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11725Silmarillion - HoME

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  • Jay Hershberger
    Mar 11, 2004
      > At 02:01 PM 3/11/2004 -0600, Jay Hershberger wrote:
      >
      > >JH: Pearce's view of the HoME as "secondary" means--as I understood
      > him--that it
      > >should not be regarded as on the same level as Tolkien's published works,
      > >including the works of minor fiction and essays. Pearce regards the
      > >published Silmarillion as being included in the "primary" canon
      > with H and
      > >LOTR.
      >
      > DB: I don't know what "Tolkien's published works" means here, because HoME
      is
      > published works, and if it means "works published by Tolkien" it should
      > exclude _The Silmarillion_. As for "'primary' canon", what your canon
      > includes depends on what you want a canon for. To exclude HoME from any
      > study of Tolkien's literary thought or creativity would be a huge
      > mistake.

      JH: Interesting discussion! Pearce never for a moment implied that the HoME
      should be excluded from any study of Tolkien's literary thought or
      creativity. He simply stated that when studying what "happened" in Middle
      Earth (person, place, thing, event, etc.) we should be cautious and view the
      HoME as secondary (he did not mean secondary source vs. primary source in
      the sense of scholarly citation). It is appropriate to rely instead upon
      the H, LOTR, and the S as authoritative to determine what actually happened.

      For example, regarding the story of Beren and Luthien, we may admire the Lay
      of Leithian as a poem, piece of literature, etc., or we may read the Tale of
      Tinuviel in the BoLT II, and find it interesting, entertaining, profound, or
      whatever, but perhaps we should be cautious and not rely upon those versions
      to establish the "facts" of the story set in Middle Earth. Rather, it seems
      best to rely upon the story of Beren and Luthien as it appears in the S to
      establish the "facts" of what actually happened where, when, how, who, etc.
      in Middle Earth. What makes HoME important is that we can compare the
      evolving story of Beren and Luthien, the prose, poetry, structure, etc. How
      did the story change? What elements remain from the earliest drafts? What
      elements are discarded? Did Tolkien's thinking about the relationship
      between this tale and the underlying mythological landscape change? This is
      all I believe Pearce intended by his comments. It sounds reasonable to me.

      Great discussion! All that is missing from this is a stout ale and a pipe
      at the Bird and Baby! I'll buy the first round...

      Cheers,

      Jay Hershberger
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