Discussion:
Chapter of the Week LOTR Bk 2, Ch 4: Treebeard
(too old to reply)
Belba Grubb from Stock
2004-07-28 09:37:10 UTC
Permalink
Chapter of the Week: The Lord of the Rings, Book 2
Chapter 4 - Treebeard

To check out the other Chapters of the Week or to sign up to do a
chapter of your own, go to http://parasha.maoltuile.org.
_____________________________________________________

"The wind's changing," said Merry.

And so is the story, deepening and taking us into unexpected and
delightful new areas. Here we have hobbits on the loose for the first
time since they entered Bree, and what a treasure they discover:
Treebeard and the forest of Fangorn. What an effect they have there,
too, starting a cascade of events that will eventually have a strong
effect on the direction and outcome of the War of the Ring.
______________________________________________________

SUMMARY:

Merry and Pippin follow the Entwash west, deeper into Fangorn.
Feeling stifled by the close forest, they pause for a drink at the
river and then climb up a nearby hill to look around, not noticing how
quickly their injuries have healed and their vigor has returned. On
the hill they meet Treebeard, the Ent, for whom the forest is named.

Treebeard takes the hobbits to Wellinghall, one of his Ent-houses, for
the night, and the hobbits not only learn much about Ents, they also
tell Treebeard what little they know about events in the greater
world. Hearing this, Treebeard is able to "connect the dots" and
recognizes that his neighbor, Saruman in nearby Isengard, against whom
the Ents already have a strong grievance, "is plotting to become a
Power…And now it is clear that he is a black traitor." The old Ent's
anger rises, but so does his wisdom, and he calls an Entmoot for the
next day. Merry and Pippin, of course, are unable to take part in
that and so they are entrusted to the care of Quickbeam, who has
already made up his mind on the matter, having seen so many of his
people, "the people of the Rose" or rowan trees, suffer at the hands
of Saruman's Orcs. For two days the hobbits have some R&R with
Quickbeam, but on the third day, in the late afternoon, Entmoot is
adjourned with a great "RA-HOOM-RAH!" and the Ents begin to march to
Isengard. Merry and Pippin rejoin Treebeard, perched on his shoulders
at the head of the great marching column. They march all day, and at
dusk cross some bare slopes as they approach Isengard. Pippin looks
back and is astonished to see the empty slopes they had just crossed
are now covered with trees, all moving forward.

"At last they stood upon the summit, and looked down into a dark pit:
the great cleft at the end of the mountains: Nan Curunir, the Valley
of Saruman.

"'Night lies over Isengard,' said Treebeard."
______________________________________________________

DISCUSSION:

In "On Fairy-stories," JRRT described "one of the primal 'desires'
that lie near the heart of Faerie: the desire of men to hold communion
with other living things." In this chapter, then, we are quite as
close to the "heart of Faerie" as we ever will be. I've always loved
it, and now I understand a little better why that is so.

1. Ents, ents, ents! Just a few of the possible discussion topics
found here:
-- Ent houses: Why do Ents live in houses? It's important,
apparently; when they are going treeish they begin to just stand
anywhere.
-- Ent draughts: what are they and has Treebeard turned the Entwash
into one big Ent draught, at least within the borders of Fangorn
(judging by its healing effect on Merry and Pippin after their
ordeal).
-- Ent-wives. That poem of the dialogue between the two seems close
to the actual likes and differences of men and women in a marriage.

In contact, lo! the flint and steel,
By spark and flame, the thought reveal
That he the metal, she the stone,
Had cherished secretly alone.
-- Ambrose Bierce

How sad that it turned out the way it did for the Ents. No more
Entings. Will they ever get together again?
-- How does Treebeard cause the light on the trees and in his
"lamps"? It brings to mind
-- The Ent language.
-- Treebeard compares Ents to Men and also to Elves. How are they
similar and different, from our POV?
-- The wood moves in "Macbeth," though it's been a long time since I
read that play. What other literary sources might have inspired JRRT
here (Stephen Crane, perhaps). Compare/contrast?
-- The oldest living thing: how old is Treebeard? And here we learn
that there are beings in Fangorn older than him! Are they, then, the
oldest living things in Middle-earth? But what about Bombadil?

2. Men are apparently familiar with parts of Fangorn - they have given
the name of Derndingle to the site of the Entmoot, for instance. How
is it men would have come so far into the forest?

3. History of Middle-earth. For all his staying in one place,
Treebeard is remarkably versed in events outside. He knows that the
wizards came at around the time of the arrival of Elendil; he speaks a
few times of the Great Darkness (Morgoth's time, or that of Sauron,
before the Numenoreans "captured" him?); how Lorien has changed. We
learn quite a bit about that in this chapter.

4. Saruman. What do we learn about this wizard here, as seen from the
l-o-o-o-n-g perspective of his closest neighbors?

5. We learn something about the Tooks, too, and the strong presence of
the Old Took (Gerontius - what a perfect name: was he ever young, I
wonder). Imagine them just leaving everything in that room at
Tuckborough the way it was when the Old Took was alive. And yet we do
the same sorts of things - near Saratoga, New York, is the house where
U.S. Grant last stayed and wrote his memoirs before he died. It's
open to the public now, and when you go in there, it's still exactly
as it was, right down to the floral arrangements people sent at
Grant's death (which are rather depressing to look at now, of course).
In a way, this not letting go is very similar to the Ents, although
with them, it's part of an ongoing living process.

6. Trees, trees, trees! For the dendrologists out there -- I studied
a little forestry and recognize the accuracy of Merry and Pippin's
first impression of the forest; indeed, the foresters call an old
forest "a biological desert," because few other living things can
exist there. In other respects, here as well as throughout the tale,
JRRT closely follows the actual characteristics and growing patterns
of trees. Whether you're a dendrologist or don't even care to know
what the word means, have you a favorite tree? If it's not among
those described by Tolkien already, what sort of an Ent would it make?
(Oaks are my favorite trees, and we have Treebeard already, though I'm
still looking, here in the South, for his beard: that long, trailing
lichen that grows in oak trees here.)

And your comments and thoughts and additions….?
Georg Schönegger
2004-07-28 10:49:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- The wood moves in "Macbeth," though it's been a long time since I
read that play. What other literary sources might have inspired JRRT
here (Stephen Crane, perhaps). Compare/contrast?
iirc, tolkien didn't like shakespeare too much, but described the moving
wood as one of the inspiring passages - but dissatisfying because the
trees didn't move for real. anybody here who knows where this comes
from? letters?

georg
Dirk Thierbach
2004-07-28 15:03:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by Georg Schönegger
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- The wood moves in "Macbeth," though it's been a long time since I
read that play. What other literary sources might have inspired JRRT
here (Stephen Crane, perhaps). Compare/contrast?
iirc, tolkien didn't like shakespeare too much, but described the moving
wood as one of the inspiring passages - but dissatisfying because the
trees didn't move for real. anybody here who knows where this comes
from? letters?
A footnote to letter 163.

- Dirk
Belba Grubb from Stock
2004-08-05 19:14:16 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 28 Jul 2004 12:49:11 +0200, Georg Schönegger
Post by Georg Schönegger
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- The wood moves in "Macbeth," though it's been a long time since I
read that play. What other literary sources might have inspired JRRT
here (Stephen Crane, perhaps). Compare/contrast?
iirc, tolkien didn't like shakespeare too much,
Macbeth is indeed a work by a playwright who ought, at least
on this occasion, to have written a story, if he had the skill
or patience for that art.
-- "On Fairy-stories"

I must read the letters.

The Stephen Crane reference was to XXXVII in "Black Riders And Other
Lines" (1895), although it was the mountains not the forest speaking:

On the horizon the peaks assembled
And as I looked,
The march of the mountains began.
As they marched they sang
"Aye! We come! We come!"

Have often wondered if JRRT found some inspiration here for the Ent's
march and their marching song.

Barb
Emma Pease
2004-07-29 00:39:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
Chapter of the Week: The Lord of the Rings, Book 2
Chapter 4 - Treebeard
To check out the other Chapters of the Week or to sign up to do a
chapter of your own, go to http://parasha.maoltuile.org.
_____________________________________________________
"The wind's changing," said Merry.
And so is the story, deepening and taking us into unexpected and
delightful new areas. Here we have hobbits on the loose for the first
Treebeard and the forest of Fangorn. What an effect they have there,
too, starting a cascade of events that will eventually have a strong
effect on the direction and outcome of the War of the Ring.
______________________________________________________
Many thanks for getting this done.

continuing with the timeline

Feb 29
- just before noon, Aragorn's party reaches the downs
- find Orc camp (36 hours old)
- night, rests, 10 leagues from Fangorn

- pre-dawn, Merry and Pippin escape
- dawn, Eomer attacks and destroys the orcs
- Merry and Pippin meet Treebeard, spend the night at his house

- evening, Frodo and Sam reach the edge of the Emyn Muil, catch
Gollum, Thunderstorm, hear a Nazgul

Feb 30
- morning, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli meet Eomer returning to Meduseld
given horses
- late afternoon, arrive at Fangorn and start searching the battlefield
- night, horses run off, old man sighted

- Start of the Entmoot. Merry and Pippin meet Bregalad

- Evening, Grima has the gates of Edoras barred

Mar 1
- Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli go into Fangorn. Meet Gandalf
- Noonish, party leaves for Edoras
- Rest a few hours in the night

- Day 2 of the Entmoot

- Frodo, Sam, and Gollum begin passage of the Dead Marshes

Mar 2
- Early morning, Gandalf, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli reach Edoras
- mid-afternoon, Theoden heads to the fords of the Isen
- evening, Theoden's forces camp after 5 hrs ride

- Second battle of the Fords of Isen fought and lost

- Afternoon, Entmoot finishes.
- Night, Ents reach Isengard
- Night, last of Saruman's army heads south
- Night, Ents attack Isengard

- Frodo, Sam, and Gollum finish the passage of the Dead Marshes
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
______________________________________________________
In "On Fairy-stories," JRRT described "one of the primal 'desires'
that lie near the heart of Faerie: the desire of men to hold communion
with other living things." In this chapter, then, we are quite as
close to the "heart of Faerie" as we ever will be. I've always loved
it, and now I understand a little better why that is so.
1. Ents, ents, ents! Just a few of the possible discussion topics
-- Ent houses: Why do Ents live in houses? It's important,
apparently; when they are going treeish they begin to just stand
anywhere.
How much time do Ents spend in their houses? I can easily imagine
Treebeard spending a few days in one place.
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- Ent draughts: what are they and has Treebeard turned the Entwash
into one big Ent draught, at least within the borders of Fangorn
(judging by its healing effect on Merry and Pippin after their
ordeal).
But probably not much otherwise the Eomer and his eored might have
gained some height after spending two nights and a day by the Entwash.
I can just see them no longer fitting into their armour and having to
adjust all their stirrups.
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- Ent-wives. That poem of the dialogue between the two seems close
to the actual likes and differences of men and women in a marriage.
In contact, lo! the flint and steel,
By spark and flame, the thought reveal
That he the metal, she the stone,
Had cherished secretly alone.
-- Ambrose Bierce
How sad that it turned out the way it did for the Ents. No more
Entings. Will they ever get together again?
Hmm, do dead Ents go to the Halls of Waiting or what happens to a dead
Ent?
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- The oldest living thing: how old is Treebeard? And here we learn
that there are beings in Fangorn older than him! Are they, then, the
oldest living things in Middle-earth? But what about Bombadil?
Speculation: Perhaps the longest embodied. Bombadil might have
started without a body and only later after Treebeard first woke
embodied himself.

Was Treebeard ever an Entling?
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
And your comments and thoughts and additions
What was Treebeard doing on the edge of the forest near the battle?
Did he know about the battle and come to investigate? Looking ahead
to the next chapter, did he see and recognize Gandalf?

Things to remember for future discussion: when Aragorn and company
enter Fangorn is the atmosphere different? Note that they enter when
the Entmoot is in full swing.

Emma
--
\----
|\* | Emma Pease Net Spinster
|_\/ Die Luft der Freiheit weht
Belba Grubb from Stock
2004-08-05 20:02:51 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 29 Jul 2004 00:39:12 +0000 (UTC), Emma Pease
Post by Emma Pease
What was Treebeard doing on the edge of the forest near the battle?
Did he know about the battle and come to investigate? Looking ahead
to the next chapter, did he see and recognize Gandalf?
Well, the band of Orcs was in the forest ready to come to Ugluk's aid,
though the Riders prevented it. Treebeard might have been aware of
that and wanted to keep an eye on the Orcs, though his initial
questions to Merry and Pippin all seem to center around Gandalf. I'd
guess that he did see and recognize Gandalf (and perhaps noticed the
change in the wizard), but didn't speak to him and tried to get more
information from the newcomers who knew him. As they were under the
impression Gandalf was dead, Treebeard didn't pursue it.
Post by Emma Pease
Things to remember for future discussion: when Aragorn and company
enter Fangorn is the atmosphere different? Note that they enter when
the Entmoot is in full swing.
Well, this probably should wait until the next chapter, but what
really struck me was that they came in the same way Merry and Pippin
had (of course, they were tracking the two hobbits) and also had
pretty much identical experiences of the forest and ended up on the
hill just as Merry and Pippin had. It seemed artificial for a while,
but now I wonder if this is a Fangorn defense of some sort.

Barb
Jim Deutch
2004-08-06 15:40:52 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 05 Aug 2004 15:02:51 -0500, Belba Grubb from Stock
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
On Thu, 29 Jul 2004 00:39:12 +0000 (UTC), Emma Pease
Post by Emma Pease
Things to remember for future discussion: when Aragorn and company
enter Fangorn is the atmosphere different? Note that they enter when
the Entmoot is in full swing.
Well, this probably should wait until the next chapter, but what
really struck me was that they came in the same way Merry and Pippin
had (of course, they were tracking the two hobbits) and also had
pretty much identical experiences of the forest and ended up on the
hill just as Merry and Pippin had. It seemed artificial for a while,
but now I wonder if this is a Fangorn defense of some sort.
Aragorn is a *Ranger*. He is the best tracker in ME. Of _course_ he
followed the same route as the hobbits he was tracking. Nothing to
explain, here.

Jim Deutch (Jimbo the Cat)
-- "I no longer want to change the world. I want to potty train the
world.
Then we won't have to change it any more."
Shanahan
2004-08-08 00:36:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jim Deutch
On Thu, 05 Aug 2004 15:02:51 -0500, Belba Grubb from Stock
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
On Thu, 29 Jul 2004 00:39:12 +0000 (UTC), Emma Pease
Post by Emma Pease
Things to remember for future discussion: when Aragorn and
company enter Fangorn is the atmosphere different? Note that
they enter when the Entmoot is in full swing.
Well, this probably should wait until the next chapter, but what
really struck me was that they came in the same way Merry and
Pippin had (of course, they were tracking the two hobbits) and
also had pretty much identical experiences of the forest and
ended up on the hill just as Merry and Pippin had. It seemed
artificial for a while, but now I wonder if this is a Fangorn
defense of some sort.
Aragorn is a *Ranger*. He is the best tracker in ME. Of
_course_ he followed the same route as the hobbits he was
tracking. Nothing to explain, here.
Also the fact they both groups were doing the only logical thing:
following the river. "But guessing that the hobbits would remain
close to the water, Aragorn returned often to the riverbank", or
WTTE.

