Memory, Lore, Knowledge

What:
Talk
When:
Friday Aug 09   02:30 PM to 03:00 PM (30 minutes)
Where:
Macdonald Burlington Hotel - Horton A+B
Discussion:
1

Memory, Lore, Knowledge

Tolkien’s works present us a world where Lore, in the sense of ‘handed down information’, is connoted positively, whereas Knowledge, in the sense of ‘newly and experimentally acquired information’, is usually seen negatively (cf. Vanderbeke). Gandalf and Saruman, respectively, are the most prominent representatives of these stances. Saruman, for example, makes this explicit in his ‘modern’ political program of ‘Knowledge, Rule, Order’. The underlying attitudes are, of course, diametrically opposed to each other. Whereas the representatives of ‘Lore’, such as Elrond, see the world as gradually deteriorating from a perfect beginning to the sorry present condition and beyond (cf. Honegger and Wiemann), the representatives of ‘Knowledge’ inscribe themselves into a narrative that views the development of the world as a ‘success story’ from modest and primitive beginnings, and present technological and scientific progress as the key to a better and brighter future. As a consequence, the value and functions of memory vary, depending on which of the two frameworks is used. My paper is going to investigate the role of memory within the framework of ‘Knowledge vs. Lore’ by means of concrete occurrences as well as by exploring the underlying (implicit) theoretical concept.


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