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Old 01-11-2003, 08:07 AM   #41
lindil
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All quotes are from Aiwendil's last post [#39]
Quote:
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 agree that the specifics of the above 3 examples are only to illustratte our respective points. As for them having much bearing, Rog certainly is a central figure around which this principle currently seems to revolve.

I am seeking a principle that will allow us to apply something like CJRT's own 'principle' I have quoted above n my proposed principle #7.

Quote:
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).
Yes.





Quote:
I do not mean ...[CJRT] 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.
While I agree in theory, I find this such a stretching of our previous principles and our use of them that in this particular case the the principles are unrecognizable.

Much easier [other than this debate!] to have a principle that does not need to do a backflip or 2 to be discernably applicable.


Quote:
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).
w/ Rog no later idea is found, at all.

So we end up according to this scheme, to allow CJRT to use my principle #7 for us!

Much better to use it ourselves and document any other byzantine permutations as support or rebuttal. This is I feel far more transparent and honest a solution.

Quote:
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.
actually with Legolas I would say there is, but I have agreed to let this sleeping dog lay for the time being.


Quote:
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.
I will for the time being in order to not open a pandora's box in the midst of chaos [ or at least potentially overwhelming detail] refrain from further comment upon the laegolas issue. My thoughts on it are available a few posts up for those who really want it.

Quote:
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.
Well another week has passed and I am off again and not likely to finish this till Monday. I did want to address some of it so as to not leave this a complete hanging thread for to long [ just in case someone else is following this [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img].

Quote:
I wonder if anyone else has had the endurance to put up with this debate? If so, comments or questions would be most appreciated.
upon this last point Aiwendil and I are in complete agreement !!! Maybe it is not confrontational enough and needs to be more like the Aragorn's anscestors/Kings of the Noldor threads!


sorry for not getting to the heart of the issue which is a careful review of your proposal. It shall, I hope be first on my list of online to-do's upon my return.

[ January 11, 2003: Message edited by: lindil ]
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Old 01-19-2003, 12:47 PM   #42
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I only replied to let you know that I (at least) have (now) followed your discussion. (And I wish I had done so earlier.)
As I see thinks, you are very near to an agreement and should go on to reach it. But whenever you have done so, you have to put your principles in an other, shorter, and sticky thread or nearly nobody will read them ;-).
And I think they should be read (and reread from time to time). My one approach to Tolkiens work (whish is, as I was told by one how is know as great Tolkien scholar, without him knowing it, is simple and dull ;-)) does not agree fully to all principles, but they are the essential ground for the project and I wonder how long you had worked without a fixed set of such "rules".

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Old 01-25-2003, 07:36 AM   #43
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Aiwendil's proposed
Quote:
(#)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.
Aiwendil, I can now see that your #7 covers Rog - although not, I think from CJRT's POV.

As I may have mentioned before he [ in a way most unlike himself] gives no evidence for his decision, leaving the impression that it was indeed based on CJRT's aesthetic sense of Sindarin.


So as long as we are willing to diverge from his principal, and use a weaker one that may acknowledge his choice, I suppose it is alright.

I do however see a your #7 as inherently anti-stylistic harmonization, even though that may not [ and I assume is not] your intent:

"It is not for us to decide what is aesthetically superior"

A stylistic harmonization is exactly that.

So even if we have [ or rather propose for adoption] a different set of principles for Stylistic harmonization, if the above proposed #7 is in place prior to that it would imply that such editing would be against the general principles.

So I think at the very least that line needs some serious modification.

Other than that I will say I prefer to modify my #7 from

Quote:
" Principle #7 JRRT almost certainly would have changed/deleted it."
to

Quote:
" Principle #7 JRRT almost certainly would have changed/deleted it. But we must base this on some evidence or text from JRRT or CJRT or a 2/3rd's super majority will be required to approve anything not so evidenced."
Rog is covered by your principle Aiwendil, I can now see.


As for the other examples we have been using [without necessarrily trying to resolve them] Legolas - would have been I feel have been dealt with far more realistically that we did applying either of our #7's. Due to the fact that we approached his name as 'is it valid Sindarin' instead of 'would JRRT been likely to reuse his name/character at all'.

As for the mechanical monsters we did indeed use your #7, although i think we did a less than perfect job [ for which I take blame] of researching the the HoME4 comments. Fortunately, i think the results would have been the same in this case unlike Legolas.

So perhaps a conflation of the 2 principles is in order/possible -

perhaps deleting your opening It is not for us to decide what is aesthetically superior and replacing it with my most recent ablove proposed #7 and concluding with your points A-C.

giving us [with A's bolded and mine italicized]:


JRRT almost certainly would have changed/deleted it. But we must base this on some evidence or text from JRRT or CJRT ...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.
.

