Chapter of the Week LOTR Appendix A1i Numenor

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Christopher Kreuzer

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Apr 25, 2005, 9:43:30 PM4/25/05
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Chapter of the Week (CotW) 'The Lord of the Rings' (LotR)
Appendix A - Part I - section i: Numenor

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Introduction
=========

So, you reach the final page of /The Lord of the Rings/ proper, at the
end of the 'The Grey Havens' chapter and realise that the story has
ended. But wait! There are loads more pages still to read. All of six
Appendices with chronologies, calendars and family trees! Which brings
me to my first question...

Was your immediate reaction to dive in and start reading the Appendices,
or did you avoid these scary-looking annals with their footnotes,
multiple subdivisions, and quotes from different sources?

Appendices Prelude
==============

There is a brief prelude to the Appendices, though it is actually
published within the Appendix A section. Tolkien, making very clear that
these are Appendices and not part of the story, immediately reverts to
the Tolkien-as-historian style he uses in the Prologue, and provides
details of the 'sources' used, emphasising that the material presented
here is much abridged and condensed. He also provides a reason for the
Appendices:

"Their principal purpose is to illustrate the War of the Ring and its
origins, and to fill up some of the gaps in the main story."

Tolkien also explains how the material has been presented:

"Actual extracts from longer annals and tales are placed within
quotation marks. Insertions of later date are enclosed in brackets.
Notes within quotation marks are found in the sources. Others are
editorial." [1]

You do have to look closely, but these are actually all there in the
Appendices if you look long and hard enough! The beginning of AIiii is
an example of an extract from a longer tale. There are also examples in
AIiii of the use of square brackets to denote an insertion of later
date. The comment about "notes within quotation marks" seems to refer to
the (many) footnotes, but only a few of these contain material given in
quotation marks to show that they are quoted from the sources.

Tolkien then closes this prelude with some notes explaining the dates
and symbols used. [2]

[1] Appropriately enough, Tolkien immediately uses a footnote to explain
the footnote system, which we learn will contain references to pages in
not only /The Lord of the Rings/ but also /The Hobbit/!

[2] Some editions of /The Lord of the Rings/ (such as my 1993
HarperCollins paperback edition of the 1966 Second Edition) have a
footnote explaining that some of the dates have been revised and some
errors (mostly typographical) emended. This footnote seems to have been
dropped from later editions of /The Lord of the Rings/, thus making it
difficult to refer to the footnotes by their sequential order. Different
editions also have different numbering systems for the footnotes, some
using sequential numbers through each of the Appendices (eg. 50
footnotes in Appendix A), and some starting the footnote numbering again
on each page (making it nearly impossible to refer to the footnotes
consistently between different editions).

Section Summary - Appendix AIi - Numenor
===============

After the prelude, the Appendices proper begin, and we should probably
return to the very first words we would have read, namely the title of
Appendix A: Annals of the Kings and Rulers. We then encounter a system
of subheadings that will divide up Appendix A, the first of which is
labelled with the uppercase Roman numeral for one (I): The Numenorean
Kings. And then a subdivision for the Numenorean Kings section is
encountered with the use of the lowercase Roman numeral for one (i):
Numenor.

This section is not, however, just about Numenor. The earlier events are
referred to in the prelude for the Appendices:

"The ancient legends of the First Age, in which Bilbo's chief interest
lay, are very briefly referred to, since they concern the ancestry of
Elrond and the Numenorean kings and chieftains."

This part is indeed brief, though it full of footnotes linking the
people and events recounted with the story of /The Lord of the Rings/
(more about those footnotes later). These few paragraphs end with the
line:

"Of these things the full tale, and much else concerning Elves and Men,
is told in /The Silmarillion/."

Though this book would not, in fact, be published for another 22 years!
And that was after the death of the author and thanks to the efforts of
his son and literary executor, Christopher Tolkien.

Having briefly mentioned Feanor, the Silmarilli (how is this different
from the term 'silmarils' used elsewhere?), the Two Trees, the Valar,
Morgoth, the Edain, the Wars of the Jewels, Luthien, Beren, Tuor, Idril,
Thingol, Melian, Dior, Turgon, Huor, Elwing and Earendil, Tolkien
finally brings us to the point, which is the sons of Earendil and
Elwing: Elrond and Elros, the Peredhil or Half-elven. This allows the
story to continue on to Numenor (which is what this section is meant to
be about), the island kingdom of the Edain, founded by Elros.

The rest of the section is a condensed, but not too condensed, version
of the Akallabeth that was later published in /The Silmarillion/.
Tolkien again references us to this unpublished work, but, unlike his
reference to /The Silmarillion/, he goes into detail now. It is a
fascinating story, but although it is essential background, it is not
directly related to the story in /The Lord of the Rings/. The important
points, to carry forward into the other sections of Appendix AI, are the
bits about the choices of Elrond and his children, the bits about the
shadow of mortality that afflicted the Numenoreans, that Sauron caused
the downfall of Numenor, and that a group of Numenoreans escaping from
the downfall set up realms in Middle-earth. Tolkien briefly relates the
rising of Sauron and his downfall to the Last Alliance of Elves and Men.
The important point being the fate of the One Ring. And with that,
Tolkien concludes our whirlwind tour of the First and Second Ages, and
most of the rest of the Appendices will be about the Third Age.

Footnotes(!)
=======

There is one major problem with the Appendices, which is especially
apparent in this first section about the history of the First and Second
Ages, which is that there are almost no characters or events that we
recognise from the story we have just read! The only major character
mentioned is Aragorn (plus Arwen), and that is the briefest of
references:

"There were three unions of the Eldar and the Edain: Luthien and Beren;
Idril and Tuor; Arwen and Aragorn. By the last the long-sundered
branches of the Half-elven were reunited and their line was restored."

The other characters mentioned are Elrond and Sauron. We are reminded of
the link between Aragorn and Elrond from the above quote and being told
that Elrond is one of the Peredhil, the Half-elven; as well as being
reminded that Arwen is Elrond's daughter. We also learn a lot about
Sauron here, from his time on Numenor, and we see more clearly the
long-standing enmity between him and Numenor and the descendents of
Numenor (Elendil, Isildur, and eventually Aragorn).

We also learn more about Earendil, Isildur, Elendil and Gil-galad, names
that might be recognised from the main story, and this section ends with
the founding of Arnor and Gondor, again, names we may recognise from the
main story. But what if we don't recognise the names, and what about all
these new names? How do they relate to the main story? Tolkien answers
this question using footnotes to give references to the main text of the
story of /The Lord of the Rings/.

Indeed, some of these footnotes expand and enrich the story by
explaining some of the more obscure references in the main story. These
sort of footnotes help to confirm what might have been suspected from
the context of the story, but was not absolutely certain.

This is all best illustrated by examples. What I have done is to compile
a listing of the footnoted parts of the Appendices of /The Lord of the
Rings/, with the footnotes in context and the quotes referenced from
elsewhere in the book. There are 86 footnotes in total, though the exact
number varies with the edition of /The Lord of the Rings/. I only give
here the relevant footnotes for Appendix AIi (Numenor), of which there
are 13 in my edition (an earlier 2 were footnotes to the prelude to the
Appendices, so the numbering is from 3-15). The original text follows a
number with a square bracket ']', and the text of the footnote follows a
parenthetical bracket ')', while page references are followed (in
brackets) by what is assumed to be the referenced text from the main
story of /The Lord of the Rings/. The use of an asterisk marks the
position of the footnote in the quoted text.

Two warnings: 1) It is not always clear what the footnote is referring
to; my quotes below are my own assumptions of what the footnote was
referring to in the main story. 2) The page references quoted below are
from that 1993 three-volume reprint of /The Lord of the Rings/, so you
should use your own page references (rather than the ones I have quoted)
in your copy of the Appendices to check what the footnotes are referring
to in the main story (though hopefully I have provided full enough
quotes to avoid the need to do this). I have also provided the chapter
names to hopefully make the context clearer.

Footnotes in context for Appendix AIi - Numenor
====================

3] He wrought the Three Jewels, the Silmarilli, and filled them with the
radiance of the Two Trees, Telperion and Laurelin,(*) that gave light
to the land of the Valar.

3) Cf. I, 320 (There in the courts of the King grew a white tree, from
the seed of that tree which Isildur brought over the deep waters, and
the seed of that tree before came from Eressea, and before that out of
the Uttermost West in the Day before days when the world was young. -
The Council of Elrond)

II, 255 (...the unimaginable hand and mind of Feanor at their work,
while both the White Tree and the Golden were in flower! - Gandalf: The
Palantir)

III, 303 (Lo! here is a scion of the Eldest of Trees! [...] Verily this
is a sapling of the line of Nimloth the fair; and that was a seedling of
Galathilion, and that a fruit of Telperion of many names, Eldest of
Trees. [...] Yet the line of Nimloth is older far than your line, King
Elessar. - Aragorn and Gandalf: The Steward and the King)

no likeness remained in Middle-earth of Laurelin the Golden.

4] The Jewels were coveted by Morgoth the Enemy, who stole them and,
after destroying the Trees, took them to Middle-earth, and guarded them
in his great fortress of Thangorodrim.(*)

4) I, 317 (Elrond paused a while and sighed. 'I remember well the
splendour of their banners,' he said. 'It recalled to me the glory of
the Elder Days and the hosts of Beleriand, so many great princes and
captains were assembled. And yet not so many, nor so fair, as when
Thangorodrim was broken, and the Elves deemed that evil was ended for
ever, and it was not so.' - The Council of Elrond)

II, 403 (Beren now, he never thought he was going to get that Silmaril
from the Iron Crown in Thangorodrim... - Sam: The Stairs of Cirith
Ungol).

5] Luthien Tinuviel was the daughter of King Thingol Grey-cloak of
Doriath in the First Age, but her mother was Melian of the people of the
Valar. Beren was the son of Barahir of the First House of the Edain.
Together they wrested a silmaril from the Iron Crown of Morgoth.(*)

5) I, 259-260 (It tells of the meeting of Beren son of Barahir and
Luthien Tinuviel. Beren was a mortal man, but Luthien was the daughter
of Thingol, a King of Elves upon Middle-earth when the world was young;
and she was the fairest maiden that has ever been among all the children
of this world. [...] together they passed through great dangers, and
cast down even the Great Enemy from his throne, and took from his iron
crown one of the three Silmarils, brightest of all jewels, to be the
bride-price of Luthien to Thingol her father. - Aragorn: A Knife in the
Dark)

II, 403 (Beren now, he never thought he was going to get that Silmaril
from the Iron Crown in Thangorodrim... - Sam: The Stairs of Cirith
Ungol).

