[BOOKS] ✯ A Secret Vice ✴ J.R.R. Tolkien – Furosemidelasix.info

A Secret Vice A Secret Vice Is The Title Of A Lecture Written By J R R Tolkien In , Given At A Conference Some Twenty Years Later, Tolkien Revised The Manuscript For A Second PresentationIt Deals With Constructed Languages In General, And The Relation Of A Mythology To Its Language Tolkien Contrasts International Auxiliary Languages With Artistic Languages Constructed For Aesthetic Pleasure Tolkien Also Discusses Phonaesthetics, Citing Greek, Finnish, And Welsh As Examples Of Languages Which Have A Very Characteristic And In Their Different Ways Beautiful Word FormTolkien S Opinion Of The Relation Of Mythology And Language Is Reflected In Examples Cited In Quenya And Noldorin, The Predecessors Of Quenya And Sindarin The Essay Contains Three Quenya Poems, Oilima Markirya The Last Ark , Nieninque, And Earendel, As Well As An Eight Line Passage In NoldorinFrom Wikipedia I was browsing the shelves of a bookshop when my eye was caught by a book that was about to placed between thematically similar volumes Its beautifully coloured cover seemed to call my attention just like the One Ring did coincidentally, the cover is designed like the One Ring Fortunately, I didn t spot any Gollums near, intent on taking back this precious gem.As a huge Tolkien fan and as a linguist I highly appreciate the efforts the editors made, in order to show us the creative process of I was browsing the shelves of a bookshop when my eye was caught by a book that was about to placed between thematically similar volumes Its beautifully coloured cover seemed to call my attention just like the One Ring did coincidentally, the cover is designed like the One Ring Fortunately, I didn t spot any Gollums near, intent on taking back this precious gem.As a huge Tolkien fan and as a linguist I highly appreciate the efforts the editors made, in order to show us the creative process of the two essays that are annotated in this book Most people who read about Tolkien sooner or later stumble upon the phrase a secret vice , Tolkien s euphemism that refers to his leisurely activity of inventing languages This phrase is also the title of the first essay in this book It is a speech first delivered to the Johnson Society on 29 November 1931 and then slightly adjusted for a hypothesized second delivery some twenty years later In this essay Tolkien reflects on what he has been doing for the last 15 years playing with language He places this secret vice in a historical light and ultimately presents some of his own creations to the society The editors Fimi and Higgins are to be commended for their highly interesting attempts at tracing the origins of certain phrases and terms.The second essay is an originally 8 page essay written on Oxford paper read the book if you want to know what this is entitled Esssay on Phonetic Symbolism It sheds some light on Tolkien s conception of both onomatopoeia, the most iconic kind of ideophones as well as broader phonetic symbolism Generally speaking, Tolkien is highly sensitive to the different effects different languages can have on people he is convinced that English has a unique English sound phonotactics , so does Welsh, Greek and so on The sum of the observed features of different languages can be termed the phonetic predilection of that language And connecting his reflections on this matter to what is known about his secret vices no doubt will give the reader an enlightening experience.And as a bonus there are some manuscripts typed out, expertly annotated, that have been added to this volume.It is worth a philological and careful read by those who have an interest in Tolkienian languages, sound symbolism and those who wish to read an interesting book OVERVIEWAlthough I m always excited about a new Tolkien book, I was hesitant about spending money on A Secret Vice since the essay that forms the core of the book is published in The Monsters and the Critics, which I already own Ultimately, I do think A Secret Vice is an engaging critical edition, and the editors made a good call to republish the essay as a standalone book with additional supporting material including an introduction, another essay on phonetic symbolism, a look at the various OVERVIEWAlthough I m always excited about a new Tolkien book, I was hesitant about spending money on A Secret Vice since the essay that forms the core of the book is published in The Monsters and the Critics, which I already own Ultimately, I do think A Secret Vice is an engaging critical edition, and the editors made a good call to republish the essay as a standalone book with additional supporting material including an introduction, another essay on phonetic symbolism, a look at the various manuscripts revisions of the essay, and a coda about the legacy of Tolkien s languages The Monsters and the Critics basically just collects several of Tolkien s academic lectures The limited external commentary means the lectures can be overwhelming or confusing to readers who don t already have some knowledge about the topics the lectures address A Secret Vice fixes that problem and provides a nice introduction to settle readers into the linguistic theory that Tolkien used to invent the languages of Middle Earth, while also offeringin depth material foracademically minded readers Basically, I think this book works well for both a general audience and scholars THE INTRODUCTIONThe editors introduction to A Secret Vice is a quick but comprehensive overview of what Tolkien covers in the essay A Secret Vice itself and of some of the contemporary