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Re: Mythcon 38 / Silmarillion?

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  • Merlin DeTardo
    ... Kane s paper, on the construction of the published Silmarillion? I m curious about this because it seems what he s been doing parallels something I did
    Message 1 of 32 , Aug 12, 2007
      >>---"William Cloud Hicklin" <solicitr@...> wrote:
      >>Does anyone who heard it have thoughts or opinions on Douglas
      Kane's paper, on the construction of the published Silmarillion? I'm
      curious about this because it seems what he's been doing parallels
      something I did for my private amusement about a decade ago.

      It's a shame you didn't make your work known earlier! Not that
      Kane's project is badly done at all, but besides the repetition of
      effort, that's ten years where people referring to something in _The
      Silmarilion_ might have benefited from having at hand a valuable
      resource like his or your analyses. I know I was struck, a few years
      ago, to learn that much of Ch. 22, "Of the Ruin of Doriath", was
      almost without precedent in Tolkien's own writing (though Kane
      emphasized that he finds _The Silmarillion's_ version of that chapter
      to be a good solution by Christopher Tolkien and Guy Kay to a
      difficult textual problem) -- a fact which most readers don't know
      because it must dug out of _The War of the Jewels_. And yet the
      existence of some editorial invention like that has, I think, led to
      the false impression among some readers that little of _The
      Silmarillion_ is J.R.R. Tolkien's work. A good checklist would be a
      useful aid.

      My impression was that Kane's paper was eye-opening even to the most
      knowledgeable Tolkienists in the room, who were well aware of the
      disparate sourcing of the published _Silmarillion_ but had not
      encountered it in summary form, where general trends could be
      observed. On the other hand, as presented, though cleanly delivered
      and nicely supported by the slides, it was too much a chapter-by-
      chapter list of texts and alterations, and somewhat bewildering.

      Also, apart from those few occasions where Christopher Tolkien has
      explicitly acknowledged editorial invention, I think it would behoove
      Kane to emphasize that his study is limited to tracing the history of
      the published _Silmarillion_ to texts in _The History of Middle-
      earth_; what doesn't appear there may yet be J.R.R.T.'s work. The
      appearance of _The Children of Hurin_, for instance, shows that there
      seems always to be a little more Tolkien out there. Likewise
      Christopher Tolkien's choices in selecting one text over another may
      have more justification than appears from HoMe. Kane questioned
      Christopher Tolkien's removal, from "Of the Coming of the Elves", of
      a phrase attributing to Morgoth's malice the opinion that the Valar
      were wrong to bring the elves to Valinor. Then lo! on sale at
      Mythcon is volume 17 of _Parma Eldalamberon_, where in a discussion
      of the root "PHAN", J.R.R. Tolkien writes that the sequestering of
      the Elves in Valinor "was not in fact according to the design of
      Eru". Who could know that before now? And who could fault Kane for
      expressing this concern over a decision that seems inexplicable based
      on HoMe? (Not that Christopher Tolkien, for the most part, claims to
      have shown the full history of the 1977 _Silmarillion_ -- if he had,
      there'd be no need for efforts like this.) But it shows the dangers
      inherent in this important project.

      -Merlin DeTardo
    • John D Rateliff
      Sorry folks; that should have gone to Ellie, not the list. Apologies all round. --JDR
      Message 32 of 32 , Aug 24, 2007
        Sorry folks; that should have gone to Ellie, not the list. Apologies
        all round.

        On Aug 24, 2007, at 11:06 AM, John D Rateliff wrote:
        > Hi Ellie
        > Just a quick note to ask if you got the book back safely.
        > --John
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