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Old 10-01-2002, 01:33 AM   #1
Ar-Luman
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Sting If you had to omit one part

Even though close to everyone here believes that J.R.R Tolkien is one of the greatest authors of all time, please bear with me and humor this question. If you had to leave out any part of the LotR or the Silm, (I limit the question to these books because I am positive that the majority of fans have read them) what part and why. Lets try to take a neutral stance on this.
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Old 10-01-2002, 02:56 AM   #2
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I for myself would rather add than omit anything [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]
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Old 10-01-2002, 04:29 AM   #3
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Okay the what would you add?
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Old 10-01-2002, 08:22 AM   #4
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Add the affairs of the Blue Wizards and more on Radagast.
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Old 10-01-2002, 12:42 PM   #5
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Sting

I must say that to omit any part, no matter how little, would have a bad effect. Obviously, now that its published and everyone has read it. When he was writing it, Tolkien could have left out a tiny bit and we would be none the wiser.

But I could never take part out.
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Old 10-01-2002, 02:34 PM   #6
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I woulda taken out the part in the Tale of Years when it tells about Merry and Pippin dead. [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img] [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img] [img]smilies/frown.gif[/img]

And by the way, yall do know that ROTK the movie will include the appendices, or at least parts of them? I have seen pictures of Sam as Mayor, and some that could only be Arwen at the end of the Tale of Aragorn adn Arwen, and stuff! Samwise Gamgee, Mayor of Michel Delving and the Shire. Meriadoc Brandybuck, Master of Buckland. And let's not forget: Peregrin Took, the Took and the Thain of the Shire. All of whom are made Counsellors of the King the year after Pippin attains his office. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

Sorry, just had to add all that detail, I am so excited.
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Old 10-01-2002, 03:10 PM   #7
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I would never wish ot omit anything. If I had to pick, though, I would have to say Tom Bombadil. Or if we don't omit him, can we at least have some more info on him? Nothing against him, but I just hate that we don't know anything about him!
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Old 10-01-2002, 04:13 PM   #8
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Silmaril

I would add a whole other book about what happened to all the minor characters after the War - like Imrahil. What happens to him? Or how about Ioreth? And Fatty Bolger! And Quickbeam!

I love all of these characters, but he never really goes into what happened to them.

And I want to know what the Elves thought when Legolas arrived in the Undying Lands with a dwarf!
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Old 10-01-2002, 04:16 PM   #9
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Old 10-01-2002, 07:00 PM   #10
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Sting

you best not be talking bout me!!!
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Old 10-02-2002, 12:47 AM   #11
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1420!

Omitting - I'd say Tom Bombadil, no question, if only because it's one of the few omissions (other than a few scenery descriptions) which wouldn't have a serious ripple-effect on the rest of the book. Tom is a great character in himself, and the scenes with him are definitely entertaining, but if you make a clean lift of him, and of the Old Forest episode with Old Man Willow, I honestly don't think you lost much out of the story. It doesn't really contribute to the characters' development in any way (except to show how helpless they are in the beginning, but to be honest Weathertop and the scenes where they meet with the Black Riders on the road and in Bree are enough to do that); Tom basically saves them from a side-trip gone sour and then disappears. Gandalf makes a few one-sentence references to him at the Council of Elrond, and at the end when he says he's going to have a long talk with Bombadil, but these could be cut painlessly.

Not that I'm saying they SHOULD be, of course [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]. Just that if anything had to be edited out, that would be my choice.
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Old 10-02-2002, 01:04 AM   #12
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I have been recalling all that I could of the LotR and the Silm and I would have to agree w/Kalimac. Although I ponder on the character of Tom B. and he raises many questions and feeds my curiosity, the world of M.E would be no less fantastic w/out him. Saying that, I still enjoy every part of the books, including Tom B.
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Old 10-02-2002, 01:16 AM   #13
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Quote:
by Legalos

Add the affairs of the Blue Wizards and more on Radagast.
aye, that's it. Once I've written a story, where Blue Wizards established a realm in the East, and their messanger took part in Council of Elrond, and travelled with 9 Walkers as an affiliate [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 10-02-2002, 01:49 AM   #14
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Sting

I would politely ask Mr. Tolkien to please reconsider the phrasing of 'Praise them with great praise.' Surely there is a way to say this ringingly, without using the same word twice in the same sentence?

