COTW Silmarillion: Chapter XX "Of the Fifth Battle" (Part 6)

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Morgoth's Curse <morgothscurse2002@nospam.yahoo.com>

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Sep 28, 2006, 9:47:51 PM9/28/06
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"And when Turgon heard of this he sent again his messengers to
Sirion's mouths, and besought the aid of Cirdan the Shipwright. At the
bidding of Turgon Cirdan built seven swift ships, and they sailed out
into the West; but no tidings of them came ever back to Balar, save of
one, and the last. The mariners of that ship toiled long in the sea,
and returning at last in despair they foundered in a great storm
within sight of the coasts of Middle-earth; but one of them was saved
by Ulmo from the wrath of Osse, and the waves bore him up, and cast
him ashore in Nevrast. His name was Voronwe; and he was one of those
that Turgon sent forth as messengers from Gondolin."

***************************************************************************************

Osse sure can hold a grudge!

One of the most remarkable and marvelous aspects of the Silmarillion
is that it contains a wealth of potential stories that could be
transformed into successful novellas or even novels. I think that a
detailed account of one of these doomed voyages could have been
successfully expanded into a novella.

***************************************************************************************

"Now the thought of Morgoth dwelt ever upon Turgon; for Turgon
had escaped him, of all his foes that one whom he most desired to take
or to destroy. And that thought troubled him, and marred his victory,
for Turgon of the mighty house of Fingolfin was now by right King of
all the Noldor; and Morgoth feared and hated the house of Fingolfin,
because they had the friendship of Ulmo his foe, and because of the
wounds that Fingolfin gave him with his sword. And most of all his kin
Morgoth feared Turgon; for of old in Valinor his eye had lighted upon
him, and whenever he drew near a shadow had fallen on his spirit,
foreboding that in some time that yet lay hidden, from Turgon ruin
should come to him."

***************************************************************************************

This is one of the most curious of all passages in the Silmarillion.
Why should Morgoth, of all the entities, receive forebodings? We know
that Melian, Olorin, Aule, and Yavanna also had forebodings at one
time or another. Could this be a gift from Iluvatar that he could not
revoke or is it a dim memory of the Music? Or could it be a subtle
hint that Iluvatar had not ceased to love even Melkor and that this
foreboding was an unrecognized prompting for Melkor to truly repent of
his evil deeds?

***************************************************************************************

"Therefore Hurin was brought before Morgoth, for Morgoth knew
that he had the friendship of the King of Gondolin; but Hurin defied
him, and mocked him. Then Morgoth cursed Hurin and Morwen and their
offspring, and set a doom upon them of darkness and sorrow; and taking
Hurin from prison he set him in a chair of stone upon a high place of
Thangorodrim. There he was bound by the power of Morgoth, and Morgoth
standing beside him cursed him again; and he said: 'Sit now there; and
look out upon the lands where evil and despair shall come upon those
whom thou lovest. Thou hast dared to mock me, and to question the
power of Melkor, Master of the fates of Arda. Therefore with my eyes
thou shalt see, and with my ears thou shalt hear; and never shalt thou
move from this place until all is fulfilled unto its bitter end.'
And even so it came to pass; but it is not said that Hurin asked
ever of Morgoth either mercy or death, for himself or for any of his
kin."

***************************************************************************************

One of the flaws of the Silmarillion is that Christopher Tolkien
removed and/or compressed too much: The inevitable consequence is
that much of Morgoth's personality is lost. I greatly prefer his
father's version of these events in Unfinished Tales which I trust you
will allow me to quote now.

"Hurin was brought before Morgoth, for Morgoth knew by his arts
and his spies that Hurin had the friendship of the King of Gondolin;
and he sought to daunt him with his eyes, But Hurin could not yet be
daunted, and he defied Morgoth. Therefore Morgoth had him chained and
set in slow torment; but after a while he came to him, and offered him
his choice to go free whither he would, or to receive power and rank
as the greatest of Morgoth's captains, if he would but reveal where
Turgon had his stronghold, and aught else that he knew of the King's
counsels. But Hurin the Steadfast mocked him, saying: 'Blind you are
Morgoth Bauglir, and blind shall ever be, seeing only the dark. You
know not what rules the hearts of Men, and if you knew you could not
give it. But a fool is he who accepts what Morgoth offers. You will
take first the price and then withhold the promise; and I should get
only death, if I told you what you ask.'

