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  1. Jim Deutch

    The Female Orc Problem

    Nice mega-thread going on Orcs. Do they have souls? Are they irredeemably evil? Why does everyone slaughter them without a qualm? We've not once mentioned the role of female orcs. Where are they? What is their moral and social status? Does their undoubted existence shed any light on all the...
  2. Jim Deutch

    Mashups

    A humor thread for mashups of any kind; books, movies, sayings, memes, whatever, just so long as they're short and funny (assuming you "get it", anyway). I'll start: "Hello. My name is Darth Vader. I am your father. Prepare to die." - The Jedi Bride "Beam me up again, Sam". - Captain Rick...
  3. Jim Deutch

    Podcast feeds inaccessable and/or months behind

    Help! I want to listen and I can't get any new podcasts! Anyone have pointers to other download sites, or news about any of these? http://s3.amazonaws.com/media.podcast/feeds/TolkienProf.xml -- last updated with ELotR 126 in December...
  4. Jim Deutch

    The Concept of Subcreation in Literature

    “On Fairy Stories” and other writings of JRRT more or less define his concept of subcreation, and I’m not going to try to even summarize it here; it has been discussed by Professor Olsen many times. But I have never seen it defined or discussed in literature by any other author before, and I...
  5. Jim Deutch

    and light upon her banners laid

    There was some question/confusion about this line of the Eärendil poem: "and light upon her banners laid". Did he hang a lantern above the banners to light them up? Were they made of something *shiny*? (cue "Black Crow" by Joni Mitchell) Could it have been the light of the Silmaril? No, that...
  6. Jim Deutch

    Bilbo's Ring-induced monologue

    In episode 113, Professor Olsen discussed Bilbo's "ring-induced monologue" where he tells Frodo about how he had wanted to go back to The Shire and bring the Ring to Rivendell himself, to spare Frodo the burden and all, when he first heard that the Enemy wanted it. It was noted that this...
  7. Jim Deutch

    Sonoesthetics and metaphor: glimmers in the gloaming

    I ran into a very interesting article. It doesn't mention Tolkien, or invented languages, but seems very relevant to our discussions of these. https://aeon.co/essays/why-meaning-is-more-sunken-into-words-than-we-realise That's pretty cool. The idea that synaesthesia is the basis of all...
  8. Jim Deutch

    Frodo's Awe at Meeting Elrond: my personal experience

    In episode 107 there was considerable discussion of the wonder that Frodo felt at meeting Elrond "of whom so many stories tell". The best comparison we came up with in class was to one of us meeting King Arthur in person. But I think many of us have our own stories of feeling that sort of awe...
  9. Jim Deutch

    Malory - concluding episodes: Access Denied

    I could swear I listened to the entire "Gawayn's Vengance" episode and at the end two more were promised: one to finish up the book, and one more for the Monty Python film. But now the next episode 35 has appeared in the RSS feed, and it is titled Monty Python. Is one missing? Furthermore...
  10. Jim Deutch

    Netflix Watership Down - Opinions?

    Most of the Netflix reviews of their Watership Down 4-episode series are quite positive. The recurring negative is the cheap animation "like a 1990's video game". There are also a mind-boggling number that say it was very good, but they still prefer the 1978 animated movie. . . But I didn't...
  11. Jim Deutch

    Tristram & Isode "talking in a window"

    Corey discussed what Malory could be getting at here, when King Mark immediately jumps to the "treason!" conclusion from the report that Tristram and Isode were seen talking in a window. Shakespear reprises this very scene and phrase in Much Ado About Nothing: This strategem works perfectly (if...
  12. Jim Deutch

    Ceci n'est pas une pipe

    I think Professor Olsen was too dismissive of the piper. (and I word that very carefully) His attitude seems to be summed up by "who cares about the piper dude?" but he never questioned the piper's actual existence. I do not believe there is a piper at all. The piping is more like a sound in...
  13. Jim Deutch

    Who doesn't like hemlock umbels?

    All my life I've made the same mistake and had the same confusion as this blog author: http://khkeeler.blogspot.com/2014/12/plant-confusion-hemlock-both-umbels-and.html Hemlock is a tree, in my experience. The plant Tolkien names in the Tinuviel poem is known around here as "poison hemlock"...
  14. Jim Deutch

    Peregrin/Pippin

    Corey postulates a pattern in the use of Pippin's full name vs. his nickname, especially in the case of mention by the narrator, and even more especially in the case of mention by the various postulated narrators and authors and translators/transcribers such as Frodo, Sam, Gondorian scribes...
  15. Jim Deutch

    Malory and the prefix "be"

    Reading Malory, I got interested in the prefix "be" when I spotted the word about how Nimue was being constantly hassled by Merlin and couldn't get rid of him: What a cool word, "beskyfte". You can tell what it means from context: she couldn't discourage his attentions. After some thought, I...
  16. Jim Deutch

    What is Malory "about"?

    It seems that most modern re-tellings of Arthurian stories inject an over-arching theme of moral conflict. They depict Arthur as a "Roman" Briton, trying to conserve civilization against the invading Saxon barbarians; Arthur as a Christian King in conflict with the old Celtic religion; Arthur as...
  17. Jim Deutch

    Can we have a forum section for Le Mort d'Arthur?

    Can we have a forum section created for Le Mort d'Arthur? The last one created was for HGTTG and it was little-used, but Professor Olsen estimates this course will last for 30 sessions (so expect 40 ;)) and there isn't yet any place here really appropriate for discussing it. What is the best...
  18. Jim Deutch

    "Ontology recapitulates philology"

    I was struck by this quote: "Ontology recapitulates philology" [attributed to James Grier Miller by W.V. Quine in "Word and Object"]. Not only is it a punning reworking of the old (and quite invalid) chestnut in evolutionary biology "ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny", but it has direct...
  19. Jim Deutch

    You're always popping up

    Could there be a connotation of something magical or uncanny when Tolkien uses the word "pop" in The Lord of the Rings? I was almost sure, listening to the latest podcast, that Butterbur had already described Strider as "popping up" before the talk in the Hobbits' room and yes, there it is...
  20. Jim Deutch

    Gleam alliteration - no gold

    I took up the challenge to count the alliterations with the word "gleam" in The Lord of the Rings. I really wanted it to be true, so I was very liberal in allowing any g-word, even at a fair distance -- not even necessarily in the same sentence. Still, the best statistic I could get was that...
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