• Getting started with Finnish and Old German Folklore

    From Faux Dameron@21:1/5 to All on Fri May 29 13:50:35 2020
    Hi all,

    I've read many times that Tolkien's works were heavily influenced by
    Finnish and Old Germanic (i.e. German, Scandinavian, Icelandish, etc.)
    legends and folklore.

    I was wondering if someone could point me to any specific works that
    would have been an inspiration to Tolkien's works. Thanks.

    FD

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  • From Stan Brown@21:1/5 to Faux Dameron on Fri May 29 07:35:30 2020
    On 29 May 2020 13:50:35 GMT, Faux Dameron wrote:

    I've read many times that Tolkien's works were heavily influenced
    by Finnish and Old Germanic (i.e. German, Scandinavian, Icelandish,
    etc.) legends and folklore.

    I was wondering if someone could point me to any specific works that
    would have been an inspiration to Tolkien's works. Thanks.

    The Kalevala, in particular the story of Kullervo. Somewhere in a
    letter, I think, Tolkien actually said that Kullervo was the model
    for Turin Turambar.

    Here it is, from Letter 163, to W. H. Auden:

    "I was immensely attracted by something in the air of the Kalevala,
    even in Kirby?s poor translation. ... But the beginning of the
    legendarium, of which the Trilogy is part (the conclusion), was in an
    attempt to reorganize some of the Kalevala, especially the tale of
    Kullervo the hapless, into a form of my own."

    --
    Stan Brown, Tehachapi, California, USA
    https://BrownMath.com/
    https://OakRoadSystems.com/
    Tolkien FAQs: http://Tolkien.slimy.com (Steuard Jensen)
    Tolkien letters FAQ: http://preview.tinyurl.com/pr6sa7u
    FAQ of the Rings: http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    Encyclopedia of Arda: http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/default.htm

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  • From Steve Morrison@21:1/5 to Stan Brown on Fri May 29 18:40:39 2020
    On Fri, 29 May 2020 07:35:30 -0700, Stan Brown wrote:

    On 29 May 2020 13:50:35 GMT, Faux Dameron wrote:

    I've read many times that Tolkien's works were heavily influenced
    by Finnish and Old Germanic (i.e. German, Scandinavian, Icelandish,
    etc.) legends and folklore.

    I was wondering if someone could point me to any specific works that
    would have been an inspiration to Tolkien's works. Thanks.

    The Kalevala, in particular the story of Kullervo. Somewhere in a
    letter, I think, Tolkien actually said that Kullervo was the model
    for Turin Turambar.

    Here it is, from Letter 163, to W. H. Auden:

    "I was immensely attracted by something in the air of the Kalevala,
    even in Kirby?s poor translation. ... But the beginning of the
    legendarium, of which the Trilogy is part (the conclusion), was in an
    attempt to reorganize some of the Kalevala, especially the tale of
    Kullervo the hapless, into a form of my own."

    The Kalevala has precursors for quite a few other things in Tolkien,
    too. The quest for the Sampo and its aftermath are similar in quite a
    few ways to the quest of the Silmaril. And in an early section of the
    Kalevala, a wizard in a predicament is rescued by a mighty eagle who
    remembers a favor the wizard did him long ago. Tor.com blogs once
    published a post on the Kalevala here: https://www.tor.com/2011/09/20/the-beauty-of-the-kalevala/
    which contains some advice on which translation to read. (Though you
    can also find some older translations on Project Gutenberg, including
    the Kirby translation which Tolkien read.)
    As for Norse/Germanic mythology: Tolkien was also heavily influenced
    by the Volsung cycle. You can easily find the /Volsung Saga/ either
    online or in book form; the /Poetic Edda/ also contains stories from
    it, as well as quite a bit else which influenced Tolkien. (E.g., the
    well-known list of dwarf-names which Tolkien raided for the names of
    Thorin and Company.)

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  • From John W Kennedy@21:1/5 to Steve Morrison on Fri May 29 16:11:58 2020
    On 5/29/20 2:40 PM, Steve Morrison wrote:
    On Fri, 29 May 2020 07:35:30 -0700, Stan Brown wrote:

    On 29 May 2020 13:50:35 GMT, Faux Dameron wrote:

    I've read many times that Tolkien's works were heavily influenced
    by Finnish and Old Germanic (i.e. German, Scandinavian, Icelandish,
    etc.) legends and folklore.

    I was wondering if someone could point me to any specific works that
    would have been an inspiration to Tolkien's works. Thanks.

