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116Update, please?

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  • Helge K. Fauskanger
    Feb 4, 2001
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      I notice with great interest that Elfconner Arden R. Smith sometimes
      appears on this list, sharing his considerable insight on Tolkien's writing
      systems (no, I'm not being ironic...though we are getting there fast).
      Today is the four-year anniversary of TolkLang message 23.14 of February
      4th, 1997 -- authored by none other than Mr. Smith himself. Allow me to
      celebrate Smith's great efforts with a brief quote from this epistle of his
      (one should bear in mind that he was defending himself against the
      outrageous claim that he and his group are not particularly efficient
      publishers):

      > I have not been completely idle. Working through the documents relating
      to the writing systems -- deciphering them, putting them into a legible
      form, determining their place in the chronology, etc. -- is a
      time-consuming process. Rest assured that when such material does start
      appearing, it will be in large batches.

      Well. Since Mr. Smith wrote this, the time-consuming process has consumed
      another four years. The fact remains that we haven't seen even one "batch"
      (large or otherwise) -- let alone *several* batches. Now that Mr. Smith has
      spent forty-eight months not being completely idle, in addition to the
      comparable amount of time he had apparently spent on the manuscripts
      *before* he ever wrote the words above, perhaps we may have a little
      update? How are the "large batches" coming along, really? After 4(+++)
      years, is Smith finally able to state a deadline -- for the very first
      batch, at least? After all, I'm sure Mr. Smith wouldn't want us to "rest
      assured" until we slip into a coma.

      I asked Mr. Smith much the same question on the TolkLang list several years
      ago, but he declined to answer -- undoubtedly because he was spending every
      spare moment on Tolkien's manuscripts and didn't have time for "stupid
      questions" (as one of his co-workers so eloquently put it on another
      occasion...or so I am told). Yet the very fact that nowadays, Smith is able
      to make occasional contributions to the Elfscript list would seem to
      suggest that he could indeed find the time to provide us with a brief
      update. This matter is hardly off topic; to the members of this particular
      list, it should be of the utmost interest. So, Arden dearest, please do
      tell us: WHEN, really, can we expect to see the first of the "batches" of
      new information about Tolkien's writing systems that you promised us four
      years ago?

      - Helge Fauskanger
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