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The Qenya Alphabet by J. R. R. Tolkien (review)

The Qenya Alphabet by J. R. R. Tolkien (review) Book Reviews The Qenya Alphabet, by J. R. R. Tolkien, edited by Arden R. Smith. Mountain View, CA: Parma Eldalamberon, 2012. 160 pp. $35.00 (over - size paperback) [no ISBN] Parma Eldalamberon 20. The latest volume of Parma is devoted to what the Editor calls the “Qenya Alphabet” (he explains why he chose not to use the term teng- war). It contains forty “documents” (Q1-Q40) including both texts and commentaries. I have been and still am (occasionally) an artist and calligrapher, and it is from this perspective that the current review is written. Since Tolkien was not only a calligrapher of no mean skill, but it was a skill learned literally at his beloved mother’s knee, calligraphy was clearly important to him (Hammond & Scull), so a calligraphic view seems an appropriate way to view the present volume. After all, adherence to linguistic principles is not the only thing that makes Tolkien’s languages seem real. One must also consider his alphabets in terms of their suitability for expressing visually a writer’s thoughts and needs in a variety of circumstances. A real language is both spoken and written, with the latter form represented not just by formal usage in proclamations http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Tolkien Studies West Virginia University Press

The Qenya Alphabet by J. R. R. Tolkien (review)

Tolkien Studies , Volume 10 – Jul 18, 2013

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Publisher
West Virginia University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 West Virginia University Press.
ISSN
1547-3163

Abstract

Book Reviews The Qenya Alphabet, by J. R. R. Tolkien, edited by Arden R. Smith. Mountain View, CA: Parma Eldalamberon, 2012. 160 pp. $35.00 (over - size paperback) [no ISBN] Parma Eldalamberon 20. The latest volume of Parma is devoted to what the Editor calls the “Qenya Alphabet” (he explains why he chose not to use the term teng- war). It contains forty “documents” (Q1-Q40) including both texts and commentaries. I have been and still am (occasionally) an artist and calligrapher, and it is from this perspective that the current review is written. Since Tolkien was not only a calligrapher of no mean skill, but it was a skill learned literally at his beloved mother’s knee, calligraphy was clearly important to him (Hammond & Scull), so a calligraphic view seems an appropriate way to view the present volume. After all, adherence to linguistic principles is not the only thing that makes Tolkien’s languages seem real. One must also consider his alphabets in terms of their suitability for expressing visually a writer’s thoughts and needs in a variety of circumstances. A real language is both spoken and written, with the latter form represented not just by formal usage in proclamations

Journal

Tolkien StudiesWest Virginia University Press

Published: Jul 18, 2013

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