Then Morgoth laughed, and he said: 'Death you may yet crave from
me as a boon.' Then he took Hurin to the Haudh-en-Nirnaeth, and it was
then new-built and the reek of death was upon it; and Morgoth set
Hurin upon its top and bade him look west towards Hithlum, and think
of his wife and his son and other kin. 'For they dwell now in my
realm,' said Morgoth, 'and they are at my mercy.'

'You have none,' answered Hurin. 'But you will not come at Turgon
through them; for they do not know his secrets.'

Then wrath mastered Morgoth, and he said: 'Yet I may come at you,
and all your accursed house; and you shall be broken on my will,
though you all were made of steel.' And he took up a long sword that
lay there and broke it before the eyes of Hurin, and a splinter
wounded his face; but Hurin did not blench. Then Morgoth stretching
out his long arm towards Dor-lomin cursed Hurin and Morwen and their
offspring, saying: 'Behold! The shadow of my thought shall lie upon
them wherever they go, and my hate shall pursue them to the ends of
the world.'

But Hurin said: 'You speak in vain. For you cannot see them, nor
govern them from afar: not while you keep this shape, and desire still
to be a King visible upon earth.'

Then Morgoth turned upon Hurin, and he said: 'Fool, little among
Men, and they are the least of all that speak! Have you seen the
Valar, or measured the power of Manwe and Varda? Do you know the reach
of their thought? Or do you think, perhaps, that their thought is upon
you, and that they may shield you from afar?'

'I know not,' said Hurin. 'Yet so it might be, if they willed.
For the Elder King shall not be dethroned while Arda endures.'

'You say it,' said Morgoth. 'I am the Elder King: Melkor, first
and mightiest of all the Valar, who was before the world, and made it.
The shadow of my purpose lies upon Arda, and all that is in it bends
slowly and surely to my will. But upon all whom you love my thought
shall weigh as a cloud of Doom, and it shall bring them down into
darkness and despair. Wherever they go, evil shall arise. Whenever
they speak, their words shall bring ill counsel. Whatsoever they do
shall turn against them. They shall die without hope, cursing both
life and death.'

But Hurin answered: 'Do you forget to whom you speak? Such things
you spoke long ago to our fathers; but we escaped from your shadow.
And now we have knowledge of you, for we have looked on the faces that
have seen the Light, and heard the voices that have spoken with Manwe.
Before Arda you were, but others also; and you did not make it.
Neither are you the most mighty; for you have spent your strength upon
yourself and wasted it in your own emptiness. No more are you now than
an escaped thrall of the Valar, and their chain still awaits you.'

'You have learned the lessons of your masters by rote,' said
Morgoth. 'But such childish lore will not help you, now they are all
fled away.'

'This last then I will say to you, thrall Morgoth,' said Hurin,
'and it comes not from the lore of the Eldar, but is put into my heart
in this hour. You are not the Lord of Men, and shall not be, though
all Arda and Menel fall in your dominion. Beyond the Circles of the
World you shall not pursue those who refuse you.'

'Beyond the Circles of the World I will not pursue them,' said
Morgoth. 'For beyond the Circles of the World there is Nothing. But
within them they shall not escape me, until they enter into Nothing.'

'You lie,' said Hurin.

'You shall see and you shall confess that I do not lie,' said
Morgoth. And taking Hurin back to Angband he set him in a chair of
stone upon a high place of Thangorodrim, from which he could see afar
the land of Hithlum in the west and the lands of Beleriand in the
south. There he was bound by the power of Morgoth; and Morgoth
standing beside him cursed him again and set his power upon him, so
that he could not move from that place, nor die, until Morgoth should
release him.

'Sit now there,' said Morgoth, 'and look out upon the lands where
evil and despair shall come upon those whom you have delivered to me.
For you have dared to mock me, and have questioned the power of
Melkor, Master of the fates of Arda. Therefore with my eyes you shall
see, and with my ears you shall hear, and nothing shall be hidden from
you.'"


