Session Title

Asterisk Tolkien: Filling Medieval Lacunae

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Dept. of Religious Studies and Philosophy, The Hill School

Organizer Name

John Wm. Houghton

Organizer Affiliation

Hill School

Presider Name

John Wm. Houghton

Paper Title 1

The "Lost" Language of the Hobbits

Presenter 1 Name

Deidre Dawson

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Independent Scholar

Paper Title 2

"To Recall Forgotten Gods from Their Twilight": Tolkien, Machen, and Lovecraft

Presenter 2 Name

John D. Rateliff

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Independent Scholar

Paper Title 3

"Backdreaming" Beowulf's Scyld Scefing Legend

Presenter 3 Name

Anna Smol

Presenter 3 Affiliation

Mount St. Vincent Univ.

Paper Title 4

Bred in Mockery

Presenter 4 Name

Michael Wodzak

Presenter 4 Affiliation

Viterbo Univ.

Start Date

14-5-2016 10:00 AM

Session Location

Fetzer 1060

Description

As an heir to the successes of nineteenth-century historical linguistics, J. R. R. Tolkien was accustomed to the philologist's claim to fill in gaps: not simply on the small scale of supplying a missing word in a manuscript or an unattested form (conventionally marked by an asterisk) in an etymology, but also at the level of reconstructing the literatures and cultures of lost civilizations from their linguistic remains. Considered from this philological perspective, the boundary between Tolkien's scholarly and literary work broadens out into a debatable marchland where (for example) the Beowulf translation, Sellic Spell and the "The King of the Golden Hall" chapter of The Two Towers are three locales in a single district. In a 1979 essay, T. A. Shippey referred to Tolkien's "creation from philology": this session's papers explore the continuum between philology and creation.

John Wm. Houghton

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May 14th, 10:00 AM

Asterisk Tolkien: Filling Medieval Lacunae

Fetzer 1060

As an heir to the successes of nineteenth-century historical linguistics, J. R. R. Tolkien was accustomed to the philologist's claim to fill in gaps: not simply on the small scale of supplying a missing word in a manuscript or an unattested form (conventionally marked by an asterisk) in an etymology, but also at the level of reconstructing the literatures and cultures of lost civilizations from their linguistic remains. Considered from this philological perspective, the boundary between Tolkien's scholarly and literary work broadens out into a debatable marchland where (for example) the Beowulf translation, Sellic Spell and the "The King of the Golden Hall" chapter of The Two Towers are three locales in a single district. In a 1979 essay, T. A. Shippey referred to Tolkien's "creation from philology": this session's papers explore the continuum between philology and creation.

John Wm. Houghton