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Old 05-19-2009, 06:22 AM   #41
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I never found the Silmarillion difficult, probably because I love history and old legends which it resembles, and also because it was read aloud to me already when I was less than 10 years old, so I learned all the names and places as effortlessly as kids learn new things.

I still have a piece of advice to offer and it goes along the same lines as what other people have said. It's easiest to start with the whole stories: Beren and Lúthien, Túrin Turambar (although I recommend reading Children of Húrin instead, it's much more comprehensive) and the Gondolin chapters (16 and 23). Of course they're all entwined with the general history so you may get confused if you haven't read the rest, but then you should ignore the general pattern and concentrate on the main characters, the actual story. Probably you will grow interested in the rest while you're reading the stories, so then it may feel more rewarding to read the whole book.
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Old 05-19-2009, 09:21 AM   #42
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I loved reading the Silmarillion. Of course, I read it when it first was published, but years after devouring The Hobbit and LotR. There was so much to learn, and so many questions that were answered (and so many others that arose!). The creation stories, particularly the Ainulindalë, were breathtaking, and offered an intriguing and even more beautiful rendering of how the Universe came into being than in the static plopping of cows onto pastures on the 5th day as one found in the Christian Bible. There was music in the voices of the Ainur and music in the rhythmic beat of Tolkien's prose. As a teenager who reveled in Norse and Greek mythology and medieval history, it was an astounding find, akin to real-world mythos, but even more special because it was attached to endearing books. It completed a circle....or a ring, if you prefer.
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Old 05-19-2009, 10:28 AM   #43
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I haven't read the Silmarillion, and maybe I should, but the reason I haven't is because I hear it is a lot different than the Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit. It is different, in the way that it suits different people, and that it doesn't read as a story like LOTR or The Hobbit.

At least from what I have heard. My dad wanted me to read the books before going to watch the movies, I didn't get finished with them before going to see the movies, but after I did finish reading LOTR I was amazed at the story. I wanted to read The Hobbit next, and my dad dug out his book and let me read it.

Then when I was at B&N, I saw another Tolkien book...The Silmarillion, I wanted to get it, but was convinced not to, because my dad said that besides LOTR and The Hobbit Tolkien's other stuff wasn't that good. He didn't like it because it wasn't the same and there were lots of "dry spots" that were difficult to get through. So, I never got it.

That shouldn't stop me now, but it does, basically because I have enough dry (and much more expensive) textbooks that for some reason is 'necessary' to spend money on, and The Silmarillion isn't the top of priority to figure out whether I like it or not.
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Old 05-19-2009, 12:51 PM   #44
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I haven't read the Silmarillion, and maybe I should, but the reason I haven't is because I hear it is a lot different than the Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit.
Perhaps you should try, as it will give you a different perspective on Middle-earth and Tolkien as a writer. The Sil is more akin to his translations (Gawaine, Beowulf, Sigurd, etc.) in that it evokes an arcane and ancient feeling that LotR only hints at. It may also aid you in discussions on this and other Tolkien fora.
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Old 05-19-2009, 01:13 PM   #45
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Well following on from my earlier post today I've now made a start on LOTR books for the first time in 7 or 8 years. And I've also dusted down my copy of The Sil because I am now quite looking forward to reading it but this time from a different less logical perspective.

