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Query: the pre-Cambrian layer

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  • William Cloud Hicklin
    Since I don t own the QL, I was hoping somebody who does (or the eds) could tell me: in the Parma Eldalamberon edition, are the entries from the earliest
    Message 1 of 9 , Oct 31, 2006
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      Since I don't own the QL, I was hoping somebody who does (or the
      eds) could tell me: in the Parma Eldalamberon edition, are the entries
      from the "earliest layer" (pres. 1915) indicated or marked in any way?

      -- William Cloud Hicklin

      [The short answer is "No, not systematically". Beyond Christopher
      Tolkien's general observation that "A good proportion of the entries
      in the first half of the alphabet were made at one time, when the work
      was first begun", and that "many entries (virtually all of those in the
      second part of the alphabet) are later than this first layer" (I:246), it
      is difficult to definitively state whether any particular entry is "original"
      versus "later". As CJRT himself notes, "nothing more definite can be said
      than that all entries belong to the period of (or not long preceding) the
      _Lost Tales_" (ibid.).

      However, in the Foreward to the Qenya Phonology and Lexicon, the
      editors do include a detailed chronological comparison of forms in the
      Lexicon with those in the Lost Tales, the Phonology, and The Poetic
      and Mythologic Words of Eldarissa; and the editorial notes following
      each entry in the Lexicon proper note, when possible, later additions
      and emendations. -- PHW]
    • William Cloud Hicklin
      ... Right. Then can a reasonably firm date be assigned to The Poetic and Mythologic Words of Eldarissa, and can it serve as a snapshot in time? [Quoting
      Message 2 of 9 , Nov 2, 2006
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        > [The short answer is "No, not systematically". ...
        > However, in the Foreward to the Qenya Phonology and Lexicon, the
        > editors do include a detailed chronological comparison of forms in the
        > Lexicon with those in the Lost Tales, the Phonology, and The Poetic
        > and Mythologic Words of Eldarissa;

        Right. Then can a reasonably firm date be assigned to "The Poetic
        and Mythologic Words of Eldarissa," and can it serve as a
        "snapshot" in time?

        [Quoting from PE12:xx-xxi: "These name lists [to the "Story of Tuor" and
        _The Fall of Gondolin_] show indirectly that PME itself must date from after
        the composition of _The Fall of Gondolin_ in 1916-17 but before the
        _Tuor B_ version, probably no later than 1918, and certainly before the
        emendations Tolkien made for his reading of the story in the spring of
        1920." CFH]

        I'm enquiring because I've become interested in what scraps might
        be excavated from the very earliest layer: the pre-Somme period
        of the early poems, even before Gnomish and the _Lost Tales_.

        [You'll want to be sure to have a look at John Garth's book,
        _Tolkien and the Great War_, who examines just such issues. CFH]

        [-- William Hicklin

        Gentle reminder to all list members: please sign all of your posts
        with your (real) name. CFH]
      • William Cloud Hicklin
        ... It was Garth s book that got me started- he makes some (to me) startling assertions, yet he gives no sources beyond PE, VT, and HME. So how does one (did
        Message 3 of 9 , Nov 2, 2006
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          > I'm enquiring because I've become interested in what scraps
          > might be excavated from the very earliest layer: the pre-
          > Somme period of the early poems, even before Gnomish
          > and the _Lost Tales_.
          >
          > [You'll want to be sure to have a look at John Garth's book,
          > _Tolkien and the Great War_, who examines just such issues.
          > CFH]

          It was Garth's book that got me started- he makes some (to me)
          startling assertions, yet he gives no sources beyond PE, VT, and
          HME. So how does one (did he) sift out those bits which predate
          the Somme? (my temporary hypothesis is that JRRT's service in
          the trenches represents a watershed: the Lost Tales and Gnomish
          on this side and the proto-mythology on the other. Indeed, it
          might be reasonable to deduce that he left the QL in England, or
          it would have been lost with the rest of his kit).