If the Silmarillion is ever revised, I hope that this version is
incorporated! :-)

William de Hikelyng >

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Sep 29, 2006, 10:08:28 AM9/29/06
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On Thu, 28 Sep 2006 21:47:51 -0400, Morgoth's Curse
<morgoths...@nospam.yahoo.com> <morgoths...@nospamyahoo.com>
wrote:

> This is one of the most curious of all passages in the Silmarillion.
> Why should Morgoth, of all the entities, receive forebodings? We know
> that Melian, Olorin, Aule, and Yavanna also had forebodings at one
> time or another. Could this be a gift from Iluvatar that he could not
> revoke or is it a dim memory of the Music? Or could it be a subtle
> hint that Iluvatar had not ceased to love even Melkor and that this
> foreboding was an unrecognized prompting for Melkor to truly repent of
> his evil deeds?

In an essay on Melkor/Morgoth published in HoME X, JRRT mentions that
Melkor alone among the Valar knew fear. This was largely because, as
power passed out of him in order to dominate the world, he became
permanently contained within a physical body (unlike the other Valar)- and
this body demanded protection from harm. Note that the wounds inflicted
by Fingolfin and Thorondor remained on him.

Of course, a "foeboding" is just a hint of foreknowledge- which shouldn't
be troubling unless, like Melkor, you have a guilty conscience.......

--
Using Opera's revolutionary e-mail client: http://www.opera.com/mail/

Phlip

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Sep 29, 2006, 11:39:31 AM9/29/06
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William de Hikelyng > (2) wrote:

> In an essay on Melkor/Morgoth published in HoME X, JRRT mentions that
> Melkor alone among the Valar knew fear. This was largely because, as
> power passed out of him in order to dominate the world, he became
> permanently contained within a physical body

And this is why Sauron attempted to preserve his power in a permanent
artifact, so he couldn't lose it over time as he dominated Middle-earth. He
wanted to have his cake and eat it too.

And note that when Numenor fell, Sauron lost his physical body, and the
ability to take a fair hue. But he didn't lose his Ring or his power to
command.

--
Phlip
http://www.greencheese.us/ZeekLand <-- NOT a blog!!!


Morgoth's Curse

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Sep 29, 2006, 4:49:43 PM9/29/06
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On Fri, 29 Sep 2006 14:10:35 GMT, "William de Hikelyng >"
<"<icelofangeln"@mindspring.com> (2) wrote:

>On Thu, 28 Sep 2006 21:47:51 -0400, Morgoth's Curse
><morgoths...@nospam.yahoo.com> <morgoths...@nospamyahoo.com>
>wrote:
>

>> One of the flaws of the Silmarillion is that Christopher Tolkien
>> removed and/or compressed too much: The inevitable consequence is
>> that much of Morgoth's personality is lost. I greatly prefer his
>> father's version of these events in Unfinished Tales
>
>

>BUZZZZZZZZZZ!!! Wrong answer!
>
>JRRT wrote 'em both. The short, Silmarillion version comes from the Grey
>Annals, the primary source for most of the published Turin chapter. The
>Narn was conceived on a scale much too ample for the Silmarillion proper.

The choice of which version to include ultimately belongs to
Christopher Tolkien as he was responsible for preparing the
Silmarillion for publication. IMHO, he chose the wrong version and
the Silmarillion is the poorer for it.

Morgoth's Curse

Ælfwine

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Sep 30, 2006, 12:27:11 AM9/30/06
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Morgoth's Curse <morgoths...@nospam.yahoo.com> a écrit :

> This is one of the most curious of all passages in the Silmarillion.
> Why should Morgoth, of all the entities, receive forebodings? We know
> that Melian, Olorin, Aule, and Yavanna also had forebodings at one
> time or another. Could this be a gift from Iluvatar that he could not
> revoke or is it a dim memory of the Music? Or could it be a subtle
> hint that Iluvatar had not ceased to love even Melkor and that this
> foreboding was an unrecognized prompting for Melkor to truly repent of
> his evil deeds?

