In Elfling post 34666 Helge Fauskanger writes:
> [Tolkien's] linguistic manuscripts will end up in a library
> where (at least in principle) everyone can go and study them.
This may or may not be true. After all, even though they've been deposited with the
Bodleian Library, the vast bulk of the "Silmarillion" papers remain unaccessible even to
readers admitted to the Bodleian, unless they have the express permission of the Tolkien
Estate to work with them.
Thus, while the Estate has chosen to ensure the preservation of these papers, and to allow
access to them by serious researchers for serious reasons, their preferred means of
providing access to the contents of the papers is to present them in ordered, edited, and
rational form. Hence "The History of Middle-earth". It should be no surprise that their
preferred means of providing access to the linguistic papers is precisely the same as for
the literary papers.
It will also, of course, be no surprise at all if the Tolkien Estate never permits Helge in
particular to come within 100 yards of Tolkien's linguistic papers.
As for the rest of Helge's diatribe: he once again displays a breathtaking lack of
understanding of the nature of Tolkien's papers and of the editorial process, a remarkably
elevated estimation of his own importance and qualification to judge how best to proceed
with Tolkien's papers, and a complete absence of any gratitude towards Christopher
Tolkien for making any portion of his father's papers in any form at all, or towards the
editors who spend so much of their own free time, without pay, to edit and publish these
papers, at their own expense.
Helge reminds me of nothing so much as a little child with his mouth crammed so full of
french fries that he can barely chew them, but wailing at the top of his lungs at his parents
to give him more.
Carl F. Hostetter