It is currently Thu Oct 23, 2014 1:43 pm

All times are UTC




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 34 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 2:08 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2008 6:44 pm
Posts: 41
Two days ago, in another thread, Doug quoted a statement by Christopher Tolkien (recently published in The Guardian) concerning The Silmarillion:

Quote:
After its publication in 1977 I began on what at first was a purely private study, a History of The Silmarillion, an exhaustive investigation and analysis of every page and passage in all my father's writings, leaving no stone unturned; and as this evolved over the years it became, greatly enlarged in scope, The History of Middle-Earth in 12 books, finally completed in 1996. In this the relationship is revealed between the published Silmarillion and the vast mass of writing from which it was derived – but not of course all the reasons and justifications for the way in which the work was carried out.


About this statement, Doug writes that:

Quote:
This contradicts any claim that it is not possible to trace the relationship between the published Silmarillion and its sources using HoMe.


This was of particular interest to me, because in my correspondence with him last month, Christopher Tolkien touched on just this matter; and so I have gotten permission from Christopher to quote from that correspondence to clarify just what Christopher means by this "relationship", and more importantly, what he does not mean by it.

In response to my query as to whether he had heard of or seen Doug's Arda Reconstructed (which I described briefly), Christopher explains that Doug had contacted him, via the Estate, in Nov. 2006, and supplied a sample from the (what was then a very much larger) work. After Christopher reviewed the work, the Estate replied to Doug, to which Christopher contributed "the essential paragraph":

Quote:
The History of Middle-earth does not, and could not, provide all the massive manuscript material necessary to determine how The Silmarillion was constructed in detail — in particular, to determine which alterations were made with manuscript authority and which were not; nor was it intended to indicate the reasons in detail for the selections and changes made.


Allow me to emphasize the words: in detail and in particular, to determine which alterations were made with manuscript authoriity and which where not. For it is here that Doug has made his most fundamentally wrong assumption about The History of Middle-earth and its relation both to the published Silmarillion and to the manuscripts themselves; and this despite the fact that Christopher specifically informed him of this error back in 2006.

In his correspondence with me, Christopher provided a copy of the report he wrote for the Estate after reviewing Doug's sample in Nov. 2006, in which he expands on this, in terms even more directly bearing on the interview statement which Doug mistakenly takes as affirmation of his approach:

Quote:
I think that [Mr Kane] has (not unnaturally perhaps) misunderstood in some degree my meaning when I wrote, in the Foreword to The War of the Jewels (p.x), words that he cites in his Foreword: 'I would say that ['The Silmarillion'] can only be defined in terms of its own history; and that history is with this book largely completed. ... It is indeed the only 'completion' possible, because it was always 'in progress'; the published work is not in any way a completion, but a construction devised out of the existing materials. Those materials are now made available ... and with them a criticism of the 'constructed' Silmarillion becomes possible.'

The last thing I had in mind when I wrote the last phrase of this passage was a dogged, grinding, line by line, word by word (extending even to hyphens) comparison of the published text with texts that I published in The History of Middle-earth....

What I meant was, to be sure, that The History of Middle-earth opened the possibility of informed criticism of the published Silmarillion in relation to the original writings of my father: but not to a brick by brick comparison, with little or no indication of its significance, rather to a criticism of the treatment of those writings at large and of their conceptions; whether my aim to produce a 'coherent and internally self-consistent narrative' had been achieved, in so far as it was achieved, at too heavy a cost, and should not have been attempted.

