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Old 08-21-2002, 01:14 PM   #1
Road Dog22
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Shield did anyone else find the silmaillion very confusing

i started reading it and i have read 58 pages but i haven't understood any of it and i just wondered if anyone else thought that this book was confusing
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Old 08-21-2002, 01:17 PM   #2
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The Eye

Yeah I agree I also find it boring but don't kill me maby it'll get better *gets down on knees and prays book will get better* [img]smilies/redface.gif[/img]
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Old 08-21-2002, 01:26 PM   #3
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Silmaril

The Silmarillion is a collection of myths that depict the history of the Elves and of Numenor throughout the course of Arda's history. If this sounds boring to you, then you will no doubt find the book to be boring. It is not written in the same style as Tolkien's other books, because it simply could not have been done during the man's lifetime. I find it is the "passive" style that turns most readers "off" to the Silmarillion, but it could not be done in any other way. The only thing that is "difficult" about the book is the vast amount of names mentioned throughout the stories contained therein. If you find the massive collection of names to be the difficult part, then show some common sense and turn to the index where every person/place/item is listed telling what it is and what page it is on before continuing with the story. I personally find the book to be a fairly easy read (once you get the names down) and the most interesting of Tolkien's works. It's not as if the book is written in Elizabethan English, for then (and only then) would I be able to understand how some feel it is too "hard".

[ August 21, 2002: Message edited by: Feanaro ]
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Old 08-21-2002, 01:40 PM   #4
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Yes, I find the Sil a bit confusing too. Maybe what would help is have a notebook and pencil and write down names and such. Also, it helps to read it a couple of times to fully understand it.
See ya, [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 08-21-2002, 01:48 PM   #5
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Shield

tried to read a few months back but if find the language a bit confusing. it's very much like the bible at times. but i will try again soon so all to you who give up reading the simillion keep battling (hence teh shield!)

note: one reason why i might find it confusing is my natural hair colour- Blonde but ssshhh don't tell anyone!
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Old 08-21-2002, 01:49 PM   #6
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Sting

Or read it in front of the computer, and have the Encyclopedia of Arda in front of you so you can look up a name without turning the page or having to write things down.
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Old 08-21-2002, 02:22 PM   #7
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Sting

The first two sections are the most confusing, I find, although, keeping all those elves untangled can be a bit difficult.
I did find, on first reading, that once the elves awaken, it got a bit more coherent.
Don't give up though, it's well worth the effort as it's fascinating stuff and you learn so much.
I will admit that a second and third reading helped to get things straighter in my mind.
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Old 08-21-2002, 02:33 PM   #8
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Sting

Yes, it is very confusing, keep going though! Trust me, it does get better. You start to hear about people that you have heard of before and that helps you to keep the people untangled.
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Old 08-21-2002, 02:36 PM   #9
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Tolkien

I read it on and off...and I find it confusing if I don't pay careful attention while I read. But if I concentrate I understand everything and find it very interesting. I am planning on reading it a few more times so I can learn more, there is an awful lot of information in just one paragraph, so you may find it difficult to absorb all of it at once.
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Old 08-21-2002, 08:59 PM   #10
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after the first 3 times reading it it all makes sense. I will agree that the first 2 or so chapters are the hardest, as they are pretty dry
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Old 08-26-2002, 03:33 PM   #11
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yeah it was hard to understand at the beginning all the names were confusing me but i read over again then i understood it but a very hard book to read
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Old 08-26-2002, 03:39 PM   #12
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Sting

I haven't found it confusing yet, and I'm half way through chapter 10. I don't know, maybe I haven't hit the hard part yet.
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Old 08-26-2002, 03:56 PM   #13
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Sting

It's English, people, and it is not confusing. It's even prose, for goodness sakes.
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Old 08-26-2002, 04:11 PM   #14
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Tolkien

I think that when people decide to go out and buy The Silmarillion and start reading it, they expect it to be just like LotR. But it's not. It is written differently, without much character dialogue, and tons of decription of the events that take place.

And all people read differently, so what can you expect?
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Old 08-31-2002, 05:15 PM   #15
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Sting

The first time I read The Silmarillion I just read it to get the basic information, I knew from the first paragraph it was going to take more than once to get it all. The more I read it the more I remember afterwards. That's kind of how the Lord of the Rings was for me too, untill half way through to book I thought Saruman was the dark lord and Sauron was a wizard [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]
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Old 08-31-2002, 11:19 PM   #16
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Sting

This has been discussed once before. I will give a few tips on reading the Sil.
  • Take notes As mentioned above, there are many names and they are hard to keep track of. Take notes of whom is mentioned when and what they did. If there is a chapter about one person or several( on Feanor) then take extra care, it means this character will be important later.
  • Read slowly- mediate It may take several times reading the book before it really sticks. It is well worth it! This has been a four year event for me, trying off and on and only now am I finding what a little gem the Sil is.
  • Examples In effort to help me understand,I have been taking note. Noticing there are really no notes for the Silmarillion, I have be compling my own, The Silmarillion Cliffnotes. You can go to my homesite on icon and see some examples of how to take notes and how I have done so. I am two chapters short of completely finishing the valaquenta. I have yet to touch the Alkabeth.
  • Have Fun! This a book that is unlike anything Tolkien really wanted to write. I understood he wanted to turn it into another LOTR epic. Once you undrestand the basics you will being to see connections and other items of interest. After a while the way the stories were written reminded me of the style of greek tragedies. So beautiful and yet so heart yenching! Read and see what you can discover.

