Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sub-Context of a Dream

Upon awakening this morning I recalled having been dreaming of a conversation near a sunny window. For reasons which make best sense to an unconscious mind, I was attempting to explain the Nordic etymology of Gandalf’s Dwarven name to my wife and a cutout. (I commonly dream with “cutout” or “place holder” characters, who remain cloaked in faceless anonymity unless they interact) The focus of my dream was the frustration that neither was much listening to my clever linguistic analysis; Lysa’s excuse was an urgent need to empty her bladder—which seemingly vanished the moment she glimpsed a cherry tree in full blossom, just outside the sunny window. (The dream-imagery here was clearly plagiarized from Android live wallpaper)
android screenshot
Sakura Live Wallpaper

Of more interest to my waking self is the etymology therein, as I am always amused whenever I can recall the specific technical details of a dream. In this case, I had invented an (alternative) etymology for “Gandalf’s Dwarven name”. Note that I’m calling this a Nordic etymology because I am largely unfamiliar with Tolkien’s languages, nor do I actually recall the Dwarven name for Mithrandir/Gandalf. An quick check of Wikipedia reveals the truth of this, to wit: in the Khuzdul language of Tolkien’s Dwarves, the Grey Pilgrim is called “Tharkûn”; however, the “representation in English (anglicised from Old Norse)” is “Gandalf”. I suspect I was thinking of the former since I am aware of the actual Norse meaning which is “wand elf”.

The precise name wasn’t included in my dream, but I was giving the analysis as a tripartite Nordic compound meaning “(makes love) where ([he] works)”. My assumption is that I have some deep seated notion that old Gandalf had a thing for the bearded ladies.