A further, but quite distinct, consideration in this connection lies in the relation of The History of Middle-earth to the original writings. In my Foreword to The Peoples of Middle-earth, pp.ix-x, I referred to the forerunner of the History as 'an entirely "private" study, without thought or purpose of publication: an exhaustive investigation and analysis of all the materials concerned with what came to be called the Elder Days, from the earliest beginnings, omitting no detail of name-form or textual variation.' This work, which I called The History of the Silmarillion, and which I began after the publication of my 'constructed' text, runs to more than 2600 very closely typed pages, and it does not even touch on the Second and Third Ages. When the possibility arose of publishing at least part of this work, in some form, it was obvious that it would have to be heavily reduced and curtailed, and the part of The History of Middle-earth dealing with the Elder Days is indeed a new presentation of The History of the Silmarillion, and a severe contraction of it, especially in respect of the sheer quantity of variant manuscript material reproduced in full.

Thus, to take as an example the history of the Ainulindalë, I made it clear (Morgoth's Ring p.30) that I cited only the differences of version D from version C (which I printed in full) which had 'significance for the conception'. Mr Kane says, however, that 'unless otherwise indicated, where version C is referenced as the source, there are no differences to that passage cited in version D, and it can be presumed that the passage appeared in the same form in version D'. I have annotated, and send herewith [i.e., to the Estate; these were not copied to me —CFH], several pages of Mr Kane's documentation of differences in the Ainuindale, as published, from the texts given in Morgoth's Ring, to show how The History of Middle-earth does not by any means provide, nor was it intended to do so, all the evidence necessary to determine which alterations were made with some manuscript authority and which were not. But a full investigative analysis of the construction of the published Silmarillion would require examination of the whole body of original manuscripts (a vast task), or at the least the close perusal of my History of the Silmarillion.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 2:53 pm 
Online
and Steadfast
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 28480
Thanks for sharing that, Carl. Very interesting, indeed.

I will point out that the sample that I sent to Christopher was very different than the final form that Arda Reconstructed ended up taking, and that his points are much more applicable to that original manuscript than to the final form. In fact, I did very much take his points into consideration in editing the manuscript (particularly since they were consistent with other feedback that I had gotten, particularly that from the reader that the publisher sent the original manuscript to).

Perhaps at some point Christopher will authorize someone (perhaps even you!) to conduct a full investigative analysis of the construction of the published Silmarillion using either an examination of the whole body of original manuscripts, or at least a close perusal of his History of the Silmarillion. The fact that such an analysis may well render my work redundant would be a small price to pay for such a valuable work. But until that time, I stand by the value of my work, which I think stands on its own merits. You yourself acknowledged that despite your disagreement with many of my conclusions you believe:

Quote:
The work you have done in cataloguing the sources used and changes made to produce the published Silmarillion was clearly a massive effort and just as clearly of great importance and value to Tolkien scholarship and criticism. For that you are certainly to be lauded greatly and unreservedly, and I do so.


I certainly believe that it is true (and acknowledge in a number of places in the book) that HoMe cannot provide a complete documentation of all of the changes were made in the course of the creation of the published Silmarillion, no matter how small. But I do believe that it provides a strong outline for both what the sources that were used for the various parts of the published book was, and what the most important changes to those sources were, which are the dual purposes of the final version of Arda Reconstructed. To deny that that is true would not only bring into question the value of Arda Reconstructed but of The History of Middle-earth itself.

_________________
When the last rose of summer pricks my fingers
And the hot sun chills me to the bone
When I can't hear the song for the singer
And I can't tell my pillow from a stone

I will walk alone by the black muddy river
And sing me a song of my own
I will walk alone by the black muddy river
Sing me a song of my own


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 3:32 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2008 6:44 pm
Posts: 41
And I stand by only some of what I wrote, which as I said then was based on only a perusal of your book, and which in any event specifically excluded your evaluative remarks on the differences you chose to comment upon.

I now know -- we now know, and you in fact already knew -- that your remarks are in very many cases in fact unwarranted, as they rest on a false assumption: sc., that every difference between the published Silmarillion and the source texts included in The History of Middle-earth is due to an editorial alteration, i.e., was made by Christopher Tolkien. Whereas in fact for the vast majority of cases it is not possible to know this: they may just as well be due to a manuscript alteration made by Tolkien himself but not recorded in HoMe.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 4:13 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2008 8:44 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Dallas, TX
Carl, thanks very much for sharing (with permission) Christopher Tolkien's statements regarding Doug's book. I read those with great interest indeed, particularly as concerns the 2600-page History of The Silmarillion — wouldn't we all love a chance to take a look at that!

