Login | Register
 
Message Board | Latest Posts | Your Recent Posts | Rules

Thread: HOME vs the Sil

Is this discussion interesting? Share it on Twitter!

Bottom of Page    Message Board > The History of > HOME vs the Sil   
These posts are moved here from the Orcs/Goblin thread under the Hobbit.

Lord Of All
Posted Friday 16th March 2007 (09:15am)

Well I would take it as pretty solid proof unless its disputed in a more reliable source. Morgoth's Ring is usually pretty accurate with a few exceptions.

Galin
Posted Friday 16th March 2007 (12:43pm)
Simply because something appears in HME is not a good reason to pay it less attention than something else Tolkien himself never published.

The History of Middle-Earth indeed says a lot of things... pick out anything from the constructed Silmarillion and unless Christopher Tolkien invented it, it's from HME in the larger sense.

Amarië
Posted Friday 16th March 2007 (01:26pm)

You can pay as much or as little attention to is as you like, but HOME is still filled with ideas and sketches and we have no way of knowing what the Professor would have chosen in the end. LoA said "this is the way it is". But I don't think it should be said like that, since there is no way of knowing. We can only guess.

Galin
Posted Friday 16th March 2007 (02:16pm)
Quote:

You can pay as much or as little attention to is as you like, but HOME is still filled with ideas and sketches and we have no way of knowing what the Professor would have chosen in the end.


HME is filled with the Silmarillion too (keep in mind).

Quote:

LoA said "this is the way it is". But I don't think it should be said like that, since there is no way of knowing. We can only guess.


If I post Earendil slew Ancalagon that's from HME. It isn't necessarily 'final' either but how many people include that caveat every time they post this for example (I could post text in which Túrin was prophesied to slay Ancalagon)?

What Tolkien left on paper at his passing is 'what there is' though certain factors might exist that give one 'unpublished' idea weight over another unpublished idea.

Amarië
Posted Friday 16th March 2007 (02:57pm)

Of course some parts of HOME are more likely to be true than others. And the Sil can be seen as part of the HOME series, if that is what suits you best. People have different opinions, mine is that HOME quotes usually should be taken with a grain of salt (some with a lot more salt than others), while the Sil, LOTR and the Hobbit are as close to the final result of the Profs ideas as we can get.

Galin
Posted Friday 16th March 2007 (05:37pm)

Quote:
Of course some parts of HOME are more likely to be true than others. And the Sil can be seen as part of the HOME series, if that is what suits you best.


Essentially there is no Silmarillion outside of what Tolkien wrote, and that is to be found in HME. The construction was made out of what might be called the larger HME, as sources like the Narn were used too, for example, Unfinished Tales being produced before the XII volume series (as it turned out).

The 'new' Children of Húrin (coming out) doesn't exist either as a Tolkien-made work. Christopher is again constructing something using his father's extant materials, out of HME in the larger sense. And it's not intended to represent the version in an ultimate or 'final' sense, but a version.

Quote:

People have different opinions, mine is that HOME quotes usually should be taken with a grain of salt (some with a lot more salt than others), while the Sil, LOTR and the Hobbit are as close to the final result of the Profs ideas as we can get.


And when you mean the Silmarillion of 1977 (by 'the Sil') that is simply not something Tolkien himself ever constructed or published. The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, The Road Goes Ever On, are all a different animal in comparison to Christopher Tokien's Silmarillion (who had help from Guy Kay).

Tolkien left piles of unpublished material at his passing, and the fact that Christopher Tolkien first published some of it (1977)... then later most of it (HME) is simply due to his decision to try one presentation before (he decided to try) another.

Leelee
Posted Friday 16th March 2007 (06:54pm)

My, one goes away for a tiny while and comes back to find an entire encyclopedia added in her absence.
In the Letters of Tolkien, in letter after letter Jrr shared just everything from his heart, his ideas, his hopes and desires concerning them, his triumphs and frustrations and failures with Christopher above everyone else except perhaps Edith and on this I can find nothing. So unless that is true, than no other human knew as much, was priveleged with as much knowledge and inner thoughts of Jrr than his beloved son Christopher. We do not and cannot know the hours they spent when together just talking, or be privy to the untold numbers of letters that went back and forth between the two that were not preserved and we will never share. So, because Christopher like his father was a stickler on points and such I believe that ANYTHING he has put down is because he implicitly knew about it from h is father if only in hints here and there and projected dreams and so I think were his father here he would heartily approve and give his 'seal' to it. I feel very strongly on this point. He is the most careful of men and would never in my opinion put down one thing that he seriously from the depths of his heart did not believe would be the thoughts and vision and such of his father. He has dedicated his life to preserving and putting out there as best as he can all his father's unfulfilled dreams writing wise and so to do anything apart from that is not even in his character.

