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Old 04-29-2007, 03:47 PM   #321
Anguirel
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I know Philip Hensher. He's a typical lit crit Tolkien disparager; he loves Pullman, who he thinks he discovered, hates, hates CS Lewis. He's a good novelist, I must admit. Anyway that review represents a big concession to the power of CoH. Another conflicted response - I expected him to pan it...
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Old 04-29-2007, 04:12 PM   #322
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Anyway that review represents a big concession to the power of CoH. Another conflicted response - I expected him to pan it...
That's what I felt too. Its as though he was impressed by the book & was struggling to admit it - even to himself. I suspect that CoH will change the way Tolkien is viewed by even some of his harshest critics - which is, I suspect, one of CT's main motivations in making it available to a general readership. This is a new kind of Tolkien novel for most people, who only know TH & LotR & consider the rest of the books published so far as either boring or unreadable. I'm absolutely certain that due to CoH Tolkien's work will be completely reassessed by the literary establishment. This is probably the single most important & significant thing CT has done.
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Old 04-29-2007, 04:20 PM   #323
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Originally Posted by davem
To be frank, since finishing CoH I've felt increasingly annoyed that Tolkien allowed himself to get distracted by the kind of 'speculative' stuff we see in The Athrabeth, Laws & Customs among the Eldar, the 'Myths Transformed', etc. Yes, there's interesting stuff in there, but the thought that by devoting so much time & energy to such a dead end we never got completed versions of the Three Great Tales is a frustrating one - to say the least. I'd willingly lose those works if it meant seeing CoH, The Tale of Gondolin & Beren & Luthien in a completed form.

In fact, I'd go further & say that it was this very tendency to run off at tangents that dissipated his creative talent & meant that he never managed to complete The Sil at all. I honestly feel that if he had managed to complete the First Age Trilogy they would have surpassed LotR & have been the work he was remembered for.
I have nothing to add to this but to say that I fully agree. To think of what might've been...
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Old 04-29-2007, 04:37 PM   #324
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I have nothing to add to this but to say that I fully agree. To think of what might've been...
You know, its maybe that I'm still under the spell of CoH - & that I haven't re-read LotR for a couple of years - but right now I have to say that CoH is by far the more powerful & significant work imo, of course.
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Old 04-29-2007, 04:45 PM   #325
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Originally Posted by davem
You know, its maybe that I'm still under the spell of CoH - & that I haven't re-read LotR for a couple of years - but right now I have to say that CoH is by far the more powerful & significant work imo, of course.
Heh, "the spell"...I know how you feel. I too haven't read LOTR for a few years (except the first few chapters of Fellowship several months ago), but the grandeur of the First Age tales move me in a way that LOTR did not, and not least of all being Turin's tale. Now I'm reading "Of Tuor and his Coming to Gondolin" in UT and have loved seeing the lives of the two cousins and the undercurrents that intertwine (albeit indirectly) their fates, which fall to such polar ends.

It's funny...prior to reading I heard many people expressing their wishes that the other Great Tales receive the "CoH" treatment but I just shrugged it off because I knew they weren't nearly as far along. But now I almost finding myself thinking, "Please, Chris...anything you can scrape together!"

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Old 04-29-2007, 05:22 PM   #326
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Just popping in to ask if anyone has heard anything about how well CoH is selling.
I finally managed to get hold of a copy today and the clerk said that they were the last in the district to have a couple copies left. Please note that the area I live in is not known for sparkling literary discussions or book clubs, and it is a place where the library is frequented mainly for videos or internet access, but still I find myself feeling as though I was handed a huge line. Wish I had had time to delve a little deeper and find out exactly what the comment meant.

Of course it would be nice for it to be selling that well, but it seems rather unbelievable.

EDIT: Hmm...seems that Amazon has it as their #2 top seller in the US, #3 in the UK, and #4 in Canada.