I just hope this new found enthusiasm lasts by the time I have completed ROTK in a couple of weeks. Although I suppose there's nothing wrong with dipping into the book while still reading LOTR. Might even help a little
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Old 05-19-2009, 02:06 PM   #46
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Although I suppose there's nothing wrong with dipping into the book while still reading LOTR. Might even help a little
It really does--I did not "get" nearly as much of LotR as I could have until after I'd successfully slogged through the Silm once. Aside from obvious allusions (maybe you could read the bit on Earendil after Bilbo's presented his poem?) there are also some lovely parallels--look up Fingon's rescue of Maedhros when you're at "The Tower of Cirith Ungol."
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Old 11-03-2010, 04:57 AM   #47
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For me it was because I couldn't quite relate to the characters well enough. There wasn't enough dialogue to make the characters seem 'human' enough. Add that to the slightly dry and less descriptive manner in which it is written, and you've got your answer from me.
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Old 11-03-2010, 06:01 PM   #48
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I've read the Sil after LOTR, and although I was familiar with some of the names, by far not most of them. At first, I was really confused about which Valar is which. Then - all the names of Finwe's children and grandchildren (except for Feanor and Galadriel, who I know fro LOTR). To me, Finwe, Fingolfin, Finrod, and Fingon were like one person. Later on I've sorted it out, though. The next confusion was about the family trees. It took me a while to understand all the relationships in the 3 Houses of Edain. Right now, I find all this inforation pretty much straightfoward.
I think that you can only truly start understanding the Sil once you've got the basics, which will not happen right away. People who put the book down because it's too complex should try one more time, maybe.
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Old 11-17-2010, 09:30 AM   #49
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Weirdly I've never read the Silmarillion. However, I listened to the Audio version countless times (thank you Martin Shaw) in my teens. I've just dug the tapes back out and have decided to purchase the CD version.

In this format I never had a problem with the story and loved the 'historicity' of it. I also loved the family trees (especially the House of Finwe) and created my own copies of them.

I'm now wondering if, like the old greek myths which would have been read/spoken to you, listening to the Silmarillion made a big impact. I certainly don't have an urge to read it, but now I've found them again, they're going straight on my Blackberry so I can listen to them.
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Old 11-17-2010, 11:10 PM   #50
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And I still have not read the Sil. Oh dear.

I've read a lot more myth, epic, saga, and historical narrative in the past few years and think I would appreciate Tolkien's style (and influences) even more.

I am also so many years distant of LotR that it might feel like I'm entering an entirely new world again.
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Old 11-18-2010, 10:54 AM   #51
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The Sil is challenging, no question, especially diving right in with the Ainulindalë and the Valaquenta, which can be like cracking open a King James Bible from an alternate dimension while you're trying to kick back on the beach on summer vacation. I don't know if I would have ever gotten through it if it wasn't for wanting to be able to keep up on these here Downs. I'm glad I did, though the Sil will never be the sort of comfort book that LotR is for me. My experience reminded me of reading Moby Dick -- the work you put in slogging through the first third or so pays off in spades on the back end, and once you get comfortable and conversant in the world of the First Age, you can go back and appreciate some of the poetry in the earlier chapters.

Some good advice has been given in this thread. I'll echo the things that ring true for me:
  • Have easy access to maps and family trees. For me, having a couple of extra bookmarks so that I could easily flip to the resource I needed was enough.
  • Have a nice chunk of time to devote to it. The Sil is not the type of book to read in small sips, ten pages before bedtime or something.
  • Hang in there at least until you get into the first few chapters of the Quenta proper. If you can get to chapters that have actual scenes and exchanges of dialogue and a narrative thread, you can keep your head above water.
I'd add, don't approach it as a duty. If you love Middle-earth, you probably owe it to yourself to give the Sil a shot, but it doesn't make you a bad Tolkien fan if you never warm up to it.
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Old 11-18-2010, 02:56 PM   #52
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I'd add, don't approach it as a duty. If you love Middle-earth, you probably owe it to yourself to give the Sil a shot, but it doesn't make you a bad Tolkien fan if you never warm up to it.
So true! You can't understand The Sil if you don't love the world of LOTR (not only ME, I mean the whole world).
I think it helps to reread The Sil after you finish it, because many things could be unclear or confusing the first time.
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:09 PM   #53
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So true! You can't understand The Sil if you don't love the world of LOTR (not only ME, I mean the whole world).
Absolutely. And I think appreciation of Sil is also impacted by the ways in which LOTR touched you.

