conan Doyle as Holmes-like. I assume that at some point someone's
                                              > going to use JRRT as a character or supporting character and more or
                                              > less get it right, but looks like we'll have to wade through a lake
                                              > of dreck to get there.
                                              >
                                              > --JRRT
                                              >
                                            • John D Rateliff
                                              Hi James. Welcome to the list. Sorry for my earlier bluntness. Having now seen the interview on TheOneRing, I see that this isn t a story about Tolkien, Lewis,
                                              Message 22 of 28 , Dec 1, 2006
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                                                Hi James. Welcome to the list.
                                                Sorry for my earlier bluntness. Having now seen the interview on
                                                TheOneRing, I see that this isn't a story about Tolkien, Lewis, &
                                                Williams at all but fantasy-world analogues to them, which is quite a
                                                different thing, more like Kreeft's BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL. If I'd
                                                understood that up-front when reading the book, I think my reaction
                                                would have been different -- I know I wasn't put out by Orson Scott
                                                Card's fantastically unfaithful take on Wm Blake in RED PROPHET
                                                because it was clear from the start that this wasn't just alternate
                                                history but outright fantasy disguised as alternate history and thus
                                                the character wd probably not correspond to the real Blake in any
                                                significant way.
                                                I really wasn't able to read HERE, THERE BE DRAGONS as a fantasy
                                                novel because the real-world analogues got in my way and prevented me
                                                for achieving "secondary belief", and I'd love to hear from someone
                                                who was able to approach it without those preconceptions and just
                                                read and enjoyed it as fiction. I know I did think the Noah chapter
                                                was the best part, and think I'd have liked the book more if it'd
                                                dropped the bridge from our world and just done more of the
                                                SILVERLOCK thing of fictional characters from different works and
                                                genres interacting. But perhaps that would have strayed too far from
                                                yr initial intent.
                                                Anyway, congratulations on the movie deal and good luck on the
                                                remaining books in the series.
                                                --JDR


                                                On Dec 1, 2006, at 9:09 PM, auricdor wrote:
                                                > Heh. Sir, you've caught me out.
                                                >
                                                > The fact that the story is a fictionalization hasn't kept me from
                                                > attempting to adhere to as many factual aspects of my chosen
                                                > protagonists as I could manage - however, as you point out, my
                                                > presentation of his abilities (at that point in his life) was clumsily
                                                > worded.
                                                >
                                                > I'd compressed certain aspects of his academic attitudes and
                                                > performance (as I'd interpreted them), and re-presented them in my
                                                > fictional version - but I think you're dead on with your specific
                                                > criticism. All I can guess (at this point, nearing completion of the
                                                > second book), is that for that moment in the story, I was serving the
                                                > immediate dramatic purpose more than thinking of the fidelity of a
                                                > straight presentation of real facts.
                                                >
                                                > Certainly, I'd never intended to have the book taken as academic in
                                                > any way - my H.G. Wells is ENTIRELY fictionalized, for example, at a
                                                > time HE was still living as well - and to that end have gently pointed
                                                > out that my story is more about John, Jack, and Charles, than it is
                                                > Tolkien, Lewis, and Williams (if you see my distinction). And I did
                                                > telegraph this in the first chapter, by having them retire to 221B
                                                > Baker Street - which does not, in fact, exist.
                                                >
                                                > Still, I regret that you didn't enjoy my book, and I hope that you'll
                                                > give the next one a look come October, to see if it might better suit
                                                > your taste.
                                                >
                                                > Best regards,
                                                >
                                                > James A. Owen
                                              • auricdor
                                                Hi John - Thanks - and no worries. I like your analogies a lot, particularly mentioning Scott Card s take on Blake. (I actually illustrated a short story of
                                                Message 23 of 28 , Dec 2, 2006
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                                                  Hi John -

                                                  Thanks - and no worries.

                                                  I like your analogies a lot, particularly mentioning Scott Card's take
                                                  on Blake. (I actually illustrated a short story of his set in that
                                                  same world, for his online magazine Intergalactic Medicine Show,
                                                  depicting Abraham Lincoln meeting Alvin Maker).

                                                  http://www.intergalacticmedicineshow.com/cgi-bin/mag.cgi?do=issue&vol=i2

                                                  My editor wanted to name my protagonists on the front cover (Lord love
                                                  him), and I resisted mightily. (To be fair, the publicity about their
                                                  identities is selling a lot of books. And the fact that the film
                                                  producer made the Harry Potter films made for a press release 'perfect
                                                  storm' that has reulted in around eleven thousand emails in two months.)

