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  1. Dorwiniondil's Avatar
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    #1
    An interesting comment from John Rateliff's blog (http://sacnoths.blogspot.com/): according to an account of a report of a discussion between Tolkien, Lewis and Sayer, included in Marjorie Burns' Perilous Realms, Tolkien believed that evil emanated from the actual soil of Ireland, and it was only held in check by the Irish people's great devotion to the Church. John makes clear that this is something told at third hand, with no way of checking the original context, and it illustrates the difficulty of some of the anecdotes about Tolkien that are circulated.
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  2. Saranna's Avatar
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    #2
    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1">How strange, whether true or not. What of the 'Holy land of ireland' famed in song and story. It feels OK to me
    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1">But if JRRT really felt this, why should he?
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  3. Tree's Avatar
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    #3


    "But if JRRT really felt this, why should he"

    One word: superstition. Tolkien, certainly, was not beyond it.


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  4. Dorwiniondil's Avatar
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    #4
    Yes, as John says on his blog, there's probably a missing context here that would clear the matter up. There are various Tolkien stories floating around that take an element of something and put it somewhere else, like the persistent story that Tolkien dressed as a Viking to deliver his lecture on Beowulf.

    When Tolkien uses the word "alien", I don't think he means in the extreme sense in which it's mainly used nowadays - it would simply be the equivalent of "foreign". The Aliens Act of 1905 was about restricting immigration, and well into my adulthood passport queues at Dover were signed "British Subjects" and "Aliens". So Tolkien probably meant that he did not feel the sort of affinity for things Irish that he did for Welsh (for example).
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  5. Dorwiniondil's Avatar
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    #5
    Even wetter!
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  6. Tree's Avatar
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    #6


    Paulolapetus- I share your puzzlement. I've been to Ireland once, and it seemed pretty much the same type of climate as around here... surely Scotland and Wales are more 'alien' than Ireland in terms of climate....


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  7. Dorwiniondil's Avatar
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    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1">
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">I don't think it was the "Celtic" element. That would apply to Wales with greater force, especially comparing such works as the"Cattle Raid of Cooley"and the Four Branches, where the Irish epic is relatively straightforward, while the Welsh is narratively and mythologically a real muddle.
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">
    <DIV marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1" ="WebWizRTE">BTW, my Irish is not all it should be (!), but I thought "Eireann" was an adjective: "of Eire" (OK, I'm a pedant ...)Edited by: Dorwiniondil
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  8. halfir's Avatar
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    #8
    Dorwiniondil: We have already canvassed ths topic before- although not arriving at any deifinitive solution - as well as making some general comments about Tolkien's visits to and views of Ireland - here:

    http://www.lotrplaza.com/forum/forum...asp?TID=218285
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  9. Dorwiniondil's Avatar
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    #9

    Sorry about that, halfir! I think that thread mainly took place just before I got enmeshed in the Plaza. But it still does raise the matter of uncheckable anecdota concerning Tolkien.Edited by: Dorwiniondil
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  10. halfir's Avatar
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    Dorwiniondil: I was only drawing your attention to it, not criticising the fact that you had mentionedthe quote.The earlier thread does, after all, contain a fuller quote as to what was actaully said by Sayer which might be helpful to some, not that in our earlier discussion we got very far before learning that the anecdote itself had been questioned by leading Tolkien scholars.
    He that would foil me must use such weapons as I do, for I have not fed my readers with straw, neither will I be confuted with stubble.

  11. geordie's Avatar
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    #11
    John Rateliff has more to say in the entry for January 4th in his blog. For one thing, he's found the original Minas Tirith Evening Star quotes.

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  12. Dorwiniondil's Avatar
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    #12
    <DIV =WebWizRTE leftmargin="1" topmargin="1" marginheight="1" marginwidth="1">Boronwe, that's fascinating! Where did you find it?
    <DIV =WebWizRTE leftmargin="1" topmargin="1" marginheight="1" marginwidth="1">
    <DIV =WebWizRTE leftmargin="1" topmargin="1" marginheight="1" marginwidth="1">And welcome to the Plaza!
    The incarnate mind, the tongue and the tale are in our world coeval.

  13. Aodh Hammerhelm's Avatar
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    #13
    Rule of thumb - if it ain't in Letter's, discount it.

    @ Paulolapetus re Irish gigs :

    Having been subjected to Afrikaans folk music and dance, not to mention Morris Dancing and English folk, can report that "Irish gigs" you refer to could in fact be any form of early British and European dance.

    As for Irish climate, it varies greatly. Much of the country experiences similar weather to parts of England, but the West Coast, warmed by the Gulf Stream, is far more distinct/peculiar with sub-tropical plant species.





  14. Dorwiniondil's Avatar
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    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1">Thanks for the link, Boronwe! I wonder where "Culture in N.I." got it from? Unfortunately I don't have Lewis's letters - does anybody else? Mind you, if as the site says he believed that heaven was Oxford in County Down - well, Co. Down is pretty solidly in Northern Ireland!
    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1">
    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1">I don't think Tolkien believed that evil was implicit in the Northern lands - it was just that that was where Melkor set up his H.Q.
    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1">
    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1">Aodh, a topic related to "Irish" gigs:in 1997 I attended a conference at the Unoversity of Manchester on Creative Mythologies, which attracted a number of Irish academics. The very keen and efficient (Russian) organiser had decided that, being serious academic types we would not want a bar, which is a very doubtful proposition at the best of times, and when your keynote speaker is T.A. Shippey, downright erroneous. At the close of the day's proceedings, Tom led a long procession to the nearest hostelry, which chanced to be an "Irish" pub. The Irish contingent were fascinated, because they had never experienced anything like it ....
    The incarnate mind, the tongue and the tale are in our world coeval.

  15. Dorwiniondil's Avatar
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    <DIV =WebWizRTE leftmargin="1" topmargin="1" marginheight="1" marginwidth="1">Unfortunately your second link doesn't seem to work for me, and the first gives the entire text of Pearce's book ....
    The incarnate mind, the tongue and the tale are in our world coeval.

  16. Aodh Hammerhelm's Avatar
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    @ Dorwiniondil,

    A classic anecdote, freond - I can picture their faces. Why is it that other folks visions of a country are so far removed from the realities?



  17. Dorwiniondil's Avatar
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    #17
    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1"> I think I should amend my post slightly - to say they were "fascinated" is rather misleading, because it gives too positive an image of their reaction as I recall it ....
    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1">
    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1">Anyway, at least I seem to have tracked down the reference to heaven being Oxford lifted and placed in the County Down. Apparently it's in "Surprised by Joy", which alas in my case I have not got.
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  18. halfir's Avatar
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    <DIV =WebWizRTE marginheight="1" marginwidth="1" leftmargin="1" topmargin="1">It has been suggested that on occasion individuals whose membership of the Plaza has been suspended have returned as new members- but masquerading under another name.
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    He that would foil me must use such weapons as I do, for I have not fed my readers with straw, neither will I be confuted with stubble.

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