To use my experience as an example of what I mean... I fell in love with not just the story, but with the rich depth behind and surrounding that story. Tolkien was constantly throwing in tidbits that hinted at a full history and life underlying, surrounding, upholding, and informing the world we were experiencing with Bilbo, Frodo and his friends. For example:
  • Elrond tells Bilbo & co. that the sword Gandalf took from the trolls had been owned by the King of Gondolin.
  • Gimli, in his chant about Kazad-dum refers to "Elder days before the fall of mighty kings in Nargothrond and Gondolin that now beyond the western seas have passed away".
  • Faramir recounts Gandalf talking about "my youth in the west that is forgotten".
  • Aragorn sings about Beren and Luthien.
  • Bilbo sings about Earendel (knowing he is Elrond's father).
The Appendicies were rich fare for one eager and yearning to learn more and dig deeper into that history - but far too short for my taste.

Publication of Silmarillion was, for me, like opening the BonAdventure penthouse restaurant to one previously limited to snacking on hour-dourves in the lobby. Now I could actually *VISIT* that old world, rather than just hear about it.
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Old 11-19-2010, 02:51 PM   #54
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For me, I read the Sil because it has the same phylosophy*. It is very different, but the principles remain the same. Of course, I also wanted to find more about Earendil and all these other guys mentioned in LOTR, but its more the world that I wanted to know about than the history. But both are interesting and rich.

*Philosophy isn't the right word here. Its more like the play of values and emotions...
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:30 PM   #55
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Didn't find it particularly "difficult" at all. I'd actually read it before reading LoTR, over 20 years ago, and have since re-read it many more times than LoTR. It's just a matter of letting go of your preconceptions of novelistic convention, and being prepared to go with the flow rather get too hung up on who's doing what at any particular moment.

Of course, once the Silmarillion bug bites, it bites for good.
That ought to be the proper way. Read Sil first, I mean. But many people find it awfully dry if they don't like Tolkien (aka LotR and The Hobbit).
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Old 11-19-2010, 10:31 PM   #56
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For me, I read the Sil because it has the same phylosophy*. It is very different, but the principles remain the same. Of course, I also wanted to find more about Earendil and all these other guys mentioned in LOTR, but its more the world that I wanted to know about than the history. But both are interesting and rich.

*Philosophy isn't the right word here. Its more like the play of values and emotions...
I suppose I wanted to know about the world as much as the history. Though Children of Húrin will remain the best 'history' bit for me
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Old 11-20-2010, 11:12 AM   #57
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Narn is the best emotional part for me.
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Old 12-02-2010, 12:33 AM   #58
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Narn is the best emotional part for me.
Yes, that too I felt the elves were more 'human' in CoH. We never had such a close view of elves, except in LotR with Legolas and Galadriel.
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Old 12-15-2010, 07:58 PM   #59
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It's not really that (but that too, yes). Its just that COH is so... powerful. It just makes me go WOW, like absolutely WOW. I don't have the right word for such a feeling. The whole Sil is WOW, but it's more concentrated in COH. Maybe cause it's a separate book that can go into more details, but I think its really what happens in the Narn.
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Old 02-07-2011, 02:12 PM   #60
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I actually found it easier to read than LotR. Especially since, whenever I skimmed the Sil, I *made* myself go back and start reading again from the point where I started skimming. This meant that it took a couple of days to get started on the Narn I Hin Hurin.

But mostly it was the vast number of interesting little tidbits that kept me reading - I was able to go "Hey, so THAT's where that came from!" again and again. I truly believe that Tolkien gets better and better the more of him you read, because of the completeness of the world he subcreates.
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Old 03-07-2011, 07:56 AM   #61
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It's not really that (but that too, yes). Its just that COH is so... powerful. It just makes me go WOW, like absolutely WOW. I don't have the right word for such a feeling. The whole Sil is WOW, but it's more concentrated in COH. Maybe cause it's a separate book that can go into more details, but I think its really what happens in the Narn.
Yes, the detail is one thing I really liked. I wish he could have given us such a close up on Valinor. It's one place that's always intrigued me.
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Old 03-07-2011, 09:18 AM   #62
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Good ideas and suggestions from everyone here!

One point which I don't think has been mentioned is the postumous nature of the book. The Silmarillion never existed as a single, comprehensive text in The Professor's lifetime. What we have is a selected edition from his literary executor, his son, Christopher, with help from Guy Kay.