linguistic theory that informed Tolkien s work on languages It is a nice reminder, as well, that Tolkien was interested in linguistics and philology, which I think is still overlooked, even as Tolkien s other academic work medieval literary studies continues to gain recognition.The editors outline four major characters Tolkien desired his languages to have, which I found a useful way to organize the information from the book 1 aesthetically pleasing word forms2 fitness between form and meaning3 elaborate grammars4 illusion of historicityI was initially skeptical about point two, since what I know about language theory is from Saussure, who declares that the signifier is unrelated to the signified words their forms or sounds are not related at all to the objects or ideas they describe Saussure s theory dominates academia today However, the introduction presents a brief overview of earlier scholars who argued word form and meaning could be related and how this might be I like the idea that Tolkien tried to adhere to this theory in his own language invention, even if success in that area must be largely subjective.My one gripe is that the introduction occasionally repeats itself in a manner I find odd My only explanation is that the authors were thinking that readers might skip about the introduction and read only certain subsections they found interesting While such selective reading is common in academia Who reads an entire monograph from start to end , I think it would be unusual for someone not to read the introduction with some care, particularly when the introduction and the book as a whole are not very long Repeating the same point three times is unnecessary.A SECRET VICEI admit it I enjoyed this essay muchwith the context of the introduction than I would have without it The essay is really a lecture that Tolkien read aloud to an undergraduate society at Oxford, and reading it reminded me of similar lectures I have attended throughout my own academic career Unlike actual essays, which tend to have a strong thesis focus structure, these lectures somewhere between formal and informal , tend to be meandering I often leave them asking myself, What was the main point and Tolkien s work is no exception.Tolkien, you see, begins with some general ponderings on language and language construction He talks a lot about Esperanto He, eventually, gets to reflecting on people he knows who have created languages He takes an odd digression into why some of these languages do not actually count as invented languages or contribute to his argument Finally, he gets to the topic one would have thought was the point all along his own invented languages With a bit of explanation of his process and some examples of poems he s written in his own languages, the lecture is done I suppose it sof a narrative than an essay Tolkien eases into his main topic he doesn t forefront it with a clear thesis This isn t my favorite structure, so I appreciated that the introduction outlined some main take aways of the lecture Frankly, I think it might be possible for a reader to miss them However, once you have your bearings with the lecture, it does offer fascinating insight into Tolkien s invented language production.ESSAY ON PHONETIC SYMBOLISMThis essay istechnical It isn t entirely clear what audience Tolkien intended it for The book does a lot of cross referencing between this essay and A Secret Vice, so for many readers it s going to be most useful to shed light on A Secret Vice The editors point out that the essay appears to have been written in one sitting, and I do think it reads like a draft It s a bit confusing at times, but the editorial notes are helpful.THE MANUSCRIPTSPublishing every existing manuscript draft of a work is currently a popular scholarly practice and has been standard practice for all of the most recent Tolkien books Scholars want to avoid publishing a definitive version of a text if one doesn t clearly exist, and they also want to provide readers with the chance to see an author s process and how his her ideas developed and changed over drafts In theory, this is interesting In practice, I don t read these sections of the book Unless I m doing an academic study,I don t have a lot of personal interest in reading five versions of the same text to pick out what s different between them I think a general audience would agree with me for the most part, but if you re really into Tolkien studies, this section of the book will be useful to you and give you access to material you d otherwise need to get from the Bodleian library.CODAThis section of the book reads most like something the authors intended for a general audience, rather than an academic one It starts with an overview of Tolkien s work that will be old news to many serious Tolkien fans However, it does offer some new information specifically on Tolkien s language invention and ends with a reflection on how Tolkien s work has influenced fantasy I learned, for instance, that linguists are routinely hired to help create fantasy languages for books or for books turned to movies Apparently George R R Martin mentions Dothraki briefly in A Song of Ice and Fire, but HBO hired linguists to flesh it out for the television series It s not an earth shattering section, but it s entertaining and nicely wraps up the book as a whole I never thought I would have enjoyed a collection of essays on the creation of languages so interesting. Edited by Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins, this work contains a manuscript edition of Tolkien s best known reflection