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Re: Silmarillion as beloved book of childhood

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  • William Cloud Hicklin
    Although my teeneaged self pre-ordered the Silmarillion and even marked on the calendar the day I could triumphantly collect it at Waldenbooks, and I loved it
    Message 1 of 18 , Oct 23, 2007
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      Although my teeneaged self pre-ordered the Silmarillion
      and even marked on the calendar the day I could
      triumphantly collect it at Waldenbooks, and I loved it
      from the start (unlike, I expect, many< I didn't then
      fully apprecioate it. It took perhaps collegiate study
      in both philosophy and Old English to enable deeper
      levels of understanding.

      I think for a considerable time I valued the Sil as too
      many still do: as mere backstory to The LR, the
      Appendices extended, an infodump, a mine of trivia.
      Substantial appreciation of its grandeur as a whole, of
      the elegance of its convoluted web of cause and long-
      delayed effect, of its powerful meditations on the nature
      of Evil, really began to dawn when I read it on a long,
      long deployment at sea in the Navy.

      Nowadays I don't believe the two can be ranked relative
      to one another: they are simply too different. I suppose
      that if one views The Lord of the Rings as Tolkien's 9th
      Symphony, glorious, uplifting, at times ferocious,
      inspiring, spiritual, but nonetheless 'popular'; then the
      Sil is his Late Quartets: spare, un-'popular',
      discursive, numinous in a manner harder to pin down,
      uncompromisingly driven by its own unique internal
      logic...and unfinished.
    • Walter Padgett
      Wow. That s really heavy. That s the best thing I ve read all day. Thanks for rendering so eloquently your profound appreciation. I especially like your
      Message 2 of 18 , Oct 23, 2007
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        Wow. That's really heavy. That's the best thing I've read all day.

        Thanks for rendering so eloquently your profound appreciation.

        I especially like your observation of "the elegance of its convoluted
        web of cause and long-delayed effect."

        I feel that _The Silmarillion_ is like a fine wine, or maybe a fine
        esoteric blend of tobacco, or chese or something like that. First
        you've got to develop a taste for that, and then as your sensibilities
        become more refined your appreciation of it becomes more substantial.

        There seems something quite romantic about your experience with _The
        Silmarillion_ on that long deployment at sea.

        Wonderful.

        On 10/23/07, William Cloud Hicklin <solicitr@...> wrote:
        >
        >
        > Although my teeneaged self pre-ordered the Silmarillion
        > and even marked on the calendar the day I could
        > triumphantly collect it at Waldenbooks, and I loved it
        > from the start (unlike, I expect, many< I didn't then
        > fully apprecioate it. It took perhaps collegiate study
        > in both philosophy and Old English to enable deeper
        > levels of understanding.
        >
        > I think for a considerable time I valued the Sil as too
        > many still do: as mere backstory to The LR, the
        > Appendices extended, an infodump, a mine of trivia.
        > Substantial appreciation of its grandeur as a whole, of
        > the elegance of its convoluted web of cause and long-
        > delayed effect, of its powerful meditations on the nature
        > of Evil, really began to dawn when I read it on a long,
        > long deployment at sea in the Navy.
        >
        > Nowadays I don't believe the two can be ranked relative
        > to one another: they are simply too different. I suppose
        > that if one views The Lord of the Rings as Tolkien's 9th
        > Symphony, glorious, uplifting, at times ferocious,
        > inspiring, spiritual, but nonetheless 'popular'; then the
        > Sil is his Late Quartets: spare, un-'popular',
        > discursive, numinous in a manner harder to pin down,
        > uncompromisingly driven by its own unique internal
        > logic...and unfinished.
        >
        >
      • William Cloud Hicklin
        ... your experience with _The ... Well, there s an added resonance to all the stuff about Ulmo and water when there s nothing to look at but ocean, day after
        Message 3 of 18 , Oct 24, 2007
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          --- In mythsoc@yahoogroups.com, "Walter
          Padgett" <wpadgett@...> wrote:

          > There seems something quite romantic about
          your experience with _The
          > Silmarillion_ on that long deployment at sea.
          >


          Well, there's an added resonance to all the stuff about
          Ulmo and water when there's nothing to look at but ocean,
          day after day after day....... :)
        • Walter Padgett
          I thought it was MacDonald s grand-fatherly uncular stance that earned Tolkien s distaste, and that Tolkien saw some of this in his own writing in _The
          Message 4 of 18 , Oct 25, 2007
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            I thought it was MacDonald's grand-fatherly "uncular" stance that earned
            Tolkien's distaste, and that Tolkien saw some of this in his own writing in
            _The Hobbit_, detesting it all the more. But where I read that, I can't
            remember.

            On 10/22/07, Jason Fisher <visualweasel@...> wrote:
            >
            > > --- David Bratman wrote ---
            > > I'm looking forward to seeing the article. Do you venture
            > > ideas of exactly what it is in MacDonald that earned
            > > Tolkien's distaste?
            >
            > I suppose it depends on just what you mean by "exactly", hahae. But yes, I
            > take a stab at it. As much as an eight-page comparison permitted � and as
            > much as the evidence available to me supported. It's a jumping-off point for
            > further, more involved research I would like to complete on the subject.
            > Maybe it will spark some wider interest in comparative studies of the two as
            > well. I hope so.
            >
            > And I will certainly welcome any thoughts � complimentary or critical �
            > when you get a chance to read it, David.
            >
            > Jason
            >
            >


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Walter Padgett
            Oops! the word is avuncular (`_ ;) ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            Message 5 of 18 , Oct 25, 2007
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              Oops! the word is "avuncular" (`_';)






              On 10/25/07, Walter Padgett <wpadgett@...> wrote:
              >
              > I thought it was MacDonald's grand-fatherly "uncular" stance that earned
              > Tolkien's distaste, and that Tolkien saw some of this in his own writing in
              > _The Hobbit_, detesting it all the more. But where I read that, I can't
              > remember.
              >
              > On 10/22/07, Jason Fisher <visualweasel@...> wrote:
              > >
              > > > --- David Bratman wrote ---
              > > > I'm looking forward to seeing the article. Do you venture
              > > > ideas of exactly what it is in MacDonald that earned
              > > > Tolkien's distaste?
              > >
              > > I suppose it depends on just what you mean by "exactly", hahae. But yes,
              > > I take a stab at it. As much as an eight-page comparison permitted � and as
              > > much as the evidence available to me supported. It's a jumping-off point for
              > > further, more involved research I would like to complete on the subject.
              > > Maybe it will spark some wider interest in comparative studies of the two as
              > > well. I hope so.
              > >
              > > And I will certainly welcome any thoughts � complimentary or critical �
              > > when you get a chance to read it, David.
              > >
              > > Jason
              > >
              > >
              >
              >


              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Vincent Ferré
              and do not forget Gandalf, in The Lord..., according to his depiction by Tolkien : Though he may seem testy at times, has a sense of humour, and adopts a
              Message 6 of 18 , Oct 25, 2007
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                and do not forget Gandalf, in The Lord..., according to his depiction by
                Tolkien :

                "Though he may seem testy at times, has a sense of humour, and adopts a
                somewhat avuncular attitude to hobbits, he is a person of high and noble
                authority, and great dignity. The description on I p. 239 should never be
                forgotten"
                (Letters #210)

                Vincent

                >
                I thought it was MacDonald's grand-fatherly "uncular" stance that earned
                Tolkien's distaste, and that Tolkien saw some of this in his own writing in
                _The Hobbit_, detesting it all the more. But where I read that, I can't
                remember.
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