6] Idril Celebrindal was the daughter of Turgon, king of the hidden city
of Gondolin.(*)

6) Hobbit, 59 ([Elrond] looked at the swords they had brought from the
trolls' lair, and he said: "These are not troll-make. They are old
swords, very old swords of the High Elves of the West, my kin. They were
made in Gondolin for the Goblin-wars. [...] dragons and goblins
destroyed that city many ages ago. [...] This, Gandalf, was Glamdring,
Foe-hammer that the king of Gondolin once wore. - A Short Rest)

I, 411 (The world was fair, the mountains tall,/ In Elder Days before
the fall/ Of mighty kings in Nargothrond/ And Gondolin, who now beyond/
The Western Seas have passed away... - Gimli: A Journey in the Dark).

7] Earendil wedded Elwing, and with the power of the Silmaril passed the
Shadows(*) and came to the Uttermost West, and speaking as ambassador of
both Elves and Men obtained the help by which Morgoth was overthrown.

7) I, 306-309 (This references the entire text of Bilbo's song in
Rivendell, that tells the story of Earendil and Elwing).

8] Earendil was not permitted to return to mortal lands, and his ship
bearing the Silmaril was set to sail in the heavens as a star, and a
sign of hope to the dwellers in Middle-earth oppressed by the Great
Enemy or his servants.(*)

8) I, 469-73 (This references the entire text of the scene where
Galadriel brings Sam and Frodo to her Mirror - essentially the last
pages of the Mirror of Galadriel chapter. This includes lines such as:
"The evening star had risen and was shining with white fire above the
western woods. [...] She [Galadriel] lifted up her white arms, and
spread out her hands towards the East in a gesture of rejection and
denial. Earendil, the Evening Star, most beloved of the Elves, shone
clear above. So bright was it that the figure of the Elven-lady cast a
dim shadow on the ground. Its rays glanced upon a ring about her finger;
it glittered like polished gold overlaid with silver light, and a white
stone in it twinkled as if the Even-star had come down to rest upon her
hand.")

II, 403 (But that's a long tale, of course, and goes on past the
happiness and into grief and beyond it - and the Silmaril went on and
came to Earendil. And why, sir, I never thought of that before! We've
got - you've got some of the light of it in that star-glass that the
Lady gave you! Why, to think of it, we're in the same tale still! It's
going on. Don't the great tales never end? - Sam: The Stairs of Cirith
Ungol)

II, 413-14 (This references the confrontation between Frodo and Shelob
in Shelob's Lair, where Frodo uses the phial that Galadriel gave him:
"Slowly his hand went to his bosom, and slowly he held aloft the Phial
of Galadriel. For a moment it glimmered, faint as a rising star
struggling in heavy earthward mists, and then as its power waxed, and
hope grew in Frodo's mind, it began to burn, and kindled to a silver
flame, a minute heart of dazzling light, as though Earendil had himself
come down from the high sunset paths with the last Silmaril upon his
brow. The darkness receded from it until it seemed to shine in the
centre of a globe of airy crystal, and the hand that held it sparkled
with white fire." - and this scene also includes the crucial "Aiya
Earendil Elenion Ancalima!" cry from Frodo: Shelob's Lair)

III, 228-9 (Sam drew out the elven-glass of Galadriel again. As if to do
honour to his hardihood, and to grace with splendour his faithful brown
hobbit-hand that had done such deeds, the phial blazed forth suddenly,
so that all the shadowy court was lit with a dazzling radiance like
lightning; but it remained steady and did not pass. [...] Aiya elenion
ancalima! [...] The will of the Watchers was broken with a suddenness
like the snapping of a cord, and Frodo and Sam stumbled forward. - The
Tower of Cirith Ungol)

III, 238 (Far above the Ephel Duath in the West the night-sky was still
dim and pale. There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high
up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The
beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land,
and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought
pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing
thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach. His
song in the Tower had been defiance rather than hope; for then he was
thinking of himself. Now, for a moment, his own fate, and even his
master's, ceased to trouble him. He crawled back into the brambles and
laid himself by Frodo's side, and putting away all fear he cast himself
into a deep untroubled sleep. - The Land of Shadow).

9] The sons of Earendil were Elros and Elrond, the Peredhil or
Half-elven. In them alone the line of the heroic chieftains of the Edain
in the First Age was preserved; and after the fall of Gil-galad(*) the
lineage of the High-elven Kings was also in Middle-earth only
represented by their descendants.

9) I, 79 (It was Gil-galad, Elven-king and Elendil of Westernesse who
overthrew Sauron, though they themselves perished in the deed... -
Gandalf: The Shadow of the Past)

I, 249 (This references Sam's recital of part of 'The Fall of Gil-galad'
in the chapter: 'A Knife in the Dark').

10] But to the children of Elrond a choice was also appointed: to pass
with him from the circles of the world; or if they remained, to become
mortal and die in Middle-earth. For Elrond, therefore, all chances of
the War of the Ring were fraught with sorrow.(*)

10) See III, 306 (A gift I will give you. For I am the daughter of
Elrond. I shall not go with him now when he departs to the Havens; for
mine is the choice of Luthien, and as she so have I chosen, both the
sweet and the bitter. - Arwen to Frodo: Many Partings)

III, 310 (Arwen Evenstar remained also, and she said farewell to her
brethren. None saw her last meeting with Elrond her father, for they
went up into the hills and there spoke long together, and bitter was
their parting that should endure beyond the ends of the world. - Many
Partings).

11] The Kings and their followers little by little abandoned the use of
the Eldarin tongues; and at last the twentieth King took his royal name,
in Numenorean form, calling himself Ar-Adunakhor, 'Lord of the West'.
This seemed ill-omened to the Faithful for hitherto they had given that
title only to one of the Valar, or to the Elder King himself.(*)

11) I, 308 (He came unto the timeless halls/ where shining fall the
countless years,/ and endless reigns the Elder King/ in Ilmarin on
Mountain sheer - from Bilbo's song of Earendil in 'Many Meetings').

12] The last leaders of the Faithful, Elendil and his sons, escaped from
the Downfall with nine ships, bearing a seedling of Nimloth, and the
Seven Seeing-stones (gifts of the Eldar to their House);(*) and they
were borne on the wings of a great storm and cast up on the shores of
Middle-earth.

12) II, 253 (The palantiri came from beyond Westernesse from Eldamar.
The Noldor made them. Feanor himself, maybe, wrought them, in days so
long ago that the time cannot be measured in years. - Gandalf: The
Palantir)

III, 303 (Verily this is a sapling of the line of Nimloth the fair; and
that was a seedling of Galathilion, and that a fruit of Telperion of
many names, Eldest of Trees. - Gandalf: The Steward and the King).

13] There they established in the North-west the Numenorean realms in
exile, Arnor and Gondor.(*)

13) I, 318 (Of Numenor [Elrond] spoke, its glory and its fall, and the
return of the Kings of Men to Middle-earth out of the deeps of the Sea,
borne upon the wings of storm. Then Elendil the Tall and his mighty
sons, Isildur and Anarion, became great lords; and the North-realm they
made in Arnor, and the South-realm in Gondor above the mouths of
Anduin. - The Council of Elrond).

14] Elendil was the High King and dwelt in the North at Annuminas; and
the rule in the South was committed to his sons, Isildur and Anarion.
They founded there Osgiliath, between Minas Ithil and Minas Anor,(*)
not far from the confines of Mordor.

14) I, 320 (In the South the realm of Gondor long endured [...] Their
chief city was Osgiliath, Citadel of the Stars, through the midst of
which the River flowed. And Minas Ithil they built, Tower of the Rising
Moon, eastward upon a shoulder of the Mountains of Shadow; and westward
at the feet of the White Mountains Minas Anor they made, Tower of the
Setting Sun. - The Council of Elrond).

15] But Sauron struck too soon, before his own power was rebuilt,
whereas the power of Gil-galad had increased in his absence; and in the
Last Alliance that was made against him Sauron was overthrown and the
One Ring was taken from him.(*) So ended the Second Age.

15) I, 318 (I beheld the last combat on the slopes of Orodruin, where
Gil-galad died, and Elendil fell, and Narsil broke beneath him; but
Sauron himself was overthrown, and Isildur cut the Ring from his hand
with the hilt-shard of his father's sword, and took it for his own. -
Elrond: The Council of Elrond).

Comments on the footnotes for AIi
========================

Although there are 'only' 13 footnotes for this 'Numenor' section, many
of the footnotes have several different references. This gives a total
of 25 referenced footnotes. This is a large number for the amount of
text, and this probably makes this section one of the most heavily
footnoted and referenced sections. Which begs the question: does anyone
bother to look up what the footnotes are referring to (ending up with
something like what I've written above)?

Most of the footnotes should be explanatory, that is if anyone can
understand the way I presented them above! In the comments that follow,
I refer to the numbering system I've used above. It is noticeable that
not _all_ references to a particular name, object or event, are given as
a footnote, and sometimes none at all are given. The index is a better
use for that sort of thing.

What is interesting is that there are fragments of information that can
be gleaned only from the footnotes and other works. For example,
footnote 3 has the comment:

"...no likeness remained in Middle-earth of Laurelin the Golden."

This is a comment that can be expanded by reference to /The
Silmarillion/, where we are told of the fate of one of these likenesses
of Laurelin the Golden, namely Glingal that was made in Gondolin.

Footnote 6 is noticeable for containing a reference to the word Gondolin
in /The Hobbit/.

Footnote 11 reveals a bit more information about the 'Elder King',
though his name is not revealed until the publication of /The
Silmarillion/.

The last three footnotes refer the reader to the 'The Council of Elrond'
chapter, which along with 'The Shadow of the Past', is _the_ crucial
chapter for an understanding of the history behind the story.

