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Old 03-23-2004, 09:52 PM   #26
Petty Dwarf
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Join Date: Mar 2003
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Petty Dwarf has just left Hobbiton.
I have a few more thoughts before the entire matter is settled.

Quote:
ž 14... But {thou must understand, Ălfwine,} that when the Ainur had beheld this habitation in a vision and had seen the Children of Il˙vatar arise therein, then many of the most mighty of the Holy Ones bent all their thought and their desire towards that place. And of these Melkor was the chief, even as he was in the beginning the greatest of the Ainur who took part in the Music. And he feigned, even to himself at first, that he desired to go thither and order all things for the good of the Children of Il˙vatar, controlling the turmoils of the heat and the cold that had come to pass through him. But he desired rather to subdue to his will both Elves and Men, envying the gifts with which Il˙vatar promised to endow them; and he wished himself to have subjects and servants, and to be called Lord, and to be a master over other wills.
Quote:
ž21 Thus it came to pass that of the Holy Ones some abode still with Il˙vatar beyond the confines of the World; but others, and among them many of the greatest and most fair, took the leave of Il˙vatar and descended into it. But this condition Il˙vatar made, or it is the necessity of their love, that their power should henceforth be contained and bounded in the World, and be within it for ever, so that they are its life and it is theirs. And therefore{, Ălfwine,} we name them the Valar, the Powers of the World.
Aiwendil wrote:
Quote:
These clearly suggest that some or much of the surrounding text is the invention of Pengolodh. That is - surely he is not simply reading Rumil's text and adding only phrases like "thou must understand, Aelfwine". He is giving an oral account, no doubt based closely on Rumil's written account, but not matching it word for word. We have so far ignored the fact that in the old version it was an oral account and in our new version it is a written one; we have not tried to wipe out Pengolodh's embellishments and reconstruct Rumil's written text because there is no way of establishing which words exactly Rumil used. Instead, we have more or less pretended that Pengolodh's oral version is exactly Rumil's written version, with only obvious first and second person phrases removed.
These could suggest Pendolo­ was adding on to R˙mil at those points, but I find that doubtful. They contain big sections of the general plot which must have first occured in R˙mil's version, or else his version was severly lacking. I think those addresses to Ălfwine were used for emphasis, and to convey the feel of conversation. It's not the same situation as this Yavanna line. We know for sure it was not in R˙mil's.


Quote:
But think not, Ălfwine, that the shapes wherein the Great Ones array themselves are not at all times like unto the shapes of kings and queens of the Children of Il˙vatar; for at whiles they may clothe them in their own thought, made visible in forms terrible and wonderful. And I myself, long years agone, in the land of the Valar have seen Yavanna in the likeness of a Tree; and the beauty and majesty of that form could not be told in words, not unless all the things that grow in the earth, from the least unto the greatest, should sing in choir together, making unto their queen an offering of song to be laid before the throne of Il˙vatar.
Petty Dwarf wrote:
Quote:
I think keeping the sentence intact as a footnote is best because the intent of the sentence is expressing the intensely personal. Pengolo­'s own experience of having seen a Vala in this beyond-Treebeard shape was so striking that he had to interject it here.
Aiwendil responded:
Quote:
I'm not sure that this is relevant, but I disagree. I don't see the passage as having fundamentally to do with Pengolodh at all, but rather with the Valar.
This is essentially a matter of semantics, but I don't think either of us is wrong. The example Pengolo­ gives illustrates an essential facet of the nature of the Valar told in the previous sentence: they they are not bound by any one shape. But he goes further by giving an example he himself had experienced. He tells Ălfwine both what he saw (And I myself, long years agone, in the land of the Valar have seen Yavanna in the likeness of a Tree) which sufficiently illustrates the point that the Valar can clothe themselves in shapes different than elf or man. He then goes further, adding his appreciation of that form (the beauty and majesty of that form could not be told in words, not unless all the things that grow in the earth, from the least unto the greatest, should sing in choir together, making unto their queen an offering of song to be laid before the throne of Il˙vatar.) which is a personal judgement based on the experience. Another person, an orc let's say, might have a different judgement.

The entire passage has a great deal to do with Pengolo­ and the AinulindalŰ itself. It gives us a glimpse of Pengolo­'s character we may lose if we take the experience away from him. CT deleted the character completely, we should try not to. That Pengolo­ saw Yavanna in tree-form we know. But was he the only one or was he with others? We can't answer that with the information we have. The "some" with which you would replace "I myself" does that in effect.
Also he saw Yavanna "long years agone": an indication that this incident, and maybe even the R˙milian AinulindalŰ existed far earlier than this account we're creating.

Remember, R˙mil and his AinulindalŰ never left Valinor. The version Tolkien wrote was an oral retelling of that by Pengolo­ sometime after the Anglo-Saxons invaded Britain. TftE's version is based on the assumption that this is a work translated by Bilbo in Rivendell, which must have been written by an Exile.
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Last edited by Petty Dwarf; 03-23-2004 at 09:58 PM.
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