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Re: Query: the pre-Cambrian layer

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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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