Now before anyone jumps up to say this is another razz at the son, let me quote a bit from the Foreward.

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It became clear to me that to attempt to present, within the covers of a single book, the diversity of the materials--to show The Silmarillion as in truth a continuing and evolving creation extending over more than half a century--would in fact lead only to confusion and the submerging of what is essential. I set myself therefore to work out a single text, selecting and arranging in such a way as seemed to me to produce the most coherent and internally self-consistent narrative. . . . A complete consistency . . . is not to be looked for, and could only be achieved, if at all, at heavy and needless cost.
The text that we have as The Silm is a highly edited text, and it is put together by a scholar whose intent was to provide some kind of comprehensive format of a very long process. While CT followed his father's intent, it is very possible that that scholarly overview was very different from how a creative writer would have combined the disparate and changing stories. JRRT wrote according to his notions and ideas of what makes a good story. CT edited with notions of how to make a consistent redaction. Those two aims produce very different styles.

This is in addition to the conception of the materials which JRRT had: that The Silm is

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foreward, CT
a compilation, a compendious narrative, made long afterwards from sources of great diversity ... that had survived in agelong traditon, and this conception has indeed its parallel in the actual history of the book.
So in conception The Silm differs from LotR, as well as in the format in which we have it. CT was not attempting, as his father was, to write a good story, but to provide a text consistent with scholarly procedures and aims, as was his responsiblity as Literary Executor.

For years I've used The Silm as a sort of encyclopedia, delving in at various stories and stages where I needed or wanted some information about those old sources. I've come to appreciate Tolkien's Legendarium much more from reading, for instance, BoLT, so I guess I read The Silm as an historical document itself rather than as a ripping good yarn. I like to think I am reading it consistently with JRRT's idea of ancient sources.
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Old 03-07-2011, 09:59 AM   #63
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I haven't yet read BOLT - or any HOME books, for that matter - and I enjoy reading The Sil very much. I think that the ajor reason for it being a bit difficult at first is that it's trying to fit a lot of material into a small space (like it says in the quote that Bethberry provided). After rereading it, though, it became very clear for me, and VERY enjoyable.
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Old 04-18-2011, 01:21 AM   #64
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Rewrite?

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The text that we have as The Silm is a highly edited text, and it is put together by a scholar whose intent was to provide some kind of comprehensive format of a very long process. While CT followed his father's intent, it is very possible that that scholarly overview was very different from how a creative writer would have combined the disparate and changing stories. JRRT wrote according to his notions and ideas of what makes a good story. CT edited with notions of how to make a consistent redaction. Those two aims produce very different styles.
This almost makes me wonder if a 'good parts' version of the Silmarillion ought to be written. Spider Robinson wrote a posthumous Heinlein novel, Variable Star, based on Heinlein's outline and notes from 1955. We have a scholarly presentation version of Silmarillion. Is there a modern writer anyone would trust to turn it into fiction?
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:05 AM   #65
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This almost makes me wonder if a 'good parts' version of the Silmarillion ought to be written.
A Silmarillion for Simpletons? No thanks.
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:38 PM   #66
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I note with concern, astonishment and admiration, Durelin, that you wrote an excellent Thuringwethil in Treachery of Men without having read her story!
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Old 04-20-2011, 02:48 PM   #67
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Aw, thanks....actually I *did* read (some of?) her parts. Including her run-in with Luthien at one point a looong time ago...(er, right?)