But the most interesting footnote is footnote 8, the footnote that has
no less than 5 separate references to illustrate the star of Earendil as
"a sign of hope to the dwellers in Middle-earth oppressed by the Great
Enemy or his servants".

The first reference involves Galadriel and her mirror, in the chapter of
that name. The reference appears to be to Earendil's star passing
overhead during this scene. It is surely no coincidence that this "sign
of hope" shines forth during the time that Galadriel passes her test and
resists the temptation of the Ring. The interesting thing is that this
subtext about Earendil's star might be implied in the main story, but
without the text from the Appendices _and_ also the footnote linking the
two, it would only be speculation. With this footnote, Tolkien is
clearly telling us that this scene is one where Earendil (or at least
his star) appears as a sign of hope.

The second, third and fourth references in footnote 8 refer to the
obvious use of Galadriel's phial that contains the light of Earendil's
star. The linking of this with hope is made clear by the words of
Galadriel when she gives it to Frodo: "May it be a light to you in dark
places, when all other lights go out." Here light is equated with hope.

The fifth and final reference in footnote 8 is much more obscure. It was
the realization of what this meant that inspired me to investigate these
footnotes in more detail. It is the scene in Mordor where Sam sees a
star that gives him hope ("hope returned to him"). This star is often
referred to as "Sam's star in Mordor" or some such description, but this
footnote makes it crystal clear that this star _is_ meant to be
Earendil's star. And this is another example of something that is only
speculation (though it is not too difficult to realize that Sam's star
in Mordor might be Earendil), and where the speculation is dramatically
confirmed by a footnote.

Other comments and thoughts
===================

Some of these questions might be better postponed until the relevant
discussion, but I am bringing them up here in an attempt to try and
apply these questions to all the Appendices discussions!

What purpose do these Appendices serve?

How many people read them properly?

Why are there so many footnotes?

Which bits are needed to help understand the story?

Which bits fill in gaps in the story and tie up loose ends? Does the
Appendices material do this successfully?

In particular, why have this short section about the First Age and
Numenor? Is it just part of a summary of the history to provide
verisimilitude? Or is provided here because Tolkien (rightly) feared
that he would not live to see /The Silmarillion/ published?

Is it really possible to understand or absorb the story in this
'Numenor' section without having read /The Silmarillion/? I was
surprised at how much detail is provided in this part of the Appendices.
I had remembered most of this as being _only_ in /The Silmarillion/.

Some parts may prepare the groundwork for other parts of the Appendices.
This bit about Numenor can be seen as providing the context for the
comments made by Aragorn and Arwen about the Numenoreans.

Publication and writing history:

Which bits of the Appendices are original material dating from the time
that /The Lord of the Rings/ was written, and which bits date from his
earlier /Silmarillion/ writings? The First Age stuff is obviously a
condensed version of the /Silmarillion/ story, but also found in this
part of Appendix A is a condensed version of the Numenor story (from the
Second Age). I think I am right in saying that the Numenor story dates
from before /The Lord of the Rings/ was written, but was it expanded to
provide a fuller backstory for /The Lord of the Rings/?

It is surprising, however, that there is no expanded tale in Appendix A
of the Rings of Power story from the Second Age, such as is found in
/The Silmarillion/. There appear to be only scattered references in
Appendix B. Is there a reason for this? Had it been fully written yet?

And the publication history of the Appendices is interesting as well.
There are quotes (probably in /Letters/) where Tolkien despairs of
condensing the required information into the Appendices, and I think
(though I am more uncertain about this) that the preparation of the
Appendices material delayed the publication of the final volume (The
Return of the King) of /The Lord of the Rings/.

And staying with the publication history, I have always been shocked to
discover that some versions of /The Lord of the Rings/ (though maybe not
any longer) had most of the Appendices missing. They only had the bit
titled "here follows part of the Tale of Aragorn and Arwen". Does this
really mean that (apart from that love story) the Appendices are not
essential to the main story?

Christopher

--
---
Reply clue: Saruman welcomes you to Spamgard

"The evening star had risen and was shining with white fire above the
western woods."

Footnote in Appendix A, referencing this quote from 'The Mirror of
Galadriel' chapter as an example of Earendil as "a sign of hope to the
dwellers in Middle-earth oppressed by the Great Enemy or his servants".

Prai Jei

unread,
Apr 26, 2005, 1:00:52 PM4/26/05
to
Christopher Kreuzer (or somebody else of the same name) wrote thusly in
message <61hbe.19712$G8....@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>:

> "Of these things the full tale, and much else concerning Elves and Men,
> is told in /The Silmarillion/."
>
> Though this book would not, in fact, be published for another 22 years!
> And that was after the death of the author and thanks to the efforts of
> his son and literary executor, Christopher Tolkien.

It is quite possible that when Tolkien wrote this he had no real intention
of ever publishing The Silmarillion, at least in his lifetime. Those words
would forever constitute a fictional reference.

The "fictional reference" is a device used frequently in science fiction. In
"The Imperial Stars" by Doc Smith, each chapter is introduced by a
paragraph of background information, setting out the political situations
and events which led the the foundation of the Empire of Earth, from the
turn of the 20th/21st centuries, to the mid-25th century in which the main
story is set. Each of these background paragraphs ends with a note of its
source, e.g. "vanMees, History of Civilization, Reel 21, slot 1077".

Anybody like to try to chase that reference up?

As it says in one of those spoof scientific glossaries, the "Proof by
Non-Existent Reference" will silence all but the most determined
troublemaker.

--
Pave puvasha li oviol! Gom vija lomash'udum sha taluba nu em sodil.

Interchange the alphabetic letter groups to reply

Prai Jei

unread,
Apr 26, 2005, 1:16:17 PM4/26/05
to
Christopher Kreuzer (or somebody else of the same name) wrote thusly in
message <61hbe.19712$G8....@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>:

> And staying with the publication history, I have always been shocked to


> discover that some versions of /The Lord of the Rings/ (though maybe not
> any longer) had most of the Appendices missing. They only had the bit
> titled "here follows part of the Tale of Aragorn and Arwen". Does this
> really mean that (apart from that love story) the Appendices are not
> essential to the main story?

This has always tended to be the one-volume paperback which has omitted the
Appendices apart from A&A.

As I have stated previously, the Appendices may be peripheral to the main
story, but they are interesting reading nonetheless, and I feel that the
proper procedure regarding them is:
(a) Read the main story first
(b) Read the Appendices, and see how they fill in some of the background to
a story which otherwise might seem to introduce characters and situations
arbitrarily
(c) Re-read the main story in the light of the background information from
the Appendices.

An analogy might be useful. Let's suppose one has read the Old Testament for
the first time, but beginning with Exodus and onwards through the
historical epic, omitting Genesis. Yes, an exciting story, but beginning
rather abruptly with a regime change in Egypt and the resultant oppression
of the Israelites. The new king of Egypt is said to have "known not
Joseph". Who? This is the only reference to Joseph that we come across -
his history is not elaborated further.

Now we read Appendix A, sorry Genesis, and many of the questions are
answered:
How had the Israelites come to be living in Egypt? Because Joseph had
invited them in to escape famine in Canaan. So how had Joseph come to be a
senior civil servant in Egypt? Because his brothers had disowned him for
being his father's favourite son, and had sold him to some slave-traders.
And so on and so on, right back to the Creation.

Mark Edelstein

unread,
Apr 26, 2005, 1:49:43 PM4/26/05
to
I greatly enjoy the Appendices, since I love such historical stuff.
Actually my favorites are Appendix A, with loads of depth, depth that
not only gives context to LOTR, but also depth to LOTR (since the
Appendix demonstrates one could write a long novel on any given event
in Middle Earth).

The only one better is Appendix F, which greatly transforms how one
appreciates the dedication of the author.

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Apr 26, 2005, 3:37:31 PM4/26/05
to
Prai Jei <pvsto...@zyx-abc.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:
> Christopher Kreuzer (or somebody else of the same name) wrote thusly
> in message <61hbe.19712$G8....@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>:
>
>> "Of these things the full tale, and much else concerning Elves and
>> Men, is told in /The Silmarillion/."
>>
>> Though this book would not, in fact, be published for another 22
>> years! And that was after the death of the author and thanks to the
>> efforts of his son and literary executor, Christopher Tolkien.
>
> It is quite possible that when Tolkien wrote this he had no real
> intention of ever publishing The Silmarillion, at least in his
> lifetime. Those words would forever constitute a fictional reference.

Ah yes. Good point. Much like the references to works that are never
given in full. The Fall of Gil-galad for example. Or references to lays
and poems that give the full story of an event, such as the Aldudénië or
the Narsilion, and even the Lay of Leithian, though that was partly
published in the HoME volumes. Tolkien often gives the names of songs,
and only gives part of the song, or none of the song, such as the Laer
Cú Beleg, and the Song of Parting.

> The "fictional reference" is a device used frequently in science
> fiction. In "The Imperial Stars" by Doc Smith, each chapter is
> introduced by a paragraph of background information, setting out the
> political situations and events which led the the foundation of the
> Empire of Earth, from the turn of the 20th/21st centuries, to the
> mid-25th century in which the main story is set. Each of these
> background paragraphs ends with a note of its source, e.g. "vanMees,
> History of Civilization, Reel 21, slot 1077".
>
> Anybody like to try to chase that reference up?

You don't have a copy of that? I got one off e-Bay...

> As it says in one of those spoof scientific glossaries, the "Proof by
> Non-Existent Reference" will silence all but the most determined
> troublemaker.

LOL!

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Apr 26, 2005, 3:51:11 PM4/26/05
to
[adding RABT back in: follow-ups had been set to AFT]

Mark Edelstein <2m...@qlink.queensu.ca> wrote:
> I greatly enjoy the Appendices, since I love such historical stuff.
> Actually my favorites are Appendix A, with loads of depth, depth that
> not only gives context to LOTR, but also depth to LOTR (since the
> Appendix demonstrates one could write a long novel on any given event
> in Middle Earth).

So... Did you carefully look up all the footnotes, or did you just read
it through and ignore the page references in the footnotes? I had the
problem in that the first time I had all three volumes, the volumes were
all different editions, so I had to wait until I got a one-volume
edition (with the Appendices in full) before I could look up the
footnotes properly!