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Old 04-29-2007, 05:48 PM   #327
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According to the Globe and Mail's National Bestsellers List of Saturday, April 28, 2007, the top selling fiction hardcover in Canada was . . . drumroll please . . . The Children of Hurin. For the first week on the list, too.
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Old 04-29-2007, 06:54 PM   #328
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How did the masses suddenly get such good taste?
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Old 04-30-2007, 06:53 AM   #329
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How did the masses suddenly get such good taste?
Oh, I suspect it can be attributed to a kinship of gloomy, sombre, dark, defeatist Northern spirit. It isn't for nothing that Vimy Ridge became part of the mythology.
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Old 04-30-2007, 08:52 AM   #330
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Originally Posted by davem
To be frank, since finishing CoH I've felt increasingly annoyed that Tolkien allowed himself to get distracted by the kind of 'speculative' stuff we see in The Athrabeth, Laws & Customs among the Eldar, the 'Myths Transformed', etc. Yes, there's interesting stuff in there, but the thought that by devoting so much time & energy to such a dead end we never got completed versions of the Three Great Tales is a frustrating one - to say the least. I'd willingly lose those works if it meant seeing CoH, The Tale of Gondolin & Beren & Luthien in a completed form.
By way of "I told you so", I mildly ask that you recall a certain thread I started once upon a time declaring that this very thing you are complaining about (rightly in my opinion) was the greatest tragedy of Tolkien's creative life; I grant you that may be an exaggeration, but it's nice that you see my point.
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Old 04-30-2007, 08:56 AM   #331
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It's funny...prior to reading I heard many people expressing their wishes that the other Great Tales receive the "CoH" treatment but I just shrugged it off because I knew they weren't nearly as far along. But now I almost finding myself thinking, "Please, Chris...anything you can scrape together!"
It is funny, but in this Board, there is a Project that indeed have done that with the Tales of the Children of Húrin, Beren and Lúthien and the Fall of Gondolin. IMO (biased of course) the work that Findegil did in the creation of the text of the CoH, has way more detail that the work that has been published by the Estate, (even thought I don't have the book and haven't read it) since it includes parts of the Lay of Leithian.
And the Fall of Gondolin, wow, that is very nice indeed.
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Old 04-30-2007, 08:59 AM   #332
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I think that Christopher has tied his own creative hands far too much. There are glaring examples of this in Turin.
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Old 04-30-2007, 09:20 AM   #333
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I think that Christopher has tied his own creative hands far too much. There are glaring examples of this in Turin.
There are - & I'm sure that it would have benefitted from the inclusion of elements from the Lay. However, in some ways that would have worked against his purpose - which was making his father's work available, rather than just making the story available in the best possible form.

Of course, you are right about it being one of the great tragedies of Tolkien's creative life that he got distracted into writing those 'lesser' (but still fascinating) works. Christopher has given us a glimpse of what might have been. CoH works, but its pretty clearly not what Tolkien would have given us had he managed to complete it to his satisfaction. I wonder if his reputation among the 'literati' would have been different had the First Age Trilogy been published.

Its incredibly sad that the other tales will languish mostly unread in a fuller form - well, tbh, in any form, given that most casual fans don't even attempt the Sil, let alone UT & HoM-e.

I wonder why Tolkien chose the path he took - can't help wondering how much influence his correspondents had in the post LotR period, with their constant questioning of the works theological credentials, or their pointing up of 'similarities' with Christianity. I can't help feeling that Tolkien the amateur theologian/philosopher took that path too eagerly, & that we lost probably his greatest work for that very reason.
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Old 04-30-2007, 10:25 AM   #334
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I wonder why Tolkien chose the path he took - can't help wondering how much influence his correspondents had in the post LotR period, with their constant questioning of the works theological credentials, or their pointing up of 'similarities' with Christianity. I can't help feeling that Tolkien the amateur theologian/philosopher took that path too eagerly, & that we lost probably his greatest work for that very reason.
Yes, that is possible. Tolkien was deluged with questions in his final years and many of these (though far from all) touched upon "religious and philosophical" issues. While something like that could constitute a "distraction", I still think there is a great deal more going on than that.

The question that I keep asking is whether Tolkien still had the same ability to create when he was older that he did when he was middle aged. When he was younger Tolkien had enormous pressures on his head.....the need to produce as an academic, the money required to pay off piles of hospital bills, the time to be a good father. Despite all this, those were the most productive years of his life.

Once the money from Rings started coming in and his children grew up, some of those pressures were reduced. That was even more so in retirement when he found himself with time on his hands. Theoretically, with that huge chunk of extra time, he could have found the hours to put at least a few of his major stories into shape as well as producing something like the Athrabeth. The more basic question is this: did he still possess the star that gave him entry to faerie, or did he feel that it had slipped away? There are some authors who have that ability right up to the moment they die. Many stop writing completely, and still others continue to write but what they write lacks that inner magic that makes stories come alive . I would honestly put Tolkien in the latter category. I find Tolkien's later writings interesting for their ideas, but I do not warm to them the way I do to the magical stories of his younger years.