          [You will, unfortunately, find this sifting difficult without a copy
          of Parma XII (with QL) to hand. The Foreword presents much of
          the linguistic detective work involved in dating the QL entries
          in relation to the Lost Tales and events in Tolkien's life. PHW]

          I can throw up one suggestion bearing on a slighly later matter-
          "The Cottage of Lost Play" originally gave Lindo's father as
          _Manwë_, later emended to _Valwë_. CRT comments "possibl[y]...a
          mere slip." But I note that in one of the few bits of the pencil
          text of Tuor A which can be read, we find "bluer than the
          sapphires of Súlimo," where the later text has "bluer than the
          sapphires of the raiment of Manwë." Taken together with the fact
          that -wë is typically associated with elf-names (Finwë, Inwë,
          Voronwë, Linwë > Tinwë), could it not be that _Manwë_ in Mar
          Vanwa was not a slip at all: that it was't yet the Elder King's
          name?

          -- William Cloud Hicklin
        • John Garth
          ... The process was lengthy (involving all the spare hours of about two weeks). Among other things, I rearranged QL in the order it appears in Tolkien s
          Message 4 of 9 , Nov 3, 2006
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            William Cloud Hicklin wrote, regarding "the very earliest layer" of Qenya:

            > It was Garth's book that got me started- he makes some (to me)
            > startling assertions, yet he gives no sources beyond PE, VT, and
            > HME. So how does one (did he) sift out those bits which predate
            > the Somme?

            The process was lengthy (involving all the spare hours of about two weeks).
            Among other things, I rearranged QL in the order it appears in Tolkien's
            original, rather than alphabetically as published in _Parma Eldalamberon_.
            For lack of time right now, I can add nothing by way of elucidation except
            to repeat is what I said in the endnotes to _Tolkien and the Great War_ (pp
            335-6) regarding my description of the state of the mythology circa March
            1915 (pp. 125-8): "this reconstruction is based primarily on the Qenya
            lexicon, along with the available poetry of 1915, and notes on Eärendel's
            Atlantic wanderings and 'The Shores of Faëry' (LT2, 261­2; internal
            evidence suggests other outlines in LT2, 253ff., were written later). JRRT
            is unlikely to have risked taking the lexicon on active service, and its
            state circa March 1916 may be broadly surmised by excluding all entries
            lacking in 'The Poetic and Mythologic Words of Eldarissa', a list copied
            from it probably soon after he returned to England (Parma Eldalamberon 12,
            xvii­xxi). Some details appearing only in that list are assumed to postdate
            the initial lexicon phase, and omitted here. The reconstruction takes no
            account of unpublished poems, notes or outlines, and covers a period
            (beginning in early 1915) in which conceptions were probably very fluid.

            > (my temporary hypothesis is that JRRT's service in
            > the trenches represents a watershed: the Lost Tales and Gnomish
            > on this side and the proto-mythology on the other. Indeed, it
            > might be reasonable to deduce that he left the QL in England, or
            > it would have been lost with the rest of his kit).

            Regarding the "Poetic and Mythologic Words of Eldarissa", I also note (pp.
            352-3): "If JRRT left his Qenya lexicon at home when he went to France (as
            seems likely in view of Smith losing 'The Burial of Sophocles'), perhaps
            this new word list was written in hospital in Birmingham so he could
            refamiliarize himself with Qenya. It adds little to the content of the
            lexicon (upon which he continued to work), and makes no attempt at
            alphabetical order."

            > I can throw up one suggestion bearing on a slighly later matter-
            > "The Cottage of Lost Play" originally gave Lindo's father as
            > _Manwë_, later emended to _Valwë_. CRT comments "possibl[y]...a
            > mere slip." But I note that in one of the few bits of the pencil
            > text of Tuor A which can be read, we find "bluer than the
            > sapphires of Súlimo," where the later text has "bluer than the
            > sapphires of the raiment of Manwë." Taken together with the fact
            > that -wë is typically associated with elf-names (Finwë, Inwë,
            > Voronwë, Linwë > Tinwë), could it not be that _Manwë_ in Mar
            > Vanwa was not a slip at all: that it was't yet the Elder King's
            > name?

            I am inclined to agree, and this is just one of the pieces of evidence that
            I sifted for my book. See my notes on "The Cottage of Lost Play" on pp. 355
            and on "The Music of the Ainur" on pp. 361-2.

