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Old 03-03-2002, 12:59 PM   #1
GollumsPrecious
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Tolkien Please Read The Silmarillion

I don't mean to be a clever cloggs but there are loads of questions on the forum which could be answered in 1 easy step...by reading The Sil !!

Dunno why some people seem frightened to read what to me is one of the best books I have ever read. The only people I would say shouldn't read it are those who are just not interested in the history of Elves, Arda, Ea, Men, Vala, Maia etc. For me though this is what Tolkein is all about.

Maybe the History of Middle Earth (Vols 1-12) are only for real enthusiasts like me but the Sil is absolutely essential reading for any Tolkein fan.

..rant over !!

Paul.

[ March 03, 2002: Message edited by: GollumsPrecious ]
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Old 03-03-2002, 04:14 PM   #2
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*adds voice to GollumsPrecious* Yes, read the Sil! I'm in the middle of it right now. It clears up so muc, and it really isn't as terribly frightfully hard as is rumored. I'm not having trouble with it at all. It's very informative, and you can find the answers to virtually all of your questions pertaining to LotR related background in it!

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Old 03-03-2002, 04:43 PM   #3
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Yes I agree. The Silmarillion is a great book and I don't find it that hard of a read at all, it has a lot of places and names but thats the only thing hard about it IMO.
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Old 03-03-2002, 06:00 PM   #4
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YES!!!!! Must read The Silmarillion!!!! I am using it quite extensively to write my fan fiction. Lots of excellent information!
[img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 03-03-2002, 06:02 PM   #5
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Hear, hear!
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Old 03-03-2002, 08:14 PM   #6
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Ah, GollumsPrecious is posting again! Hurrah.
Annoying smart people. Always ruin it for the rest of us.
I am actually currently reading The Sil, the problem is I am attempting to read War and Peace & Kafka at the same time, which is bound to create delays and confusion. So if I ask stupid questions, don't rub your Tolkien-prowess in my face. I'm trying. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 03-03-2002, 08:29 PM   #7
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Wow. That is quite a hefty reading list! Are you reading The Trial? It's definitely quality. Depressing, but very good.
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Old 03-03-2002, 08:54 PM   #8
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The Metamorphosis, actually. I loathe Kafka. He owes a lot to Dostoevsky, but dear old Feydor I can actually enjoy. For me, Kafka reads like cough medicine tastes.
War and Peace I put on my reading list for my independent study in Russian literature. I'm going from a 1,000 page book (LotR) to a 1,300 page book. Ah me. It is actually a good thing, because my mother has been yelling at me to read Tolstoy for about three years now. By her standards, every self-respecting Russian must read War and Peace by the time they're like, five. Like I said, smart people can be quite irksome. More so when you're talking Tolkien! [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 03-03-2002, 09:49 PM   #9
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Silmaril

Yes, I shall obey.
Actually, I am almost to page 100. I plan on finishing it as soon as possible. I hate it, though, when I have to put it down for a couple a days for work & school - & then I pick back up & forget who all the people are! But I am enjoying it & it is clearing up a lot.
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Old 03-03-2002, 10:25 PM   #10
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Well, you have all got my attention now so I guess I shall read The Sil. Actually Iv been meaning to read it for a while now, I really am into all that history on middle earth, so I think I'll buy it next weekend.
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Old 03-03-2002, 11:47 PM   #11
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Sting

I read it for the first time a few years ago and didn't care for it, and as a result didn't remember much. For some reason when I read it recently it was like a totally different book, i'm in love with it and the characters. Feanor is so tragic, can't stop thinking about it.
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Old 03-04-2002, 01:40 PM   #12
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I think I would not love Tolkien the way I do if I had not read The Sil. My favorite thing in LOTR is the elves, and you don't really get to know the elves until you read The Sil. There is a lot of sadness in the book, but it is beautiful sadness. The hardest part is getting through the Ainulindale. Once you do, you'll see that the characters and the depth of the story-telling are phenominal! My favorite are Maedhros, Finrod and Tuor! It is a "must-read", and read again, and again, and again...

