Silmarillion Reading Group - Introduction

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Silmarillion Reading Group - Introduction

Post#1 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

OK, well My first introduction to Tolkien came when I was very young (6-7?) and I saw the cartoon movie at my uncles house. I remember the Balrog most distinctly (that and gollums eyes and Gandalf riding in for the final battle) after this it was a few more years before I did anything else "Tolkien"
Next was buying the Hobbit when I was about 12. At school we could buy books for , like about, 10p or something in the book club. I was never into reading much at the time and chose a book because I had to, and based my choice on the cover (picture of Smaug!) I didn't even read it for another few years and when I finally did I read it a good 2-3 times. I've now read the hobbit about 6 times (I'm now 26)
Inevitably LOTR's followed. I've read this maybe 5 times now, and am finding that each time I do so I find something else I enjoy (which previously I may not have) i.e I hated the poems and most of ROTK and loved the Elves and the battles first time round. Now I've read more (Silmarillion, UT, "Letters", and the lost road) I'm more interested in the history of Numenor, and the poetry has new meaning for me (i.e I can relate it to something)
I tried reading the Sil when I was about 16. I'd heard from my cousin that it was tough (a bit like reading Mallorys "le morte d'arthur....all focus on geneaology, battles and the suchlike and written in very archaic form) and true enough I failed to get past the song of the ainur. I tried again early this year and found it a lot easier than I had remembered. Plus! after the first few chapters the narrative style changed slightly to something less archaic and more managable. The stories, taken as myth are absolutely fantastic and bring to light many of the references made in LOTR's . Soooo glad i finally read it, and kinda glad I found it so late in life as it gave me a new "epiphany" (for wont of a better word...actually more like a childish excitement and revalation of something new)
UT, i'm still reading this for the first time. I like the added detail to existing stories and some new stuff to boot. a little dissapointed though at no new info on the blue wizards (one of my prime reasons for buying the book)
My most current read however is the "Letters of JRRT" which I bought on curiosity and have found to be one of the most insightful, interesting and revealing books i've read. HIs view on women and americans are particularly interesting! as are his relationships with C.S.Lewis, Auden, and others (including a real life chap called Sam Gamgee!!!!)
hmmm, well thats it I guess. Most of my preconceptions had prooved innacurate as it turned out.
Hobbit, just thought it was another runofthemill kids fantasy book = Wrong
LOTR, knew I was gonna get something good = Bingo!
Silmarillion, thought it would be hard and boring = wrong, just to immature first time round i guess.
UT , lost road and letters, really by this time I knew I loved Tolkiens works and style (however changable) and just jumped in without much thought.
ok thats it, hope this is the kinfd of reply you were looking for? :D

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Silmarillion Reading Group - Introduction

Post#2 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

That's excellant, Cirdan. I hope you'll be joining us in our discussions :D

Could anyone else interested in joining this group let me know as soon as possible so we can begin. The first assignment has already been posted, but I plan to stretch the first "week" slightly just to make sure everyone who wishes to join has found their way here.
If you are put off by a long introduction, don't worry. Either make it brief or just send a post saying you are on board.

I've had a browse through the contents page and have decided to work to the following plan, breaking the chapters down in the following manner.

Week 1) Ainulindale, Valaquenta, Of the Beginning of Days (36 pages)
Week 2) Chapters 2-6 (29 pages)
Week 3) Chapters 7-9 (29 pages)
Week 4) Chapters 10-13 (33 pages)
Week 5) Chapters 14-16 (28 pages)
Week 6) Chapters 17-18 (26 pages)
Week 7) Chapter 19 (32 pages)
Week 8) Chapter 20 (12 pages)
Week 9) Chapter 21 (36 pages)
Week 10) Chapters 22-24 (35 pages)
Week 11) The Akallabeth (32 pages)
Week 12) The Rings of Power & The Third Age (26 pages)

The sessions could perhaps be broken down into page lengths better than I have done, but I have attempted to keep the chapters covered by each session as best as I could on theme with each other.

Please, if you are interested in joining in with this group, let us know as soon as possible so that we can proceed.

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Silmarillion Reading Group - Introduction

Post#3 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

I'm in!

I read Hobbit when I was 6 or 7. Then couple of times in folowing years. I just enjoyed reading it - all those adventures and excitement...
Then after I saw the movie I spent my savings (a huge jar of change) on LotR books. And loved them. I like rereading my favorite chapters every now and then. And just recently I read Sillmarillion. I was told that it is hard to read and it might seem boring. I was surprised how untrue these statements turned out to be.
As for LotR I knew that it would be a great book. But before that my impression of fantasy genre as such was formed by stupid b-class movies shown on tv (horrible , isn't it ?).
I'm fascinated how Tolkien pictures battle between good and evil - even if the good side wins scars of this battle are inevitable. Also he is the best writer whose works I have encountered so far.
The Hobbit is of course a book meant for children, but adults also will enjoy it.
Silmarillion is more focused on history and less on heroes than LotR, because it is very concentrated. It gave me a background on LotR.

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Silmarillion Reading Group - Introduction

Post#4 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Welcome on board Orange :)

I'm fascinated how Tolkien pictures battle between good and evil - even if the good side wins, scars of this battle are inevitable.
From his own experiences in the war he knew how terrible battles are. No one really wins in war, one side just sustains less damage than the other, or can absorb more of it. And of course, he did not shy away from the good guys losing battles either. In the Silmarillion you really feel the losses and the heartache.