Eru's never stopped loving Melko. He was part of the Design, though he
never concieved it to this point. These forebodings were only meant to
tell him he was to fall one day. And Turgon received messages too
announcing his (conditional) fall.

> counsels. But Hurin the Steadfast mocked him, saying: 'Blind you are
> Morgoth Bauglir, and blind shall ever be, seeing only the dark. You

Blind indeed!

> If the Silmarillion is ever revised, I hope that this version is
> incorporated! :-)

So do I.

--
A. E. / Æ

Dirk Thierbach

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Oct 5, 2006, 5:35:30 AM10/5/06
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"Morgoth's Curse" <morgoths...@nospamyahoo.com> wrote:
> This is one of the most curious of all passages in the Silmarillion.
> Why should Morgoth, of all the entities, receive forebodings?

Why shouldn't he, when man y of Tolkiens characters do? I'd think
that the forebodings are more a storytelling technique (which he
borrowed himself), and not so much a character ability.

> We know that Melian, Olorin, Aule, and Yavanna also had forebodings
> at one time or another.

And humans and elves, too :-)

- Dirk

Troels Forchhammer

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Oct 5, 2006, 9:38:33 AM10/5/06
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In message
<news:2006100509353...@dthierbach.news.arcor.de>
Dirk Thierbach <dthie...@usenet.arcornews.de> enriched us with:
>
> "Morgoth's Curse" <morgoths...@nospamyahoo.com> wrote:
>>
>> This is one of the most curious of all passages in the
>> Silmarillion. Why should Morgoth, of all the entities, receive
>> forebodings?
>
> Why shouldn't he, when many of Tolkiens characters do?

In 'Ósanwe-kenta', note 6, we learn:

But no part of the "future" is there, for the mind cannot
see it or have seen it: that is, a mind placed in time.
Such a mind can learn of the future only from another
mind which has seen it. But that means only from Eru
ultimately, or mediately from some mind that has seen in
Eru some part of His purpose (such as the Ainur who are
now the Valar in Eä).
[Author's note 6 to 'Ósanwe-kenta', /Vinyar Tengwar/ #39]

This, I think, would fit quite well with Morgoth getting a
premonition of his own downfall -- seeing 'in Eru some part of His
purpose' with respect to himself.

> I'd think that the forebodings are more a storytelling technique
> (which he borrowed himself), and not so much a character ability.

I think that, in order to work in the narrative, the foresight /
forebodings must also have a story-internal rational basis -- if
there isn't basis for the reader to believe that the character should
or could experience these things, they will appear as artificial and
disrupt the literary belief.


>> We know that Melian, Olorin, Aule, and Yavanna also had
>> forebodings at one time or another.
>
> And humans and elves, too :-)

Aye, though some of them were incredibly unwilling to heed these
forebodings.

--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail is <troelsfo(a)gmail.com>
Please put '[AFT]', '[RABT]' or 'Tolkien' in subject.

Ash nazg durbatuluk,
ash nazg gimbatul,
ash nazg thrakatuluk
agh burzum ishi krimpatul.
- /The Fellowship of the Ring/ (J.R.R. Tolkien)

Dirk Thierbach

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Oct 5, 2006, 11:01:44 AM10/5/06
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Troels Forchhammer <Tro...@thisisfake.invalid> wrote:
> Dirk Thierbach <dthie...@usenet.arcornews.de> enriched us with:
>> "Morgoth's Curse" <morgoths...@nospamyahoo.com> wrote:

>>> This is one of the most curious of all passages in the
>>> Silmarillion. Why should Morgoth, of all the entities, receive

>> Why shouldn't he, when many of Tolkiens characters do?

> In 'Ósanwe-kenta', note 6, we learn:
>
> But no part of the "future" is there, for the mind cannot
> see it or have seen it: that is, a mind placed in time.
> Such a mind can learn of the future only from another
> mind which has seen it. But that means only from Eru
> ultimately, or mediately from some mind that has seen in
> Eru some part of His purpose (such as the Ainur who are
> now the Valar in Eä).
> [Author's note 6 to 'Ósanwe-kenta', /Vinyar Tengwar/ #39]

Yes, but relates only to the "ESP" way of looking at things: While
telepathy works in Tolkiens alternate reality, clairvoyance doesn't.