Ciaran S.
--
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.
Belba Grubb from Stock
2004-08-09 22:17:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Shanahan
Post by Jim Deutch
On Thu, 05 Aug 2004 15:02:51 -0500, Belba Grubb from Stock
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
On Thu, 29 Jul 2004 00:39:12 +0000 (UTC), Emma Pease
Post by Emma Pease
Things to remember for future discussion: when Aragorn and
company enter Fangorn is the atmosphere different? Note that
they enter when the Entmoot is in full swing.
Well, this probably should wait until the next chapter, but what
really struck me was that they came in the same way Merry and
Pippin had (of course, they were tracking the two hobbits) and
also had pretty much identical experiences of the forest and
ended up on the hill just as Merry and Pippin had. It seemed
artificial for a while, but now I wonder if this is a Fangorn
defense of some sort.
Aragorn is a *Ranger*. He is the best tracker in ME. Of
_course_ he followed the same route as the hobbits he was
tracking. Nothing to explain, here.
following the river. "But guessing that the hobbits would remain
close to the water, Aragorn returned often to the riverbank", or
WTTE.
I agree with you both. What I was talking about was:

They came at length to the steep abrupt end of
Treebeard's Hill, and looked up at the rock-wall
with its rough steps leading to the high shelf.
Gleams of sun were striking through the hurrying
clouds, and the forest now looked less grey and
drear.

"Let us go up and look about us!" said Legolas.
"I still feel my breath short. I should like to taste
a freer air for a while."

Coincidentally, while they are going up Aragorn finds traces of the
hobbits, but that is not the reason they went up there. While the
forest can't control the sun, of course, the sense of closeness and
"tree-ishness" affects even the Wood-elf and he feels the urge to go
up the hill. That is so similar to what Merry and Pippin experienced,
when they met Treebeard, that I wondered if the forest somehow steered
them that way, even though Treebeard isn't there at present (and
interestingly, the Three Hunters at first think Saruman has them
"caught in the net" up on the hill when they see Gandalf approaching).

Barb
aelfwina
2004-07-29 01:51:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
Chapter of the Week: The Lord of the Rings, Book 2
Chapter 4 - Treebeard
To check out the other Chapters of the Week or to sign up to do a
chapter of your own, go to http://parasha.maoltuile.org.
Is this delay going to affect the posting schedule?
____
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
"The wind's changing," said Merry.
And so is the story, deepening and taking us into unexpected and
delightful new areas. Here we have hobbits on the loose for the first
Treebeard and the forest of Fangorn. What an effect they have there,
too, starting a cascade of events that will eventually have a strong
effect on the direction and outcome of the War of the Ring.
(snip of nice summary)
______________________________________________________
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
In "On Fairy-stories," JRRT described "one of the primal 'desires'
that lie near the heart of Faerie: the desire of men to hold communion
with other living things." In this chapter, then, we are quite as
close to the "heart of Faerie" as we ever will be. I've always loved
it, and now I understand a little better why that is so.
1. Ents, ents, ents! Just a few of the possible discussion topics
-- Ent houses: Why do Ents live in houses? It's important,
apparently; when they are going treeish they begin to just stand
anywhere.
Now that is a brilliant question, and one I'd never have thought of on my
own! Why *do* Ents live in houses? Maybe to *keep* from going treeish?
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- Ent draughts: what are they and has Treebeard turned the Entwash
into one big Ent draught, at least within the borders of Fangorn
(judging by its healing effect on Merry and Pippin after their
ordeal).
Here is something I have thought about: since the growth spurts and curlier
hair were a *permanent* effect of the Ent-draughts, then was their *healing
properties* a permanent effect too? After all, it *could* have given their
immune systems and healing faculties a permanent boost. Granted, hobbits
are tougher than they look, but Merry and Pippin both healed very quickly
from their battle injuries. Merry was up and moving after only a day or so,
and Pippin, who was squashed by a troll and injured severely enough that
Gimli thought him dead was well enough to serve feast at Cormallen only two
weeks later. If that's the case, then there may have been even more purpose
to their being in Fangorn than just to rouse the Ents.
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- Ent-wives. That poem of the dialogue between the two seems close
to the actual likes and differences of men and women in a marriage.
In contact, lo! the flint and steel,
By spark and flame, the thought reveal
That he the metal, she the stone,
Had cherished secretly alone.
-- Ambrose Bierce
How sad that it turned out the way it did for the Ents. No more
Entings. Will they ever get together again?
-- How does Treebeard cause the light on the trees and in his
"lamps"? It brings to mind
-- The Ent language.
-- Treebeard compares Ents to Men and also to Elves. How are they
similar and different, from our POV?
-- The wood moves in "Macbeth," though it's been a long time since I
read that play. What other literary sources might have inspired JRRT
here (Stephen Crane, perhaps). Compare/contrast?
-- The oldest living thing: how old is Treebeard? And here we learn
that there are beings in Fangorn older than him! Are they, then, the
oldest living things in Middle-earth? But what about Bombadil?
Somehow, I think Treebeard and Tom Bombadil are two different orders of
creation, though they do have a lot in common.


moot, for instance. How
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
is it men would have come so far into the forest?
3. History of Middle-earth. For all his staying in one place,
Treebeard is remarkably versed in events outside. He knows that the
wizards came at around the time of the arrival of Elendil; he speaks a
few times of the Great Darkness (Morgoth's time, or that of Sauron,
before the Numenoreans "captured" him?); how Lorien has changed. We
learn quite a bit about that in this chapter.
4. Saruman. What do we learn about this wizard here, as seen from the
l-o-o-o-n-g perspective of his closest neighbors?
5. We learn something about the Tooks, too, and the strong presence of
the Old Took (Gerontius - what a perfect name: was he ever young, I
wonder). Imagine them just leaving everything in that room at
Tuckborough the way it was when the Old Took was alive. And yet we do
the same sorts of things - near Saratoga, New York, is the house where
U.S. Grant last stayed and wrote his memoirs before he died. It's
open to the public now, and when you go in there, it's still exactly
as it was, right down to the floral arrangements people sent at
Grant's death (which are rather depressing to look at now, of course).
In a way, this not letting go is very similar to the Ents, although
with them, it's part of an ongoing living process.
6. Trees, trees, trees! For the dendrologists out there -- I studied
a little forestry and recognize the accuracy of Merry and Pippin's
first impression of the forest; indeed, the foresters call an old
forest "a biological desert," because few other living things can
exist there. In other respects, here as well as throughout the tale,
JRRT closely follows the actual characteristics and growing patterns
of trees. Whether you're a dendrologist or don't even care to know
what the word means, have you a favorite tree? If it's not among
those described by Tolkien already, what sort of an Ent would it make?
(Oaks are my favorite trees, and we have Treebeard already, though I'm
still looking, here in the South, for his beard: that long, trailing
lichen that grows in oak trees here.)
And your comments and thoughts and additions..?
AC
2004-07-29 05:57:20 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 28 Jul 2004 20:51:18 -0500,
Post by aelfwina
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
1. Ents, ents, ents! Just a few of the possible discussion topics
-- Ent houses: Why do Ents live in houses? It's important,
apparently; when they are going treeish they begin to just stand
anywhere.
Now that is a brilliant question, and one I'd never have thought of on my
own! Why *do* Ents live in houses? Maybe to *keep* from going treeish?
If I had to pick an answer, maybe that is it. A bit of a trapping of
civilization, otherwise they become like Old Man Willow.

And speaking of Old Man Willow:

"'The trees and the Ents,' said Treebeard. 'I do not understand all that
goes on myself, so I cannot explain it to you. Some of us are still true
Ents, and lively enough in our fashion, but many are growing sleepy, going
treeish, as you might say. Most of the trees are just trees, of course; but
many are half awake. Some are quite wide awake, and a few are, well, ah,
well getting Entish. That is going on all the time.'

'When that happens to a tree, you find that some have bad hearts. Nothing
to do with their wood: I do not mean that. Why, I knew some good old
willows down the Entwash, gone long ago, alas! They were quite hollow,
indeed they were falling all to pieces, but as quiet and sweet-spoken as a
young leaf. And then there are some trees in the valleys under the
mountains, sound as a bell, and bad right through. That sort of thing seems
to spread. There used to be some very dangerous parts in this country.
There are still some very black patches.'

'Like the Old Forest away to the north, you mean?' asked Merry.

'Aye, aye, something like, but much worse. I do not doubt there is some
shadow of the Great Darkness lying there still away north; and bad memories
are handed down. But there are hollow dales in this land where the Darkness
has never been lifted, and the trees are older than I am...'"
TTT - Treebeard

This whole passage has intrigued me the last few times I read it. A few
points of my own.

- This is another interesting link to the Silmarillion, obviously referring
to the time before the Sun and Moon. Is there an element of Melkor's
dominion before his Chaining, or is it simply an example of how the trees of
places like Fangorn and the Old Forest remember when they were the masters?

- It seems that Treebeard knows something of other forests, even those a
great distance. He seems to know about the Old Forest, and his description
of bad trees fits Old Man Willow to a tee.

- Or is Old Man Willow in fact an Ent that has become treeish? What about
the walking tree that Sam's cousin saw? Ent, entish tree, or possibly even
an Entwife?

- The Old Forest seems a bad enough place, so those vales in Fangorn "where
the Darkness has never been lifted" must be genuinely fearsome.
--
Aaron Clausen
***@hotmail.com
Dirk Thierbach
2004-07-29 08:23:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by AC
- It seems that Treebeard knows something of other forests, even those a
great distance. He seems to know about the Old Forest, and his description
of bad trees fits Old Man Willow to a tee.
He has probably been to the Old Forest long ago: "Aye, aye, there was
all one wood once upon a time: from here to the Mountains of Lune, and
this was just the East End."
Post by AC
- Or is Old Man Willow in fact an Ent that has become treeish? What about
the walking tree that Sam's cousin saw? Ent, entish tree, or possibly even
an Entwife?
Entwife is very unlikely. And I don't think it makes much difference
whether it's an Ent who has become tree-ish or a tree who has become
a bit ent-ish.

- Dirk
Sharon
2004-07-29 19:20:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by AC
- Or is Old Man Willow in fact an Ent that has become treeish? What about
the walking tree that Sam's cousin saw? Ent, entish tree, or possibly even
an Entwife?
Entwife is very unlikely. And I don't think it makes much difference
whether it's an Ent who has become tree-ish or a tree who has become
a bit ent-ish.
An Ent becoming tree-ish would be a sign of decline or sleep; a tree
becoming ent-ish, a sign of awakening.

Since it was seen walking, I wouldn't say it was a very tree-ish Ent
in any case!

I think of the walking tree as an Ent that is displaced or wandering
very far from home as a result of the rising disturbances caused by
Sauron.

Maybe the walking tree is part of another story entirely, an Ent still
wandering the world searching for the Entwives. I always have
regretted the loss of the Entwives immensely, and ever hope they'll be
found somewhere.

Wouldn't it be lovely if it *were* an Entwife? Then Treebeard's
question about Entwives in the Shire, could be answered "Yes". And
when he asks the hobbits to send word if they meet some Entwives, they
could oblige. Not that I believe it for an instant, alas.

__Sharon
Jette Goldie
2004-07-29 20:13:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Sharon
I think of the walking tree as an Ent that is displaced or wandering
very far from home as a result of the rising disturbances caused by
Sauron.
Maybe the walking tree is part of another story entirely, an Ent still
wandering the world searching for the Entwives. I always have
regretted the loss of the Entwives immensely, and ever hope they'll be
found somewhere.
Wouldn't it be lovely if it *were* an Entwife? Then Treebeard's
question about Entwives in the Shire, could be answered "Yes". And
when he asks the hobbits to send word if they meet some Entwives, they
could oblige. Not that I believe it for an instant, alas.
I see the Entwives as being sort of like fruit trees - apple,
pear, plum........ maybe even olives. Those trees (bar the
olive) don't tend to grow terribly tall.
--
Jette
"Work for Peace and remain Fiercely Loving" - Jim Byrnes
***@blueyonder.co.uk
http://www.jette.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/
GoldenUsagi
2004-08-03 10:34:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by AC
- It seems that Treebeard knows something of other forests, even those a
great distance. He seems to know about the Old Forest
He also seems to know something of Lorien. I found it interesting that he
would caution against going there.

Britt
Belba Grubb from Stock
2004-08-05 19:16:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by AC
On Wed, 28 Jul 2004 20:51:18 -0500,
Post by aelfwina
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
1. Ents, ents, ents! Just a few of the possible discussion topics
-- Ent houses: Why do Ents live in houses? It's important,
apparently; when they are going treeish they begin to just stand
anywhere.
Now that is a brilliant question, and one I'd never have thought of on my
own! Why *do* Ents live in houses? Maybe to *keep* from going treeish?
If I had to pick an answer, maybe that is it. A bit of a trapping of
civilization, otherwise they become like Old Man Willow.
Quickbeam's house was surely the bare minimum of civilization (g).
Yet he was the nearest thing to a hasty Ent. Maybe he kept it simple
because he was always roaming around.

In comparison, what Treebeard had at Wellinghall was pretty complex,
probably the Ent equivalent of a palace (all those trees that lit up,
for instance, and the ones that guarded the "gate"; the "batteries"
that provided light in the house (they reminded me of batteries,
anyway).
Post by AC
"'The trees and the Ents,' said Treebeard. 'I do not understand all that
goes on myself, so I cannot explain it to you. Some of us are still true
Ents, and lively enough in our fashion, but many are growing sleepy, going
treeish, as you might say. Most of the trees are just trees, of course; but
many are half awake. Some are quite wide awake, and a few are, well, ah,
well getting Entish. That is going on all the time.'
'When that happens to a tree, you find that some have bad hearts. Nothing
to do with their wood: I do not mean that. Why, I knew some good old
willows down the Entwash, gone long ago, alas! They were quite hollow,
indeed they were falling all to pieces, but as quiet and sweet-spoken as a
young leaf. And then there are some trees in the valleys under the
mountains, sound as a bell, and bad right through. That sort of thing seems
to spread. There used to be some very dangerous parts in this country.
There are still some very black patches.'
'Like the Old Forest away to the north, you mean?' asked Merry.
'Aye, aye, something like, but much worse. I do not doubt there is some
shadow of the Great Darkness lying there still away north; and bad memories
are handed down. But there are hollow dales in this land where the Darkness
has never been lifted, and the trees are older than I am...'"
TTT - Treebeard
This whole passage has intrigued me the last few times I read it. A few
points of my own.
- This is another interesting link to the Silmarillion, obviously referring
to the time before the Sun and Moon. Is there an element of Melkor's
dominion before his Chaining, or is it simply an example of how the trees of
places like Fangorn and the Old Forest remember when they were the masters?
I am so far behind in reading posts that perhaps somebody has already
commented on this. Anyway, could the reference to trees that are
older than Treebeard be to trees that had begun to grow in the light
of the Two Lamps? These could have been surviving sections of the
"dark and perilous forests" that appeared when Melkor's hatred began
to poison Arda during its spring, before he overthrew the Lamps. Thus
they would be older than Treebeard, who dates back at the furthest
only to the awakening of the Firstborn (see "Of Aule and Yavanna").

Maybe Yavanna had never been able to get them to sleep, and they'd
been awake all during the darkness of Melkor....

