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Re: [mythsoc] Re: About dwarves and their connection with nordic myth ...

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  • Larry Swain
    ... You know, I kind of doubt it. Possible of course. But Chretien s names are derived either through French from English/Norse or through French from
    Message 1 of 23 , Dec 1, 2006
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      >
      >
      > Dear Anglin,
      >
      > And what about the suggestion I made (the conference at the ENS Ulm
      > you attended, in May '05) that Tolkien might have found names in
      > re-writings of Chrétien de Troyes's romances ? I remember well a
      > Belin and a Meliadoc in his Erec and Enid. Did you have a look at
      > Malory ?

      You know, I kind of doubt it. Possible of course. But Chretien's names are derived either through French from English/Norse or through French from Brittonic...more likely to my mind that Tolkien derived the names from the original languages than from the intermediary sources....though certainly he was familiar enough with the Arthurian tradition.

      ljs

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    • William Cloud Hicklin
      Hmmm. Is it remotely possible, I wonder, that the names suggested a story to Tolkien as he was writing App.A: Of the Dwarves? After all, the process of
      Message 2 of 23 , Dec 1, 2006
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        Hmmm. Is it remotely possible, I wonder, that the names
        "suggested a story" to Tolkien as he was writing App.A: Of
        the Dwarves? After all, the process of writing the history
        and the family tree implies that he was once again sifting
        through Voluspa (in bound form or from memory). Balin and
        Glóin are, for reasons stated, the two non-royal dwarves
        mentioned in connection with the battle. Could it be that
        you're right: these names in fact did inspire the Great Pyre?


        --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Larry Swain" <theswain@...>
        wrote:
        >
        >
        > >
        > >
        > > > I'm afraid that this is most likely a coincidence.
        > >
        > > This is basically just what I was going to say as well.
        But I'm
        > > curious to hear about some of your other findings /
        theories,
        > > Anglin. I sort of got the feeling we were joining a
        conversation
        > > already in progress, but I'm doing work in this area
        myself, so I'd
        > > be curious to hear more about your work off-list (as you
        suggested
        > > it was too complicated for the list). Drop me a line if
        you'd like
        > > to chat more about this ...
        >
        > I'd actually be interested in this too, I'm preparing
        lecture notes on Tolkien's dwarves for a Tolkien class I'm
        teaching next semester.
        >
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      • Jason Fisher
        ... Yes, I agree with Larry. It s not beyond the realm of possibility, but I think it far more likely that Tolkien got the names directly from the Old Norse
        Message 3 of 23 , Dec 1, 2006
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          >> Dear Anglin,
          >>
          >> And what about the suggestion I made (the conference at the ENS Ulm
          >> you attended, in May '05) that Tolkien might have found names in
          >> re-writings of Chrétien de Troyes's romances ? I remember well a
          >> Belin and a Meliadoc in his Erec and Enid. Did you have a look at
          >> Malory ?

          > You know, I kind of doubt it. Possible of course. But Chretien's names are
          > derived either through French from English/Norse or through French from
          > Brittonic... more likely to my mind that Tolkien derived the names from the
          > original languages than from the intermediary sources....though certainly he
          > was familiar enough with the Arthurian tradition.

          Yes, I agree with Larry. It's not beyond the realm of possibility, but I think it far more likely that Tolkien got the names directly from the Old Norse than through a French intermediary. Many of the hobbit names seem to have come from the Continent, but the dwarves' names almost certainly didn't.

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Jason Fisher
          ... It could be. Tolkien tended to start with a name, puzzling over its meaning, and a story often developed out of those linguistic musings. The fact that he
          Message 4 of 23 , Dec 1, 2006
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            > Hmmm. Is it remotely possible, I wonder, that the names
            > "suggested a story" to Tolkien as he was writing App.A: Of
            > the Dwarves? After all, the process of writing the history
            > and the family tree implies that he was once again sifting
            > through Voluspa (in bound form or from memory). Balin and
            > Glóin are, for reasons stated, the two non-royal dwarves
            > mentioned in connection with the battle. Could it be that
            > you're right: these names in fact did inspire the Great Pyre?

