Re: On the role of the editorial team
- On Sep 5, 2007, at 6:39 PM, Carl F. Hostetter wrote:
> There is NOT ONE WORD of gratitude from Helge for Chris's work, orAnd why is this? The answer is readily discernible (and brings us
> for Chris's gift to him.
right back to Thorsten's original post):
Helge believes that he is ENTITLED to the contents of Tolkien's
papers; and so he believes that ANYONE who stands between him and
those contents is nothing but an OBSTACLE to his entitlement, to whom
of course he owes NOTHING (save contempt).
Of course, NO ONE is _entitled_ to the contents of Tolkien's papers.
Christopher Tolkien would have been entirely within his rights to
lock the papers away forever, or even to burn them. Instead, he chose
to make their contents available, _in due time_, _in the appropriate
manner_, _properly edited_, and in _printed form_; and he selected
Christopher Gilson and his colleagues to bring this about.
But because Helge believes he _is_ entitled to the contents of
Tolkien's papers, he sees Christopher Tolkien, Christopher Gilson,
myself, and my colleagues _not_ as we are -- the _means_ by which
Tolkien's papers are graciously being made available to all
interested parties (including Helge) -- but rather as nothing but
_obstacles_ between him and those papers.
And from this belief flows his unceasing contempt, and petulance,
towards Christopher Tolkien, the Tolkien Estate, and the "editorial
- In Elfling message 34402 (<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elfling/message/34402>),
> What I want to see is ... a "mass release" publication scheme via an equallyI would have liked to see that too, actually. But merely wanting something does not mean
> handsome Languages of Middle-earth hardcover series modeled on
> Christopher Tolkien's History of Middle-earth series.
it can be. For starters, this would require interesting a commercial publisher in the
project, which means convincing them that there is a sufficient market of interest in
Tolkien's languages to support the commercial publication of such a series. But no
publisher I know of is convinced of that (in fact, getting ANY academic Tolkien material
published is VERY difficult), and so there is little or no prospect of this happening. (And
the desirability of such a publication is only MY view; I have no idea whether Christopher
Tolkien, Christopher Gilson, or the others would want to publish in this manner even if it
So we're doing the best we can in the circumstances.
- In Elfling message 34398 (<http://groups.yahoo.com/group/elfling/
Helge K. Fauskanger <helge.fauskanger@...> writes:
> [The "editorial team"] have also taken upon themselves atremendous moral responsibility
I would be remiss in not correcting this arrogant assertion. (Who
does Helge think he is to tell us what our responsibilities are?
Until and unless he starts paying us salaries, Helge is not the boss
Whatever responsibility we have, it is certainly not "moral" (a most
curious thing for Helge of all people to appeal to with respect to
Tolkien's manuscripts, given his activities).
Moreover, I deny that we have any _responsibility_ at all: we could
all of us walk away from this project tomorrow, if we choose. We have
made no contract; we receive no salary; we have no obligation to
publish one scrap more, if we choose not to. We don't owe anything to
anyone; no one is _entitled_ to our time or efforts. We do this
because we _want_ to, and only _so long_ as we want to: that is, so
long as we find it personally satisfying and enjoyable and
_worthwhile_ to do so. And no longer.
- With the recent flare up of criticism of the editorial team, I would like to
say something to Carl Hostetter, Christopher Gilson, and all others working
on editing the linguistic papers: thank you!
While I too would love to see things published more quickly, I am under no
illusions that the process of editing and publishing the material is easy, or
can be done quickly, and the work that has been done so far is wonderful!
So thank you, all of you.