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Old 10-21-2017, 08:28 AM   #25
Late Istar
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 2,142
Aiwendil has been trapped in the Barrow!
Originally Posted by Findegil
My conclusion was that AAm and LQ were more or less contemporary. In such a case I assumed that a fuller text (and I considered LQ to be the fuller text) could be used instead of a probably slightly younger (AAm).
This is an interesting question. I suppose my opinion is that AAm has priority in terms of facts (i.e. if AAm and LQ contradict each other, AAm is the ‘truth’ for our purposes), but that if LQ tells things in more depth or offers details that AAm doesn’t then, assuming it doesn’t actually contradict AAm, it can be used. Still, to preserve the unity of the text as much as possible, I prefer to use AAm as much as possible - i.e. LQ should really offer some new detail, not just a different phrasing of things, for us to use it.

I don’t think that the full content of the texts should be or can be rejected based on the fact that we have decided to reject the round earth cosmology. Let’s take an example from this actual chapter: We use part of the LT text even so many elements of the story were clearly at variance to what we considered ‘true’, like Laurelin sprouting first, or the story of the planting of the trees, ... now why is that possible? Because we consider that only that parts of the text, that were directly gainsaid by sources of higher priority must be skipped or such parts as are clearly depend on such gainsaid elements. This freedom is given under our rule 3).
Now to MT, here are no contradictions with texts of higher priority. The reason why we do not use this text entirely is a decision following rule 2.b): a change proposed by JRR Tolkien but inadequately documented so that it is deemed unworkable by us. But this decision was up to this point only taken for the round earth cosmology. (And that question might have been the trigger for rule 2.b).)
Your argument as I have understood is, that the changes introduce with MT are only needed to make the round earth cosmology work for the story. And I agree that these changes are needed for the round earth cosmology. But that the round earth cosmology does depend on these changes does not make the change depending on the round earth cosmology. So we have a high priority text not contradicted by a first priority text (LotR, Hobbit, RGEO, AdvTomB) but in an essential feature discarded by us due to the upheaval it would introduce in the project. Does that disqualify all the other features of the text?
I don’t think so. At least we never handle other texts in a similar way.
I agree with almost everything you say here, but maybe I expressed my argument against using MT here poorly. What I am arguing is that the excerpts from MT do depend on the new cosmology. In other words, that it is only because, in the new cosmology, Arda is one solar system among countless others that it makes sense to speak of the possibility of Melkor ruling in other parts of Eä, or of Ainur dwelling in places other than Arda. My argument is that these passages imply a cosmology that is different from the old, flat-earth cosmology that is our ‘truth’. Mind you, this is an argument I’m not fully convinced of myself, though I must say I am leaning toward agreeing with it.

I’m also not sure I agree with one point you make. You seem to say that if a change A was made by Tolkien and another change B followed directly from it and was therefore also made by Tolkien, we can (indeed, must) take up change B even if we have rejected change A as unworkable. As I see it, changes A and B are really two parts of one large change. B is part of the ‘working out’ of A. If Tolkien had made enough changes (B, C, D, etc.) to implement A then A would no longer be ‘unworkable’, and would not fall under rule 2b; but in the absence of sufficient changes, I think we must reject both A and B together. Here, obviously, A and B are the new cosmology and the new account of the Ainur’s actions at the beginning of time.

Now, it’s not always so simple - sometimes it’s hard to tell whether B is a direct consequence of A or a separate change that would have been made even without A. And, if one grants that the MT passages under discussion don’t directly contradict the old cosmology, then this, I feel, is the question that must still be answered.

BoT-17: When I wrote my comments to the changes introduced it was years after compilation of the text. So I didn’t check if this was really new in MT. I fully agree that AAm §21 is similar enough. But if MT is seen as a valid text, than it has higher priority and would be preferable over AAm for such an addition. (If AAm is the basis text the addition is of course obsolete.)
I still tend to think that if two passages give the same details, then the one to be preferred is the one that least chops up Tolkien’s text. But a case could be made that the MT passage does offer a new detail in saying that Oromë went to the uttermost east in the search. I don’t see anything in this passage as depending on the new cosmology, so I think that regardless of our decision on the earlier passages, we are free to use this one if we decide it offers a new detail.

BoT-20: This was moved because the description of Melkor in MT does not fit to this. So I thought that at his first coming to Arda he was the bright and shiny guy he wished to be, but when he entered again, now to fight for his rule of the kingdom of Arda he appeared in that dark and frightening shape.
OK, that makes sense. Here again, I ask myself whether this new element (Melkor loving and desiring light, and therefore taking a bright form initially) in MT II is truly independent of the new cosmology. It could be; or it could have been introduced for no other reason than to motivate Melkor’s ravishing of Árië.

I agree that we have some redundancy here and should amend that. But if the pure §21 of AAm is sufficient I doubt. But that can be checked later.
OK, when you have time, let us know what you think §21 of AAm is missing that should be added and we can discuss it.

BoT-23, -24: Good point. This is one piece from MT that even I cannot really argue to be based on the cosmology change, so I agree we should take the passage from LQ, regardless of what we decide about the other MT excerpts.

About Silpion or Telperion as name given by Lóriën: I do not see any good reason to change this Silpion was still as valid in LQ. Even so Telperion was a more usual name, why should that change the fact that Lóriën invented the name Silpion? Would we create a new factum by changing this? I think we should avoid that.
That’s true. Yes, I agree that “Silpion” can be used there.

Waxing and Waning of the Trees

The redundancy we should eliminate. I observed as well that Yavanna is speaking in a phase were Laurelin waned, but since it could have been half a day later I did not see a problem with this. I at least would like to keep the direct speech of Yavanna in that passage.
I agree that keeping the direct speech of Yavanna would be good, if we can manage it. But the text at it stands very much makes it seem to me as if she is speaking immediately after Laurelin has bloomed, so that what she says doesn’t make sense. Maybe there is a way we can better edit this.

Gathering of the Lights: My issue here is mainly that in no version of the story are there two separate repositories of light associated with each tree. On the contrary, it seems to me that the “vats” or “wells” of Varda replaced the cauldrons from the Lost Tales. Indeed, I would sooner accept naming those vats Silindrin and Kululluin than I would having both the vats and the cauldrons. Retaining the cauldrons as receptacles for the light of the Lamps, but not of the Trees, seems far too great a liberty to me.

I’m not sure myself whether the idea of the salvaged light of the Lamps being used to make the Trees was definitely rejected or just omitted in the relatively briefer LQ and AAm - but I think we must err on the side of omitting it.

As for the Primeval Light of MT, here again I think this is part of the change to the new cosmology, with the new roles of the Sun, the Moon, and the Trees, and the rejection of the Lamps, and cannot be separated from it.

Reckoning of Time: Thanks, I had forgotten that LotR mentions the 144 figure for yén. Of course, one could posit that the 144 year yén is different from the 9.58 year Valian Year, but this would be mere invention. So I agree, we should remove the section on the reckoning of time.

The AAm passage about Valinor being more beautiful I already agreed to move back to its original place. The MT passage (if we decide to use any MT material) is near enough to what Ainulindalë §31 does tell, so that we might combine the two. Especially the first parts of both seem to very close. In both it is made clear that at first the Valar did go to Middle-earth more often, but then stayed more and more in Valinor and left Middle-earth to Melkor.
Do you mean §34 of the Ainulindalë (I don’t see the relevance of §31)? I suppose we could try combining them. However, looking at this again, it strikes me that this extract from MT refers specifically to “toward the end of the Days of Bliss”, which is a point we have not reached in the narrative (indeed, it’s a little hard to say exactly what time it refers to).
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