I eliminated the 2/3rds clause as Aiwendil addressed it later.


Findegil, thank you for speaking up!Some encouragement was/is greatly welcomed.

I am glad someone is following this denstist visit like thread.

Aiwendil, sorry for the extreme delay, but I if the above is satisfactory [ or some close variant] then hopefully the dealys will have been justified, as I had not thought of the combining of the 2 until i was in mid-post.

I probably will not be back online till Sun PM at the earliest.

[ January 25, 2003: Message edited by: lindil ]
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Old 01-26-2003, 02:24 PM   #44
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Jallanite points out another section [ from the revised FOG #3 thread] that needs some sort of #7
Quote:
FG-TG-09
{Less fair was he than most of this goodly folk, swart and of none too kindly mood, so that he won small love, and whispers there were that he had Orc's blood in his veins, but I know not how this could be true.}
I think this should be deleted, though we are without any direct contradiction of it. There is no later indication that Maeglin was 'swart', and certainly there were not rumours that he had Orc's blood!
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Old 01-26-2003, 08:21 PM   #45
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Lindil wrote:
Quote:
Aiwendil, I can now see that your #7 covers Rog - although not, I think from CJRT's POV.
On this point, then, we are still in disagreement. But as it is really a minor point, I think it might be best to spill no more blood over it. I think we are close to an agreement.

Quote:
I do however see a your #7 as inherently anti-stylistic harmonization, even though that may not [ and I assume is not] your intent:

"It is not for us to decide what is aesthetically superior"

A stylistic harmonization is exactly that.
This is an excellent point. I agree that, regardless of what our eventual decision is with regard to stylistic changes, we should certainly not explicitly forbid it at present.

With regard to Rog, Legolas, and mechanical dragons: I think that under either of our principles there are still valid arguments on both sides. I don't think that either necessarily means that we must drop "Rog" or "Legolas", nor does it mean that we must keep them. However, they do give us a better context within which those arguments can be made, and a better criterion for establishing the validity of either argument.

I like your idea of merging our principles, and I like your proposed amalgamation. But I would prefer to group yours with my 2b, since they are essentially talking about the same thing. I would also like to keep the little corollary. I propose:

Quote:
7. Personal aesthetics are not to be used in establishing the actual events in the narrative; 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 JRRT almost certainly would have changed/deleted it. But we must base this on some evidence or text from JRRT or CJRT; 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 any text or note, old idea or projected change, 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.
This does several things:

1. It keeps the warning against decisions based on personal preference, but restricts it to the actual events of the narrative, so it does not apply to stylistic changes.

2. It merges Lindil's idea of "JRRT almost certainly would have changed it" with my idea of "implicit indication". These are, I think, two ways of saying the same thing, and they belong together.

3. It makes the corallary a bit more specific. The reason that I want to include this bit is that it makes explicit the fact that principle 7 applies not only to old texts that we are considering rejecting, but also to late changes that we are considering implementing. So on the one hand, we cannot simply reject something from the Lost Tales without some reason. On the other hand, we cannot simply reject some note from HoMe X,XI, or XII, without some reason.

Let me know what you think of this and whether you have any points you think should be modified.

[ January 26, 2003: Message edited by: Aiwendil ]
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Old 01-27-2003, 03:15 AM   #46
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Quote:
I think that under either of our principles there are still valid arguments on both sides. I don't think that either necessarily means that we must drop "Rog" or "Legolas", nor does it mean that we must keep them. However, they do give us a better context within which those arguments can be made, and a better criterion for establishing the validity of either argument.
Full agreement - especially with the new proposals giving a better context from which to base decisions.


Quote:
I like your idea of merging our principles, and I like your proposed amalgamation.

I found your revision to be an improvement; the only question I have is what decides the 'greater' or 'lesser precedence' of a text?

According to our above principles, we have the basic texts - Q30, QS 38,77/01, the grey annals and LQ1 and 2, etc. and we supplement them [in a fashion that does not conradict the published works or create other difficulties].

The idea of lesser and greater, if we are to use it I think needs to spelled out specifically to not create any [further] confusion.

Also, there is the point of dealing with parallel texts such as the Annals of Aman and the LQ2 which were composed at roughly the same time, and often present variants of the same story. These are I think, issues, that need perhaps some clearer guiding principle, even though they are not [seemingly] thorny issues our current principles are designed to address.

And finally another point brewing in my mind for awhile is the suitability or not of adding to texts such as the finished LQ2 form earlier sources.

An example of this is the Darkening of valinor draft I did earlier, where I added a nice bit of detail of a similar valinorean festival to that of the one preceding the attack on the Trees.