    The Kalevala, in particular the story of Kullervo. Somewhere in a
    letter, I think, Tolkien actually said that Kullervo was the model
    for Turin Turambar.

    Here it is, from Letter 163, to W. H. Auden:

    "I was immensely attracted by something in the air of the Kalevala,
    even in Kirby?s poor translation. ... But the beginning of the
    legendarium, of which the Trilogy is part (the conclusion), was in an
    attempt to reorganize some of the Kalevala, especially the tale of
    Kullervo the hapless, into a form of my own."

    The Kalevala has precursors for quite a few other things in Tolkien,
    too. The quest for the Sampo and its aftermath are similar in quite a
    few ways to the quest of the Silmaril. And in an early section of the Kalevala, a wizard in a predicament is rescued by a mighty eagle who remembers a favor the wizard did him long ago. Tor.com blogs once
    published a post on the Kalevala here: https://www.tor.com/2011/09/20/the-beauty-of-the-kalevala/
    which contains some advice on which translation to read. (Though you
    can also find some older translations on Project Gutenberg, including
    the Kirby translation which Tolkien read.)
    As for Norse/Germanic mythology: Tolkien was also heavily influenced
    by the Volsung cycle. You can easily find the /Volsung Saga/ either
    online or in book form; the /Poetic Edda/ also contains stories from
    it, as well as quite a bit else which influenced Tolkien. (E.g., the well-known list of dwarf-names which Tolkien raided for the names of
    Thorin and Company.)

    It’s easy to draw one-to-one lines between Wagner’s ring and Tolkien’s ring, too. (It was the matter of my 12th-grade English term paper.)

    --
    John W. Kennedy
    "The blind rulers of Logres
    Nourished the land on a fallacy of rational virtue."
    -- Charles Williams. "Taliessin through Logres: Prelude"

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  • From Stan Brown@21:1/5 to John W Kennedy on Fri May 29 14:59:17 2020
    On Fri, 29 May 2020 16:11:58 -0400, John W Kennedy wrote:

    It?s easy to draw one-to-one lines between Wagner?s ring and Tolkien?s
    ring, too. (It was the matter of my 12th-grade English term paper.)

    And of a section of the FAQ of the Rings, too. (URL below.)

    --
    Stan Brown, Tehachapi, California, USA
    https://BrownMath.com/
    https://OakRoadSystems.com/
    Tolkien FAQs: http://Tolkien.slimy.com (Steuard Jensen)
    Tolkien letters FAQ: http://preview.tinyurl.com/pr6sa7u
    FAQ of the Rings: http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    Encyclopedia of Arda: http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/default.htm

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  • From Steve Morrison@21:1/5 to Stan Brown on Sat May 30 01:03:35 2020
    On Fri, 29 May 2020 14:59:17 -0700, Stan Brown wrote:

    On Fri, 29 May 2020 16:11:58 -0400, John W Kennedy wrote:

    It?s easy to draw one-to-one lines between Wagner?s ring and Tolkien?s
    ring, too. (It was the matter of my 12th-grade English term paper.)

    And of a section of the FAQ of the Rings, too. (URL below.)

    There have been whole books written about Wagnerian influence on
    Tolkien. I recommend /Wagner and Tolkien: Mythmakers/ by Renee Vink.
    It compiles so many parallels between /LotR/ and /Der Ring/ as to
    leave me completely convinced that there was serious influence there--
    even after allowing for common sources, which this book carefully
    does.

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  • From John W Kennedy@21:1/5 to Steve Morrison on Fri May 29 22:25:02 2020
    On 5/29/20 9:03 PM, Steve Morrison wrote:
    On Fri, 29 May 2020 14:59:17 -0700, Stan Brown wrote:

    On Fri, 29 May 2020 16:11:58 -0400, John W Kennedy wrote:

    It?s easy to draw one-to-one lines between Wagner?s ring and Tolkien?s
    ring, too. (It was the matter of my 12th-grade English term paper.)

    And of a section of the FAQ of the Rings, too. (URL below.)

    There have been whole books written about Wagnerian influence on
    Tolkien. I recommend /Wagner and Tolkien: Mythmakers/ by Renee Vink.
    It compiles so many parallels between /LotR/ and /Der Ring/ as to
    leave me completely convinced that there was serious influence there--
    even after allowing for common sources, which this book carefully
    does.

    Perhaps I should remark that I graduated from high school in 1966.