I would add more visual detail to the events after the destruction of the ring, and before the Scouring of the Shire.
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Old 10-02-2002, 03:22 PM   #15
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Silmaril

As with a few others, I'd have to say Tom Bombadil. In a way, I never really felt that he was part of the story to begin with. My theory (and this may be heresy, for all I know) is that Tolkien wanted to include the Barrow Downs because they're such an important part of British history, but he needed a character with a reason to save the hobbits. He could have just introduced Strider, but it might have seemed a bit forced.

I don't know. It's just my little idea.

Marileangorifurnimaluim, isn't 'praise them with great praise' a translation anyway? In my Greek lessons we're learning about a certain type of word... ack, I wish I could remember the name, internal pronouns or something... but the Greeks used to say 'sacrifice a sacrifice'... it's like 'dance a dance'. I think it's partly to give emphasis. I don't know, I like the archaic-ness of that line. It sounds kind of Biblical, don't you think?
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Old 10-02-2002, 03:30 PM   #16
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Silmaril

Maril: I thought it was poetical.
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Old 10-02-2002, 08:17 PM   #17
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Leave out something? [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img] I don't know if I could leave anything out, but if I did it would not be Tom Bombadil. To me, that was the "safe" part of the book. In the council of Elrond, they toyed with the idea of handing the ring to Bombadil, and it was declared [somewhere] that his forest and domain would be the last to fall to Sauron.

When I read the rest of the book, knowing that there was a safe place, (or semi-safe) helped me to read the rest of the TLOTR. While I read all the scary parts, it made me feel as if there was still someone else ME could turn to for help. [At the time, I knew nothing of the Valar. Or that Gandalf was Maia.]

So while I can't say what I would leave out, it wouldn't be Bombadil! [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]
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Old 10-02-2002, 11:09 PM   #18
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Well, if you tied me down to a chair and threatened me with bodily harm, I guess it would be Bombadil. That or how much dilly-dalleying they did between Gondor and the Shire. Sure, Tolkien wanted to give Sharkey time to do his dirty work, but it was so obvious. But under normal circumstances... just skip ahead to your favorite part on repeat readings, if you must.

Though, after that, I feel thirsty for all the information Tolkien can give about the Fellowship and their children. I thought it was so sweet in the appendix where they said that Pippin's son married one of Sam's daughters. Ah, the perfect scenario for those of us torn between Pippin and Sam as our favorite hobbit. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 10-03-2002, 02:34 PM   #19
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Sting

I definitely agree with Diamond on that. The appendices should have been part of the story, in my opinion. I really cannot chose whether I like Sam or Pippin or Merry better.
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Old 10-04-2002, 04:31 PM   #20
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Silmaril

The Tom Bombadil parts are my least favorite, but I have to admit that I am getting used to the old fellow. I do like Goldberry, and we can't have her without Tom, now can we? [img]smilies/confused.gif[/img]
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Old 10-04-2002, 04:33 PM   #21
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Silmaril

I agree with that "safe" part of the book idea as far as Bombadil goes. Tolkien freaked us out with that whole Black Riders thing, and now is calming us down with some "merry dol, derry dol."

It's a common literary device - look for it in other books. Between exciting parts, there's a break. A love scene is one such break, as is a party.
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Old 02-15-2003, 05:04 AM   #22
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1420!

One part? I won't deny that I don't enjoy every single episode in Tolkien's works.

I'd omit the Akallabêth. The moral aspect is nice, and I appreciate the tying in of the legend of Atlantis (although I would have preferred a Biblical Flood reference instead). I love the image of the Ships of the Faithful riding up out of the ruin, sails torn and all. But that chapter just doesn't interest me very much. Same with Aldarion and Erendis in Unfinished Tales (although it's cool to hear more about Gil-Galad).

I think that Númenor is less interesting because it has no neighbours to have wars or alliances with. Everything is internal, and that's boring. I'd much rather hear about the Númenórean realms in Middle-Earth. By the way, I think that Númenórean is the coolest word ever.
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Old 02-15-2003, 01:50 PM   #23
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Sting

Well, alot of stuff in the first half of FOTR could be omitted. Tom Bombadil for one, like everyone else said, and old forest and barrowdowns part. It's just kinda boring, and it threw first time readers off their heels really bad. I am not saying it should be omitted, it's a nice build up. I don't think anthing in Sim should be ommited. It's brief as it is. I think more stuff should be added to it. Sim is also hard to read(boring, really) because it's so vague and achiac. It's just as if you are reading Eldar Edda. You need time to get used to it.
Oh, and it's way too tragic. That also threw people off.
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Old 02-15-2003, 02:02 PM   #24
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Sting

I agree with Doug. The Akallabeth through me off the rest of the stories, so I had to go back and read them all again, which wasn't actually so bad, but you get the picture.

