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964Re: Query: the pre-Cambrian layer

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  • William Cloud Hicklin
    Nov 7, 2006
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      --- In lambengolmor@yahoogroups.com, John Garth
      <johnwgarth@...> wrote:

      [a very informative post]


      Erm- that'll teach me to read the endnotes carefully before
      spouting......

      One (perhaps the only) question Mr Garth leaves unplumbed is
      whether or not "_Mar Vanwa Tyalieva_" preceded the A-text of
      "The Fall of Gondolin". Unfortunately there is very little linguistic
      overlap, and such as there is is unhelpful: for instance, MVT
      uses the form _-los_ in _Gar Lossion_, where FG has original -los,
      changed to _-loth_; but this is plainly a very late change, 1919 or
      thereafter.

      I'm inclined to plump for MVT as being the earlier. I'll concede
      that my perception may be skewed by the fact that MVT exists as a
      first draft and literal copy thereof, while FG only exists (for
      the most part) in later revision. However, there are a few
      suggestions of evidence:

      1) FG ends, "And no one in all the Room of Logs spake...,"
      apparently in all versions. This of course is not proof that MVT
      was in existence, but it hints that way.

      2) FG is told by "Littleheart son of Bronweg," and Bronweg/
      Voronwe has a major role in the Tale. It would be a trifle odd,
      then, if MVT were written second and yet omitted mentioning that
      Littleheart's father was so important a character.

      3) The original of MVT has, "Earendel the wanderer, who alone of
      the sons of men..." A very thin reed, but perhaps a suggestion
      that Earendel's half-Elven status had yet to arise.

      4) (2) and (3) are really just particular points in an overall
      observation: MVT contains no references whatsoever to the later
      mythology, but numerous specific allusions to the early poems. I
      just think it would be very strange if Tolkien had already
      written FG, with so much of the later War of the Jewels present
      in embryo, and yet made no mention of any of it in MVT. In
      Tolkien, visitors to houses almost always get a dose of history!

      --William Hicklin
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