            It could be. Tolkien tended to start with a name, puzzling over its meaning, and a story often developed out of those linguistic musings. The fact that he chose Balin as a name for a dwarf in The Hobbit, of course, would have had nothing to do with this (being many years earlier), but the etymology of the name could indeed have brought this particular dwarf back into the forefront of his story-making later.

            Jason Fisher

            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Larry Swain
            ... Just enquiring about the last statement....The hobbit names came from the Continent? Bracegirdles, Proudfoot, Baggins are Continental names? I ve done
            Message 5 of 23 , Dec 1, 2006
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              Jason wrote:

              >
              > Yes, I agree with Larry. It's not beyond the realm of possibility,
              > but I think it far more likely that Tolkien got the names directly
              > from the Old Norse than through a French intermediary. Many of the
              > hobbit names seem to have come from the Continent,

              Just enquiring about the last statement....The hobbit names came from the Continent? Bracegirdles, Proudfoot, Baggins are Continental names? I've done any sort of name-study, esp of the hobbits, so I'm curious.

              ljs

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            • William Cloud Hicklin
              ... possibility, ... names directly ... Many of the ... names came from the Continent? Bracegirdles, Proudfoot, Baggins are Continental names? I ve done any
              Message 6 of 23 , Dec 1, 2006
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                --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Larry Swain" <theswain@...>
                wrote:
                >
                >
                >
                > Jason wrote:
                >
                > >
                > > Yes, I agree with Larry. It's not beyond the realm of
                possibility,
                > > but I think it far more likely that Tolkien got the
                names directly
                > > from the Old Norse than through a French intermediary.
                Many of the
                > > hobbit names seem to have come from the Continent,
                >
                > Just enquiring about the last statement....The hobbit
                names came from the Continent? Bracegirdles, Proudfoot,
                Baggins are Continental names? I've done any sort of name-
                study, esp of the hobbits, so I'm curious.


                Not the surnames, the rather pretentious given names of the
                Great Holes: Fredegar, Isengrim, Odavacar etc. Although I
                believe he cribbed the Brandybucks' names (Meriadoc,
                Gorbadoc, Saradoc) from Medieval Welsh.
                >
                > ljs
                >
                > --
                > _______________________________________________
                > Surf the Web in a faster, safer and easier way:
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              • Jason Fisher
                ... Right. And the source I think I was remembering (though there may have been other places I ve read about thism too) is Jim Allan s chapter, The Giving of
                Message 7 of 23 , Dec 1, 2006
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                  > Not the surnames, the rather pretentious given names of the
                  > Great Holes: Fredegar, Isengrim, Odavacar etc. Although I
                  > believe he cribbed the Brandybucks' names (Meriadoc,
                  > Gorbadoc, Saradoc) from Medieval Welsh.

                  Right. And the source I think I was remembering (though there may have been other places I've read about thism too) is Jim Allan's chapter, "The Giving of Names", in An Introduction to Elvish. The section on Hobbits' names is pp. 190-212 and contains lots of interesting details.

                  Jason Fisher

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • Jason Fisher
                  ... I just confirmed the dim recollection that the topic Carolingians in the Tolkien Encyclopedia comments on this as well. One of Mr. Lobdell s many
                  Message 8 of 23 , Dec 1, 2006
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                    > Right. And the source I think I was remembering (though there
                    > may have been other places I've read about thism too) is Jim
                    > Allan's chapter, "The Giving of Names", in An Introduction to
                    > Elvish. The section on Hobbits' names is pp. 190-212 and
                    > contains lots of interesting details.

                    I just confirmed the dim recollection that the topic "Carolingians" in the Tolkien Encyclopedia comments on this as well. One of Mr. Lobdell's many entries.

                    Jason

                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • not_thou
                    I m out of my depth here, but can suggest some sources to check: Regarding Hobbit first names, Arden Smith, citing Tolkien himself (in LotR s Appendix F?),
                    Message 9 of 23 , Dec 1, 2006
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                      I'm out of my depth here, but can suggest some sources to check:

                      Regarding Hobbit first names, Arden Smith, citing Tolkien himself (in
                      LotR's Appendix F?), talks a little about derivation of Took/Bolger
                      personal names from ?Lombardic and Gothic in his paper in the
                      Blackwelder collection, "Tolkienian Gothic".

