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Tuesday, January 12, 2021

The Olde Speech

 The Forge of Tolkien episode 19, THE OLDE SPEECH, is now available on #UATV.

In December 1954, Hugh Brogan wrote to Tolkien to complain about the “archaizing” style of parts of The Lord of the Rings, particularly the chapter “The King of the Golden Hall.” Tolkien drafted his response but never sent it, deferring a proper discussion to a time when they could meet in person. When is archaizing “tushery,” and when is it necessary? What is the difference between a bogus and a genuinely “antique” turn of phrase? 

In this episode Professor Rachel Fulton Brown reads the “linking” passage in The Book of Lost Tales taking Eriol from the hall of the Tale-fire to Rumil’s garden to illustrate Tolkien’s process in discovering his proper style. What did Tolkien mean when he told Brogan he found it easier to think in an archaic mode, and why did he chide Brogan for his “parochialism of time”? Hint: The distance is as great as that between Globe Earth and Flat Earth! 

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3 Comments:

Blogger Jeff January 12, 2021 6:43 PM  

As I got older, I started reading LOTR not as the book Tolkein wrote; rather, Tolkien wrote the "Red Book" version of LOTR. The early parts of "The Fellowship of the Ring" are in a folksy, almost first-person style, as if they were written by Bilbo. Indeed the hobbit interaction all the way through the book were written this way, as if the hobbit-witnesses themselves were relaying the information directly to whomever was doing the writing: Bilbo, Frodo, or Sam (who "wrote" the final chapter of "The Return of the King"). I always took the more "heroic" and "epic" styles of the parts that the hobbits were not there to witness as the hobbit-writers' attempts to write in the heroic style of a great epic. (Note: I'm not insane. I know that JRR wrote the book, not fictional hobbits.)

Blogger The Depolrable Podunk Ken Ramsey January 12, 2021 11:42 PM  

Inspired by this post I went to UATV, but I checked out Rachel Fulton Brown's videos on Logos and Usury instead. So good! There's always good stuff with her and with UATV, folks!

Blogger My Shield Is Disgust January 13, 2021 2:20 PM  

Forge of Tolkien is one of the few non-news-related sources of entertainment that I’ve been able to enjoy during these times. Much appreciation to Unauthorized and Professor RFB.

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