Friday, February 13, 2015

... on JRRT with very few disagreements from Peter Kreeft

Peter Kreeft - Lord of the Rings: Beauty and Language

23:51 Changed the character of Faramir?

How? Was it in Two Towers? [Yes]

Other example of change: Tom Bombadil was left out because to some he recalls "a village idiot". Insouciance or Sorglosigkeit is painted as having power to vanquish evil.

What is it in English again? "Casual unconcern" might do (I would not call TB either heedless nor in the modern sense careless). [Carefree]

On top of that TB is very popular, earthy, countryfolks minded.

Wouldn't do to show that as not growing invisible under influence of ring or of giving it back without a problem.

30:56 Amon Uilos = Mount Oiolosse.

Amon like Ah-monn, not like Éamonn.

Uilos like OOy-loss, not like wEE-loss.

And Laurelin of course first syllable LOW, not LAW.

34:44 Greek Mythology depends far more on its language!

Thank God it wasn't written by contemporaries who wrote cuneiform Hittite! Or hieroglyphic, for that matter!

41:13 "Mathematics, which is the only totally univocal" etc.


Take the sign "-" followed by the sign "1". Do they refer to:

  • an operation of subtraction qualified by a "one" as answering how many aer subtracted?


  • a number "negative one" which is as much below "zero" as "positive one" is above it?

Two very different philosophies of Mathematics, meaning it is not a totally univocal language - you need prose to differentiate between the two notions.

44:39 Worshipping horsegods?

Not quite new. In Philistine areas Dagon may have been a fish god, but in Athens Potei-Daon (as referred to in Mycenean times) was a horsegod.

If you know Hippolytus, you will see how unwise it was of Theseus to take that horsegod for his father ...

45:50 Names on Cemeteries have a meaning very close on RIP.

Have you been to Churches in Paris where those who fell during WW-I ("La Guerre de Quatorze") are enumerated year by year, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, and in each year in alphabetic order, of course within that parish?

Obviously, some names fighting for France were as German as Kreeft is Dutch or Pennsylvania Dutch.

1:13:45 I think you are wrong here.

I think ugliness is not lack of beauty and the beauty of a frog or a spider is partly meant precisely for its ugliness.

Think of some ugly stinking flower, the frog or spider is yuckier still - because it's yuckiness on a higher level of order.

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