But may I add:

Aelfwine wrote:
I now know -- we now know, and you in fact already knew -- that your remarks are in very many cases in fact unwarranted, as they rest on a false assumption: sc., that every difference between the published Silmarillion and the source texts included in The History of Middle-earth is due to an editorial alteration, i.e., was made by Christopher Tolkien. Whereas in fact for the vast majority of cases it is not possible to know this: they may just as well be due to a manuscript alteration made by Tolkien himself but not recorded in HoMe.


I agree with you in spirit, Carl, but I'm not sure that your formulation of Doug's assumption is entirely accurate. Doug explicitly acknowledges the likelihood that "some of the changes, omissions, and additions that I describe [may] reflect textual material not included (for whatever reasons) in those works [The History of Middle-earth, etc.], or some other source only available to Christopher (including, perhaps, personal conversations that he had with his father)" (25). That is to say, he admits there could well be manuscript authority for some of the differences he discusses. As we will all agree there must be.

Now perhaps he ought to have written "many", "most", or "an unknown number" instead of the weaker "some" (and it is also true that Doug sometimes seems to forget about his own disclaimer at later points in the book) — but I think Doug's basic prefatory disclaimer should be recognized and remembered in these discussions. I do not think he ever assumed each and every change was definitely editorial.

_________________
Jason Fisher
http://lingwe.blogspot.com/


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 4:17 pm 
Online
and Steadfast
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 28480
Aelfwine wrote:
I now know -- we now know, and you in fact already knew -- that your remarks are in very many cases in fact unwarranted, as they rest on a false assumption: sc., that every difference between the published Silmarillion and the source texts included in The History of Middle-earth is due to an editorial alteration, i.e., was made by Christopher Tolkien.


That is not correct, Carl. My remarks are not based on an assumption that every difference between the published Silmarillion and the source texts in HoMe are due to editorial alterations. As I just stated in my previous post, I go to great pains to indicate in Arda Reconstructed that that is not my assumption. However, my work is based on the assumption that the vast majority of all significant differences between the published Silmarillion and the source texts are due to editorial alterations of some kind (though I also make it very clear that we don't know what the basis of those alterations are and that in many cases they may be due to other texts not published in HoMe or even to discussions that Christopher might have had with his father). I don't even want to consider the possibility that that assumption is not true, because I have too much respect for Christopher Tolkien to believe that he would have presented material as essentially the final versions of what his father wrote when in fact it was not.

Quote:
Whereas in fact for the vast majority of cases it is not possible to know this: they may just as well be due to a manuscript alteration made by Tolkien himself but not recorded in HoMe.


As to the significant differences (not the minor deviations "extending even to hyphens"), such a statement gives rise to the question "why not?" Why would significant manuscript alterations made by Tolkien himself not be recorded in HoMe (particularly since so many manuscript alterations are recorded)? It can't be because Christopher did not know of them at the time he published HoMe because he says that he had already completed his voluminous History of the Silmarillion by that point. I can not believe that it was because he wanted to purposefully obscure what his father wrote; I will not believe that. Hence my assumption that the vast majority of significant deviations between the published Silmarillion and the source texts printed in[HoMe are due to some kind of editorial alteration.

Perhaps I am missing something. If you can provide an explanation for why that assumption is untrue that does not imply that Christopher was either sloppy or deceitful in his presentation of HoMe, I would love to hear it.

