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Old 06-18-2001, 08:28 AM   #1
lindil
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Ring * * Principles of editing the Fall of Gondolin/Translations from the Elvish * *

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I am not sure if we will be able to set down X # of rules and then treat the texts like an algebra problem, [well we could - I am just not sure it would be so great].
But on the other side of the coin very clear working guidelines will most certainly help things move along in a large majority of cases.

few points were listed in the now damaged introduction thread , so how about we start from scratch?

lindil

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[ October 25, 2002: Message edited by: lindil ]
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Old 06-18-2001, 11:33 AM   #2
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Re: Principles of editing the Silmarillion

I would submit the following as a provisional set of rules to follow:

1. What is published is canon.

2. Tolkien's latest conceptions are canon, except where they: a) violate the 1st law or
b) contradict the rest of the legendarium in an intractible way.

3. No new names may be introduced; all names that are changed must be changed either in accordance with a universal change by JRRT or with a logical reason and a sound etymology.

4. The actual words used by Tolkien may not be changed unless:
a) they are changed only to bring them into agreement with established canon or
b) they are changed for unity of style (this is obviously a dubious one, requiring some debate).

5. It is not for us to decide what is aesthetically superior; where we have multiple options, we must choose from among them based on the above principles, not on our preferences. A corallary is that we may not disregard anything written by JRRT unless it is invalidated by one of the above principles; i.e., we must have a REASON for rejecting something. (This one might also have some exceptions that can be agreed upon.)

What does everyone else think?

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[ October 15, 2002: Message edited by: Aiwendil ]
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Old 06-18-2001, 09:22 PM   #3
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Re: Principles of editing the Silmarillion

Here is a very rough draft of some extra definition for canon. Wording here is hasty and probably abominable, but I think the concepts are both good and necessary.

What constitutes Canon

There are four levels:
*****1. What was published or openly distributed by J.R.R. Tolkien during his lifetime. (I use the term openly distributed to cover the &quot;Guide to the Names in the Lord of the Rings&quot; distributed to translators but only published after his death in Jared Lobdell's A Tolkien Compass.) Material in later published editions takes precidence over material in earlier editions except where it can be demonstrated to be in error.
*****2. Material written privately but distributed during Tolkien's lifetime. (I am really talking about the material in Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. This is also material he knowingly released.)
*****3. Material by Tolkien published after Tolkien's death.
************a). Documents edited as far as possible exactly as Tolkien left them.
************b). Documents edited with some cleanup by another (e.g. Christopher Tolkien).
************Material of class 3b takes precedence over material of class 3a when it is demonstratably later.
*****4. Editorial reworking by or under the direction of Christopher Tolkien.

Material in a lower level that specifically corrects material in a higher level may take precedence over the higher level. I mean things like the accounts of the hair-color of the Eldar published after Tolkien's death which make it clear that the statement in Appendix F is in error, the more complete list of the Kings of Númenor published in Unfinished Tales, the more complete genealogy of the White Tree of Gondor, and other matters of that kind. This material should only take priority when it is obviously a correction of, or superior original to, or conscious alteration of higher-level material. The change of Orc to Ork might be such a change. If a letter from J.R.R. Tolkien surfaced that stated that Celebrimbor's Fëanorian descent in The Lord of the Rings was an error to be removed, that would take priority.

Other Thoughts

On point 4, it may occasionally be necessary to change things like singular verbs to plural or the reverse, add words like &quot;there&quot;, and do other very minor cleanup. This might come under style, but I think as cases arise where this seems necessary, allowable templates might be included in the principles at this place.

Should there be a set of notes justifiying each manuscript decision as part of the project? I think so. The reasons for any decisions may be very complex and intertwined, a decision made in one case may effect many other cases, and unless the reasons are all recorded may be forgotten and confused in a short time even by those who most promoted them. Also, it means if a decision made later effects other portions of the project, it will be easier to identify those portions and make the necessary changes. For example, my list of name changes in the &quot;Fall of Gondolin&quot; discussion which gives sources and reasons as necessary should probably eventually be extended to the entire project, so that at any time someone can see whether there is a preferred form for a name, and the reason for the preference. eg. Ylmir to Ulmo per &quot;The Shibboleth of Fëanor&quot;, note 21, which denies any Sindarin forms for the names of the Valar save for Manwë, Varda, and Oromë, and states the Quenya forms were used in Sindarin; and also per the non-appearance of this form in post-Etymologies writing.

This also requires further standards on citation of the works. Page numbers won't do. They vary too widely from edition to edition.

Point 2b doesn't really work as phrased, though I'm sure I know what you mean: this is to be a &quot;Sun and Moon were fruit and flower&quot; version. Perhaps the answer is to specifically say so. Even creating a full Myths Transformed version would not contradict &quot;the rest of the legendarium&quot;, only parts of it.

I would suggest also that aesthetics be allowed as a basis for decision, but at the very lowest level. (It obviously will be anyway, so recognize it accordingly. We would not be doing this if not for aesthetics.)


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Old 06-19-2001, 08:14 AM   #4
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Re: Principles of editing the Silmarillion

Jallanite

I agree with your categorizing of what should take precedence. No comments there.


Material in a lower level that specifically corrects material in a higher level may take precedence over the higher level. I mean things like the accounts of the hair-color of the Eldar published after Tolkien's death which make it clear that the statement in Appendix F is in error


What exactly do you mean here? What specific account are you referring to?

If a letter from J.R.R. Tolkien surfaced that stated that Celebrimbor's Fëanorian descent in The Lord of the Rings was an error to be removed, that would take priority.

I agree here as well. If something is obviously a correction from Letters, from a later date than the LoTR and it relates to our Silmarillion project, AND is not overruled by another correction in for instance HoMe 10, 11 or 12, it should have precendence.

Lindil, or anyone else, might it be a good idea to add an appendix or Myths Transformed , specifically indicated as the Profs latest musings/writings? We've acknowledged that it cannot be reconciled with the rest, but it does have considerable worth... Perhaps in vol. III , along with Laws and Customs, Quendi and Eldar etc.?






"In those days the Noldor still roamed the Hither Lands, Mightiest among the Children of Iluvatar, fair and tall and their beautiful voices were still heard by mere mortals"</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000097>Pengolod h</A> at: 6/19/01 10:16:05 am
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Old 06-19-2001, 06:10 PM   #5
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Principles of editing the Silmarillion

Jallanite: I think I would rather combine your numbers 2 and 3, and sort these by the time of their writing, rather than consider his letters more canonical than HoME. For instance, your system would have a 1950 letter take precedence over a 1960 manuscript; I think this should be the other way around. The major exception of course, is my 2b (which you correctly surmise refers mainly to myths transformed, though also to such things as the later Galadriel story).

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Old 06-20-2001, 03:00 AM   #6
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Re: Principles of editing the Silmarillion

Aiwendil, since the exact date of a letter is usually mentioned, it is easy to compare it with the date of the manuscript. Then decide which one is the later writing and then also review if it doesn't present serious problems with &quot;the Rest&quot; of the tale.

"In those days the Noldor still roamed the Hither Lands, Mightiest among the Children of Iluvatar, fair and tall and their beautiful voices were still heard by mere mortals"</p>
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Old 06-21-2001, 06:01 AM   #7
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Re: Principles of editing the Silmarillion

Jallanite's revision of Pengoldh's principles : [w/ Pengolodh's suggestion of combining 2 and 3.

What constitutes Canon:
There are four levels:
*****1. What was published or openly distributed by J.R.R.
Tolkien during his lifetime. (I use the term openly
distributed to cover the &quot;Guide to the Names in the Lord
of the Rings&quot; distributed to translators but only
published after his death in Jared Lobdell's A Tolkien
Compass.) Material in later published editions takes
precidence over material in earlier editions except where
it can be demonstrated to be in error.
*****2./3. Material written privately but distributed during
Tolkien's lifetime. (I am really talking about the material
in Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien. This is also material he
knowingly released.)
***** Material by Tolkien published after Tolkien's death.
************a). Documents edited as far as possible exactly
as Tolkien left them.
************b). Documents edited with some cleanup by
another (e.g. Christopher Tolkien).
************Material of class 3b takes precedence over
material of class 3a when it is demonstratably later.
from alater post{{since the exact date of a letter is usually
mentioned, it is easy to compare it with the date of the
manuscript. Then decide which one is the later writing
and then also review if it doesn't present serious
problems with &quot;the Rest&quot; of the tale. }}
*****4. Editorial reworking by or under the direction of
Christopher Tolkien.



jallanite posted <blockquote>Quote:<hr> Material in a lower level that specifically corrects material
in a higher level may take precedence over the higher
level. I mean things like the accounts of the hair-color of
the Eldar published after Tolkien's death which make it
clear that the statement in Appendix F is in error, the
more complete list of the Kings of Númenor published in
Unfinished Tales, the more complete genealogy of the
White Tree of Gondor, and other matters of that kind.
This material should only take priority when it is
obviously a correction of, or superior original to, or
conscious alteration of higher-level material. The change
of Orc to Ork might be such a change. If a letter from
J.R.R. Tolkien surfaced that stated that Celebrimbor's
Fëanorian descent in The Lord of the Rings was an error
to be removed, that would take priority. <hr></blockquote>

Lindil: there is a major issue here. If we adopt changes , such as the hair color [hypotheticallly] which JRRT stated he wanted changed, but is not yet corrected in the LotR, then what is published [the last edition] is no longer canon. We have lost homogenity w/ the current canon - on a good principle ,but lost it none the less I think [ork is an exceptional l example,since I think JRRT said something re: wanting it used specifically for the Silm. ]

I suppose there are not many points like this but if a 'celebrimbor must be a gondolindhrim- change this in the LotR app.' letter surfaced - I would be inclined to wait to use it as canon until the estate/CRT revised the LotR.

Otherwise we have a canon that is more 'correct' than the published canon - feels odd to me.

re: #4 - this would mean that CRT's Ruin of Doriath would stand over the [what I see as hopelessly obsolete] II/IV versons of Doriath ? using the princple of &quot;Material in a lower level that specifically corrects material in a higher level may take precedence over the higher level.

After a fair bit of soul-searching and 'facing reality ' awile back - I came to the opinion of using CRT's editorial changes and creations where nothing of JRRT's would do 1/2 as well is an contradictory [to the whole goal of a new Silm canon] accomadation -but -the best one available, in that, JRRT specifically left the Silm for him to deal w/ and left him nothing usable for Ruin of Doriath sort of like Frodo fixing up Bilbo's work, to use a close to home analogy.

I am listing Jallinite's later note as it's own point here as it seems to be a principle in and of itself, although not a 'level of Canon' .
5. J: I would suggest also that aesthetics be allowed as abasis for decision, but at the very lowest level. (It obviously will be anyway, so recognize it accordingly. We would not be doing this if not for aesthetics.)
Lindil:I agree it should be a low-level principle, but one none the less.. I think it is important to realize that by tinkering w/ this at all we are trying to improve on what exists in 77/01.I have characterized the situation as &quot;trying to emulate what JRRT might do if he were stuck on a desert isle w/ HoME, UT, 77/01 and no pen and paper just scissors and tape&quot; [he would have to update the names later] .