Certainly such places would be horrible indeed. The hobbits probably
would never have gotten through the Old Forest had it contained one or
more of these very old, very evil sections. I would guess that Old
Man Willow was just the "pupil" of an older evil, perhaps just dating
back to the darkness after the Lamps and before the Sun and Moon.
(Don't ask me how that would work - g)
Post by AC
- It seems that Treebeard knows something of other forests, even those a
great distance. He seems to know about the Old Forest, and his description
of bad trees fits Old Man Willow to a tee.
"In the willow meads of Tasarinan" he walked in the spring....
Post by AC
- Or is Old Man Willow in fact an Ent that has become treeish?
Tom Bombadil knows the song for him, but his name, if he was or had
been an Ent...old Tom would would have been a long time singing into
that crack before OMW released Merry and Pippin.
Post by AC
- The Old Forest seems a bad enough place, so those vales in Fangorn "where
the Darkness has never been lifted" must be genuinely fearsome.
Yes. One wonders who those people were who came to grief, aye, to
grief, in those sections.

Barb
_____
Keep behind me. There's no sense in getting killed by a plant.
-- Tom Goodwin
_____
AC
2004-08-08 03:35:33 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 05 Aug 2004 14:16:48 -0500,
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
I am so far behind in reading posts that perhaps somebody has already
commented on this. Anyway, could the reference to trees that are
older than Treebeard be to trees that had begun to grow in the light
of the Two Lamps?
That's my feeling.
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
These could have been surviving sections of the
"dark and perilous forests" that appeared when Melkor's hatred began
to poison Arda during its spring, before he overthrew the Lamps. Thus
they would be older than Treebeard, who dates back at the furthest
only to the awakening of the Firstborn (see "Of Aule and Yavanna").
Maybe Yavanna had never been able to get them to sleep, and they'd
been awake all during the darkness of Melkor....
Yes, I think this refers to the primordial forest here.
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
Certainly such places would be horrible indeed. The hobbits probably
would never have gotten through the Old Forest had it contained one or
more of these very old, very evil sections. I would guess that Old
Man Willow was just the "pupil" of an older evil, perhaps just dating
back to the darkness after the Lamps and before the Sun and Moon.
(Don't ask me how that would work - g)
Well, I find Old Man Willow a rather fascinating topic, and am very
interested in the links between the Old Forest and Fangorn.
--
Aaron Clausen
***@hotmail.com
Belba Grubb from Stock
2004-08-09 22:20:17 UTC
Permalink
Post by AC
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
Certainly such places would be horrible indeed. The hobbits probably
would never have gotten through the Old Forest had it contained one or
more of these very old, very evil sections. I would guess that Old
Man Willow was just the "pupil" of an older evil, perhaps just dating
back to the darkness after the Lamps and before the Sun and Moon.
(Don't ask me how that would work - g)
Well, I find Old Man Willow a rather fascinating topic, and am very
interested in the links between the Old Forest and Fangorn.
Well, things move in the Old Forest, so there could be at least
Huorns. I think there wouldn't be any Ents, though, at least at the
time of the War of the Ring.

Er, the cat is sleeping with his head on "The Fellowship of the Ring"
just now, so I can't look it up (g), but doesn't Elrond tell the
council that the time was that a squirrel could travel from tree to
tree all the way from the Old Forest to Fangorn? There is a physical
link, too.

Barb
Morgoth's Curse
2004-09-05 18:24:50 UTC
Permalink
On Mon, 09 Aug 2004 17:20:17 -0500, Belba Grubb from Stock
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
Er, the cat is sleeping with his head on "The Fellowship of the Ring"
just now, so I can't look it up (g), but doesn't Elrond tell the
council that the time was that a squirrel could travel from tree to
tree all the way from the Old Forest to Fangorn? There is a physical
link, too.
Barb
You know that you have been completely enslaved by your cat when you
dare not wake it up even for the noble purpose of checking a Tolkien
reference. ^___^

Morgoth's Curse
Prai Jei
2004-09-05 18:58:51 UTC
Permalink
Morgoth's Curse (or somebody else of the same name) wrote thusly in message
Post by Morgoth's Curse
On Mon, 09 Aug 2004 17:20:17 -0500, Belba Grubb from Stock
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
Er, the cat is sleeping with his head on "The Fellowship of the Ring"
just now, so I can't look it up (g),
You know that you have been completely enslaved by your cat when you
dare not wake it up even for the noble purpose of checking a Tolkien
reference. ^___^
There's nothing like curling up with a good book :)
--
Paul Townsend
I put it down there, and when I went back to it, there it was GONE!

Interchange the alphabetic elements to reply
Belba Grubb from Stock
2004-09-05 21:03:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by Prai Jei
Post by Morgoth's Curse
On Mon, 09 Aug 2004 17:20:17 -0500, Belba Grubb from Stock
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
Er, the cat is sleeping with his head on "The Fellowship of the Ring"
just now, so I can't look it up (g),
You know that you have been completely enslaved by your cat when you
dare not wake it up even for the noble purpose of checking a Tolkien
reference. ^___^
:-D

Aragorn says one who can't cast away a treasure at need is in fetters,
but Aragorn never had to roust a cat out of a comfortable position.
Aiyee!
Post by Prai Jei
There's nothing like curling up with a good book :)
Oh, he's not really getting too much out of it. I asked him the other
day who is the real hero of "The Lord of the Rings," and he looked at
me as if he couldn't believe I'd missed the part about Queen
Beruthiel's favorite animals or that Sauron's eye was "yellow as a
cat's."

Barb
Bill O'Meally
2004-09-06 14:48:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
Oh, he's not really getting too much out of it. I asked him the other
day who is the real hero of "The Lord of the Rings," and he looked at
me as if he couldn't believe I'd missed the part about Queen
Beruthiel's favorite animals or that Sauron's eye was "yellow as a
cat's."
Or about Shelob: "... /his cat/ he calls her, though she owns him not."
--
Bill

"Wise fool"
Gandalf, THE TWO TOWERS
-- The Wise will remove 'se' to reply; the Foolish will not--
Gary E. Masters
2004-09-06 00:13:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Morgoth's Curse
On Mon, 09 Aug 2004 17:20:17 -0500, Belba Grubb from Stock
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
Er, the cat is sleeping with his head on "The Fellowship of the Ring"
just now, so I can't look it up (g), but doesn't Elrond tell the
council that the time was that a squirrel could travel from tree to
tree all the way from the Old Forest to Fangorn? There is a physical
link, too.
Barb
You know that you have been completely enslaved by your cat when you
dare not wake it up even for the noble purpose of checking a Tolkien
reference. ^___^
Morgoth's Curse
The same thing was said of the US, but it was from the Atlantic to the
Missippi.

I suspect that Europe has its own version. We once had forest that
were great and grand, now only parts are left and some wonder why we
should keep them.

I don't.
Jens Kilian
2004-09-06 18:39:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Morgoth's Curse
You know that you have been completely enslaved by your cat when you
dare not wake it up even for the noble purpose of checking a Tolkien
reference. ^___^
I do not have a cat, but I'm prepared in case I ever should acquire one.
I own *four* copies of _LotR_.

Jens.
Belba Grubb from Stock
2004-09-06 20:45:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jens Kilian
Post by Morgoth's Curse
You know that you have been completely enslaved by your cat when you
dare not wake it up even for the noble purpose of checking a Tolkien
reference. ^___^
I do not have a cat, but I'm prepared in case I ever should acquire one.
I own *four* copies of _LotR_.
Now that's smart thinking. Do keep the books in different rooms,
though, or the cat will find a way to cover all of them, especially if
you're constantly looking things up in them. Prepare yourself for
plenty of dirty looks, too; cats don't like to be outsmarted. And do
not get more than one cat, or the cause is lost. They conspire, you
know...

Barb
R. Dan Henry
2004-10-30 22:50:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by AC
- It seems that Treebeard knows something of other forests, even those a
great distance. He seems to know about the Old Forest, and his description
of bad trees fits Old Man Willow to a tee.
- Or is Old Man Willow in fact an Ent that has become treeish? What about
the walking tree that Sam's cousin saw? Ent, entish tree, or possibly even
an Entwife?
I think Old Man Willow is an "Entish" tree, but Treebeard may remember
him from when the Old Forest and Fangorn were parts of one forest.
After all, Bombadil calls him "Old Man Willow" and "Old" for Bombadil
means *old*. If there are trees older than Treebeard about in Fangorn,
why shouldn't OMW be ancient?

As for the "walking tree", there simply isn't enough information to
guess if it was an ent, entwife, walking tree, giant, ranger who
hadn't combed his hair in too long, or side effect of a halfling
smoking the "funny pipeweed".

But the entwives remain one of the great mysteries. It seems unlikely
they'd have gone Shirewards and not headed through Fangorn. Perhaps
they got halfway there and decided to take up playing in storms and
became the giants of _The Hobbit_. They might have gone East, that
seems likeliest, if they were not simply all killed. And we know far
too little of what lies to the East to guess at details there.

The Brown Lands were the entwives home, which reminds me -- that is
now Radagast's home. Why? It seems there wouldn't be many animals for
him to hang out with there and it isn't as if that's the only place
one could be and keep an eye on southern Mirkwood. Is it for
camouflage (Radagast the Brown/Brown Lands)? Had he been making a
study of the Entwives, perhaps, looking for any clues remaining?

R. Dan Henry
***@inreach.com
Conrad Dunkerson
2004-10-31 08:24:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by R. Dan Henry
But the entwives remain one of the great mysteries. It
seems unlikely they'd have gone Shirewards and not headed
through Fangorn.
Tolkien suggested in a letter that they may have been enslaved by Sauron
and put to work growing crops to feed his troops.
Post by R. Dan Henry
The Brown Lands were the entwives home, which reminds me
-- that is now Radagast's home.
<?>

The only home for Radagast I can think of is Rhosgobel, which was west
of Mirkwood. The Brown Lands were well to the southeast of Mirkwood.
Shanahan
2004-07-29 07:45:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
Chapter of the Week: The Lord of the Rings, Book 2
Chapter 4 - Treebeard
<snip nice, complete, concise summary done in record time!>
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
"'Night lies over Isengard,' said Treebeard."
This line *always* gives me goosebumps. Dunno why, just does.
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- Ent draughts: what are they and has Treebeard turned the
Entwash into one big Ent draught, at least within the borders of
Fangorn (judging by its healing effect on Merry and Pippin after
their ordeal).
I've always thought of it the other way around. The original power
lies in the waters of the Entwash; the Ents' brewing has
concentrated that power into the potency of the Ent draughts. The
healing effect on M&P seems to be weaker than the growth effect
they experience from the draughts.
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- Ent-wives. That poem of the dialogue between the two seems
close to the actual likes and differences of men and women in a
marriage.
I think Tolkien said almost exactly that in one of his letters. His
point, IIRC, was that men are more comfortable with 'the wild' than
women, and that women want to control things more. Gee, does that
mean that Tolkien was sexist, too? ;)
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- How does Treebeard cause the light on the trees and in his
"lamps"? It brings to mind
...the elven-lamps of the First Age?
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- The Ent language.
Hilarious and wonderful. How else *would* a tree talk and think,
but slowly?
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- The oldest living thing: how old is Treebeard? And here we
learn that there are beings in Fangorn older than him! Are
they, then, the oldest living things in Middle-earth? But what
about Bombadil?
There's a difference between 'beings' and 'things', I think. This
might speak to Treebeard's age versus that of the trees who are
older than he; they are 'things', he's a 'being'. I would place
the line of demarcation, in this instance, at the ability to speak
("some of my trees are limb-lithe, and some can speak with me").

Somehow I think the statement Treebeard makes that "the Elves began
it ... waking up the trees and teaching them to speak. They wanted
to talk with everything, the old Elves did", must be important in
deciding this issue of who's the oldest. I just haven't worked out
quite how, yet!
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
2. Men are apparently familiar with parts of Fangorn - they have
given the name of Derndingle to the site of the Entmoot, for
instance. How is it men would have come so far into the forest?
Perhaps Treebeard is just giving a translation to the hobbits into
"Man-language"? But then he would have said "which Men [would]
call Derndingle". Hmm.
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
3. History of Middle-earth. For all his staying in one place,
Treebeard is remarkably versed in events outside. He knows that
the wizards came at around the time of the arrival of Elendil;
he speaks a few times of the Great Darkness (Morgoth's time, or
that of Sauron, before the Numenoreans "captured" him?); how
This is something that has always bothered me. I've gone back and
forth over which "Darkness" he refers to. My present opinion is
that it's the Darkness of the First Age, while the Eldar dwelt in
Aman, and Middle-Earth was largely ignored. Except by Yavanna and
Oromë and Ulmo, of course. But that is really based on The Silm.,
and doesn't take into account the later round-earth cosmology.
Does it? I must confess I'm still a bit confused by all that.
Anyone?
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
well as throughout the tale, JRRT closely follows the actual
characteristics and growing patterns of trees. Whether you're a
I'd like to vent a little disagreement I have with Tom Shippey,
here, if I may. I've heard him say that Tolkien was ambivalent
about trees, as much as he loved them. Shippey gives Old Man Willow
and the Huorns as examples of 'evil' trees. I don't think Tolkien
was ambivalent at all, nor do I think OMW or the Huorns are evil.
Dangerous, yes; evil, no. I think Tolkien empathically just
entered so completely into the existences of trees, that he
realized trees might very well be terribly angry at two-legged
creatures. This is supported by Yavanna's words to Aulë, also,
where she mourns that the olvar would have no one to protect them
from the ravages of fire and axe.
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
dendrologist or don't even care to know what the word means,
have you a favorite tree? If it's not among those described by
Tolkien already, what sort of an Ent would it make?
The beech: a magnificent tree, and a magnificent Ent!

Ciaran S.
--
"Look! Messiah tracks....two, three days old..."
- mst3k, "Twelve to the Moon"
Belba Grubb from Stock
2004-08-05 19:57:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Shanahan
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
Chapter of the Week: The Lord of the Rings, Book 2
Chapter 4 - Treebeard
<snip nice, complete, concise summary done in record time!>
This chapter is just about all dialogue, or at least the bulk of it
is, and that's so hard to sum up; I didn't even try. It is so
enchanting, how Treebeard and the two hobbits interact, it just has to
be read -- they say good fiction is character driven, and no better
evidence could exist to prove it than this chapter, IMHO.
Post by Shanahan
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
"'Night lies over Isengard,' said Treebeard."
This line *always* gives me goosebumps. Dunno why, just does.
Yes, it's very atmospheric. There they are, the two hobbits and the
Ents and apparently the whole forest looming up behind them, looking
over the crest of the hill, so creepy quiet after they've been booming
along...it's like a storm hanging over Isengard. And then JRRT makes
you wait!!!!