_________________
When the last rose of summer pricks my fingers
And the hot sun chills me to the bone
When I can't hear the song for the singer
And I can't tell my pillow from a stone

I will walk alone by the black muddy river
And sing me a song of my own
I will walk alone by the black muddy river
Sing me a song of my own


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 4:35 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2008 6:44 pm
Posts: 41
I noticed Doug's disclaimer, Jase; but it does not change the fact that in the text itself Doug makes little or no allowance that the changes he decries may have been authorial rather than editorial. Doug's stance throughout the text is that all the changes he notes were due to Christopher, not to Tolkien. Had he modified his stance to a more careful and neutral position with regard to the source of changes, thus respecting the limitations of HoMe that Christopher Tolkien had in fact informed him off specifically, his would be a very different book, and one about which I would have little to criticize, and more to praise.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 5:30 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:37 pm
Posts: 3728
Location: Engineering a monarchist coup d'etat
One factor was space: CT had to keep each volume within the publisher's size limitations. This led in some cases to near-total rewritings; and in almost all cases the excision of detail.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 7:20 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2008 6:44 pm
Posts: 41
I think Christopher provides a very clear answer to your question, Doug, in what I've already quoted, when he writes (emphasis mine):

Quote:
When the possibility arose of publishing at least part of this work [i.e., The History of the Silmarillion], in some form, it was obvious that it would have to be heavily reduced and curtailed, and the part of The History of Middle-earth dealing with the Elder Days is indeed a new presentation of The History of the Silmarillion, and a severe contraction of it, especially in respect of the sheer quantity of variant manuscript material reproduced in full.


and when he cites the Ainulindalë as a specific example where you've misunderstood the actual nature of the manuscript and the editorial situation, and despite his statement at MR p.30 that he "cited only the differences ... which had 'significance for the conception'." (He in fact did cite one specific example of this in what he sent me -- which I cannot now remember in detail and don't have his letter to hand, but involving a sentence concerning joy in light and at seeing many colors -- where you label (or did, in the sample you sent him) as a "significant rewriting" a sentence that was in fact altered to its Silmarillion form by Tolkien on the manuscript, but not commented upon by Christopher in HoMe.) Obviously, you and he have very different views of what has "significance for the conception", so it should not be, nor is it, surprising for him not to have specifically commented on or even record in HoMe every detail of authorial alteration intervening between the manuscript state(s) presented in HoMe and the version found in The Silmarillion that you think significant.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 9:37 pm 
Online
and Steadfast
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 28480
Again, Carl, you are referring to material that is not in the published form of Arda Reconstructed. If you wish to continue to pursue the subject, I would appreciate it if you were to use examples that are actually in the book. Pointing to an example of something that I actually removed from the manuscript after hearing back from Christopher (and I have to emphasize that he gave me no specific examples like the one that you describe) doesn't support your point; on the contrary it shows that I was careful in the final version not to make statements like that. Particularly in circumstances like with the Ainulindalë where Christopher was clear that he did not print the full final version that his father drafted.

In point of fact, where appropriate I do make it clear that it is possible that deviations between the published text of The Silmarillion and the source texts given in HoMe are due to the fact that there might be variations in the source text not printed in HoMe. For instance, on pages 151 and 154 (there is a table in between), I wrote:

Quote:
However, at the end of the second paragraph (Silm, 125) there is what appears to be a very surprising editorial change. This paragraph tells of how Turgon founded the hidden city of Gondolin, and quotes Ulmo’s words to him when he was ready to go dwell there. The last part of the paragraph (including Ulmo’s words) is taken from GA §111, which is part of the passage from the Grey Annals that Christopher says followed almost word for word the chapter “Of Turgon and the Building of Gondolin.” In the final sentence, where Ulmo cautions Turgon to “love not too well the work of thy hands and the devices of thy heart” after telling him that Gondolin will last longest of all of the Elves’ realms, those words are expanded from simply “love it not too well” (see WotJ, 44).

