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Re: About dwarves and their connection with nordic myth ...

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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 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.

      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]
    • 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 2 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 3 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
          >
          > --
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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 4 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 5 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

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            • 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 6 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 7 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

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                • 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 8 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

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                  • 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 9 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 10 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 11 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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