Silmarillion Book Club

Is it a nice day out? Do you like baby goats? Are you overdue on thank-you notes for your Christmas presents? Here you go.

Re: Silmarillion Book Club

Postby Kappa » Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:09 am

it's 3 am and too hot to sleep so i don't have, like, thoughts, but i read the longpost and enjoyed it and am replying so as to hopefully increase the chance of someone else saying something that will get this thread back on the unread page so i remember to come back to it
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Re: Silmarillion Book Club

Postby Timepoof » Wed Aug 24, 2016 2:45 am

.
The WAFFLES will submit to this indignity.
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Re: Silmarillion Book Club

Postby Kappa » Wed Aug 24, 2016 5:12 am

thank
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Re: Silmarillion Book Club

Postby DanielH » Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:36 am

I don’t know if the lifespan of the Numenoreans is ever stated, but it the figures given in glowfic are correct (1000 times longer, 30,000 years between now and destruction of the Trees), any of them who did not die during the restructuring of Arda could still easily be alive to the day. Had any of them gone to Middle-Earth at the time?

I mentioned this before because I hadn't realized we weren’t there yet, but would Tolkein’s saying that only Elves can find the straight way out of the inescapable circle of the world have changed after Sputnik or any other space program milestone?

Edit to add: I notice that Sauron tempted them with “[making] Western Middle-earth as beautiful as Valinor.”; does this mean that even out of sight out Valinor the West of the continent is noticeably affected by it, or what?
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Re: Silmarillion Book Club

Postby jalapeno_dude » Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:30 pm

I don’t know if the lifespan of the Numenoreans is ever stated, but it the figures given in glowfic are correct (1000 times longer, 30,000 years between now and destruction of the Trees), any of them who did not die during the restructuring of Arda could still easily be alive to the day. Had any of them gone to Middle-Earth at the time?

I think the 1000x duration given in glowfic isn't related to Numenoreans (unless there's something in "the world turned upside down" I'm forgetting, just a figure for the *maximum* amount the Valar could do. For an idea of Numenorean lifespans, see the family tree of the House of Elros here: Elros made it to 500, and it looks like around 400 was typical for the first few generations before gradually diminishing.

I mentioned this before because I hadn't realized we weren’t there yet, but would Tolkein’s saying that only Elves can find the straight way out of the inescapable circle of the world have changed after Sputnik or any other space program milestone?

It depends on what he means by "the world". :p This is something to watch carefully in the Ainulindalë, where Tolkien uses several different terms (the World, the Deeps of Time, Arda) to refer to slightly different things.

Edit to add: I notice that Sauron tempted them with “[making] Western Middle-earth as beautiful as Valinor.”; does this mean that even out of sight out Valinor the West of the continent is noticeably affected by it, or what?

Tolkien definitely uses West to symbolize good and East to mean evil (and there's obviously an uncomfortable RL thing going on there). But I think this is more likely that Tolkien is limiting the scope of the legendarium to the North-West of Middle-Earth, corresponding to Europe after the changing of Arda--this has to do with his desire to make specifically English legends.

__________________

So I did my own homework assignment! It turns out Tolkien's Letter 131, which is what's excerpted in the Silmarillion, is available online here. There are another ~4 pages of the letter available there--still not the LOTR summary equivalent to the summary of the Silmarillion we have available, but some general remarks prefacing it on the nature of the story. Also the last line of the letter is, charmingly, "I wonder if (even if legible) you will read this??"
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Re: Silmarillion Book Club

Postby Kappa » Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:58 pm

tolkien continues to be ADORABLE oh my god XD
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Re: Silmarillion Book Club

Postby jalapeno_dude » Sat Aug 27, 2016 5:02 pm

Okay, discussion seems to have died down so let's move on to the Ainulindale (on my phone, apologies for the lack of accents) now that we're armed with a vocabulary/set of concepts for talking about it. It's short enough that I think we can read and discuss it in a single chunk. I will aim to post my thoughts on it in the next few days, but anyone else should feel free to start before that.
Last edited by jalapeno_dude on Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:49 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Silmarillion Book Club

Postby jalapeno_dude » Sat Aug 27, 2016 5:36 pm

To help encourage discussion, here are some questions I had after a quick initial reading, which I hope people can start talking about right away after reading, before I post any more detailed notes (EDIT: which I have no intention of doing until others pitch in here with discussion):
-Who (in-universe) wrote this? Why?
-Why does the Ainulindale leave off at the place it does (both from a Watsonian and Doylist point of view)?
-To what extent does the history we get here match what Tolkien says in the letter?
-How do the various themes discussed there fit in here? Subcreation? Fall? Machine/magic? The nature of power?
-What sort of personality do the key players in the story have?
-There are a few direct lines of dialogue in here. What's their purpose? Why did the writer(s) put them in?
-Various elemental concepts play a key role here, e.g. void, music, water, air, stars. What's their role?
-What do the capitalized concepts - the Great Music, the Flame Imperishable, the Deeps of Time, Ea, Arda, etc. - mean?
-What's the nature of time and causality here?
-How many 'themes' are there in the music? What do they each represent?
Last edited by jalapeno_dude on Thu Sep 01, 2016 7:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Silmarillion Book Club

Postby Kappa » Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:01 pm

Isn't it "Ainulindale"?
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Re: Silmarillion Book Club

Postby jalapeno_dude » Sat Aug 27, 2016 6:48 pm

Yep, fixed. Stupid autocorrect.
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