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Re: Query: the pre-Cambrian layer

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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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