    Lin Carter treated the subject in his book a few years later.

    --
    John W. Kennedy
    "The blind rulers of Logres
    Nourished the land on a fallacy of rational virtue."
    -- Charles Williams. "Taliessin through Logres: Prelude"

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  • From O. Sharp@21:1/5 to Stan Brown on Sat May 30 20:23:53 2020
    Stan Brown <the_stan_brown@fastmail.fm> writes:
    On Fri, 29 May 2020 16:11:58 -0400, John W Kennedy wrote:

    It?s easy to draw one-to-one lines between Wagner?s ring and Tolkien?s
    ring, too. (It was the matter of my 12th-grade English term paper.)

    And of a section of the FAQ of the Rings, too. (URL below.)

    For those who aren't familiar with Wagner's version, there's a
    Horribly Accurate Synopsis Of The Ring Cycle (tm) posted at
    flyingmoose.org, home of the Tolkien Sarcasm Page. You can find it at:

    http://flyingmoose.org/stage/ring.htm

    I've worked backstage on the full Ring cycle more times than I can bear
    to remember. It doesn't radically improve with repetition.

    --------------------------------------------------------------
    ohh@panix.com Hi, everybody! Yes, I do still lurk here from
    time to time. :)

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  • From Stan Brown@21:1/5 to O. Sharp on Sat May 30 15:09:10 2020
    On Sat, 30 May 2020 20:23:53 +0000 (UTC), O. Sharp wrote:
    For those who aren't familiar with Wagner's version, there's a
    Horribly Accurate Synopsis Of The Ring Cycle (tm) posted at
    flyingmoose.org, home of the Tolkien Sarcasm Page. You can find it at:

    http://flyingmoose.org/stage/ring.htm

    Cute!

    I'm very fond of Anna Russell's version; do you know it? It's equally
    accurate.

    "So Siegfried gives Brunnhilde the Ring. She's his aunt, by the way.
    But they're in love and very happy, and you'd think that would be the
    end of it. No fear -- Gotterdammerung!"

    Later, when Siegfried drinks the magic potion and falls in love with
    Gutrune Gibich, Miss Russell informs us that "she's the only woman
    Siegfried has ever met who wasn't his aunt." When the laughter
    subsides, she says, in mock-offended tones, "I'm not making this up,
    you know!" -- which gets a bigger laugh.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CM33rgC2Fek

    is my favorite version, and the one that was on the album she signed
    for me in Philadelphia. It's about 20 minutes long, and I promise you
    will like it.

    Then there's this 2 minute synopsis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AgzZ_nLOJJE


    --
    Stan Brown, Tehachapi, California, USA
    https://BrownMath.com/
    https://OakRoadSystems.com/
    Tolkien FAQs: http://Tolkien.slimy.com (Steuard Jensen)
    Tolkien letters FAQ: https://preview.tinyurl.com/pr6sa7u
    FAQ of the Rings: https://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    Encyclopedia of Arda: http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/default.htm

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  • From Steve Morrison@21:1/5 to John W Kennedy on Mon Jun 15 20:27:43 2020
    On Fri, 29 May 2020 22:25:02 -0400, John W Kennedy wrote:

    On 5/29/20 9:03 PM, Steve Morrison wrote:
    On Fri, 29 May 2020 14:59:17 -0700, Stan Brown wrote:

    On Fri, 29 May 2020 16:11:58 -0400, John W Kennedy wrote:

    It?s easy to draw one-to-one lines between Wagner?s ring and Tolkien?s >>>> ring, too. (It was the matter of my 12th-grade English term paper.)

    And of a section of the FAQ of the Rings, too. (URL below.)

    There have been whole books written about Wagnerian influence on
    Tolkien. I recommend /Wagner and Tolkien: Mythmakers/ by Renee Vink.
    It compiles so many parallels between /LotR/ and /Der Ring/ as to
    leave me completely convinced that there was serious influence there--
    even after allowing for common sources, which this book carefully
    does.

    Perhaps I should remark that I graduated from high school in 1966.

    Lin Carter treated the subject in his book a few years later.

    Well, you and Carter certainly have priority, then.
    I've been rereading the Vink book, and it makes one interesting
    point: when Tolkien made his oft-quoted "both rings were round, and
    there the resemblance ceases" remark, he wasn't talking about Wagner
    at all! Here is the remark in context:


    /The Ring is in a certain way 'der Nibelungen Ring'. . . ./

    Both rings were round, and there the resemblance ceases.

