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RE: [mythsoc] Elves as Artists

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  • Croft, Janet B.
    I think Tree and Leaf is a very important source to look at for sub-creation and sub-sub-creation, and what it means to be an artist. Dorothy L. Sayers s
    Message 1 of 31 , Apr 14, 2008
      I think "Tree and Leaf" is a very important source to look at for sub-creation and sub-sub-creation, and what it means to be an artist. Dorothy L. Sayers's _The Mind of the Maker_ is also an excellent resource, though I don't know that Tolkien ever read it. Some other items from the Index:

      Gorman, Anita G. "J.R.R. Tolkien's 'Leaf by Niggle': Word Pairs and Paradoxes." 20.4 (#78) (1995): 52-55.
      Examines Tolkien's use of language in Tree and Leaf to "demonstrate the paradoxes inherent in Christianity [...] of artistic creation [...] [and] ordinary life." Asserts that Tolkien also "[suggests] the ultimate resolution of those paradoxes."

      Purtill, Richard L. "Heaven and Other Perilous Realms." 6.4 (#22) (1979): 3-6.
      Examines the ways the short story "Leaf by Niggle" differs from other works by Tolkien: primarily because it is a more obvious allegory, but also because of the clear way the allegory is worked out morally, aesthetically, and religiously. Considers the story as "midway between the essay [OFS] where Tolkien talks about his work, and most of his other fiction and poetry, where he simply gets on with it."

      Seeman, Chris. "Tolkien's Revision of the Romantic Tradition." 21.2 (#80) (1996): 73-83.
      Explores Tolkien's vision of fantasy within the broader historical context of Romanticism, clarifying the ways in which he inherits and revises Romantic views of the creative imagination via the concept of sub-creation. Possible links with Coleridge's thought are considered, especially with respect to the uses of Romanticism in the context of Christianity.

      Agøy, Nils Ivar. "Quid Hinieldus cum Christo?-New Perspectives on Tolkien's Theological Dilemma and his Sub-Creation Theory." 21.2 (#80) (1996): 31-38.
      In the 1920s and 1930s Tolkien's developing, and to all appearances pagan, legendarium posed a theological dilemma to its devoutly Christian author. How could it be reconciled with his faith? There are striking parallels with the Danish theologian, poet and philologist N.F.S. Grundtvig. This paper attempts to establish if Tolkien's answer, found in part in "On Fairy-Stories," was influenced by Grundtvig's attempts to reconcile Norse myths and Christendom.

      Beach, Sarah. "Mythopoesis: History." 10.3 (#37) (1984): 26, 34.
      Studies the process of creating fantasy worlds, or sub-creation, with observations from several authors including Le Guin, Lewis, and Tolkien.

      Duriez, Colin. "Leonardo, Tolkien, and Mr. Baggins." 1.2 (#2) (1969): 17, 19-28.
      Takes Tolkien's concepts of sub-creation and Secondary Belief as a basis for discussion of Leonardo's humanistic philosophy, "exact fantasy," and Christianity. Discusses the question of "our synthesis of reality as individuals."

      Manganiello, Dominic. "The Artist as Magician: Yeats, Joyce, and Tolkien." 10.2 (#36) (1983): 13-15, 25.
      Examines the significance of symbolism of transcendence in several works by Yeats and Joyce, and ties this to theories of consolation and eucatastrophe in Tolkien's "On Fairy-Stories." Finds Tolkien's theory of sub-creation more fulfilling than their view of the artist as a creator.

      Creativity and creation
      See also Sub-creation
      Beach, S. "Mythopoesis." 10.1 (#35) (1983): 48, 50.
      Wynne, P. "Sauron Gets Drafted (and Other Thoughts on the Battle of Creativity)." 17.2 (#64) (1990): 4-11.
      Yandell, S. "'A Pattern Which Our Nature Cries Out For': The Medieval Tradition of the Ordered Four in the Fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien." 21.2 (#80) (1996): 375-392.
      Kenney, A. P. "Mistress of Creation." 11.1 (#39) (1984): 18-20, 45.
      Creativity in Middle-earth
      Funk, D. A. "Explorations into the Psyche of Dwarves." 21.2 (#80) (1996): 330-333.
      See also Tolkien, J.R.R.-Theory of sub-creation
      Adderley, C. M. "Meeting Morgan le Fay: J.R.R. Tolkien's Theory of Subcreation and the Secondary World of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight." 22.4 (#86) (2000): 48-58.
      Agøy, N. I. "Quid Hinieldus cum Christo?-New Perspectives on Tolkien's Theological Dilemma and his Sub-Creation Theory." 21.2 (#80) (1996): 31-38.
      Beach, S. "Mythopoesis: Creation (Out of Chaos) and Derivation (Users and Lovers)." 9.4 (#34) (1983): 27, 48.
      Beach, S. "Mythopoesis: History." 10.3 (#37) (1984): 26, 34.
      Manganiello, D. "The Artist as Magician: Yeats, Joyce, and Tolkien." 10.2 (#36) (1983): 13-15, 25.
      Schweicher, E. "Aspects of the Fall in The Silmarillion." 21.2 (#80) (1996): 167-171.
      Sub-creation in MacDonald
      Kocher, P. H. "J.R.R. Tolkien and George MacDonald." 8.3 (#29) (1981): 3-4.