                                                  I held out so that most readers COULD read it without the preconceived
                                                  notions of who they were. Someone (such as yourself, and actually,
                                                  quite a few readers) could discern it early in the text. But as MANY
                                                  people do not know Charles at all, and would not have caught 'Jack' as
                                                  Lewis, or even John (a deliberate choice on my part to call him that,
                                                  rather than his preference of Ronald), I've been able to serve the
                                                  original purpose of building the story and then giving readers a
                                                  surprise in the end.

                                                  (Another tipoff of intent was Wells being the Time Traveler from his
                                                  book, and Aven being Weena's daughter.)

                                                  The new challenge has been writing the next book, now that everyone
                                                  knows who my protagonists are. It takes place in 1926 (a date notable
                                                  to Inklings aficionados), and largely involves John's predecessor -
                                                  James Barrie. And if you enjoyed the Noah chapter, I think you'll like
                                                  the parts I've just written dealing with Dante.

                                                  Book Three takes place in 1931. And if you think the responses to my
                                                  'Charles' character were unique, wait until the readers meet Hugo
                                                  Dyson.(!)


                                                  James







                                                  --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
                                                  >
                                                  > Hi James. Welcome to the list.
                                                  > Sorry for my earlier bluntness. Having now seen the interview on
                                                  > TheOneRing, I see that this isn't a story about Tolkien, Lewis, &
                                                  > Williams at all but fantasy-world analogues to them, which is quite a
                                                  > different thing, more like Kreeft's BETWEEN HEAVEN AND HELL. If I'd
                                                  > understood that up-front when reading the book, I think my reaction
                                                  > would have been different -- I know I wasn't put out by Orson Scott
                                                  > Card's fantastically unfaithful take on Wm Blake in RED PROPHET
                                                  > because it was clear from the start that this wasn't just alternate
                                                  > history but outright fantasy disguised as alternate history and thus
                                                  > the character wd probably not correspond to the real Blake in any
                                                  > significant way.
                                                  > I really wasn't able to read HERE, THERE BE DRAGONS as a fantasy
                                                  > novel because the real-world analogues got in my way and prevented me
                                                  > for achieving "secondary belief", and I'd love to hear from someone
                                                  > who was able to approach it without those preconceptions and just
                                                  > read and enjoyed it as fiction. I know I did think the Noah chapter
                                                  > was the best part, and think I'd have liked the book more if it'd
                                                  > dropped the bridge from our world and just done more of the
                                                  > SILVERLOCK thing of fictional characters from different works and
                                                  > genres interacting. But perhaps that would have strayed too far from
                                                  > yr initial intent.
                                                  > Anyway, congratulations on the movie deal and good luck on the
                                                  > remaining books in the series.
                                                  > --JDR
                                                  >
                                                  >
                                                  > On Dec 1, 2006, at 9:09 PM, auricdor wrote:
                                                  > > Heh. Sir, you've caught me out.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > The fact that the story is a fictionalization hasn't kept me from
                                                  > > attempting to adhere to as many factual aspects of my chosen
                                                  > > protagonists as I could manage - however, as you point out, my
                                                  > > presentation of his abilities (at that point in his life) was clumsily
                                                  > > worded.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > I'd compressed certain aspects of his academic attitudes and
                                                  > > performance (as I'd interpreted them), and re-presented them in my
                                                  > > fictional version - but I think you're dead on with your specific
                                                  > > criticism. All I can guess (at this point, nearing completion of the
                                                  > > second book), is that for that moment in the story, I was serving the
                                                  > > immediate dramatic purpose more than thinking of the fidelity of a
                                                  > > straight presentation of real facts.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Certainly, I'd never intended to have the book taken as academic in
                                                  > > any way - my H.G. Wells is ENTIRELY fictionalized, for example, at a
                                                  > > time HE was still living as well - and to that end have gently pointed
                                                  > > out that my story is more about John, Jack, and Charles, than it is
                                                  > > Tolkien, Lewis, and Williams (if you see my distinction). And I did
                                                  > > telegraph this in the first chapter, by having them retire to 221B
                                                  > > Baker Street - which does not, in fact, exist.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Still, I regret that you didn't enjoy my book, and I hope that you'll
                                                  > > give the next one a look come October, to see if it might better suit
                                                  > > your taste.
                                                  > >
                                                  > > Best regards,
                                                  > >
                                                  > > James A. Owen
                                                  >
                                                • Walter Padgett
                                                  Hello: ... Yes. I agree, Mr. Hammond, But it is the context which is so complex. For anyone to use the term myth or any of it s related terms, ie. mythic,
                                                  Message 24 of 28 , Dec 2, 2006
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                                                    Hello:

                                                    On 12/1/06, Wayne G. Hammond <Wayne.G.Hammond@...> wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    > ...