I don't think this was just a lack of time, answering peoples' letters about why the characters did, responding to fans' personal questions, or even getting "fixated" on religion, though all those could have played some part. (Indeed, I think an argument can be made that it was PJ's movies that gave rise to such a fascination with Tolkien's religious roots.) Many of those same letters raised questions about the First and Second Age so that they actually could have been an impetus for Tolkien to turn again to his source material and begin to write anew. Sadly he did not.

I there are two reasons for this. First, Tolkien seemed unable to pick out one story and focus on that alone. He was always jumping from one aspect of the Legendarium to another. He was so in love with Middle-earth as a whole that he couldn't focus on one part of it to the exclusion of all others. If only he had done that... If only we had a complete Tale of Gondolin, or Beren and Luthien. I think we would all trade in the later writings for that. I do feel that the process of aging separated Tolkien from faerie. Aging does change people. I have watched this happen in myself and in parents and friends. It can be painful to see. Yet this is the doom of Man, and I do not think the older Tolkien was capable of producing the same magic that the younger one did.
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Old 04-30-2007, 02:53 PM   #335
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Originally Posted by Child of the 7th Age

I there are two reasons for this. First, Tolkien seemed unable to pick out one story and focus on that alone. He was always jumping from one aspect of the Legendarium to another. He was so in love with Middle-earth as a whole that he couldn't focus on one part of it to the exclusion of all others. If only he had done that... If only we had a complete Tale of Gondolin, or Beren and Luthien. I think we would all trade in the later writings for that. I do feel that the process of aging separated Tolkien from faerie.
Well, CT did state in an interview that in his opinion the reason his father failed to complete The Sil ws simply because he was 'too tired'. Whether he had also 'lost his fay star' is another question - in the post LotR period he began to re-write Tuor & the Fall of Gondolin, the Narn & a great deal of other M-e related stuff - not to mention Smith. Of course, he never completed Tuor, never began Beren & Luthien, & what he did finish was a lot of shorter pieces. Its entirely possible that he felt that he could never surpass LotR - consider the time & effort he put in to that. I suppose that after that he may have simply felt daunted by the thought of beginning another epic retelling.

What he did was turn to 'explaining' aspects of his secondary world. And while that added 'depth' to the creation, & produced some fascinating stuff (as well, let's admit, some of his most beautiful prose) it was not 'necessary' - Osanwe Kenta, for instance, is a very clever piece, & is clearly the result of some serious thought on M-e metaphysics, but is it actually 'necessary'. Same with the essay on the Palantiri - very clever, quite interesting in itself, but in the end what's he's actually doing in these pieces & other like them is replacing 'magic' with 'science'. All part of the process which reaches its zenith (or should that be nadir?) in the dead end of 'Myths Transformed'.

So, in the end, I think Child has a point. Of course, he knew the stories, & so could have set them down, but perhaps the vision, the inner fire, had gone. He could only re-write & touch up what he already had. Perhaps the choice was not either The Three Great Tales or The Athrabeth, Osanwe Kenta, Laws & Customs etc, but rather The Three Great Tales or LotR - by which I mean perhaps if he hadn't channelled his energies into LotR during the forties he'd have used them to complete the Sil & write the First Age trilogy.
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Old 04-30-2007, 03:07 PM   #336
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If only he had done that... If only we had a complete Tale of Gondolin, or Beren and Luthien. I think we would all trade in the later writings for that
If only - many times I wished we would have had it in full, with all things explained to the last word of it.

And yet the very incompleteness (in a sense - it is not finished with as in Leaf by Niggle) is what makes the whole world more attractive [to me] - it is elusive glimpses that hint at something beyond I [probably] will never know of that brings me back. I would dearly love to see the tree, but having only a leaf, I have the leaf in higher esteem than I would have it would the whole tree be there for me to see.