And just stating the consequence that as "mechanism", every
foreknowledge must come from Eru, is somewhat void :-)

> This, I think, would fit quite well with Morgoth getting a
> premonition of his own downfall -- seeing 'in Eru some part of His
> purpose' with respect to himself.

Melkor is also one of Eru's creatures, and as such treated the same
way as everybody else is :-) As a mechanism, all forebodings (and all
"chance happenings', and lots of other things) serve "in Eru some part
of His purpose", and maybe in a complicated one we don't understand.

So "Melkor had a premonition because it served Eru's purpose" is
tautological.

>> I'd think that the forebodings are more a storytelling technique
>> (which he borrowed himself), and not so much a character ability.

> I think that, in order to work in the narrative, the foresight /
> forebodings must also have a story-internal rational basis

No, that's a second part, that comes only into play because
Tolkien (and many of his readers) insist that a story in an alternate
reality must be consistent and rational.

Foresight works just fine in many narratives (sagas, fairy tales, ...)
without any explanation.

>>> We know that Melian, Olorin, Aule, and Yavanna also had
>>> forebodings at one time or another.

>> And humans and elves, too :-)

> Aye, though some of them were incredibly unwilling to heed these
> forebodings.

Yes, that's part of the "motive". Morgoth is also quite unwilling :-)

- Dirk

Troels Forchhammer

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Oct 28, 2006, 7:07:22 PM10/28/06
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In message
<news:20061005150144...@dthierbach.news.arcor.de>
Dirk Thierbach <dthie...@usenet.arcornews.de> enriched us with:
>
> Troels Forchhammer <Tro...@thisisfake.invalid> wrote:
>>

<snip>

From Morgoth's premonitions about Turgon, the reasons for them and
whether it was odd or not that Morgoth should have premonitions or
foresights.

>> In 'Ósanwe-kenta', note 6, we learn:

about foresight; that any knowledge about the future must come
ultimately from Eru, either directly or from another who had seen
Eru's mind -- or from an Ainu who knew the Music and had seen the
Vision of Eä.

> Yes, but relates only to the "ESP" way of looking at things: While
> telepathy works in Tolkiens alternate reality, clairvoyance
> doesn't.

Precisely!

Only by being outside Time can one see more of Time than the moment
one is in (that there must be some kind of other dimension in the
Timeless Halls that sequentializes events is another matter). All
knowledge about the future must ultimately stem from outside Time.

> And just stating the consequence that as "mechanism", every
> foreknowledge must come from Eru, is somewhat void :-)

Why? Morgoth's 'foreboding' about Turgon would be of this nature
(foreknowledge, or /foresight/, rather than prediction by deduction),
and so we may ask ourselves whether his foreboding stemmed directly
or mediately from Eru; not a question that I would consider void.

Did Morgoth perceive some part of Eru's purpose with respect to
himself that made him receive such forebodings about Turgon, or was
Eru warning him off more directly?

I can imagine both scenarios -- both that the forebodings are the
last vestige of Morgoth recognizing any other purpose than his own,
but also that Eru was purposely giving Morgoth a warning.

>> This, I think, would fit quite well with Morgoth getting a
>> premonition of his own downfall -- seeing 'in Eru some part of
>> His purpose' with respect to himself.
>
> Melkor is also one of Eru's creatures, and as such treated the
> same way as everybody else is :-)

Exactly (remembering, of course, that he was rather unique among
Eru's creatures -- everybody are treated accordig to their stature).

> As a mechanism, all forebodings (and all "chance happenings', and
> lots of other things) serve "in Eru some part of His purpose", and
> maybe in a complicated one we don't understand.

I don't think that simply stating that 'the ways of Eru are past
understanding' is a valid excuse because ultimately this is not about
Eru's purpose, but Tolkien's. Tolkien's purpose with Morgoth's
forebodings might be simply literary, but there might also be some
point he wanted to make about the nature of Eru, the nature of Evil
or whatever.

