Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Nerd Nyron

 So, while we're waiting for the recordings of my various Oxonmoot presentations to become available, I thought I'd share the Coda that wrapped up my piece.

Finally, we have a short text, written by Dr. Havard at the request of Taum Santoski

and named by him  "Professor J. R. R. Tolkien: A Personal Memoir". More a short collection of memories than a full-length article (it fills but a single page of Mythlore), it ends with the baffling statement



"In conclusion,

 I would add that my experience

has resembled or echoed Nerd Nyren's, 

who woke up one day, he tells us, 

to find himself famous. I woke up one day 

to find two of my friends famous,

in many ways a happier discovery."


[Mythlore volume 64 (winter 1990), page 61]


Most of this is clear enough, but what of 'Nerd Nyron'? This little puzzle results from a literary allusion combined with a simple typo. What Havard had actually written was I woke, and found myself famous. This is the famous line of Lord Byron's reflecting his delight at waking up to find himself famous as a result of the runaway success of his new book, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage (1812ff). I myself find Havard's handwriting difficult: apparently Glen GoodKnight, the editor of Mythlore, found it impenetrable. 

—John D. Rateliff


Oxonmoot 2023 

1 comment:

Joe said...

If anyone ever decides to make "nerd" a title of nobility, I'll be set for life.