Galin
Posted Friday 16th March 2007 (05:42pm)

Christopher Tolkien has revealed your characterization is just not so LeeLee.

We have CJRT himself speaking about the published version of 1977.

Lord Of All
Posted Friday 16th March 2007 (05:39pm)
As Galin said the Silmarillion is essentially HOME. Some parts are worded slightly differently and they were the parts altered by Chris. If you notice you will find that over 90% of the Silmarillion is in HOME. HOME is all Christopher Tolkien had to create a published Sil.
Of course there are some incorrect old versions of things in HOME but they are pretty obvious. The part I am refering to about the Halls of Mandos though is pretty accurate.

The only truly reliable books are LOTR and The Hobbit.
Virumor
Posted Friday 16th March 2007 (05:44pm)
The Simarillion was indeed constructed from HOME, but it was created as a standalone work. The material that was not included in the Silmarillion, was done so for a reason. Either it was unclear what JRRT intended with them, or it was not possible to make this stories fit in what Christopher Tolkien had already assembled. That is why applying HOME quotes/ideas that did not make it to the Silmarillion, UT or LOTR is dubious, imo.

If Christopher Tolkien and his co-author did not include it, then that must be respected. Period.

If people want to discuss HOME, I propose for them to do this in the HOME section of this forum.

Galin
Posted Friday 16th March 2007 (09:13pm)
Quote:
The Simarillion was indeed constructed from HOME, but it was created as a standalone work. The material that was not included in the Silmarillion, was done so for a reason.


And whatever the reason, it was not to tell Readers a given passage was necessarily 'final' or even the latest text on a given matter.

Quote:

If Christopher Tolkien and his co-author did not include it, then that must be respected. Period.



What does 'respect' have to do with it?

Lord Of All
Posted Friday 16th March 2007 (07:48pm)
For a start just becuase its not in the Silmarillion, doesn't make it unreliable. HOME covers 12 books - how are you meant to fit all that in the Sil? Chris clearly took out the most relevent parts that he needed in relation to where he was in creating the story.

Galin
Posted Friday 16th March 2007 (09:15pm)
In addition to his general commentary from The Book of Lost Tales, otherwise known as The History of Middle-Earth volume I, here are a few examples from Christopher Tolkien himself with respect to the published work. The first is from The War of the Jewels when the presentation of the matter of the Elder Days was finally, after years or work, winding down (I have divided this first part into two paragraphs for emphasis here)...

'The Silmarillion', again in the widest sense, is very evidently a literary entity of a singular nature. I would say it can only be defined in terms of its history; and that history is with this book largely completed (...). It is indeed the only 'completion' possible, because it was always 'in progress'; the published work is not in any way a completion, but a construction devised out of the existing materials.'

'Those materials are now made available, save only in a few details and in the matter of Túrin just mentioned; and with them a criticism of the 'constructed' Silmarillion becomes possible. I shall not enter into that question; although it will be apparent in this book that there are aspects of the work that I view with regret.' CJRT The War of the Jewels

With respect to a decision concerning The Shadow that fell upon Brethil (The Wanderings of Húrin) Christopher ultimately noted...

'But it seems to me now, many years later, to have been an excessive tampering with my father's actual thought and intention: thus raising the question, whether the attempt to make a 'unified' Silmarillion should have been embarked on'. Christopher Tolkien

That's quite a statement coming from the person who constructed the Silmarillion incidentally. Or on the Ruin of Doriath...