[ March 04, 2002: Message edited by: amyrlis ]
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Old 03-04-2002, 02:00 PM   #13
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Silmaril

I hear and am obeying!!! Started reading last night. Your remarks are most encouraging as well. Thank you [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 03-04-2002, 02:06 PM   #14
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Ainulindalë was my favorite part! Except the part with Huan, but anyway....

The wide vision of such grandeur and beauty for which Tolkien is so reknowned is really displayed in it. What a mind...if I could make something that beautiful sometime in my life, I'll die happy!

[ March 04, 2002: Message edited by: onewhitetree ]
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Old 03-04-2002, 03:37 PM   #15
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Sting

Sorry for all of my dumb questions. The only thing that I ever heard about the Sil was from my dad and he told me that he couldn't finish it (this is the man who read the encyclopedia when he was in grade 4!) and that it was very dry. So instead I read the LOTR again, but after being encouraged by all of you to read it I am going to as soon as I can find a copy! Thank you! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 03-04-2002, 09:11 PM   #16
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Quote:
Sorry for all of my dumb questions.
No worries! You aren't asking dumb questions at all! [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]
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Old 03-09-2002, 10:02 PM   #17
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I loooooved the Sil. I´ve read it a couple of times and I´m planning on doing it again. Specially some stories, like the ones on Turin and Hurin. I´m now into the Unfinished Tales. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 03-09-2002, 11:43 PM   #18
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The Sil isn't difficult to read, it's just difficult to remember! Every character and place has about 10 different names and they're all similar - I read the book and I still have to look up names, etc., of Sil characters when I'm reading other Tolkien books (I'm tackling Unfinished Tales right now). But it did clear up a lot of questions I had after reading LoTR.
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Old 03-10-2002, 02:51 AM   #19
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OK, OK, I've put The Sil out from the library. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 03-10-2002, 03:32 PM   #20
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Sting

Ah, I'm not gonna even start on the joys of reading the Sil! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
A suggestion for those of you who are reading it now:

Get a little pack of Post-it-Notes/Sticky notes, and the bookmark the following:

~The beginning map of Beleriand
~The map of the Realms of the Noldor and Sindar** (pg 143)
~The geneology charts**
~The Index of Names

** - REALLY IMPORTANT

This helped me alot when I was first reading through. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] It helps to keep all the names and places straight. And it's alot more fun when you don't have to keep flipping back and trying to find all the maps and stuff.
The next time through, you hopefully won't need them! [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

~Airetalathwen
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Old 03-16-2002, 07:17 AM   #21
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Sting

I've read the Silmarilion !
It's a good book for answering some questions
and to get more information about ME and about
ME history but it's as boring as any other
history book, it's not a real STORY, more just
an exposition for the real story
(which is The Hobbit or LOTR [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img])
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Old 03-16-2002, 07:24 AM   #22
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I can't read it...... too hard. ::wails pittafully:: first book that I met that I couldn't get through. ::sob:: I really have treid. I've wraked up more then $10.00 in over due fines with it.
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Old 03-16-2002, 03:01 PM   #23
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What is so hard with reading TS? [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]

C'mon you are just making exuces! [img]smilies/evil.gif[/img]

The book is cool! [img]smilies/cool.gif[/img]
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Old 03-16-2002, 03:41 PM   #24
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Silmaril

I did - when I was 6! I've kinda forgotten it all now! [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]
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Old 03-16-2002, 03:46 PM   #25
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Sting

and if you don't want to actually read the Silmarillion, there is an unabridged set of cd's of it read by a wonderful actor!
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Old 03-16-2002, 05:03 PM   #26
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Quote:
I've wraked up more then $10.00 in over due fines with it.
Buy it! The Silmarillion isn't made to be owned for a limited amount of time, it's a lookup reference. If you don't like the Silmarillion, then you don't like Tolkien: the Silmarillion is what Tolkien worked on for 60 years! And if you see the Sil as a history of M-E, then LotR is just a (developped) part of the Sil.