And I did research for your RP, Ang!
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Old 04-27-2011, 03:15 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blantyr View Post
This almost makes me wonder if a 'good parts' version of the Silmarillion ought to be written. Spider Robinson wrote a posthumous Heinlein novel, Variable Star, based on Heinlein's outline and notes from 1955. We have a scholarly presentation version of Silmarillion. Is there a modern writer anyone would trust to turn it into fiction?
Eh, I think what we've got works well enough as fiction– is fiction, actually. I could wish Tolkien had completed some of the longer and fuller versions of the stories, though, but that's not to say a modernised pastiche would answer. As for the specific example you mention, it seems to me quite a different case, as it looks like Robinson had very little material to work from in the first place.
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Old 04-28-2011, 09:43 AM   #69
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This almost makes me wonder if a 'good parts' version of the Silmarillion ought to be written. Spider Robinson wrote a posthumous Heinlein novel, Variable Star, based on Heinlein's outline and notes from 1955. We have a scholarly presentation version of Silmarillion. Is there a modern writer anyone would trust to turn it into fiction?
Not that you say otherwise, but there isn't much in the 1977 Silmarillion that cannot be traced to Tolkien's own writings.

Very briefly described: after writing a very brief 'sketch' of what would turn out to be the First Age, Tolkien wrote a complete and finished version of 'a Silmarillion' in 1930 (Qenta Noldorinwa or QN), then wrote an expanded version in the mid to later 1930s, but left a gap as he jumped to the end (Quenta Silmarillion or QS). There were also the Annals: briefer accounts of the same history covered by QN and QS.

Tolkien sought to publish the Silmarillion at this time, but (long story made short) it was rejected. He then works for a long time on The Lord of the Rings, and in the early 1950s, hoping that the Silmarillion will be published along with The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien expands and updates parts of QS and the Annals (taking up again the long prose versions of the Three Great Tales)

That's really a very simplified description, but anyway, the point is that perhaps there is more extant text than some who have not read The History of Middle-Earth might think. Anyway, when Christopher Tolkien took up the task of making the material public, he began with a different kind of presentation in mind. Guy Kay explained...

Quote:
'As much as anything else the invitation [to help Christopher] grew out of his perception that the editing would be essentially a 'scholarly' exercise and the model in his mind, I suspect, was that of the academic and his graduate student assistant. The actual process turned out to be radically otherwise…'

'The irony is that the Silmarillion editing ended up being at least as much if not significantly more a creative exercise than a scholarly one. The purely scholarly books are the ones that he's been producing subsequently. The difference between those two is a measure of the difference in the nature of what the editing was all about.'
And Charles Noad explains (with respect to Christopher Tolkien's initial idea to present a scholarly edition of the Silmarillion papers):


Quote:
This would have resulted in a massive volume, some 1300 printed pages long, say (about the size of the Scull and Hammond Reader's Guide to Tolkien), and two chapters in this style had already been produced when Kay arrived. However, Kay felt strongly that what was needed was a straightforward narrative, shorn of academic apparatus, which advice was eventually adopted by Christopher Tolkien. This approach was tried with 'The Coming of the Elves' where it was felt to work so well that Kay's approach was thereafter adopted. ('A Tower in Beleriand', Charles E. Noad, Amon Hen 91, May 1988, pp.16-18.) It may indeed have worked well, but such a procedure served to give a finished appearance to what was very often disparate and unfinished material.

(...) The process of producing a finished narrative requires a slightly different set of skills than those required for producing an edited text of initially 'inchoate' papers. The latter needs a great deal of analytical intelligence together with specific skills in understanding the relationships between texts, the ability to decipher handwriting sometimes verging on illegibility, a sensitivity of judgement, and the like, qualities which, I feel, any reasonable judge would concur that Christopher Tolkien abundantly displays in The History of Middle-earth. But producing a finished narrative from the results of having edited the texts into legibility and comprehensibility is a slightly different matter. It requires, or at least may require depending on the state of the material being edited, a degree of creativity.

Here I think is where Guy Gavriel Kay enters the picture. Starting with The Fionavar Tapestry (1985-6), Kay has shown himself to be one of the leading authors of literate high fantasy. He is a full-fledged professional writer of fiction in a way that Christopher Tolkien isn't and even his father wasn't. (...) Given that it was Kay's idea to produce a finished narrative rather than a scholarly version (indeed, he has since gone on record as being against the publication of Tolkien's unfinished texts in the History), I would submit that the published Silmarillion owes a good deal in the matter of editorial decision-making to his input. Let me be clear here. I am not saying that we can lay all the presumed 'failings' of the published Silmarillion at Kay's feet, thereby removing all responsibility for its apparent 'defects' from Christopher Tolkien. But I am saying that the presence at a critical juncture in preparing the publication of the 'Silmarillion' material of this creatively gifted young man had a significant effect on the shaping and editing of that material. One would like to know more.
One would like to know more about this, but I think Christopher Tolkien also now approached a one volume version for readers with his own measure of creativity as well, just as he did with The Children of Hurin.