It is quite surprising that this iconic statement was so significantly an editorial expansion. The only possible source that I can find for this expansion is a statement in a replacement text of chapter 15 of the Quenta Noldorinwa (the precursor to the Quenta Silmarillion) in which it states that the people of Gondolin “grew to love that place, the work of their hands, as the Gnomes do, with a great love” (SoMe, 140). I suppose it is also possible that the language “the work of thy hands and the devices of thy heart” was actually included in the part of “Of Turgon and the Building of Gondolin” that was not published in The War of the Jewels, but I can hardly believe that Christopher would have stated that at that point the “Of Turgon and the Building of Gondolin” material followed the Grey Annals text here “almost word for word” (see WotJ, 199) if there had been such a significant difference. There can be little doubt, however, that whoever wrote it, the change improves the text. In fact, Flieger cites this statement as enunciating an important theme of Tolkien’s at the very culmination of Interrupted Music, her book on the making of his mythology.


However, in circumstances where the source texts are clear, are presented as the final versions that Tolkien wrote, and are cited in full, down to small emendations that Tolkien made to those texts (particularly the later Quenta and later Annals texts), and there are significant deviations between those source texts and the published Silmarillion, I don't think it should have been necessary for me to disclaim every time that it is possible that the reason for the deviation is that it is possible that there are some other manuscript emendations or variant texts that Christopher doesn't mention.

Again, if you want to discuss specific instances in the book that you feel I should have been more clear about, I would be happy to talk about it. Otherwise, I don't think I have anything further to say about this subject.

_________________
When the last rose of summer pricks my fingers
And the hot sun chills me to the bone
When I can't hear the song for the singer
And I can't tell my pillow from a stone

I will walk alone by the black muddy river
And sing me a song of my own
I will walk alone by the black muddy river
Sing me a song of my own


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 10:08 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:37 pm
Posts: 3728
Location: Engineering a monarchist coup d'etat
Quote:
It is quite surprising that this iconic statement was so significantly an editorial expansion. ...... I suppose it is also possible that the language “the work of thy hands and the devices of thy heart” was actually included


But don't you see the problem of emphasis? You begin with a delarative statement (was so significantly an editorial expansion), and only just qualify it with "I suppose it is possible... was actually included.

Whereas the prudent emphasis, certainly what I did in my project, was to classify unattributable text as "unknown", and "possibly editorial."


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 10:17 pm 
Online
and Steadfast
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 28480
Well, considering in this case I also stated that if it was editorial, it improved the text, you'll have to forgive me. :)

More seriously, in this case since Christopher himself specifically states that the other text that is not not printed in HoMe follows the source text "almost word for word" I think it is not an unreasonable assumption that the other text does not in fact have such a significant variation.

_________________
When the last rose of summer pricks my fingers
And the hot sun chills me to the bone
When I can't hear the song for the singer
And I can't tell my pillow from a stone

I will walk alone by the black muddy river
And sing me a song of my own
I will walk alone by the black muddy river
Sing me a song of my own


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 10:27 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2008 6:44 pm
Posts: 41
And Doug then goes on to say, "I can hardly believe that Christopher would have stated that at that point the “Of Turgon and the Building of Gondolin” material followed the Grey Annals text here “almost word for word” (see WotJ, 199) if there had been such a significant difference." While Doug is certainly the sole arbiter on what he can or cannot believe, and on what is significant to him, neither Christopher nor anyone else is bound to share his ideas of what latitude the qualifier in "almost word for word" can admit, or of what is or is not a "significant" change -- particularly "significant to the conception". So in fact it seems to me entirely possible that the change here entered as an authorial expansion on the manuscript, with the HoMe text showing the unaltered version and the Silmarillion text itself serving to show the final version.

(Illustrating this phenomenon was in fact the point of citing the example that Doug objects too, so it is not at all true that doing so "doesn't support my point". The fact that this particular example didn't make it into the published book is of no consequence to this point.)