      Sub-creation in J.R.R. Tolkien
      Kocher, P. H. "J.R.R. Tolkien and George MacDonald." 8.3 (#29) (1981): 3-4.

      Janet Brennan Croft
      Associate Professor
      Head of Access Services
      University of Oklahoma Libraries
      Bizzell 104NW
      Norman OK 73019
      Fax 405-325-7618
      jbcroft@... <mailto:jbcroft@...>
      Editor of Mythlore http://www.mythsoc.org/mythlore.html
      Editor of Oklahoma Librarian

      "Humans need fantasy to be human. To be the place where the rising ape meets the falling angel." -Terry Pratchett

      From: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com [mailto:mythsoc@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Cole Matson
      Sent: Sunday, April 13, 2008 10:44 PM
      To: mythsoc
      Subject: [mythsoc] Elves as Artists

      Greetings, all.

      I've been reading The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien and have just finished #153,
      the draft letter to Peter Hastings addressing the metaphysics of LOTR. I've
      come across two quotes that are awakening the germ of an essay in me:

      p. 192, para. 2: The Elves "are primarily artists."
      p. 194, para. 2: "Are there any 'bounds to a writer's job' except those
      imposed by his own finiteness? No bounds, but the laws of contradiction, I
      should think. But, of course, humility and an awareness of peril is
      required... I would claim, if I did not think it presumptuous in one so
      ill-instructed, to have as one object the elucidation of truth, and the
      encouragement of good morals in this real world, by the ancient device of
      exemplifying them in unfamiliar embodiments, that may tend to 'bring them

      Are there any good articles/books/talks anyone can point me to addressing
      Tolkien's conception of the Elves as Artists, or Sub-Creation within Arda
      (so, Sub-Sub-Creation, I suppose)? Or further on what Tolkien had to say
      about the writer's or artist's job. (I extensively referenced "On
      Fairy-Stories" when I did a paper on this subject, so I'm familiar with that

      And as an aside, I'm finding the Letters fascinating, especially JRRT's own
      insights as to the important themes of his work and characters. It's very
      helpful in dispelling myths. Nothing like going straight to the source! And,
      like with Lewis' Letters, I can't put them down.

      Thanks for your help!


      [image: Headshot]
      Cole Matson

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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Marcie
      Hi all, Several of the folks in our Los Angeles smial have taken on the Eowyn Challenge and really enjoyed it. Two of us arrived in Rivendell this month and
      Message 31 of 31 , Apr 28, 2008
        Hi all,
        Several of the folks in our Los Angeles smial have taken on the Eowyn
        Challenge and really enjoyed it. Two of us arrived in Rivendell this
        month and are now on our way to Lothlorien. Four or five others have
        started out from Hobbiton, and one person has walked, jogged and
        cycled all the way to Mordor! Hope you'll enjoy your walks.

        --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, Andrew Higgins <asthiggins@...> wrote:
        > Hi All
        > Yesterday the UK was blessed with one of the warmest days of the
        year so far and it afforded myself, partner and our Corgi, Charlie,
        to start the Eowyn Challenge (our cat Meowman was not interested and
        preferred to do the couch challenge). We have decided this summer to
        walk to Rivendell from Hobbiton (roughly 450 miles). We travelled to
        one of the ancient seats of the Bishops of Winchester - Farnham - and
        walked roughly 5 miles which essentially according to the Eowyn
        Challenge (the "Horse Joy" challenge as it were) got us into Tookland
        (27 miles to the first encounter with the Black Rider - why am I
        looking forward to that?).
        > Farnham Castle is currently managed by The English Heritage Society
        and as we were passing by the gates I got thinking about what The
        Middle Earth Heritage Society would look like in the future time of
        Middle Earth (say the 20th Age) what ruins would exist (Minas Tirith,
        Isengard, Edoras) - with the passing of the Elves one would think
        that Elvish buildings would fade as well (although as in the Lord of
        the Rings Online game - one would still see some remains of Elvish
        architecture like Edelethion). Would men have set up a society to
        manage and fund the upkeep of the most famous sites of Middle Earth
        and as a member of the Middle Earth Heritage Society you could get in
        free to all these sites. Would there be museum displays of the great
        battles - and I'm sure to secure government funding from the
        Elessarion goverment you would have to do some interactive
        educational elements (try on the armor of a Numenorian soldier, make
        your own remedy out of Athelas leaves, etc) - would
        > there be a gift shop (purchase your own Lembas bread recipe,
        palantir snow globes, etc.). What would people be thinking as the
        walked across the stone ruins of what was Osgiliath or Minas Ithil -
        would there be a coffee/gift shop and travellers restaurant on top of
        > Any other ideas on what would form part of The Middle Earth
        Historical Society would offer - reenacrtments of the Battle of
        Pelannor fields perhaps?
        > Andy
        > Andrew Higgins
        > asthiggins@yahoo. org.uk
        > "Alles ist nach seiner Art, an ihr wirst du nichts andern."
        Siegfried Act 2
        > http://wotanselvish musings.blogspot .com
        > http://www.facebook .com/profile. php?id=833145056
        > ---------------------------------
        > Yahoo! For Good. Give and get cool things for free, reduce waste
        and help our planet. Plus find hidden Yahoo! treasure
        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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