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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 7:05 pm 
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OK, how about this example from your book (p.74; emphasis mine):

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However there is a change that [Christopher] made to this paragraph that is less explicable. In the source text (LQ §42), Finarfin's daugher Galadriel is described as "the most valiant" of the house of Finwë, as well as the most beautiful. For some unexplained reason, Christopher removed that description. Thus, even Galadriel ... is somewhat diminished by Christopher's edits to the text.


Noting again that you were told in 2006 by Christopher Tolkien himself that:

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The History of Middle-earth does not, and could not, provide all the massive manuscript material necessary to determine how The Silmarillion was constructed in detail — in particular, to determine which alterations were made with manuscript authority and which were not; nor was it intended to indicate the reasons in detail for the selections and changes made


and further, noting that Christopher states up front (MR 142-3) in his presentation of "LQ" — the complex tangle of texts, emendations, riders, typescripts, and copies that you refer to here as "the source text" — that "a complete documentation of every alteration from start to finish (that is, detailing the precise sequence of change through successive texts) is out of the question", we can well ask: why is it that you here nonetheless so baldly state — three times — that Christopher Tolkien made this change?

It is true that you go on to (weakly) raise what you call the "unlikely" possibility that "this omission reflects some other text that was not printed in HoMe"; but you then say that even if this is the case, "it seems quite odd that Christopher would choose to omit such an unambiguous statement of her standing, particularly without any explanation" — thus once again ascribing the omission to Christopher, even if it was made by Tolkien himself!

But why would you describe the possibility that the excision was made by Tolkien himself as "unlikely"? Given what Christopher says generally about HoMe and specifically about "LQ", isn't it in fact far more likely that at this point the Silmarillion text itself reflects the final state of the complex development of "LQ", as emended by Tolkien himself? Indeed, why would you ever even suppose otherwise (let alone assert it three times)?

And even if Christopher did make the change, why should it be "odd" that Christopher does not explain it? You had already been told by Christopher himself that HoMe was not "intended to indicate the reasons in detail for the selections and changes made": so while you are entitled to want an explanation, there was certainly no reason to expect one.


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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 10:13 pm 
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Okay, let's look at that example. (Interesting that that is what you would choose to point to, given our previous discussion.)

It is unambiguously clear that LQ 42 is the source for this paragraph. That is not a question; I think even you would accept that. Looking at the material in HoMe, specifically Morgoth's Ring, we see that this chapter is printed in full. Some emendations are noted in the text itself. It is then followed by extensive commentary in which Christopher notes other emendations that were made, including some that were much smaller than this one. The commentary for this very paragraph states:

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$42 The passage describing the White Lady of the Noldor was added on a slip to the original QS typescript, and this slip is a page from a used engagement calendar dated October 1951. At that stage her name was still Isfin. A rejected draft for this rider on the same slip began thus:
She was younger in the years of the Eldar than her brethren, for she awoke in Valinor [not upon Middle-earth )] after the making of the Silmarils, and even as the first shadow fell upon the Blessed Realm; and when she was grown to full stature...
The words 'She was younger in the years of the Eldar than her brethren, for she awoke in Valinor not upon Middle-earth' are not in accord with AAm, where Fingolfin their father was himself born in Aman ($81).
The rider was not taken up into LQ 1 as typed, which still had the name Isfin, as in AAm (see p. 102 notes 8 and 9: the first birth-date for Isfin (1469) makes her born after the making of the Silmarils in 1450, but the second (1362) before). But later Isfin was changed to frith on LQ 1 (at the same time as the corrections of Finrod to Finarphin, etc.), and the same rider was attached on a slip, identical in wording to that attached to the old QS typescript, but with the name frith. This is presumably a case where a 'lost' change was recovered.
In QS Angrod and Egnor were friends of the sons of Fëanor, while Inglor and Orodreth were friends of the sons of Fingolfin, Fingon and Turgon. Now the association of Angrod and Egnor with the Feanorians (which led to their being allowed passage in the ships at the time of the crossing to Middle-earth, QS $73) was abandoned (as it was also in AAm, $135, pp. 113, 125), and all four of Finarphin's sons become the bosom friends of Fingon and Turgon. 'And these four' was changed to 'And these three' on LQ 1 when Orodreth was finally ejected entirely from the third generation of the Noldorin princes (see III.91, 246, and Unfinished Tales p. 255 note 20).
Here Galadriel enters the Quenta tradition; for Galadriel in AAm see $$85, 135 and commentary. On one copy of LQ 2 my father noted: 'In High-elvish her name was Altarielle "Lady with garland of sunlight", galata-rig-elle = S[indarin] Galadriel. It was thus mere accident that her name resembled galad (Silvan galad tree ). Cf. the Appendix to The Silmarillion p. 360, entry kal-.