I have found that knowing the Silmarillion helped make the LOTR feel more powerful then before. The Silmarillion is one of my more favorite fictions other the LOTR and the translation of Sir Gawin by Tolkien. It is well worth the time to read it and re-read it.
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Old 09-01-2002, 12:03 AM   #17
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Shield

Yeah the Sil was very confusing to me......but to remember the names.....luckily i had the 'Guide to Middle-earth' handbook..it really helped me...
Well, I'm reading the LOTR again...i think i'll re-read that book later on to refresh my memory
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Old 09-01-2002, 03:01 AM   #18
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Sting

I would not say the Silmarillion is confusing...it was written in a very different form than that of LotR. Tolkien has potrayed an earlier literature style in the Silmarillion, thus creating emphasis to its time and events occuring.
But i found that reading the book more than once an effective way to deeply understand what is going on...since there is a lot of things to know, and a slight malfunction in concentration can leave u missing a very important part in the book [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 09-03-2002, 12:31 PM   #19
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I found it very easy to read the Silmarillion, but then again I'm one of those people who read Robinson Cruiso in the fifth grade, so I am a very good reader.
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Old 09-10-2002, 06:13 PM   #20
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Sting

Well, I only attempted to read it once, several years ago, and I didn't get very far in it, so, yes, at the time I found it confusing.
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Old 09-10-2002, 07:42 PM   #21
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Tolkien

It also helps if you look at a map of Belerian while reading it. It helped me a lot.
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Old 09-12-2002, 04:33 PM   #22
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I found several parts of the Silmarillion confusing, and I also find it. . . difficult to concentrate when there is no dialogue. I understand stories better when I know what the characters are thinking and saying.
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Old 09-12-2002, 05:05 PM   #23
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Silmaril

Hmmm...funny: I didn't think it was at all confusing. If you, however, approach it how you approach the Bible (okay: how I, a non-Christian, approached the Bible when I went to read it), then you can understand it...and: if you are tired, don't even TRY. You end up getting all frustrated and throwing the book across your room. You have to approach it with an open, alert mind. And keep your finger in the index of names and the map...that also helps...
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Old 09-12-2002, 06:25 PM   #24
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I've gotten past the first few chapters of the Silmarillion! YAY! *pats herself on the back* [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] anyway, i had to stop,back up, and write names and other stuff down cause i've gotten all confused! I've never read a book this slow before, but i like it! Elves are so cool! Anyway, even if you're a HUGE Tolkein fan, i wouldn't recommend reading this book if it doesn't sound interesting to you.
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Old 09-12-2002, 09:56 PM   #25
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Sting

it takes a bit of work..but if you plow through it..read it twice maybe take some notes..you'll appreciate the information and it really enhances LOTR..I loved it after I finally got used to the language
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Old 09-15-2002, 11:24 AM   #26
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Sting

I found the most confusing part the names, simply becuase there were so many of them! But I think the stories are well worth reading.
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Old 09-17-2002, 11:24 AM   #27
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It was confusing but it also was... exhausting? Yeah, that gives the point. See, it was almost no dialoge, plus all the names... I really got tired after 70 pages- and I´m the kind of person that read LotR in two days! The sil is beautifully told- no doubt- but you really need lots of time- and determination-to read it. I´m not finished yet, but I will... PROMISE!
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Old 09-17-2002, 04:34 PM   #28
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Quote:
I found the most confusing part the names, simply becuase there were so many of them!
That's exactly how it was for me! They would mention someone or someplace, and I would think Now, who/where is that, again?
Oh, and now that I'm reading UT, the Sil is making a little more sense.

[ September 17, 2002: Message edited by: Nevfeniel ]
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Old 09-17-2002, 04:52 PM   #29
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Sting

Tolkien did a very beautiful job in making this feeling a like a historical epic. Roman history, especially during the age of the Roman Republic, there are MANY names and much as the silmarillion. There is no way you can get it during a term unless you take note....
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Old 09-17-2002, 05:44 PM   #30
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Silmaril

There was only one section in which I found the Silmarillion to be confusing, and that is during The Lays of Beleriand. I finally understood the descriptions after hours of studying the map, however. Otherwise, I don't see how it could be so confusing. I have to agree with réd on this one... of course, I can only speak for myself, because I seem to understand the concepts and details of literature and fictional civilizations more easily than many.
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Old 09-17-2002, 06:09 PM   #31
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Sting

For all those who have offered good advice to the Silmarillion newbies, here is a link to the thread that shows you how to more or less double the size of your next Silmarillion read.

You will also need UT, HomE 10 and 11, and issue 39 of the jornal Vinyar tengwar.

These are all writings of JRRT, no fan-fic.

'How to read a longer Silmarillion' http://forum.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin...c&f=1&t=002217
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Old 09-17-2002, 07:22 PM   #32
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Silmaril

I'm reading the Sil right now (okay, not at this moment), and so far, I'm understanding it pretty well, it's just the battle scenes and all the places that get me confused........

Note: quite honestly, i'm elenya reincarnated. don't be frightened, i'm working on getting my old persona back as we speak.....
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Old 09-19-2002, 05:27 AM   #33
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Yes it is definitly hard to read, but I guess that's only because it is written as a historybook and not as a story. when you've read it a couple of times, things get much clearer. some things that are spoken of in LotR will certainly become much clearer to you. I've found it a very interesting book to read! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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