It is mainly a principle I would reserve for the blatantly incongrous LT material , on the grounds that JRRT himself was merciless at changing names that 'didn't work'. It is my understanding that beauty of the words increased even as the clarity and beauty of the writing increased, so to leave in a Rog [as a blatant example currently underquestion] just doesn't work - as CRT saw.
This principle will of course have to be applied [if it gets a unanimous/majority approval] cautiously and reviewed/voted on in each case I would imagine.

~~~pt 2~~~
#1
Working Procedures
1[jallanite suggested] Should there be a set of notes justifiying each manuscript decision as part of the project? I think so.
lindil: agrees-
on a related note I proposed and then backtracked on a bracketing system [for documentation not a final 'read at home'/'published by the estate' <img src=smile.gif ALT=""> version. That would clearly show where each line or word [except name updates] came from. here is a brief example:
[II]
&lt;V&gt;
{X}

{Turgon foolishly decided} &lt;to ignore the words of Ulmo&gt; [thus dooming nearly all the men women and children of Gondolin to death,rape and torment] -

It looks unweildy in a sentence where there are 3 or four changes but this would be rather rare I think. Italics/bold /underlining could also be used although this would be very hard to read .

perhaps better would be an * and footnote system or margin notes - this all refers to sources used - documenting the reason a section was changed from the base text would still be a seperate document. we could simply use the threads we are currently generating [w/ a bit of editing maybe - thinking of Aragorn's anscestors and theearly part of the Kings of the Noldor threads]

as an aside - even if the Estate rejects using our new Silm I wonder if the editing discussions could legitimately be posted / sold ? Not a pressing point at the moment.
#2
jallanite posted:

On point 4, it may occasionally be necessary to change
things like singular verbs to plural or the reverse, add
words like &quot;there&quot;, and do other very minor cleanup. This
might come under style, but I think as cases arise where
this seems necessary, allowable templates might be
included in the principles at this place.

I would be inclined for our pilot project to attempt [at least initially] to not go that far w/ editing , for maximum credibility. I say we reserve this degree of editing to a larger council , if they agree it is truly necesarry to produce a significantly better edition. If in the course of our FoG we discover that we are really losing something, then i would be willing to reconsider, but I am for going at it w/ the idea of JRRT's [and the 77/01] only.

#3 J:This also requires further standards on citation of the works. Page numbers won't do. They vary too widely from edition to edition.

Lindil:Even in X-XII where there is only HB?
Does anyone have the british HoME X-XII so we can compare?
An option [and I already began this w/ my II FoG ] is to number each paragraph in any given chapter/appendix, a fair bit of tedious work, I am def. open to a better way.

------------- misc. points----------
Pengoldh posted:
Lindil, or anyone else, might it be a good idea to add an appendix or Myths Transformed , specifically indicated as the Profs latest musings/writings? We've acknowledged that it cannot be reconciled with the rest, but it does have considerable worth... Perhaps in vol. III , along
with Laws and Customs, Quendi and Eldar etc.?

Vol.III would cert. be the place for it - but I think better [for someone/s] to do an entire Myth's Transformed Silmarillion than to start including the endless possible variants [of which MT along w/ the later Galadriel/Celeborn versions are by far the most comprehensive]

I think it would simply take away from the unity we are tring to form w/ the LotR.

more thoughts ?

lindil



Lindil is oft found on posting on the Silmarillion Project at the Barrowdowns and working onthe 2nd Elven/Christian discussion board<a href="http://pub72.ezboard.com/bosanwe" >Osanwe</a>, and Gilthalion's http://pub41.ezboard.com/btarostineruhirTar Ost-in-Eruhir</A>. and Finrod prophecieth to Andreth " Therefore Eru,if He will not relinquish His work to Melkor... must come in to conquer him. </p>
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Old 06-21-2001, 11:25 AM   #8
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Principles of editing the Silmarillion

&lt;&lt;re: #4 - this would mean that CRT's Ruin of Doriath would stand over the [what I see as hopelessly obsolete] II/IV versons of Doriath ? using the princple of &quot;Material in a lower level that specifically corrects material in a higher level may take precedence over the higher level. &gt;&gt;

I don't think this falls into that category. I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that what jallanite had in mind here was such stuff as the hair color issue. At any rate, I don't think that CRT's corrections can be thus validated. This is especially true in certain places where CRT later corrects himself in HoME - for instance, The Ruin of Doriath. That's why I suggested the first level be the published Hobbit, LotR, etc. and the second level be the latest usable texts by JRRT. I think with the Ruin of Doriath we clearly must use The Wanderings of Hurin, and probably some of the Tale of Years from XI. But perhaps we shouldn't even start to think about that chapter before we get there.

&lt;&lt;I would be inclined for our pilot project to attempt [at least initially] to not go that far w/ editing , for maximum credibility. I say we reserve this degree of editing to a larger council , if they agree it is truly necesarry to produce a significantly better edition. If in the course of our FoG we discover that we are really losing something, then i would be willing to reconsider, but I am for going at it w/ the idea of JRRT's [and the 77/01] only. &gt;&gt;

I agree about the style issue, at least for the present. However, I think it would really be cutting off our options to not allow ourselves to rearrange a few words here and there in the process of combining different texts. There could conceivably be situations where we wouldn't be able to use a certain text simply because there's no way we can grammatically combine it with another one.

However, I would add a perhaps obvious rule that nonetheless must be considered: when combining texts, even if we retain the exact words, we must be careful not to distort the MEANING of either text. To take an extreme (and absurd) example: we could probably construct a completely different story simply by snipping individual words from all of the texts. We must be sure not to take anything he wrote out of context.

&lt;&lt;Vol.III would cert. be the place for it - but I think better [for someone/s] to do an entire Myth's Transformed Silmarillion than to start including the endless possible variants [of which MT along w/ the later Galadriel/Celeborn versions are by far the most comprehensive]&gt;&gt;

Agreed. While we're on the subject of Myths Transformed, however, might I suggest that even though we're not adopting the dramatically different cosmological myths, there might be some things from it that we can use? For example, Melkor's dispersion of power into Arda - it violates none of the established canon, it's clearly his latest thought on the subject, and it is (at least to me) quite aesthetically pleasing - though I'm not sure how we might incorporate it into the text.

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Old 06-21-2001, 04:36 PM   #9
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Re: Principles of editing the Silmarillion

I am probably just nitpicking, but there is no real problem with the hair colour statement in LotR App. F vis a vis the other writings in HoME and elsewhere (I presume the auburn haired Noldor are primarly implied). While the App. F note (&quot;They [the Quendi] were a race high and beautiful, the older Children of the world, and among them the Eldar were as kings ... They [the Eldar] were tall, fair of skin and grey-eyed, though their locks were dark, save in the golden house of Finarfin...&quot;. The Eldar here are the Sindar and Noldor. If we take this strictly it is reasonable to infer that All the Noldor and Sindar were dark-haired save only the descendants of Finarfin. JRRT does mention in various places that the Noldor and Sindar are similar in appearence (both dark-haired and fair though the Sindar are less tall and slighter in build than the Noldor). App F. agrees with this. This would rule out the red headed Feanorians (and by extension the silver haired Elwians). However JRRT is generalising in the App. F description. If the statement were to be strictly interpreted then they would be major problems in the actual canon itself. Glorfindel, a Noldo, is golden-haired, Celeborn, a Sinda, is silver-haired and Thranduil, a Sinda, is golden-haired. Hence no real contradiction.

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Old 06-21-2001, 08:52 PM   #10
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Re: Principles of editing the Silmarillion

It is generally recognized that there are errors in LR, some internal, and some revealed from examination of material published after JRRT's death.


Errors in respect to the Silmarillion tradition:


The Genealogy of Nimloth

In LR, &quot;The Steward and the King&quot;, Gandalf states:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Verily this is a sapling of the line of Nimloth the fair; and that was a seedling of Galathilion, and that a fruit of Telperion of many names, Eldest of Trees.<hr></blockquote>Christopher Tolkien discusses this in The People of Middle-earth (HoME 12) in &quot;The History of the Akallabêth&quot;, §12.

It appears to me that the White Tree of Túna/Tirion (which existed in BoLT) has been dropped accidently in the early Akallabêth account with which LR agrees. There Galathilion is the tree of the Lonely Isle. But in other accounts, which were written between the completion and publication of LR, Galathilion is the tree of Túna/Tirion and its offspring, the tree of Eressëa is named Celeborn. Considering the timing of these specification of the genealogy of Nimloth and the apparent missing link in the LR/Akallabêth A genealogy it would appear that JRRT definitely established the Nimloth line that his son included in QS77 before LR was published.

Tolkien established the lineage of Nimloth after the writing and before the publication of LR and never changed it after. The current text in LR is best explained as text that should have been revised but was missed.


2. The List of the Kings and Queens of Númenor

In Appendix A there are only 19 rulers of Númenor listed, but the last king, Ar-Pharazôn, is later said to be the twentieth. Christopher Tolkien covers this in Note 11 to &quot;The Line of Elros' in UT. Tar-Ardamin was accidently omitted in the list in LR.


3. The Accession date of Tar-Atanamir

In Appendix B this is given as 2251. In &quot;The Line of Elros&quot;, UT, Note 10, Christopher Tolkien states that 2251 was actually the death date of Tar-Atanamir this and other sources (though then emended in &quot;The Line of Elros&quot; to 2221. He then continues:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Thus the same year appears in different texts as both the date of his accession and the date of his death; and the whole structure of the chronology shows clearly that the former must be wrong.<hr></blockquote>It does indeed. The LR reference is wrong. Christopher Tolkien adds:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> I have little doubt therefore that the enty in the Tale of Years is in error for a correct reading: 2251 Death of Tar-Atanamir. Tar-Ancalimon takes the sceptre. Rebellion and division of the Númenoreans begins.<hr></blockquote>


4. Eldarin Hair Color

The account in Appendix F is very specific:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> They were a race high and beautiful, the older Children of the world, and among them the Eldar were as kings, who now are gone: the People of the Great Journey, the People of the Stars. They were tall, fair of skin and grey-eyed, though their locks were dark, save in the golden house of Finarfin;<hr></blockquote>So Glorfindel and Thranduil (who is golden-haired) in The Hobbit must be of the golden house of Finarfin as only in that house were there Eldar who did not have dark locks. That is what LR clearly says. Círdan and Celeborn are puzzles. An explanation often suggested before The Silmarillion appeared was that, as in humans, possibly age in Elves affected hair color, though Elves did not age in other ways, except eventually fading. Tolkien says &quot;their locks were dark[/i]&quot;.

So no silver-haired Míriel and no golden-haired Vanyar by this clear statement in Appendix F, no light locks among any pure-bred Eldar except for golden hair in the House of Finarfin. (The brown, dark-red locks among the Fëanorean might be allowed however, as being still in the category of &quot;dark locks&quot;, at least as compared to golden-haired and silver-haired.) And Glorfindel and Thranduil must be either of the House of Finrod or not of the Eldar, or possibly a half-breed with the East Elves who might have other hair colorings.

Tar Elenion is right enough on his comments on this passage, but we need a principle that recognizes that rightness, since we are generally going to squeeze every drop of meaning that we can out of every word, and want as much as possible to avoid anything arbitrary. The only reason Tar Elenion believes Tolkien is generalizing here is that he accepts the Silmarillion and HoME data on the House of Finarfin and hair color against what the LR text clearly says, which is just what we are not normally supposed to do.

Actually at every level of canon we must be able to discard what can be reasonably shown to be errors, mistakes made by Tolkien in copying or in writing one name when he meant another and so forth.

This passage, as Christopher Tolkien explains at the end of &quot;The Cottage of Lost Play&quot; in BoLT 1 and almost at the end of &quot;The Appendix on Languages&quot; in The People of Middle-Earth (HoME 12), was in the draft originally written about the Gnomes only, and in expanding and revising it something that applied properly to the Noldor (though only if you don't take it strictly) became applied to all the Eldar where, because of the entire kindred of the Vanyar, it is just wrong. But even when applied to the Noldor only the passage is flawed. Glorfindel is not explained properly, for example. It is not until &quot;Quendi and Eldar&quot; under Vanyar that Tolkien indicates there are other golden-haired Noldor from intermarriage with the Vanyar besides the House of Finarfin.

One remembers the Appendices were produced under great pressure.



There may be other statements in LR that should not stand. It would be perverse to insist on following any statements in LR that are simple errors in the text or overstatements that clearly do not mean what they seems to mean. This somehow needs to be stated in the principles. That Christopher Tolkien has not produced an edition of LR that corrects these is irrelevant. If his example matters, then use the precedent he has set in rightly ignoring these erroneous LR statements in QS77.



Major LR conflicts with all Silmarillion tradition

1. Durin awakes after the first rising of the Moon.

From &quot;A Journey in the Dark&quot;:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> The world was young, the mountains green,
No stain yet on the Moon was seen,
No words were laid on stream or stone
When Durin woke and walked alone.
<hr></blockquote>
This could be interpreted to mean no stain was yet seen on the Moon because no Moon was yet seen, but such forced interpretation does not convince and is surely not what Tolkien intended. Rather we have here an MT version of the tale, fitting in with Tolkien's removal of the mention of the &quot;raising of the Sun and Moon&quot; from The Hobbit and the change of &quot;twilight&quot; to &quot;twilight of our Sun and Moon&quot; referring to the East Elves who did not go to Faërie.


2. Treebeard's account of the Morgoth and the Elves

From &quot;Treebeard&quot;:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Elves began it, of course, waking trees up and teaching them to speak and learning their tree-talk. They always wished to talk to everything, the old Elves did. But then the Great Darkness came, and they passed away over the Sea, or fled into far valleys and hid themselves, and made songs about days that would never come again.<hr></blockquote>This doesn't fit with any other account. First come the Elves, they are interrupted in their creative activity by the Great Darkness, and some flee overseas and other to far valleys. Treebeard later remarks:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> It is a mark of evil things that came in the Great Darkness that they cannot abide the Sun;<hr></blockquote>When speaking of the Entwives he says:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Then when the Darkness came in the North, the Entwives crossed the Great River, and made new gardens, and tilled new fields, and we saw them more seldom. After the Darkness was overthrown ...<hr></blockquote>This all seems MT stuff, though not quite the same as the material actually appearing in Morgoth's Ring (HoME 10).

You can try to write your own Silmarillion using this as a basis, or ignore it. But the picture here doesn't fit with anything else.


Something in the principles must allow us to deal with these oddities, even if it is only a list of such material to be disregarded as too much at odds with the actual Silmarillion material.


Further thoughts:

Change 2(a) from:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> contradict the rest of the legendarium in an incontractible way<hr></blockquote>to<blockquote>Quote:<hr> are proposed changes that do not clearly indicate the exact details that must be changed and how they are to be changed<hr></blockquote>This now covers both cosmological issues and smaller items like changing Sador to a Drûg. One doesn't want to be forced to jettison whole sections of the work because one late sentence indicates they would have to be rewritten to fit a new concept, and one doesn't want to introduce a concept on the surface that really doesn't fit.

For example, adding a note that Sador was a Drûg when he first appears would fully make the change in one sense. But we recognize that Tolkien intended to change Sador's words and behavior to fit a Drûg also, and need a principle that allows us to avoid the silliness of calling him a Drûg (because Tolkien intended to make him one) but not having him speak or act like one because we have no grounds for making any particular necessary change in his words or actions. In fact, we would probably have to drop almost all of him for that reason, the words and behavior of the old Sador no longer properly fit the new conception.

Change 4(a) from:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> they are changed only to bring them into agreement with established canon<hr></blockquote>to<blockquote>Quote:<hr> they are minimally changed to agree with statements elsewhere in the canon recongized as of greater validity<hr></blockquote>My thought in including Christopher Tolkien's writing and editorial changes as lowest level canon was that this would be the normal way of break a tie when there is no obvious reason to go with one wording or another in material already published in the QS77 or when he is summarizing material rather than representing it literally. Christopher Tolkien's rendition becomes the slightly preferred wording. This does not mean that there is any pressure to use his Fall of Doriath compilation or anything else attributed to him, but parts of his invention can be used if desired and should be if nothing better emerges. His summaries of his father's rough notes, such his account of Celebrimbor remaining behind in Nargothrond, is as reasonable a way as any to include some material. So recognize his work as lowest level canon, but do not necessarily accept in every instance the decisions he made that lie behind it. In some cases, as in UT where Christopher Tolkien merely remarks that he has done editorial work on his father's manuscripts, we have to accept his work.

It is possible that we would be better with one set of principles for selecting from varying concepts and another for selecting from varying wordings. I would hope not, but ...

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Old 06-22-2001, 01:29 AM   #11
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Re: Principles of editing the Silmarillion

Re:slavish adherence to LotR canon errors - I comcede. I was not, as you all guessed, trying to support such.

If my reading of the posts since my last is correct [and it is 2 in the a.m. here...It seems we agree on pretty much all of the principles ... I was using rule for for Doriath out of context or seeing how far I could stretch the context. I agree let's cross the esgalduin when we get there. On an