Given how complete this is, I think it is reasonable to assume that there is no variant LQ text that includes the removal of the "most valiant" language. Certainly there is no place in Morgoth's Ring or any place else in HoMe that suggests that there is, or that the published Silmarillion reflects a further state of development of LQ by Tolkien himself. On the contrary, his comments suggest otherwise. The only thing that I have ever seen that suggests that is the material that you posted yesterday that he sent you regarding his "report" on the sample that I had sent him, talking about how much more extensive his History of the Silmarillion was than HoMe. I reiterate again that none of that material was sent to me. Only the brief brief statement that that HoMe does not provide all of the massive manuscript material necessary to determine how the Silmarillion was constructed and that he doubted "that such a close, line by line manuscript comparison with no leavening commentary or conclusion would be of sufficient interest to merit publication." He therefore declined to lend his support to the project.

This is a very, very different example than the one that you pointed to from the Ainulindalë, that was in the sample that I sent to Christopher, and which I explicitly removed from the final version of AR. In that case, the source text was not printed in full, and Christopher pointed out to you (but again NOT to me) that I was not justified in making an assumption about the source text based on what he had said about it. I independently reached the same conclusion, and removed that point (and many others like it) from the book (along with abandoning the close line by line manuscript comparison and adding considerably more commentary and conclusion). In this example, we have a source text that is given in full, with extensive commentary about what comments and changes were made to it. If we can't rely on it being complete other than in the most minor of details, than I don't know what we can rely on.

But given how precise and clear Christopher is, I continue to feel confident that we can rely on it.

As for why I said that I think it is "odd" that Christopher did not explain this change, it is because I believe that it is a particularly significant one. If he had explained it, there would have been no need to speculate as to why it was done. And we wouldn't be having this discussion. It's true that HoMe was not meant to explain the reasons for the selections and changes made, but he did do so in a few circumstances. I wish that this had been one of them.

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PostPosted: Fri May 08, 2009 11:10 pm 
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Doug writes:

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It is unambiguously clear that LQ 42 is the source for this paragraph. That is not a question; I think even you would accept that.


If by "LQ 42" you mean the specific snapshot of the textual development that Christopher gives in edited, printed form on p.177 of HoMe, then no, I would not agree that it is "the source" (except imprecisely), only that it certainly underlies whatever final version of the text, as subsequently emended by Tolkien, Christopher used as the basis for the text as printed in The Silmarillion. As Christopher explains on p.143, the text he prints is that of the LQ1 typescript with indications of (at least some of) the emendations made to it (including, in this specific section, a rider) that were taken up into the LQ2 typescript when that was made. But we know (because Christopher tells us on p. 142) that there were subsequent developments to LQ2. And Christopher gives no indication that he has presented all of the changes made to (any copy of) LQ2. So, precisely speaking, it is the state of the text after emendations were made to LQ2 that is in fact the proximate source of the corresponding Silmarillion passage.

Doug continues:

Quote:
Given how complete this is, I think it is reasonable to assume that there is no variant LQ text that includes the removal of the "most valiant" language.


First, how do you know how "complete" this is? Nearly all of what Christopher notes here has to do with either nomenclature or the now-you-see-him, now-you-don't nature of Orodreth and his relations, both of which were special concerns that Christopher was at pains to trace throughout HoMe. Apart from this is only the quite natural concern to portray how Galadriel entered the Quenta (via the rider to he describes here). There is thus no indication whatsoever that Christopher either does, or intended to, report here every subsequent detail of development in this text. Taking this in conjunction with Christopher's general statement concerning his presentation of the textual history of LQ that "a complete documentation of every alteration from start to finish (that is, detailing the precise sequence of change through successive texts) is out of the question", there is in fact good reason to assume that he did not do so.

So, second, I do not think it reasonable to assume what you do. The weight of evidence is in fact very much against such an assumption.

P.S. Since you bring up "our previous discussion", I will add that it is particularly wrong for you to assume that Christopher is responsible for this change, given what you then go on to imply about Christopher on the basis of this and other similar assumptions. Indeed, the implication you draw ought to have been sufficient warning that you should have been even more careful here not to assume that Christopher was responsible for it.


