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Old 12-16-2022, 05:08 PM   #601
Galadriel55
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Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
I have been thinking about this on and off. One thing that occurs to me is that the Zong harks back to an older version of the Legendarium. The various early tellings of the Leithian always make Luthien's journey to Mandos seem a bit of a trek - in BoLT it's "down those dark roads", in the Lay "her journey to Mandos" has a line in the notes, while in the first Quenta there's a possibility that she travelled there alive via eagle. So could it be that when Finrod is all mopey about having Ruined Everything, he's thinking in terms of the Ban being more absolute than we usually think: that when the renegade Noldor die, they're not going to go home and sit around for a while, but get taken North into the icy dark.
I would argue that neither Amarie nor his own fate are foremost on his mind in that moment - though he does have a stanza for Amarie. The entire PD is him accepting his death, mentally preparing for it, but what he cannot reconcile is his sense of failure. A witness mesmerized of other people's oaths and hopes and doom - not his own, but other people's. He could not prevent Alqualonde and the Fall of the Noldor and all that followed. He could not protect the lands and people under his reign from destruction. He did not rear the people of Nargothrond to be what he hoped for, and ended up both abandoning and abandoned. He abandoned Amarie way back when, another parting that he believes was his fault. And the final straw was him losing the last of his friends and failing Beren. Beren's motto, "my life by you is justified", peeks through here - he finds comfort in being loyal to his love. To which Finrod echoes a direct reference, "what deed could justify my life"? He feels like everything he ever attempted is doomed to failure, and that's what's eating him. If there was one thing to give him comfort of accomplishment, that he is not dying for nothing, this would have been a different song. And so my reading of Truth is similar to your reading about throwing himself on Eru's mercy - or perhaps even explicitly realizing that he did NOT fail, that his life served a great purpose, but the scope of the purpose was so grand that you have to look at it from a distance to see it. And, more specifically to the forms of Elven afterlife, he clearly believes he is going to Mandos/?Manwe/Valar's judgement: "how shall I stay at Throne of Day" - though he might hang his head in shame, to the West he goes.

However:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
That makes Amarie's lines in "Wind" a lot more significant: she's not just moping, she's weaving a spell to send the wind to carry her love away from the Dark and back to her. In "Heart" she uses a version of the same spell, but only to give him encouragement - not to actually save him.
This, I want to be true. And for this to be true, it doesn't matter what Finrod thinks about where he's going, or how serious / fact-founded is the Elvish belief that bad Elves go to Angband. All that matters is that Amarie is sufficiently afraid for him to weave these spells.



Speaking of PD, though, there is a line that I wanted to bring up as something to potentially change if there are good ideas: Beren's "Those daring to love can walk unscathed through strife". His actual line here is more about loyalty: those who are faithful can stand unafraid on the edge [of a precipice]. But Finrod's next line is just too important, and this one took the hit for rhyming purposes. Although... Now that I think about it, Beren is sort of consistent with his "love is the meaning of life" theme, and it makes perfect internal sense for him to keep singing that tune. And you know what? Maybe it actually works well this way, it goes back to the two different themes interplaying between Wind and Truth. Beren needs to keep the Love Conquers All theme going. Finrod surrendered to fate's hand and is dealing with greater philosophical questions. Yes. I have just talked myself out of thinking that this line was a rubbish filler. If there's a good alternative, we can change it, but it's fine as it is. ^.^


Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
We watched it on opening... well, day. Very much enjoyed it! The alphabet song is utterly fantastic; I remember seeing it on the stage, and the moment they started throwing letters up onto the set was just this incredible "that's so clever!"
Yes, that was my reaction exactly! It is so clever! I love it! I saw a few different versions from various productions up on youtube, varying from pretty homemade to pretty professional - and people can really make it work.

I am gonna have to watch the movie musical now and see what you mean about the stage play elements.

It occurred to me that the play has better Russian grammar than most large screen productions. I saw two versions of the end scene so far, and Matildas in both speak with too much of an accent for me to make out anything beyond "I don't speak Russian very well". But the other dude actually speaks pretty grammatically. Oh, so many times you watch movie scenes and you just know they ran the dialogue through google translator, and you wonder how expensive can it be to hire a native speaker to translate your two lines for you without making a hilarious wreck of it. But this actually makes sense.

