>...Secondly, because one of Tolkien's greatest virtues as an
>author is the richness of his creation, and this enables the reader to watch
>how it was made. This is what Guy Kay would rather we not see, but the
>magnitude of the work Tolkien put into it, a whole dimension beyond a slice
>of the inner history as we know it from LOTR, is itself a grand creation.
I remember debating with myself, when THE BOOK OF LOST TALES came out, whether I wanted to read variant versions and spoil the view I had of THE SILMARILLION, which I considered to be canon. I'm glad I went ahead and read all of the HOME volumes, because as many have pointed out since then, JRRT's vision of his own legendarium is so complex that it really needs to be seen in all its different forms and versions to comprehend fully.
All right, so maybe I could have skipped the early drafts of LORD OF THE RINGS, but then I would've missed the delicious tidbits like Frodo and Strider originally being Bingo and Trotter.
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