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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 12:44 am 
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I think it is reasonable to assume that there is no variant LQ text that includes the removal of the "most valiant" language. Certainly there is no place in Morgoth's Ring or any place else in HoMe that suggests that there is, or that the published Silmarillion reflects a further state of development of LQ by Tolkien himself


And that assumption is the Achilles' Heel of it all. You can't conclude that, you can't "reasonably" assume that- certainly not with the level of certainty required to assert, positively, how the final reading came to be, when it did, or that it was CT who did it- and then on that basis make the claim that this was part and parcel of a 'diminish the females' campaign.

There's all the difference in the world between "could have" and "did."

Unless you've examined the original, you can't know this. Tolkien's manuscripts are by and large "chaotic palimpsests;" and annotating every change thereto, and trying to sort them all out (even when legible) can in some cases triple the bulk of the text. CT noted a selection of the emendations and variant readings... but to assume that that represents all or substantially all of them goes too far.

I still think AR is a very valuable guidebook to locating '77 passages in the published HME texts- where they match. But where they don't match- well, I would have preferred less confident assertion of the speculative.


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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 2:04 am 
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First, of all, let me take a moment to thank you, Carl (and you too, soli), for taking the time to address these concerns. It's certainly never comfortable to have one's work challenged, but I think it is enormously important to have this kind of vigorous debate, and so I wanted to say that I appreciate it. And I also appreciate that you are able to keep it on a courteous and professional level, even though it is something that you clearly passionately care about.

That having been said, I'm not sure that you completely accurately represent what it is that Christopher says. On page 143 of Morgoth's Ring, following the quote that you cited, he goes on to say:

Quote:
After much experimentation the plan I have followed is based on this consideration: seeing that a great deal of the development can be ascribed to a relatively short time (the '1951 revision'), it seems best to take LQ 1, marking the end of that stage, as the 'common text'. But while I print LQ 1 in full as it was typed (as far as Chapter 5: Chapters 6 - 8 are differently treated), I also include in the text the corrections and expansions made to it subsequently, indicated as such. This gives at once a view of the state of the work in both LQ 1, at the end of the 'first phase', and in LQ 2, at the beginning of the 'second phase' some seven years later. Beyond this, the treatment of each chapter varies according to the peculiarities of its history. The late expanded versions of certain chapters belonging to the 'second phase' are treated separately (pp. 199 ff.).


Do I believe that this means that he detailed every single manuscript deviation in LQ 2? No, of course not. But I do think, particularly after reviewing the manuscript changes that he does detail in those first five chapters, that it implies that he describes all of the manuscript deviations that are as significant as the one we are talking about. Nothing that either of you have said has convinced me otherwise.

Our main difference of opinion, it seems, is that you don't think that I am justified in considering this a particularly significant deviation. That I can't control, and I would say that we will have to agree to disagree.

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Last edited by Voronwë the Faithful on Sat May 09, 2009 2:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 2:28 am 
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Doug, I referred to precisely this quote, and specifically to the part you emphasize, when I wrote that: "As Christopher explains on p.143, the text he prints is that of the LQ1 typescript with indications of (at least some of) the emendations made to it (including, in this specific section, a rider) that were taken up into the LQ2 typescript when that was made"; so I don't see how this is at all at variance with my portrayal.

Moreover, your emphasis stops just before what is in fact the most important part of this quote for the present purposes, sc. that the text represents the state of LQ2 "at the beginning of the 'second phase'": i.e., not at the end of that phase, which Christopher both here and on p. 142 indicates saw further developments in the text.

Our difference of opinion here in fact has nothing to do with my opinion as to the significance of this change, about which I've said precisely nothing. Our difference concerns the reasonableness of both assuming and asserting that Christopher is responsible for this change. (Indeed, I suspect you would have a rather different opinion about its significance if it turned out that the change was made by Tolkien; and even if you simply did not assume that Christopher was responsible for it.)


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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 2:33 am 
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"solicitr" writes:

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I still think AR is a very valuable guidebook to locating '77 passages in the published HME texts- where they match. But where they don't match- well, I would have preferred less confident assertion of the speculative.


My sentiments exactly.


Last edited by Aelfwine on Sat May 09, 2009 2:52 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 2:48 am 
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It also occurs to me that LQ2 was made fifteen years before Tolkien died, and assuming that it was left alone for all that time (when he supposedly was "working on it" is a pretty big assumption.


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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 3:09 am 
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Aelfwine wrote:
your emphasis stops just before what is in fact the most important part of this quote for the present purposes, sc. that the text represents the state of LQ2 "at the beginning of the 'second phase'": i.e., not at the end of that phase, which Christopher both here and on p. 142 indicates saw further developments in the text.


