Re: [mythsoc] Joseph Pearce on Tolkien
- The theological discussion has been fascinating, but as I am completely unqualified to add anything there, I thought I would add a philological observation, which is more my bailiwick ...
> He pounds the equation of Morgoth with Lucifer into the ground,> and then uses folk etymology - rather than, like, their evil deeds - to> prove Sauron, Saruman, and Wormtongue are Satanic too.> (Sauron = sauros = lizard = snake = Satanic symbol, andstyle="font-family: 'times new roman', 'new york', times, serif; ">> Saruman has _the same four letters_! Apparently he means this> seriously.)It's a shame Pearce didn't remember Tolkien's own explicit disavowal of that very etymology:"To take a frequent case: there is no linguistic connexion, and therefore no connexion in significance, between Sauron a contemporary form of an older *θaurond- derivative of an adjectival *θaurā (from a base √THAW) 'detestable', and the Greek σαύρα 'a lizard'." (Draft to Mr. Rang, Letters, #297)Yes, all too frequent a case. Edmund Wilson, Mr. Rang, and now Joseph Pearce. It appears we need some kind of FAQ: "Middle-earth is not Jurassic Park".JasonPS. Sorry if the Greek letters don't come through. The Latin transliteration of σαύρα would be saúra.
I think your objection to Pearce, in that he did not mention Tolkien's
disavowal of something he (Pearce) stated as a fact, is on target. My
own focus -- which is why I early on changed the Subject line to remove
Pearce -- was on whether or not Tolkien's disavowal was definitive.