> The only one better is Appendix F, which greatly transforms how one
> appreciates the dedication of the author.

Ooh yes! But that discussion is in about three months time! :-)

Prai Jei

unread,
Apr 26, 2005, 4:13:24 PM4/26/05
to
Christopher Kreuzer (or somebody else of the same name) wrote thusly in
message <%Lwbe.20171$G8....@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>:

>> The "fictional reference" is a device used frequently in science
>> fiction. In "The Imperial Stars" by Doc Smith, each chapter is
>> introduced by a paragraph of background information, setting out the
>> political situations and events which led the the foundation of the
>> Empire of Earth, from the turn of the 20th/21st centuries, to the
>> mid-25th century in which the main story is set. Each of these
>> background paragraphs ends with a note of its source, e.g. "vanMees,
>> History of Civilization, Reel 21, slot 1077".
>>
>> Anybody like to try to chase that reference up?
>
> You don't have a copy of that? I got one off e-Bay...

Have you got Stanhope: Elements of Empire, Reel 2 slot 409, from which is
taken the paragraph at the head of Chapter 9? Among other things it quotes
the rule of primogeniture within the Empire of Earth as inheritance by the
eldest child irrespective of gender. It's known here as the Stanley
Doctrine, but didn't Tar-Ancalimë do something like that way back in the
Second Age?

You won't get the last one though. The source is "Unpublished data".

Prai Jei

unread,
Apr 26, 2005, 4:22:19 PM4/26/05
to
Christopher Kreuzer (or somebody else of the same name) wrote thusly in
message <%Lwbe.20171$G8....@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>:

>> As it says in one of those spoof scientific glossaries, the "Proof by
>> Non-Existent Reference" will silence all but the most determined
>> troublemaker.
>
> LOL!

Here is that one in full.

A Proof by Non-Existent Reference will silence all but the most determined
troublemaker. "You will find a proof of this given in Copson on page 445",
which is in the middle of the index. An important variant of this technique
can be used by lecturers in pairs. Dr. Jones assumes a result which
Professor Smith will be proving later in the year - but Professor Smith,
finding himself short of time, omits that theorem, since the class has
already done it with Dr. Jones. (Weber, A Random Walk in Science, page 31.)

And that last reference is legitimate :)

Mark Edelstein

unread,
Apr 26, 2005, 4:30:50 PM4/26/05
to

> So... Did you carefully look up all the footnotes, or did you just
read
> it through and ignore the page references in the footnotes? I had the
> problem in that the first time I had all three volumes, the volumes
were
> all different editions, so I had to wait until I got a one-volume
> edition (with the Appendices in full) before I could look up the
> footnotes properly!

No. I did not originally own a complete set of LOTR and did not own the
Hobbit until long after I had read LOTR several times over. So by the
time I was able to look through the volumes for consistent references I
already was more familiar with the text (and had read the Silmarillion
a few times).

Mark Edelstein

unread,
Apr 26, 2005, 4:33:10 PM4/26/05
to
I have always enjoyed fantasy and science fiction stories that use a
"reference framework." I made Foundation catch my eye when I first
looked at it, for instance, and some of the other science fiction I
enjoy is given some texture through the technique. It only really works
however, if it is done well.

Huan the hound

unread,
Apr 26, 2005, 9:29:50 PM4/26/05
to
On 2005-04-26, Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in <PYwbe.20187$G8.1...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>:
[snip]

> So... Did you carefully look up all the footnotes, or did you just read
> it through and ignore the page references in the footnotes? I had the
> problem in that the first time I had all three volumes, the volumes were
> all different editions, so I had to wait until I got a one-volume
> edition (with the Appendices in full) before I could look up the
> footnotes properly!
[snip]

I've got a cheap four paperback set (the Hobbit too) and have always had
trouble with the footnotes. It'd be great to have a nice copy someday!
I like paperbacks though. Anyone know how the new ones (since the
movies) are?

--
Huan, the hound of Valinor

Michelle J. Haines

unread,
Apr 27, 2005, 12:43:19 AM4/27/05
to
Prai Jei wrote:
>
> This has always tended to be the one-volume paperback which has omitted the
> Appendices apart from A&A.

My (relatively recently published) one-volume paperback, fairly heft in
size, has the full appendices. And Gandalf from the movie on the cover. :)

I was actually quite happy to be able to buy it, because I can't
misplace the separate books that way.

Michelle
Flutist

Dirk Thierbach

unread,
Apr 27, 2005, 2:00:37 AM4/27/05
to
Prai Jei <pvsto...@zyx-abc.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:
> A Proof by Non-Existent Reference will silence all but the most determined
> troublemaker. "You will find a proof of this given in Copson on page 445",
> which is in the middle of the index.

A variant of this technique a friend of mine experienced when writing
her thesis is the following: "A proof of this can be found in Betten,
chapter 11 (say)". Now the theorem was quite central to her thesis, so
she looked it up. It turned out that Betten did some quite heavy stuff
in this chapter, which was roughly on the same topic as the theorem,
but it wasn't obvious at all how to prove this theorem with it. Now
the theorem was stated in a book by a well-known person in this field
(that's another technique, proof by well-known authority), so you were
left with the tantalizing possibility that for him, it was trivial how
to prove the theorem with the material from the chapter. OTOH, since
he didn't do an explicit proof, he might have made a mistake
somewhere...

> An important variant of this technique can be used by lecturers in
> pairs. Dr. Jones assumes a result which Professor Smith will be
> proving later in the year - but Professor Smith, finding himself
> short of time, omits that theorem, since the class has already done
> it with Dr. Jones.

That happened once or twice in my undergrad lectures. Fortunately,
these theorems are easy to read up on if you really need the proof.

- Dirk

Dirk Thierbach

unread,
Apr 27, 2005, 1:47:17 AM4/27/05
to
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
> Prai Jei <pvsto...@zyx-abc.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:

>> The "fictional reference" is a device used frequently in science

>> fiction. [...] Each of these background paragraphs ends with a note


>> of its source, e.g. "vanMees, History of Civilization, Reel 21,
>> slot 1077".

>> Anybody like to try to chase that reference up?

> You don't have a copy of that? I got one off e-Bay...

I always wanted to have a copy of the Encyclopedia Galatica ... or of
the Hitchhiker's Guide ... so if you happen to run across any of them
at the e-Bay *you* use, please get one for me :-)

- Dirk

Dirk Thierbach

unread,
Apr 27, 2005, 2:28:17 AM4/27/05
to
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
> Was your immediate reaction to dive in and start reading the Appendices,
> or did you avoid these scary-looking annals with their footnotes,
> multiple subdivisions, and quotes from different sources?

I had one of the editions with only appendix being the /Tale of
Aragorn and Arwen/. Now I loved the LotR and wanted more, so I asked
my parents to buy me the appendices. I cannot remember exactly,
but I think I read them from start to end. But I think I couldn't make
much out of most of it, because at that time I hadn't read the SIL.

I was most fascinated by appendix E. However, the part about
pronounciation was missing from the German translation, and Tolkien
isn't very consistent with his transliterations, so I was confused
about the exact phonetic value of some of the tengwar for quite some
time, until I knew enough English to figure it out.

> Having briefly mentioned Feanor, the Silmarilli (how is this different
> from the term 'silmarils' used elsewhere?),

I'd say one is the Elvish plural, and one is the English plural.
It happens often with foreign words that both can be used.

> Which begs the question: does anyone bother to look up what the
> footnotes are referring to (ending up with something like what I've
> written above)?

I think I looked up a few of them at some stage. In some cases it was
more or less obvious what they referred to, if you know the text well
enough :-)

> What purpose do these Appendices serve?

From the letters, one can guess that Tolkien at some stage promised
the publishers or the readers the Appendices to explain the background
and many things left open in the main tale. For example, letter #160:

I now wish that no appendices had been promised! For I think their
appearance in truncated and compressed form will satisfy nobody:
certainly not me; clearly from the (appalling mass of) letters I
receive not those people who like that kind of thing -- astonishingly
many; while those who enjoy the book as an 'heroic romance' only, and
find 'unexplained vistas' part of the literary effect, will neglect
the appendices, very properly.

The next paragraph might also be interesting:

I am not now at all sure that the tendency to treat the whole thing as
a kind of vast game is really good -- cert. not for me, who find that
kind of thing only too fatally attractive. It is, I suppose, a tribute
to the curious effect that story has, when based on very elaborate and
detailed workings of geography, chronology, and language, that so many
should clamour for sheer 'information', or 'lore'.

Sounds familiar?

> Why are there so many footnotes?

I'd say that's just a professional habit when he switches to "scholarly"
writing style.

> Which bits are needed to help understand the story?

IMHO none, really. The main story is fine as it is, if one can live with
the many unexplained side references (which add color and depth).

> Is it really possible to understand or absorb the story in this
> 'Numenor' section without having read /The Silmarillion/? I was
> surprised at how much detail is provided in this part of the Appendices.
> I had remembered most of this as being _only_ in /The Silmarillion/.

The same thing happened to me some time ago. I was very surprised, too :-)
OTOH, it's been so long ago since I read the SIL, I cannot really
remember.

> It is surprising, however, that there is no expanded tale in Appendix A
> of the Rings of Power story from the Second Age, such as is found in
> /The Silmarillion/. There appear to be only scattered references in
> Appendix B. Is there a reason for this? Had it been fully written yet?

I would guess so. The letters say Tolkien had much trouble with
the appendices, and was late in delivering them, so he had to stop
at some stage.

- Dirk

Mark Edelstein

unread,
Apr 27, 2005, 11:04:41 AM4/27/05
to
Tolkien did love footnotes; UT similarly has footnotes strewn hither
and yon (a worthy project if the Silmarillion is ever completely dealt
with).

Michael Starosta

unread,
Apr 27, 2005, 12:19:32 PM4/27/05
to
Dirk Thierbach <dthie...@usenet.arcornews.de> wrote:

Are you scared of long downloading?


Staso
--
Schizophrenic? I'm bleeding quadrophenic.