                      Regarding Hobbit last names, David Bratman presented a very
                      entertaining paper at Birmingham in 2005 called "Hobbit Names Aren't
                      from Kentucky", noting the last names were generally English but
                      sometimes used more for sound than for sense, if I recall correctly.
                      Has / will that paper be published?

                      Regarding the dwarves' names... well, I was about to misremember a
                      passage from Tolkien's letters, but I see that John Rateliff and
                      Anglin Turkam thoroughly covered that subject earlier in this thread
                      ("rabble of Eddaic-named Dwarves", etc. -- *Must remember to read
                      backwards in the threads.*) As noted by others, this doesn't negate
                      the possiblity of Tolkien folding in motifs from other sources when
                      he returned to the dwarves for Appendix A, III -- but has anyone
                      checked HoMe XII on this point? Also, noting Turkam's speculation of
                      possible meanings for some dwarf names, is it true, as the (groan)
                      Encyclopedia of Arda says, that "Dwalin" could mean "dawdler" in Old
                      Norse? And could that explain the exceptionally long life of the
                      first dwarf to appear in The Hobbit?

                      Side-note: I'm not very familiar with message etiquette in group-
                      lists: what's the preferred procedure for retaining or changing
                      subject lines as the conversation drifts away from the original
                      topic? Would it have been more or less helpful to readers for me to
                      have changed the subject line of this message from "About dwarves and
                      their connection with Nordic myth" to something like "Dwarf and
                      hobbit names"?

                      -Merlin DeTardo


                      >--- "William Cloud Hicklin" <solicitr@...> wrote:
                      >>--- "Larry Swain" <theswain@> wrote:
                      >>>--- Jason wrote:
                      >>> Yes, I agree with Larry. It's not beyond the realm of
                      possibility, but I think it far more likely that Tolkien got the
                      names directly from the Old Norse than through a French
                      intermediary. Many of the hobbit names seem to have come from the
                      Continent,
                      >>Just enquiring about the last statement....The hobbit names came
                      from the Continent? Bracegirdles, Proudfoot, Baggins are Continental
                      names? I've done any sort of name-study, esp of the hobbits, so I'm
                      curious.
                      >Not the surnames, the rather pretentious given names of the Great
                      Holes: Fredegar, Isengrim, Odavacar etc. Although I believe he
                      cribbed the Brandybucks' names (Meriadoc, Gorbadoc, Saradoc) from
                      Medieval Welsh.
                    • Jason Fisher
                      ... That may be true, yes. Zoëga has: dvala, v. to delay, put off dvalan, f. prolongation And other similar words. I ve also seen the meaning torpid but
                      Message 10 of 23 , Dec 1, 2006
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                        > Also, noting Turkam's speculation of possible meanings for
                        > some dwarf names, is it true, as the (groan) Encyclopedia of
                        > Arda says, that "Dwalin" could mean "dawdler" in Old Norse?
                        > And could that explain the exceptionally long life of the first
                        > dwarf to appear in The Hobbit?

                        That may be true, yes. Zoëga has:

                        dvala, v. to delay, put off
                        dvalan, f. prolongation

                        And other similar words. I've also seen the meaning "torpid" but haven't tried to track that down yet. As I mentioned earlier in the thread, I'm currently doing work on this stuff.

                        Jason Fisher

                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • John D Rateliff
                        ... I doubt it; Dvalin is one of the most famous of all dwarves in the Old Norse material, famed (among other things) as a great craftsman, and not notable for
                        Message 11 of 23 , Dec 1, 2006
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                          On Dec 1, 2006, at 5:26 PM, not_thou wrote:
                          > Encyclopedia of Arda says, that "Dwalin" could mean "dawdler" in Old
                          > Norse? And could that explain the exceptionally long life of the
                          > first dwarf to appear in The Hobbit?

                          I doubt it; Dvalin is one of the most famous of all dwarves in the
                          Old Norse material, famed (among other things) as a great craftsman,
                          and not notable for any "dawdling". In any case, the apparent
                          "exceptionally long life" of Tolkien's character is I think the
                          result of an error in the reckoning, not any intent on Tolkien's part
                          to make him the Old Took of dwarves (that distinction belonging
                          instead to Durin the First). Although, that said, it is very like
                          Tolkien to add things to characters based on subsequent research that
                          were not part of his initial inspiration; I just doubt that is the
                          case in this instance.