In FoTR, definitely Tom Bombadil, all the "hey ho's" and "derry dol's" tend to get to you. [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]
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Old 02-24-2003, 05:59 PM   #25
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Tolkien

Well- I liked Bombadil, so he shouldn't be cut out, though I really enjoy making fun of the "merry dol" type things... [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img] , but if it had to be something, either him or the part in the appendices where it tells about the hobbits becoming Thainn and Mayor and Took and stuff like that. I think you should have been allowed to fantacize on that part. But then again, if we had, I would probably be wishing that Tolkien had written more about what happened to them. I don't have a problem with any other part of the appendices.
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Old 02-24-2003, 09:03 PM   #26
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Sting

Some important things do happen that i wouldn't like cut out. Doesn't Pippin get his sword during his encounter with the barrow wight. Where would we all be posting if the barrow downs where cut out?
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Old 02-24-2003, 09:37 PM   #27
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Silmaril

I don't know about omitting any parts, as I can't imagine the story any differently. BUT, I would like some more details about Elladan & Elrohir. Tolkein gives very little information about them and I find them fascinating.
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Old 02-24-2003, 10:21 PM   #28
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Question

I can tell that not many people here like Bombadil. Of course, I don't like him either. Tom Bombadil being in there, well, it just sort of delayed things. There was no real point for his existance. He only shows up at one point in the books, and we don't even know what he is!!! Does anyone know of a good reason to keep Tom in the books? In my opinion, Bombadil is totally irrelevant to the plot.

You can tell I don't like Tom that much...

BTW,
Welcome to the Downs, Alatáriël!!
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Old 02-24-2003, 10:27 PM   #29
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1420!

I absolutely could not do this. If I had a gun to my head and had to choose, then I'd say, "Pull the trigger and get it over with!"

But really, if I had to under the threat of something valuable to me, like my life, I'd have to think about it for a long long time and then reread each book many times before I come to a decision, if I ever do.
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Old 02-24-2003, 10:53 PM   #30
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1420!

Why don't you people like Tom?!?!? Oh well, you have a right to your opinion. But I have to say that part along with the Old Forest, the Barrow-Downs, and Bree are my favorite parts of the book. Tom doesn't seem to add that much to the plot, but obviouly Tolkien put him in there for a reason. Maybe Tolkien put him in, and then discussed him at the Council of Elrond because he wanted to expand his role but in the end chose not to. And then maybe Tolkien found that he could not just simply leave Tom out. I know that I wouldn't leave him out, even if he didn't add to the plot, because there's no harm in keeping him there, and you want to keep something that you've worked so hard on. Maybe Tolkien did this to give use a little surprise, or to keep the plot slow, so it builds up suspense towards the end of the story, or maybe for the sake of the whole 'you will find help where you least expect it' part.
Quote:
I just hate that we don't know anything about him!
Really?!?! That's one thing I love about him. He's an enigma, a mystery. He's something that you know little about and are allowed to use your own mind to make guesses on what he is. And some things are best left mysteries. It adds to the enchantment and mystical qualities of it. If we knew everything about Middle-earth, it think it might become boring and repetetive. And this site, the BD, would become boring and useless as there would be nothing really to discuss after short while when everything would have been said. So, there has to be aspects of mystery in Middle-earth, and they range so it's not drab and plain. I truly respect that from Tolkien.
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Old 02-25-2003, 12:59 AM   #31
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Pipe

Yes, I would have to agree with many of you, it would be very hard to take out anything from any of those books. All the different parts fit together very well.
If I could add anything to the story, I would want to find out more about the other wizards other than Gandalf and Saurman, and I would also want to find out more about what happens to the rest of Middle Earth during the events of the Ring. Like we know that the elves and the beings of Middle Earth were battling against the dark forces in the other parts, but we know not many details about that.
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Old 02-25-2003, 03:59 AM   #32
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I would leave out the part that made ppl think Balrogs had wings! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 02-25-2003, 07:50 AM   #33
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Sting

I would like to add some information on the Noldor (Especially the house of Finwe) and their lives in Valinor.