AC

unread,
Apr 27, 2005, 1:35:33 PM4/27/05
to
On Tue, 26 Apr 2005 18:00:52 +0100,
Prai Jei <pvsto...@zyx-abc.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:
> Christopher Kreuzer (or somebody else of the same name) wrote thusly in
> message <61hbe.19712$G8....@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>:
>
>> "Of these things the full tale, and much else concerning Elves and Men,
>> is told in /The Silmarillion/."
>>
>> Though this book would not, in fact, be published for another 22 years!
>> And that was after the death of the author and thanks to the efforts of
>> his son and literary executor, Christopher Tolkien.
>
> It is quite possible that when Tolkien wrote this he had no real intention
> of ever publishing The Silmarillion, at least in his lifetime. Those words
> would forever constitute a fictional reference.

I'm fairly certain that JRRT stil had every intention of publishing Silm,
and probably it wasn't until the 1960s that he realized that that wasn't
going to happen in his lifetime.

<snip>

--
mightym...@hotmail.com

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Apr 27, 2005, 3:13:34 PM4/27/05
to
Dirk Thierbach <dthie...@usenet.arcornews.de> wrote:
> Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
>> Prai Jei <pvsto...@zyx-abc.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:
>
>>> The "fictional reference" is a device used frequently in science
>>> fiction. [...] Each of these background paragraphs ends with a note
>>> of its source, e.g. "vanMees, History of Civilization, Reel 21,
>>> slot 1077".
>
>>> Anybody like to try to chase that reference up?
>
>> You don't have a copy of that? I got one off e-Bay...
>
> I always wanted to have a copy of the Encyclopedia Galatica

Couldn't find that. Sorry.

> or of the Hitchhiker's Guide ... so if you happen to run across any of
> them at the e-Bay *you* use, please get one for me :-)

And I think the seller conned me on this one. Something had gone wrong
in the printing, and all the pages were identical copies of page 42.


Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Apr 27, 2005, 3:21:21 PM4/27/05
to
Prai Jei <pvsto...@zyx-abc.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:
> Christopher Kreuzer (or somebody else of the same name) wrote thusly
> in message <61hbe.19712$G8....@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>:
>
>> "Of these things the full tale, and much else concerning Elves and
>> Men, is told in /The Silmarillion/."
>>
>> Though this book would not, in fact, be published for another 22
>> years! And that was after the death of the author and thanks to the
>> efforts of his son and literary executor, Christopher Tolkien.
>
> It is quite possible that when Tolkien wrote this he had no real
> intention of ever publishing The Silmarillion, at least in his
> lifetime. Those words would forever constitute a fictional reference.

Had another thought about this. Your point about fictional references is
well made, and Tolkien _does_ use fictional references. But I'm no
longer sure that this was even intended to be a fictional reference. At
the time Tolkien wrote Appendix AIi (Numenor), he had not only already
written something that could be (and probably was) called /Quenta
Silmarillon/ and /Akallabeth/, but he had tried to get them published.

Tolkien tried to get Milton Waldman to publish /The Silmarillion/ and
/The Lord of the Rings/ together. There is a famous and very long letter
about this. And though I don't know how uncertain Tolkien was about
publishing in his lifetime, or whether it was just that he couldn't
bring himself to stop niggling away at his writings, he did entrust the
material to his son, Christopher Tolkien, and evidently was happy for it
to be published.

Does anyone know more about Tolkien's thoughts on publishing /The
Silmarillion/, from the time after publishing /The Lord of the Rings/
until his death? I recall comments Christopher Tolkien makes in the HoME
volumes, but cannot recall the details.

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Apr 27, 2005, 3:28:37 PM4/27/05
to

Have you read /Letters/? It is a collection of letters by J.R.R.
Tolkien. In there, you will find that Tolkien added footnotes to the
letters he sent when replying to fan mail!

Though in books like /Unfinished Tales/ and the HoME volumes, you have
to be careful to distinguish between the footnotes Tolkien used, and the
editorial footnotes used by Christopher Tolkien.

Christopher Kreuzer

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Apr 27, 2005, 4:06:16 PM4/27/05
to

Do you think Tolkien used this technique well?

Silly question really. Should be: Why do you think Tolkien was able to
use this technique so well? Or: What was so successful about the way
Tolkien used this technique?

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Apr 27, 2005, 7:42:35 PM4/27/05
to
Dirk Thierbach <dthie...@usenet.arcornews.de> wrote:
> Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
>> Was your immediate reaction to dive in and start reading the
>> Appendices, or did you avoid these scary-looking annals with their
>> footnotes, multiple subdivisions, and quotes from different sources?
>
> I had one of the editions with only appendix being the /Tale of
> Aragorn and Arwen/. Now I loved the LotR and wanted more, so I asked
> my parents to buy me the appendices. I cannot remember exactly,
> but I think I read them from start to end. But I think I couldn't make
> much out of most of it, because at that time I hadn't read the SIL.

Well, strictly speaking you only need /The Silmarillion/ to help
understand the first five or six pages of the Appendices, and scattered
bits of Appendix B, E and F. The rest is all mostly independent of /The
Silmarillion/.

<snip>

>> Which begs the question: does anyone bother to look up what the
>> footnotes are referring to (ending up with something like what I've
>> written above)?
>
> I think I looked up a few of them at some stage. In some cases it was
> more or less obvious what they referred to, if you know the text well
> enough :-)

Well, some were obvious, but I'd never looked them all up before, and
some were a surprise to me. Mainly the references to "Earendil as a sign
of hope" being specifically linked with the rising of that star above
Lothlorien at the time Galadriel used her Mirror and Frodo offered her
the Ring and she rejected it. And the link with Sam's star in Mordor.
And also the reference to the 'Elder King' being linked with Bilbo's use
of the term in his song at the point where Earendil goes to Valmar and
appears before the Powers of Arda.

>> What purpose do these Appendices serve?
>
> From the letters, one can guess that Tolkien at some stage promised
> the publishers or the readers the Appendices to explain the background
> and many things left open in the main tale. For example, letter #160:
>
> I now wish that no appendices had been promised! For I think their
> appearance in truncated and compressed form will satisfy nobody:
> certainly not me; clearly from the (appalling mass of) letters I
> receive not those people who like that kind of thing --
> astonishingly many; while those who enjoy the book as an 'heroic
> romance' only, and find 'unexplained vistas' part of the literary
> effect, will neglect the appendices, very properly.

Well, I'm glad he wrote/compiled the Appendices!

Though without the later publications (Silmarillion, UT, HoME), they
might have been only a tantalising glimpse of what could have been. What
a frightening thought!

> The next paragraph might also be interesting:
>
> I am not now at all sure that the tendency to treat the whole thing
> as a kind of vast game is really good -- cert. not for me, who find
> that kind of thing only too fatally attractive. It is, I suppose, a
> tribute to the curious effect that story has, when based on very
> elaborate and detailed workings of geography, chronology, and
> language, that so many should clamour for sheer 'information', or
> 'lore'.
>
> Sounds familiar?

LOL! Very familiar!

>> Why are there so many footnotes?
>
> I'd say that's just a professional habit when he switches to
> "scholarly" writing style.

That explains the style, but not the motivation. I like to think that he
was remembering these tantalising bits he had written into the story,
and deliberately trying to explain them by linking to them from these
Appendices.

Plus the fact that he sometimes genuinely does provide _new_ information
that explains what has happened in the main story. Not just static
background, but material that extends and embellishes the story. In this
part of the Appendices, I am mainly thinking of what I shall call "the
Earendil footnote" with its five references to key moments in the story.

>> Which bits are needed to help understand the story?
>
> IMHO none, really. The main story is fine as it is, if one can live
> with the many unexplained side references (which add color and depth).

But in the act of explaining some of these side references, it looks
like Tolkien is provoking _more_ questions than he is answering. The
main story has these unrevealed or hinted at depths, but this first part
of Appendix A (the bit about the First Age and Numenor) reveals the
_true_ depth of the creation. We are peeking behind the curtain and
seeing that there is not just a little back room there, but a whole wide
realm to explore!

I wonder how many letters Tolkien got asking when /The Silmarillion/
would be published? :-)

>> Is it really possible to understand or absorb the story in this
>> 'Numenor' section without having read /The Silmarillion/? I was
>> surprised at how much detail is provided in this part of the
>> Appendices. I had remembered most of this as being _only_ in /The
>> Silmarillion/.
>
> The same thing happened to me some time ago. I was very surprised,
> too :-) OTOH, it's been so long ago since I read the SIL, I cannot
> really remember.

But you have it on your reading list for August, right? :-)

>> It is surprising, however, that there is no expanded tale in
>> Appendix A of the Rings of Power story from the Second Age, such as
>> is found in /The Silmarillion/. There appear to be only scattered
>> references in Appendix B. Is there a reason for this? Had it been
>> fully written yet?
>
> I would guess so. The letters say Tolkien had much trouble with
> the appendices, and was late in delivering them, so he had to stop
> at some stage.

It is sometimes interesting to try and work out which bits of the
Appendices come from where, and when they were written. I'm not sure if
this is actually covered in the HoME volumes. I also wonder how he
decided what to leave out, and what exactly _did_ get left out (as
opposed to not being there because it hadn't been written yet)? I
vaguely recall that some of the material was originally in one of the
main chapters, but got turfed out to the Appendices.

Dirk Thierbach

unread,
Apr 28, 2005, 2:09:01 AM4/28/05
to
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
> Dirk Thierbach <dthie...@usenet.arcornews.de> wrote:
>> Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
>>> Why are there so many footnotes?

>> I'd say that's just a professional habit when he switches to
>> "scholarly" writing style.

> That explains the style, but not the motivation.

Maybe one should also keep in mind that he was writing by hand, or
typing, very slowly, himself. No text editors. If you forgot some
important snippet of information, you could either copy the whole thing
again, or write a footnote.

> I like to think that he was remembering these tantalising bits he
> had written into the story, and deliberately trying to explain them
> by linking to them from these Appendices.

I wouldn't read too much into the footnotes.

> But in the act of explaining some of these side references, it looks
> like Tolkien is provoking _more_ questions than he is answering.

