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11726Silmarillion - HoME II

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  • Jay Hershberger
    Mar 11, 2004
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      > >JH: We never finished our conversations about this, especially regarding
      > >how CT's edition of the Silmarillion is somehow different in
      > "weight" than
      > >the HoME.
      > DB: Weight for what purpose? For some purposes it weighs more, for
      > others less.

      JH: Yes, indeed. This was the genesis of my original question to Mr.
      Pearce. How should we view the Silmarillion? Pearce believes that Tolkien
      was a perfectionist. Hence the Silmarillion was not finished when he died.
      But unlike some literary figures, he never consigned unpublished manuscripts
      to the flames or the river. He was, as many elderly folks are, a sort of
      "pack rat" and kept everything. Perhaps he continued to refer to the early
      manuscripts for ideas, refreshment of memory, etc. Had he lived long enough
      to the complete the Silmarillion in a form that satisfied his perfectionist
      tendencies, Perhaps the HoME might have taken a different shape through CT
      after JRRT's death. Then it might be a clearer case of weightiness or not.

      As you previously pointed out, CT was faced with putting the narrative in a
      publishable form and made choices. Then he edited and published the whole
      lot of his father's papers and manuscripts for others to compare. This is a
      fabulous treasure trove! Thank goodness he did this. But I am still left
      with the question that I originally posed that Pearce did not answer,
      because we got side-tracked with dinner. How is CT's edition of the
      Silmarillion different than the HoME? He compiled and edited the final
      versions, best versions, most clear versions, or whatever, of the
      mythologies as they existed at the time of JRRT's death, and produced "The
      Silmarillion." Is the S a distillation of the manuscripts and papers that
      make up the HoME? If so, then why would we regard the S as being more
      authentic than the manuscripts of the HoME?


      Jay Hershberger
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