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NY Tolkien Conference

I've mentioned I have a paper idea for the NY Tolkien Conference, but they actually prefer group panels, and I think I'd like that better myself. So I was wondering - anyone within striking distance of NY want to yammer on about the Inklings and science?

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
dawn_felagund
May. 18th, 2016 02:39 am (UTC)
I'm considering a proposal myself, although Tolkien and science isn't one of my strong subjects. (I was considering adding some early scientific cosmogonical theories to my usual cosmogony song and dance.) What are you considering doing?
marta_bee
May. 18th, 2016 03:24 am (UTC)
Something vaguely language-based. The thought was most of us use language by understanding the inner nature of things - we call something a square because we understand what the term means and think it accurately applies in this instance - which comes dangerously close to the bad kind of science. Yet language is powerful even (especially) when the person talking doesn't understand it. Look at how hesitant he is to have anyone read the Ring's inscription, even knowing probably 95% of the people in attendance wouldn't understand it at all. Or take another example - look at Frodo's almost instinctual calling out to Elbereth in Shelob's lair, in a language he doesn't understand

So I was going to talk about how we use language, how a certain way of thinking about language doesn't fit with Tolkien's discomfort with science and the over-analyzing of things to understand, and how we need to understand language in a more Platonic sense to make use of scenes like that.

But frankly I'm not all that tied to it, and if I had the chance to develop a different angle with friends, I think I'd take it even if the topic was really very different.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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