[ March 16, 2002: Message edited by: Orodhromeus ]
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Old 03-17-2002, 04:23 PM   #27
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Sting

Huh, I just don't get why it's so hard. I know there are a lot of names, but if you use the list of names at the back as a reference, along with the maps and family trees, you should be fine. I loved the Sil. It ties with LotR as my favorite book of all time. I know it can get confusing, and that's why, when I get my site up, I think I'm going to have an entire section that is a guide to the Sil. Something that people can go to to help them out with stuff. Hopefully I'll find the time to get the site up and running. Any opinions on whether that sort of thing would be useful?
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Old 03-17-2002, 06:09 PM   #28
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Silmaril

I think it would be useful. Check with Mhoram. He's doing a reorganized version of the HoME. There's also a New version of the Silm. being worked on here on the Barrow-downs. I've found that working with a team helps me finish what I start (ha!).

I love Dostoyevski, though it's been some years. Right now I'm reading the Hinayana Tenets by Ponlop Rinpoche, The Presentation of the Classifications of Mind by Khenpo Tsultrim Gyatso, and The Mystical Mind which is loaned to me from my boss and I already argue with its definition of mind in the first chapter. I have as homework for a class starting this summer the Open Door to Emptiness by Thrangu Rinpoche, though I've had to order the extended version. I'm going to try to fit the Silm. in the middle of this, but it's going to be slow, one chapter at a time, due to the sheer backlog of reading material.
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Old 03-17-2002, 06:25 PM   #29
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Sting

I love how Tolkien described the valar in the sil. They seem so real!!
That book is better that lotr, unfinished tales, and all the histories of middle earth put together by far.
I recently reread the whole thing on a seven hour plane ride to pass the time [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 03-17-2002, 08:33 PM   #30
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To all who finished the Silm. I salute you! I am not worthy.

I attempted it in the 70s after reading LOTR, and put it aside. I'm afraid that I'm like that kid in the book "The Princess Bride", I don't want to hear all the boring details, I wanna get to "the good stuff"!

Besides, the Silm deals with the elves, and I wanna hear about the Hobbits and Gandalf, whose adventures are only hinted at in the appendices.

I would like to know more about the palantiri, though, so I suppose I better suck it up and attempt it again.

Aiiiiii! The Names! The Names!
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Old 03-20-2002, 10:41 PM   #31
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I'm reading the Silm. for the first time since 1983. You know, it's a lot easier read as an adult. When I was a kid, I'd say that I surmounted the Silm., I managed it. I finished. And I was done with it.

I see why it was frustrating to me then, you were often given the resolution of stories before they were actually described in detail.

That's a failing of Christopher Tolkien as an editor, he was too faithful and failed to create the work that was possible, even after the death of JRR Tolkien. And a failure of the publishers, being unwilling to publish (and therefore encourage Tolkien to polish it) in the first place.

There's something almost heart-rending about the Silm., as though there was so much Tolkien left undone, so many stories still in him. We have only the barest traces of Xanadu.
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Old 03-20-2002, 10:46 PM   #32
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I would like to know more about the palantiri, though, so I suppose I better suck it up and attempt it again.
Actually, the place to learn about the Palantíri is in Unfinished Tales. There is an entire section called "The Palantíri".
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Old 03-26-2002, 03:08 PM   #33
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Silmaril

Quote:
Sorry for all of my dumb questions.
There are no such things as stupid questions! Just because one does not know something, does not make one stupid.

Quote:
I attempted it in the 70s after reading LOTR, and put it aside
Whoah...I wasn't even born in the 70's! lol: not to make you feel old, I just did a double take...Nope: wasn't born until June 12, 1987. *sigh* But I AM reading the Silmarillion now. I love the wording that Tolkien uses in all of his texts.
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Old 03-26-2002, 04:18 PM   #34
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Well it's good to see people reading it! i will say this if there is anyone here who hasn't read lotr or hobbit then Read Sil First!, but skip the last section of it and read the other 2
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