|Other names||Isaniel, Alasse, Mereniel, Celebrethil (roleplaying names)|
|Birth||a long time ago |
|Death||within the next 50 years no doubt |
|Hair color||dark brown, with a white streak|
karakedi and the Works of JRRT
I have been a devotee of Tolkien's writings since before the Return of the King was published, and I remember my excitement when it came out and my copy arrived. (Yes, I know I date myself.) For a long time, I read the Lord of the Rings annually, and then, after a lapse in which I pursued other enthusiasms, I returned to the world of Middle Earth when I began gaming in Middle Earth settings (Neverwinter Nights). These led me to reread LotR, then the Silmarillion for the first time, and finally The History of Middle-earth and Tolkien criticism. The Silmarillion and what I read later in the HoME series led me to a fascination with Tolkien's conception of elves.
Elves and Subcreation
Why do I like the elves? Primarily because they practice sub-creation as a way of life, and they take for granted what we might consider 'magic.' I see them as a poignant part of Tolkien's cosmology, which I also find rich and intriguing. The complexity of the longeval elven character presents a roleplaying challenge that I enjoy in my gaming (Neverwinter Nights and now The Lord of the Rings Online), and imagining elven life and elven complexity enhances my fantasy life in constructive ways.
karakedi and Sub-creation
Sub-creation as a way of life is important to me also because I've always enjoyed the arts, both as a consumer and as a producer. Sub-creation can be in the form of music, graphic arts, language, and even in interpersonal and intrapersonal matters. I practice all of these except music, for which I am an appreciative consumer. My predoctoral degrees were in linguistics, so it's no wonder I take huge pleasure in Tolkien's languages and the technical skill with which he created them. My doctorate is in clinical psychology, which makes me especially aware of the potential for inter- and intrapersonal sub-creation
If I were to list my favorites among Tolkien's works, I would certainly include the Ainulindalë and the material on the Valar, the witings on languages (all of it--Appendix F and all the material in HoME), descriptions and discussions of the nature of elves, the Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth, the material on the nature of Arda (cf. Morgoth's Ring), among others.
Favorite characters include Luthien (one of the few powerful females in JRRT's works), Gandalf for his wit, wisdom, and acerbity, Finrod for his broadmindedness and wisdom, Elrond for his wisdom and the relatively cosmopolitan nature of Imladris he promoted, and Aragorn for his complexity of character.
For those that might be interested, here are links to some character descriptions I've written for roleplay purposes:  (Isaniel) and  (Alasse). Both have been actively used in roleplay (text for the first and in-game for the second.