'(...) It seemed at that time that there were elements inherent in the story of the ruin of Doriath as it stood that were radically incompatible with 'The Silmarillion' as projected, and that there was an inescapable choice: either to abandon that conception, or else to alter the story. I think now that this was a mistaken view, and that the undoubted difficulties could have been, and should have been, surmounted without so far overstepping the bounds of the editorial function.' Christopher Tolkien A note on chapter 22 Of the Ruin of Doriath in the published Silmarillion

The idea here is not to present 'mistakes' or regrets but rather to help show that Christopher Tolkien himself struggled with what he should do, as even he could not know what the ultimate legendarium would be if published by JRRT himself. His primary goal however has now been achieved, and very well too, as he has done it in two ways: to make Tolkien's matter of the Elder Days available for the general public to enjoy.

To say it another way, to not let his father's life's work sit in some drawer somewhere, never to be seen or known about. To present it in some fashion. And the presentation of HME, reproducing or describing much of the Tolkien-written texts as they really existed (with helpful commentary), has also served to clarify the first presentation in 77, as to what the unpublished and disparate sources (the materials of the constructed Silmarillion) really are.
LeeLee my earlier response was very short and it seems now (as I read your post again) I was responding to something I thought you might have been suggesting. LeeLee wrote...

Quote:
So unless that is true, than no other human knew as much, was priveleged with as much knowledge and inner thoughts of Jrr than his beloved son Christopher. We do not and cannot know the hours they spent when together just talking, or be privy to the untold numbers of letters that went back and forth between the two that were not preserved and we will never share. So, because Christopher like his father was a stickler on points and such I believe that ANYTHING he has put down is because he implicitly knew about it from his father if only in hints here and there and projected dreams and so I think were his father here he would heartily approve and give his 'seal' to it.


I thought at first you were speaking about somewhat concrete 'inside information'. For example CJRT appears to not be wholly certain about the 'latest' idea concerning Orc-origins; or he appears to have had no real specific instruction regarding how best to tackle the Ruin of Doriath. But you did follow with 'implicitly' knew about it from JRRT 'if only in hints here and there and projected dreams' so my first response seems really about something else essentially.

Quote:
I believe that whenever he constructed something, Christopher, at that time did the very best he could to bring his father's work to life in the manner of his father. Of course later on if he had doubts I do not think that diminishes a thing; for so too did his father have regrets and sighs concerning his own work. He said years later that it was too late for instance to do anything about the error, whatever that was, that he thought he made concerning Eowyn. And he also said when he read his work years later it was as if Someone Else penned it.


I'm sure CJRT did his best too and as I say I didn't bring up those quotes to focus on the 'regret' really, but rather because (I think) they help show that Christopher had no real specific instruction about various issues in the first place.

Quote:
But at the heart of it all is the fact that this father and son duo were super close, collaborated intensely and loved each other as friends as well. That could not but cause a lot of the thought processes and routine and style of writing to rub off on Christopher. After him I think that Raynor who was the child that first endorsed the Hobbit to his father the pubisher would have known a great deal as well.


This could boil down to 'who better' and with that I agree, no one; no one alive today is better for the job -- and the HME material wasn't really 'rejected' by Christopher Tolkien either, not in the sense that he was excluding all of it because he knew or guessed his father would have certainly abandoned it.
Now that the new Children of Húrin is out, we have, from the Tolkien Estate itself...

Quote:
Why is it being published now?

Christopher Tolkien is publishing the book at this time for two main reasons: because he believes that it is a very fine example of his father’s writing, and of his story-telling; and because, being set in an earlier age of Middle-earth, long before the times depicted in The Lord of the Rings, it will open up to those who know only that work and The Hobbit how extensive the History of Middle-earth truly is. Also, it has always been Christopher's primary concern that J.R.R. Tolkien’s writings should be published in a manner that is appropriate to its subject matter and its essential nature as literature. The world of Middle-earth is seen by many as a playground. The true nature of Tolkien’s invented world and the themes and subject matter of his stories are frequently serious and dark, as The Children of Húrin will show.


Also...

Quote:
... If you have read any or all of the above works, there may be little to surprise you in the actual storyline. You will however be reading a stand-alone version of the tale, constructed with the reader's pleasure in mind, rather than to give a precise and analytical explanation of how the story evolved, which is the approach adopted by The History of Middle-earth. As such, you may find that the flow of the story brings new pleasure and insight to your reading.