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Re: How to use Tolkien’s invented languages

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  • whammondwayne
    ... Edouard, I m sorry not to have seen this message and replied to it sooner. Christina and I also had not seen the description on Houghton Mifflin s site,
    Message 1 of 2 , Sep 16, 2005
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      --- In lambengolmor@yahoogroups.com, "laurifindil" <ejk@f...> wrote:

      > "The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion" by Wayne G.
      > Hammond and Christina Scull should be published on :
      > 10/25/2005. It will be a welcome volume !
      >
      > According to the Houghton Mifflin site
      >
      > <http://www.houghtonmifflinbooks.com/catalog/titledetail.cfm?
      > titleNumber=h9739>
      >
      > it will also have : "Translations and primers on how to use
      > Tolkien's invented languages."
      >
      > Could W. G. Hammond or C. Scull tell us please a little more about
      > that part? Is it something they wrote or a text (or texts) written by
      > JRR Tolkien, or a mix?

      Edouard, I'm sorry not to have seen this message and replied to it
      sooner. Christina and I also had not seen the description on Houghton
      Mifflin's site, and on Amazon US, which was written without
      consulting us. This seems to extrapolate from our earliest proposal
      for the book, and in the process ventures into a fantasy realm of its
      own. We never promised "primers on how to use Tolkien's invented
      languages"! though naturally, points of language enter into some of
      our notes. Nor does Tolkien's "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings"
      appear "for the first time". HarperCollins UK's original blurb (still
      on Amazon UK) was inaccurate in a few respects too, after which we
      wrote the following, which now appears on HarperCollins' sites in the
      UK and Canada:

      "In The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion internationally
      acclaimed scholars Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull examine
      Tolkien's masterpiece chapter by chapter, offering expert insights
      into its evolution, structure, and meaning. They discuss in close
      detail important literary and historical influences on the
      development of The Lord of the Rings, connections between that work
      and other writings by Tolkien, errors and inconsistencies,
      significant changes to the text during its fifty years of
      publication, archaic and unusual words used by Tolkien, and words and
      passages in his invented languages of Middle-earth. Thousands of
      notes, keyed to standard editions of The Lord of the Rings but
      universally accessible, reveal the richness and complexity of one of
      the most popular works of fiction in our time. In addition to their
      own expertise and that of other scholars and critics, Hammond and
      Scull frequently draw upon comments by Tolkien himself, made in
      letters to family, friends, and enthusiasts, in draft texts of The
      Lord of the Rings, and in works written in later years which amplify
      or illuminate characters and events in the story. Extensive reference
      is made also to writings by Tolkien not previously or widely
      published, including elaborate time-schemes, an unfinished manuscript
      index to The Lord of the Rings, and most notably, the important
      Nomenclature or guide to names in The Lord of the Rings prepared for
      the use of translators, long out of print and now newly transcribed
      and printed in its entirety. With these resources at hand, even the
      most seasoned reader of The Lord of the Rings will come to a greater
      enjoyment and appreciation of Tolkien's magnificent achievement."

      I also note that in the American description our book is said to have
      416 pages. Originally it was supposed to come in around 400-450
      pages, but in the process of writing it demanded more and more, so
      that (even with some cutting) our typescript ran to between 900 and
      1,000 pages. HarperCollins is listing this at 976 pages, presumably
      including the index. This posed some production problems, which we
      understand have been solved by the use of a thinner paper, in order
      to have a volume that isn't difficult to handle, and that (at least
      in the UK) can be included in a boxed set with The Lord of the Rings
      itself. HarperCollins are publishing the Reader's Companion
      simultaneously in both hardcover and paperback, separately and in the
      sets.

      I should add that despite the similarity of titles (HarperCollins'
      choice), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion is not the same
      as The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide which Christina and I are
      still working to complete. The first is a book of annotations to The
      Lord of the Rings, the second a two-volume reference book on Tolkien.
      The Reader's Companion, the 50th anniversary edition of The Lord of
      the Rings, and our new index for LR (to be published beginning later
      this year) have been more time-sensitive, so as to appear during the
      anniversary years.

      Wayne Hammond
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