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'But why dost thou say 'mere words'? Do not words overpass the gulf between one life and another? Between thee and me surely more has passed than empty sound?' ~Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth
 
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Favorite Parts of the HoME?

 
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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 7:09 pm    Post subject: Favorite Parts of the HoME? Reply with quote

I'm just trying to get some literary discussion going here, but I'm not exactly sure where to start. Wink

I thought I'd ask everyone - what's your favorite part of the HoME and why? Which parts really grab at you?

My three favorite essays are:

Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth
Laws and Customs of the Eldar
and
The Shibboleth of FŽanor.

The Athrabeth is amazing - both in its writing and in its content - I truly believe it's one of the most beautiful (if not the most beautiful) things that Tolkien ever wrote.

Laws and Customs is fascinating - and gives a lot of good insights into Eldarin anthropology. I really don't think anyone should attempt to write a fan fiction that has Elves in it without reading this. It would perhaps get rid of some of the Dreck out there that passes for fan fiction.

The Shibboleth is also fascinating - a combination of a linguistic essay and a history of the House of FŽanor.

I also really like the 'Music of the Ainur' chapter in BoLT I. It's always struck me as more beautiful than the later versions, in writing and content, and certainly better than the version in the published Silmarillion. This is a quote from one of my favorite parts:

Quote:
"Mighty are the Ainur, and glorious, and among them is Melko the most powerful in knowledge; but that he may know, and all the Ainur, that I am Iluvatar, those things that ye have sung and played, lo! I have caused to be -- not in the musics that ye make in the heavenly regions, as a joy to me and a play unto yourselves, alone, but rather to have shape and reality even as have ye Ainur, whom I have made to share in the reality of Iluvatar myself. Maybe I shall love these things that come of my song even as I love the Ainur who are of my thought,' and maybe more. Thou Melko shalt see that no theme can be played save it come in the end of Iluvatar's self, nor can any alter the music in Iluvatar's despite. He that attempts this finds himself in the end but aiding me in devising a thing of still greater grandeur and more complex wonder: -- for lo! through Melko have terror as fire, and sorrow like dark waters, wrath like thunder, and evil as far from my light as the depths of the uttermost of the dark places, come into the design that I laid before you. Through him has pain and misery been made in the clash of overwhelming musics; and with confusion of sound have cruelty, and ravening, and darkness, loathly mire and all putrescence of thought or thing, foul mists and violent flame, cold without mercy, been born, and death without hope. Yet is this through him and not by him; and he shall see, and ye all likewise, and even shall those beings, who must now dwell among his evil and endure through Melko misery and sorrow, terror and wickedness, declare in the end that it redoundeth only to my great glory, and doth but make the theme more worth the hearing, Life more worth the living, and the World so much the more wonderful and marvellous, that of all the deeds of Iluvatar it shall be called his mightiest and his loveliest."

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'But why dost thou say 'mere words'? Do not words overpass the gulf between one life and another? Between thee and me surely more has passed than empty sound?'
~Finrod, Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth

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PostPosted: Fri May 02, 2008 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are so many texts I like - or I should rather say sentences.
For a change I will quote this from the rather unknown Dangweth Pengoloū (HoMe XII) :

Quote:
But behold! ∆lfwine, within Eš all things change, even the Valar; for in Eš we perceive the unfolding of a History in the unfolding: as a man may read a great book, and when it is full-read it is rounded and complete in his mind, according to his measure. Then at last he perceives that some fair thing that long endured: as some mountain or river of renown, some realm, or some great city; or else some mighty being, as a king, or maker, or a woman of beauty and majesty, or even one, maybe, of the Lords of the West: that each of these is, if at all, all that is said of them from the beginning even to the end. From the spring in the mountains to the mouths of the sea, all is Sirion; and from its first upwelling even to its passing away when the land was broken in the great battle, that also is Sirion, and nothing less. Though we, who are set to behold the great History, reading line by line, may speak of the river changing as it flows and grows broad, or dying as it is spilled or devoured by the sea. Yea, even from his first coming into Eš from the side of Ilķvatar, and from the young lord of the Valar in the white wrath of his battle with Melkor unto the silent king of years uncounted that sits upon the vanished heights of Oiolosse and watches but speaks no more: all that is he whom we call ManwŽ.

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"But behold!" said he, "in the armour of Fate (as the Children of Earth name it) there is ever a rift, and in the walls of Doom a breach, until the full-making, which ye call the End. So it shall be while I endure, a secret voice that gainsayeth, and a light where darkness was decreed."

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Maikanare
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PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2008 5:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Athrabeth is a personal favorite for reasons mentioned above, and I think it gives a unique glimpse into JRRT's own doubts as a religious man. I have always identified with Andreth more than with most characters.

Dangweth Pengolodh is also a beautiful dialog as Eluchil demonstrated (Pengolodh - or should I say Quendingoldo?Wink - became one of my favorite elves after I read that). Yes Dangweth is fairly unknown. One of the most under-rated essay in the HoME if you ask me. It is rarely mentioned, even by people who read and discuss Shibboleth, Athrabeth and all those texts. Same goes for Q&E, and The Notion Club Papers.

Quendi & Eldar is a favorite of mine, for all the cool information - plus its appendices. But as a general rule any section that is unique within HoME and concerns the First Age or Elves is good. Much of the Later Quenta is of great interest - The Dabate of the Valar, Laws and Customs, Statute of Finwe and Miriel.

As characters go, Rumil and Nuin from BOLT are pretty interesting guys I think. And of course FoG in BOLT is outstanding.

I'll add that I have not read all of HoME. I have only skimmed and looked a couple things up where the LOTR drafts are concerned. I will at least say there was some funny material in the drafts as I recall. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2008 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings, Maikanare!

Glad to have a new member who has read the HoME. Wink

Head over to the Newbie forum and tell us a bit about yourself, if you will. Smile

I agree with you about loving everything First age having to do with Elves - I'm particularly interested in anything to do with the house of FŽanor. I love reading and re-reading even the little parts about him in The Later Quenta Silmarillion, or the Annals. Wink
_________________
'But why dost thou say 'mere words'? Do not words overpass the gulf between one life and another? Between thee and me surely more has passed than empty sound?'
~Finrod, Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth

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