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USAGE: Aryans and Tolkien

From:John Cowan <cowan@...>
Date:Thursday, January 22, 2004, 12:34
Peter Bleackley scripsit:

> Meanwhile, in the real world, doesn't Aryan refer to a population found in > India and Persia, rather than Europe? "Aryan" and "Iran" are cognates (try > telling that to the Good Ol' Boys in some parts of the USA!).
Indeed, though many Europeans and others have taken to speaking Aryan languages (broadly considered) in the last several thousand years. When Tolkien's German publisher asked him for a declaration of "Aryan origin", he wrote an absolutely delightful response denying that he had any Indo-Iranian ancestry. He went on to say that if they in fact wanted to know if he was Jewish, he "regret[ted] to say that I appear to have _no_ ancestors of that gifted people." Finally, he added that he was "accustomed to bear his German name with pride", even during the "late regrettable war", but that if this sort of thing continued to go on in Germany, he would have to think differently. Unfortunately, this letter apparently never made it to Germany; his publisher chose to send a simple refusal to declare instead. We can't be sure, because the German publisher's records were destroyed. -- John Cowan "If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants." --Isaac Newton