                                                    ... He may, then, have thought about creating
                                                    > a 'mythology for England' in 1914, but he did not write 'I would that we
                                                    > had more of it left -- something of the same sort that belonged to the
                                                    > English' until nearly a decade later" (The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and
                                                    > Guide, vol. 2, p. 441, based on study of Tolkien's Kalevala papers at the
                                                    > Bodleian).
                                                    >
                                                    >Beregond (Stenstrom [sic]) wrote:
                                                    >
                                                    > >But _mythology_ in a central sense refers to what Tolkien here
                                                    > >calls "the large and cosmogonic" (and in 27 of the 54 instances in
                                                    > >_Letters_ he seems to be using the term with that reference).
                                                    > >Tolkien's mythology, in this sense, is an essential and highly
                                                    > >interesting element of his legendarium. If we use _mythology_ about
                                                    > >the legendarium, what word do we use about the mythology?
                                                    >
                                                    > "Mythology" will do for both, if understood in context.
                                                    >
                                                    > Wayne Hammond
                                                    >


                                                    Yes. I agree, Mr. Hammond,

                                                    But it is the context which is so complex.

                                                    For anyone to use the term "myth" or any of it's related terms, ie.
                                                    mythic, mythological, mythopoeic, etc., in relation to Tolkien's
                                                    Silmarillion has become problematic.

                                                    It's like the tower of Babel story.

                                                    We all use the same words but mean different things, because of
                                                    contextual, or metacontextual (better), disjunctions.

                                                    There is no common ground for an understanding of this ancient term.

                                                    It should be relegated to the archaic.

                                                    Thanks, Walter.
                                                  • Wayne G. Hammond
                                                    ... Three brief responses to this come to mind. 1) A good writer will be able to convey clearly the meaning of myth, mythology etc. -- or of any other term --
                                                    Message 25 of 28 , Dec 2, 2006
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                                                      Walter wrote, in regard to mythology:

                                                      >There is no common ground for an understanding of this ancient term.
                                                      >
                                                      >It should be relegated to the archaic.

                                                      Three brief responses to this come to mind.

                                                      1) A good writer will be able to convey clearly the meaning of myth,
                                                      mythology etc. -- or of any other term -- as he or she wishes it to be
                                                      understood in a particular context.

                                                      2) If what you suggest for mythology were applied to all such "ancient
                                                      terms", our vocabulary would be much reduced.

                                                      3) If the word was good enough for Tolkien, it's good enough for me.

                                                      Wayne


                                                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                    • Larry Swain
                                                      ... Well, not exotic for some of us..... It works better than _mythology_ by being unfamiliar: it ... I m not convinced this is true though. If it
                                                      Message 26 of 28 , Dec 4, 2006
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                                                        Beregond wrote:

                                                        > That is a point. The historical meaning of _legendarium_ is,
                                                        > I think, 'a collection of saints' lives'. But I suppose the word
                                                        > is now so exotic that that sense does not interfere much, while
                                                        > it sounds fitting as a label for the kind of thing Tolkien
                                                        > produced.

                                                        Well, not exotic for some of us.....


                                                        It works better than _mythology_ by being unfamiliar: it
                                                        > makes fewer false suggestions.

                                                        I'm not convinced this is true though.

                                                        If it overemphasizes the legendary
                                                        > element, well, that is a point against _legendarium_, but not a
                                                        > point in favour of _mythology_.


                                                        Agreed, my point being that replacing one unsatisfactory and misleading term with another unsatisfactory and misleading one (even if misleading by some degrees less than the former) isn't really all that satisfactory.

                                                        > Another of Tolkien's terms for what he did, that I also like
                                                        > to use, is _feigned history_; it is in fact on the whole more
                                                        > historical than legendary in kind.
                                                        > (There is also the word _matter_, as in the "Matters" of Rome,
                                                        > Britain, and Charlemagne; but it is perhaps a bit awkward.)

                                                        I like "Matter" in fact, the Matter of Middle Earth has a nice alliterative quality, is descriptive, and I think gets at the various genres and kinds of things that are in Tolkien's writings than anything else--and can be stretched a little to include the modern elements as it has in the Matter of Britain too.

                                                        >
                                                        > I also repeat my question: if we use _mythology_ about the
                                                        > legendarium, what word do we use about the mythology? Tolkien's
                                                        > whatchamacallit contains a lot of mythology (both in chunks and
                                                        > blended into the rest), and I think we will want to talk about
                                                        > that and will need the word for that purpose.

                                                        Sure, but the same problem pertains to _legendarium_, Tolkien's whatchamacallit contains a lot of legendary material both in chunks and blended into the rest, and when we want to talk about that we need a word for that: does "legend" really have enough difference from "legendarium" to adequately do this and is legendarium sufficiently large to include all the various types of literature that need to come under that umbrella? I'm not necessarily arguing for a term I use, just pointing out the inadequacies we face regardless of what we end up calling it.

                                                        Perhaps Mytho-Legedendariumlike Matter of Middle Earth's Feigned History: Molmefh.

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