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Re: meeting of minds prior to conlang?

From:Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Date:Saturday, December 19, 1998, 23:58
On Fri, 18 Dec 1998, And Rosta wrote:

> I actually did try to convert another friend. We were inventing > imaginary lands, and drawing maps, and I invented the rudiments of a > language to name places with. My pal seemed to enter into the > enterprise with gusto, but after a while I realized that all > the names he had created were, although conformant with the invented > language, of the form _dogipu_, _mamafuk_, etc., and I realized that > here was not someone profoundly imbued with the conlanging spirit.
Hilariously and aptly put!! I did tell the group about my original inventions at the age of nine..."car" was "cara," when imagination failed. And homonyms in English were homonyms in "Teonian."
> I remember _reading_ about another conlanger (like myself overfed > on > Tolkien, but unlike me at that point he had also perpetrated an auxlang > :) in a Swedish youth magazine. While it was not a personal meeting, > but at least I knew I was not the only one. The funny thing is that > before I didn't know that JRRT had invented his langs himself; my > first inspiration was the ape lang in the Tarzan comic books! Later I > had a Latin teacher who was also a prominent Esperantist. He had the > good sense to encourage my interest in constructed languages in > general rather than trying to convert me to Esperanto. > > >
Wwhat a generous teacher. I actually don't know what my inspiration for inventing Teonaht was, outside of my exposure to Spanish. I think I had already been long into the reinvention of reality through world-building at eight and nine years old--I had created an alternative "Glendora" in my invention of a dream-town--so why not create an alternative English? My winged cats were already a vivid part of my imagination, but my encounter with Tolkien happened several years later. I was flabbergasted, delighted, and livid with envy when I read the appendix to the Lord of the Rings. It was then that Teonaht began to take on any real complexity. No Esperantist teachers. My mother showed my Teonaht dictionary to my high school English teacher when he dropped by for some reason and I was furious with her.
> AFAIK, > Tolkien himself did not know any artlangers: the Secret Vice essay > makes it clear that he was aware that other people indulged, but I > don't think any of the inklings had conlanging proclivities. Anyway, > the actual Inklings were probably good company in the pub, but I > don't think they were on > > the same wavelength as T. In fact it > seems that the basis for the friendschip between JRRT and CSL were > sufficiently _unlike_ each other to mutually admire and alternatly > despise each other, while both were at odds with the established > attitudes at Oxford. > > I suppose then that it was in microcosm like the way nowadays a > camaraderie of smokers forms outside office buildings; certainly > huddling outside in the cold Lancashire mizzle is where I socialize > with my similarily narcotic students. > And certainly in my eyes there is everything to admire and nothing > to despise in JRRT, whereas for CSL pretty much the reverse is the case.
Cogently put, And. I admire CSL, though, too. As misogynist and damning as he was (before he met and married an American!), I'll have to admit that one of my favorite novels is _Til We Have Faces_. And I'm sure that had we ever crossed paths and had I ever so naively revealed to him that I write myths and invent languages (an unlikely prospect), CSL would have dismissed me scornfully as a failure of the academy and the field. My Canadian friend, who studied with him, as much as told me so. But then, he was very jealous of his relationship with CSL, and imitated some of his worse aspects. Sally ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Sally Caves Aro le thena neom, ma haikkebo vera. "Snow breathes on us but doesn't fall." ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++