un-related note perhaps after [God-willing] FoG we start at the begining?

I would like to try [again] to summarize the principles so we can all literally sign on to them [as literally as this ezboard formats allows] but I feel I need to address the following tasks first:
~repair the introduction [ redo the FAQ's]
~Establish the new private forum Ron has created for us [post the base texts first for FoG then others]
~Email the password out to members.

so if someone else can consolidate the principles, and we can fine tooth comb [hopefully ony] one more time I think we might be there.

lindil


Lindil is oft found on posting on the Silmarillion Project at the Barrowdowns and working onthe 2nd Elven/Christian discussion board<a href="http://pub72.ezboard.com/bosanwe" >Osanwe</a>, and Gilthalion's http://pub41.ezboard.com/btarostineruhirTar Ost-in-Eruhir</A>. and Finrod prophecieth to Andreth " Therefore Eru,if He will not relinquish His work to Melkor... must come in to conquer him. </p>
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Old 06-28-2001, 08:34 PM   #12
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Re: Principles of editing the Silmarillion

I guess I'll be the first to jump in and make another attempt at a comprehensive set of rules:

1. The first priority is always given to the latest editions of works published during Tolkien's lifetime, except where there is a clearly demonstratable error.

2. Secondary priority is given to the latest ideas found among Tolkien's unpublished texts and letters, except where they:
a. violate the published canon without specifically correcting an error or
b. are proposed changes that do not clearly indicate the exact details that must be changed and how they are to be changed.

3. If no sources that fall under number 2 can be used to form the actual narrative of a section, then any text edited by Christopher Tolkien may be used, provided it does not violate the canon established for that section by numbers 1 and 2 above.

4. No new names may be introduced; all names that are changed must be changed either in accordance with a universal change by JRRT or with a logical reason and a sound etymology.


5. It is not for us to decide what is aesthetically superior; where we have multiple options, we must choose from among them based on the above principles; personal aesthetics (if used at all) may only be used to decide between two options given equal validity by the above guidelines. A corallary is that we may not disregard anything written by JRRT unless it is invalidated by one of the above principles; i.e., we must have a REASON for rejecting something.


I think there should also be an item re: changes in the wording, for style and such, but I'm not sure how to word it (or what exactly it should say.)


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Old 07-01-2001, 10:39 PM   #13
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Re: Principles of editing the Silmarillion

I think that sums up my ideas as well - w/ the one exception being a little more leeway [sp?] given to aesthetics in the Lost Tales material . I do not forsee any such problem arising other than there as his writing skills kept increasing, esp, after the LotR where much of the final silm comes from.

Aiwendil , I agree that the decisions re: minor editorial changes [or not] such as - he to them or army to armies as might be nneded to make use of additional fragments or more commonly to integrate the many 1/2 narrative -1/2 outline pieces that come up in the UT/HoME notes , should be considered. Although I think much can be sai for avoiding all such changes. But I propose we turn to that Q as soon as we have consensus or a vote if needed on the above principles, sans textual I think there should also be an item re: changes in the &quot;wording, ... style and such...&quot;.

Others ?

Lindil is oft found on posting on the Silmarillion Project at the Barrowdowns and working onthe 2nd Elven/Christian discussion board<a href="http://pub72.ezboard.com/bosanwe" >Osanwe</a>, and Gilthalion's http://pub41.ezboard.com/btarostineruhirTar Ost-in-Eruhir</A>. and Finrod prophecieth to Andreth " Therefore Eru,if He will not relinquish His work to Melkor... must come in to conquer him. </p>
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Old 07-08-2001, 01:09 PM   #14
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Re: Principles of editing the Silmarillion

Ok, I would like to make point 5 into point 7, (more on point 6 below) remove the note about demonstrable error from point 1, and reword it as point 5, something like:

5. Information in sources of lower level priority are to be preferred over information in sources of higher level priority where the item of information in source of higher level priority can be reasonably demonstrated to be an error, whether a &quot;slip of the pen&quot; or from inadequate checking of previous writing.

This then covers errors at all levels. CT has identified a number of these in HoME, and often they would be also covered by 2c, for example being forced to accept that Turgon is now a son of Finwë and his taken over much of Fingolfin's role, as in &quot;Maeglin&quot; and note 9 to the late writings Glorfindel discussion. But some errors may not also be covered by 2c.

Point number 4 of the original suggested principles is missing here.

I suggest reintroducing it as:

6. The actual words used by Tolkien in a passage may only be changed, including change by deletion or addition, when:
a) they are minimally changed to agree with statements elsewhere in the canon recognized as of greater validity or to are replaced with words or phrases from later or alternate restatements of the same material for reasons of consistancy or are changed to agree with alternate phrasings used by Tolkien of the same or better validity
**********b) they are minimally changed to avoid great awkwardness of expression such as ungrammatical constructions or too great a difference in style from the passage in which they are now to be inserted
**********c) they are minimally added to in order to expand a sentence fragments or an incomplete phrase into a construction that fits grammatically in the new environment
**********d) they are deleted to avoid redundancy in new passages compiled from more than one source

I think the word &quot;minimally&quot; covers a lot of the problems. On style, for example, if pulling in one specially archaic phrase or sentence from BoLT material into a later account that was very modern in phrasing, it is allowable to modernize the syntax and grammar to fit the new environment, but minimally. (E.g. change word order, replace final -eth on a verb with -s, change historical present to past tense.) But no paraphasing or gross restatements allowed, other than if Tolkien uses a particular word very often in the new environment instead of an archaic word used in the old environment, then the word from the new environment could be substituted.

For 4c, consider these two phrases from two outlines in &quot;The Tale of Eärendel&quot; in The Book of Lost Tales 2 (HoME 2):<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Coming thither of Elwing, and the love of her and Eärendel as girl and boy.<hr></blockquote><blockquote>Quote:<hr> Eärendel and Elwing love one another as boy and girl.<hr></blockquote>These are I believe the only occurrences of this information, one in verbless point form and one in the present tense. Such a rule is required to insert such material into complete narratives without unpleasant and unneeded awkwardness, possibly with initial linking word(s) such as &quot;then&quot;, &quot;afterwards&quot;, etc., words understood in the point form environment where their meaning is implicit though they themselves are not found there.

This does get into aesthetics, but I think that unavoidable. What is important is that this kind of tinkering only takes place conceptually after a text has been extablished using higher priority criteria. We can't insert invention. We can't delete what is in the text without reason. We can't rewrite what is already intelligible and grammatical and can be fitted in without change. There must be reasons.

We probably should give examples for each point also, as to what is allowed and what is not allowed. A few good examples are often worth more than the most precise wording in indicating what is actually meant. E.g. for &quot;latest ideas&quot;, as a counter-example pick something from LQ*2 that actually goes back to the 1937 version of the Silmarillion and is totally obsolete, yet still occurs in this relatively late text, e.g. Haleth the Hunter who in this latest Silmarillion manuscript still exists and accidently finds the gate of Gondolin with Húrin. This better indicates that latest idea is not always latest text than trying to word this into the principles.

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Old 07-12-2001, 03:20 PM   #15
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Re: Principles of editing the Silmarillion

I like the suggested point 5 and change of 5 to 7. I had excluded point 4 in accordance with Lindil's suggestion that we treat style changes separately, but I like Jallanite's reintroduction of it. We might as well deal with it at this stage anyway, as already in the Fall of Gondolin we seem to require some sort of working guideline at least. This, then, is our current set of rules:

1. The first priority is always given to the latest editions of works published during Tolkien's lifetime.

2. Secondary priority is given to the latest ideas found among Tolkien's unpublished texts and letters, except where they:
a. violate the published canon without specifically correcting an error or
b. are proposed changes that do not clearly indicate the exact details that must be changed and how they are to be changed.

3. If no sources that fall under number 2 can be used to form the actual narrative of a section, then any text or summary created by Christopher Tolkien may be used, provided it does not violate the canon established for that section by numbers 1 and 2 above.

4. 4. No new names and no new expressions in Elvish or in any of J.R.R. Tolkien's special languages may be introduced; all names or expressions in J.R.R. Tolkien's special languages that are updated must be changed either in accordance with a universal change by Tolkien or with a logical reason and a sound etymology.

5. Information in sources of lower level priority are to be preferred over information in sources of higher level priority where the item of information in source of higher level priority can be reasonably demonstrated to be an error, whether a &quot;slip of the pen&quot; or from inadequate checking of previous writing.

6. The actual words used by J.R.R. Tolkien or the editor or summarizer of his work may only be changed, including change by deletion or addition, when:
a) they are minimally changed to agree with statements elsewhere in the canon recognized as of greater validity or to are replaced with words or phrases from later or alternate restatements of the same material for reasons of consistancy or are changed to agree with alternate phrasings used by Tolkien of the same or better validity
b) they are minimally changed to avoid great awkwardness of expression such as ungrammatical constructions or too great a difference in style from the passage or section/chapter into which they are now to be inserted.
c) they are minimally added to in order to expand a sentence fragments or an incomplete phrase into a construction that fits grammatically in the new environment
d) they are deleted to avoid redundancy in new passages compiled from more than one source
e) they are, in verse passages, minimal changes that do not add new information to the tale, to maintain the proper metre and rhyme or alliterative pattern of the original verse.

7. It is not for us to decide what is aesthetically superior; where we have multiple options, we must choose from among them based on the above principles; personal aesthetics (if used at all) may only be used to decide between two options given equal validity by the above guidelines. A corallary is that we may not disregard anything written by JRRT unless it is invalidated by one of the above principles; i.e., we must have a REASON for rejecting something.

Though Lindil has (I believe) indicated a desire to alter 7 to allow greater leeway in aesthetics. I'll try an example for each; if others can think of better examples, by all means add them:

1. The later story of Galadriel in UT, giving her a separate departure from Aman and making Celeborn a Teler must be rejected because it violates The Road Goes Ever On.

2. a. This is basically the same as above (I wonder now if 2a is not redundant with 1? Better to have it more than needed than not enough, though, I suppose.)
b. The Myths Transformed texts that make the earth initially round, etc., may not be followed.

3. CRT's chapter 'Of the Fifth Battle' (a composite of GA and a separate text) may be used. This also allows us to use the UT texts that were minimally edited by CRT.
(A better example, though probably a controversial one, would be that this allows us to use CRT's story for the Ruin of Doriath).

4. We cannot, for instance, merely discard the name 'Rog' and replace it with a made up name.

5. (Stealing jallanite's examples for this and the next): We can ignore the slip in which Turgon replaces Fingolfin.

6. 'Coming thither of Elwing' can become 'Elwing came thither'.

7. We CANNOT make Gil-galad the son of Fingon for personal aesthetics; we CAN choose between compressing the wanderings of the fugitives of Gondolin and altering the season of their journey to Sirion.

About the corallary to 7: I think maybe we should delete this; the only example I could think of for it would be that we'd have to KEEP the mechanical dragons! Perhaps it should be reworded.



</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000320>Aiwendil </A> at: 7/22/01 3:10:31 pm
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Old 07-13-2001, 04:36 PM   #16
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Re: Principles of editing the Silmarillion

I agree that 2a is now redundant, being superceded, and not at all contradicted, by point 1 and point 5 together. Might as well drop it unless someone can find something it covers (that we want covered) not included by 1 and 5.

Point 3 is I think a little misleading in the use of the word &quot;edited&quot;. How about replacing &quot;text edited by Christopher Tolkien&quot; with &quot;text or summary created by Christopher Tolkien&quot;. Point 2 already de facto covers text edited by Christopher Tolkien for the most part. What we want is to be allowed to use editorial additions and bridges by CT from accounts where we don't know what is his and what is his father's, from summaries of material not presented in full, and from invented sentences to fill gaps in the tradition (this last to be avoided whenever possible, but seized upon when all else fails.)

Change the beginning of 6 to read: &quot;The actual words used by J.R.R. Tolkien or the editor or summarizer of his work may be ....&quot; All these rules should apply to CT as well as JRRT and to anything pulled out of Humphrey Carpenter's biography (if there is anything there we want) or from any other source.

Add point 6 e) &quot;they are, in verse passages, minimal changes that do not add new information to the tale, to maintain the proper metre and rhyme or alliterative pattern of the original verse&quot;. A little more flixibility is needed with verse. See further comments following.

We also need something to prevent conflict with the two major LR problems, the moon in the poem &quot;Song of Durin&quot; and Treebeard's account of the Great Darkness. Neither of these fit at all with the non-MT legendarium and even Treebeard's statements do not fit exactly with any of the MT material. It may be necessary here simply to state baldly that descrepencies with the &quot;Song of Durin&quot; and Treebeard's accounts of the Great Darkness in LR will be ignored in the base texts of the reconstructed Silmarillion. This
could possibly be added as part of point 1, possibly as a new point 6, adding 1 to each following point.

On the examples:

1.) I disagree that there is true outright contradiction between The Road Goes Ever On and the late Teleporno story. There is a strong tension between the accounts, but I do not think that tension is alone enough to reject the late account of a separate crossing of Galadriel with Teleporno. Perhaps Celebrimbor's Fëanorian descent apearing in LR might be used instead: because it is said of Celebrimbor in the second edition of LR in Appendix B under The Second Age &quot;he was descended from Fëanor&quot;, statements in other wirtings making him one of the Sindar or one of the Teleri must be disregarded.

2). &quot;The concept that earth was a globe from its beginning and orbited the Sun with the other planets before the destruction of Númenor may not be followed in the basic texts because of lack of details on the necessary changes that would have to be made to the Great Darkness, the creation and history of the trees, and the fate of Eärendil.&quot; (The Eärendil material I consider that greatest problem in dealing with MT cosmology.) I have reworded much MT writing not concerned with cosmology is quite acceptable. Also JRRT in some texts views the legendarium as a somewhat garbled set of Númenorean tradititions, and, as has already been suggested by others, it might be possible to use this interpretation, sticking to flat earth in the base texts of necessity, but inserting some of the MT material in appendices and footnotes.
Also insert here: &quot;That Sador was a Drûg cannot be implemented as we have no details of the changes in history, speech, and behavior that would of necessity have accompanied such a change.&quot; There are now examples both for a major cosmological issue and a small single-story issue.

3. Change the second sentence to: &quot;We may use Christopher Tolkien's summaries of unpublished manuscripts from Unfinished Tales.&quot; And yes, add the note about the Fall of Doriath. According to this principle we can use any parts of it that are not in contradiction with what we otherwise take as valid (which in this material will be hard to pin down). But of course we don't have to use all of it or any of it.

4. Add &quot;but could discard the name and use only his title.&quot; I don't favor this, but I think it a valid option. It will certainly be used in the case of some Elvish forms where we know or suspect strongly that they are not valid in the new linguistic situation with the required meaning, but don't know what would replace them, as for example probably Tarnin Austa for 'Gates of Summer'. Fortunately with Elvish personal names we know that not all had meanings in the day-to-day language and there is also dialetical variation to hide a multitude of problems.

5. The Turgon for Fingolfin example probably best fits under 2, to avoid even worrying about whether this might not be a genuine reworking in which Turgon became the elder brother of Fingolfin. (It could be!)
Better here might be the missing member in the genealogy of Nimloth in LR, where JRRT almost certainly neglected to revise this passage in LR to agree with material produced between the completion of LR but before its final publication. We could follow the LR without a great amount of difficulty. But because it is almost certainly an errior of missed revision, we shouldn't.

6. The example is good. More daring changes I have made are from &quot;His passion of tears upon the shore&quot; to &quot;Great was his passion of tears upon the shore&quot; and &quot;Great love of Eärendel and Tuor&quot; to &quot;Great was the love between Eärendil and Tuor.&quot; Even more daring is the insertion of the words &quot;and opened it anew&quot; in the account of the fugitives who attempted to flee out of Tumladen by the Way of Escape in the story of the fall of Gondolin. And then there are the changes I made to the introduction and conclusion of the &quot;Horns of Ylmir&quot;. What is needed is to decide which changes are allowable and which ones are not and then list some of each as precedents either way. But the general principle should always be that a difficulty in sentence construction or grammar can not prevent use of what is considered valid data, and minimal changes are allowed for this purpose.
For my suggested 6 e, add if this emendation of mine is to be accepted: &quot;Of the thirst and hunger**** of the thirty moons&quot; to &quot;Of the thirst and hunger****of the thwarting mazes&quot;. Logic for this appears in my post &quot;Suggested emendations to Fragment of an alliterative Lay of Eärendel&quot;. Essentially I looked through a dictionary at all words begining with th and thwart was the only one I found that could be made to fit with the story, though it changes the meaning of the line here. But we will have to allow greater flexibility in verse?