Well, yes, that's why he wrote "for I think their appearance in
truncated and compressed form will satisfy nobody" :-)

>>> Is it really possible to understand or absorb the story in this
>>> 'Numenor' section without having read /The Silmarillion/? I was
>>> surprised at how much detail is provided in this part of the
>>> Appendices. I had remembered most of this as being _only_ in /The
>>> Silmarillion/.

>> The same thing happened to me some time ago. I was very surprised,
>> too :-) OTOH, it's been so long ago since I read the SIL, I cannot
>> really remember.

> But you have it on your reading list for August, right? :-)

Yeah, I'll try to read along :-) But what I meant was a different thing:
I have been familiar with the SIL for so long that I cannot remember
what it was like reading the appendices without knowing the SIL.

> It is sometimes interesting to try and work out which bits of the
> Appendices come from where, and when they were written. I'm not sure if
> this is actually covered in the HoME volumes.

PoME deals with the appendices, though I haven't read that part yet.

- Dirk

AC

unread,
Apr 28, 2005, 10:54:10 AM4/28/05
to
On Wed, 27 Apr 2005 08:28:17 +0200,
Dirk Thierbach <dthie...@usenet.arcornews.de> wrote:
> Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
>> Was your immediate reaction to dive in and start reading the Appendices,
>> or did you avoid these scary-looking annals with their footnotes,
>> multiple subdivisions, and quotes from different sources?
>
> I had one of the editions with only appendix being the /Tale of
> Aragorn and Arwen/. Now I loved the LotR and wanted more, so I asked
> my parents to buy me the appendices. I cannot remember exactly,
> but I think I read them from start to end. But I think I couldn't make
> much out of most of it, because at that time I hadn't read the SIL.

My first copy of LotR was given to me by my cousin, and was also the big
single-edition releases. I had no idea how much more there was until I
picked up a copy of RotK from the library and flipped to the back and went
"Oh..." A few weeks later I had got the money together to buy some used
copies of the books.

<snip>

--
mightym...@hotmail.com

Mark Edelstein

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Apr 28, 2005, 12:14:39 PM4/28/05
to
I think CT did a pretty good job of that. Also the two types of
footnotes convey different things. Unfortunetly I don't own Letters.
Perhaps later this year if I can find proper time to devote to it.

JimboCat

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Apr 28, 2005, 12:31:03 PM4/28/05
to

I've always especially enjoyed it in Laumer's "Retief" stories, which
often begin with a quote from the annals of the CDT ("Core Diplomatique
Terrestrienne") about the glorious triumphs and incredible competence
and general good-heartedness of the CDT [1] . . . and then you read the
story to find out what *really* happened!

Very funny series.

[1] specifically of the senior diplomats, who are then shown in the
story proper to be uniformly idiotic blowhards. Laumer was, himself,
part of the US Diplomatic Corps for some years, so he knew what he was
writing about.

Jim Deutch (JimboCat)
--
"Does the name Pavlov ring a bell?"

Christopher Kreuzer

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Apr 28, 2005, 6:46:11 PM4/28/05
to
Dirk Thierbach <dthie...@usenet.arcornews.de> wrote:
> Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
>> Dirk Thierbach <dthie...@usenet.arcornews.de> wrote:
>>> Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
>>>> Why are there so many footnotes?
>
>>> I'd say that's just a professional habit when he switches to
>>> "scholarly" writing style.
>
>> That explains the style, but not the motivation.
>
> Maybe one should also keep in mind that he was writing by hand, or
> typing, very slowly, himself. No text editors. If you forgot some
> important snippet of information, you could either copy the whole
> thing again, or write a footnote.

That might be the case for some footnotes, but not all of them. The
well-placed footnote does have a role, and not just because you forget
to write something. As well as being part of Tolkien's professional
habits, the use of footnotes gives the Appendices the appearance of a
genuine scholarly document, which bolsters the whole "Tolkien as
translator/historian" conceit.

>> I like to think that he was remembering these tantalising bits he
>> had written into the story, and deliberately trying to explain them
>> by linking to them from these Appendices.
>
> I wouldn't read too much into the footnotes.

Do you mean _you_ wouldn't, or _I_ shouldn't? [1]

Seriously, do you in some way think footnotes are less valid than other
parts of the text? The footnotes in the first part (pre-Third Age) of
the Appendices refer you to pages in the main story. To me, it looks as
though Tolkien is reminding the reader of how this rather obscure
material relates to the main story. In other words, he is pointing out
where the Two Trees, the Beren and Luthien tale, Gondolin, Earendil,
Gil-galad, the White Tree, the Palantiri, and so on, are mentioned in
the main story. As you say, most of these references are fairly obvious,
mundane even, but some references seem to highlight important moments in
the story. The two most important footnotes, IMO, in this part of the
Appendices, are the one about Earendil as a "sign of hope", and the one
about the choice appointed to the children of Elrond.

At the end of the day, I think this use of footnotes greatly enhances
the Appendices, and makes them more coherent, potentially drawing the
reader's attention to important points. The footnotes sometimes also
provide their own snippets of interesting information.

[1] Meaning of course that the phrase "I wouldn't do this" can be
interpreted in two common ways: (a) a simple statement of fact about
your own opinion; and (b) an implicit statement about what someone
should do, in the sense of saying "I wouldn't do that if I were you", or
"I wouldn't do that, and I don't think you should either".

>> But in the act of explaining some of these side references, it looks
>> like Tolkien is provoking _more_ questions than he is answering.
>
> Well, yes, that's why he wrote "for I think their appearance in
> truncated and compressed form will satisfy nobody" :-)

Well, I was responding specifically to your comment that the unexplained
side references in the main story "add color and depth". And I was
trying to point out that this color and depth is _not_ lost for the
First Age tales (or at least the hints of existing First Age tales we
get in LotR) by writing this first part of the introduction. If
anything, the color and depth are increased, though maybe a little of
the mystery is lost.

The vistas of the Third Age that are revealed later in the Appendices
are another story, of course. But even there, I don't think that
Tolkien's opinion that those who "find 'unexplained vistas' part of the
literary effect" would be correct and proper to "neglect the appendices"
is entirely fair. He might have possibly underestimated the way in which
the Appendices themselves can replace one set of unexplained vistas with
another set.

Kind of like that bit in Leaf by Niggle:

"...as you walked, new distances opened out; so that you now had double,
treble, and quadruple distances, doubly, trebly and quadruply
enchanting. You could go on and on, and have a whole country in a
garden, or in a picture (if you preferred to call it that)."

Or even a book, if you prefer to call it that.

>>>> Is it really possible to understand or absorb the story in this
>>>> 'Numenor' section without having read /The Silmarillion/? I was
>>>> surprised at how much detail is provided in this part of the
>>>> Appendices. I had remembered most of this as being _only_ in /The
>>>> Silmarillion/.
>
>>> The same thing happened to me some time ago. I was very surprised,
>>> too :-) OTOH, it's been so long ago since I read the SIL, I cannot
>>> really remember.
>
>> But you have it on your reading list for August, right? :-)
>
> Yeah, I'll try to read along :-) But what I meant was a different
> thing: I have been familiar with the SIL for so long that I cannot
> remember what it was like reading the appendices without knowing the
> SIL.

Oh, right. Yes. Me too. :-(

>> It is sometimes interesting to try and work out which bits of the
>> Appendices come from where, and when they were written. I'm not sure
>> if this is actually covered in the HoME volumes.
>
> PoME deals with the appendices, though I haven't read that part yet.

Thanks for the reference. I need to find my copy of PoME!

Christopher Kreuzer

unread,
Apr 28, 2005, 7:03:18 PM4/28/05
to
AC <mightym...@hotmail.com> wrote:

<snip>

> My first copy of LotR was given to me by my cousin, and was also the
> big single-edition releases. I had no idea how much more there was
> until I picked up a copy of RotK from the library and flipped to the
> back and went "Oh..."

Was that a faint, surprised "Oh..."?
Or an excited, happy "Oh..."? :-)

> A few weeks later I had got the money together
> to buy some used copies of the books.

After reading the library book? :-)

Stan Brown

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Apr 28, 2005, 7:06:33 PM4/28/05
to
"Christopher Kreuzer" wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:

>Well, strictly speaking you only need /The Silmarillion/ to help
>understand the first five or six pages of the Appendices, and scattered
>bits of Appendix B, E and F.

Depends on your definition of "understand". I remember reading the
Appendices and wanting to know more about certain things --
especially the Valar "laid down their guardianship and called upon
the One" when Ar-Pharazon invaded -- but I believe I understood
what was in the appendix.

I also remember being bored by the "Tale of Aragorn and Arwen". I
grew up since. :-)

--
Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Cortland County, New York, USA
http://OakRoadSystems.com
Tolkien FAQs: http://Tolkien.slimy.com (Steuard Jensen's site)
Tolkien letters FAQ:
http://users.telerama.com/~taliesen/tolkien/lettersfaq.html
FAQ of the Rings: http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/ringfaq.htm
Encyclopedia of Arda: http://www.glyphweb.com/arda/default.htm
more FAQs: http://oakroadsystems.com/genl/faqget.htm

Stan Brown

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Apr 28, 2005, 7:08:14 PM4/28/05
to
"Mark Edelstein" wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:

>I think CT did a pretty good job of that.

Of WHAT??????? Please give adequate context when following up. Yes,
even posting from Gogle you can do it.

aelfwina

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Apr 29, 2005, 11:36:11 PM4/29/05
to

"Christopher Kreuzer" <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote in message
news:61hbe.19712$G8....@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk...
> Chapter of the Week (CotW) 'The Lord of the Rings' (LotR)
> Appendix A - Part I - section i: Numenor
>
> To read previous Chapter of the Week discussions, or to sign up to
> introduce a future section of the appendices, go to
> http://parasha.maoltuile.org
>
> Introduction
> =========
>
> So, you reach the final page of /The Lord of the Rings/ proper, at the
> end of the 'The Grey Havens' chapter and realise that the story has
> ended. But wait! There are loads more pages still to read. All of six
> Appendices with chronologies, calendars and family trees! Which brings
> me to my first question...

>
> Was your immediate reaction to dive in and start reading the Appendices,
> or did you avoid these scary-looking annals with their footnotes,
> multiple subdivisions, and quotes from different sources?