With respect to the ruin of Doriath we find a level of creativity that even Christopher Tolkien came to regret, as the story here contains elements that actually cannot be traced to any of JRRT's writing. Due to the fact that this part of the tale had been skipped in the Quenta Silmarillion of the later 1930s (the 'gap' I referred to), and the fact that The Wanderings of Hurin was abandoned too soon, the 'Silmarillion account' of the Ruin of Doriath still dated from 1930 (QN)!

Even Christopher Tolkien later noted that he probably could have stuck better to his father's intent, but as an example of CJRT's opinion of the story as it stood in Quenta Noldorinwa, he noted that it ruins the gesture if Hurin asks for Thingol's aid to carry the treasure to Menegroth -- the very treasure Hurin will then use to cast at Thingol's feet to try to humiliate the Elf. That's a creative decision in my opinion, even though it went against the actual story as it stood in 1930 (thus in the 1977 Silmarillion, Hurin alone brings the Nauglamir to Thingol, without need of aid, not the treasure from which the Nauglamir is later made).


In any case, here is a notable reference to something that hails from the relevant part of the story.

Quote:
There is one point where Kane attempts a justification for a book such as this one. He notes (Kane, p. 216) that in The Road to Middle-earth Tom Shippey cites 'Thingol's death in the dark while he looks at the captured Light' (of the Silmaril) as an example of Tolkien's genius for creating compelling images. However, 'Thingol's death in the dark recesses of Menegroth was completely an invention of the editors', hence 'The fact that as renown[ed] a Tolkien scholar as Shippey would have this kind of mistaken impression is a strong indication of the need for a work like the present one.'

Well now, catching out Shippey must count as pretty neat, but one might admire the editors for so well creating, out of the requirements of the reconstructed narrative, so Tolkienian an image. It must prove something.'

Charles Noad review of Doug Kane's Arda Reconstructed
Sorry for the length, but I think Mr. Noad raises some interesting points here.
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Old 08-04-2011, 07:43 AM   #70
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The Sillymarillion

Durelin spoke: [What is it that makes The Silmarillion more difficult for you (or anyone) to read? What makes it (more) 'boring' (to some)?]
Not so much difficult, unless you count all the other crap like Unfinished Tales, the HoME series, and everything else all lumped in with it, including Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Boring might be a better description. Creation myths make me retch. And the pseudo-Christianity gossamer veil underlying the tales just frankly irks me anyway. Myth should be shrouded in vagueness, not meticulously examined. The brief allusions in Lord of the Rings are enough. Too much, as it turns out--after he revised it.

Galin spoke: [Tolkien sought to publish the Silmarillion at this time, but (long story made short) it was rejected. He then works for a long time on The Lord of the Rings, and in the early 1950s, hoping that the Silmarillion will be published along with The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien expands and updates parts of QS and the Annals (taking up again the long prose versions of the Three Great Tales)]
Yeah, and then throws a bunch of stuff into the revised version of Lord of the Rings like a pimp whoring out some aged, flabby, mascara and poundcake-make-up encrusted and frankly nasty piece of work hoping to make an extra shilling on a two-for-one deal. Ever seen Cheech Marin outside the Titty-Twister in From Dusk till Dawn?

If they had published The Silmarillion then, he would have never written Lord of the Rings.

Borrowing a few allusions like Gondolin, Nargothrond, Beren & Bride, and little tid-bits is one thing to establish a backdrop. The Silmarillion (and other materials) is like George Lucas on a CGI-fest, re-writing his own material and saying "it's always been like that!". "Geedo always shot first!". "Anakin always looked like that!"