On point 7, I don't think the corollary forces us to keep the mechanical dragons or Gothmog as son of Morgoth, to name two examples, if there is a reasonable probability that they have been removed from the legendarium in versions following BoLT. These examples might be listed here as changes that have reasoning behind them and therefore could be made accordingly. Both of these are supportable in part from argument by silence, but that I think is strong enough to allow omission of the mechanical dragons as quite possibly what Tolkien intended, and almost force omission of Gothmog's parentage per the dropping of children of the Valar and from the fact that so striking a parentage as being a son of Morgoh would almost certainly be mentioned if it were still part of the tale.
I think the point of the corollary is that we can't drop something only because some don't like it without some other evidence that JRRT had dropped it, not just happened not to mention it. It is otherwise too easy for any of us to identify his or her individual tastes with Tolkien's.

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000212>jallanit e</A> at: 7/13/01 6:50:33 pm
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Old 07-14-2001, 03:06 AM   #17
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Re: Principles of editing the Silmarillion

Re: but I like Jallanite's reintroduction of it [stylistic editing principles]. We might as well deal
with it at this stage anyway, as already in the Fall of
Gondolin we seem to require some sort of working
guideline at least.

lindil: reincluding it now seems best.


4. No new names may be introduced; all names that are
changed must be changed either in accordance with a
universal change by JRRT or with a logical reason and a
sound etymology.
lindil: re: point 4 does this give us a legolas -&gt; quenyaized option? I am not insisting but wondering if this 'logical reasoning and sound etymology'?

ReRe: Principles of editing the Silmarillion




6. The actual words used by Tolkien in a passage may
only be changed, including change by deletion or
addition, when:
a) they are minimally changed to agree with statements
elsewhere in the canon recognized as of greater validity
or to are replaced with words or phrases from later or
alternate restatements of the same material for reasons
of consistancy or are changed to agree with alternate
phrasings used by Tolkien of the same or better validity
b) they are minimally changed to avoid great
awkwardness of expression such as ungrammatical
constructions or too great a difference in style from the
passage
lindil: here I would say passage or section/chapter, so as to leave room to modify style on a larger scale as in FoG from LT.
in which they are now to be inserted
c) they are minimally added to in order to expand a
sentence fragments or an incomplete phrase into a
construction that fits grammatically in the new
environment
d) they are deleted to avoid redundancy in new
passages compiled from more than one source


7. It is not for us to decide what is aesthetically
superior; where we have multiple options, we must
choose from among them based on the above
principles; personal aesthetics (if used at all) may only
be used to decide between two options given equal
validity by the above guidelines. A corallary is that we
may not disregard anything written by JRRT unless it is
invalidated by one of the above principles; i.e., we must
have a REASON for rejecting something.

Though Lindil has (I believe) indicated a desire to alter 7
to allow greater leeway in aesthetics.
Lindil : my concerns were basically covered in 6 . I suppose the ocasional Rog could come up, but I really can't think of any other example. Updating the names [which is possible in nearly all ] seems to eliminate many aesthetic problems as does updating the LT and IV versions to more closely accord w/ V-XII and UT


7. We CANNOT make Gil-galad the son of Fingon for
personal aesthetics; we CAN choose between
compressing the wanderings of the fugitives of Gondolin
and altering the season of their journey to Sirion.
Lindil: this is not what I wouldconsider personal aestheticics.
Rog is.
archaic Lost tales language that can be 'too sweet methinks, even though it has a lithsome and quaint countenance'. that kind of thing. JRRT generally phased all of the flowery ,sugary sweet stuff out by the time of IV, it seems.
Using legolas is I think 1/2 aesthetic and 1/2 feeling that JRRT would not have let it stand. It maty of course be a moot point depending on what we do w/ the Way of Escape.


jallanite : Point 3 is I think a little misleading in the use of the
word &quot;edited&quot;. How about replacing &quot;text edited by
Christopher Tolkien&quot; with &quot;text or summary created by
Christopher Tolkien&quot;.
lindil : agreed



Change the beginning of 6 to read: &quot;The actual words
used by J.R.R. Tolkien or the editor or summarizer of his
work may be ....&quot; All these rules should apply to CT as
well as JRRT and to anything pulled out of Humphrey
Carpenter's biography (if there is anything there we
want) or from any other source.
lindil : agreed


We also need something to prevent conflict with the
two major LR problems
,lindil : agreed
Perhaps Celebrimbor'sFëanorian descent apearing in LR might be used
instead: because it is said of Celebrimbor in the second
edition of LR in Appendix B under The Second Age &quot;he
was descended from Fëanor&quot;, statements in other
wirtings making him one of the Sindar or one of the
Teleri must be disregarded.
lindil : agreed


3. Change the second sentence to: &quot;We may use
Christopher Tolkien's summaries of unpublished
manuscripts from Unfinished Tales.&quot; And yes, add the
note about the Fall of Doriath. According to this principle
we can use any parts of it that are not in contradiction
with what we otherwise take as valid (which in this
material will be hard to pin down). But of course we
don't have to use all of it or any of it.
lindil : agreed

4. Add &quot;but could discard the name and use only his
title.&quot; I don't favor this, but I think it a valid option.
lindil : agreed



6. The example is good. More daring changes I have
made are from &quot;His passion of tears upon the shore&quot; to
&quot;Great was his passion of tears upon the shore&quot; and
&quot;Great love of Eärendel and Tuor&quot; to &quot;Great was the
love between Eärendil and Tuor.&quot; Even more daring is
the insertion of the words &quot;and opened it anew&quot; in the
account of the fugitives who attempted to flee out of
Tumladen by the Way of Escape in the story of the fall of
Gondolin. And then there are the changes I made to the
introduction and conclusion of the &quot;Horns of Ylmir&quot;. What
is needed is to decide which changes are allowable and
which ones are not and then list some of each as
precedents either way. But the general principle should
always be that a difficulty in sentence construction or
grammar can not prevent use of what is considered
valid data, and minimal changes are allowed for this
purpose.
For my suggested 6 e, add if this emendation of mine is
to be accepted: &quot;Of the thirst and hunger**** of the thirty
moons&quot; to &quot;Of the thirst and hunger****of the thwarting
mazes&quot;. Logic for this appears in my post &quot;Suggested
emendations to Fragment of an alliterative Lay of
Eärendel&quot;. Essentially I looked through a dictionary at
all words begining with th and thwart was the only
one I found that could be made to fit with the story,
though it changes the meaning of the line here. But we
will have to allow greater flexibility in verse?
I don't think changing the meaning is OK. If a new idea has to introduced then that portion should be dropped if there is no other option.should be dropped

On point 7, I don't think the corollary forces us to keep
the mechanical dragons or Gothmog as son of Morgoth,
to name two examples, if there is a reasonable
probability that they have been removed from the
legendarium in versions following BoLT. These examples
might be listed here as changes that have reasoning
behind them and therefore could be made accordingly.
Both of these are supportable in part from argument by
silence, but that I think is strong enough to allow
omission of the mechanical dragons as quite possibly
what Tolkien intended, and almost force omission of
Gothmog's parentage per the dropping of children of the
Valar and from the fact that so striking a parentage as
being a son of Morgoh would almost certainly be
mentioned if it were still part of the tale.
I think the point of the corollary is that we can't drop
something only because some don't like it without
some other evidence that JRRT had dropped it, not just
happened not to mention it. It is otherwise too easy for
any of us to identify his or her individual tastes with
Tolkien's.

Agreed Thid =s covers the ideas of Dragons, Rog, Legolas Greenleaf etc. Again it does not mean the above items must be deleted, just recognizing their difficulties and likely correction by JRRT.

IF and when another version incorporating the above principles and emmendations meets Jallanite's and Aiwendil's specs i suggest we put the final versioon into a poll in the new Forum and let all the members vote on it. A better way to begin i think than withORKS/ORCS etc.


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Old 07-15-2001, 09:06 PM   #18
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Re: Principles of editing the Silmarillion

I have an addition to point 4 that seems to belong as it covers exactly the same permissions as to when to change and when not to change:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> 4. No new names <u>and no new expressions in Elvish or in any of J.R.R. Tolkien's special languages</u> may be introduced; all names <u>or expressions in J.R.R. Tolkien's special languages</u> that are <u>updated</u> must be changed either in accordance with a universal change by Tolkien or with a logical reason and a sound etymology.<hr></blockquote>As to Legolas, I would say this point allows the possibility of using Laegolas instead of Legolas in the fall of Gondolin material, as JRRT does give the former form as standard Sindarin and the latter form as &quot;a woodland name*** a dialectical form of pure Sindarin laegolas&quot;. I'm willing to accept that JRRT just might know what he is talking about!

It could be used as an example of what might be allowed if other criteria permit.

But the two forms still seem to me just variants of the same name, something like Shakespeare and Shakspere or Teresa and Theresa or Johnny and Johnnie or Connor and Conor or even Jacques and Jakes. (My seventh grade teacher was Mrs. Jacques, the name being pronounced as through spelled Jakes.) It doesn't necessarily distinguish Laegolas of Gondolin from Legolas of Mirkwood.

To further confuse are some notes by JRRT on the forms of names in his texts. From The War of Jewels (HoME 11), &quot;Maeglin&quot;, §4, on Egalmoth and Ecthelion:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> They are later popular forms of archaic Ægamloth, Ægthelion. Note amloth is said (where?) to be probably not S[indarin].<hr></blockquote>So here also we have names not in accord with perfect standard Sindarin, and one of which probably contains a non-Sindarin element. Then there is the SF explanation of Fëanor:<blockquote>Quote:<hr> Fëanor is the form nearly always used in histories and legends, but is as it stands only half Sindarized: the genuine Sindarin form was Faenor; the form Feanor (the ë is only a device of transcription, not needed in the original) probably arose through scribal confusion, especially in documents written in Quenya, in which ea was frequent but ae did not occur.<hr></blockquote>We have familiar forms of names and even incorrect forms of names being used. As is often the practise of translators and historians, Bilbo (and probably many of his sources) would generally use the form of the name most familiar to the readers, which is not necessarily the pedantically accurate form. This would partly be comparable to popular use of Hercules for Heraklês, James in the New Testment for Greek Iakabos for Hebrew Ya`áqôb ('Jacob'), Jesus for Yéshûa`, William the Conqueror for Guillaume, Henry for various German kings named Heinrich, Mark Anthony for Marcus Antonius, St. Columba's island of Iona for proper Ioua and so forth.

So, though Legolas be dialectical, it does not need correcting into a theoretically proper form.

From the material in Letters the proper Quenya form would seem to be * Laicolassië as opposed to the Qenya form Laiqalassë in BoLT*2. But again, Legolas would be the same name as * Laicolassië, just as John for Ioannes, Jerome for Hieronymos, Austin for Augustinus, Mary for Maria, Maudlin for Magdalene, Jeff(e)r(e)y for Galfridus (via Geoffrey) and so forth.

Example for changing a name occurs in Fragment of an alliterative Lay of Eärendil where Thornsir is to be changed to Thoronhir on the bases that thorn 'eagle' in Tolkien's early texts univerally becomes thoron in later texts both standing alone and in compounds and that sîr 'stream' is lenited to -hir following general established rules of Sindarin and the example Minhiraith meaning 'Between the Rivers' (per the index to UT) and the example Limhir/ Limhîr from lim 'clear' + sîr 'stream' as found in The War of the Jewels (HoME 11) (see references in index).

Example of when a name cannot be changed: Tarnin Austa is given in FG as the Gnomish name for the feast called Gates of Summer, but in later Sindarin neither tarn 'gate' nor austa 'summer' is found, nor a stem from which tarn might derive. It may therefore be dropped as probably no longer valid or (more dubiously) kept as possibly valid but using rare forms; but a new Sindarin name for 'Gates of Summer' such as Ennyn Iavas, which translates the English literally, may not be invented as there would likely be more than one valid way to render 'Gates of Summer' into Sindarin and it cannot be shown that any particular Sindarin translation of the English words is necessarily the proper form for the name of the feast.

On point 7, I agree with Aiwendil that, if neither of the possible chronologies seems more likely, than it does come down to aesthetics: which one do you like most. At the moment I incline to follow Lindir for the reason he gave: I like the mention of spring in connection with the time of the festival and so am willing to accept the wandering as simply &quot;long&quot;.

One point 6*e: The addition of &quot;thwarting mazes&quot; made in the Eärendel fragment was totally in agreement with the story in all versions, though of different meaning than the words &quot;thirty moons&quot; which were removed. With verse we have the additional constraints of metre and either rhyme or alliteration or both to observe, and can't just drop words as in prose. In this case, if no suitable replacement can be found, it would be only one line dropped, but it might be an entire stanza in rhyming verse.

But I am willing to accept the constraint that replacement material must stand as a correction of the original text, not any replacement material that fits and agrees with the larger story.

If we accept the wandering of just over a year we can certainly change &quot;Of the thirst and hunger****of the thirty moons&quot; to &quot;Of the thirst and hunger****of the thirt<u>een</u> moons&quot;. That works perfectly, and it is indeed possible that the original thirty was a slip-of-the-pen for thirteen: two and a half years of wandering seems most unlikely.

If it is not a slip of the pen, then it must take priority over the earlier wandering of somewhat over a year, and since two and a half years is impossible to fit into any of the annal texts, either Tolkien later restored the original time of wandering from FG or had some other replacement in his mind, possibly now accepting the spring date for the festival.

If the short chronology of the wandering is accepted, eight months at the very most (to leave some time to rest in Nan-tathren), let's change the alliteration letter from th to h and try &quot;Of the thirst and hunger****of the <u>long, hard</u> moons&quot;, or better &quot;Of the <u>hunger and thirst</u>****of the <u>long, hard</u> moons&quot; to put the alliterating word first. Or maybe &quot;unhasty moons&quot;? Or &quot;unhurrying moons&quot;? Or &quot;wheeling moons&quot; ( wheeling sounded as hweeling as in some current English dialects and in older English speech everywhere)?

Or try m as the letter of alliteration and we can go with &quot;Of <u>much</u> thirst and hunger****of the <u>many</u> moons&quot;. I think I like this one best in that it changes meaning least though slightly disturbing the metre, and manages to include three words in the line beginning with the alliteration letter.

If some of these seem acceptable, than put in my original &quot;thwarting mazes&quot; as an example of a change that would not be allowed and one or more of the acceptable changes as allowable changes, not including just the change of &quot;thirty&quot; to &quot;thirteen&quot; which is too obviously alllowed as a simple change of a word to agree with another version of the tale.

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000212>jallanit e</A> at: 7/15/01 11:28:55 pm
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Old 07-16-2001, 05:43 AM   #19
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Re: Principles of editing the Silmarillion

A new point to consider for the principles.
~ JRRT almost certainly would have changed it.
examples. Mechanical dragons, hosts of Balrogs, 'Legolas' in Gondolin.
Much has already been worked on from different angles, but I think this subjective ut realistic principle, cuts through a bit o red tape.

re; no introduction of 'new' elvish names , it seems to be too conservative in the light of all the other editing going on. I would certainly like to put the specific examples and even the whole idea before Elfling once we are readyy for the possibility/probability of CRRT getting wind [i.e. not yet] but I think leaving the gate open for it is ok. Anyone else.
I am kind of suprised we are not hearing from the other 6 or so members on this... Mithadan,Tar Elenion, Pengolodh, Mr, Underhill, Telchar &amp;co.....Helloooooo






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Old 07-16-2001, 07:02 AM   #20
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Re: Principles of editing the Silmarillion

For my part I must confess that the level of detail and the technical nature of the current FoG endeavor are far over my head. Since you asked, lindil, I will say on a more general level that I favor your suggestion to loosen the stringency of the project's current set of standards.

At the risk of adding another layer to the &quot;principles&quot;, I suggest that you guys consider drafting some sort of short, succinct mission statement. I've seen a few disconnected posts that approach this sort of thing, but perhaps it might be better to crystalize the project's goals, ambitions, and priorities into a few sentences to use to guide the principles and the work itself (forgive me if such a thing already exists and I've overlooked it in this wealth of ideas and information).

My understanding of the real roots of the project (expressed way back in the Mists of Time, perhaps even before this forum was split off from Book Forum discussions) was to have a Silmarillion that expanded on the published Silmarillion to include much more of JRRT's unfinished works, and perhaps (though seemingly more as a secondary goal) corrected errors or bad editorial choices made by CT.

Viewed in this light, the ultimate goal of the Silmarillion Project would seem to be to produce the most readable version possible -- something to be enjoyed as a collection of stories and (as I dimly recall one hopeful wish) read to one's children. I think the Project must accept the reality that its efforts to synthesize new versions of the Tales from incomplete manuscripts inevitably enter into the realm of &quot;fanfic&quot; to a greater or lesser degree. I admire the expressed goal to alter as little as possible from the base texts, but I think a more important principle is to produce something that looks and feels like The Silmarillion and not like a cut-and-pasted HoME. In other words, there may be areas where a little creative work needs to be done. I'm not suggesting writing a new ending to the UT Tuor story or anything, merely a relaxing of the standards in the interest of producing an aesthetically pleasing whole.

That's my two cents (which may be worth even less). I'll recede into the shadows now and continue my interested but ill-informed lurking....

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Old 07-17-2001, 06:06 AM   #21
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Re: Principles of editing the Silmarillion

Mr. Underhill posted :I will say on a more general
level that I favor your suggestion to loosen the stringency of
the project's current set of standards.
lindil : Could you refresh me on the context of my own quote?