Personally I'm inclined to think that it is there to show that
Morgoth knew, deep inside, that he would lose the war: that fighting
Eru's purpose was utterly futile. This might mean that all that there
was to Morgoth's evil was a denial of good.

That would make Morgoth the ultimate representation of the Boethian
view of evil (as Shippey names it).

But if that is so, I expect it to be logical (or symmetrical), if we
accept Shippey's two positions on evil, that Sauron should represent
the other view on evil, the Manichaean view. That would fit well
with Sauron's lss nihilistic urges and with his role in the late
texts as the one corrupting the Orcs.

> So "Melkor had a premonition because it served Eru's purpose" is
> tautological.

Not quite. Not all of Eru's purposes are served by premonitions, so
the two are not identical.

In this case it shows what you said -- that even Morgoth, as one of
Eru's creatures, would have forebodings if it suited Eru, /or/ if he
had enough remaining understanding (even if he would be denying that
knowledge) of Eru's purpose.

>> I think that, in order to work in the narrative, the foresight /
>> forebodings must also have a story-internal rational basis
>
> No, that's a second part, that comes only into play because
> Tolkien (and many of his readers) insist that a story in an
> alternate reality must be consistent and rational.
>
> Foresight works just fine in many narratives (sagas, fairy tales,
> ...) without any explanation.

You might be right, though I'm not sure that I agree entirely. The
sagas, legends, epics, myths etc. are set in the the real world as
imagined by some culture, and we are ready to accept foresight (and
other supernatural events) within that setting because we know that
it is a very believable quality (just see the number of people who
will still study e.g. Nostradamus). If people are that willing to
believe that foresight does exist in the real world, then we can
easily accept that they tell stories in which it figures -- we are, I
believe, for the purpose of what Tolkien described as 'secondary
belief', taking over the primary beliefs of the culture that gave
rise to the story. Or at least I'd say that this describes the
process when I read -- I find Tolkien's description of literary
belief to be exactly right for my reading: no question of suspending
disbelief for me unless the author invites disbelief. Others tell me
that their reading experiences are different (closer to this
'suspension of disbelief'), and that might influence also the
perception of these things.

--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail is <troelsfo(a)gmail.com>
Please put '[AFT]', '[RABT]' or 'Tolkien' in subject.

People demand freedom of speech to make up for the freedom
of thought which they avoid.
- Soren Kierkegaard

William Cloud Hicklin

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Oct 29, 2006, 2:56:23 PM10/29/06
to
On Sat, 28 Oct 2006 19:07:22 -0400, Troels Forchhammer
<Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:

> You might be right, though I'm not sure that I agree entirely. The
> sagas, legends, epics, myths etc. are set in the the real world as
> imagined by some culture, and we are ready to accept foresight (and
> other supernatural events) within that setting because we know that
> it is a very believable quality (just see the number of people who
> will still study e.g. Nostradamus). If people are that willing to
> believe that foresight does exist in the real world, then we can
> easily accept that they tell stories in which it figures -- we are, I
> believe, for the purpose of what Tolkien described as 'secondary
> belief', taking over the primary beliefs of the culture that gave
> rise to the story. Or at least I'd say that this describes the
> process when I read -- I find Tolkien's description of literary
> belief to be exactly right for my reading: no question of suspending
> disbelief for me unless the author invites disbelief. Others tell me
> that their reading experiences are different (closer to this
> 'suspension of disbelief'), and that might influence also the
> perception of these things.

Incidentally, for $20 I'll send you your lucky lottery numbers for this
week........

--
" I would even contend that a reaction against Tolkien's non-Modernist
prose style is just as influential in the rejection of Tolkien by
traditional literary scholars as is Modernist antipathy to the themes of
his work"

Troels Forchhammer

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Oct 30, 2006, 6:39:13 AM10/30/06
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In message <news:op.th68caewrwd1fl@emachine> "William Cloud Hicklin"
<icelof...@mindspring.com> enriched us with:
>
> On Sat, 28 Oct 2006 19:07:22 -0400, Troels Forchhammer
>>

<snipped>


> Incidentally, for $20 I'll send you your lucky lottery numbers for
> this week........

??

What are you trying to say here?

