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Old 04-22-2021, 02:30 PM   #5
Thinlómien
Shady She-Penguin
 
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: In a far land beyond the Sea
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Thinlómien is wading through the Dead Marshes.Thinlómien is wading through the Dead Marshes.Thinlómien is wading through the Dead Marshes.Thinlómien is wading through the Dead Marshes.Thinlómien is wading through the Dead Marshes.Thinlómien is wading through the Dead Marshes.
It's been a very long time since I last read Farmer Giles. I have to confess I didn't particularly like it then, nor did I like it as a kid when I was first acquainted with it. I'm curious what my verdict will be this time. Also, I'm a little saddened I only have the book in Finnish; while the translation is good, the story is so English that it seems already after the introduction that one is losing quite a bit by not reading it in the original. I'll cope, I guess!

That being said, I feel like one would also greatly benefit from being more familiar with English mythology and history. I feel like you can't really appreciate Tolkien's writing as much "just as a story", without a greater context. Now that I think of it, it's rather fascinating how he often wrote - in a way - for scholars and children at the same time, which is not really a common combination.

As for the foreword itself, two things stood out to me - two very trademark Tolkien things that we see in his major works too. One is that his love for and knowledge of linguistics is evident; how many other authors would say their story is just an explanation for odd place names? Or how many others would bother to establish what language the story is written, and what they're telling us it was translated from? And the trope of the somewhat unreliable translator-narrator passing on an old story, obscuring the truth of what "really happened," is of course the second thing. It is very much like the whole narrative framing of the Red Book of Westmarch.
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