Mr Underhill: At the risk of adding another layer to the &quot;principles&quot;, I
suggest that you guys consider drafting some sort of short,
succinct mission statement. I've seen a few disconnected
posts that approach this sort of thing, but perhaps it might
be better to crystalize the project's goals, ambitions, and
priorities into a few sentences to use to guide the principles
and the work itself (forgive me if such a thing already exists
and I've overlooked it in this wealth of ideas and
information).
lindil: there are probably nothing more than short disconnected scraps of mission statements , all of which are probably my own opinions at this point. I think your idea is a good one. The solution here may be to continue work on the principles and then when complete and agreed upon distill it to something every 5th grader who has just read the Hobbit can understand. If i may humbly ask your efforts in this area, that would be most appreciated. It seems we are reaching general consensus on principles and hopefully from this can be drawn a mission statement.

MR.UNDERHILL: My understanding of the real roots of the project (expressed
way back in the Mists of Time, perhaps even before this forum
was split off from Book Forum discussions) was to have a
Silmarillion that expanded on the published Silmarillion to
include much more of JRRT's unfinished works, and perhaps
(though seemingly more as a secondary goal) corrected
errors or bad editorial choices made by CT.

Viewed in this light, the ultimate goal of the Silmarillion
Project would seem to be to produce the most readable
version possible -- something to be enjoyed as a collection of
stories and (as I dimly recall one hopeful wish) read to one's
children. I think the Project must accept the reality that its
efforts to synthesize new versions of the Tales from
incomplete manuscripts inevitably enter into the realm of
&quot;fanfic&quot; to a greater or lesser degree. I admire the expressed
goal to alter as little as possible from the base texts, but I
think a more important principle is to produce something that
looks and feels like The Silmarillion and not like a
cut-and-pasted HoME. In other words, there may be areas
where a little creative work needs to be done. I'm not
suggesting writing a new ending to the UT Tuor story or
anything, merely a relaxing of the standards in the interest of
producing an aesthetically pleasing whole.
Lindil: In general I agree, the cut and paste approach will be greatest here in the FoG where we attempt to salvage JRRT's only recount the battle. We all have so far agreed that baring old names, mechanical dragons and excess balrog's , the general story is still recognizably M-E and would be great to try and keep.
Nothing else should fell [especially in the draft versions which show every change of a letter and qoutation mark] these are not the reader version, this will come after the edit version has been voted on and emmended if need be. Then we will take away all the brackets, and editorial accoutremant, leaving a hopefully excellent FoG that even CRRT will want published. It is the most ambitious chapter of the whole thing [unless we try and reconstruct the Ruin of Doriath <img src=sick.gif ALT=":x"> ] as we are trying to weave near equal parts 60's/30's and 10'-20's material . I think , at least among the current crop of active editors , some of the QS 77/01 will be relaced by the later versions in Morgoth's Ring and the War of the Jewels and [the Darkening of Valinor complex ], but many chapters may well stay 90-95% the same . Beren and Luthien for instance will in it's prose aspect stay probably intact w/ additional verse material inserted where harmonious. Turin will have the UT material inserted but should still feel like the Turin story. The battles of beleriand will be largely the same. Much of the difference will come I imagine in the appendices, they will I hope be as large and even more interesting than the LotR app. w/ Quendi and Eldar, Etymologies, Lawsa nd customs among the Eldar, Osanwe-Kenta etc.
In all honesty it I had undertaken this myself, it would be a far more simplistic version, lots of additional material , but w/ far more inconsistencies and lots of excellent things missed. Such as the horns of Ulmo. But I will keep your admonition in mind , as will the others and try and temper my hand in terms of adding more than is really necessary. In terms of it being a Silmarillion. I think we have already moved away from that as CRRT is very clear on the Silm being a sort of Reader's Digest version of the Tales compared to what full and fional versions of B&amp;L, the Narn, FoG, and Earendil, might have looked like had they been finished. The most we can really hope to achieve is too create a format that makes much of the [what many of us consider JRRT's best writing] buried in Home and UT accessible to all in a 'Silmarillion [i.e.] recognizable format. how's that for the seed of a mission statement ?
Keep up the input MR U!!



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Old 07-20-2001, 10:14 AM   #22
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Re: Principles of editing the Silmarillion

Sorry for the delay on responding, lindil. Before I begin, I'll reiterate my disclaimer that my HoME/Silmarillion knowledge is woefully inferior and my opinions may be completely uninformed. But so as not to be rude by simply remaining mute, I'll offer them anyway:
Quote:
lindil : Could you refresh me on the context of my own quote?
Perhaps I was wrong to single you out since this is obviously an issue that the Council is aware of and has wrestled with. I was referring to the idea of allowing a little more leeway where aesthetics are concerned with which you are generally credited in several of the posts above.

My fear is that giving aesthetic considerations the least weight among all other possible considerations may result in a finished product that suffers in terms of readability. I’m not criticizing here. I admire the scholarship that is evident in these threads in wrestling with real-world examples of some prickly questions and issues that any attempt to compile a New Silmarillion must face. Of course strict adherence to these sorts of austere and rigorous principles is probably also required in order to be taken seriously in scholarly circles. But again, this comes back to the idea of a guiding mission statement. Is it the goal of the Council to produce the most scholarly accurate version of the Silmarillion, or the most aesthetically pleasing version, or somewhere in-between?

There’s obviously a bit of push-pull there, and the Council seems to lean towards “somewhere in-between” – i.e., the most scholarly compilation possible that is still readable. Perhaps the distinction is finer than I am aware and I’m concerned about an issue that isn’t really much of an issue at all. However, for my part, as someone in whom the fan and the writer dominate the scholar, I would lean towards “aesthetically pleasing” and accordingly lend greater weight to aesthetic considerations. But then again I’m just an interested observer, not the one doing the nuts-and-bolts work of the thing.
Quote:
The solution here may be to continue work on the principles and then when complete and agreed upon distill it to something every 5th grader who has just read the Hobbit can understand.
In my humble opinion, this may be putting the cart before the horse, so to speak. If you know what your ultimate goal, simply stated, is, then it guides the definition of your working principles because you know what sort of end result they are meant to produce.
Quote:
If I may humbly ask your efforts in this area, that would be most appreciated. It seems we are reaching general consensus on principles and hopefully from this can be drawn a mission statement.
I would be happy to chip in with opinions on the ideas of others, but I feel underqualified in every sense of the word to draft a mission statement to guide work that I’m not even participating in!
Quote:
In terms of it being a Silmarillion. I think we have already moved away from that as CRRT is very clear on the Silm being a sort of Reader's Digest version of the Tales compared to what full and fional versions of B&amp;L, the Narn, FoG, and Earendil, might have looked like had they been finished.
Sorry – this was a poorly expressed thought on my part. I meant that it should look and feel like The Silmarillion as it might have been had JRRT ever completed it. That it should be more a collection of amazing, moving, romantic, thrilling, and tragic stories than a scholarly compilation of harmonized texts. I think that JRRT’s use of the device of writing in the voice of a ‘translator’ of ancient tales, myths, and traditions adds an extra layer between author and story that provides resilience and allows some leeway where inconsistencies are concerned. Slight inconsistencies may in some cases even increase the verisimilitude of the whole. I’ll give an example that’s relevant to some of the Treebeard concerns: in Letters, JRRT says of Treebeard:
Quote:
Treebeard is a character in my story, not me; and though he has a great memory and some earthy wisdom, he is not one of the Wise, and there is quite a lot he does not know or understand.
Though Tolkien here is referring to some Treebeard statements that are perhaps easier to reconcile with other Silmarillion material than the problem discussed above, I think the principle holds true. Treebeard’s words (or the words of any character, for that matter, including those of the invisible ‘translator(s)’ of the tales) may be accurate without being literally true. Of course, you can’t just use this sort of idea as an excuse for laziness – but I think it gives room to allow the requirements of drama and storytelling to take on the weight they deserve when attempting to resolve difficult problems.

Anyway, my two cents.
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Old 07-22-2001, 09:08 AM   #23
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Re: Principles of editing the Silmarillion

Mr. Underhill,

I think what you really want is a fully fan-fictionalized expansion of the summarized material, including, for example, full details of Eärendil's voyage and the War of Wrath.

I'd love to read such an expanded and full acount myself (if done at all well).

But I'd also love to read J.R.R. Tolkien's own conceptions, and only his own conceptions, all in one ordered account, using as far as possible his latest ideas, something that a reader can trust as totally canonical in what is included.

Of course occasionally equally canonical versions of some incidents will be excluded and some of the material inserted from other accounts into JRRT's final Silmarillion summary material may have been actually rejected by Tolkien, not merely left aside in what was intended as a summary. But at least, despite necessarily arbitrary editorial choice about which version of an account is to be preferred, the result is all pure Tolkien, can be trusted totally as representing what he himself wrote, not someone else's clever ideas.

In the former fan-fiction Silmarillion, for example, it would be quite legitimate to state that Balrogs do not have wings (or contrariwise, that they do.) In the latter no statement of any kind is made, as JRRT made no explicit statement.

In a fan-fiction Silmarillion it would be quite legitimate to change things from Tolkien's own accounts (certainly we can be sure is that if Tolkien had completed The Silmarillion he would have made many more changes). The writer can do anything he or she pleases, and why not? In what we are doing here that freedom is simply not available.

In a fan-fiction Silmarillion it would be impossible to reach a consensus on the best way of relating a particular story: two different writers could easily produce expansions that were arguably equally good but totally contradictory. In a minimally edited version it is easier to achieve agreement.

As to using aesthetics a major criteria, it is simply a fact that people have different tastes, and the version of an incident that one person loves may be the version that another loathes. There is no argument that can convince.

Personally, I feel much was lost in the story of Beren and Lúthien when Tevildo King of Cats and Húan as King of the Dogs was dropped. But JRRT made that decision. I prefer Celeborn as in independent Nandor ruler of Lórien, joined by Galadriel sometime during the First Age, to JRRT's later accounts. I cannot objectively say that something I particularly pefer is actually better. I can objectively (in many cases) determine what was JRRT's latest recorded version, and so know what he preferred.

Certainly the BolT version of Beren and Lúthien is far more readible in many ways than any later account (in my opinion). &quot;The Lay of Leithien&quot; is not JRRT's best poetry (in my opinion), and the later prose versions are simple summaries. Should the early most readible version therefore be preferred?

Including inconsistancies in the final work is quite possible. Certain inconsistancies of style and treatment are unavoidable in any case. JRRT's later writings often refer to the Silmarillion as a Mannish compilation of legends, not a trustworthy account, in part, I believe, because he dispaired of ever making a coherent whole out of the old tales he had once written with newer philosophical, newer metaphysical, and newer story inspirations. Do Orks have souls? What was Ulmo really trying to do when he encouraged the building of Gondolin?

The principles are to keep us all on track as a reminder about what is and is not permitted so that we don't get bogged down in endless arguments over particular cases.

Lindil,

On Elvish names and Elvish phrases:

If we modify an Elvish name or phrase because it cannot fit in with Tolkien's revised concepts, for example the impossibility of ns existing in standard Sindarin, then it must first be very clear that the original form cannot stand, the modification is a correct one, and perferrably the only one possible. Thornsir to Thoronhir is such a change.

If we can't absolutely support a change, than either the Elvish name should be kept unchanged or omitted. Problems with names that don't quite quite fit are acceptable, as long is the form is phonetically possible in the language. JRRT mentions names that don't have known meaings in the current language, or may be influenced by dialects, or are familiar forms, or are otherwise problematical. But he retains them. What we don't want, I think, is cleverly postulated forms that might be correct, but might not.

&quot;Fall of Gondolin&quot; is certainly the worst case for the &quot;War of the Jewels&quot; section of the legendarium because so little of it reappears later. But it actually has very few difficulties: Rog feels odd in form; Tarnin Austa is almost certainly obsolete with no later replacement given; Gar Ainion probably also no longer stands; nost in Nost-na-Lothion might no longer exist in Sindarin; Bad Uthwen 'Way of Escape' is a questionable form and probably should be dropped; Gwarestrin, one of the seven names of Gondolin might be unacceptable in later Sindarin, but for that name alone of the seven names we have no later replacement so probably must keep and it could actually be fine in any case ... That is all.

For the Valinorean section BoLT has names of various kinds of spirits in BoLT and a very few other Valinorean personal, geographical and object names (vats) whose references don't reappear later. Many can be retained as either fitting in well with the later language information or as partially or totally adaptations of Valinorean names or words to Quenya. In short, if the information is retained, the names can be mostly left alone. ( Wingildi we would have to drop, as Tolkien in two late essays insists wing*/ vinga 'foam, spindrift' is not Quenya or Sindarin, deriving either from Nandorin of Mannish speech, and used in the tales only in the personal name Elwing and the name of Eärdendil's boat Vingilótë.)

Otherwise, almost all persons, places and objects in BolT and the early poems reappear in later writing, and we simply use the latest name that appears, as far as we can judge this. If JRRT accepted it, then it is right. This covers almost all proper names in the legendarium, without getting into analyzing the Elvish forms.

If an example arises where an Elvish name or form must be changed, but we cannot be sure of a proper emendation, then we can possibly loosen the restriction in the principles. I don't see any such case arising. Also I think the revised Silmarillion should contain only assured Elvish forms for all names and words where the meaning is also given, except where Valinorean can be conceived to play a part. A reader should be able to trust that the Elvish is Tolkien's Elvish, not our guesses about what Tolkien might have done.

If myself or anyone else has a particular doubt about a particlular form or a meaning, it is of course possible to pose the question as an independent post on any other Tolkien bulletin board, including Elfling, or personally ask another expert. (I think I'm very much in control in the linguistic area, which is probably the very reason why anything I say in that area should be questioned. But very few pure linguistic questions will arise.)

</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000212>jallanit e</A> at: 7/22/01 3:25:38 pm
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Old 07-22-2001, 12:58 PM   #24
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Re: Principles of editing the Silmarillion

I've edited my post of our current principles, adding suggestions by Lindil and jallanite.

Re: Elvish names and phrases: I rather agree with jallanite; my guideline (no. 4 by our most recent set of principles) was intended to ensure that we don't take too much liberty with the names; names in Tolkien are important, far more important than they are in many works. Just as we try to make sure that all the narrative details of our version fit his latest conceptions of the plot, we must also take care that all the names we use fit his latest conceptions of Quenya and Sindarin (and the miscellaneous other languages).

Re: Mr. Underhill's idea: In general, I again agree with jallanite. I don't see this project as an isolated effort that will end when we are done; I hope rather that it is one of the first steps toward a new interpretation of the Silmarillion. With all the constituent texts of the Silmarillion now available, it's possible for us to view it and use it in a multitude of ways. I think that trying to establish a canon version as we are doing here is a good start (of course, no single version can ever be considered authoratative), but I also think there's room for other versions.

As a matter of fact, I have been working on a solo project for a couple months that falls somewhere in between the project here and jallanite's above description of a fan-fiction version; my goal there is to basically follow the same principles we have here, but with greater allowance for 'creative writing,' where necessary, in order to achieve unity of style and proper proportions of plot. I think that such an effort is not so suitable for a group project, however; the more aesthetics are allowed, the harder any consensus will be. As a case in point, I consider the Tevildo story one of JRRT's worst writings, most improved in rewrites.


Re: The 2 major LotR conflicts with the rest of the Legendarium: I actually don't think that Treebeard's story is a conflict. It clearly does not coincide point for point with the Silmarillion, but it may merely reflect his and the Ents' view. He speaks about the 'darkness' in such broad generalities that I think we can ignore that section.

Having (perhaps) struck down one of those inconsistencies, I must, however, add another: the late change in The Hobbit whereby mention of the days before the sun and moon was removed. I believe this passage implies that the Elves wandered under the sun in the days before the awakening of Men; this clearly belongs with the whole Round Earth complex that we are rejecting.

I agree that the best way to do this is a bald statement against them; their omission, though necessary, really cannot be justified by any of our current rules. If others agree, I will add this to my previous post.

&lt;&lt;much MT writing not concerned with cosmology is quite acceptable. &gt;&gt;

Agreed.

&lt;&lt;For my suggested 6 e, add if this emendation of mine is
to be accepted: &quot;Of the thirst and hunger of the thirty
moons&quot; to &quot;Of the thirst and hunger of the thwarting
mazes&quot;. &gt;&gt;

I think this allows the change. It would, in my opinion, disallow the change 'thirty moons' to 'thirteen moons' (a direct contradiction of the source). I think this is still the best change, if we indeed use the poem.








</p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000320>Aiwendil </A> at: 7/22/01 3:26:15 pm
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Old 07-26-2001, 05:24 PM   #25
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Re: Principles of editing the Silmarillion