            John Garth
          • ejk@free.fr
            In the typescript EQG (PE14:85) we have _úqe_ it rains , but _uqe_ with a short u in the manuscript EGQ (56). [Both are correct per the original. CFH]
            Message 5 of 9 , Nov 4, 2006
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              In the typescript EQG (PE14:85) we have _úqe_ 'it rains', but _uqe_ with a short u in the manuscript EGQ (56).

              [Both are correct per the original. CFH]

              Another thing: _muyeltal_ *"we both drive' (p. 86) looks like a mistake.
              It should be _muyeltas_. No? Cf. _muyantas_ *'we both give' on the same page,
              and the note on p. 76: "-t, -s ending of dual verbs".

              What do you think ?

              [It is inconsistent with that form and note, yes. But one must keep in mind the
              fluidity of these conceptions, particularly when arising in such handwritten
              rider sheets as those on which both of the forms and the note on dual endings
              you cite occur CFH]

              Namárië,

              Edouard Kloczko
            • William Cloud Hicklin
              ... wrote: [a very informative post] Erm- that ll teach me to read the endnotes carefully before spouting...... One (perhaps the only)
              Message 6 of 9 , 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
              • John Garth
                On Tuesday, 7 November 2006, at 19:07, William Cloud Hicklin wrote ... In fact, I also have something to say on this matter in my
                Message 7 of 9 , Nov 8, 2006
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                  On Tuesday, 7 November 2006, at 19:07, William Cloud Hicklin
                  <solicitr@...> wrote

                  > 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

                  In fact, I also have something to say on this matter in my endnotes to
                  _Tolkien and the Great War_ (p. 355), where I refer to the framing tale
                  by its English title:

                  "'The Cottage of Lost Play': name changes in or between the first, undated
                  text and a fair copy begun by Edith Tolkien on 12 February 1917 match those
                  in the early chart of names in 'The Poetic and Mythologic Words of
                  Eldarissa', which clearly predated 'The Fall of Gondolin'. The elf-king's
                  name Ing in 'The Cottage of Lost Play' was emended to Inwë, his name in 'The
                  Fall of Gondolin'. The sun-tree of Valinor was first Glingol, a name given
                  in the latter to the tree's seedling in Gondolin itself. Most interesting is
                  the occurrence of Manwë as a name for an Elf (emended to Valwë): in 'The
                  Fall of Gondolin' and all later mythological texts Manwë is the name of the
                  chief of the Valar. (LT1, pp. 13, 21-2; Parma Eldalamberon 12, p. xx; Parma
                  Eldalamberon 13, pp. 98-9.)"

                  >I'm inclined to plump for MVT as being the earlier.

                  Likewise.

                  All the best,

                  John Garth
                • William Cloud Hicklin
                  ... My bad! I had intended to reference Mr Garth s published comments, which my own slender observations are merely meant to supplement; but somehow neglected
                  Message 8 of 9 , Nov 9, 2006
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                    --- In lambengolmor@yahoogroups.com, John Garth
                    <johnwgarth@...> wrote:

                    > In fact, I also have something to say on this matter in my
                    > endnotes to _Tolkien and the Great War_ (p. 355), where I
                    > refer to the framing tale by its English title:

                    My bad! I had intended to reference Mr Garth's published
                    comments, which my own slender observations are merely meant to
                    supplement; but somehow neglected to do so.


                    Tolkien said, "I find it only too easy to write opening
                    chapters" [_Letters_ no. 24]; and he was being truthful: the first
                    chapters of both _The Hobbit_ and _LR_ languished for a long time
                    before being carried forward, and we have the abandoned openings
                    of _The New Shadow_ and the _Farmer Giles_ sequel. There is also
                    the trunk of _The Lost Road_, where JRRT leaped ahead to the parts
                    he was really interested in, the Anglo-Saxon episode and the Fall of
                    Numenor.

                    It seems to me that it was especially characteristic of Tolkien
                    to envision a midpoint or endpoint for a story; to start writing
                    the story from the beginning towards that point; and in the event
                    never get there.* This happens *three* times in the _Lost Tales_
                    (yes, this has a linguistic reference: bear with me). In the
                    first instance, there was the Eriol-story, intended to bring
                    about the preexisting identification of Tol Eressea with
                    England. "_Mar Vanwa Tyalieva_" was the beginning, probably his
                    first prose narrative - but he never reached the already-imagined
                    end, either as envisioned or in the modified Aelfwine-form.