--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail is <troelsfo(a)gmail.com>
Please put '[AFT]', '[RABT]' or 'Tolkien' in subject.

If quantum mechanics hasn't profoundly shocked you, you
haven't understood it yet.
- Niels Bohr (1885-1962)

William Cloud Hicklin

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Oct 30, 2006, 9:21:21 AM10/30/06
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On Mon, 30 Oct 2006 06:39:13 -0500, Troels Forchhammer
<Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:

> In message <news:op.th68caewrwd1fl@emachine> "William Cloud Hicklin"
> <icelof...@mindspring.com> enriched us with:
>>
>> On Sat, 28 Oct 2006 19:07:22 -0400, Troels Forchhammer
>>>
>
> <snipped>
>
>> Incidentally, for $20 I'll send you your lucky lottery numbers for
>> this week........
>
> ??
>
> What are you trying to say here?
>

Sorry, this jest may not transfer across the Atlantic very well. In the
US, we are bombarded by ads from "psychics" who promise to provide you
with winning lottery numbers, how to find your true love, etc. etc. etc.
In other words, belief in "clairvoyance" appears to be alive and well in
some circles.

Troels Forchhammer

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Oct 30, 2006, 10:21:38 AM10/30/06
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In message <news:op.th8nhyfrrwd1fl@emachine> "William Cloud Hicklin"
<icelof...@mindspring.com> enriched us with:
>

<snip>

> Sorry, this jest may not transfer across the Atlantic very well.
> In the US, we are bombarded by ads from "psychics" who promise to
> provide you with winning lottery numbers, how to find your true
> love, etc. etc. etc. In other words, belief in "clairvoyance"
> appears to be alive and well in some circles.

Ah, thanks ;-)

Incidentally I saw in television this weekend part of a program about
beliefs in witches in Africa -- there witchcraft is on the university
curriculum, apparently. Not the actual practice of it, but the nature
of witchcraft and witches is on the curriculum from the viewpoint that
it is real (much as Christian Theology is in e.g. Copenhagen where the
priests take a university degree before they can get employ in the
Church of Denmark).

It is interesting to see how these world-views work -- and I think that
the existence of such beliefs in the real world help us to accept them
as not only a matter of belief, but a matter of reality in a subcreated
world that mirrors the real (i.e. one that depicts, as it were, the
real world as it is believed to be by such people).

When creating a fictional world that doesn't derive as directly from
real-world beliefs, it becomes necessary, IMO, to establish such as
foresight as part of that world in the same manner as it is in e.g. the
Norse mythology: i.e. not necessarily by explaining the mechanism (as
Tolkien did), but nevertheless by offering some kind of rationalization
as e.g. in LotR where it is said about Aragorn that 'suddenly the
foresight of his kindred came to him'. That is enough to establish that
foresight is part of this world, that it isn't for everyone nor
perpetually 'on' for those who have it (i.e. foresight is closed as a
potential for plot-holes).

That was the order of 'rational basis' I meant was necessary for the
use of forebodings/foresight to work -- not necessarily the detailed
exposition of underlying mechanism that we see in Ósanwe-kenta (I
definitely didn't manage to explain that part very well, I'm afraid).

--
Troels Forchhammer
Valid e-mail is <troelsfo(a)gmail.com>
Please put '[AFT]', '[RABT]' or 'Tolkien' in subject.

Knowing what
thou knowest not
is in a sense
omniscience
- Piet Hein, /Omniscience/

William Cloud Hicklin

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Oct 30, 2006, 1:45:35 PM10/30/06
to
On Mon, 30 Oct 2006 10:21:38 -0500, Troels Forchhammer
<Tro...@ThisIsFake.invalid> wrote:

> Incidentally I saw in television this weekend part of a program about
> beliefs in witches in Africa -- there witchcraft is on the university
> curriculum, apparently. Not the actual practice of it, but the nature
> of witchcraft and witches is on the curriculum from the viewpoint that
> it is real

Coincidentally, here in Virginia yesterday was a commemmoration of the
300th anniversary of the last witchcraft trial in America. The poor woman
was indeed thrown into the river, floated, was accordingly judged guilty
and hanged. The spot is still called "Witch Duck Point."

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