Interesting how the author eventually brings us back to Isengard with
Treebeard in a still important but more formal and stylized role, and
the events distanced through being told to us secondhand, as Merry and
Pippin returned to the main flow of the story. Perhaps JRRT knew the
power of this interlude in Fangorn and of the Treebeard character and
built that distance in so it wouldn't take over the story. I think
every reader would love to just settle down in Fangorn and listen to
Treebeard talk. (g)
Post by Shanahan
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- Ent draughts: what are they and has Treebeard turned the
Entwash into one big Ent draught, at least within the borders of
Fangorn (judging by its healing effect on Merry and Pippin after
their ordeal).
I've always thought of it the other way around. The original power
lies in the waters of the Entwash; the Ents' brewing has
concentrated that power into the potency of the Ent draughts. The
healing effect on M&P seems to be weaker than the growth effect
they experience from the draughts.
Yes...sort of like maple syrup making (which used to be done in the
neighborhood when I was a child growing up in New England), though of
course not involving any fire. The tree sap is mildly sweet and it is
intensified to make the syrup.
Post by Shanahan
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- Ent-wives. That poem of the dialogue between the two seems
close to the actual likes and differences of men and women in a
marriage.
I think Tolkien said almost exactly that in one of his letters. His
point, IIRC, was that men are more comfortable with 'the wild' than
women, and that women want to control things more. Gee, does that
mean that Tolkien was sexist, too? ;)
More of a realist, I'd say. (g)
Post by Shanahan
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- How does Treebeard cause the light on the trees and in his
"lamps"? It brings to mind
...the elven-lamps of the First Age?
Agh, that was a typo, actually. I'd meant to say that it brought
Kirlian photographs to mind, but decided to delete that as it wasn't
'Tolkien" enough. Didn't quite delete the whole thing, unfortunately,
and only spotted it after the thing had been sent.

Hmm, elven-lamps. A good suggestion. Perhaps I'm not familiar enough
with them, but it seems too "technical" somehow.
Post by Shanahan
I'd like to vent a little disagreement I have with Tom Shippey,
here, if I may. I've heard him say that Tolkien was ambivalent
about trees, as much as he loved them. Shippey gives Old Man Willow
and the Huorns as examples of 'evil' trees. I don't think Tolkien
was ambivalent at all, nor do I think OMW or the Huorns are evil.
Dangerous, yes; evil, no. I think Tolkien empathically just
entered so completely into the existences of trees, that he
realized trees might very well be terribly angry at two-legged
creatures. This is supported by Yavanna's words to Aulë, also,
where she mourns that the olvar would have no one to protect them
from the ravages of fire and axe.
Well said! Given his excellent characterization of hobbits and the
Shire, it might also be that he accurately sensed some of the darkness
that can grow in the souls of some who remain in a small place and
don't have new experiences or contacts very often. Eventually, they
become inward looking and dull, or worse. Notice the "good Ents,"
Treebeard and Quickbeam, are always on the move; indeed, Treebeard is
concerned or at least aware of many things outside the forest and is a
great fan of Gandalf.
Post by Shanahan
dendrologist or don't even care to know what the word means,
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
have you a favorite tree? If it's not among those described by
Tolkien already, what sort of an Ent would it make?
The beech: a magnificent tree, and a magnificent Ent!
Makes a darned good mallorn, too. :-)

Barb
_____
"...I think it's giving lessons in gravity;
Fagus grandifolia, single lamina bluntly

veined, fruit a prickly brown burr; wings coning
along twigs; all morning I tried to see

it for what I wanted it to be:
winged elm, a name that breathes

its sound; then tanbark, shingle oak; in truth,
saw-teeth and forest edge nearly pin
it down as smooth sumac,

branches Elder-stout; in Europe's jardins
it would be copper
beech, weeping beech; here, behind my bark-built
house, it's every inch American,

meaning in all likelihood, I'll wake to it, quae videmus,
tomorrow. For its open rounded crown
bursting dead yellow on the scene

I'd profess a life of silence.
"What they have a word for,
they have a thing for," wrote Thoreau:

wilderness guide, spring's
plagues, stacked

wheelbarrow, bud, open area,
old field, roadside salute, cloud-cover,
post-strike, real time

beech, beech, beech,
sturdy-toxic Ailanthus, shelter-shade

giver, Audubon's Tree-of-Heaven,
identified by tolerance

for wet
or dry or unspeakable conditions.
from "Beech Tree In March" by Joanna Goodman at

http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2078/is_1_43/ai_58038179
_____
Jim Deutch
2004-08-06 15:40:50 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 05 Aug 2004 14:57:30 -0500, Belba Grubb from Stock
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
Post by Shanahan
The beech: a magnificent tree, and a magnificent Ent!
Makes a darned good mallorn, too. :-)
Yes indeed. In late autumn, when yellow maple leaves cover the ground
and yellow-brown beech leaves remain on the trees I can imagine it is
spring in Lothlorien...

Jim Deutch (Jimbo the Cat)
--
"I meant it kept the rain off the face , which umberallas dont
do very well because mainly the rain in the Northern Hemisphere falls
at greater angles the further north you go" -- Habshi
Kristian Damm Jensen
2004-07-29 08:54:59 UTC
Permalink
Emma Pease wrote:

<snip>
Post by Emma Pease
What was Treebeard doing on the edge of the forest near the battle?
Did he know about the battle and come to investigate? Looking ahead
to the next chapter, did he see and recognize Gandalf?
"That, at least, is in part answered in the next chapter where Gandalg
says:

"I saw him four days ago striding among the trees, and I think he saw
me, for he paused; but I did not speak ... and he did not speak either,
nor call my name."

"Perhaps he also thought that you were Saruman," said Gimli
<snip>

Regards,
Kristian
Dirk Thierbach
2004-07-29 08:20:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- Ent houses: Why do Ents live in houses? It's important,
apparently; when they are going treeish they begin to just stand
anywhere.
Maybe it is a sign of civilized beeings to live in some sort of house.
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- Ent-wives. That poem of the dialogue between the two seems close
to the actual likes and differences of men and women in a marriage.
I noticed that, too :-)
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- The Ent language.
When I started to get a few glimpes at Anglo-Saxon verse, I thought
that the agglomerative Ent language captures one characteristic feature
of it and takes it to the extreme: The long series of nouns (and somtimes
adjectives) put next to each other, that nevertheless are somehow
"dynamic" and not just a static description.

Modern German still uses agglomeration to build nouns, but it has
become either a joke (as in the "Donaudampfschiffahrtskapitaensmuetze..."),
or it is associated with bureaucratic language. That's a pity,
really -- the Anglo-Saxon verses are quite beautiful.


It might also be interesting to think about "name magic" in this
context: Apperently Tolkien thought that any "proper", "real" name of
the thing should be at least as detailed and complicated as the thing
itself...
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- The oldest living thing: how old is Treebeard? And here we learn
that there are beings in Fangorn older than him! Are they, then, the
oldest living things in Middle-earth? But what about Bombadil?
My opinion on this old issue is that the superlative is here, as in
many old texts, just used es elative: Both are "very" old, older than
anything near them, but not "oldest" in an absolute sense. (And I also
think you don't learn very much about the works by trying to answer
the question who is the "older" of both. It's just not important.)

Shippey says one can resolve the conflict if one does not think
of Bombadil as a "living thing" (after all, he is a "genius loci"),
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
2. Men are apparently familiar with parts of Fangorn - they have given
the name of Derndingle to the site of the Entmoot, for instance. How
is it men would have come so far into the forest?
Hm. Story-externally, maybe Tolkien just used the phrase "Man call it X"
as a variant of "In your language, the name would be...", and didn't
really think about whether men ever went there.

Story-internally, one could invent some story of how men in very old times
that are now remembered by no one but the Ents used to go to this place,
etc., etc. That's probably what Tolkien would have done when asked this
question :-)
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
3. History of Middle-earth. For all his staying in one place,
Treebeard is remarkably versed in events outside. He knows that the
wizards came at around the time of the arrival of Elendil; he speaks a
few times of the Great Darkness (Morgoth's time, or that of Sauron,
before the Numenoreans "captured" him?); how Lorien has changed.
And he also seems to be actively involved in ME-politics -- after all,
he has to care for his Ents, as one of their apparent "leaders". He
seems to know Gandalf quite well, and they both probably talked
regularly to each other. (There are hints about that in 'Flotsam
and Jetsam').
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
5. We learn something about the Tooks, too, and the strong presence of
the Old Took (Gerontius - what a perfect name: was he ever young, I
wonder).
Many of Tolkiens names are just descriptive (even though in a
different language). That certainly helps with inventing them :-)
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
Whether you're a dendrologist or don't even care to know
what the word means, have you a favorite tree?
In /The Road to Middle Earth/, Shippey mentions that the birch and the
oak had a special meaning to Tolkien. For one, he quotes CT that the
'A' scheme of study ('A' for Old English ác='oak') was literature, as
opposed to the 'B' scheme ('birch'), which was language. Since Tolkien
was of course on the side of 'language' in the 'Lit. vs. Lang.' issue,
he prefers the birch. He even wrote poems about birches (in Gothic
and Old English), and the birch is also apperently symbolic when
Smith (of Wotton Major) is rescued from the Wild Wind in Fairie.

So I think Tolkien may allude to something else (or someone?) when he
talks about Skinbark, who "was wounded by the Orcs", and now lives
"among the birches that he loves best, and will not come down".

I also remember faintly having read some speculation about real
persons influencing what became Treebeard, but I cannot think of
the details. (C.S. Lewis, and his booming voice? But I may be mixing
things up here.)

- Dirk
Larry Swain
2004-07-29 18:49:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
Whether you're a dendrologist or don't even care to know
what the word means, have you a favorite tree?
In /The Road to Middle Earth/, Shippey mentions that the birch and the
oak had a special meaning to Tolkien. For one, he quotes CT that the
'A' scheme of study ('A' for Old English ác='oak') was literature, as
opposed to the 'B' scheme ('birch'), which was language. Since Tolkien
was of course on the side of 'language' in the 'Lit. vs. Lang.' issue,
he prefers the birch. He even wrote poems about birches (in Gothic
and Old English), and the birch is also apperently symbolic when
Smith (of Wotton Major) is rescued from the Wild Wind in Fairie.
So I think Tolkien may allude to something else (or someone?) when he
talks about Skinbark, who "was wounded by the Orcs", and now lives
"among the birches that he loves best, and will not come down".
I also remember faintly having read some speculation about real
persons influencing what became Treebeard, but I cannot think of
the details. (C.S. Lewis, and his booming voice? But I may be mixing
things up here.)
Just to add to your comments here, in Old English (and Germanic
languages generally) "birch" is spelled either bec or boc and is
the root of our modern word "Book" whether because of the runic
habit of writing on a birch's soft bark, or because the
plentiful birch was used for the wood to make book covers or
whatever...but it just adds a little extra spice to your
observations above.
Dirk Thierbach
2004-07-29 19:42:23 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Swain
Just to add to your comments here, in Old English (and Germanic
languages generally) "birch" is spelled either bec or boc and is
the root of our modern word "Book" whether because of the runic
habit of writing on a birch's soft bark, or because the
plentiful birch was used for the wood to make book covers or
whatever...
Isn't that beech, not birch? I tend to confuse the two, but this time
I am pretty sure that beech is german "Buche", which in turn is
related to the "Buchstaben" ("letters", literally "beech staves"), and
hence "Buch" (book). But maybe both trees had some connection to
books? Does anyone know for sure?

- Dirk
Larry Swain
2004-07-30 14:28:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by Larry Swain
Just to add to your comments here, in Old English (and Germanic
languages generally) "birch" is spelled either bec or boc and is
the root of our modern word "Book" whether because of the runic
habit of writing on a birch's soft bark, or because the
plentiful birch was used for the wood to make book covers or
whatever...
Isn't that beech, not birch? I tend to confuse the two, but this time
I am pretty sure that beech is german "Buche", which in turn is
related to the "Buchstaben" ("letters", literally "beech staves"), and
hence "Buch" (book). But maybe both trees had some connection to
books? Does anyone know for sure?
- Dirk
You are absolutely correct.....I always get those two trees
confused, having never seen either. I withdraw the comment
since I was in error. Thanks for the correction, Dirk.
the softrat
2004-07-30 15:25:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Swain
You are absolutely correct.....I always get those two trees
confused, having never seen either. I withdraw the comment
since I was in error. Thanks for the correction, Dirk.
Amazing! Since New England has both that Germany has neither! American
beeches are a fairly smooth medium grey; American birches are either
silver-grey or white with black marks. The silver birches tend to have
shaggy outer bark. I have no idea how the Indians could have made
*any* type of 'birch-bark" canoe. The stuff appears too friable to me.
Oh, and lots of holes!

Actually the memory of mature American beeches in winter forms part of
my mental image of mallorn trees: tall stately grey stems and golden
leaves.

the softrat
"Honi soit qui mal y pense."
mailto:***@pobox.com
--
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, tension mounted, clicked his spurs
and rode off.
Dirk Thierbach
2004-07-31 08:56:02 UTC
Permalink
I didn't write that, that was Larry.
Post by the softrat
Post by Larry Swain
You are absolutely correct.....I always get those two trees
confused, having never seen either. I withdraw the comment
since I was in error. Thanks for the correction, Dirk.
Amazing! Since New England has both that Germany has neither!
Actually, Germany has both, and I know both trees well enough. (I
don't know where Larry lives, though). What I do confuse is the
English names for them: Birch has *i* in writing, beech has *i* in the
pronounciation, so I have made a few times the mistake to take beech
as the translation for Birke, instead of Buche. And since I try to
learn from my mistakes, I attempt to remember to double check whenever
one of them is involved :-)
Post by the softrat
American beeches are a fairly smooth medium grey; American birches
are either silver-grey or white with black marks.
So are their German siblings; but the birches with white and black marks
are far more common, and I haven't seen a silver-grey one yet.
Post by the softrat
The silver birches tend to have shaggy outer bark.
The ones with the white and black marks do, too. It also goes away
easily from the trunk.

- Dirk
TeaLady (Mari C.)
2004-07-31 15:11:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by the softrat
The silver birches tend to have
shaggy outer bark. I have no idea how the Indians could have
made *any* type of 'birch-bark" canoe. The stuff appears too
friable to me. Oh, and lots of holes!
A few sites that might help you see how it was done -
<http://www.buckskinnerweb.com/wetzel/canoes.htm> (A modern
birch-bark cannoe builder)
<http://www.schoolnet.ca/aboriginal/handbook/technology_canoe.ht
ml> (A description of how the indians did it)
<http://www.heritage.nf.ca/aboriginal/canoeing.html> (a pretty
good picture of a large canoe)
--
TeaLady (mari)

"Indeed, literary analysis will be a serious undertaking only
when it adopts the mindset of quantum physics and regards the
observer as part of the experiment."
Flame of the West on litcrit
Tobasco
2004-08-03 09:37:17 UTC
Permalink
Further, Beech logs have been much used as dugout canoes.
John Jones
2004-07-30 16:12:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by the softrat
Post by Larry Swain
You are absolutely correct.....I always get those two trees
confused, having never seen either. I withdraw the comment
since I was in error. Thanks for the correction, Dirk.
Amazing! Since New England has both that Germany has neither! American
beeches are a fairly smooth medium grey; American birches are either
silver-grey or white with black marks.
Actually the memory of mature American beeches in winter forms part of
my mental image of mallorn trees: tall stately grey stems and golden
leaves.
Exactly the same goes for European birches and beeches (Dirk must live in
the middle of the Ruhr or somewhere!). There used to be a line of enormous
beech trees along the road near here, but they were felled years ago :o(
Dirk Thierbach
2004-08-01 09:39:49 UTC
Permalink
Post by John Jones
Exactly the same goes for European birches and beeches
Yes.
Post by John Jones
(Dirk must live in the middle of the Ruhr or somewhere!).
No, I don't. And I know the trees. Softrat misquoted. (And know you can
see why this is a bad thing...)