In a nut-shell, without my bias; The Silmarillion was never finished because Mr. Tolkien never really wanted to finish it, and it shows when reading it.
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Old 08-04-2011, 08:37 AM   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlimFlamSam View Post
Yeah, and then throws a bunch of stuff into the revised version of Lord of the Rings like a pimp whoring out some aged, flabby, mascara and poundcake-make-up encrusted and frankly nasty piece of work hoping to make an extra shilling on a two-for-one deal. Ever seen Cheech Marin outside the Titty-Twister in From Dusk till Dawn?
Quoted just to make it clear that you, not me, are the author of these words.


In the future I would appreciate it -- if you choose to quote me for some reason -- that you do so with more distinction than simply putting my words in italic script (directly followed by your response without much of a break). Using the quote function is easy enough, like this.

Especially if you continue to respond in this manner.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:05 AM   #72
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Sting

@FlimFlamSam

Um... is this intentional trolling, or do you really not realise how absurd you sound?

I mean, some of us do happen to like the The Silm, and "all the other crap". Of course you're entitled not to like it, and to say so– but the way in you've expressed your opinion leaves much to be desired. After all, if you don't want to know any more of the background than appears in Lord of the Rings, there's an easy solution: don't read it. And don't heap ridiculous verbal abuse on a long-dead author for having failed somehow to arrange all his creative efforts around you.

If, on the other hand, this is all just a satire on the "Angry Fan Boy" persona, then well done! The pointless whining about "Star Wars" is an especially nice touch.

EDIT:X'd with Galin.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:19 AM   #73
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Troll in the dungeons!

Galin, on re-reading this fellow's post, I believe this is all a leg-pull. No-one really gets that frotho about the bloody Silmarillion. Or about Tolkien having revised the second edition of Lord of the Rings. This is all a joke on the "they-changed-it-now-it-sucks" fanboy type. (Again, note Star Wars references.)

Come, on, Mr Flim Flam, 'fess up!
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:45 AM   #74
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Galin spoke: [Quoted just to make it clear that you, not me, are the author of these words.]
So, you missed the "Galin spoke" part? There was a "Durelin spoke" as well first.

Galin spoke: [In the future I would appreciate it -- if you choose to quote me for some reason -- that you do so with more distinction than simply putting my words in italic script (directly followed by your response without much of a break).]
Multi-quoting. Just like in this post.
Nothing in the FAQ about quoting regulations.

Galin spoke: [Especially if you continue to respond in this manner.]
Yeppers.

Nerwen spoke: [Um... is this intentional trolling, or do you really not realise how absurdyou sound?]
Absurd? Nope. Trolling? Nope.

Nerwen spoke: [Come, on, Mr Flim Flam, 'fess up!]
I really just don't like it. I've spent nearly 30 years now wasting my time reading all the other books with meticulous care as they came out and have come to now LOATH The Silmarillion and attached materials in all forms except what is breifly alluded to in Lord of the Rings, and even then it's a stretch for me, simply due to past exposure to the other books.
Guilt by association, as it were.

Nerwen spoke: [And don't heap ridiculous verbal abuse on a long-dead author for having failed somehow to arrange all his creative efforts around you.]
It's called criticism.

Nerwen spoke: [Of course you're entitled not to like it, and to say so– but the way in you've expressed your opinion leaves much to be desired.]
I did say so. And your opinion was to say "absurd" and "ridiculous".
Something you are also "entitled" to say. See how that works?

I even gave a summary.
"In a nut-shell, without my bias; The Silmarillion was never finished because Mr. Tolkien never really wanted to finish it, and it shows when reading it."

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Old 08-04-2011, 09:56 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by FlimFlamSam View Post
So, you missed the "Galin spoke" part? There was a "Durelin spoke" as well first.
No I didn't miss it, which is why I asked you to make more of a distinction, because 'Galin spoke' no such thing.

Quote:
Nothing in the FAQ about quoting regulations.
It was, in any case, a request that you are free to ignore (as far as I know), unless moderation says otherwise for whatever reason.
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Old 08-04-2011, 09:59 AM   #76
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Galin, he's just trying to pick fights. It's obvious.
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:08 AM   #77
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Pugilistic?