"We don't want any children who might be here to go home and try these things out for themselves. I am, of course, talking about reading books," - The Real Star Of The Show, to Sam Gamgee, probably.
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Old 12-21-2022, 08:35 PM   #602
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Still no news on the Zong front - the last while I've been pushing hard on Dawn to try and meet my self-imposed deadline of finishing before New Year's. I really want to have 2022 written on the cover. And I only have a couple chapters left to edit, I am almost there! Now, I've already nagged a small handful of people into promising to read it at some point, but it would make me really really happy if you gave it a read sometime - you are the only one who would appreciate this the most, with the occasional Zong cross-references and Script parallels... and the whole thing started on this thread. It's a book with its pros and cons, it's certainly not perfect (and least of all the translation... I like to think that I found my rhythm by Ch4 though), but I am of the firm opinion that even if you don't like it you will at least find it interesting - there is enough in there of canon and unpredictable fan-creation, adventure and philosophy, tragedy and humour and snark to have at least a piece for everyone's liking. Every wonder why songs rhyme? Or why swear words exist? Well, wonder no more, for you have a Middle-earthian explanation waiting in store for you. What impressed me the most was how well the book integrates all of its altfic plots back into canonical streams; most of the threads are woven in very well, and there are barely any loose ends, every alt addition gets its closure. I was thinking very much about this book when I posted the thread on fanfics, and I think this one qualifies a pass by your definition. But the reason I am writing all this is - what format would you prefer to read it in? As the first potential reader, it's your call. Do you want to leave comments / edits / suggestions? Do you want it to be a pageless read-only thing? I will not say no to any beta-reading but strictly on a voluntary basis. I did look into the site you posted earlier, but I'm not sure this is ready for full publicity yet - it's still rough around the edges, and I technically don't have the author's permission for any official publication. (Asking for forgiveness rather than permission is sort of our thing now, innit? ) So, if you think that you might give this a read, let me know how you would prefer to see it, and once I bang out the last two chapters I will convert it to that format... which itself will probably take a few days of copy-pasting from the tables I have now, but it would need to happen eventually, so...

But in the meantime, since all you've known of Dawn so far were the two most boring chapters in the entire work written with the poorest translation skill you'll see in the whole thing - literally the worst sample to use as a selling point - here is a "teaser-trailer" snippet, slightly abridged for spoilers:



Quote:
– …Then there arose some among us who said openly in their despair: “Now we know at last who lied, and who desired to devour us. Not the first Voice. It is the Master that we have taken who is the Darkness; and he did not come forth from it, as he said, but he dwells in it. We will serve him no longer! He is our Enemy.” Then in fear lest he should hear them and punish us all, we slew them, if we could; and those that fled we hunted; and if any were caught, our masters, his friends, commanded that they should be taken to the House and there done to death by fire. That pleased him greatly, his friends said; and indeed for a while it seemed that our afflictions were lightened. But it is told that there were a few that escaped us, and went away into far countries, fleeing from the shadow. Yet they did not escape from the anger of the Voice; for they had built the House and bowed down in it. And they came at last to the land's end and the shores of the impassable water and behold! the Enemy was there before them…

An owl hoot sounded, long and loud. Beren fell silent, then threw off his cloak, knelt beside the fire, blew at the flames, and tossed more wood on top. Placing the small pot on the coals again, Beren bundled up in his cloak once more and sat down, leaning against a saddle.

– So this is what Andreth concealed from you, – he whispered. – What do you say, Nom?

Finrod gazed at the play of flame over coals through half-lidded eyes.

– It is all the usual. First – “learn”, then – “obey”. I expected something of this sort. With us he started off the same way, but proceeded more cautiously and did not quite make it to “obey”.

– Will you write it down?

– Of course.

– Do not mention me. Write – Andreth, from the words of Adanel of the People of Marach.

– Alright. It is strange that she did not tell this to me herself… How old were you?

– Fifteen or sixteen… I, the son of a younger son, was destined to be Wise, an axanir. She wanted to tell much more, but never could… The war… So I did not become Beren the Wise – only Beren the Wizened.

His teeth flashed in the gleam of the fire as he grinned, and he suddenly resembled the One from the Dark. After a moment the illusion dissipated.

– Maybe it was for the best…

– You did not want to be Wise? – asked Finrod.

– Our time did not want me to become Wise, King. This time demands that we be strong.

– Does wisdom therefore make men weak?

Beren was puzzled by the question, but not stumped.

– Wisdom, – he said at last, choosing his words with care, – either makes men very weak, or very strong. The wise differs from the merely clever in that his cunning is not cold, he measures his decisions with his heart and his conscience. And in deciding, the wise sees that nothing can be done without harming anyone and thus wounding his conscience. Therefore, to be wise and yet to take action means to suffer ceaselessly, and choose to do so with open eyes – and only a strong man can walk that path.

– You believe that strength decides everything?

– Depends on what you call strength. One sort of strength is needed to raise a sword, another – to meet it unflinchingly. Do I have the latter?... Now, perhaps yes. Because I have hope. Estel, – he clarified in Elvish. – And desperation…

– Men continue to amaze me. Beren, are “hope” and “desperation” not opposites of each other?