    /. . . . which was originally forged by Volund the master-smith, and
    then by way of Vittka-Andvare passed through the hands of the mighty
    asar [Æsir] into the possession of Hreidmar and the dragon, after the
    dragon's fall coming to Sigurd the dragonslayer, after his murder by treacherous conspirators coming to the Burgundians, after their death
    in Atle's snake-pit coming to the Huns, then to the sons of Jonaker,
    to the Gothic tyrant Ermanrik, etc./

    Thank heaven for the /etc/. I began to fear that it would turn up in
    my pocket. Evidently Dr. O thinks that it is in his. But what is the
    point of all this? Those who know something about the Old Norse side
    of the 'Nibelung' traditions (mainly referred to since the name-forms
    used are Norse) will think this a farrago of nonsense; those who do
    not, will hardly be interested.


    As Tolkien points out, Ohlmarks's reference was to the Norse legends
    rather than to Wagner's /Ring/.

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  • From Stan Brown@21:1/5 to Stan Brown on Wed Jun 17 11:58:20 2020
    On Wed, 17 Jun 2020 11:56:12 -0700, Stan Brown wrote:

    Well, heck! [Steve Morrison's] point is well taken, and I can't
    imagine now how I
    failed to notice that when reading /Letters/. I'll have to figure out
    how to update the FAQ of the Rings.

    The person posting as "A Tsar Is Born" made the case that
    Wagner invented the idea of a ring-that-rules-the-world, which was
    not part of the Norse source material. The same poster also pointed
    out that Tolkien had been to performances of the Ring, and that
    "every literate human being in Europe" in Tolkien's time knew
    Wagner's story line.

    Of course, Tolkien developed the idea in quite a different direction
    from Wagner. But, despite Ohlmarks' misdirection, I think we are
    right to compare Tolkien's Ring to Wagner's, without worrying too
    much about the original Norse legends.

    For those who'd like to read the two articles by "A Tsar Is Born",
    here they are:

    https://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaqref.htm#Tsar_2002-04-11

    --
    Stan Brown, Tehachapi, California, USA
    https://BrownMath.com/
    https://OakRoadSystems.com/
    Tolkien FAQs: http://Tolkien.slimy.com (Steuard Jensen)
    Tolkien letters FAQ: https://preview.tinyurl.com/pr6sa7u
    FAQ of the Rings: https://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    Encyclopedia of Arda: http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/default.htm

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  • From Stan Brown@21:1/5 to Steve Morrison on Wed Jun 17 11:56:12 2020
    On Mon, 15 Jun 2020 20:27:43 -0000 (UTC), Steve Morrison wrote:

    I've been rereading the Vink book, and it makes one interesting
    point: when Tolkien made his oft-quoted "both rings were round, and
    there the resemblance ceases" remark, he wasn't talking about Wagner
    at all! Here is the remark in context:

    /The Ring is in a certain way 'der Nibelungen Ring'. . . ./

    Both rings were round, and there the resemblance ceases.

    /. . . . which was originally forged by Volund the master-smith, and
    then ...

    As Tolkien points out, Ohlmarks's reference was to the Norse legends
    rather than to Wagner's /Ring/.

    Well, heck! Your point is well taken, and I can't imagine now how I
    failed to notice that when reading /Letters/. I'll have to figure out
    how to update the FAQ of the Rings.

    I think we might say that Ohlmarks made yet another of his errors in
    comparing Tolkien's Ring to the one in the Norse sagas instead of to
    Wagner's. The person posting as "A Tsar Is Born" made the case that
    Wagner invented the idea of a ring-that-rules-the-world, which was
    not part of the Norse source material. The same poster also pointed
    out that Tolkien had been to performances of the Ring, and that
    "every literate human being in Europe" in Tolkien's time knew
    Wagner's story line.

    Of course, Tolkien developed the idea in quite a different direction
    from Wagner. But, despite Ohlmarks' misdirection, I think we are
    right to compare Tolkien's Ring to Wagner's, without worrying too
    much about the original Norse legends.

    --
    Stan Brown, Tehachapi, California, USA
    https://BrownMath.com/
    https://OakRoadSystems.com/
    Tolkien FAQs: http://Tolkien.slimy.com (Steuard Jensen)
    Tolkien letters FAQ: https://preview.tinyurl.com/pr6sa7u
    FAQ of the Rings: https://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
    Encyclopedia of Arda: http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/default.htm

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