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Insincerity, thy name is Fauskanger

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  • Patrick H. Wynne
    In Elfling post 34666 Helge Fauskanger writes: Supposedly, when Christopher Tolkien passes away -- for we cannot realistically think that he will live to see
    Message 1 of 2 , Jan 4, 2008
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      In Elfling post 34666 Helge Fauskanger writes:

      "Supposedly, when Christopher Tolkien passes away -- for we cannot
      realistically think that he will live to see the end of the publication
      project -- his father's linguistic manuscripts will end up in a library
      where (at least in principle) everyone can go and study them. One
      wonders why this can't be arranged already."

      The oily haze of disingenuousness permeating this last sentence leaves
      me a bit woozy. Of course Helge knows _full well_ why all of Tolkien's
      unpublished linguistic manuscripts have not been placed in "a library
      where... everyone can go and study them". HE HIMSELF is a primary
      reason why such an arrangement is not now possible. Helge's publication
      of illicitly acquired copies of the final drafts of Tolkien's Átaremma and
      Aia María, in defiance of the expressed wishes of Christopher Tolkien
      and the Tolkien Estate, made it abundantly clear that he will treat any
      unpublished material that comes into his possession as his own personal
      property, to do with as he sees fit -- morality, legality, and common
      human courtesy be damned.

      I can only hope that when the manuscripts in Christopher Tolkien's
      possession _do_ go to the Bodleian, it will be with the proviso that
      Helge is not to be allowed within a hundred hards of them.

      Helge also muses, "it remains to be seen whether the all the current editors
      will still be interested and able to contribute 10+ years from now. We must
      hope."

      Trust me, Helge, I become a little less interested in working on Tolkien's
      unpublished papers with every new sarcastic diatribe you excrete. Keep
      up the good work.

      -- Patrick H. Wynne
    • Carl F. Hostetter
      ... 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
      Message 2 of 2 , Jan 4, 2008
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        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
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