                          > Side-note: are my messages too long? I have noticed several
                          > references on this list to matters deemed too complicated for this
                          > format.

                          There are no rules for length, so far as I know, but short posts are
                          more likely to get responded to that long, complex ones. Changing
                          headers to reflect changing focus of a post is always welcome. And
                          trimming texts being responded to down to the relevant sections is
                          definitely good form.

                          Re. 'Tolkien Studies' vs. 'Middle-earth Studies', I think it's a
                          false dichotomy to divide them. Some things I'm interested in might
                          fall in one category, some in the other, and some cut across both.
                          It's like trying to divide Lit from Lang; it's better to consider
                          both aspects together.

                          As for Brooke-Rose, it's been too long since I read her for me to
                          respond in detail, but I thought at the time that her chief
                          shortcoming was that she was writing a book about fantasy without any
                          clear idea of what fantasy was, which made her comments seem random
                          and unfocused.

                          --JDR

                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Anglin Turcam
                          ... Great Pyre? Thank s, it s perhaps after Mr John D Ratelif the only positive opinion about this fact. I m very sad to not write as goodly as I want to speak
                          Message 12 of 23 , Dec 2, 2006
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                            To William Cloud Hicklin :
                            >> Could it be that you're right: these names in fact did inspire the
                            Great Pyre?
                            Thank's, it's perhaps after Mr John D Ratelif the only positive opinion
                            about this fact. I'm very sad to not write as goodly as I want to speak
                            about my point of view of my 'paradox' for the 'editorial concession'
                            conceded by Pr Tolkien about his dwarves and their possible relation
                            with Old norse ones. I'm afraid that I have to say that I'm not agree
                            with that fact commonly accepted by all the Tolkien Community ... there
                            are too much things to much details to much words that make me think
                            that Tolkien did really take a lot of things from Norse Dwarves (
                            perhaps even to Norse Cosmogology about them ) to speak about a
                            simple 'concession'. I want to go farther than Mr Shippey did realy
                            goood about them, farther than the lots of ones that speak only about
                            the Names occuring in Völuspá ...


                            To Jason :
                            >> so I'd be curious to hear more about your work off-list (as you
                            suggested it was too complicated for the list). Drop me a line if you'd
                            like ...

                            Check your MailBox Jason ;)

                            >> I'd actually be interested in this too, I'm preparing lecture notes
                            on Tolkien's dwarves for a Tolkien class I'm teaching next semester.

                            I work also about other interrestings things about Tolkien's dwarves
                            like death/size/women/magical object (in fact in Letters Tolkien
                            says 'Magic is Art' and the dwarves are Aulë childrens ....). Did you
                            read french freely ?
                            I can tell you that your lecture notes can be very interresting to me
                            if you can send them to my mailbox ?

                            Anglin.
                          • alexeik@aol.com
                            ... From: solicitr@mindspring.com To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Fri, 1 Dec 2006 7:02 PM Subject: [mythsoc] Re: About dwarves and their connection with
                            Message 13 of 23 , Dec 2, 2006
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                              -----Original Message-----
                              From: solicitr@...
                              To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
                              Sent: Fri, 1 Dec 2006 7:02 PM
                              Subject: [mythsoc] Re: About dwarves and their connection with nordic myth ...

                              Although I
                              believe he cribbed the Brandybucks' names (Meriadoc,
                              Gorbadoc, Saradoc) from Medieval Welsh. <<

                              That, and even more from mediaeval Cornish and Breton. Alexei >
                              .
                              AActuaActua
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                            • Larry Swain
                              ... Anglin, I ll be happy to send them along when I ve finished them, pretty basic though. And yes, I read French. ljs --
                              Message 14 of 23 , Dec 4, 2006
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                                >
                                > I work also about other interrestings things about Tolkien's dwarves
                                > like death/size/women/magical object (in fact in Letters Tolkien
                                > says 'Magic is Art' and the dwarves are Aulë childrens ....). Did you
                                > read french freely ?
                                > I can tell you that your lecture notes can be very interresting to me
                                > if you can send them to my mailbox ?
                                >
                                > Anglin.
                                >

                                Anglin,

                                I'll be happy to send them along when I've finished them, pretty basic though. And yes, I read French.

                                ljs

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