- Dirk
Shanahan
2004-07-30 19:24:27 UTC
Permalink
Larry Swain <***@operamail.com> declared:
<snip>
Post by Larry Swain
You are absolutely correct.....I always get those two trees
confused, having never seen either. I withdraw the comment
since I was in error. Thanks for the correction, Dirk.
Now I'm curious: where do you live that you've never
seen a beech or a birch tree? Both lovely trees, although very
different. "Upon it, as a double crown, grew two circles of trees:
the outer had bark of snowy white, and were leafless but beautiful
in their shapely nakedness" ('Lothlorien'). I've always imagined
these as birches, which are lovely in the winter. Their white bark
nearly glows against the darkness of surrounding pine trees.

Ciaran S.
--
If a ragnarök would burn all the slums and gas-works,
and shabby garages, and long arc-lit suburbs,
it could for me burn all the works of art -
and I'd go back to trees.
- JRRT
Larry Swain
2004-07-30 18:26:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
<snip>
Post by Larry Swain
You are absolutely correct.....I always get those two trees
confused, having never seen either. I withdraw the comment
since I was in error. Thanks for the correction, Dirk.
Now I'm curious: where do you live that you've never
seen a beech or a birch tree? Both lovely trees, although very
the outer had bark of snowy white, and were leafless but beautiful
in their shapely nakedness" ('Lothlorien'). I've always imagined
these as birches, which are lovely in the winter. Their white bark
nearly glows against the darkness of surrounding pine trees.
I grew up in the far northern Rocky Mountains....pine, sage, and
gorse. I am now thoroughly urbanized and urbane and live in
Chicago, the city of bricks. I may in fact have seen a birch or
a beech and never known what it was, but I have not knowingly
seen one and been able to identify it.
Shanahan
2004-07-31 22:00:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Swain
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
<snip>
Post by Larry Swain
You are absolutely correct.....I always get those two trees
confused, having never seen either. I withdraw the comment
since I was in error. Thanks for the correction, Dirk.
Now I'm curious: where do you live that you've never
seen a beech or a birch tree? Both lovely trees
I grew up in the far northern Rocky Mountains....pine, sage, and
gorse. I am now thoroughly urbanized and urbane and live in
Chicago, the city of bricks. I may in fact have seen a birch or
a beech and never known what it was, but I have not knowingly
seen one and been able to identify it.
Nope, you wouldn't be likely to see a larch or a beech tree in a
city. Clumps of birches are small and ornamental enough to be in
parks, and you might see some lovely old beeches in the middle of
lawns, in turn-of-the-century rich neighborhoods.

Here's a link to some pictures:
http://www.whom.co.uk/squelch/trees_britain.htm

And now, the larch:
http://www.pollackphoto.com/us/pnw/nature/F0224-10.htm

Ciaran S.
--
Larry Swain
2004-07-31 21:53:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Shanahan
Post by Larry Swain
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
<snip>
Post by Larry Swain
You are absolutely correct.....I always get those two trees
confused, having never seen either. I withdraw the comment
since I was in error. Thanks for the correction, Dirk.
Now I'm curious: where do you live that you've never
seen a beech or a birch tree? Both lovely trees
I grew up in the far northern Rocky Mountains....pine, sage, and
gorse. I am now thoroughly urbanized and urbane and live in
Chicago, the city of bricks. I may in fact have seen a birch or
a beech and never known what it was, but I have not knowingly
seen one and been able to identify it.
Nope, you wouldn't be likely to see a larch or a beech tree in a
city. Clumps of birches are small and ornamental enough to be in
parks, and you might see some lovely old beeches in the middle of
lawns, in turn-of-the-century rich neighborhoods.
http://www.whom.co.uk/squelch/trees_britain.htm
http://www.pollackphoto.com/us/pnw/nature/F0224-10.htm
Thank you!
Dirk Thierbach
2004-07-31 09:08:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Swain
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Isn't that beech, not birch? I tend to confuse the two, but this time
I am pretty sure that beech is german "Buche", which in turn is
related to the "Buchstaben" ("letters", literally "beech staves"), and
hence "Buch" (book). But maybe both trees had some connection to
books? Does anyone know for sure?
You are absolutely correct.....I always get those two trees
confused, having never seen either. I withdraw the comment
since I was in error. Thanks for the correction, Dirk.
To confuse things further, I looked up both in my etymological
dictionary. Besides learning that nordic 'björk' (like the singer),
OE 'beorc', means birch, and OE 'bóc' is indeed beech, it also said
that beech/Buche and book/Buchstabe/letter cannot be related,
for both "formal and historical reasons". I couldn't follow the formal
reasons, which destinguish between a "Wurzelnomen" (root noun?) and
a feminine "ó-Stamm" (whatever the translation is), but the historical
reasons are that there is no evidence that runes where ever written
on beechwood. So this dictionary claims that the "usual etymology is
wrong".

Another (general) dictionary however gives exactly this etymology.

So it seems that this issue isn't clear cut among experts. And since
I am only a dilettant in these matters, I shouldn't try to judge it :-)

- Dirk
Larry Swain
2004-07-31 16:41:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dirk Thierbach
To confuse things further, I looked up both in my etymological
dictionary. Besides learning that nordic 'björk' (like the singer),
OE 'beorc', means birch, and OE 'bóc' is indeed beech, it also said
that beech/Buche and book/Buchstabe/letter cannot be related,
for both "formal and historical reasons". I couldn't follow the formal
reasons, which destinguish between a "Wurzelnomen" (root noun?) and
a feminine "ó-Stamm" (whatever the translation is), but the historical
reasons are that there is no evidence that runes where ever written
on beechwood. So this dictionary claims that the "usual etymology is
wrong".
Another (general) dictionary however gives exactly this etymology.
So it seems that this issue isn't clear cut among experts. And since
I am only a dilettant in these matters, I shouldn't try to judge it :-)
- Dirk
Just out of curiousity what was the etymological dictionary you
looked at that said the two could not be related? Besides, at
least in Old English the terms are "bec" with a long "e" and the
"c" probably as a "ch", while the new form is "boc" with a short
"o". The historical reasons I can address now however. The
article apparently does not take into consideration the Roman
and later medieval habit of writing on wax tablets, the wax
encased in a wood frame. There have also been examples of
whitewashed wood with writing on them pulled from bogs. That is
to say, plenty of evidence of wood as a writing material.
Further, as I mentioned before, is that manuscripts had wooden
covers---pieces of wood covered in leather. In short, too
short, the historical reasons give plenty of connection between
wood, and the plentiful beech is as likely a material as any (or
so I've been told that the beech is plentiful in European
forests) as a softer wood and easier to work for these
purposes. (Again, so I've been told. I've not actually
constructed such a book myself, and can only describe what those
who have tell me whether modern practioners or where the
ancients and medievals left descriptions and to describe what
archaeology has done.) So anyway, I would like to look into the
formal linguistic reasons your etymological dictionary lists as
well.
Dirk Thierbach
2004-08-01 10:11:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Swain
Just out of curiousity what was the etymological dictionary you
looked at that said the two could not be related?
Kluge, Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, 23. Auflage, 1995.
Post by Larry Swain
Besides, at least in Old English the terms are "bec" with a long "e"
and the "c" probably as a "ch", while the new form is "boc" with a
short "o".
The original text goes like this, with ~ appended to denote a bar (not
a squiggle) above the preceding vowel, and ' to denote an accent, to
make the difference clear (sometimes I *do* wish I could use Unicode
easily...), and /xxx/ for italics:

Buch. Mhd. /buoch/, ahd. /buoh/ f./n./m., as. /bo~k/ (s.u.) aus
g. /*bo~k-(o~)/ f., auch in gt. /boka/ f. 'Buchstabe', gt. /bokos/
'Schriftstück, Buch', anord. /bo'k/ f. (ursprünglich Wurzelnomen)
'gesticktes Kissen, Buch', ae. /bo~c/ f. (auch n.), (ursprünglich
Wurzelnomen), 'Buch', afr. /bo~k/ 'Buch', as. /bo~k/ f./Sg. 'Schrifttafel',
sonst f./n. Pl. 'Buch, Bücher'; [...] Auszugehen ist ersichtlich
von einem femininen Wurzelnomen mit der Bedeutung 'Buchstabe'
(so gotisch und in Spuren althochdeutsch). [...]
Diese Bedeutung 'Buchstabe, Zeichen', aus der sich alle anderen
herleiten lassen, kann mit dem Wort /Buche/ (so die übliche Etymologie)
aus formalen und sachlichen Gründen nichts zu tun haben: aus formalen
Gründen, weil das Wort *bo~k-s 'Buchstabe' ursprünglich ein Wurzelnomen
war und die angebliche Grundlage /*bo~ko~/ 'Buche' ein femininer
o~-Stamm; aus sachlichen, weil nirgends das Schreiben von Runen
(um das es ursprünglich gegangen sein muß) auf Buchentafeln bezeugt
ist.

[Sources:]

RGA 4 (1981), 34-37; Seebold (1981), 290-292; E.A. Ebbinghaus GL 22
(1982), 99-103; Peeters ebd. 266; LM 2 (1983), 802-811; E. Seebold
in: Brogyanyi/Krömmelbein (1986), 527-532; E.A. Ebbinghaus AJGLL 3
(1991), 51-56; Röhrich 1 (1991), 274f. [...]

Abbreviations:

ae. altenglisch
afr. altfriesisch
ahd. althochdeutsch
as. altsächsisch
g. (gemein-)germanisch
gt. gotisch

RGA Reallexikon der germanischen Alterkunde
GL General Linguistics
LM Lexikon des Mittelalters
AJGLL American Journal of Germanic Linguistics and Literature

Common abbrevitions:

ebd. ebenda (from same work)
f. folgende (following page)
ff. fortfolgende (following pages)
f. feminin
m. maskulin
n. neutrum
Post by Larry Swain
The historical reasons I can address now however. The article
apparently does not take into consideration the Roman and later
medieval habit of writing on wax tablets, the wax encased in a wood
frame.
I can't say. The entries are not very long; and there is certainly
no room to discuss all the details.
Post by Larry Swain
There have also been examples of whitewashed wood with writing on
them pulled from bogs. That is to say, plenty of evidence of wood
as a writing material.
They don't argue that; they say there is no evidence of *runes*
beeing written on *beech*-tablets.
Post by Larry Swain
Further, as I mentioned before, is that manuscripts had wooden
covers---pieces of wood covered in leather. In short, too short,
the historical reasons give plenty of connection between wood, and
the plentiful beech is as likely a material as any (or so I've been
told that the beech is plentiful in European forests) as a softer
wood and easier to work for these purposes.
Since they argue there is no evidence about *runes*, I guess the point
is that the word was used with the meaning 'book' (written text)
before there were books with covers (made of wood, or whatever) in our
sense. But that's just my guess.
Post by Larry Swain
So anyway, I would like to look into the formal linguistic reasons
your etymological dictionary lists as well.
If I forgot some of the abbreviations, please tell me.

- Dirk
Larry Swain
2004-08-02 18:32:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by Larry Swain
Just out of curiousity what was the etymological dictionary you
looked at that said the two could not be related?
Kluge, Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen Sprache, 23. Auflage, 1995.
Post by Larry Swain
Besides, at least in Old English the terms are "bec" with a long "e"
and the "c" probably as a "ch", while the new form is "boc" with a
short "o".
The original text goes like this, with ~ appended to denote a bar (not
a squiggle) above the preceding vowel, and ' to denote an accent, to
make the difference clear (sometimes I *do* wish I could use Unicode
Buch. Mhd. /buoch/, ahd. /buoh/ f./n./m., as. /bo~k/ (s.u.) aus
g. /*bo~k-(o~)/ f., auch in gt. /boka/ f. 'Buchstabe', gt. /bokos/
'Schriftstück, Buch', anord. /bo'k/ f. (ursprünglich Wurzelnomen)
'gesticktes Kissen, Buch', ae. /bo~c/ f. (auch n.), (ursprünglich
Wurzelnomen), 'Buch', afr. /bo~k/ 'Buch', as. /bo~k/ f./Sg. 'Schrifttafel',
sonst f./n. Pl. 'Buch, Bücher'; [...] Auszugehen ist ersichtlich
von einem femininen Wurzelnomen mit der Bedeutung 'Buchstabe'
(so gotisch und in Spuren althochdeutsch). [...]
Diese Bedeutung 'Buchstabe, Zeichen', aus der sich alle anderen
herleiten lassen, kann mit dem Wort /Buche/ (so die übliche Etymologie)
aus formalen und sachlichen Gründen nichts zu tun haben: aus formalen
Gründen, weil das Wort *bo~k-s 'Buchstabe' ursprünglich ein Wurzelnomen
war und die angebliche Grundlage /*bo~ko~/ 'Buche' ein femininer
o~-Stamm; aus sachlichen, weil nirgends das Schreiben von Runen
(um das es ursprünglich gegangen sein muß) auf Buchentafeln bezeugt
ist.
This seems more an argument about runes, as you point out below,
than it does about etymology and roots. But some of the
Germanic languages have beech as feminine, and the interchange
of vowels in derivative words is attested in Germanic languages
too. But more importantly, the posited form of proto-Germanic
"beech" is *boka, where you can easily see the root of "boc" and
the loss of the final "a" pushing the "o" further into the mouth
to form "bec". There are also literary references to runes
being written on wood, so though we have no surviving examples
of it yet, there is no reason not to take those references
seriously. So I don't buy their argument.
Post by Dirk Thierbach
They don't argue that; they say there is no evidence of *runes*
beeing written on *beech*-tablets.
I think the argument runs that the creation of the word "book"
in Germanic languages predated the coming of the Latin
alphabet--therefore associated with runic writing. And if runes
were largely written on wood and other materials that degrade
quickly, that would explain the reletive absence of runic
texts. So naturally there are no runic inscriptions on wood.
But again, we have those literary references.


Thanks again for taking the time to do this!
Shanahan
2004-08-03 05:37:36 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Larry Swain
Post by Dirk Thierbach
They don't argue that; they say there is no evidence of *runes*
beeing written on *beech*-tablets.
I think the argument runs that the creation of the word "book"
in Germanic languages predated the coming of the Latin
alphabet--therefore associated with runic writing. And if runes
were largely written on wood and other materials that degrade
quickly, that would explain the relative absence of runic
texts. So naturally there are no runic inscriptions on wood.
But again, we have those literary references.
Thanks again for taking the time to do this!
Pure speculation, also OT:
Please correct me if I'm wrong, because I have no professional
knowledge about this time period. It's interesting that none of
the presumed runic wooden inscriptions survive. I'm thinking of
the many artefacts that have been found in peat bogs all over
Europe. If there were (and I'm not arguing that there weren't)
runic wooden tablets, why have none been found in peat bogs?
Perhaps just the luck of the draw, and none have been found *yet*.

AFAIK, many of the peat-bog artefacts seem to be sacred objects,
drowned in the bogs in sacrificial ceremony. Either that, or they
are lost objects that were placed in the bogs to 'season' or be
dyed a deep brown color. Now the latter could not apply to wooden
tablets. But the former could, if they were considered sacred
objects. Writing *is* often considered sacred in early cultures.

So why weren't tablets placed in bogs? Maybe there's some
interesting social reason why runic tablets were *not* considered
sacred. I wonder. What was writing used for at this period and in
these cultures? What do the literary references say, about the
content of the runic writings? Were they teaching songs, myths,
accountant's records, military history?