on languages and their aesthetics his lecture on language invention titled A Secret Vice Beyond an annotated version of the various versions of this lecture, it also contains the first time publication of an additional talk or essay on the subject, the Essay on Phonetic Symbolism Finally, Fimi and Higgins provide a lengthy introduction to both texts and a short coda with r Edited by Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins, this work contains a manuscript edition of Tolkien s best known reflection on languages and their aesthetics his lecture on language invention titled A Secret Vice Beyond an annotated version of the various versions of this lecture, it also contains the first time publication of an additional talk or essay on the subject, the Essay on Phonetic Symbolism Finally, Fimi and Higgins provide a lengthy introduction to both texts and a short coda with reflections on the reception and elaboration of Tolkien s languages since, as well as some brief observations about the increasing popularity of conlanging While not providing anything ground breakingly new for the understanding of Tolkien himself, it is definitely worth having for Tolkien collectors and especially those interested in his views on language There are so many editorial notes, explanations, introductions, and appendices that by the end I forgot that the main text was by Tolkien himself The editors set two of Tolkien s essays in context In A Secret Vice Tolkien s tone is almost one of confession that he is an inventor of languages just for the fun of it And almost as a side note, but of interest to those of us who mainly feast on The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, we glimpse the idea that a language needs a people to speak it, There are so many editorial notes, explanations, introductions, and appendices that by the end I forgot that the main text was by Tolkien himself The editors set two of Tolkien s essays in context In A Secret Vice Tolkien s tone is almost one of confession that he is an inventor of languages just for the fun of it And almost as a side note, but of interest to those of us who mainly feast on The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, we glimpse the idea that a language needs a people to speak it, a world for them to live in, and a history influencing their thought and speech The second essay On Phonetic Symbolism is a bitacademic and harder to understand, but the main idea seems to be that the sound of a language s words and the relationship between sound and meaning is important I love this final tribute the editors quote from Terry Pratchett that Tolkien appears in the fantasy universe in the same way that Mount Fuji appeared in old Japanese prints Sometimes small, in the distance, and sometimes big and close to, and sometimes not there at all, and that s because the artist is standing on Mount Fuji Drs Fimi and Higgins have done Tolkien fans a real service with this new volume In addition to the key essay giving the book its title, they have uncovered several interesting addenda including a previously omitted section of the Vice essay, details on when the paper was delivered to an audience, and a related piece on phono aesthetics.The meaty introduction does a great job of synthesizing the relevant data on how Tolkien invented his languages As a half hearted Esperantist myself, I appreci Drs Fimi and Higgins have done Tolkien fans a real service with this new volume In addition to the key essay giving the book its title, they have uncovered several interesting addenda including a previously omitted section of the Vice essay, details on when the paper was delivered to an audience, and a related piece on phono aesthetics.The meaty introduction does a great job of synthesizing the relevant data on how Tolkien invented his languages As a half hearted Esperantist myself, I appreciated how they brought in the details regarding Tolkien s experience with Esperanto and their nuanced treatment thereof.The editors are also giving a 3 part seminar on the book through the Mythgard Academy I am extremely interested in lang and the creation of new languages although I was a lit student Informative introduction that explained the beliefs of Tolkien s contemporaries on language development and forms This was very helpful as it has been a while since I took a class on this subject Tolkien s essay was a great read and suitable for anyone who is into the subject of inventing fantasy languages, even when you are not so much into The Lord of the Rings or other Tolkien works The I am extremely interested in lang and the creation of new languages although I was a lit student Informative introduction that explained the beliefs of Tolkien s contemporaries on language development and forms This was very helpful as it has been a while since I took a class on this subject Tolkien s essay was a great read and suitable for anyone who is into the subject of inventing fantasy languages, even when you are not so much into The Lord of the Rings or other Tolkien works The book might be a little to theoretical difficult for someone with no prior experience in linguistics Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins 2016 publication of J.R.R Tolkien s A Secret Vice in a critical form is very welcome A Secret Vice Tolkien on Invented Language is a beautifully designed edition in the HarperCollins Middle earth series, and includes critical texts with extensive notes of two of Tolkien s connected lectures, A Secret Vice and Essay on Phonetic Symbolism They also publish a number of related