To add from a later text to LQ2, such as will be the case with the Shibboleth material sems clear enough, but it seems less clear to justify bringing in old details, even if non-contradictory.

For instance, in HoMEXI, there are several long excurses on the language of the Noldor and Sindar in beleriand. In LQ1 they are very long and Elaborate, by the time we reach LQ2 they have ben simplified and condensed. So even though we may have non-contradictory detail in LQ1 do we dare add it back in when JRRT clearly did not?

It seems prudent not to. And in a slightly different situation, if we do not do it for variants close in time, how can we justify it for reching back to HoME for filling out an already expanded LQ2?

There are no questions about the suitability of this in the case of the FoG, because the last revision [ other than notes] was done only 10 or so years ofter the BoLT version, but this is not the case for much of the LQ2 or also for instance the Narn or Beren and Luthien material.



Other than clarifying the above points I think we finally[!] have a go.

I apologize for holding on to these last points till now, but I have not clearly formulated them and seen their interrelationship with our current #7 discussions till now.

[ January 27, 2003: Message edited by: lindil ]
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Old 01-28-2003, 03:56 PM   #47
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I'm very glad that we've come to an agreement on principle 7 itself. I think the remaining issues that you've raised are minor ones.

Quote:
the only question I have is what decides the 'greater' or 'lesser precedence' of a text?
As I understand it, principles 1-3 establish the precedence, or priority given to the various texts. So for example LotR is a text of greater precedence than LQ, according to principle 1. LQ is of greater precedence than The Book of Lost Tales, according to principle 2. I think that these principles are relatively self-sufficient in terms of determining an order of priority among most texts. There may be a few instances where we have two texts that cannot be easily prioritized, but I think those cases are quite rare. As far as I can recall, none of the many grey areas we have found ourselves in so far has fallen into that category. The grey areas that we have dealt with (inevitably) have mostly revolved around 2b and 5, which essentially govern cases where a text given higher priority by 1 and 2 is, for some other reason, not to be used. There are indeed ambiguities here, as we have seen (cf. debates on Myths Transformed, 7 Balrogs, etc.)

So, in short: I think that our present principles establish fairly well which texts have priority over which. Moreover, I think that the ambiguities that do arise probably cannot be systematically dealt with. That is, there is bound to be some ambiguity in the principles.

Quote:
Also, there is the point of dealing with parallel texts such as the Annals of Aman and the LQ2 which were composed at roughly the same time, and often present variants of the same story. These are I think, issues, that need perhaps some clearer guiding principle, even though they are not [seemingly] thorny issues our current principles are designed to address.
I'm forced to disagree; I think that our principles do address this. Insofar as simply establishing priority, there are two principles to consider for AAm vs. LQ2. The first is number 2, which gives LQ2 precedence by virtue of its later composition date (only a few years, perhaps, but later nonetheless). So, just going by that, all contradictions between the two would have to be decided in favor of LQ2. The only exceptions would be in cases covered by number 5 - where the later text is demonstratably "in error" (as is the case for the cursory LQ2 revisions found in HoMe XI). There is, and there can be, no universal rule for deciding when the text is "demonstratably in error"; that's simply one of the ambiguities we have to live with.

But the above discussion, and indeed the relevant principles, only refer to contradictions between two texts. I think this is important to remember. If text A has precedence over text B, then all contradictions between the two must be resolved in favor of A. But this does not mean that we can't use text B to form part of the narrative (or else we couldn't have used the BoLT Fall of Gondolin). What it does mean is that if we use text B, we must correct any contradictions with text A.

This leads into a new question - and one that I think you were getting at. Our principles as they stand tell us only certain things. One thing they do not strictly tell us is what to use as our base text for any given section. There are guidelines on this - number 3, for example, allows us to use text created by Christopher Tolkien if there's no primary text available. But there is nothing in the principles that forces us, for example, to use the old FoG. This has so far been left to the group to decide.

Personally, I'm not sure it would be a good idea to introduce a principle that tells us, or tries to tell us, what text to use in any situation. Any such principle would, I think, either be too vague and ambiguous to be useful or be too strict.
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Old 01-28-2003, 04:00 PM   #48
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Just for ease of reference, I'm reposting the principles as they now stand.

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. 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 is 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 "slip of the pen" 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 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. Personal aesthetics are not to be used in establishing the actual events in the narrative; 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 JRRT almost certainly would have changed/deleted it. But we must base this on some evidence or text from JRRT or CJRT; 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 any text or note, old idea or projected change, 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.