Lindil: Perhaps we should have a vote on these principles soon? If we don't make them 'official', I can see them more or less being lost in the plethora of old threads and ideas. If anyone else has any changes or suggestions (or ideas on what to do with the LotR and Hobbit conflicts), I think we should make them now.

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Old 07-26-2001, 11:00 PM   #26
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Re: Principles of editing the Silmarillion

Agreed on the need for a vote.

what exactly do we want to vote on?
1 whole version or on each point?



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Old 07-28-2001, 10:23 AM   #27
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Re:Principles of editing the Silmarillion

I'd say on the whole version. I think the principles really have to kept in order and together, so that each one supercedes the next.


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Old 10-10-2002, 01:38 PM   #28
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On the whole every member should read this carefully [I know I will be reading it a couple more times in the next few days]. Even though there has been no finalised vote on the principles - this is very much what has been guiding us [99%] at least.

I am upping it not so much to respark any debate but just to put it w/ the more current works in progress. It is most definetly [as the **thread title** show ] an official project document and IS required reading for all who wish to contribute to the project.

Very difficult to follow in places I know but essential.

enjoy
[img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

[ November 20, 2002: Message edited by: lindil ]
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Old 12-25-2002, 01:31 AM   #29
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Well lindil, I have finally been able to read this all.
Quote:
1. The first priority is always given to the latest editions of works published during Tolkien's lifetime.
Agree with this.
Quote:
2. Secondary priority is given to the latest ideas found among Tolkien's unpublished texts and letters, except where they:
a. violate the published canon without specifically correcting an error or
b. are proposed changes that do not clearly indicate the exact details that must be changed and how they are to be changed.
I agree in principle with this, but in 2b, do we drop the later ideas and keep the original ones or do we just not mention the original one.
For example the Gil-Galad thing. Would the change be to make him of the House of Finarfin as Tolkien intended or just to leave his lineage uncertain.
Quote:
7. It is not for us to decide what is aesthetically superior; where we have multiple options, we must choose from among them based on the above principles; personal aesthetics (if used at all) may only be used to decide between two options given equal validity by the above guidelines. A corallary is that we may not disregard anything written by JRRT unless it is invalidated by one of the above principles; i.e., we must have a REASON for rejecting something.
I would be very interested in for example, how we would tackle the Fall of Gondolin. What would happen to the lo! that is in abundance in Bolt, in my humble opinion, some of it will have to be "edited" as to keep as smooth style as possible thought the whole Revised Silmarillion.
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Old 12-25-2002, 10:43 PM   #30
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maedhros:
Quote:
in 2b, do we drop the later ideas and keep the original ones or do we just not mention the original one.
For example the Gil-Galad thing. Would the change be to make him of the House of Finarfin as Tolkien intended or just to leave his lineage uncertain.
.

Good point, I would have to look at the text wherein this is mentioned, it may be Aldarion and Erendis where he signs his name in the letter to Aldarion's father. However, I think it also comes up in The Silm [ refugees at Balar?]. So I would say if CRT added it to a manuscript that only named Gil-Galad and ommited parentage we would have an option. In general I think we want to try and include as much off the scattered thoughts and writings back into the narrative framework as is tasteful [ for instance many details of the noldorin princes to be found in the Shibboleth of Feanor - HoME 12].

the old proposed principle #7 -
7. It is not for us to decide what is aesthetically superior; where we have multiple options, we must choose from among them based on the above principles; personal aesthetics (if used at all) may only be used to decide between two options given equal validity by the above guidelines. A corallary is that we may not disregard anything written by JRRT unless it is invalidated by one of the above principles; i.e., we must have a REASON for rejecting something.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Maedhros:
Quote:
quote:I would be very interested in for example, how we would tackle the Fall of Gondolin. What would happen to the lo! that is in abundance in Bolt, in my humble opinion, some of it will have to be "edited" as to keep as smooth style as possible thought the whole Revised Silmarillion.
I am in agreement with you, I propose a principle #7 instead based on the following points mentioned below and I really do believe there is no way of making a Silmarillion as readable as CRT's without it. And certainly CRT has already done a good deal of it [applying stylistic revisions] with the HoME [esp Q30 ] texts and the Chapter on Gondolin in particular [although I would have to look it up to see just how much off hand].

There is no question that there is a striking stylistic variation between BoLT and Q30 and again between Q30 and HoME 5 and on. THe style in HoME 5,10-12 and UT is far more compatable. It is often more a question of amount of detail than anything else.

I am definetly in favor of adapting the later linguistic style [ as CRT did] to the earlier writings to be able to keep the Characters doing what they do and meaning the same things with there speech, but modyfing it.

If we do not we will have a far less readable work in many places that will I think have only a small interest of curiosity to the overs of the legendarium, instead of perhaps becoming the Standard which, if we do it right it could become.

If one only wants to create a canon of 'idea's and events'[like the number of balrog's and wether the dragon's were still mechanical or not] then readability is irrelavant. But if we want a work that can not only stand next to the published Silm but literally replace it in scope quality and accuracy, then we will have to go the extra mile and work whatever literary polish into the archaic language we can. Smooth out transitions to be able to incorporate obscure fragments or to connect disparate texts of the same subject.

These are all things that CRT had to do to give us a Silm that is as excellent as it is.

Now a parallel point is the case of Rog, where the name of a character it self is the problem.

CRT clearly and expicitly recognized this himself when he said
Quote:
I removed the reference to Rog [Silm 77 p.242] on the grounds that it was abosolutely certainthat my father would not have retained this name as that of a lord of Gondolin.
emphasis mine

Now as far as I know this is a unique case, both for us and for CRT.

Now obviously my appeal to the authority of CRT is not as to the Pope for a Roman Catholic, otherwise we would all be content with our 'revised' 2001 Silmarilion which reapirs no major [acknowledged] mistakes in the Silmarillion. But I do think his POV is always worth noting and usually correct.

So in short for me we need to have a principle of aesthetic adjustment or perhaps some one can come up with a better name. Or we run the risk of our Elvish no longer sounding Elvish, because we have stuck to a principle, of 'it does not contradict anything so we used it'. With this principle we could apply it to Rog, and to the archaic speech in BoLT wherever we incorporate it into our work. I do not see this principle being applied much outside of the context of BoLT or parts of Q30 really, so I think fears of a widespread revision of everything based on aesthetic whim is unfounded, we have a very level headed and [ I am happy and proud to say] purist group here who, while one of us may go off on a tangent the buch of us are likely to hold firm, so i think we can be trusted with this rather more 'dangerous' principle. Furthermore, I see no way around it unless we want a rather freakish and inconsistent text.

Also imo we have already applied this principle of revision by aesthetics or 'feel' by second guessing the mechanical monsters as JRRT never 'specifically' ruled them out. The majority agreed it did not 'feel' right, and that JRRT probably would have abandoned it.

Anyway thanks to Maehdros for finally prying the lid off of the worm can.
Hopefully we will all have our say here and unless there is a strong consensus [which would be nice] bring this to a vote in the next month.

[ December 25, 2002: Message edited by: lindil ]
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Old 12-26-2002, 09:19 AM   #31
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Quote:
I agree in principle with this, but in 2b, do we drop the later ideas and keep the original ones or do we just not mention the original one.
For example the Gil-Galad thing. Would the change be to make him of the House of Finarfin as Tolkien intended or just to leave his lineage uncertain.
I would say that the Gil-Galad change does not fall under 2b. True, it was not actually incorporated into the LQ or GA texts, but it is not a change that requires major revision. The only emendation necessary, as far as I know, is the alteration of a few names at any relevant points. Minor changes like this are not the problem; the problem is with changes "that do not clearly indicate the exact details that must be changed and how they are to be changed." Thus, for example, the round earth cosmology is not to be used, since it is merely a projected change and we would be more or less lost (or, even worse, at liberty) in deciding precisely what textual emendations to make for such a change.

As for the aesthetic issue: I believe that there are two related problems that we are to some extent confounding. There is on the one hand the issue of textual style and readability, and on the other, the matter of such names as Rog. The former are merely features of the text, not features of the story itself. The latter are actual elements of the mythology. There could be a thousand different texts, each written in a slightly different way, that describe the same literal events.

First, the matter of textual style:
Lindil said:
Quote:
If one only wants to create a canon of 'idea's and events'[like the number of balrog's and wether the dragon's were still mechanical or not] then readability is irrelavant. But if we want a work that can not only stand next to the published Silm but literally replace it in scope quality and accuracy, then we will have to go the extra mile and work whatever literary polish into the archaic language we can.
Yes, it all comes down to this again. I have, from my first participation in the project, favored a 'canon of ideas and events', at least as our first objective. I agree that without some significant stylistic revision, there will be disconcerting changes in style and a certain unevenness about the whole thing. But I prefer to focus first on establishing a canon of ideas and events (that is, establishing the literal 'canon', or truth) and not worrying about the actual style of the documents that present that canon (the literary truth, if you will).

Quote:
These are all things that CRT had to do to give us a Silm that is as excellent as it is.
Yes, but CRT was shooting not only for a readable Silmarillion, but also for a veritable Quenta Silmarillion. That is, he was trying to create the actual document called "Quenta Silmarillion", a document that exists within the sub-reality of Middle-earth. I have said it before: we cannot create such a document, nor I think can we create a document of much literary worth at all, with this project as it is (and as it has been since the beginning). One of our main objectives is the inclusion of such things as the longer "Fall of Gondolin", or the Narn, things that, by definition, would not be in the Quenta Silmarillion. And above all, there is the problem of proportion. As things are, there are very detailed accounts of Beren and Luthien, the Fifth Battle, Turin, and the Wanderings of Hurin. Then we come to, as CRT says, a cliff. For the rest of the "Ruin of Doriath", there is only a summary account. We then have a very full Tuor, followed by a maddeningly short and compressed Earendil.

It is my opinion that we should retain #7 as it is at present. I think we should deal with the literal canon first, and that stylistic issues should be left out of that as far as possible. It is my hope that this work may be the starting point for a new Quenta Silmarillion, or for a longer, stylistically consistent, one. But at the very least, I think, we can leave stylistic concerns until the end.

Now, in my opinion such things as "Rog" and the mechanical dragons are completely different in fundamental nature. The question of Rog is not a stylistic one. It is a literal question: it is the question of what the character's name is. Nor do I think that principle 7, as it currently stands, necessitates the retention of the name. It states that:

Quote:
A corollary is that we may not disregard anything written by JRRT unless it is invalidated by one of the above principles; i.e., we must have a REASON for rejecting something.
So, if we have a reason for rejecting "Rog", we can reject it. The principle would forbid us from dropping the name with no reason, or merely because we didn't like it. But if it can be shown that the name would have been changed, then by all means, we should change it.

Lindil said:
Quote:
Also imo we have already applied this principle of revision by aesthetics or 'feel' by second guessing the mechanical monsters as JRRT never 'specifically' ruled them out. The majority agreed it did not 'feel' right, and that JRRT probably would have abandoned it.
But we did have a justification for excluding them - the fact that, in all subsequent references to the fall of Gondolin, the things are merely called "dragons", not "mechanical dragons". This amounts to a change that can be upheld under principle 2. One could even argue, without reference to the Fall of Gondolin, that the absence of any future references to mechanical dragons is sufficient evidence for their exclusion.

So, in short: I think that the real stylistic issues should wait, and I think that the other issues mentioned are in fact not really stylistic, but canonical.
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Old 12-26-2002, 01:04 PM   #32
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I agree that Rog and stylistic editing are not identical, and I really know of no other Rog-like problems on the horizon. CRT seems also to treat him as an isolated case. JRRT of course rewrote and re-edited almost evrything else we are considering many times so we will probably not have to reach back to BoLT for more details and thus encounter not just old and outdated concepts but outdated elvish names as well.

but I can not see Rog as an entirely canonical problem the problem is not wether he existed or not or wether he may have killed a balrog or not [ he did in Q 30 apparently] but wether his name nis aestheticaqlly suitable within the Silmarillion CRT felt it could not go in his and I also feel it cannot go in ours, based on euphony not canon. I see no way to address this in any way but head on. His name may not 'contradict' Sindarin as we have it in terms of meanings and such but it is nails on cahalkboard euphonically. It would be the only Elf name in the entire revised corpus that did not sound like and Elf's name but an Orc's.


Re: The dragons [mechanical ones] we don't know what JRRT would have done really because all further versions of the fall of Gondolin are compressions that only refer to a 'tale of the fall of Gondolin' CRT says in vol 4 [p194 hb ]that
Quote:
In the reference [ 'devising' rather than 'breeding'] of new dragons by Morgoth for the assault on the city there is even a suggestion of the (apparently) inanimate constructions of the Tale (see II. 2130
So I do not see the later evidence going particularly either way, not that it really makes much difference.
~-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-~
We have to as a group decide what kind of New Silmarillion we want.

A new version Translations from the Elvish has been my suggested working title, which incorporates the historical Quenta and scavenges darn near anything it can find from BoLT to Letters to UT to HoME to create a super Silmarillion complete with as much imitation of Tolkien's style as we can muster for the times we use old source materials or;

A canon of idea's and events that leaves the texts pretty much exactly as it found them after they have been grafted into the tale in question.

Of course I leave it to Aiwendil to formulate his vision here better than myself.

I would suggest that as we have followed Aiwendil's course so far as the basis for a possible literary revision that we go ahead and plan for 2 versions. One version as we are doing, with no revision of the BoLT language other than the minimum to fit it in with the text and then as each section or the whole is complete we move onto the literary polish phase undertaken by those who wish to see it done, and those who do not can begin work on the next section or text.

Once we have a base text we can do a number of things with it, so there is no reason I am aware of for abandoning our current method of establishing the base text or rough draft first. It is just a question of who wants to stop there.

In all reality, I am growing fonder of the idea of this possibly becoming a huge 3 volume affair that is the last word canonically on the pre-LotR era of M-E, or at least treating as if it could be.

If CRT is alive when we finish [and if I was him I would not want to have to bet on it!] then we submit it to him, maybe a partial submision sooner] if not we submit it to the Estate, garnering as much goodwill reviews from important Tolkien society members as we can as we get [and indeed that should be our method either way]. This is all far in the future but if we are going to make a decesion [ and I think we need to ] about the shape and style of our Silmarillion/TftE then the ramifications and possibilities of what we are voting on should be laid out.


One reason I go for the above is that it is not just highly readable [ in theory] but publishable as well [ also in theory]. The Canon of Ideas and Events version would not really be something to publish as far as I can see. Though it would arguably make for interesting online reading.

As I have said before I would love to have a version that at the very least I could have printed for myself and read to my girls [or their kids more likely at this rate], so I would like something as polished as the current Silm.

As for the current principles discussion Aiwendil favors it seems treating Rog as a one off or more specifically under current guidelines. I don't really care how he goes as long as he goes [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img].

No really, I favor there being an aesthetic principle for rare textual occasions such as this, but also it's intent if not wording should be similar or identical for stylistic revisions. I suppose I need to get to work on an alternate principle #7 recommendation for that which we has been recoomended above.

Keep in mind folks we used principles 1-6 without ever really ratifying them. 7 was always lingering as a bone of contention in the background that had till Rog always been sidestepped.


So in summary I propose votes on the following things [ assuming no more options are added and the may well be]:
  • a 7th editing principle
  • 2 versions of the TftE - 1] a 'canon of ideas and events or a rough draft if you wil, and 2] a polished TftE
  • A vote on when to begin polishing, after each section [some can do polish work while others do rough work for the next part/project] or we wait till the end of each sub project to polish [ such as the FoG] or we wait till the end of the entire TftE to polish.

In regards to the last item Aiwendil seems to favor waiting till the end of all Silmarillion work. I find that untenable and agonizing, and am somwhere between each section and each project. I could be happy [ I think] either way.

Hopefully that all makes sense, and I did not misrepresent A's view's.

other thoughts please?!

[ December 29, 2002: Message edited by: lindil ]
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Old 12-29-2002, 04:44 PM   #33
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Lindil's proposed 7th principal for TftE editing

