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Re: [mythsoc] Joseph Pearce on Tolkien

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  • Jason Fisher
    The theological discussion has been fascinating, but as I am completely unqualified to add anything there, I thought I would add a philological observation,
    Message 1 of 53 , Apr 9, 2011
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      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, and 
      style="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".

      Jason

      PS. Sorry if the Greek letters don't come through. The Latin transliteration of σαύρα would be saúra.
    • Darrell A. Martin
      Jason: 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
      Message 53 of 53 , Apr 12, 2011
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        Jason:

        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.

        Darrell
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