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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Eucatastrophe: Tolkien meets video talking heads

Eucatastrophe is a word invented by J. R. R. Tolkien, author of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and other works. Tolkien was a professor of philology, so it is not surprising that he invented a word. Because he was Tolkien, and because it's a good word, it has been used by others.

To demonstrate its acceptance, I cite this: there is a one minute, forty-four second video on YouTube, featuring three talking heads (all white males, well-dressed) explaining Tolkien's word, eucatastrophe, with that title. A dictionary definition, and a little of the Peter Jackson movies, is included. As talking head explanations go, it's pretty good. I didn't see any credits. I don't know who produced it, or who the talking heads are.

See my previous post, including a paragraph on the subject. Quoting me:
". . . even though many 21st century English-speakers don't believe in miracles, they wish that they could, and are thrilled when miracles happen [in fiction]."

Here's the Wikipedia article on eucatastrophe. Here's Time magazine's obituary for Tolkien, from September 17, 1973, with the title "Eucatastrophe."

Back to self-promotion: Here's an essay, a few paragraphs long, on eucatastrophes in Tolkien's work, by me.

As the final link, here is a web page that includes two quotes from Tolkien on the word.

Thanks for reading.

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