At 12:02 AM 8/13/2007 +0000, Merlin DeTardo wrote:
>And yet the
>existence of some editorial invention like that has, I think, led to
>the false impression among some readers that little of _The
>Silmarillion_ is J.R.R. Tolkien's work.
A desire to correct that false impression was part of the impetus for
publishing the History of Middle-earth in the first place. See the preface
to Book of Lost Tales vol. 1.
>My impression was that Kane's paper was eye-opening even to the most
>knowledgeable Tolkienists in the room, who were well aware of the
>disparate sourcing of the published _Silmarillion_ but had not
>encountered it in summary form, where general trends could be
You can get a tiny sense of this by checking the entries for the individual
chapters of the 1977 Silmarillion in Scull & Hammond's Reader's Guide. The
sources for individual chapters, and how much of each, are listed there,
though it doesn't go into much detail about exactly what came from where.
I wasn't at the paper; was Kane aware of this?
Also, doesn't Kane have a website with a lot of his material on it? I
think someone told me that he did.
>On the other hand, as presented, though cleanly delivered
>and nicely supported by the slides, it was too much a chapter-by-
>chapter list of texts and alterations, and somewhat bewildering.
In a study like this, you need to compile all the details meticulously and
then stand back and look for the overall patterns. It's a shame when a
scholar is too devoted to the trees to see the forest.
>Also, apart from those few occasions where Christopher Tolkien has
>explicitly acknowledged editorial invention, I think it would behoove
>Kane to emphasize that his study is limited to tracing the history of
>the published _Silmarillion_ to texts in _The History of Middle-
>earth_; what doesn't appear there may yet be J.R.R.T.'s work.
That is very true, and your following example is an excellent demonstration
But if one must be cautious of the Scylla of assuming that the published
material is all, I've also seen Tolkienists fall into the Charybdis of a
"it's just around the corner" attitude; that if only those inexplicably
greedy linguists would release the material, we could all speak fluent
Sindarin at our wedding ceremonies, and peace and joy would reign
throughout the world.