He goes on to say that "Beyond this, the treatment of each chapter varies according to the peculiarities of its history" suggesting that he details the significant additional developments in LQ. In the first five chapters, those developments are mostly minor, whereas is the "late expanded chapters" (e.g., the Valaquenta and chapters 6 -- including the Finwë and Míriel material-- and 7, which provide some of the source material for chapters 6-9 in the published Silmarillion) that mostly belong to the "second phase." I continue to believe that the implication is that all significant deviations are described.

Quote:
Our difference of opinion here in fact has nothing to do with my opinion as to the significance of this change, about which I've said precisely nothing. Our difference concerns the reasonableness of both assuming and asserting that Christopher is responsible for this change. (Indeed, I suspect you would have a rather different opinion about its significance if it turned out that the change was made by Tolkien; and even if you simply did not assume that Christopher was responsible for it.)


On the contrary, my position is predicated on my belief that had this change been made by Tolkien it would have been so significant that Christopher would have mentioned it (particularly when it is compared to the other manuscript changes in those chapters, many of which don't appear to be as significant). Indeed, part of the reason why I believe that this was an editorial change rather than an authorial change is that the whole purpose of HoMe (at least as I understand) was to document as much as possible the history of Tolkien's writings about Middle-earth, whereas (as we have both acknowledged in this thread) the purpose of HoMe is explicitly NOT to detail the changes that Christopher made, and the reasons for them. Therefore, to me it seems quite clear that a deviation between the text printed in HoMe and that of the published Silmarillion of this magnitude that is not commented on at all in HoMe is far, far more likely to have been an editorial one than an authorial one.

I'm sure that you will disagree, and that is okay.

Aelfwine wrote:
"solicitr" writes:

Quote:
I still think AR is a very valuable guidebook to locating '77 passages in the published HME texts- where they match. But where they don't match- well, I would have preferred less confident assertion of the speculative.


My sentiments exactly.


I'm glad you both still find some value in it. :)

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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 3:48 am 
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Doug writes:

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In the first five chapters, those developments are mostly minor


Does Christopher say this? Otherwise, how can you know this, if you haven't seen all the developments? And in any event, how do you know that Christopher would not consider this change minor (even though you don't)?

Quote:
I continue to believe that the implication is that all significant deviations are described.


But again, the issue then becomes, not what you think is a "significant deviation" (and certainly not what I think is a "significant deviation"), but what Christopher Tolkien thinks is a "significant deviation". And if you haven't seen all the "deviations" (which we very plainly haven't), how can you know this?

What is more reasonable to assume: that Tolkien excised the passage subsequent to the making of the LQ2 typescript, and that Christopher simply didn't feel that this subsequent change merited specific record or comment in his HoMe; or, that Christopher himself excised it as part of a "systematic lessening of the role of female characters" (and then himself provided the very means to uncover this fact!)?


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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 3:55 am 
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I've already answered that; in my opinion based on his comments and the changes that he does document it is far more reasonable to assume that it was an editorial change than an authorial one.

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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 5:45 am 
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And I maintain that until and unless you can identify and assess all the authorial changes present in The Silmarillion that Christopher didn't record in HoMe — which changes, as Christopher specifically informed you, do exist and cannot be surely identified as either authorial or editorial except by reference to the manuscripts themselves — you cannot know with surety just what sorts of authorial changes he considered minor, at least in the sense of not requiring comment or even record in their particular context; and so that you have no good basis to assume that Christopher could not have considered this change minor in this context; and therefore that you have no good basis to assume (let alone assert) that this omission isn't the result of an authorial change, even though Christopher doesn't record a subsequent authorial deletion in HoMe.

But you have allowed precisely this string of unfounded assumptions, ultimately based on your assessment of the significance of this omission, not (so far as we can know) on Christopher's, to lead you to assert that Christopher is responsible for the change (with dark adumbrations).


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PostPosted: Sat May 09, 2009 5:48 am 
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And with that I will say that we have both made our positions clear and simply add, "good night, and have a good weekend."

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 3:52 am 
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I was recently rereading Verlyn Flieger's book Interrupted Music: The Making of Tolkien's Mythology, and I thought of this thread when I read this in her Introduction:

Quote:
Encouraged by the favorable reception of these prelimanary volumes [The Silmarillion and Unfinished Tales], over the following twenty years Christopher arranged and edited in chronological sequence all of the stories of his father's mythlogy. Now published as the twelve-volume series, the History of Middle-earth, this work presents Tolkien's mythlogy in its entirety, tracing the path of a remarkable vision, a musical score, if you will, from its ealiest conception to its author's last meditation on his creation.

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