Galin spoke: [because 'Galin spoke' no such thing]
Galin spoke (ok, "wrote" to be technical) the words in parenthesis as quoted and then was replied to--by me.

Nerwen spoke: [he's just trying to pick fights. It's obvious.]
And... you'd be wrong again, on both counts.
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Old 08-04-2011, 10:33 AM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlimFlamSam View Post
Galin spoke: [because 'Galin spoke' no such thing]
Galin spoke (ok, "wrote" to be technical) the words in parenthesis as quoted and then was replied to--by me.
To avoid confusion, there is another means of quoting others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlimFlamSam View Post
Nerwen spoke: [he's just trying to pick fights. It's obvious.]
And... you'd be wrong again, on both counts.
The issue from my point of view is that you choose rather vulgar ways of making your case. For instance:

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlimFlamSam View Post
Yeah, and then throws a bunch of stuff into the revised version of Lord of the Rings like a pimp whoring out some aged, flabby, mascara and poundcake-make-up encrusted and frankly nasty piece of work hoping to make an extra shilling on a two-for-one deal. Ever seen Cheech Marin outside the Titty-Twister in From Dusk till Dawn?
A little tact, and taste, goes a long way here.
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Old 08-04-2011, 11:47 AM   #79
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlimFlamSam View Post
In a nut-shell, without my bias; The Silmarillion was never finished because Mr. Tolkien never really wanted to finish it, and it shows when reading it.
I disagree. I don't think it was Tolkien's goal to complete a book for the sake of completing it. He never wrote books for people to like them; he wasn't like the many modern authors writing what the audience expects them to. JRRT wrote what he thought was the right thing to write, not something that would "catch".

JRRT never made it his goal to finish The Sil, that's true. But one of his goals was to make his writings right. New ideas kept comming, and, as you well know, Tolkien was not an Elf.

You can see that The Sil was unfinished, but, personally, I never had the feeling that JRRT "didn't want to finish it". He didn't want to complete it until he was sure everthing was right, true, but that's different from what you say.


I will add myself to those asking you to quote others differently (like I did above). It makes posts much easier to read.


ETA:

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlimFlamSam View Post
Nerwen spoke: [he's just trying to pick fights. It's obvious.]
And... you'd be wrong again, on both counts.
Well, it sure seems to me that Nerwen is right in this one. Maybe you can try phrasing your thoughts differently, so that we'll see that we're wrong?
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Old 08-04-2011, 01:17 PM   #80
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Tinker tinker tinker

Galadriel55 spoke: [You can see that The Sil was unfinished, but, personally, I never had the feeling that JRRT "didn't want to finish it". He didn't want to complete it until he was sure everthing was right, true, but that's different from what you say.]
No, it was his lifelong hobby.
One he did not want to "finish".

Even when re-writing things from Lord of the Rings to better fit into his Silmarillion. Same as he did for The Hobbit to better fit with Lord of the Rings. "Until everything was right" is highly subjective.
He just plain liked to tinker, even with "completed" things.

Galadriel55 spoke: [Maybe you can try phrasing your thoughts differently, so that we'll see that we're wrong?]
All right. So I'll dismiss the long-standing covert letter campaign to Tolkien groups and their heads (and fans) alluding to his Silmarillion and complaining that readers wouldn't like it according to the publisher; along with letters to the publisher itself.

Or other little side-notes in things like The Road Goes Ever On: A Song Cycle or The Adventures of Tom Bombadil trying to generate interest in fans for his mass of jumbled notes and half completed and often contrary tales he called The Silmarillion, where the general public believed it to be complete and ready for publication and simply shunned by the publishing company. Not to mention public appearances where the same was done.

It was simple martyr syndrome. A much more agreeable situation to him, especially as he was a self-admitted heavy-duty procrastinator (not only in writing but in his academic professorship duties as well--see the multitude of admitted instances in Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien); and he received a ready excuse of sympathy from fans for enduring a long-suffered rebuke.
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