Ciaran S.
--
"Thought you would have been here days ago,"
said the balding elf. "Any trouble along the way?"
"I could write a book," said Frito prophetically.
- bored of the rings
Larry Swain
2004-08-03 04:57:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
<snip>
Post by Larry Swain
Post by Dirk Thierbach
They don't argue that; they say there is no evidence of *runes*
beeing written on *beech*-tablets.
I think the argument runs that the creation of the word "book"
in Germanic languages predated the coming of the Latin
alphabet--therefore associated with runic writing. And if runes
were largely written on wood and other materials that degrade
quickly, that would explain the relative absence of runic
texts. So naturally there are no runic inscriptions on wood.
But again, we have those literary references.
Thanks again for taking the time to do this!
Pure speculation
More reasoned speculation---but then doing any work in
prehistory involves a healthy dose of speculation that further
research, discoveries, accidents may prove incoorect.
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
Please correct me if I'm wrong, because I have no professional
knowledge about this time period. It's interesting that none of
the presumed runic wooden inscriptions survive. I'm thinking of
the many artefacts that have been found in peat bogs all over
Europe. If there were (and I'm not arguing that there weren't)
runic wooden tablets, why have none been found in peat bogs?
Perhaps just the luck of the draw, and none have been found *yet*.
Accident of survival. Nor does it follow if writing is sacred
that it is "sacrificed" in the same way that war booty would be,
especially given Germanic religion.
Post by Kristian Damm Jensen
So why weren't tablets placed in bogs? Maybe there's some
interesting social reason why runic tablets were *not* considered
sacred. I wonder. What was writing used for at this period and in
these cultures? What do the literary references say, about the
content of the runic writings? Were they teaching songs, myths,
accountant's records, military history?
Well, we wish we know. We don't. The literary references
simply refer to various Germanic tribes writing "in books", in
Latin "in tabuli" and in Germanic usually "im bokum" or
equivalent. Now a tabula is a board, a piece of wood and in the
context of writing is a wax-tablet used for writing (the wood is
scraped out to form a surface for the wax so that the wax acts
like a piece of paper on a wooden clip board). Likewise the
Germanic language references such as the Gothic one are early
and refer to a time before German tribes produced manuscripts or
learned Latin as a written language. So what could "bok" refer
to here that even in Gothic they say they are writing on? Wood?
Shanahan
2004-08-04 03:23:15 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Larry Swain
Post by Shanahan
Europe. If there were (and I'm not arguing that there weren't)
runic wooden tablets, why have none been found in peat bogs?
Perhaps just the luck of the draw, and none have been found
*yet*.
Accident of survival. Nor does it follow if writing is sacred
that it is "sacrificed" in the same way that war booty would be,
especially given Germanic religion.
True. Which is why I'm wondering what writing was used for among
the Germanic tribes. The only use I can think of that would lead to
wooden runic writings being sacrificed in a peat bog, would be if
they were prayers. Wouldn't you just *kill* for a time machine
sometimes? <g>

<snip>
Post by Larry Swain
learned Latin as a written language. So what could "bok" refer
to here that even in Gothic they say they are writing on? Wood?
I don't suppose 'bok' could refer to bark? Some Amerindian tribes
kept records on bark.

Ciaran S.
--
"Oh yes. Elvish ancestry. Elves and humans breed all
right, as if that's anything to be proud of.
But you just get a race o'skinny types with pointy ears
and a tendency to giggle and burn easily in sunshine."
-Esme Weatherwax, _Lords and Ladies_
Dirk Thierbach
2004-08-03 06:16:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Larry Swain
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Diese Bedeutung 'Buchstabe, Zeichen', aus der sich alle anderen
herleiten lassen, kann mit dem Wort /Buche/ (so die übliche Etymologie)
aus formalen und sachlichen Gründen nichts zu tun haben: aus formalen
Gründen, weil das Wort *bo~k-s 'Buchstabe' ursprünglich ein Wurzelnomen
war und die angebliche Grundlage /*bo~ko~/ 'Buche' ein femininer
o~-Stamm; aus sachlichen, weil nirgends das Schreiben von Runen
(um das es ursprünglich gegangen sein muß) auf Buchentafeln bezeugt
ist.
This seems more an argument about runes, as you point out below,
than it does about etymology and roots.
The first part is clearly about etymology only (book/letter comes from
a 'root noun', beech from a feminine 'o-trunk' (if this is the right
word)), the second is about history (no evidence of writing of runes on
beech tables). So the argument consists of two reasons.
Post by Larry Swain
But some of the Germanic languages have beech as feminine,
Yes, that's what it says. Actually it claims that beech *originally*
it was based on a feminine o-trunk, and hence it is a different from
the "root noun" for "book". I don't understand the "but" :-)
Post by Larry Swain
But more importantly, the posited form of proto-Germanic "beech" is
*boka, where you can easily see the root of "boc" and the loss of
the final "a" pushing the "o" further into the mouth to form "bec".
I cannot comment on that, because I don't know enough about philology;
apperently, they see it differently.
Post by Larry Swain
There are also literary references to runes being written on wood,
On wood, or specifically on beech-wood?
Post by Larry Swain
so though we have no surviving examples of it yet, there is no
reason not to take those references seriously. So I don't buy their
argument.
Maybe the best thing is to look up the articles in the references;
possible one of them has the argument in greater detail.
Post by Larry Swain
I think the argument runs that the creation of the word "book"
in Germanic languages predated the coming of the Latin
alphabet--therefore associated with runic writing.
That seems to be the implicit assumption. Maybe it's a trivial
one for philologists, you just have to date the words. That german
"Buchstaben" has the word "staff" in it is also a clear hint that they
were originally about runic letters, at least for me as a layman.
Post by Larry Swain
And if runes were largely written on wood and other materials that
degrade quickly, that would explain the reletive absence of runic
texts. So naturally there are no runic inscriptions on wood.
The text says (literal translation) "because nowhere it is witnessed
that runes were written on beech-tablets". That would include literary
references as witness, and...
Post by Larry Swain
But again, we have those literary references.
...I don't know what these references are, but maybe the authors read
them differently, or distrust them because they only mention different
kinds of wood, and not beech.

I don't know. If the referenced articles don't explain it, you could
probably also try to email one of the authors.

As I said, I don't know enough to judge. I just can observe that the
issue is obviously not as clear cut as it seems, and there are
different opinions among the professionals.

- Dirk
Larry Swain
2004-08-03 18:33:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by Larry Swain
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Diese Bedeutung 'Buchstabe, Zeichen', aus der sich alle anderen
herleiten lassen, kann mit dem Wort /Buche/ (so die übliche Etymologie)
aus formalen und sachlichen Gründen nichts zu tun haben: aus formalen
Gründen, weil das Wort *bo~k-s 'Buchstabe' ursprünglich ein Wurzelnomen
war und die angebliche Grundlage /*bo~ko~/ 'Buche' ein femininer
o~-Stamm; aus sachlichen, weil nirgends das Schreiben von Runen
(um das es ursprünglich gegangen sein muß) auf Buchentafeln bezeugt
ist.
This seems more an argument about runes, as you point out below,
than it does about etymology and roots.
The first part is clearly about etymology only (book/letter comes from
a 'root noun', beech from a feminine 'o-trunk' (if this is the right
word)), the second is about history (no evidence of writing of runes on
beech tables). So the argument consists of two reasons.
Right, but its the "book" coming from a different root noun that
is under debate and they don't offer a compelling reason for
this, in my view.
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by Larry Swain
But some of the Germanic languages have beech as feminine,
Yes, that's what it says. Actually it claims that beech *originally*
it was based on a feminine o-trunk, and hence it is a different from
the "root noun" for "book". I don't understand the "but" :-)
I think you do. Basically its saying that in their view *boka,
beech, is a feminine noun from an "o" stem...that is the root
vowel is an "o" , whereas boc/bec/buch etc has a different root
vowel. This is important because we can trace the phonological
changes of each word into the various historical Germanic
languages and both words are acted on differently by these
languages, possibly indicating different roots in
proto-Germanic.
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by Larry Swain
There are also literary references to runes being written on wood,
On wood, or specifically on beech-wood?
Depends on how you read them I guess. The Latin reference only
refers to tabulae--so wood. But the Germanic references, one in
Gothic, refers to "bokum"--so if you read "boka" as the root of
beech and book, then the reference is obvious: they wrote on
bokum=on beech wood, probably in tablet form. If on the other
hand you take *boka as"book" but not beech, then what in a runic
context is a "boka"? What would "book" have meant in
Proto-Germanic?
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by Larry Swain
so though we have no surviving examples of it yet, there is no
reason not to take those references seriously. So I don't buy their
argument.
Maybe the best thing is to look up the articles in the references;
possible one of them has the argument in greater detail.
They do, its just that I'm too lazy to reread them again. ;) I
hadn't realized that the argument had made it into a popularly
accessible etymological dictionary.
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by Larry Swain
I think the argument runs that the creation of the word "book"
in Germanic languages predated the coming of the Latin
alphabet--therefore associated with runic writing.
That seems to be the implicit assumption. Maybe it's a trivial
one for philologists, you just have to date the words.
Hard to do since both words come to us from pre-history. So one
has to work backwards from what we have to what might have been.



That german
Post by Dirk Thierbach
"Buchstaben" has the word "staff" in it is also a clear hint that they
were originally about runic letters, at least for me as a layman.
Indeed!
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by Larry Swain
And if runes were largely written on wood and other materials that
degrade quickly, that would explain the reletive absence of runic
texts. So naturally there are no runic inscriptions on wood.
The text says (literal translation) "because nowhere it is witnessed
that runes were written on beech-tablets". That would include literary
references as witness, and...
See above. That they were written on wood, at least sometimes,
I think is a given. We do have some examples from much later
than the period we're talking about....in fact, just checking on
some note on the issues, there were two rods found in Norway
that have 2 of the poems from Carmina Burana (12th century)
written on them in runes. So the literary references tell us
that much at least, the question is whether originally it was
beech wood (for its sacredness? its availibility? its rarity?
its softness? whatever) and the semantic range expanded to any
wooden tablet prepared to receive writing (such as in Latin the
expanded range of the word tabula--originally a slab of wood,
then it means a writing surface, and then by extension what is
written--such as accounts or lists of things, and nthenmeans a
particular layout on the page--far removed from the slab of
wood. Did something like this happen to "beech" in
proto-Germanic? Who knows?

Thanks again Dirk!
TT Arvind
2004-08-01 16:55:59 UTC
Permalink
Wes ðu Dirk Thierbach hal!
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Isn't that beech, not birch? I tend to confuse the two, but this time
I am pretty sure that beech is german "Buche", which in turn is
related to the "Buchstaben" ("letters", literally "beech staves"), and
hence "Buch" (book). But maybe both trees had some connection to
books? Does anyone know for sure?
You're right - it is beech, not birch. The OE word for beech was 'bece'
and for book was 'bóc'. These don't sound that similar, but the
etymological connection between the two - if it existed - would not have
been in Old English but rather in Common Teutonic, since the various
cognates of 'book' in the Germanic languages point to the existence of a
Common Teutonic root which meant 'writing tablet'.
--
Meneldil

Osborn's Law: Variables won't; constants aren't.
the softrat
2004-08-02 04:39:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by TT Arvind
Common Teutonic root which meant 'writing tablet'.
Do German trees have Teutonic Roots?

the softrat
"Honi soit qui mal y pense."
mailto:***@pobox.com
--
Not the brightest crayon in the box, now, are we?
Dirk Thierbach
2004-08-02 06:50:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by the softrat
Post by TT Arvind
Common Teutonic root which meant 'writing tablet'.
Do German trees have Teutonic Roots?
Depends on their age.

- Dirk (SCNR)
Shanahan
2004-07-30 03:07:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- The Ent language.
When I started to get a few glimpes at Anglo-Saxon verse, I
thought that the agglomerative Ent language captures one
characteristic
Post by Dirk Thierbach
feature of it and takes it to the extreme: The long series of
nouns (and
Post by Dirk Thierbach
somtimes adjectives) put next to each other, that nevertheless
are somehow "dynamic" and not just a static description.
Yes - the intricacy of placement so that the proper influences and
textures of meaning come out the way one wants - speaking a
language like that would make every word something of a poem.

Just a note, it's not Old Entish that Treebeard uses in this
agglomerative (what a great word!) fashion; it's Elvish: "fragments
of Elf-speech strung together in Ent-fashion". Apparently there's
no language capable of directly translating real Old Entish:
"The language they had made was unlike all others: slow, sonorous,
agglomerated, repetitive, indeed long-winded; formed of a
multiplicity of vowel-shades and distinctions of tone and quantity
which even the lore-masters of the Eldar had not attempted to
represent in writing. They used it only among themselves; but they
had no need to keep it secret, for no others could learn it." <g>
The only "Entish" that appears is "where the Hobbits seem to have
made some attempt to represent the shorter murmurs and calls made
by the Ents; a-lalla-lalla-rumba-kamanda-lindor-burúme....is the
only extant (probably very inaccurate) attempt to represent a
fragment of actual Entish."
(All quotes from Appendix F to LotR, 'Of Other Races')

<snip>
Post by Dirk Thierbach
It might also be interesting to think about "name magic" in this
context: Apparently Tolkien thought that any "proper", "real"
name of the thing should be at least as detailed and complicated
as
Post by Dirk Thierbach
the thing itself...
I loved that idea when I first read LotR! It fits so well with
what the Ents are, and is so amusing in a very quiet way. A real
name tells the story of what it names. Imagine trying to cast a
spell on an Ent: (evil wizard runs panting after an Ent, striding
away into the forest; "Wait! Wait! I haven't even finished *naming*
you to claim your soul yet, darn it!"). Seriously, though, this is
interesting in regard to 'name magic'. It feels right to me,
y'know? That a true name must be detailed and complex. But then I
think back to Eru saying "Ëa!" and creating - well, Ëa - surely the
most powerful act of name magic ever, and yet what could be
shorter?

(This reminds me of one evening long ago by the edge of a lake with
a friend. We were young, sophomore English majors, and in a
radically altered state of mind, so of course we were trying to
solve The Eternal Questions. We realized in a great flash of
illumination that the purpose of the human race was to create the
perfect Word: the Word that would be so accurate that it would
actually *be* the thing it named. Symbol and symbolized would
become One, and the world would end in a moment of perfect identity
and joy.)
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- The oldest living thing: how old is Treebeard? And here we
learn that there are beings in Fangorn older than him! Are
they, then, the oldest living things in Middle-earth? But what
about Bombadil?
My opinion on this old issue is that the superlative is here, as
in many old texts, just used as elative: Both are "very" old,
older
Post by Dirk Thierbach
than anything near them, but not "oldest" in an absolute sense.
"Absolutely" agreed. <g> (this "old" issue? did you mean that to
be a pun, or was it unintentional?)
Post by Dirk Thierbach
(And I also think you don't learn very much about the works by
trying to answer the question who is the "older" of both. It's
just not
Post by Dirk Thierbach
important.)
Hear, hear.
Post by Dirk Thierbach
I also remember faintly having read some speculation about real
persons influencing what became Treebeard, but I cannot think of
the details. (C.S. Lewis, and his booming voice? But I may be
mixing things up here.)
I recall something about Lewis and his voice being influences on
Treebeard, too. Apparently Lewis got quite loud sometimes when
"well oiled" at the Inklings meetings. He boomed and Tolkien
mumbled when lecturing, so there must have been quite an amusing
contrast between them!