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Silmarillion Reading Group - Introduction

Post#5 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Hello to all,

I am a 31 year old "computer guy" in Alabama [USA]. I read The Hobbit during high school in the late 80s and thought that it was a good book. I then read LOTR completely in '95 and LOVED IT!! I have read it 4 times since then, and am currently also reading TTT for movie preparation. I have never read any other Tolkien written work (Sil, UT, HoME), but I own most of them.

I have read Carpenter's bio 3 is a wonderful book that all fans should read. I also own 15 other Tolkien related books, of which I have read all but 2. Tolkein is my favorite postAuthorID, and I am trying to read more of his works to geta better feel for Middle-earth. I am also working on a Masters Degree is History, so I am hoping that the historical aspects of the Sil. and HoME will appeal to me. I have concentrated my studies on the Middle Ages and the Crusades, so that falls in line with my love of Tolkien quite nicely.

I have always thought the Sil. was going to be boring, but after the first lesson, I am finding myself re-reading it 2 and 3 times to make sure that I am getting it all. I have always thought that UT and HoME were very tedious reading, but hopefully, having read the Sil. maybe it will all fall into place. (Does it, Val?)

My hope is to take this reading group idea and move it to UT and HoME so that we can share in the experiences of others and their life's experiences in how they see Tolkiens works "talk" to them.

I agree with Cirdan about the Letter of JRRT as being an indepensible guide to the thoughts of Tolkien and I recommend everyone to get a copy. (I got a 1st Edition HC on ebay for less than $15 US). But this was before is was re-released as a PB.

I am looking forward to getting to know everyone through this group.

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Silmarillion Reading Group - Introduction

Post#6 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Hi Bain. Welcome on board. It's interesting that you have read so many other books centered around the Tolkien theme, but not the Silmarillion itself. If you are capable of doing a Masters in History, both the Silmarillion and UT should be a breeze to you.
I have always thought that UT and HoME were very tedious reading, but hopefully, having read the Sil. maybe it will all fall into place. (Does it, Val?)
I cannot speak for HoME because I haven't read them yet. UT can be difficult, but I find it fills in the gaps that Silmarillion misses out. For someone who is interested in delving into the depths of Middle Earth it is really insightful in places. I find the worse thing about it is, you just get into one of the stories, turn the page and suddenly realise it really is an unfinished tale.

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Silmarillion Reading Group - Introduction

Post#7 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Can I still join? :disturbed: Bit late though it is, I read about this thingie last week but I didn't have time to post... Can I? Pretty please?

Hrmmm let's see. We'll I'm Greet (generally known here as Tommie) and I'm 18, 19 in February. I'm from Belgium, you know that tricky ridicolous little country in Western Europe Americans tend to confuse with the capital of Brussels, while it's actually the other way around if you know what I'm talking about :P: ? Oh yeah, I tend to do this quite a lot, talk about things nobody else seems to understand. :P: And if my English is a bit confusing, it's because of translation problems. :funnylaugh:

About the works of Tolkien, I have read both the Hobbit and LOTR. I think I read the Hobbit two or three times, and LOTR about 5 or 6 times from one cover to the other. I read a few stories in UT but not many and by joining this group I hope I'll finally be able to drag myself through the Sil. :D

The Hobbit is in my opinion a very good book, perhaps a bit childish but nevertheless a very good introduction to LOTR and overall a nice read. It's a good story with lots of great characters (like Smaug and Beorn and Thorin Oakenshield and the dwarves).
LOTR is imho one of the best books ever written. What intrigues me the most is the fact that although the book is so thick and the story is so long, it keeps fascinating you and you seem unable to put the book back down again... And another thing is that the story doesn't counter itself (dunno if this is the word in English, but I don't have a dictionary here now).

I didn't have much of a preconception of the books in advance, all I knew was that it was about a Ring, Elves, Dwarves, Men and Hobbits (and I had no idea what those were), but the story turned out to be quite different from what I had in mind. Well, if you only know the things I knew about it, it's not that difficult to start imagining, right?

Anyway, I hope I can finally be able to read the Sil now that I joined this group. It's a great comfort to know you can post all your questions here and know that eventually they will be answered by someone who knows a lot more about Tolkien than you do yourself. Thanks guys/girls! :thumbup:
Denial is not a river in Africa.

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Silmarillion Reading Group - Introduction

Post#8 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Hey, Tommie. We've finally attracted you. Come in and make yourself at home. We're only just starting the second assignment so you shouldn't have too much catching up to do. Hopefully, working through it with us, you'll come to appreciated what a wonderful book the Silmarillion is.

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Silmarillion Reading Group - Introduction

Post#9 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

Yep you got me hooked! :funnylaugh:

I just hope that this time I'll finally be able to read it, because now I got help! See last times I tried to read it I always got confused after a few pages, with names and locations and stuff, and now you're here to help me out! :thumbup: I think I'll make it this time. I'll start reading the second assignment soon.
Denial is not a river in Africa.

Posts: 109

Silmarillion Reading Group - Introduction

Post#10 » Thu Jan 01, 1970 12:00 am

I'm sorry I'm late but can I still join? Pleeease? I Really Need To Finish The Simarillion. Ha! I got up to page 104 and never finished it! Typical Me.

Anyway, Can I Still Join? Or Is The Time Up?

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