Last edited by Aiwendil; 02-11-2004 at 05:08 PM.
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Old 01-28-2003, 06:52 PM   #49
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Quote:
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 "slip of the pen" or from inadequate checking of previous writing.
Could you clarify this please?
Quote:
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
I wanted to point out your response Aiwendil to my suggestion of changing the phrase Children of Ilúvatar to Men or Children of Men:
Quote:
I think it was quite likely a slip of the pen, though it's also quite possible that Tolkien was reconsidering the fate of the Elves. I'm a bit wary about changing it. Anyway, "Children of Iluvatar" could refer to both Elves and Men, or it could refer just to Men. If, for example, I say "Elves", I could be referring to all Elves, or to some specific Elves, or to a group or type of Elves. The text as published, then, has the virtue of ambiguity.
Would this fall on this category?
And also for example the use of Men in the fall of Gondolin when it clearly referst to Elves and even Orcs. Does that falls in here too?
Quote:
b) with implicit indication that JRRT almost certainly would have changed/deleted it. But we must base this on some evidence or text from JRRT or CJRT; that is, a text of greater precedence suggesting beyond reasonable doubt a contradiction with a text of lesser precedence, or
Does the Mechanical dragons fall in this category.
Quote:
Personal aesthetics are not to be used in establishing the actual events in the narrative; all changes and decisions must be justified by the above principles, either:
Are the aesthetics used in for example the Fall of Gondolin.
There is a great diff in the narrative between the Bolt Fog and the Unfisished Tales Version of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin.
From what I have been able to read, I think it's outside of the scope of the principles, Right?
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Old 01-28-2003, 08:00 PM   #50
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Good questions, Maedhros.

Quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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 "slip of the pen" or from inadequate checking of previous writing.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Could you clarify this please?
The idea is that in certain cases, texts that are given higher priority by principles 1 and 2 are clearly in error. For example, in the appendices to LotR, one of the kings of Numenor was inadvertantly omitted. This error was documented in Unfinished Tales. So, even though LotR has priority over UT according to principle 1, we can use the UT version, since it specifically corrects the error, and the error is clearly demonstratable.

Quote:
Would this fall on this category?
And also for example the use of Men in the fall of Gondolin when it clearly referst to Elves and even Orcs. Does that falls in here too?
The conflict inherent (and inevitable) in principle 6a is this: we are directed to alter texts to agree with texts of greater priority; but we are also constrained to change them minimally. So, as with many of the other principles, there is an elusive equilibrium point: how do we know when the contradiction is significant enough to warrant the change? There is no easy answer to this, and it is in this decision that we must exercise judgement in each peculiar case.

So, in the example of 'men' being used of male Elves: I would argue that there is very little, if any, contradiction between the use of 'men' in this way and the use of 'Men' to refer to humans; the possibility of contradiction here is thus not enough to warrant a change to the text. One who made the counter-argument would have to argue that there is a contradiction, and that it is significant enough to warrant the change.

The matter of the "Children of Iluvatar" is slightly different. Here, we are also dealing with the possibility that the phrase in Ainulindale D was an error made in copying Ainulindale C. So the arguments here would depend on both 5 and 6a.

Quote:
Does the Mechanical dragons fall in this category.
Yes. Of course, as I've said before, it is still possible to make arguments both for and against mechanical dragons. But principle 7b certainly justifies the argument against them; that is, that there is implicit evidence that the mechanical dragons disappeared from the later mythology.

Quote:
Are the aesthetics used in for example the Fall of Gondolin.
There is a great diff in the narrative between the Bolt Fog and the Unfisished Tales Version of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin.
From what I have been able to read, I think it's outside of the scope of the principles, Right?
Yes, the question of stylistic changes has purposefully not been considered yet. The current principles do not allow us to make stylistic changes to the texts, but we have discussed the possibility of, at some later stage, going back and doing stylistic changes.

The gist of the "aesthetics" phrase in principle 7 is this: we can't simply decide, for example, to keep the thousands of balrogs just because we like the story better that way. In determining the actual events of the story, we must not base our decisions on personal judgement, but rather on the principles.
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Old 09-05-2003, 06:22 AM   #51
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Since this thread laid a sleep for over six month I think that a contradictions are settled.

I think that it is time to pronounce the principles and create a closed and sticky thread where all can easily read them. (Don't forget a link to this thread for further discussions, if someone would feel them necessary.)

Respectfully
Findegil
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Old 09-05-2003, 10:08 AM   #52
lindil
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Sting

I think you are correct Findegil.

I do not think a sticky is needed though [at least not at this point] , as a link exists to it from the FAQ/Intro page.

locked - but still highly relevant.

Any one with questions re: the principles can ask them in the 'general comments' thread.
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