There is some info.in HoME 10 and the Silmarillion, but I would like more.

Or what about Tom Bombadil's and Gandalf's conversation close to the end of LoTR.

I would be reluctant to change anything, but Finduilas and Turin becoming lovers/married would've been nice. Or at least them admitting that they loved each other.
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Old 02-25-2003, 11:05 AM   #34
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Tolkien

Quote:
Or what about Tom Bombadil's and Gandalf's conversation close to the end of LoTR.
I agree. That would have been most interesting to see. Though I'm probably going to be hurt for this sometime soon, I would have to have seen less songs and such. I adore them, and Bilbo's song right before the council is my favorite. But it comes to a point I sometimes skip over them. Especially when Bormoir died, it was: Aragorn sung....then Legolas sung...then Aragorn sung again. It was touching....but a little too much for me, I guess. :-\
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Old 02-25-2003, 11:09 AM   #35
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Take-away: revolting Old Forest, Bombadil faery pastiche.

Add: more great, fascinating hobbit genealogies.

:/
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Old 02-25-2003, 11:37 AM   #36
Bêthberry
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How shocking! You agree with Peter Jackson's direction in the movie, Rim. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] Or, better yet, get it right.

Give Aragorn better lines. Or, heal the rift between the archaic/heroic and the contemporary idiom.

Quit dithering over Galadriel's role.

[ February 25, 2003: Message edited by: Bethberry ]
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Old 02-27-2003, 03:57 PM   #37
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There is a reason that Tolkien put Bombadil in, other than some sort of highup one that I won't understand. Bombadil was a favorite bedtime story of his childrens. [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 02-28-2003, 11:36 AM   #38
Lyta_Underhill
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Hi, y'all!
I appreciate Grounds-Keeper Willie's comments about the beauty of an enigma in the midst of a story with so many absolutes, so to speak! I think having a character that is unaffected by the Ring in any way whatsoever gives an extra dimension to the story, so that even though the quest is encompassing, it is not ALL-encompassing, if you take my meaning. There are parts of the world that have no inkling of the Ring, and this hints at a much larger world with larger mysteries. I like this concept when the Palantiri are mentioned as well-the mysteries of the past.

Also, without the Barrow Downs incident, we wouldn't have gotten to see the surprise and horror of the Witch King at Pelennor, when he realized he was being assaulted with a blade of his ancient enemy! Go Merry! I think the equipping of the hobbits with the armor of Westernesse gives a sort of "long effect" to them, an even stronger tie to legend and the past...but I ramble and these are just my impressions.

To sum up, I wouldn't subtract, and I certainly wouldn't take out the part about Merry's and Pippin's deaths (per an earlier post), for they were natural and they held great honor in their final resting! I think I would have added something more in the appendices about the final journey to Valinor of Samwise (and perhaps the real fate of the mortals who went to Valinor), although I enjoyed the part where Sam comes back after Frodo leaves and says, unassumingly, "Well, I'm back!" as if nothing really happened. I suppose one could go on in this vein forever, but I will stop here! Thank you for your indulgence!

Cheers,
Lyta

[ February 28, 2003: Message edited by: Lyta_Underhill ]
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Old 03-06-2003, 05:54 PM   #39
The Squatter of Amon Rûdh
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Sting

As an addendum to the above, I have a couple of quotations from Tolkien's letters to share with you. Both of them refer to The Lord of the Rings, although I think that they are equally pertinent to the legendarium as a whole:

Quote:
It is written in my life blood, such as that is, thick or thin; and I can no other. I fear it must stand or fall as it substantially is.
Quote:
...every part has been written many times. Hardly a word in its 600,000 or more has been unconsidered. And the placing, size, style, and contribution to the whole of all the features, incidents, and chapters has been laboriously pondered.
I would say that this is reason enough to leave well alone, even in speculation. Tolkien put a lot of himself into his work over decades of writing, and it seems to me an insult to his dedication and ability to suggest "improvements", especially where they seek to cut certain parts of his carefully considered narrative for the sake of personal taste.
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Old 03-06-2003, 06:18 PM   #40
Mister Underhill
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And those quotations beg this obligatory addition, from the foreword to LotR:
Quote:
The most critical reader of all, myself, now finds many defects, minor and major, but being fortunately under no obligation either to review the book or to write it again, he will pass over these in silence, except one that has been noted by others: the book is too short.
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