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Minas Tirith Forums » Silmarillion » Sil read-alongs of Yore and Fore (Page 8)
Author Topic: Sil read-alongs of Yore and Fore
Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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quote:
I don't think he was sure which of the dozens of versions of the legends that his father had was the correct one!
Well I think his father wasn't sure which version was going to be the correct one!

Chris did a decent job of working out the relative age of the different versions - perhaps he should have left Silmarillion for a little bit longer while he found even more evidence for what was the latest version in every case, but mostly he did a good job of it.

But we have no way of knowing whether Tolkien himself would have kept the lastest version of every story, or whether he would have preferred to go back to an earlier version in some cases.

He did delegate the task of finishing the Sil to Chris, though. So he trusted that Chris would end up with something that was close enough to his own wishes for it to work.

So if we find it doesn't always work, it needn't be Chris' fault only.

Edit:
quote:
I think there certainly is continuinity and links between the chapters however. Although one at first read could be forgiven for missing them. If I might be so bold to ask DQ, were is the continuity which is confusing you?
... or discontinuity ...

I'd be quite interested in some examples as well, DQ.
I guess my own examples would be some of the personal histories that happen to people who may be related, but aren't otherwise much connected.

[ 01-15-2012, 06:18 AM: Message edited by: Varnafindë ]

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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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Yes, Varna, I think it most likely IS something that would have been fixed had Tolkien finished it. As you say, perfectionist. I think he'd have tried to fix the coherency.

I can't say I agree on the whole, Hamfast. The links and continuity are fragile at best and generally IMO. I also find it suffers from Tolkien's endless problems with character development. It's a tribute to his plots that I read them despite my issues with his style. []

I wouldn't call it so much confusing as annoying, and most of it falls into that category really. People appear for half a page, vanish, turn up in 6 chapters somewhere you'd no idea they'd ever been and having no idea that they might have been important. I spend half my time flicking back to the index trying to work out who the heck some elf who just reappeared was only to find they were mentioned in passing on page 56 or something. It probably is Chris' fault not JRR's but it still makes it a pain to keep track of.

quote:
I guess my own examples would be some of the personal histories that happen to people who may be related, but aren't otherwise much connected.
Yeees, that happens far too much. I like a bit of information on who I'm reading about. As far as I recall, even fairly major characters aren't fleshed out past a quick list of relatives over half the time. I can't decide if he wasn't interested in the personal histories of characters or if he'd just never got around to it. Probably the former actually.

Don't get me started on cramming a battle into one chapter even though it lasted about 200 years then spending the next 5 putting back in bits that really should have been mentioned because they're during the battle... [] Only laziness has stopped me from giving in and creating a timeline. []

As for that map! Why draw a map that doesn't show everywhere? WHY? Let's just draw the British Isles and leave off Yorkshire or something... []

That said it IS nice to get a bit of the history, but it shouldn't be so awfully unreadable IMO. I think I'll read some myths for a bit of light relief once I'm done. []

[ 01-15-2012, 01:32 PM: Message edited by: The DarkQueen Iauraearien ]

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Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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quote:
I can't decide if he wasn't interested in the personal histories of characters or if he'd just never got around to it. Probably the former actually.
Perhaps it sometimes shows that what he was primarily interested in, was THEIR LANGUAGE. He made up languages, and then invented people to have spoken those languages. He recorded the normal linguistical changes in languages over time, and then invented history to have caused those changes.

Quenya is so different from Sindarin because the Quenya speakers went to Valinor while the Sindarin speakers stayed in Middle-earth. The Quenya speakers went to Valinor and the Sindarin speakers stayed in Middle-earth because ... and then you get the whole plot of Finwë and Olwë following the call of the Valar, while Elwë was staring at Melian for years, and thus got left behind.

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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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Indeed, and while he was a linguist IMO if he was going to make a mythology for his languages he should have made it a bit more consistent. []
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Roll of Honor Varnafindë
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Perhaps he was better at making his languages consistent ...
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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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I wouldn't know, I don't speak them. [] I may have a major continuity issue but I'll sit on it until I finish TS incase it's explained in these last few chapters. If not... []
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Inc'
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quote:
I wouldn't call it so much confusing as annoying, and most of it falls into that category really. People appear for half a page, vanish, turn up in 6 chapters somewhere you'd no idea they'd ever been and having no idea that they might have been important.
But don't things work like that in real life ? []
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Hamfast Gamgee
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I must say that I don't see any major continuinty errors in the Silm. Yes, the emphasis does change, the major charactors become a bit lower down in the scheme of things, and I suppose that Mr. Ominiscipant Narrator can contradict himself, but I do think that most things become resolved. There is one slight issue I do have with Mr. Ominisicpant Narrator that I have mentioned before here, but I won't again until people have finished! Maybe you could say what the problem you are having with the plotline precisely is?
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Roll of Honor The Woodwose
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I think it makes it easier if you read it almost as a collection of short stories that almost make a complete story... rather than a completed book.
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Roll of Honor Athene
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It reminds me in that respect of the Iliad, where Homer talks about one guy in the battle for half a page, gives us his life story, tells us he is valiant and "well-greaved"* and then NEVER MENTIONS HIM AGAIN. []

It is like WAT. [] []

*means that he has nice socks on, or something like that. []

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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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Inc': Maybe, but one reads fantasy to escape real life, surely? []

Hamfast: Fairly sure I answered you before. It's nothing in particular about the main plotline, it's a general disjointedness.