My initial reaction was disappointment that the story *really* had come to
an end--I suppose I was hoping he'd follow up Frodo in Valinor, or some such
thing; I had thought there were pages and pages of *story* left!

But then I began to read them. The parts that *were* story, such as the
tale of Aragorn/Arwen, and some of history of Numenor were very interesting.
I found myself absorbed by the Tale of Years, perusing the Family Trees, and
fascinated by the Shire calendar. I also taught myself the Tengwar. I will
confess, though that much of the "scholarly" stuff, especially the
linguistic stuff went right over my teen-age head, and I also wanted more
hobbits.

Over three and half decades later, I have a bit more appreciation for them
now, but I have to say that my *favorite* parts then are still my favorites
now. And I still want more hobbits. 8-)
Barbara


Dirk Thierbach

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Apr 29, 2005, 2:32:26 AM4/29/05
to
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
> Dirk Thierbach <dthie...@usenet.arcornews.de> wrote:

>> Maybe one should also keep in mind that he was writing by hand, or
>> typing, very slowly, himself. No text editors. If you forgot some
>> important snippet of information, you could either copy the whole
>> thing again, or write a footnote.

> That might be the case for some footnotes, but not all of them. The
> well-placed footnote does have a role, and not just because you forget
> to write something.

Sure. Just trying to offer an additional possible reason to explain
why are there so many.

>>> I like to think that he was remembering these tantalising bits he
>>> had written into the story, and deliberately trying to explain them
>>> by linking to them from these Appendices.

>> I wouldn't read too much into the footnotes.

> Do you mean _you_ wouldn't, or _I_ shouldn't? [1]

_I_ wouldn't, and it's of course up to you would you do :-) But see below.

> Seriously, do you in some way think footnotes are less valid than other
> parts of the text?

It's not the validity I was talking about, or the contents. I was
talking about the difference between using footnotes and making it
part of the main text. Sorry, I didn't express that very well.

>>> But in the act of explaining some of these side references, it looks
>>> like Tolkien is provoking _more_ questions than he is answering.

>> Well, yes, that's why he wrote "for I think their appearance in
>> truncated and compressed form will satisfy nobody" :-)

> Well, I was responding specifically to your comment that the unexplained
> side references in the main story "add color and depth". And I was
> trying to point out that this color and depth is _not_ lost for the

> First Age tales.

Ah. I didn't understand that from what you wrote. Sorry.

- Dirk

AC

unread,
Apr 29, 2005, 11:28:21 AM4/29/05
to
On Thu, 28 Apr 2005 23:03:18 GMT,
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
> AC <mightym...@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
><snip>
>
>> My first copy of LotR was given to me by my cousin, and was also the
>> big single-edition releases. I had no idea how much more there was
>> until I picked up a copy of RotK from the library and flipped to the
>> back and went "Oh..."
>
> Was that a faint, surprised "Oh..."?
> Or an excited, happy "Oh..."? :-)

Very excited and happy.

>
>> A few weeks later I had got the money together
>> to buy some used copies of the books.
>
> After reading the library book? :-)

Yup.

--
mightym...@hotmail.com

Graham Lockwood

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Apr 29, 2005, 2:07:14 PM4/29/05
to
On Wed, 27 Apr 2005 15:06:16 -0500, Christopher Kreuzer wrote
(in article <YgSbe.20828$G8....@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>):

> Mark Edelstein <2m...@qlink.queensu.ca> wrote:
>> I have always enjoyed fantasy and science fiction stories that use a
>> "reference framework." I made Foundation catch my eye when I first
>> looked at it, for instance, and some of the other science fiction I
>> enjoy is given some texture through the technique. It only really
>> works however, if it is done well.
>
> Do you think Tolkien used this technique well?
>
> Silly question really. Should be: Why do you think Tolkien was able to
> use this technique so well? Or: What was so successful about the way
> Tolkien used this technique?

The "other works" that Tolkien was referring to actually existed. ;)

---
Graham

Mark Edelstein

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Apr 29, 2005, 5:06:19 PM4/29/05
to

Stan Brown wrote:
> "Mark Edelstein" wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:
> >I think CT did a pretty good job of that.
>
> Of WHAT??????? Please give adequate context when following up. Yes,
> even posting from Gogle you can do it.
>
> --

Forgive me, I usually post in, ah, sloppier newsgroups. I should say CT
does a fairly good job of seperating footnotes on structure, style, or
textual history from his father's footnotes, which usually involve
throwing in either internal history or internal details.

the softrat

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Apr 29, 2005, 6:53:21 PM4/29/05
to
On Fri, 29 Apr 2005 13:07:14 -0500, Graham Lockwood
<g-...@yeehawgropes.com> wrote:
>
>The "other works" that Tolkien was referring to actually existed. ;)
>
Yeah: he wrote them.

the softrat
"Honi soit qui mal y pense."
mailto:sof...@pobox.com
--
Baba ganoosh ganache Ganesh!
Baba ganoosh ganache!
--culinary cheer for the elephant god

Stan Brown

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Apr 29, 2005, 10:14:17 PM4/29/05
to
"Mark Edelstein" wrote in rec.arts.books.tolkien:
> I should say CT
>does a fairly good job of seperating footnotes on structure, style, or
>textual history from his father's footnotes, which usually involve
>throwing in either internal history or internal details.

I've always found that to be the case. I wish he would distinguish
them by printing the author's notes as footnotes and his own as
endnotes, but at least he does put "[Author's note]" at the end of
the footnotes his father wrote.

Christopher Kreuzer

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Apr 30, 2005, 4:55:44 AM4/30/05
to

LOL! That was an obvious answer wasn't it!

Though he did use fictional references as well (to stories and songs
that never got written), referring to events and a history that he had
already written must have been a great help. It avoids inconsistencies
for a start.

Though he did sometimes have to rewrite the history to accommodate the
later stories. Such as altering /The Hobbit/ and numerous niggling
changes in the /Silmarillion/ tales. I never cease to be amazed at how
Tolkien managed to keep everything (mostly) consistent. And he was using
typed and written notes and manuscripts. No being able to find things in
a word-processor program on a computer. He had to remember everything!

Michele Fry

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Apr 30, 2005, 5:10:31 AM4/30/05
to
In article <kKHce.22186$G8.1...@text.news.blueyonder.co.uk>,
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> writes

>Though he did use fictional references as well (to stories and songs
>that never got written), referring to events and a history that he had
>already written must have been a great help. It avoids inconsistencies
>for a start.
>
>Though he did sometimes have to rewrite the history to accommodate the
>later stories. Such as altering /The Hobbit/ and numerous niggling
>changes in the /Silmarillion/ tales. I never cease to be amazed at how
>Tolkien managed to keep everything (mostly) consistent. And he was using
>typed and written notes and manuscripts. No being able to find things in
>a word-processor program on a computer. He had to remember everything!

Shocking as it might seem in this over-technological age, some of us
still work like that ! I write all my papers and notes out in long hand,
and although I do use downloads from the Net on occasion, they're
printed off and then annotated by hand, and hand annotate photocopies
too. It's actually *easier* for me to find things and remember
information doing it this way - the act of writing something down fixes
it in my brain, whereas typing it doesn't... And I write my papers out
long hand because it improves my writing style. Writing direct into a
word processor makes it regrettably easy to waffle in my experience...

Michele
==
Leisure without literature is death, or rather the burial of a living
[person].
- Seneca
==
Now reading: A Question of Time - Verlyn Flieger
A Beautiful Mind - Sylvia Nasar

Henriette

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Apr 30, 2005, 9:56:42 AM4/30/05
to
Dirk Thierbach wrote:
> Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
>
> > Why are there so many footnotes?
>
> I'd say that's just a professional habit when he switches to
"scholarly"
> writing style.
>
I think he switches to a "scholarly" writing style and meanwhile winks
at us.

Henriette

Henriette

unread,
Apr 30, 2005, 10:01:47 AM4/30/05
to
Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
> Chapter of the Week (CotW) 'The Lord of the Rings' (LotR)
> Appendix A - Part I - section i: Numenor
>
> Was your immediate reaction to dive in and start reading the
Appendices,
> or did you avoid these scary-looking annals with their footnotes,
> multiple subdivisions, and quotes from different sources?(snip)
>
I was devastated that I had finished LOTR, and my immediate reaction
was indeed to dive in and start reading the Appendices. Which I did. It
felt very much like a cold shower...

Henriette

AC

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Apr 30, 2005, 1:32:42 PM4/30/05
to
On 30 Apr 2005 07:01:47 -0700,

<chuckle>

--
mightym...@hotmail.com

Raven

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Apr 30, 2005, 2:29:05 PM4/30/05
to
"Michele Fry" <mic...@sassoonery.demon.co.uk> skrev i en meddelelse
news:dPetTHAH...@sassoonery.demon.co.uk...

> Shocking as it might seem in this over-technological age, some of us
> still work like that ! I write all my papers and notes out in long hand,
> and although I do use downloads from the Net on occasion, they're
> printed off and then annotated by hand, and hand annotate photocopies
> too. It's actually *easier* for me to find things and remember
> information doing it this way - the act of writing something down fixes
> it in my brain, whereas typing it doesn't... And I write my papers out
> long hand because it improves my writing style. Writing direct into a
> word processor makes it regrettably easy to waffle in my experience...

It was the opposite for me, when I gained access to word processors.
Denmark and Norway have a so-called "gymnasium", which is three years
following elementary school; I went to a Danish gymnasium from ages
seventeen to twenty. Until my last year I wrote all my essays by hand.
Typically I would be given an assignment for an essay to be handed in a
month later. I would spend most of that month reading the accompanying
material and deciding what to write. Then two days before deadline I would
start writing the draft. The evening before deadline I would finish the
draft, and start writing the final version. I would complete this during a
break just before the lesson where I was to hand it in.
I typically got marks slightly better than average.
Then the school opened a computer room with several Commodore 64's and a
printer and a floppy drive. Someone furnished Vizawrite, which was the
first word processor that I encountered. I learnt to use this, and from
then on I would start my essays after only a week. I would spend the
remaining three weeks writing the essay, constantly refining it, until I
printed it out on the day of deadline.
My marks improved from "slightly better than average" to "very good".
The two essays that I got maximum grades on were from that year. And this
is still how I write texts nowadays. I write a draft, and then keep
improving it until I'm sufficiently satisfied. I only ever write in
longhand when I'm away from home and write song texts - so I still retain
that skill.
It is of course also how I write these postings to Usenet. I write the
draft, refine it, dump it into the outbox, and then before I fire up my
modem and log on I check the postings for items of improvement. Sometimes I
don't need to reopen the post and improve it, othertimes I completely
rewrite it.

