964Re: Query: the pre-Cambrian layer
- Nov 7, 2006--- In email@example.com, John Garth
[a very informative post]
Erm- that'll teach me to read the endnotes carefully before
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
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!
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