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20086Re: [mythsoc] Re: Tolkien cartoon

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  • Jason Fisher
    Sep 17, 2008
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      > While it is true as you point out that Christopher Tolkien
      > expresses some regret at certain aspects of his construction
      > of the published _Silmarillion_ , particularly his failure to
      > include a "frame", as you say [...], he also said in no uncertain
      > terms that for _The Silmarillion_ to remain unknown was for
      > him "out of the question" (see the Introduction to _Unfinished
      > Tales_). I agree with that fully; the thought that he might have
      > followed the alternative that his father left him of leaving the
      > work unpublished fills me with horror. To a large extent,
      > _The Silmarillion_ was Tolkien's life work, and as far as I am
      > concerned, there is no acceptable argument against its publication.

      Yes, absolutely. Too, the difficult nature of the challenge facing Christopher Tolkien is probably almost impossible for any of us to fully comprehend (except perhaps those few of us, like John, Wayne, Christina, and others, who have actually poured over the manuscripts themselves). Christopher described it this way (in the booklet, The Silmarillion: A Brief Account of the Book and Its Making):

      "To bring it into publishable form was a task at once utterly absorbing and alarming in its responsibility toward something that is unique. To decide what form that should be was not easy; and for a time I worked toward a book that would show something of this diversity, this unfinished and many-branched growth. But it became clear to me that the result would be so complex as to require much study for its comprehension; and I feared to crush The Silmarillion beneath the weight of its own history. I set myself, therefore, to work out a single text, by selection and arrangement." ([4])

      I think that says it pretty well. And I'm more than willing to accept a few missteps in the "single text" for what we got in exchange. Of course, Randy and probably everyone else here will agree with that. And in the end, we got the first plan as well (i.e., the "book[s] that would show something of this diversity"), in HoMe. I'm more than satisfied. :)
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