Ciaran S.
--
If a ragnarök would burn all the slums and gas-works,
and shabby garages, and long arc-lit suburbs,
it could for me burn all the works of art -
and I'd go back to trees.
- JRRT
Dirk Thierbach
2004-07-30 06:19:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by Shanahan
Just a note, it's not Old Entish that Treebeard uses in this
But it's
Post by Shanahan
"strung together in Ent-fashion".
and also very similar to
Post by Shanahan
a-lalla-lalla-rumba-kamanda-lindor-burúme
so it's good enough :-)
Post by Shanahan
But then I think back to Eru saying "Ëa!" and creating - well, Ëa -
surely the most powerful act of name magic ever, and yet what could
be shorter?
I don't think this is "name magic", either -- he doesn't create the
world *because* he is saying "ea!". Nor can anobody else by just
saying "let it be" create something. He creates the world because he
is God, and God is able to create the world, by definition.
Post by Shanahan
"Absolutely" agreed. <g> (this "old" issue? did you mean that to
be a pun, or was it unintentional?)
Unintentional when I wrote it, but I realized it after I had sent it.
Quine would be pleased :-)
Post by Shanahan
I recall something about Lewis and his voice being influences on
Treebeard, too. Apparently Lewis got quite loud sometimes when
"well oiled" at the Inklings meetings.
So I didn't mix things up. Does anybody remember the exact source?

- Dirk
Shanahan
2004-07-30 20:10:34 UTC
Permalink
<snip>
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by Shanahan
But then I think back to Eru saying "Ëa!" and creating - well,
Ëa - surely the most powerful act of name magic ever, and yet
what could be shorter?
I don't think this is "name magic", either -- he doesn't create
the world *because* he is saying "ea!". Nor can anobody else by
just saying "let it be" create something. He creates the world
because he is God, and God is able to create the world, by
definition.
Agreed. But I still think it's name magic. I think of the name,
or word, or spell, as a channel for power. Rather like a wizard's
staff. They act to focus, direct, perhaps to enhance, the power
that lives within the wielder of the spell. So the creative power
comes from Eru, but is channeled through the word "Ëa".

Ciaran S.
--
Coulrophobia. It's nothing to clown about.
Stephan Hoffmeister
2004-07-31 22:36:40 UTC
Permalink
[...]
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by Shanahan
I recall something about Lewis and his voice being influences on
Treebeard, too. Apparently Lewis got quite loud sometimes when
"well oiled" at the Inklings meetings.
So I didn't mix things up. Does anybody remember the exact source?
They talk about this in the appendices of the TTT-SEE; at least that's
where I have first heard of it. Here's a rough transcript of that part:

John Rhys-Davies (Gimli):
"I think there is a suggestion somewhere in Tolkien, [...] that when he
was writing Treebeard the Ent, he was hearing C.S.Lewis' voice."

Brian Sibley (Author of 'The Lord of the Rings -
The Making of the Movie Trilogy'):
"I remember talking to someone who attended Lewis' lectures; and [the]
students would be sitting there and down the corridor he would hear
booming out this deep kind of 'Roomm-Roomm-Roommm...'. -- In he would
stride, down to the front of the Lecture-Theatre, and then just steam-
roller on in this great, loud, booming voice. And I think it's wonderful
to think that, you know, there, in Treebeard is the embodyment of his
friend Lewis; this great, booming voice."

I don't know if that's exactly the source; but it's the only source I can
come up with. -- Nothing canonical, it would seem. ;)


Stephan
--
There is a theory which states that if ever anybody discovers exactly what
the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be
replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another
theory which states that this has already happened. (Douglas Adams)
Shanahan
2004-08-01 20:05:05 UTC
Permalink
(I tried to crosspost this to the inklings ng, but my server
doesn't carry that ng, so it may not make it. Anyone want to post
this there, and see if they have an answer?)
Post by Stephan Hoffmeister
Post by Dirk Thierbach
Post by Shanahan
I recall something about Lewis and his voice being influences
on Treebeard, too. Apparently Lewis got quite loud sometimes
when "well oiled" at the Inklings meetings.
So I didn't mix things up. Does anybody remember the exact
source?
They talk about this in the appendices of the TTT-SEE; at least
that's where I have first heard of it. Here's a rough transcript
"I think there is a suggestion somewhere in Tolkien, [...]
that when he was writing Treebeard the Ent, he was hearing
C.S.Lewis' voice."
Brian Sibley (Author of 'The Lord of the Rings -
"I remember talking to someone who attended Lewis' lectures;
and [the] students would be sitting there and down the
corridor he would hear booming out this deep kind of
'Roomm-Roomm-Roommm...'. -- In he would stride, down to the
front of the Lecture-Theatre, and then just steam- roller on
in this great, loud, booming voice. And I think it's
wonderful to think that, you know, there, in Treebeard is the
embodiment of his friend Lewis; this great, booming voice."
I don't know if that's exactly the source; but it's the only
source I can come up with. -- Nothing canonical, it would seem.
;)
'Twould be hard to come up with a canonical source for this Real
Life question. What do we consider canonical for such things?
Carpenter's Biography, maybe, Letters, I guess...

Actually, Letters does have some corroborating evidence as to CSL's
loudness:

Letter 113 to C.S. Lewis:
Carpenter's Note 2 to Letter 113: It appears that Hugo Dyson had
been putting it about that Tolkien objected to Lewis's 'loud'
manner in the Inklings.
"But as for yourself: rest in peace, as far as I am any 'critic' of
behavior. At least you are the fautlest freke [ref to Chaucer,
'faultless knight'] that I know. 'Loudness' did you say? Nay! [...]
I don't find myself in any need of practising forbearance towards
any of you - save on the rarest occasions, when I myself am tired
and exhausted: then I find mere noise [...] trying. [...] I want
noise often enough. I know no more pleasant sound than arriving at
the B. and B. and hearing a roar, and knowing that one can plunge
in."

On drinking in general (as prone to lead to loudness, and 'cause
it's funny):
Letter 83 to Christopher Tolkien:
"C.S.L. had taken a fair deal of port and was a little
belligerent..."
Letter 56 to Christopher Tolkien:
"...a peculiarly misrepresentative and asinine paragraph in the
Daily Telegraph of Tuesday last. It began 'Ascetic Mr. Lewis'--!!!
I ask you! He put away three pints in a very short session we had
this morning, and said he was 'going short for Lent'."
Letter 90 to C.T.:
"C.S.L. was highly flown, but [...] O.B. is the only man who can
tackle C.S.L. making him define everything and interrupting his
most dogmatic pronouncements [...] The result was a most amusing
and highly contentious evening, on which (had an outsider
eavesdropped) he would have thought it a meeting of fell enemies
hurling deadly insults before drawing their guns."

(reminds me of some discussions around here)

Ciaran S.
--
He wears sorrow as others wear velvet.
Tears become him like jewels.
TT Arvind
2004-08-01 18:55:05 UTC
Permalink
Wes ðu Shanahan hal!
Post by Shanahan
(I tried to crosspost this to the inklings ng, but my server
doesn't carry that ng, so it may not make it. Anyone want to post
this there, and see if they have an answer?)
There is hardly any non-spam traffic in the inklings newsgroup, and that
tends to be crossposts. Perhaps alt.books.cs-lewis would be a better
bet?
--
Meneldil

Contrary to popular belief, the apostrophe does not mean 'look out, here
comes an "s"'.
-- Peter Seebach
Trevor Barrie
2004-07-30 18:59:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by Shanahan
(This reminds me of one evening long ago by the edge of a lake with
a friend. We were young, sophomore English majors, and in a
radically altered state of mind, so of course we were trying to
solve The Eternal Questions. We realized in a great flash of
illumination that the purpose of the human race was to create the
perfect Word: the Word that would be so accurate that it would
actually *be* the thing it named.
That would be the word "word", wouldn't it?
Shanahan
2004-07-31 02:51:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Trevor Barrie
Post by Shanahan
(This reminds me of one evening long ago by the edge of a lake
with a friend. We were young, sophomore English majors, and in a
radically altered state of mind, so of course we were trying to
solve The Eternal Questions. We realized in a great flash of
illumination that the purpose of the human race was to create
the perfect Word: the Word that would be so accurate that it
would actually *be* the thing it named.
That would be the word "word", wouldn't it?
<ROFL> I *told* you we were in an altered state of consciousness!!

Ciaran S.
--
WWUD *** What would Ulmo do?
the softrat
2004-08-01 04:05:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Shanahan
<ROFL> I *told* you we were in an altered state of consciousness!!
Is that secret code for 'stupider than usual'?

the softrat
"Honi soit qui mal y pense."
mailto:***@pobox.com
--
"Do not condemn the judgement of another because it differs from your own.
You may both be wrong." Dandemis
Shanahan
2004-08-01 18:34:14 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 30 Jul 2004 19:51:35 -0700, " Shanahan"
Post by Shanahan
<ROFL> I *told* you we were in an altered state of
consciousness!!
Is that secret code for 'stupider than usual'?
Well, duh.

Ciaran S.
--
Tim, Tim Benzedrine!
Hash! Boo! Valvoline!
First, second, neutral, park
Hie thee hence, you leafy narc!
-BotR
Jim Deutch
2004-07-30 16:47:58 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 28 Jul 2004 04:37:10 -0500, Belba Grubb from Stock
<***@dbtech.net> wrote:

[snipify]
This is one of my favorite chapters. I love the forest, and Treebeard
too, of course. And the young hobbits finally get some good POV time.
Their irrepressable natures really come out here and in the previous
chapter.

A point that might be worthy of discussion: we see in this chapter
another example of the deadly enmity between all other "speaking
peoples" and the orcs. Treebeard, who is very far from a hasty being,
tells the hobbits that if he hadn't heard their voices before he saw
them, he would have taken them for small orcs and stepped on them
before realizing his mistake.

That's pretty casual killing, more like swatting mosquitoes than like
killing thinking, feeling beings. But we know that orcs _are_
thinking, feeling beings (even if most of their feelings are what we
would call "negative" or "antisocial" ones). Shagrat and Gorbag's
conversation is a good example: they just wanted a nice, quiet spot
where they could do some easy pillaging without interference from all
the big bosses. Not unlike the dreams of many humans...

Jim Deutch (Jimbo the Cat)
--
"Utilitarianism? Pfagh! A useless concept!"
Tamf Moo
2004-08-02 17:03:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- How does Treebeard cause the light on the trees and in his
"lamps"? It brings to mind
christmas lights!
or maybe trapped, or tame, fireflies.
it sounds unlikely that he would burn anything wooden to make light, and
this wouldn't make much light, either.
maybe it was another thing he learned from the elves?
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
of trees. Whether you're a dendrologist or don't even care to know
what the word means, have you a favorite tree? If it's not among
those described by Tolkien already, what sort of an Ent would it make?
i have several favourite trees; but i would be most curious to see what
a palm-tree ent would look like. i'm imagining a graceful and possibly
somewhat hasty character, grey in bark, with a wild, afro-style hair.

and my favourite entwife would be a flame of the forest. which sounds
scary, but it isn't.
--
Tamf, lellow dwagin and CHOKLIT-eater at your service.

Love conkers all.
Belba Grubb from Stock
2004-08-10 19:39:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tamf Moo
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- How does Treebeard cause the light on the trees and in his
"lamps"? It brings to mind
christmas lights!
or maybe trapped, or tame, fireflies.
it sounds unlikely that he would burn anything wooden to make light, and
this wouldn't make much light, either.
maybe it was another thing he learned from the elves?
I like the tame firelies (g).

There is an explanation of the aura seen on Kirlian photographs that
involves moisture and electricity -- the moisture is easy to come by.
Maybe Treebeard had better luck than Ben Franklin in taming lightning?
Or can it be something like St. Elmo's fire?
Post by Tamf Moo
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
of trees. Whether you're a dendrologist or don't even care to know
what the word means, have you a favorite tree? If it's not among
those described by Tolkien already, what sort of an Ent would it make?
i have several favourite trees; but i would be most curious to see what
a palm-tree ent would look like. i'm imagining a graceful and possibly
somewhat hasty character, grey in bark, with a wild, afro-style hair.
How lovely! Palm trees grow outdoors in Dublin, so it's not beyond
possibility they would grow in Fangorn Forest. I can imagine the Ent
gracefully swaying as he walks -- what would his name be, I wonder.
Post by Tamf Moo
and my favourite entwife would be a flame of the forest. which sounds
scary, but it isn't.
I've never heard of it -- what is it?

Hmmm...my favorite entwife would be a cinnamon tree, because of the
reddish color of the bark and scent; I am not sure what they look
like.

Barb
TT Arvind
2004-08-12 21:09:46 UTC
Permalink
Wes ðu Belba Grubb from Stock hal!
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
I've never heard of it -- what is it?
I believe it is known as Royal Poinciana in the US. Does that sound more
familiar?
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
Hmmm...my favorite entwife would be a cinnamon tree, because of the
reddish color of the bark and scent; I am not sure what they look
like.
Now you do:
Loading Image...

You don't see the colours too well at a distance, but this closeup of a
branch is 'redder':
Loading Image...

Here's a nice drawing of what it would look like with flowers:
Loading Image...
--
Scott's First Law: No matter what goes wrong, it will probably look
right.
TeaLady (Mari C.)
2004-08-12 23:19:08 UTC
Permalink
Wes Ðu Belba Grubb from Stock hal!
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
I've never heard of it -- what is it?
I believe it is known as Royal Poinciana in the US. Does
that sound more familiar?
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
Hmmm...my favorite entwife would be a cinnamon tree,
because of the reddish color of the bark and scent; I am
not sure what they look like.
http://www.uea.ac.uk/~n029076/pub/ilavagamaram.jpg
Is it just me, or does that tree seem to have its legs (or maybe
just ankles) crossed ? A rather ent-ish or huorn-like pose, at
any rate.
--
TeaLady (mari)

"Indeed, literary analysis will be a serious undertaking only
when it adopts the mindset of quantum physics and regards the
observer as part of the experiment."
Flame of the West on litcrit
TT Arvind
2004-08-13 20:43:30 UTC
Permalink
Wes ðu TeaLady (Mari C.) hal!
Post by TeaLady (Mari C.)
Is it just me, or does that tree seem to have its legs (or maybe
just ankles) crossed ? A rather ent-ish or huorn-like pose, at
any rate.
No, it's one of the main reasons I chose that particular picture.
--
Meneldil

FEATURE n. a surprising property of a computer program. A bug can be
changed to a feature by documenting it.
Belba Grubb from Stock
2004-08-19 14:07:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by TT Arvind
Wes ðu Belba Grubb from Stock hal!
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
I've never heard of it -- what is it?
I believe it is known as Royal Poinciana in the US. Does that sound more
familiar?
Well, not really; unfortunately, I'm not a gardener and also haven't
spent much time in tropical areas here. However, I did find a picture
of it: Loading Image... Truly the Queen of Entwives,
if there would be such a ranking among them. I don't know if our
climate in central Alabama is warm enough to support this tree -- we
do get a winter here -- but the next time I visit Florida I will
certainly look for one.
Post by TT Arvind
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
Hmmm...my favorite entwife would be a cinnamon tree, because of the
reddish color of the bark and scent; I am not sure what they look
like.
http://www.uea.ac.uk/~n029076/pub/ilavagamaram.jpg
You don't see the colours too well at a distance, but this closeup of a
http://www.uea.ac.uk/~n029076/pub/ilavagakalai.jpg
Hmm...that later photograph is from the Entwife Playboy site, perhaps?