                    Also from the pre-Somme period was the idea of Earendel and his
                    voyages, which never reached narrative form then or later (save
                    the _Qenta Noldorinwa_ epitome). I have little doubt that the
                    "Fall of Gondolin" was the first actual Tale written precisely because
                    it begins the story of Earendel, with his parentage and birth.**
                    The title of the first text was "Tuor and the Exiles of Gondolin (which
                    bringeth in the great tale of Earendel)". But then came Tinuviel,
                    quite likely for personal reasons- and the Earendel story was
                    never resumed, notwithstanding the many promises in the frame-
                    story.

                    But I believe that the "essential historical fact" (EHF) of Tolkien's
                    conception as he lay in his hospital bed, already present in the
                    "Fall of Gondolin", was mandated by the "essential linguistic
                    fact:" the new language Gnomish and the need to explain its
                    divergence from Qenya. The EHF was of course the "exile and
                    thraldom of the Noldoli," which I strongly suspect were in the
                    initial conception nearly coextensive. This was the point toward
                    which Tolkien was driving when, armed with the "Valinorean"
                    elements of the proto-mythology, he wrote the long continuous
                    sequence from "The Music of the Ainur" to "The Tale of the Sun and
                    Moon". But of course he never reached his goal - all we have are
                    the outlines published under "Gilfanon's Tale". This conception
                    would of course be preserved, but the expanding mythology would
                    eventually make it untenable: the ages before _Nirnaeth Arnoediad_,
                    and before the Return of the Noldor, would so stretch out, and
                    the element of thrall-Noldor so diminish, that out of necessity
                    Tolkien made the Great Linguistic Shift, Noldorin > Sindarin.

                    And so Tolkien was being absolutely truthful when he called his
                    mythos "linguistic in inspiration:" beyond even the perceived
                    need for tongues to have a "history" in which to live, I submit
                    that the core of the entire _legendarium_ was Tolkien's need to
                    explain the relationship of Eldarissa and Noldorissa.


                    * cf also the _Narn i Chin Hurin_, where Tolkien wrote the end
                    before starting from the beginning, and never quite bridged the
                    gap. I suspect he wrote the Brethil section first because the
                    basic story-points in his conception of the _Turinssaga_ were the
                    Sigurd-element (Glaurung) and the Kullervo-element (Nienor).

                    ** Perhaps also because it was an outlet for the inner tension
                    between JRRT's horrific experiences and his romantic spirit. In
                    the "Link to the Tale of Tinuviel" he wrote, "'Aye, often enough,'
                    said Eriol, 'yet not to the great wars of earthly kings and
                    mighty nations, which are cruel and bitter, whelming in their
                    ruin all the beauty both of the earth and of those fair things
                    that men fashion with their hands in time of peace - nay, they
                    spare not sweet women and tender maids, such as thou, Vëannë
                    Melinir, for then are men drunk with wrath and the lust of blood,
                    and Melko fares abroad. But gallant affrays have I seen wherein
                    brave men did sometimes meet, and swift blows were dealt, and
                    strength of body and of heart was proven."


                    --William Hicklin
                  • ejk@free.fr
                    In looks to me that the Gnomish noun _saib_ a boat , according to the Gnomish Lexicon, p. 66, should read boot instead. It comes from the root Sayap- and in
                    Message 9 of 9 , Nov 13, 2006
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                      In looks to me that the Gnomish noun _saib_ a "boat", according to the Gnomish
                      Lexicon, p. 66, should read "boot" instead. It comes from the root Sayap- and
                      in the Qenyaqetsa p. 82 from it we have Eldarissa _saipo_ "a boot".

                      Funny that in Ety. the translation from the related root SKYAP- was also misread
                      "shore", instead of "shoe".

                      Namárie,

                      Edouard Kloczko

                      [I have checked my photocopies of the GL ms., and yes the gloss of
                      _saib_ should read "boot". Thanks for catching this! It also appears that
                      the root SAYAP cited in this same entry has a dot over the Y, though this
                      is not indicated in the published text. -- PHW]
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