Session342
Title'New' Tolkien: Expanding the Canon
Date/TimeMonday 3 July 2017: 16.30-18.00
 
OrganiserDimitra Fimi, Centre for Fantasy & the Fantastic School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow
 
Moderator/ChairDimitra Fimi, Centre for Fantasy & the Fantastic School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow
 
Paper 342-a Mirkwood as Otherness: 'New' Tolkien and the Liminal Forest
(Language: English)
Brad Eden, Independent Scholar, Valparaiso, Indiana
Index Terms: Language and Literature - French or Occitan; Language and Literature - Middle English; Language and Literature - Scandinavian; Medievalism and Antiquarianism
Paper 342-b Magic, Matrimony, and the Moon: Medieval Lunar Symbolism in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun and The Fall of Arthur
(Language: English)
Kristine Larsen, Geological Sciences Department, Central Connecticut State University
Index Terms: Language and Literature - French or Occitan; Language and Literature - Middle English; Medievalism and Antiquarianism
Paper 342-c A Secret Vice, the 1930s, and the Growth of Tolkien's 'Tree of Tongues'
(Language: English)
Andrew Higgins, Centre for Fantasy & the Fantastic, School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow
Index Terms: Language and Literature - Comparative; Medievalism and Antiquarianism
 
AbstractThis session will focus on 'new' works by J. R. R. Tolkien: creative works published posthumously during the last few years. Participants will examine all or a selection of the following works: The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún (2009), The Fall of Arthur (2013), The Story of Kullervo (2015), A Secret Vice (2016) and The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun (2017, forthcoming). Brad Eden will focus on Tolkien's use of the liminal forest in terms of setting, language and characterization. Kristine Larsen will concentrate on medieval lunar symbolism in the representation of female characters, and Andrew Higgins will explore the use of the Indo-European model and Tolkien's expertise in philology in the development of Tolkien's invented languages.

Eden - Mirkwood as otherness: 'New' Tolkien and the liminal forest
This paper, for the Otherness in Tolkien's Medievalism or the 'New' Tolkien session, will explore mentions of Mirkwood as a liminal and otherness boundary in Tolkien’s recently published posthumous works. The Fall of Arthur and The Legend of Sigurd & Gudrun both contain specific mentions of Mirkwood, while the liminal forest Broseliand/Broceliand dominates in The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun (2nd Serbian-English edition 2015). Exploration will also include The Story of Kullervo (where the liminal forest plays a key role), A Secret Vice (exploration of Tolkien's words regarding woods and forest), and the new edition of Aotrou and Itroun forthcoming in 2017.

Larsen - Magic, Matrimony, and the Moon: Medieval Lunar Symbolism in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun and The Fall of Arthur
It is well-known that Chaucer's Canterbury Tales contain a great deal of astronomical/astrological symbolism, for example the moon playing a significant role in The Knight's Tale. It will be argued that Tolkien employed a similar lunar scaffolding in two of his published alliterative verse poems, the posthumously published incomplete work The Fall of Arthur and The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun (published in 1945). Analyzing the poems in this context not only highlights the connections between Guinever and the Corrigan, but additionally connects these two characters (as well as Itroun herself) with the tripartite goddess Diana.

Higgins - 'A Secret Vice', the 1930's and the growth of Tolkien's 'Tree of Tongues'
In this paper I will explore how after giving his 1931 talk A Secret Vice and, as I will argue, because of it, Tolkien embarked on a new phase of his Elvish language invention by creating a 'Tree of Tongues' that has its roots in a Proto-Eldarin ur-language and through-out the course of the 1930’s branched out into over ten different related Elvish languages existing in varying forms of linguistic development.

I will explore how Tolkien's development of this 'Tree of Tongues' drew upon his training and experience as both a philologist and medievalist and mythically reimagined the real-world attempt by 19th-century philologists to reconstruct a similar type of structure for Indo-European languages suggesting it too had a common origin in a reconstructed 'proto-Indo European' language.

I will also explore how this 'Tree' fulfilled the requirement Tolkien explored in A Secret Vice that art-langs should have a fictional historical background including a sense of hypothetical change over time by analyzing several key texts from the 1930's including The Lhammas (The Account of the Tongues) and The Etymologies. These texts show how Tolkien expanded his system of Elvish languages in parallel with the development of the narrative of the Elves depicted in the The Quenta and the earliest Annals of Beleriand.