Woodwose: In some ways, but that would make characters who only turn up for half a page even more frustrating! []

Athene: [] Sounds very Sil'ish. I'll be sure to prepare myself for frustration before reading the Iliad.

quote:
*means that he has nice socks on, or something like that. []
Always important in a warrior, I think. []

Brief post as I'm meant to be working so I don't have to on my birthday. [] (Flexible working hours FTW!)

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Roll of Honor Sauron's Secret Agent
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I am reading this basket of delights, but not (I'm sorry) according to DQ's timetable; mostly because I was working hard and didn't manage to keep up at all.

However, I did come across this recently, and I think it sums up my problem as well as hers:

quote:
JRR Tolkien was passed over for the 1961 Nobel literature prize after the storytelling in his Lord of the Rings trilogy was described as second rate.

Newly-released documents - declassified after 50 years - show that he was nominated by fellow author CS Lewis.

The Nobel prize jury said "the result has not in any way measured up to storytelling of the highest quality".

And the Sil imo is even worse on that score.

Bite me! []

-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-~-
Queen of Grammar with King Marcho.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less travelled by...

Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, and ideas are bulletproof.

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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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[] [] []

[ 01-21-2012, 01:29 PM: Message edited by: The DarkQueen Iauraearien ]

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Artaresto
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Have you read about Beren yet? When I first read the book this chapter was the first one in which I couldn't put the book away. []
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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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Beren and Lúthien need a good slap. Them, Túrin and that chapter about where the various Elves settled were real low points IMO. [] I know, I know, everyone but me likes B&L. []

That said (I believe I said earlier in this thread), on the whole I like Tolkien's world and the history of it (or I wouldn't be here [] ), I just have issues with his style (or lack thereof). []

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Artaresto
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B&L is far from my favourite chapter now, after my many re-reads. I prefer happenings to secondary characters. [] Orodreth, Barahir, Huor etc. []
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Hamfast Gamgee
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I personally think that when it comes to tragedy, Unnumbered Tears knocks spots of Hamlet! In my eyes it is such an awesome chapter. So much happens in it to everyone. Much of it is so unexpectedly moving. The last stand of the men of Barahir for example. One just doesn't really expect when you first start to read it that it will have such a result, especially if you have read some of Tolkien's other works. It's so sad. Even if it has a slight twist at the end, I don't know if anyone spotted it!
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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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I don't even remember Unnumbered Tears now, so I guess it didn't make much of an impact on me (it keeps being referred to so I think I must have read it). []

Not much to say about the latest scheduled chapter except that it's nice and short.

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Roll of Honor Sauron's Secret Agent
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So why did nobody tell me that once one reaches the Sil proper, it gets better? Why? Why?

Was it a vile conspiracy to make sure I never read it, eh?

And Hamfast, did you read the kiddie version of Hamlet that you think it is not great tragedy? But I was forgetting, you couldn't read Harry Potter could you? []

[ 02-03-2012, 09:47 PM: Message edited by: Sauron's Secret Agent ]

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Hamfast Gamgee
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I think one or two of us might have hinted in the improvement!
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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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Sorry about that, SSA. I was just too busy whining about the awful English. []
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Roll of Honor Sauron's Secret Agent
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No, you didn't Hamfast - and anyway I'm far too busy IRL to sit here decoding vague hints. Read HP and the Chamber of Secrets yet?

I will let you off DQ [] The "story" improves dramatically, but for a Professor of English, his writing style is truly appalling. No wonder the Nobel Committee turned him down.

I just don't understand it; he obviously had imagination, but he just can't write. And yes, before you point it out, much of his mythology is nicked from other sources, but he did give it a new edge. His greatest achievements imo are the hobbits, and his improved slant on elves. Though I am also very fond of the pukel-men and the ents.

Anyway, onwards and sideways...

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Queen of Grammar with King Marcho.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less travelled by...

Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, and ideas are bulletproof.

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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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Or even backwards, as one works towards the back cover...

What is it with you and pukel-men? []

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Roll of Honor The DarkQueen Iauraearien
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I think the relief of finishing the main section went to my head! [] I'll try to get finished this week.
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Hamfast Gamgee
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So, did you ever finish the tale? Hey, and don't knock Pukel-men! A hard thing to do, anyway!

[ 12-10-2015, 03:09 PM: Message edited by: Hamfast Gamgee ]

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