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 10:59 pm 
Online
and Steadfast
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 28480
Aelfwine wrote:
And Doug then goes on to say, "I can hardly believe that Christopher would have stated that at that point the “Of Turgon and the Building of Gondolin” material followed the Grey Annals text here “almost word for word” (see WotJ, 199) if there had been such a significant difference." While Doug is certainly the sole arbiter on what he can or cannot believe, and on what is significant to him, neither Christopher nor anyone else is bound to share his ideas of what latitude the qualifier in "almost word for word" can admit ... .


It is true that I am the sole arbiter of what I can or can not believe, but I am completely confortable with my assertion that someone who is as demonstrably precise in his use of language as Christopher Tolkien is would be extremely unlikely to say that "love not too well the work of thy hands and the devices of thy heart" was "almost word for word" with "love it not too well." Of course I could be wrong, but the real point is that since there is an alternative text that is identified but not printed in full in HoMe, I make sure to point that out, so that the reader can judge for herself.

_________________
When the last rose of summer pricks my fingers
And the hot sun chills me to the bone
When I can't hear the song for the singer
And I can't tell my pillow from a stone

I will walk alone by the black muddy river
And sing me a song of my own
I will walk alone by the black muddy river
Sing me a song of my own


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 11:00 pm 
Offline
Best friends forever
User avatar

Joined: Thu Dec 01, 2005 10:33 pm
Posts: 11961
Location: Over there.
cumin sectores

My Latin is appalling, but perhaps the term is appropriate.

_________________
Dig deeper.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 07, 2009 11:34 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2008 6:44 pm
Posts: 41
But Christopher did not say that "love not too well the work of thy hands and the devices of thy heart" was "almost word for word" with "love it not too well." He said (WotJ 199) that the Silmarillion text at this point "follows almost word for word the replacement text of the annal for 116 in GA (§§111-13)". That is, the text follows "almost word for word" a corresponding text of three substantial paragraphs. There is a significant difference of scope between describing two clauses as "almost word for word", and describing three paragraphs as "almost word for word". It is simply wrong to assume that Christopher's words characterizing three paragraphs as a whole must apply to every individual clause of those three paragraphs.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 12:05 am 
Online
and Steadfast
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 28480
First of all he did not say that "the Silmarillion text at this point 'follows almost word for word ... .'" That would imply that he was talking about the published Silmarillion. What he said was "From this point the new Silmarillion chapter follows almost word for word the replacement text of the annal for 116 in GA ($$111 - 13)." By "the new Silmarillion chapter" he is referring to the new "Of Turgon and the Building of Gondolin" chapter that he only prints in part, because much of it is largely duplicated by the GA text.

Secondly, I completely disagree with you that saying that three paragraphs of one text follow almost word for word three paragraphs of another text does not imply that each clause within those three paragraphs follows almost word for word the corresponding clause in the other text. Otherwise, what does the statement mean? That from this point the new Silmarillion chapter follows the GA text almost word for word, except where it doesn't? That makes no sense at all.

I continue to maintain that it is highly unlikely that Christopher would have stated that the "Of Turgon and the Building of Gondolin" text followed the GA text referred to "almost word for word" if it contained a deviation as significant as "love not too well the work of thy hands and the devices of thy heart" versus "love it not too well."

_________________
When the last rose of summer pricks my fingers
And the hot sun chills me to the bone
When I can't hear the song for the singer
And I can't tell my pillow from a stone

I will walk alone by the black muddy river
And sing me a song of my own
I will walk alone by the black muddy river
Sing me a song of my own


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 12:22 am 
Offline

Joined: Sun Jun 22, 2008 6:44 pm
Posts: 41
Your first paragraph makes a distinction without a difference to my point, and presses my own prefatory ellipsis into a quotational service it was not intended for; so I'll pass over that.

