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about dwarves and spiders in the Hobbit ...

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  • Anglin Turcam
    There are quite mysterious data which deserve one moment of reflexion about dwarves and spiders you ve all found in the Hobbit ... In History of the Hobbit,
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 25, 2007
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      There are quite mysterious data which deserve one moment of reflexion
      about dwarves and spiders you've all found in the Hobbit ...

      In History of the Hobbit, Mr John Rateliff is talking a lot about
      Spiders ...
      but ... and this is a known fact that everybody read the Hobbit and
      accept naturally that dwarves are at a moment in Mirkwood emprisonned by
      spiders and webs ...

      Nobody (for the moment ! ) has already found or talk with this weird
      thing I personnaly found :

      One of the french Professors that help me a lot on my researchs (which
      are dealing with dwarves and their possible multiple connections with
      their nordic ancestors) Pr. Claude Lecouteux (Professor in Sorbonne, in
      Germanic médieval studies) said in his book "Les Nains et les Elfes
      au Moyen Age" ("Dwarfs and Elfs in the Middle Age") :

      My poor French/english translation :

      [...]In Swedish, the spider says Loki (locke/lock), and its fabric "net
      of Loki" (will locksnät/lockasnara) as "net of the dwarf"
      (dvergsnät). This association dwarf/spider is certainly very
      antiquated because it is not insulated: into Breton, 'korr' has the
      meaning of both spider and dwarf.
      It is a fantastic opening on the world of the myths and the beliefs to
      see that a charm as old English is based on same equivalence. In this
      charm entitled Against a Dwarf (Wið dveorg), the dwarf is understood
      like an evil thing not identified - perhaps even a sort of convulsions -
      and it arrives "in the shape of a spider"". This enables us to see that
      a compound like Swedish dvergsnät does not owe anything randomly, it
      is based on an old representation. As for the bond woven between Loki,
      the dwarves and the spiders, it can be simple: if Loki were understood
      like a dwarf, it is so to speak normal that the fabric bears its name
      since it points out very exactly the fishing net.[...]

      In addition to what Pr. Lecouteux speak about above :
      In Reginsmál, Loki fishes, with a net he himself created, Andvari the
      Dwarf tranformed into a pike (the fish).
      This net being that present in the history of Andvari the dwarf a source
      used by Tolkien in Scandinavian mythology, it and history of contiguous
      Sigurd and Fafnir… that Tolkien knew certainly with acuracy !

      In Fjölsvinsmál (Str. 34), Loki appears in a list (Thula) of 11
      names of dwarves (Icluding one Dóri, and one Óri ...)

      But you also find some other interresting thing about this fact in one
      other book written by Pr. Tolkien :

      [...] His gleaming coat
      was made of rings of steel no shaft
      could pierce, a web of dwarvish craft ...
      Lays of Beleriand.
      [p.166-167]

      Why suddenly associate a Web with Dwarves like that ?

      Even let us add to that the idea as this coat of mail carried by Beren
      could be possibly a precursor of the famous coat of mail carried by
      Bilbo and Frodo then. Since at that time Mithril did not exist….

      To follow my precedent idea :
      http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0015-587X(1988)99%3A2%3C174%3AAMC3AA%3E\
      2.0.CO%3B2-8
      or enlarged :
      http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0015-587X%281988%2999%3A2%3C174%3AAMC3A\
      A%3E2.0.CO%3B2-8&size=LARGE&origin=JSTOR-enlargePage

      dvergsnat/ 'dwarve's net', cobweb.
      (found here http://www.northvegr.org/intro/glossary.php )

      [n] For in Anglo-Saxon áttorcoppe (Poison-head?) is spider, and from
      áttorcoppe-web, by the usual aphoeresis of the two first syllables we
      put coppeweb, cobweb. May not the same have been the case with lob? and
      may not the nasty bug be in a similar manner connected with Puck? As
      dvergsnat is in Swedish a cobweb, one might be tempted to suppose that
      this last, for which no good etymon has been offered, was lob-web; but
      the true etymon is cop-web, from its usual site.
      ( found here : http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/tfm/tfm124.htm )

      attercop, cobweb, dwarves ... interresting or not ??!

      Very friendly,
      Stéphane Grignon from France
      Alias -Anglin, to serve you-


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    • Carl F. Hostetter
      ... Tolkien here is using web in its original sense of woven fabric (it is cognate with weave ). It is often encountered in this sense in Middle English.
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 30, 2007
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        On Jun 25, 2007, at 6:26 AM, Anglin Turcam wrote:

        > But you also find some other interresting thing about this fact in one
        > other book written by Pr. Tolkien :
        >
        > [...] His gleaming coat
        > was made of rings of steel no shaft
        > could pierce, a web of dwarvish craft ...
        > Lays of Beleriand.
        > [p.166-167]
        >

        Tolkien here is using "web" in its original sense of 'woven
        fabric' (it is cognate with "weave"). It is often encountered in this
        sense in Middle English. He is not associating the coat with spider-
        webs.

        Carl
      • Merlin DeTardo
        ... (it is cognate with weave ). It is often encountered in this sense in Middle English. And Tolkien also uses web elsewhere in the same way, as in the
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 30, 2007
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          >>---"Carl F. Hostetter" <Aelfwine@...> wrote:
          >>Tolkien here is using "web" in its original sense of 'woven fabric'
          (it is cognate with "weave"). It is often encountered in this sense in
          Middle English.

          And Tolkien also uses "web" elsewhere in the same way, as in the
          chapter, "Minas Tirith", in _LotR_:

          "No hangings nor storied webs, nor any things of woven stuff or of
          wood, were to be seen in that long solemn hall; but between the
          pillars there stood a silent company of tall images graven in cold
          stone."
        • Larry Swain
          ... Though if I recall correctly spider web comes from this meaning: it is after all a spider s weaving, a kind of fabric. Larry Swain --
          Message 4 of 5 , Jun 30, 2007
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            >
            >
            >
            > On Jun 25, 2007, at 6:26 AM, Anglin Turcam wrote:
            >
            > > But you also find some other interresting thing about this fact in one
            > > other book written by Pr. Tolkien :
            > >
            > > [...] His gleaming coat
            > > was made of rings of steel no shaft
            > > could pierce, a web of dwarvish craft ...
            > > Lays of Beleriand.
            > > [p.166-167]
            > >
            >
            > Tolkien here is using "web" in its original sense of 'woven
            > fabric' (it is cognate with "weave"). It is often encountered in this
            > sense in Middle English. He is not associating the coat with spider-
            > webs.

            Though if I recall correctly spider web comes from this meaning: it is after all a spider's weaving, a kind of fabric.

            Larry Swain

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          • Paul Meeter
            This reminds me of Barfield s Poetic Diction . Tolkien uses the words web and lob , well aware of their meanings both then and now; and the differences
            Message 5 of 5 , Jul 1 9:24 AM
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              This reminds me of Barfield's "Poetic Diction". Tolkien uses the words
              "web" and "lob", well aware of their meanings both then and now; and the
              differences between their meanings then and now. It's just one example of
              how Tolkien re-enriches our own meaning-fund with all that the words used to
              signify. I like the connection between 'dwarf' and 'spider' that is evident
              in Northern lore. I expect Tolkien knew of it, and perhaps meant to play
              the linguistic joke by having the one try to eat the other.

              --
              Paul Meeter


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