Beautiful tree -- yes that would make a lovely Entwife.
Post by TT Arvind
http://www.uea.ac.uk/~n029076/pub/ilavagapu.jpg
I wonder if such trees grow in the US in arboreta, at least. Will
have to investigate that -- this is a lovely tree.

Barb
Shanahan
2004-08-11 01:02:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Tamf Moo
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- How does Treebeard cause the light on the trees and in his
"lamps"? It brings to mind
christmas lights!
or maybe trapped, or tame, fireflies.
it sounds unlikely that he would burn anything wooden to make
light, and this wouldn't make much light, either.
maybe it was another thing he learned from the elves?
Could be a fungoid of some type, some of them are
autophosphorescent. There might even be some lichens and mosses
that glow, too.

Ciaran S.
--
In the prevailing climate of street-smart irony and all manner of
gleeful post-modern mayhem, few will champion a tale
of wonder, laced with quasi-medieval moralizing,
and narrated with nineteenth-century earnestness.
- Robert Di Napoli
Igenlode Wordsmith
2004-08-05 22:49:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
Chapter of the Week: The Lord of the Rings, Book 2
Chapter 4 - Treebeard
[snip]
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
6. Trees, trees, trees! For the dendrologists out there -- I studied
a little forestry and recognize the accuracy of Merry and Pippin's
first impression of the forest; indeed, the foresters call an old
forest "a biological desert," because few other living things can
exist there. In other respects, here as well as throughout the tale,
JRRT closely follows the actual characteristics and growing patterns
of trees.
[snip]

The Ents in this chapter always reminded me of the trees in the
contemporary 'Prince Caspian': "It looked first like a black mist
creeping on the ground, then like the stormy waves of a black seas
rising higher and higher as it came on, and then, at last, like what it
was - woods on the move... But as they drew nearer they looked less
like trees... Pale birch-girls were tossing their heads, willow-women
pushed back their hair from their brooding faces to gaze on Aslan, the
queenly beeches stood still and adored him, shaggy oak-men, lean and
melancholy elms, shock-headed hollies (dark themselves, but their wives
all bright with berries) and gay rowans..."

I must say I was a bit puzzled by Tolkien's apparent equation of
beech-trees and oaks - Lewis is nearer the mark with 'queenly beeches' and
'shaggy oak', and from the description given, Treebeard is undoubtedly
an oak and nothing whatsoever like a beech! (I, too, picture mallorn
woods as beech forest; great silver columns with green-gold above and
red-gold below. About as ecologically sterile as a pine plantation, of
course, with next to no undergrowth save the occasional dark holly, but
compared to the dense bracken-and-bramble of an oak wood it doesn't half
make for beautiful views...)

For some reason, as well, I find Treebeard's glowing *trees* much
harder to swallow than glowing vessels of water. The latter seem a sort
of standard fantasy lamp, I suppose. But glowing trees are downright
unnatural!
--
Igenlode Wordsmith

The Gentleman's guide to Usenet - see http://curry.250x.com/Tower/GENTLE.TXT
TeaLady (Mari C.)
2004-08-06 01:31:57 UTC
Permalink
Igenlode Wordsmith
Post by Igenlode Wordsmith
For some reason, as well, I find Treebeard's glowing *trees*
much harder to swallow than glowing vessels of water. The
latter seem a sort of standard fantasy lamp, I suppose. But
glowing trees are downright unnatural!
I've been thinking and thinking, and am wondering if perhaps
the trees were able to move some sort of phosphoresence into
their leaves, in a concentrated form. That would make them
glow, and be a little less unnatural. The water I'm still
puzzled by, unless there were tiny water plants in the jugs
that the hobbits couldn't see and therefore couldn't report on
- the mechanism would be the same as with the trees; Treebeard
would give the signal and the glowing would start.

I'll not try to find our-world based science to conjecture, as
I am certain that this is a purely Middle-earth occurence, and
that maybe Tolkien didn't work out how Treebeard did it.
--
TeaLady (mari)

"Indeed, literary analysis will be a serious undertaking only
when it adopts the mindset of quantum physics and regards the
observer as part of the experiment."
Flame of the West on litcrit
Belba Grubb from Stock
2004-08-10 19:39:47 UTC
Permalink
On 6 Aug 2004 01:31:57 GMT, "TeaLady (Mari C.)"
Post by Igenlode Wordsmith
Igenlode Wordsmith
Post by Igenlode Wordsmith
For some reason, as well, I find Treebeard's glowing *trees*
much harder to swallow than glowing vessels of water. The
latter seem a sort of standard fantasy lamp, I suppose. But
glowing trees are downright unnatural!
I've been thinking and thinking, and am wondering if perhaps
the trees were able to move some sort of phosphoresence into
their leaves, in a concentrated form. That would make them
glow, and be a little less unnatural. The water I'm still
puzzled by, unless there were tiny water plants in the jugs
that the hobbits couldn't see and therefore couldn't report on
- the mechanism would be the same as with the trees; Treebeard
would give the signal and the glowing would start.
I'll not try to find our-world based science to conjecture, as
I am certain that this is a purely Middle-earth occurence, and
that maybe Tolkien didn't work out how Treebeard did it.
I'm sure he was primarily interested in effects over causes, but that
idea of small plants in the jars is interesting -- such small plants
in the sea do create phosphorescence, and Treebeard could have
intensified that as he did the Entwash.

Barb
Huan the hound
2004-08-07 14:42:12 UTC
Permalink
Igenlode Wordsmith posted on 8/5/04 6:49 PM:

[snip about Lewis's moving woods in Prince Caspian-thanks
for bringing that in]
Post by Igenlode Wordsmith
(I, too, picture mallorn
woods as beech forest; great silver columns with green-gold above and
red-gold below. About as ecologically sterile as a pine plantation, of
course, with next to no undergrowth save the occasional dark holly, but
compared to the dense bracken-and-bramble of an oak wood it doesn't half
make for beautiful views...)
"Me too" about seeing beeches as the mallorn trees. When
the sun shines through their leaves, it does look a little
golden. Could be wishful thinking. On the back sides of
Lake Michigan dunes, it is common to find beech and hemlock
woods. They have very little undergrowth; mostly old beech
leaves but sometimes moss and ferns. This influences my
mental picture of Lorien, although it is really incorrect.

Huan, the hound of Valinor
--
Therefore he sent a wolf to the bridge. But Huan slew it
silently. Still Sauron sent others one by one; and one by
one Huan took them by the throat and slew them.
Morgoth's Curse
2004-08-06 02:12:29 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 28 Jul 2004 04:37:10 -0500, Belba Grubb from Stock
<***@dbtech.net> wrote:

[snip excellent summary]
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
In "On Fairy-stories," JRRT described "one of the primal 'desires'
that lie near the heart of Faerie: the desire of men to hold communion
with other living things." In this chapter, then, we are quite as
close to the "heart of Faerie" as we ever will be. I've always loved
it, and now I understand a little better why that is so.
1. Ents, ents, ents! Just a few of the possible discussion topics
-- Ent houses: Why do Ents live in houses? It's important,
apparently; when they are going treeish they begin to just stand
anywhere.
There is no evidence that I can remember, but perhaps it was simply a
matter of custom? I get the definite impression that the Entwives had
always preferred order. Perhaps Ents originally constructed houses in
another attempt to please the Entwives and then simply continued the
custom after the Entwives were lost. We know that Ents change very
slowly. From a strictly practical viewpoint, the houses would be
ideal to store the Ent-draughts that the Ents had brewed. Perhaps
those draughts had to be properly aged? :)
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- Ent draughts: what are they and has Treebeard turned the Entwash
into one big Ent draught, at least within the borders of Fangorn
(judging by its healing effect on Merry and Pippin after their
ordeal).
I really prefer to think of the extraordinary healing power of the
Entwash as another example of the (for the lack of a better term)
enchantment that seems to pervade Fangorn. I do not doubt that it was
due to the influence of the Ent, but I don't think it was deliberate.
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- Ent-wives. That poem of the dialogue between the two seems close
to the actual likes and differences of men and women in a marriage.
In contact, lo! the flint and steel,
By spark and flame, the thought reveal
That he the metal, she the stone,
Had cherished secretly alone.
-- Ambrose Bierce
Yep. I like to think of this passage as a private joke on Tolkien's
part. Several visitors (including Humphrey Carpenter) commented on
how untidy his office was and I can easily imagine that Tolkien was
comfortable with that and Edith had to constantly remind him to pick
up things or put things away. :)
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
How sad that it turned out the way it did for the Ents. No more
Entings. Will they ever get together again?
-- How does Treebeard cause the light on the trees and in his
"lamps"? It brings to mind
An "art" learned from the Elves perhaps?
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- The Ent language.
-- Treebeard compares Ents to Men and also to Elves. How are they
similar and different, from our POV?
I can't help but think the similarity between how much the Elves
enjoyed singing and how the Ents (or at least Treebeard) talked to
themselves. :) I also find it curious that the memory seems to be
"more like to the waking world than to a dream" (to use Gimli's
description) for both Ents & Elves.
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
-- The wood moves in "Macbeth," though it's been a long time since I
read that play. What other literary sources might have inspired JRRT
here (Stephen Crane, perhaps). Compare/contrast?
-- The oldest living thing: how old is Treebeard? And here we learn
that there are beings in Fangorn older than him! Are they, then, the
oldest living things in Middle-earth? But what about Bombadil?
It's just my opinion, but the key word is perhaps "living." Treebeard
and the Ents were living things: They reproduced (before the Entwives
were lost) whereas, so far as we know, Tom Bombadil never had any
children in spite of the fact that he had been married to Goldberry
for many long years. I don't recall the exact reference offhand, but
I think that Tolkien eventually decided that the Valar and Maiar could
not reproduce after the manner of the Children of Iluvatar.

That does raise another interesting question, however. Did Treebeard
ever have any children with Fimbrethil?
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
2. Men are apparently familiar with parts of Fangorn - they have given
the name of Derndingle to the site of the Entmoot, for instance. How
is it men would have come so far into the forest?
The Woses? I can easily imagine Ghan-buri-ghan feeling right at home
in Fangorn. He seemed to revere trees and growing things as much as
any men in Middle-earth did (with the exception of hobbits, of
course.)
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
3. History of Middle-earth. For all his staying in one place,
Treebeard is remarkably versed in events outside. He knows that the
wizards came at around the time of the arrival of Elendil;
Minor nit. The Istari did not arrive in Middle-earth until more than
a thousand years after Elendil died on the slopes of Oroduin.
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
he speaks a few times of the Great Darkness (Morgoth's time, or that of Sauron,
before the Numenoreans "captured" him?); how Lorien has changed. We
learn quite a bit about that in this chapter.
4. Saruman. What do we learn about this wizard here, as seen from the
l-o-o-o-n-g perspective of his closest neighbors?
That he really did not care about trees. :)
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
5. We learn something about the Tooks, too, and the strong presence of
the Old Took (Gerontius - what a perfect name: was he ever young, I
wonder). Imagine them just leaving everything in that room at
Tuckborough the way it was when the Old Took was alive. And yet we do
the same sorts of things - near Saratoga, New York, is the house where
U.S. Grant last stayed and wrote his memoirs before he died. It's
open to the public now, and when you go in there, it's still exactly
as it was, right down to the floral arrangements people sent at
Grant's death (which are rather depressing to look at now, of course).
I had a similar experience when I visited Mt. Vernon (the home of
George Washington) during a school tour in 1984. It is actually a
rather intriguing comment. It does not seem at all like something
that hobbits would do. What had Gerontius done that his very memory
was either so revered or so feared that no one in the crowded mansion
of the Great Smials would occupy his room after he died?
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
In a way, this not letting go is very similar to the Ents, although
with them, it's part of an ongoing living process.
6. Trees, trees, trees! For the dendrologists out there -- I studied
a little forestry and recognize the accuracy of Merry and Pippin's
first impression of the forest; indeed, the foresters call an old
forest "a biological desert," because few other living things can
exist there. In other respects, here as well as throughout the tale,
JRRT closely follows the actual characteristics and growing patterns
of trees. Whether you're a dendrologist or don't even care to know
what the word means, have you a favorite tree? If it's not among
those described by Tolkien already, what sort of an Ent would it make?
(Oaks are my favorite trees, and we have Treebeard already, though I'm
still looking, here in the South, for his beard: that long, trailing
lichen that grows in oak trees here.)
And your comments and thoughts and additions….?
It's a pity that there are no Ents today to stop the wholesale
destruction of forests by timber companies. :(

Morgoth's Curse
Odysseus
2004-08-07 07:46:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Morgoth's Curse
It's a pity that there are no Ents today to stop the wholesale
destruction of forests by timber companies. :(
"...
Jack, do you never sleep?
Does the green still run deep in your heart?
Or will these changing times,
Motorways, power-lines, keep us apart?
Well, I don't think so --
I saw some grass growing through the pavement today.
..."
--Jethro Tull: "Jack-in-the-Green", from _Songs from the Wood_, 1978.
--
Odysseus
Belba Grubb from Stock
2004-08-09 22:37:48 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 06 Aug 2004 02:12:29 GMT, Morgoth's Curse
Post by Morgoth's Curse
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
3. History of Middle-earth. For all his staying in one place,
Treebeard is remarkably versed in events outside. He knows that the
wizards came at around the time of the arrival of Elendil;
Minor nit. The Istari did not arrive in Middle-earth until more than
a thousand years after Elendil died on the slopes of Oroduin.
Correct! I phrased that really badly -- what Treebeard actually said
was:

I do not know the history of wizards. They appeared first
after the Great Ships came over the Sea; but if they came
with the Ships I never can tell.

I should have said that he knows the wizards came after the arrival of
Elendil, though not exactly when they came or if they were connected
with the Great Ships.
Post by Morgoth's Curse
Post by Belba Grubb from Stock
5. We learn something about the Tooks, too, and the strong presence of
the Old Took (Gerontius - what a perfect name: was he ever young, I
wonder). Imagine them just leaving everything in that room at
Tuckborough the way it was when the Old Took was alive. And yet we do
the same sorts of things - near Saratoga, New York, is the house where
U.S. Grant last stayed and wrote his memoirs before he died. It's
open to the public now, and when you go in there, it's still exactly
as it was, right down to the floral arrangements people sent at
Grant's death (which are rather depressing to look at now, of course).
I had a similar experience when I visited Mt. Vernon (the home of
George Washington) during a school tour in 1984. It is actually a
rather intriguing comment. It does not seem at all like something
that hobbits would do. What had Gerontius done that his very memory
was either so revered or so feared that no one in the crowded mansion
of the Great Smials would occupy his room after he died?
Had 12 children. Notice how the Took family tree sort of explodes
after he and Adamanta marry. He, like George Washington, was the
"father of...." in his own way, as well as the Thain of the Shire
(though that was ceremonial in his day). And he lived so long that
several generations of Tooks grew up with him and around him and came
to deeply love and respect and revere/fear him. His friendship with
Gandalf probably added to that. I can't get at "The Fellowship of the
Ring" just now, but in the foreward is it said that the Old Took did a
lot of remodeling and expanding of the Great Smials, or was that the
Brandybucks and Brandybuck Hall?

Barb
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