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A Secret Vice

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'''''A Secret Vice''''' is the title of a lecture held by [[J. R. R. Tolkien]] in 1930 at an [[Esperanto]] congress. It deals with constructed languages in general, and the relation of a mythology to its language. Tolkien contrasts auxiliary languages with artistic languages constructed for aesthetic pleasure.
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'''''A Secret Vice''''' is the title of a lecture apparently held by [[J.R.R. Tolkien]] in August [[1930]] at an [[Esperanto]] Congress in [[Oxford]].<ref name=RG/> The lecture deals with constructed languages in general, and the relation of a mythology to its language. Tolkien contrasts auxiliary languages (like Esperanto) with artistic languages constructed for aesthetic pleasure.<ref name=MC6>{{MC|6}}</ref>
  
==References==
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The title (consisting of as phrase occuring in the lecture) was created by [[Christopher Tolkien]] for the publication of the lecture manuscript in ''[[The Monsters and the Critics]]''.<ref>{{MC|F}}</ref> Tolkien himself referred to the lecture as "A Secret Vice" in a letter.<ref>{{L|294}}</ref>
*Tolkien, J.R.R. "A Secret Vice" in ''[[The Monsters and the Critics]]'', 1983 (ISBN 0-04-809019-0)
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==Summary==
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Tolkien begins by briefly discussing Esperanto but states that the topic of his lecture rather concerns "secret" languages. As an example of such a language, he first recalls an incident where he overheard a man working on his own "secret grammar" while Tolkien was in the army in the [[World War I|First World War]]. He then continues by mentioning and analysing two constructed languages: the children's play-languages [[Animalic]] and [[Nevbosh]]. The next constructed language discussed is [[Naffarin]], a more advanced, private language "partly overlapping the last stages of ''Nevbosh''". Finally, Tolkien discusses the languages he created for his [[legendarium|mythology]] and gives examples of his [[Elvish]] poetry (with translations in English).<ref name=MC6/>
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Included in the lecture are:
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*a fragment in Nevbosh
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*a fragment in Naffarin
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*the poem [[Oilima Markirya]] (in [[Qenya]])<ref name=PE16>{{PE|16}}, p. 98</ref>
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*the poem [[Nieninque]] (in Qenya)<ref name=PE16/>
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*the poem [[Earendel at the Helm]] (in Qenya)<ref name=PE16/>
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*a fragment in [[Noldorin]] (beginning with "Dir avosaith a gwaew hinar")<ref name=RG>{{CG|RG}}, pp. 882-3</ref>
  
 
==External links==
 
==External links==
*http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/vice.htm
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*"[http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/vice.htm Tolkien's Not-So-Secret Vice]", essay by [[Helge Fauskanger]]
  
[[Category:Books]]
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{{references}}
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{{DEFAULTSORT:Secret Vice, A}}
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[[Category:Chapters]]
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[[Category:Lectures by J.R.R. Tolkien]]

Latest revision as of 14:03, 28 February 2012

A Secret Vice is the title of a lecture apparently held by J.R.R. Tolkien in August 1930 at an Esperanto Congress in Oxford.[1] The lecture deals with constructed languages in general, and the relation of a mythology to its language. Tolkien contrasts auxiliary languages (like Esperanto) with artistic languages constructed for aesthetic pleasure.[2]

The title (consisting of as phrase occuring in the lecture) was created by Christopher Tolkien for the publication of the lecture manuscript in The Monsters and the Critics.[3] Tolkien himself referred to the lecture as "A Secret Vice" in a letter.[4]

[edit] Summary

Tolkien begins by briefly discussing Esperanto but states that the topic of his lecture rather concerns "secret" languages. As an example of such a language, he first recalls an incident where he overheard a man working on his own "secret grammar" while Tolkien was in the army in the First World War. He then continues by mentioning and analysing two constructed languages: the children's play-languages Animalic and Nevbosh. The next constructed language discussed is Naffarin, a more advanced, private language "partly overlapping the last stages of Nevbosh". Finally, Tolkien discusses the languages he created for his mythology and gives examples of his Elvish poetry (with translations in English).[2]

Included in the lecture are:

[edit] External links

[edit] References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (2006), The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide: II. Reader's Guide, pp. 882-3
  2. 2.0 2.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays, "A Secret Vice"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays, "Foreword"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 294, (dated 8 February 1967)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 J.R.R. Tolkien, "Early Elvish Poetry and Pre-Fëanorian Alphabets", in Parma Eldalamberon XVI (edited by Christopher Gilson, Arden R. Smith, Patrick H. Wynne, Carl F. Hostetter and Bill Welden), p. 98