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Re: Query: the pre-Cambrian layer

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 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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