Quote of the Day

4.19.2007

The Children of Húrin

There is a new Tolkien book out. Here is Time magazine's article on The Children of Húrin, the Wikipedia entry, and the Amazon link so you can see the cover.

Did you know that the Elven language that Tolkien created is one of the only two fully functional created languages? The other is Esperanto. To be fully functional, a language has to have devices that show time, plurality, etc. English uses verbs for time (I eat, I ate) and the letter s for plurals (one cat, two cats). Anyway, Tolkien created an entire working language (this staggers me -- like he didn't have enough to do writing the novels?) for the elves to speak in his novels.

The Wikipedia entry on J R R Tolkien is a nice quick read, if you would like to know more about him. Otherwise I will leave you with one last nugget of Tolkienism. When Seamus Heaney, winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, was crafting his beautiful dual-language work, Beowulf: A New Translation, he tipped his hat in his introduction to one, and only one, other Beowulf scholar: J.R.R. Tolkien. Here is Wikipedia (yes, I know, how scholarly of me) summation of relationship twixt Tolkien and Beowulf:
Beowulf exercised an important influence on J.R.R. Tolkien, who wrote the landmark essay Beowulf: the Monsters and the Critics while a professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University. Significantly, the word orc-neas is used to describe Grendel's race. Many parallels can also be drawn between Beowulf and The Hobbit.
All of this is to say that if you enjoyed the LOTR books, you can add two books to your "To Read" pile. The Children of Hurin and Beowulf: A New Verse Translation.

1 comment:

Kim from Hiraethh said...

Hello!

Thanks for stopping by at Hiraeth! I love the look of your blog--so clean and fresh! And by poking around, I can see that we have a lot in common!

Oh! I just discovered your links to my blogs! Thank you, Suzanne!

I shall be back. . .books, cooks, church, et al. . .