Art-languages and Recovered Myths: Mediating Artifice and Authenticity in Elvish Translations
The aim of my presentation is to explore links between artistic practice and mythmaking in relation to the invention of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Elvish languages and their use by his fans. This argument is a part of broader discussion of different meanings of ‘linguistic art’, the creative process of constructing and using artificial languages for aesthetical purposes.
Using the example of translation of Tolkien’s original work into one of his invented languages, I will demonstrate how the creative activity of his fans re-stages Tolkien’s own project, which in turn was a re-enactment of historical linguist’s procedure of rediscovery of lost languages and cultures. Through this example I will also attempt to illustrate interrelations and tensions between such analytical categories as art, artifice and authenticity.
Keywords: Artificial Artistic Languages, Fan Culture
Postgraduate Research Student, Sociology Department, Lancaster University