steepholm (steepholm) wrote,
steepholm
steepholm

Eerie Ears and Pointless Points

When young I associated pointy ears primarily with Mr Spock - although I see that Bram Stoker describes Dracula's too as being "extremely pointed", and that's reflected in most portrayals (it must admitted that Dracula's ears have been overshadowed by his teeth). The spitefully spiky pine elves who were the most frightening denizens of my youthful Rupert annuals had pointy ears, I suppose, but then everything about them was pointy.

That elves have pointy ears is one of those things everyone knows, and Peter Jackson has probably helped spread the meme further (there's an interesting discussion here about how and whether Tolkien himself intended his elves' ears to be pointed); but where does the idea originate? Certainly you can see examples in the work of Arthur Rackham and Cicely Mary Barker - but what about earlier artists? And is it purely an artistic convention, or does it have literary corroboration?

Would the players have been gluing points to their ears for the first performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream?
Tags: books, maunderings
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  • A Belgian Bagatelle

    "The UK is a vital wintering ground for flocks of curlews, from as far away as Belgium and Russia," said the chap on Tweet of the Day this morning.…

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    A comment on a friend's FB led to the following general musing: what books (or films, or whatever) began life as parodies, but have survived the…

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