– On one hand, aye, but on the other… In the depths of the blackest despair, when there is no ground for amdir, a Man suddenly finds estel within himself. In our speech, “desperation” and “resolve” are one word. But for that, one must find himself in such a tight spot that there isn’t the tiniest way out to be seen… When I was young and stupid, I struck a wager with Cregan-Halftroll that I would climb up the Lone Fang, which you alone have scaled. As I came back down, I slipped into an ice crevice. I fell for some number of fathoms and landed like a wedge in a groove – I was stuck good and tight. The cold was bitter, but beads of sweat covered my brow and froze in my hair. I realized that this here will be my end, and no one would even know anything about it. Below me – a blue haze, above me – stars, large and indifferent. And I felt so sorry for myself, King Nom, that I am ashamed of it to this day. I was all filled with dread. I knew that I was going to die, that for all purposes I was dead already – and I suddenly became calm, because dead men have nothing to worry about. I listened, and made out the sound of a creek beneath me, and the noise of stones that melted out of the ice and rolled down the slope; I looked up, and saw that the sky above the crevice became pink. I recalled that there was a knife in my boot, and not all was lost yet… But I would have tried even without the knife. I would have carved my way up to the light with my own teeth if need be. And if I could not – I would die… peacefully, without fear. This is how we find hope in despair. Is it different for Elves?

– Not very, but different. Hope, estel, is immanent in us from the very start. In each of us, from birth. Amid the ice floes of Helcaraxe I too thought many times – it would be easier to die. But the stars never appeared indifferent. For Elves, the effort is required not to awaken estel, but to crush it. And we both know who is doing that. We look forward, and do not see grounds for amdir, we depend only on estel. Therefore we say that our shadow is in front, and yours is behind you.

– Perhaps, – Beren said hesitantly, – this is why we met in this world, so that we would find you amdir, and you would give us estel?

– That is what I believe...


~Beyond The Dawn





Hope you have a fantastic holiday time, and that you're all feeling well after the last wave of colds!
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Old 12-26-2022, 10:23 AM   #603
Huinesoron
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
So, if you think that you might give this a read, let me know how you would prefer to see it, and once I bang out the last two chapters I will convert it to that format... which itself will probably take a few days of copy-pasting from the tables I have now, but it would need to happen eventually, so...
Dropping in briefly to say merry Yule and reply to this. I'd love to read it, and if you're not comfortable putting it on AO3 then just straight text in Google Docs is probably easiest. If you share it with me for comments, then I can drop random notes as I go; you'll probably get more out of me (though less coherency) than if I tried to review each chapter as a whole.

hS
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Old 12-31-2022, 02:30 PM   #604
Galadriel55
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Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.Galadriel55 is lost in the dark paths of Moria.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
Dropping in briefly to say merry Yule and reply to this. I'd love to read it, and if you're not comfortable putting it on AO3 then just straight text in Google Docs is probably easiest. If you share it with me for comments, then I can drop random notes as I go; you'll probably get more out of me (though less coherency) than if I tried to review each chapter as a whole.

hS
Firstly, Happy New Year! And secondly, Beyond The Dawn: Comments Version. Part 1 is all uploaded, it should suffice for the first few days, and I will upload the rest by then. I would love to read all your comments, they gave me a lot of joy the last time. But do not feel like you have to.

If you don't feel like rereading the first two chapters, here is a quick summary:

Beren is hounded out of Dorthonion, where he was hiding in an old woman's hut in the mountains, and crosses Nan Dungortheb. He staggers out into Neldoreth following Luthien's singing and dancing. She recognizes that he is a Man and gives him lembas. Beren slowly recovers physically, but he bears an unusual ailment - he cannot make any sound, and cannot remember any events occurring before he woke in the witch's hut. The Elves keep him in the forest under watch, but Luthien pleads with her father that he ought to be healed. She goes to Beren herself to work her healing magic, and Beren regains his speech on seeing her again. Unbeknownst to her, Beren fell in love with her from the first glance, and her brief stay with him is a little awkward for them both - but she gets to know both Beren and mortals in general a lot closer. Luthien succeeds in recovering his memory: Beren discovered from Merdigan the traitor that Sauron will march on Hithlum come next spring. He meant to bring these news to the Elven kingdoms in the south, but was captured and tortured before he could leave the country. He was rescued by Treebeard and carried to the witch's hut where she worked on his wounds.

Beren and Luthien's relationship comes to a head, however, when they realize they are both in love with each other. Torn between his love and his guilt at binding Luthien to him, Beren chooses to stick by Finrod's advice to Andreth and Aegnor that Elves and mortals should not marry. Luthien leaves him. However, Beren cannot find peace, and one night he escapes his guards and finds Luthien. Both confess that they love each other in spite of all the arguments, say their wedding vows, and share a bed. To their ill luck, they are discovered by Daeron, who is furious. They run away and seek harbour in Celeborn and Galadriel's estate, from where they come to Menegroth in a presentable fashion rather than as prisoners. Thingol sends Beren to get a Silmaril, and Beren vows that one will lay in his hand the next time he sets foot in Doriath. Daeron and Celeborn escort him out of Doriath by the shortest possible way - southwards towards the Dwarf Road. Daeron is predictably enraged and has nothing good to wish the mortal. Celeborn, however, was impressed by Beren's wisdom and fortitude and wishes him well. Melian warns Thingol that his decision entangled Doriath in a greater doom: either he or Luthien will die depending on the outcome of Beren's Quest.
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