manuscript notes in Bodleian Tolkien MS 24 which would only be available to peo Dimitra Fimi and Andrew Higgins 2016 publication of J.R.R Tolkien s A Secret Vice in a critical form is very welcome A Secret Vice Tolkien on Invented Language is a beautifully designed edition in the HarperCollins Middle earth series, and includes critical texts with extensive notes of two of Tolkien s connected lectures, A Secret Vice and Essay on Phonetic Symbolism They also publish a number of related manuscript notes in Bodleian Tolkien MS 24 which would only be available to people with archival access The volume closes with a chapter on The Reception and Legacy of Tolkien s Invented Languages and a helpful chronology of Tolkien s philological and language work in 1925 1933 Overall, A Secret Vice is excellently done, neither disappearing too deeply into the involved worlds of Tolkienist language scholarship nor skating quickly across the issues The reviews of scholarship are adequate though not exhaustive, and the review is accessible to new students Some will use this book for a broad based introduction, while others will use it primarily for the texts My criticism and concerns are probably issues of publication rather than editorial control I am eternally frustrated by endnotes, especially in critical editions This is even less endearing when we are dealing with conlang poetry My shout into the wind on this issue will do little to shift what is the normal practice in the industry Beyond that, the coda that offers the section on Tolkien language reception could have been longer A littledetail about the living nature of Elvin tongues would be welcome, but I am surprised we don t have a significant portion on what is the most extensive and complete post Tolkien Tolkienist conlang, that of The Game of Thrones on screen I can only guess that someone else has done this job or that it didn t fit in the vision of the publishers or others behind the scenes These issues are minor and shouldn t take away from a volume of worth As a fan, as a curious reader, I m appreciative of Drs Fimi and Higgins for their work.See full review on www.aPilgrimInNarnia.com on Nov 13, 2019 Tolkien would attempt to invent a hypothetical Germanic language from which Gothic supposedly emerged, Gautisk, which also would have been the language of the Geats, the people of Beowulf He would use the same notebook he would later use to start work on his Qenya language in early 1915 see Smith 2006, pp 272 4 may be the most Tolkienian reference ever.


About the Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE was an English writer, poet, WWI veteran a First Lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers, British Army , philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the high fantasy classic worksThe HobbitandThe Lord of the Rings .Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo Saxon at Oxford from 1925 to 1945, and Merton Professor of English language and literature from 1945 to 1959 He was a close friend of C.S Lewis.Christopher Tolkien published a series of works based on his father s extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, includingThe SilmarillionThese, together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, form a connected body of tales, poems, fictional histories, invented languages, and literary essays about an imagined world called Arda, and Middle earth within it Between 1951 and 1955, Tolkien applied the word legendarium to the larger part of these writings While many other authors had published works of fantasy before Tolkien, the great success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings led directly to a popular resurgence of the genre This has caused Tolkien to be popularly identified as the father of modern fantasy literature orprecisely, high fantasy Tolkien s writings have inspired many other works of fantasy and have had a lasting effect on the entire field.In 2008, The Times ranked him sixth on a list of The 50 greatest British writers since 1945 Forbes ranked him the 5th top earning dead celebrity in 2009.Religious influencesJ.R.R Tolkien, was born in South Africa in 1892, but his family moved to Britain when he was about 3 years old When Tolkien was 8 years old, his mother converted to Catholicism, and he remained a Catholic throughout his life In his last interview, two years before his death, he unhesitatingly testified, I m a devout Roman Catholic Tolkien married his childhood sweetheart, Edith, and they had four children He wrote them letters each year as if from Santa Claus, and a selection of these was published in 1976 asThe Father Christmas LettersOne of Tolkien s sons became a Catholic priest Tolkien was an advisor for the translation of theJerusalem BibleTolkien once described The Lord of the Rings to his friend Robert Murray, an English Jesuit priest, as a fundamentally religious and Catholic work, unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision There are many theological themes underlying the narrative including the battle of good versus evil, the triumph of humility over pride, and the activity of grace In addition the saga includes themes which incorporate death and immortality, mercy and pity, resurrection, salvation, repentance, self sacrifice, free will, justice, fellowship, authority and healing In addition The Lord s Prayer And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil was reportedly present in Tolkien s mind as he described Frodo s struggles against the power of the One Ring.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *