Sorry i missed the early post that mentioned my last post lol, I think you have to remember that at Oxford tolkien had access to all the hidden books and works that the world will probably never see in print again, so i think he probably had a great knowledge as to what a cannabis leaf would look like, and I'm sure that's exactly what long bottom leaf is meant to portray
[ 10-25-2008, 12:21 PM: Message edited by: basel ]
From: uk | Registered: Oct 2008
| IP: Logged |
Not even addressing the numerous and concise quotes posted above showing Tolkien's pretty irrefutable correlation between pipe-weed and tobacco--not even addressing it because the "J.R.R. Toking" fans will ignore it regardless--we should instead try to remember first and foremost that Tolkien was a professor of Anglo-Saxon, and again consider how much the Old Norse and Old English texts influenced his writings. Pipe-weed, whatever it may want to sound like to modern readers, was very likely written as no more than a brilliant kenning to be used in place of the too-new-world-sound of "tobacco."
Tolkien wanted to give Middle-earth an authentic feel, and the wonderful devices used by Icelandic and Anglo Saxon poetry, that paraphrased ordinary nouns into a poetic word groups, such as whale road for "river" or "sea," or wound-hoe for "sword," is what I think he had in mind when he created the word pipe-weed for tobacco. On the other hand, the later association of the word "weed" with marijuana, with modern readers trying to tie it back to ME's pipe-weed, is completely anachronistic to say the least.
As for the notion of Longbottom Leaf being representative of a cannabis leaf (?), the term Longbottom, as I understand it, is really just an an archaic (and regional) way of saying "long valley," with the words "top" and "bottom" used as substitutions for "hill" and "valley" in some parts of southern England. The name Longbottom was likely Tolkien's way to associate that particular type of tobacco with the region it came from. South-farthing perhaps? The Longbottom Leaf found in the ruins of Isengard by Pippin and Merry did bear the brand of the Hornblower family, who was indeed from the South-farthing.
I really think it's that kind of thing that should be looked at when we consider Tolkien's naming conventions and terminology. He was after all a scholar, and most likely worked with a scholarly/ historical mindset. The whole MJ thing does not have much basis or validity in Tolkien's world, I'm afraid.
These attempts to link Pipeweed to Cannabis are as ridiculous as Max Schuchart's (Tolkien's Dutch translator's) notion that 'Bam' in 'Bamfurlong' came from 'bamboozle'. As if Tolkien would be using American slang!
But Schuchart had the excuse that nearly nothing on Tolkien's philological background or on the world he created was known at the time (outside Tolkien's close circle), nor was any of it made available to him, at first. But Schuchart learned, in correspondence with Tolkien, and as he subsequently translated Sil, UT and Letters.
No-one nowadays has that excuse, and should not come to the game of interpreting Tolkien without the required background knowledge, lest he turn it into 'Hobbits and Hoodlums' instead.
That is not to say that people should not feel free to contribute to the discussion here on MT - there's no entrance exam for that (other than that one can answer WGW's three basic questions coherently ). But this is the Library Council, keep that in mind.
(Oh, and before someone get's wrong ideas and starts calling me the wrong names: I have no problem with smoking pot, even done so myself on a - very - few occasions. But there is no sensible grounds for bringing this into connection with Tolkien.)
From: Amsterdam, Netherlands | Registered: Sep 2005
| IP: Logged |
-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~- The grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a far green country under a swift sunrise.
From: Virgo Supercluster, 40º N 75º W | Registered: Mar 2006
| IP: Logged |
Its quite obvious that pipeweed is tobacco. It was some wayward young hobbits that decided to put some dried Kingsfoil weed in a pipe and light it up.....
From: In the Shadows of Annuminas | Registered: Aug 2000
| IP: Logged |