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Re: [mythsoc] Joseph Pearce on Tolkien

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  • Mike Foster
    Jason, Thank you for adding to the bun-fight. If this were screened at Mythcon, the hotel might levy a surcharge for all the thrown popcorn and squirt-gun
    Message 1 of 53 , Apr 9, 2011
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      Jason,
      Thank you for adding to the bun-fight.
       
      If this were screened at Mythcon, the hotel might levy a surcharge for all the thrown popcorn and squirt-gun damage to the viewing room.
       
      I remember squirming and screeching at Pearce’s point on the names & the utter surety it was said with.
       
      Credit the show: this has thread has been fun.
       
      Mike
       
       
      Sent: Saturday, April 09, 2011 5:33 PM
      Subject: 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, and
      >
      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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