As for the rest: I certainly did not and do not expect you to change your opinion on the matter. But since we're reiterating positions, I reiterate that I think you are wrong, for the reasons already stated.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 12:40 am 
Online
and Steadfast
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 28480
The point of my first paragraph is to make it clear that Christopher was not referring to the published Silmarillion in that statement because that would have meant something different. But generally speaking when people italize the word "Silmarillion" they are talking about the published text. And I wasn't pressing your prefatory ellipsis into any quotational service; I was quoting you.

And no, I didn't expect you to change your opinion, either.

_________________
When the last rose of summer pricks my fingers
And the hot sun chills me to the bone
When I can't hear the song for the singer
And I can't tell my pillow from a stone

I will walk alone by the black muddy river
And sing me a song of my own
I will walk alone by the black muddy river
Sing me a song of my own


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 1:37 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2007 6:37 pm
Posts: 3728
Location: Engineering a monarchist coup d'etat
How many Maiar can dance on the head of a brooch?

The issue, I think, is not how to parse CT's language in commenting on the original manuscripts, but rather what seems to be the fact of the matter: HME does not lay out all of the older materials in detail, or not at the level of detail of AR's analysis.

In that case, then there is an essential problem of assumed premises: and they are really, really assumed, in violation of the principle that "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." It's quite one thing to record the sources where the HME and '77 texts are the same, but quite another to assert that wherever they differ it must be 'blamed' on the editor. However one wants to weight words like 'significant,' it's not warranted to make definitive statements about an unpublished text based merely on a general description. Even in the case of texts printed in HME, the ruly type represents only one 'state' of the manuscript, which may or may not take up or note emendations or variant readings; and I can only re-emphasize how misleading is the impression created by a neatly printed version of a Tolkien manuscript, when the original is a mass of strike-throughs, insertions, marginal notes and pinned-on slips.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 2:21 pm 
Online
and Steadfast
User avatar

Joined: Mon Nov 21, 2005 12:41 am
Posts: 28480
solicitr wrote:
How many Maiar can dance on the head of a brooch?


That's classic. :)

Quote:
The issue, I think, is not how to parse CT's language in commenting on the original manuscripts, but rather what seems to be the fact of the matter: HME does not lay out all of the older materials in detail, or not at the level of detail of AR's analysis.


While it is true that HoMe doesn't lay out all the material in detail in all places, I still think that we can trust that when Christopher says something it means what it says. When he says that a text follows another text "almost word for word" that is specific enough that it doesn't need to be 'parsed'; I trust him enough to believe that the words that he uses say what they say.

Quote:
In that case, then there is an essential problem of assumed premises: and they are really, really assumed, in violation of the principle that "absence of evidence is not evidence of absence." It's quite one thing to record the sources where the HME and '77 texts are the same, but quite another to assert that wherever they differ it must be 'blamed' on the editor. However one wants to weight words like 'significant,' it's not warranted to make definitive statements about an unpublished text based merely on a general description.


I don't disagree with that at all, but I don't think that is what I have done. Again, if you want to pull out specific examples from the book I would be happy to discuss them, and admit to error where appropriate.

Quote:
Even in the case of texts printed in HME, the ruly type represents only one 'state' of the manuscript, which may or may not take up or note emendations or variant readings; and I can only re-emphasize how misleading is the impression created by a neatly printed version of a Tolkien manuscript, when the original is a mass of strike-throughs, insertions, marginal notes and pinned-on slips.


Believe me, I understand that. But I also trust that Christopher has sorted through that and given us as accurate as possible a respresentation of that morass (give the restraints that he was under), certainly enough so to justify analysis on the level of the final version of Arda Reconstructed, though perhaps not on the "down to every hyphen" level of the original manuscript that I sent a sample of to Christopher.

_________________
When the last rose of summer pricks my fingers
And the hot sun chills me to the bone
When I can't hear the song for the singer
And I can't tell my pillow from a stone

I will walk alone by the black muddy river
And sing me a song of my own
I will walk alone by the black muddy river
Sing me a song of my own


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 34 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group