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Re: Query: the pre-Cambrian layer

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 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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