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Re: conlangs as art (was: Re: Wikipedia:Verifiability - Mailing lists as sources

From:Jörg Rhiemeier <joerg_rhiemeier@...>
Date:Wednesday, February 27, 2008, 13:11

On Wed, 27 Feb 2008 08:32:34 +0000, R A Brown wrote:

> Jörg Rhiemeier wrote: > > Hallo! > > > > On Tue, 26 Feb 2008 19:50:01 +0000, And Rosta wrote: > > > >> I can say, truthfully & without hyperbole, that I have been saying on > >> this > >> list longer than anyone that conlangs can be art. Nevertheless I am also > >> convinced that as an artistic medium conlanging does not lend itself to > >> the > >> creation of great art that, say, exalts us, or moves us deeply, or gives > >> us > >> profound insights into life. > > > > Why not? Where is the problem? Why cannot be that a conlang moves > > someone deeply? > > Why not indeed? > > I remember very many moons ago (about 50 years ago, in fact), being > deeply moved when I read Galadriel's song "Ai! laurië lantar lassi > surinen!..." in 'Farewell to Lórien'. It had the wow-factor! I found it > stunningly beautiful and moving. > > I know beauty is only in the eye of the beholder (or ear of the > listener) - but I was deeply moved by the words - and, indeed, still am.
You say it. It was the same to me. In my opinion, Quenya is truly great art! (Other people may feel differently.)
> > A conlang can express the thoughts and feelings of > > its author as much as, for instance, a piece of music can do. That, > > at least, is my opinion; for instance, I find Quenya and Sindarin > > very expressive of Tolkien's mindset. > > Yes, they probably do. But I must confess, I have never been > particularly moved by Sindarin - but Quenya, wow!!
Quenya is, in my humble opinion, one of the most beautiful conlangs ever made. I agree with you that it is a more heart-moving language than Sindarin - one can easily feel that Quenya, not Sindarin, was the prime language in Tolkien's heart - but Sindarin has its strengths, too. Few conlangs reach the level of artistry of Sindarin; even fewer, if any, are on a par with Quenya.
> David J. Peterson wrote: > [snip] > > Aside from that, I'm tired of this discussion. It's all about > definitions, > > and if two people don't share a definition, and are not willing to > > agree on a common definition, then it amounts to nothing more > > than name-calling. > > I'm inclined to agree - and it's pushing up the number of mails from the > list which is OK if one has the leisure to read them all properly - but > today, I was just skimming through most. > > I know, for example, not everyone shares my view of Quenya. Nor do I > expect them to. We have moved in very subjective areas in this thread > and I feel David's assessment is true.
Amen. Beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, and any discussion of greatness in the arts tends to be subjective. I can easily accept if someone says that he does not care about Quenya, or, say, the music of Yes, but prefers Klingon and the Sex Pistols instead. All I can say to that is that tastes are different. However, And Rosta, or so it seems to me, maintains a fundamentally different position - he claims that there was art that was objectively better than other art; I felt a desire to voice my dissent on that. The fact that he had to draw dog-turds into the discussion IMHO shows just how bankrupt that kind of reasoning is :) ... brought to you by the Weeping Elf


Jim Henry <jimhenry1973@...>