7. ~ JRRT almost certainly would have changed it.or Aestheics or Euphony
examples: Mechanical dragons, hosts of Balrogs, 'Legolas' in Gondolin.
Much has already been worked on from different angles, but I think this subjective but realistic principle, cuts through quite a bit o red tape.
Aestheics or Euphony must also be considered when dealing with any of the material from Q30 and BoLT. Some of the elements in the names, manner of the telling are discordant with the whole feel of the later legendarium [HoME 5 and onwards]. We should not let a desire for editorial minimalism mar the beauty of the later writings. So when no suitable substitutions are available [ such as Rog] he must eliminated or glossed around as most befits the specific text.

Cases in point:
- Rog [ see above post from lindil for specific arguments],
-Mechanical Monsters [ as Aiwendil posted much earlier – “the only example I could think of for it [pt 7- lindil’s note] would be that we'd have to KEEP the mechanical dragons!” Although this has been decided upon, I think we were missing some of the key pro-points, but nonetheless we really don’t know how JRRT would have kept them, if at all.

-If we can not come up with a textual satisfying Ruin of Doriath then by this formula CJRT’s Silm chapter would stay [ or at least form the basis].

Luckily I do not think there will be too many of these type of decisions that need to made. We well may have covered them all in this thread, but probably not.

Keep in mind members even as a principle, any controversial points will still have to be voted on case by case.

Also in principle part of 7 but practically it’s own point should be – stylistic editorial changes. This can be dealth with once we deide whether we want them or not.

[ December 29, 2002: Message edited by: lindil ]

[ December 29, 2002: Message edited by: lindil ]
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Old 12-31-2002, 10:20 AM   #34
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Lindil wrote:
Quote:
but I can not see Rog as an entirely canonical problem the problem is not wether he existed or not or wether he may have killed a balrog or not [ he did in Q 30 apparently] but wether his name nis aestheticaqlly suitable within the Silmarillion CRT felt it could not go in his and I also feel it cannot go in ours, based on euphony not canon.
I still maintain that it is an entirely canonical problem. It is, you are correct, not a question of whether he existed, but rather of what his name was. But surely the names of characters are canonical issues, since they have a real meaning within the pseudo-history. There is a sharp distinction between the name of a character and the exact words used in an account of that character to describe his actions.

Quote:
His name may not 'contradict' Sindarin as we have it in terms of meanings and such but it is nails on cahalkboard euphonically.
I have to disagree here as well. This exemplifies the problem of letting aesthetics play a role in deciding on canonical issues; you think that "Rog" is nails on a chalkboard. I think it's rather euphonically pleasing and perfectly suitable. How do we decide between us? The problem with letting aesthetics play a role is that it provides no higher authority to which to appeal when a point is disputed.

I still think that the issues of Rog's name is separate (or should be separate) from a principle that allows or forbids stylistic editing of the text. And I think you are right that this name is an isolated issue and that other situations will prove less troublesome. But I think that, if we drop Rog, it should be because we have evidence that "Rog" could not be a name in later Sindarin. This evidence may be explicit or implicit, but it must be there.

This, I think, is not the place to proceed with a debate on the name Rog. However, I cannot help but to make two points. First, we have absolutely no suitable replacement for "Rog", so dropping the name may very well require us to drop the character. Second, unless my memory fails me, the name Rog did reappear in the Quenta Noldorinwa, so it cannot simply be considered a bizarre name from BoLT.

Quote:
Re: The dragons [mechanical ones] we don't know what JRRT would have done really because all further versions of the fall of Gondolin are compressions that only refer to a 'tale of the fall of Gondolin'
But the fact is that in no later account of, or reference to, the Fall of Gondolin, are such a striking feature as mechanical dragons mentioned. I must admit that I don't see how aesthetics can play a role in this determination. I don't think that they are aesthetically unsuitable in the later mythology, and if we did not have evidence that they were discarded, I would favor keeping them. But I think that their ommission from later accounts is evidence that they were discarded.

Quote:
A new version Translations from the Elvish has been my suggested working title, which incorporates the historical Quenta and scavenges darn near anything it can find from BoLT to Letters to UT to HoME to create a super Silmarillion complete with as much imitation of Tolkien's style as we can muster for the times we use old source materials or;

A canon of idea's and events that leaves the texts pretty much exactly as it found them after they have been grafted into the tale in question.

Of course I leave it to Aiwendil to formulate his vision here better than myself.
Hmm. Well, as for myself, I don't see a contradiction between the two possibilities that you listed: 1. A super-Silmarillion with as much in it as we can scavenge; 2. A canon of ideas and events that leaves the material as it is without clean-up. My vision, if it can be called that, for this project is simply a super-Silmarillion with as much in it that we can scavenge, that leaves the material as it is without clean-up.

I suspect, though, that your idea of a super-Silmarillion is something else, something more readable, something with literary merit, like a vastly improved '77. I am entirely sympathetic with the desire for such a thing. My view, though, is this: the creation of such a work is not a simple matter of grafting together different texts and editing them for consistency of content and style. There would need to be creative expansion of certain segments (like Earendil, or The Ruin of Doriath); there would be aesthetic decisions on which it is very unlikely that a group could completely agree. If one wanted to minimize such problems, one would have to exclude certain texts and would end up with something very much like the published Silmarillion.

The possibility of such a Silmarillion has been touched on before, in this very thread among other places. If you look back a bit, you'll see that Jallanite sketched out a distinction between a purely canonical Silmarillion and a fan-fictionalized one. There was some more discussion of this elsewhere, though I can't at them moment find it. The point, I think, is this: with this project as it is currently structured, we are working on a purely canonical history of ideas and events. I would love to see the creation of a new literary Silmarillion; in fact, I did several hundred pages of work on one a while back. But I think that here and now the focus should be on ideas and events, and simple textual splicing.

Quote:
7. ~ JRRT almost certainly would have changed it.or Aestheics or Euphony
examples: Mechanical dragons, hosts of Balrogs, 'Legolas' in Gondolin.
Much has already been worked on from different angles, but I think this subjective but realistic principle, cuts through quite a bit o red tape.
Aestheics or Euphony must also be considered when dealing with any of the material from Q30 and BoLT. Some of the elements in the names, manner of the telling are discordant with the whole feel of the later legendarium [HoME 5 and onwards]. We should not let a desire for editorial minimalism mar the beauty of the later writings. So when no suitable substitutions are available [ such as Rog] he must eliminated or glossed around as most befits the specific text.
Well, as I guess I've sort of laid out already, I am against such a principle. It is my opinion, as I've argued above, that all instances mentioned as candidates to be fixed under the aesthetics principle can be fixed under other principles. It is also my strong suspicion that this principle would foster further indecisiveness and debate (things which we very much do not need).

I think that the various cases that Lindil mentions can all be dealt with without an aesthetics principle:

Quote:
Rog [ see above post from lindil for specific arguments]
This one I've already gone on about at some length. If he is to be dropped, I think it ought to be because his name does not fit with later Sindarin. Also, considering that there is disagreement concerning the aesthetics of "Rog", I don't see how this could be resolved under the new principle.

Quote:
Mechanical Monsters
Same arguments as for Rog. But I think there is a good argument that the monsters were dropped, without resorting to aesthetics.

Quote:
Mechanical Monsters [ as Aiwendil posted much earlier – “the only example I could think of for it [pt 7- lindil’s note] would be that we'd have to KEEP the mechanical dragons!” Although this has been decided upon, I think we were missing some of the key pro-points, but nonetheless we really don’t know how JRRT would have kept them, if at all.
I made the mistake of thinking that the former principle 7 could force us to include the mechanical dragons. To this, Jallanite eloquently replied:

Quote:
On point 7, I don't think the corollary forces us to keep the mechanical dragons or Gothmog as son of Morgoth, to name two examples, if there is a reasonable probability that they have been removed from the legendarium in versions following BoLT. These examples might be listed here as changes that have reasoning behind them and therefore could be made accordingly. Both of these are supportable in part from argument by silence, but that I think is strong enough to allow omission of the mechanical dragons as quite possibly what Tolkien intended, and almost force omission of Gothmog's parentage per the dropping of children of the Valar and from the fact that so striking a parentage as being a son of Morgoh would almost certainly be mentioned if it were still part of the tale.
I think the point of the corollary is that we can't drop something only because some don't like it without some other evidence that JRRT had dropped it, not just happened not to mention it. It is otherwise too easy for any of us to identify his or her individual tastes with Tolkien's.
I am in complete agreement with what Jallanite said, and I think that the old principle 7 is sound.

Quote:
If we can not come up with a textual satisfying Ruin of Doriath then by this formula CJRT’s Silm chapter would stay [ or at least form the basis].
This is already covered by principle 3: "If no sources that fall under number 2 can be used to form the actual narrative of a section, then any text or summary created by Christopher Tolkien may be used, provided it does not violate the canon established for that section by numbers 1 and 2 above."

Quote:
Also in principle part of 7 but practically it’s own point should be – stylistic editorial changes. This can be dealth with once we deide whether we want them or not.
Agreed.

My apologies for the long and argumentative post.

[ December 31, 2002: Message edited by: Aiwendil ]
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Old 12-31-2002, 12:50 PM   #35
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No apologies needed, and the debate as always is truly cordial, and we knew this was coming for a long time anyway, the Rog and stylistic revision debate has been looming almost since we began FoG.

I am thinking that for clarity's sake I would revise the the principle leaving the Euphony/Aesthetics aspect aside and rephrase it as " Principle #7 JRRT almost certainly would have changed/deleted it."


This allows us to narrow the scope and minimize the possibility of later 'principle #7 abuse.'

However as I made mention earlier, any aspect of the work that falls into a grey area as the Dragons and #of balrog's previously still requires a vote.

So without going back and editing my previous posts, so as to leave Aiwendil's reply fully relelvant; I am emending my proposal for a principle #7.


On Rog and Laegolas Aiwendil:
Quote:
I have to disagree here as well. This exemplifies the problem of letting aesthetics play a role in deciding on canonical issues; you think that "Rog" is nails on a chalkboard. I think it's rather euphonically pleasing and perfectly suitable. How do we decide between us? The problem with letting aesthetics play a role is that it provides no higher authority to which to appeal when a point is disputed.
The higher Authority would be as it has been with balrogs, Dragons and Laegolas -the concilliar vote of the group.

CJRT most certainly created his Silmarillion along parallel [ but narrower] lines to our own project and I am merely re-iterating his POV re: Rog. It is not solely my own opinion, but primarily that of the person who arguably knows the legendarium better than anyone. And is if nothing else shown himself to be suprememly sensitive to the flavor of his father's writings so much so that no one would have guessed what was his or his fathers had we not been told in UT/HoME. So as re: Rog, he, I think needs to continue in our work to be the rare exception that he was for CJRT. Whether that means elimination or textual modification to work around his name and keep his charachter [Man of the Wold recently PM's me with a possible way out of the dilemna which allows us to keep the character and not the name [with out changing it either].

Anyway, I would just as soon have a solid principle for such an action as a sideline debate that utilises other principles in an oblique fashion* [or disregards them altogether], which to a degree happened with the Laegolas vote*.

I was really amiss in pushing for this principle [which ever way the vote would have gone] earlier as I think Laegolas should have been modified according to it rather than an update in language, because JRRT would "almost certainly have changed it". We would have had no Legolas of any kind in Gondolin once he was appropriated for the LotR. Anyway a revisting of Laegolas if needed can happen later, but it illustrates I think the need to address these types of issus head on instead of through the medium of other principles.

We will inevitably be faced with hard choices, and I think we must trust to the integrity of the group process [ and we have proven ourselves to be a reasonable and conservative [ Tolkien-textwise only]group dedicated to recovering and consilidating as much of the vast treasure of the Writings of M-E as we can.

I will repreat my earlier statement of " We should not let a desire for editorial minimalism mar the beauty of the later writings. "

I want also to reiterate the formal proposal for 2 versions of our work, the first being the rough draft for the second.
  • a simple of splicing of relevant texts with no clean up.
  • a polished literary version of the above wherein the stylistic discrepancies of [primarily] BoLT and Q30 material are editorially harmonized in a manner similar to CJRT's work in the QS77.

I would hope this is a satisfactory solution for Aiwendil and I's rather stark differing goals for the final work.

He seems [using inferences from earlier posts] wishes our effort to be it seems as a source text for individual Silmarillions.

This is of course fine, but I see no reason why the stylistic work done by a small team and then voted on by the group [ at least those who have an interest on a group stylistically crafted version] should not be a part of the aim [ indeed THE Aim] of the group from the get - go.

We have done a rather remarkable thing with the FoG so far and it has come out a far better work than anyone of us [ with the possible exception of jallanite I think] could have done alone. I see know reason to think that the same would hold true for a final literary replacement [ or updating if you wish] of the 77/01 Silmarillion.

In short summary we are [ I think] debating 2 points here:

1] do we want A]a polished Silm/TftE and a rough draft leaving the various sources varying style plain for all[?] to see. Or B] do we only want the latter, an unpolished source text for other's to do with as they will.

I am obviously in favor of approach A]doing both.

point 2] the original [unratified] Principle #7 or the new modified PRinciple #7. Both of which admittedly will have a great if not decisive impact [ I would imagine] on the question of Rog.

Of course this will come down [ at this particular project/group at least] to a vote as to how we wish to proceed.

I imagine some of the other members may want to pose questions now as Aiwendil and I seem to have our main points out for all to see.

So I hope know for some comments and or Q's from the rest of the team [ and the lurking public].

Now I get to apologize for the long [ but to my mind very much needed and delayed]post.

What think ye?

[ December 31, 2002: Message edited by: lindil ]
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Old 01-01-2003, 09:35 PM   #36
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Just a few more points. Lindil wrote:

Quote:
The higher Authority would be as it has been with balrogs, Dragons and Laegolas -the concilliar vote of the group.
But as the principles now stand, all decisions are in theory based on concrete, objective evidence. There is of course room to interpret that evidence in various ways, and the job of the group vote is to decide as well as possible on the correct interpretation, and how the principles apply to the situation. If we introduce aesthetic considerations, the group vote becomes something quite different; it becomes instead a popularity contest dependent not on the objective facts, but on individual likes and dislikes.

Quote:
CJRT most certainly created his Silmarillion along parallel [ but narrower] lines to our own project and I am merely re-iterating his POV re: Rog. It is not solely my own opinion, but primarily that of the person who arguably knows the legendarium better than anyone.
But I don't think that CRT rejected Rog for aesthetic reasons - he rejected him because he interpreted the evidence as showing that Rog would have disappeared in a later account.

Quote:
Anyway, I would just as soon have a solid principle for such an action as a sideline debate that utilises other principles in an oblique fashion* [or disregards them altogether], which to a degree happened with the Laegolas vote*.
I don't think that the principles were used in an oblique fashion in that decision. Nor do I see how the debate could have gone differently had the new/proposed principle 7 been in place: the questions would have been the same, mainly: is it possible for Thranduil's son to have been given the same name as an Elf of Gondolin? I definitely see no need to return to this issue, and in fact I think it would be rather counter-productive to reopen issues that were resolved, without a very good reason.

Quote:
This is of course fine, but I see no reason why the stylistic work done by a small team and then voted on by the group [ at least those who have an interest on a group stylistically crafted version] should not be a part of the aim [ indeed THE Aim] of the group from the get - go.
I like this idea in theory, but I foresee some difficulty in implementing it. Quite simply: do we have the resources in terms of people and time to work on two projects concurrently? I would definitely be interested to hear a more specific proposal.

Quote:
We have done a rather remarkable thing with the FoG so far and it has come out a far better work than anyone of us [ with the possible exception of jallanite I think] could have done alone.
Agreed. That's precisely why I don't think we should lightly make fundamental changes in the way we approach the project.

I agree also that we are dealing here with two separate issues. Regarding the first, 2 projects vs. 1, I have nothing to say but that I am not against a stylistically polished version; I am merely cynical concerning the plausability of such an undertaking.

Regarding the second point: I think I have made it fairly clear that I favor the old principle 7, and that I think that the various points mentioned (Rog, Legolas, mechanical dragons, etc.) can be (and have been) dealt with without the new principle. However, I think that some of the debate may be a result of an ambiguity within the original principle 7. I propose, then, a revision of the old principle rather than a replacement. I suggest:

7. It is not for us to decide what is aesthetically superior; all changes and decisions must be justified by the above principles, either:
a) with explicit indication; that is, a text of greater precedence contradicting a text of lesser precedence, or
b) with implicit indication; that is, a text of greater precedence suggesting beyond reasonable doubt a contradiction with a text of lesser precedence, or
