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Old 12-07-2014, 09:18 AM   #76
Ghost Prince of Cardolan
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 935
Galin has been trapped in the Barrow!
Attempts to revise this did not work, and so Tolkien’s decision was to consider the Silmarillion to have been a legendary document in which Mannish tradition, sometimes false, has been mixed with Elvish tradition. This seems to have been Tolkien’s final and permanent opinion on the matter...
I agree with this. And in addition to the verse examples in The Lord of the Rings, I think part of Treebeard's description of the Entwives at least suggests that the Sun existed very early on, although I believe there is a way to interpret his words in light of the 'Silmarillion myth' of the Sun and Moon. I also think (with admittedly scant references and no way to certainly prove it) that Tolkien 'authorized' The Drowning of Anadune as a late text, because as written, it fit nicely into his Elvish versus Mannish tradition, and even provides a different way to think about the term 'Straight Road'

Some bring up certain Bombadil references, but I'm not sure these are being read without being influenced by other flat world descriptions -- descriptions that do not appear in the books Tolkien actually published. Granted that argument is probably based more on the idea that, despite what Bombadil says, if the reader knows nothing about Tolkien's ideas outside of The Lord of the Rings, how likely is it for a first time reader to certainly conclude, from Bombadil's remarks, that the world the Hobbits live on was once flat?

There is also the argument that Bombadil was just echoing Mannish Myth, although I would admit that's a bit of an 'easy out' to say: well Bombadil really knew the 'truth' but he just didn't report it here to his Hobbit audience... and on a similar note some have argued that the verses in The Lord of the Rings are poetic works of art, and thus need not reflect the 'truth' of the Silmarillion matter.

I think, but haven't gathered up 'all' instances lately to really look at them again, but I think the Appendices (and possibly the story proper of The Lord of the Rings) include references to the Twilight, or a Twilight or time of Twilight, or similar... and so I can't recall if each is easily explainable in the context of the pre-existing Sun notion. Although again, if pressed Tolkien might have explained that a given description could be stamped with: that's part of the Mannish ideas or tales getting woven in, no matter what was meant originally.

I believe also that the 'Change of the World' need not refer to Eru altering the actual shape of the World, which phrase does appear in the Appendices if I recall correctly.
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