Marghvran.


R. Dan Henry

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May 1, 2005, 12:40:32 AM5/1/05
to
On Wed, 27 Apr 2005 23:42:35 GMT, "Christopher Kreuzer"
<spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:

>Well, I'm glad he wrote/compiled the Appendices!
>
>Though without the later publications (Silmarillion, UT, HoME), they
>might have been only a tantalising glimpse of what could have been. What
>a frightening thought!

But that tantalizing glimpse helped create the demand for those later
publications; without them, the others might not have followed.

R. Dan Henry
danh...@inreach.com

Larry Swain

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May 2, 2005, 12:23:44 PM5/2/05
to

Yes, we tend to forget sometimes that part of the "fiction" is that he's
a scholar who is translating and presenting to us the text of the Red
Book of Westmarch, and he's doing so as a scholar presents such an
edition and translation w/footnotes, and discussion. *Wink, wink*

Christopher Kreuzer

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May 2, 2005, 1:08:08 PM5/2/05
to
Larry Swain <thes...@operamail.com> wrote:

> Henriette wrote:
>>> Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Why are there so many footnotes?

<snip>

>> I think he switches to a "scholarly" writing style and meanwhile
>> winks at us.
>
> Yes, we tend to forget sometimes that part of the "fiction" is that
> he's a scholar who is translating and presenting to us the text of
> the Red Book of Westmarch, and he's doing so as a scholar presents
> such an edition and translation w/footnotes, and discussion. *Wink,
> wink*

Ah. But not all the footnotes will be like that. This seems like an
opportunity to look at the narrative/authorial viewpoint in the
footnotes. Some would be Tolkien the translator, some would be Tolkien
the scholar, some would add to the verisimilitude of previous
authors/translators adding their bits in, some would also have Tolkien
the author in the background, weaving in another thread of his story.

Shanahan

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May 2, 2005, 3:48:41 PM5/2/05
to
Larry Swain <thes...@operamail.com> opined:

I think the footnotes are often a way for Tolkien to think out loud to
himself, to drive two topics forward at the same time, without having
to start another page of writing (recall paper shortages during WWII).

Ciaran S.
--
Put everything in quotes


Christopher Kreuzer

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May 2, 2005, 3:19:33 PM5/2/05
to
Shanahan <pogu...@ITbluefrog.com> wrote:

<snip>

> I think the footnotes are often a way for Tolkien to think out loud to
> himself, to drive two topics forward at the same time, without having
> to start another page of writing (recall paper shortages during WWII).

Recall also the huge amount of notes that Christopher Tolkien and Guy
Kavriel Kay had to sort through when compiling /The Silmarillion/. There
is a description somewhere of them using an entire barn filled with
tables as an office to help them sort the notes in some sort of order.
Personally (very tongue in cheek), I don't think Tolkien used _enough_
footnotes! :-)

Larry Swain

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May 2, 2005, 7:32:05 PM5/2/05
to

Christopher Kreuzer wrote:

Which ones aren't?

Christopher Kreuzer

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May 2, 2005, 8:07:39 PM5/2/05
to
Larry Swain <thes...@operamail.com> wrote:
> Christopher Kreuzer wrote:
>> Larry Swain <thes...@operamail.com> wrote:

<snip>

>>> Yes, we tend to forget sometimes that part of the "fiction" is that
>>> he's a scholar who is translating and presenting to us the text of
>>> the Red Book of Westmarch, and he's doing so as a scholar presents
>>> such an edition and translation w/footnotes, and discussion. *Wink,
>>> wink*
>>
>> Ah. But not all the footnotes will be like that. This seems like an
>> opportunity to look at the narrative/authorial viewpoint in the
>> footnotes. Some would be Tolkien the translator, some would be
>> Tolkien the scholar, some would add to the verisimilitude of previous
>> authors/translators adding their bits in, some would also have
>> Tolkien the author in the background, weaving in another thread of
>> his story.
>
> Which ones aren't?

Aren't what?

Mark Edelstein

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May 3, 2005, 11:17:33 AM5/3/05
to

>
> But then I began to read them. The parts that *were* story, such as
the
> tale of Aragorn/Arwen, and some of history of Numenor were very
interesting.
> I found myself absorbed by the Tale of Years, perusing the Family
Trees, and
> fascinated by the Shire calendar. I also taught myself the Tengwar.
I will
> confess, though that much of the "scholarly" stuff, especially the
> linguistic stuff went right over my teen-age head, and I also wanted
more
> hobbits.
>
> Over three and half decades later, I have a bit more appreciation for
them
> now, but I have to say that my *favorite* parts then are still my
favorites
> now. And I still want more hobbits. 8-)
> Barbara

I hope the discussions make me appreciate the family trees (I guess
they show authorial love and all, but I didn't feel they added as much;
perhaps I don't appreciate hobbits enough). The calendars are not
something I reread, but one has to appreciate the effort to create that
kind of history; it's something that could have been wholly ignored,
and really makes Middle Earth more "real." But I suppose I should save
that for the relevant section.

Shanahan

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May 3, 2005, 3:59:48 PM5/3/05
to
Christopher Kreuzer <spam...@blueyonder.co.uk> opined:

OMG. I'd never heard that story, that's hilarious. Whatever quibbles
we may have with his method now and again, thank heaven for
Christopher (and Mr. Kay, of course). Tongue removed from cheek, I
really *enjoy* reading text and footnotes simultaneously, even when
the topic of the one is far removed from the topic of the other: it's
like getting two for the price of one. (I enjoy the way the break in
the narrative flow, provided by a footnote, makes me step back into a
more analytical framework.) But then, I really like reading the
endless permutations of textual history in HoME, too, so my taste in
these things may be a bit suspect! <g>

Ciaran S.
--
Pursue multiple narratives that neither explain nor unify


Dirk Thierbach

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May 4, 2005, 2:46:20 AM5/4/05
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Shanahan <pogu...@itbluefrog.com> wrote:

> Tongue removed from cheek, I really *enjoy* reading text and
> footnotes simultaneously, even when the topic of the one is far
> removed from the topic of the other: it's like getting two for the
> price of one.

And while this is fine with footnotes, I really hate endnotes: I
constantly have to search for them, and try to keep my finger between
the pages where I currently am at the same time. And then when I go on
reading the main text, the next endnote appears and I have to search
for it again. Makes it really hard to read the text in a relaxed
environment (in bed, before going to sleep, for example).

I also tend to overlook endnotes, because apparently I do not read the
full words any longer, I only look at the beginning and the general
shape of them, so I can miss the little numbers, especially if they
blend in with the rest of the word. If it's a footnote, I'll realize
I missed one when I am on the bottom of the page; for an endnote,
I'll only notice when the next endnote comes, and I cannot remember
having read the endnote above that one.

- Dirk

R. Dan Henry

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May 4, 2005, 12:22:23 PM5/4/05
to
On Wed, 4 May 2005 08:46:20 +0200, Dirk Thierbach
<dthie...@usenet.arcornews.de> wrote:

>Shanahan <pogu...@itbluefrog.com> wrote:
>
>> Tongue removed from cheek, I really *enjoy* reading text and
>> footnotes simultaneously, even when the topic of the one is far
>> removed from the topic of the other: it's like getting two for the
>> price of one.
>
>And while this is fine with footnotes, I really hate endnotes: I
>constantly have to search for them, and try to keep my finger between
>the pages where I currently am at the same time. And then when I go on
>reading the main text, the next endnote appears and I have to search
>for it again. Makes it really hard to read the text in a relaxed
>environment (in bed, before going to sleep, for example).

When I read a book with endnotes, I get myself two bookmarks, and keep
one in the endnotes. It's either than trying to use a finger. Although
if you only have one bookmark, you can still use it to keep track of
the endnotes, you just have to put it into place in the endnotes each
time you start reading. Still more convenient than a finger. (Turning
the bookmark so it is parallel to the text even lets you mark your
position on the page, although this doesn't work if you are carrying
the book around while reading it. IME, however, books with endnotes
are not generally suited to reading while moving about in any case.)

I do, however, prefer that notes that should be routinely read with
the text be footnotes. Endnotes are useful where there are a lot of
references or other material that doesn't really need to be read with
the text, when it can leave the main body of text less cluttered.

R. Dan Henry
danh...@inreach.com

Michele Fry

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May 4, 2005, 11:55:54 AM5/4/05
to
In article <2005050406462...@dthierbach.news.arcor.de>, Dirk
Thierbach <dthie...@usenet.arcornews.de> writes

>And while this is fine with footnotes, I really hate endnotes: I
>constantly have to search for them, and try to keep my finger between
>the pages where I currently am at the same time. And then when I go on
>reading the main text, the next endnote appears and I have to search
>for it again. Makes it really hard to read the text in a relaxed
>environment (in bed, before going to sleep, for example).
>
>I also tend to overlook endnotes, because apparently I do not read the
>full words any longer, I only look at the beginning and the general
>shape of them, so I can miss the little numbers, especially if they
>blend in with the rest of the word. If it's a footnote, I'll realize
>I missed one when I am on the bottom of the page; for an endnote,
>I'll only notice when the next endnote comes, and I cannot remember
>having read the endnote above that one.

I, on the other hand, prefer endnotes (esp. in my own writing) and I
don't mind them when reading - but then, I leave a bookmark in the
relevant page of the book for the endnotes... ! And I read the entire
words so spot the superscript numbers, but then I am a proof-reader by
nature as well as by trade !

Michele
==
Without [literature], for me, the world would be, indeed, a howling
desert.
- Henry James


==
Now reading: A Question of Time - Verlyn Flieger

J M Barrie and the Lost Boys - Andrew Birkin

Christopher Kreuzer

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May 4, 2005, 3:12:25 PM5/4/05
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Michele Fry <mic