c) in cases where two options are given precisely equal validity by the above guidelines, by a majority vote based on personal aesthetics and individual opinions.

A corallary is that we may not disregard anything written by JRRT unless it is invalidated by one of the above principles, explicitly or implicitly; that is, we must have a REASON for rejecting something.

I think that this deals to some extent with Lindil's concerns, and also retains several important features of the original principle. I know that the condition for 7b, "suggesting beyond reasonable doubt" that there is a contradiction, is more than a bit vague. That is inevitable in any case; it is certainly just as much a problem in Lindil's proposed principle 7.

I second Lindil's request for questions and concerns from anyone regarding our two proposals.
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Old 01-03-2003, 07:32 AM   #37
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Aiwendil posted:
Quote:
But as the principles now stand, all decisions are in theory based on concrete, objective evidence. There is of course room to interpret that evidence in various ways, and the job of the group vote is to decide as well as possible on the correct interpretation, and how the principles apply to the situation.
well it is 'concrete' that CJRT saw fit to eliminate Rog because as he states" It is absolutely certain that my father would not have retained this name as a lord of Gondolin." 2nd footnote p.211 HB BoLT2.

Quote:
If we introduce aesthetic considerations...
I perhaps was not clear enough in my last post. In it I revised my proposed Principle #7 to coincide more closely with CJRT's quote above. All references to aesthetics have been removed [although they could still be be a factor, just not an arbitrarily chosen one] as I said above,

"I am thinking that for clarity's sake I would revise the the principle leaving the Euphony/Aesthetics aspect aside and rephrase it as"...


The revised proposed Principle #7 [lindil's]now reads: " JRRT almost certainly would have changed/deleted it."

Aiwendil, from his last post
Quote:
But I don't think that CRT rejected Rog for aesthetic reasons - he rejected him because he interpreted the evidence as showing that Rog would have disappeared in a later account.
I think the above quote from CJRT is clear that this is not the case. He would not [necessarily] have disappeared according to CJRT, his name would have. again from CJRT: " I removed the reference to ROg on the grounds that my father would not have retained [/i] this name[/i] as that of a lord of Gondolin.

I realize I maybe trying the patience of all concerned here with this principle and the specific application of it to Rog but I think it is an extremely important point in general [ even if we never use it again] and specifically for Rog as it re-inforces the importance of our Revised Silmarillion/Translations from the Elvish, being as beautiful to read as the current version.

Which of course brings us back to stylistic editing.

I will agree that if no one else [ or rather a majority] wishes to see this project go into the stage of literary polishing just as would any book for publication, then there is no need to delete Rog's name, It is still not for certain that his person/actions could not in some fashion be retained, and indeed for the purposes of the rough draft we could exclude a revised principle 7 altogether. Keep in any dubious points since they are a matter of historical note only, and not particularly relevant to a litrerary edition.

But the bar for what is acceptable or up to the standards of the 77/01 Silmarillion are significantly higher.

So perhaps we should decide as a group the following 2 points in the following order:

1- do we want to have a stylistically uniform version at the end of our labours?

and if so

2- shall we apply the proposed principle #7 " JRRT almost certainly would have changed/deleted it."if at all only to this 'literary' version or to both the draft and a final stylistically harmonized literary version?

I hope that the other members are waiting for the dust of Aiwendil's and I's debate to settle and are not missing this. I am rather puzzled at the absence of our co-workers in this discusion, but perhaps that is because I know I would not be patient enough to wait for A. and I myself to finish! [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img] ].

One other point I neglected to address:
I stated above "...I see no reason why the stylistic work done by a small team and then voted on by the group [ at least those who have an interest on a group stylistically crafted version] should not be a part of the aim [ indeed THE Aim] of the group from the get - go." to which Aiwenndil responded

Quote:
I like this idea in theory, but I foresee some difficulty in implementing it. Quite simply: do we have the resources in terms of people and time to work on two projects concurrently? I would definitely be interested to hear a more specific proposal.
I am happy to come up with a more specific proposal for organizing the stylistic/literary editing phase if it is deemed necessary to see such a plan before a vote on whether to do such a revision or not. Iwill not attempt it however at this hour.

And finally on Aiwndil's proposed revised principle 7 he says the following:
Quote:
Regarding the second point: I think I have made it fairly clear that I favor the old principle 7, and that I think that the various points mentioned (Rog, Legolas, mechanical dragons, etc.) can be (and have been) dealt with without the new principle. However, I think that some of the debate may be a result of an ambiguity within the original principle 7. I propose, then, a revision of the old principle rather than a replacement. I suggest:

7. It is not for us to decide what is aesthetically superior; all changes and decisions must be justified by the above principles, either:
a) with explicit indication; that is, a text of greater precedence contradicting a text of lesser precedence, or
b) with implicit indication; that is, a text of greater precedence suggesting beyond reasonable doubt a contradiction with a text of lesser precedence, or
c) in cases where two options are given precisely equal validity by the above guidelines, by a majority vote based on personal aesthetics and individual opinions.

A corallary is that we may not disregard anything written by JRRT unless it is invalidated by one of the above principles, explicitly or implicitly; that is, we must have a REASON for rejecting something.
specifically from the above I think I can reply to it all by addressing the specific line below
Quote:
I think that the various points mentioned (Rog, ...etc.) can be (and have been) dealt with without the new principle.
I do not think Rog has not been dealt with and I find Aiwendil's proposal far more complicated [ actually I will admit to confusion especially as to how it applies to Rog at all, but again I have been working on this from 2-5 am [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img] ]. I think my simple formulation echoes CJRT's own priciple for dealing with Rog.

I am wiling to leave the question of Mechanical Dragons and Laegolas aside, although, I am more sure than ever that we erred in not applying [ or in my not proposing] a new #7 from much earlier on.

However to maintain what forward momentum we have I am happily [very happily I should add!] willing to postpone any revisiting of the Laegolas and Mechanical Dragons issue till such time as the rest of the TftE project is complete and we are reviewing everything for a final version. I agree it would be distracting, disheartening and confusing to re-open those issues now.

However I urge all members to ponder the proposals [ 2 for myself and 1 from Aiwendil]
and let us decide and move forward.

IS there anybody out there?
[img]smilies/cool.gif[/img]

[ January 03, 2003: Message edited by: lindil ]
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Old 01-03-2003, 09:47 AM   #38
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Quote:
well it is 'concrete' that CJRT saw fit to eliminate Rog because as he states" It is absolutely certain that my father would not have retained this name as a lord of Gondolin." 2nd footnote p.211 HB BoLT2.
Agreed. I have never disputed this. But in any case:

1. We should not simply take Christopher's word for everything.

2. This is an exceptional situation, in which we have an explicit statement from CJRT; I imagine that other issues that might fall under principle 7 will be different in that regard.

If this is not clear, let me make it so: I think that CJRT's statement is very strong evidence against the use of the name "Rog". There is also some evidence for the name. What matters to this debate is not which evidence is stronger; that is a separate issue. What matters is the nature of the evidence. You seem to imply that under the old principles, CJRT's statement would not count as evidence. I disagree. The fundamental criterion for deletion is this: that there is sufficient evidence that the name "Rog" would not have been retained by Tolkien. That evidence may come in any form.. So much was, I think, apparent in the old principles; and it is made explicit in my new proposal, as I will show.

Quote:
I perhaps was not clear enough in my last post. In it I revised my proposed Principle #7 to coincide more closely with CJRT's quote above. All references to aesthetics have been removed [although they could still be be a factor, just not an arbitrarily chosen one] as I said above,
Okay. I'm sorry for misinterpreting you.

Quote:
I think the above quote from CJRT is clear that this is not the case. He would not [necessarily] have disappeared according to CJRT, his name would have.
I think you misunderstand me, perhaps because I phrased my statement very badly. I should have said: But I don't think that CRT rejected Rog for aesthetic reasons - he rejected him because he interpreted the evidence as showing that the name "Rog" would have disappeared in a later account.

That is, he did not simply decide that "Rog" was a bad name. He decided that it did not fit into later Sindarin. Our decision, as you have emphasized (and as I agree) should be based on the same criterion as that which Christopher used. That is, we must decide whether "Rog" fits into later Sindarin. One piece of evidence against this is Christopher's statement.

Quote:
and specifically for Rog as it re-inforces the importance of our Revised Silmarillion/Translations from the Elvish, being as beautiful to read as the current version.
But the question relating to "Rog" is not: "What will work best/be most beautiful to read?" It is: "What would have happened to the name in a later Fall of Gondolin?"

Quote:
I will agree that if no one else [ or rather a majority] wishes to see this project go into the stage of literary polishing just as would any book for publication, then there is no need to delete Rog's name, It is still not for certain that his person/actions could not in some fashion be retained, and indeed for the purposes of the rough draft we could exclude a revised principle 7 altogether.
Here, I think, you are still confusing the two issues. The question of Rog's name is not a stylistic one. It is a canonical one. Our decision either to retain it or omit it has nothing to do with whether this is to be a polished or a rough Silmarillion. The only difference between a rough and a polished Silmarillion (assuming that both are "canonical") should be in presentation, not in actual content. And the name of a character is content.

Quote:
I do not think Rog has not been dealt with and I find Aiwendil's proposal far more complicated [ actually I will admit to confusion especially as to how it applies to Rog at all, but again I have been working on this from 2-5 am
Okay, I'm glad you asked. I'll explain (for I really do think that my proposal takes into account your concern, as well as retaining what should be retained from the old principle 7).

The principle, like both the old one and your new proposal, is a guideline for how we determine what to change. 7A covers everything explicit; we have no disagreement there. 7B is the new item, and the one that covers things like "Rog". It is intended to mean that if we have enough implicit evidence that JRRT would have changed it, we can change it. So for "Rog", if we deem that the name does not fit with later Sindarin (even if we don't have actual proof), we can change or delete it, since later Sindarin takes precedence over the Gnomish of BoLT.

You could use it to make the argument against the name "Legolas" in BoLT; then you would say that, since LotR takes precedence over BoLT, it is implied that "Legolas" would have been changed (if the presence of the name in LotR can be shown to mean that it would have been excluded from FoG).

You could use it to make the argument against mechanical dragons: since in all later texts there is no reference to or allowance for mechanical dragons, they are implied not to exist.

Of course, the point here is not to debate any of these specific issues; but I hope I've shown how my proposal allows implicit evidence.

The reason (and the only reason) that I favor this proposal over yours is that it spells out in greater detail the necessary conditions for making a change, and it provides a slightly more stringent requirement. In essence, it means "JRRT almost certainly would have changed it", but it also tells us, in general, how we are to determine whether JRRT almost certainly would have changed it. That is, we must have evidence from a text or texts of greater precedence. It also keeps the corollary, which forbids us from simply rejecting or changing things for no reason. I think both the guideline and the corollary are important to retain, and that is the only reason that I favor my proposal over yours. If you think the language is confusing or unclear, I would be happy to try to clarify it, if you point out the problem spots.

Perhaps, if you still object to my proposal, you could point out what exactly your objections are, and we could try to emend it in such a way as to satisfy both of us.
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Old 01-04-2003, 07:10 AM   #39
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I wil be gone most of Sat and Sunday, but I hope to make something of a [final?] reply on Sun pm or Mon.

Iwll hazard a quick reply to an early part of Aiwendil's last post.


Quote:
We should not simply take Christopher's word for everything.

Of course not, we never have. However as one tends ronote after reading the thousands of commnetary and footnotes of CJRT, he speaks cautiously. He will always tend towards the less absolute statement. And he is faced with a multitude of opportunities for such statements due to the complexity and at times chaos of his fathers writings.

I can think of no other case where CJRT says "it is absolutely certain" of anything. I am sure it happened in HoME but it is extremely rare. Now what is most unusual about his pronouncement is that he offers no linguistic analysis to accompany it. None in BoLT2, none in HOME4. THe only 2 volumes to mention Rog. He offers not one shred of etymoligical evidence [ that I could find] that Rog had or had not ceased to be valid Sindarin [or any Elvish].

This also is unusual for as he points out in Vol 5 I think, he has gone out of his way to reace the etymology and relevant histories of vitrtually every word occuring within the tales of the legendarium.

For Rog we get nothing. except a little note regarding the absence pr presenceof the circumflex, with an identical spelling.

So this leads me to the conclusion that he applied the very principle I put forth [ actually he states it with absolute certainity, I ask for very high probability].

As for the Mechanical Monsters, while I by no means want to re-open the issue at any time in the near or middle future, I think we erred in our assessment of the evidence from Q3o [as I posted above, it seems to offer evidence for the dragons, as it uses the words Melkor 'devised' new creatures. [ I am not sure about the surrounding text but devised is certainly the word in question, and CJRT is suprised at the phrasing]. I do not necessarily think this would have mattered in the long run for us, because like MT even if he had included it, it would have been rather impossible to know what form it would have taken, and I would be very inclined to apply my suggested 7.

As for Laegolas, I think that is even more solid ground for applying my suggested 7 instead of all the dancing around w/ sindarin and such. Plain and simple, I think exceedingly unlikely Legolas [ or any name similar] would have appeared in the FOG.

That is the simple truth [ or hypothesis] of it and to try and twist the other 6 principles into somehow applying where a much simpler principle is available makes little sense to me. If we were a collection of gung -ho rewriters like PJ and his lady friend, then I would say,Yes make the bar for such decisions very high indeed. But we are not.

Anyway I have to dash off to SF this am and while I read over your post Aiwendil, I did not have enough time to really digest your latest compromise proposal. I do appreciate the direction of your efforts and look forward to the day when we have resolved this hopwefully to both of our [and the project members] satisfactions.

I did want to respond to the 3 points that are frequently mentioned although in truth the Mechanical dragons issue has a couple more layers of complexity that I did not delve into.

I agree however that you are correct Aiwendil, in stating that I felt that CJRT's opinions on something like Rog where not likely to be of much account in our current system of principles. So an addressing of that specific concern may well go along way towards crafting a #7 that works for everybody.

[ January 04, 2003: Message edited by: lindil ]
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Old 01-04-2003, 12:30 PM   #40
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I think (and I suspect that you agree) that this is not the place for in-depth arguments on Rog, Legolas, and mechanical dragons. Nor do the specific arguments in each case have much bearing on the present issue.

I think that we are in complete agreement on the fundamental point: there are certain pieces of implicit or soft evidence that should be considered in making our choices - like Christopher's statement about Rog and the fact that Legolas appears in LotR. I want to emphasize that I completely agree with you on this (though on how to interpret that evidence, and on what our choices should ultimately be, we of course may disagree).

I think that you, perhaps, still misunderstand me in one regard. Allow me to clarify a statement that I made earlier:

Quote:
That is, he [Christopher] did not simply decide that "Rog" was a bad name. He decided that it did not fit into later Sindarin.
I do not mean by this that he necessarily had hard evidence that "Rog" was unsuitable as later Sindarin. It may be that he simply felt the name was out of keeping with the sound of later names. This still entails an implied contradiction with later Sindarin. And I agree that in such a situation we are perfectly justified in making an argument (as Christopher does) based on such implied evidence. But we must not lose sight of the fundamental reason for the argument: a contradiction (even if not a direct one) with a text or texts of greater precedence.

I think that all three of the controversial changes fall under principles 1 and 2. "Rog" may be unsuitable because priority is to be given to the latest ideas found in Tolkien's writings - so later Sindarin takes precedence over Gnomish (#2). "Legolas" may be no good because first priority is given to published works (#1). Mechanical dragons may be unsuitable because they are not present in later works (#2).

The problem that I think you have with this, and one that I am sympathetic to, it that in none of those three cases is there explicit contradiction with later, or with published, works. Both of our proposed principles solve this problem, and allow us to use implied evidence.

A small side-note: I don't think that we "danced around with Sindarin" in discussing Legolas. There was a completely separate Legolas>Laegolas substitution that had nothing to do with the main issue; but the main argument was whether the appearance of "Legolas" in LotR implied the disappearance of "Laegolas" from FoG.

Again, if when you return you could look at my proposal and express any specific objections to it, I would appreciate that. I favor it only because it spells out the point in greater detail, and forbids both making and rejecting changes with no reason at all. I know that this group is very careful and rational about all things, but that's no reason not to also be careful and precise in the principles.

I wonder if anyone else has had the endurance to put up with this debate? If so, comments or questions would be most appreciated.
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