My apologies if I repeat things already said or my answer is lopsided - for the fear of spoilers (since I won't have the book till late summer) I'm not reading the thread. Just could not stand temptation of peeping into it, and Child's sentence as provided in davem's quoting just caught my eye
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Old 04-30-2007, 04:02 PM   #337
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I would have to disagree, Child. I to this day consider Smith of Wootton Major and his Beorthnoth poem, both late, very accomplished effective considering what he was trying to do with them. I think his biggest problem was depression. Plain and simple. And mostly unresolved. Feats unaccomplished were his doom, and they are in themselves cause for depression. People in the throes of depression often say they are "too tired". Consider his tendency to play endless rounds of Patience, wasting his time on something frankly vain except that it gave him minor accomplishment for "getting at least something done", and even winning often enough. It seems like it was a drug/tranquilizer that he needed to fend off the despondency of so much unfinished.

Maybe there's a chance that the Tolkien estate will, some far generation from now, open up the Legendarium to be recreated by some capable hand or hands. Who knows?
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Old 04-30-2007, 06:32 PM   #338
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never began Beren & Luthien
Actually, one of the first things he turned to after LotR was a revision of the Lay of Leithien. Of course, he only got as far as Beren's arrival in Doriath.

I have to say I disagree with the notion that Tolkien's creative powers were in decline after LotR. The 'Lay of Leithien recommenced', the 'Narn', 'Wanderings', 'Smith', the Annals, the later Quenta Silmarillion - in all these things I think his writing surpasses the pre-LotR texts. I do agree that, on the whole, I'd rather have a full Atanatarion than all the Athrabeths in the world; but I think the issue is one of focus rather than ability.

It also ought to be noted that fairly full pre-LotR versions of both 'Beren and Luthien' and 'The Fall of Gondolin' do exist. In both cases, numerous details differ from the later accounts, but again in both cases the overall structure of the story remained more or less the same. I do regret the fact that the post-LotR versions of these weren't finished, but I think the versions that do exist are great works of art themselves.

On a related note, there has been a lot of talk of a planned 'trilogy' of tales. It should be noted that the number of 'Great Tales' depends on how you count them. The figure of three comes, as far as I know, from a note from the 1950s given in HoMe X, in which the three tales are to be: 1. Beren and Luthien, 2. The Children of Hurin, and 3. The Fall of Gondolin and the Rise of the Star. In this scheme, the third tale clearly encompasses both 'The Fall of Gondolin' and 'The Voyage of Earendil'. It seems very unlikely to me that Tolkien would have considered the 'Atanatarion' to include all these stories but not 'The Ruin of Doriath' (which is inextricably linked to the others); for this reason, I'm inclined to think that when he wrote this note he intended 'The Children of Hurin' to include both the Turin Saga and the story of Thingol's downfall (which is, after all, ultimately a consequence of Turin's fostering). That Tolkien still intended to retell ‘The Ruin of Doriath’ on a large scale seems fairly certain, given ‘The Wanderings of Hurin’ and the proposed title ‘Sigil Elu-naeth’.
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Old 04-30-2007, 08:09 PM   #339
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Whether he had also 'lost his fay star' is another question
I would surely like to find the child that has eaten that bit of cake, if you take my meaning.

And by way of response to Aiwendil's post, above, it does seem like CT's edited Children of Hurin book, that I have now finished reading, ends abuptly and should not. I was expecting Húrin to appear at Menegroth and it just didn't happen. Quite unsatisfactory.

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Old 04-30-2007, 08:50 PM   #340
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But there was no way to have Hurin appear at Menegroth without 'editorial invention:' Tolkien pere never wrote it.

Moreover, the Narn i Hin Hurin clearly and explicitly ends with Turin's death. The Wanderings of Hurin isn't part of it, never was part of it, was never intended to be part of it. It was an abortive beginning to "The Necklace of the Dwarves."

Davem is quite right that sometimes T appears to regard Turin and Nauglamir as a single bipartite tale- but the Narn of Dirhavel stops when Turin commits seppuku.
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Old 04-30-2007, 09:10 PM   #341
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Davem is quite right that sometimes T appears to regard Turin and Nauglamir as a single bipartite tale- but the Narn of Dirhavel stops when Turin commits seppuku.
I quite agree. In fact, I think the new Children of Hurin ought not to have included the final meeting of Hurin and Morwen - that properly belongs to another tale.
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Old 05-01-2007, 01:07 AM   #342
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I quite agree. In fact, I think the new Children of Hurin ought not to have included the final meeting of Hurin and Morwen - that properly belongs to another tale.
The problem of presenting it as a stand alone tale. Hurin (& Morwen) had to be seen at the end, to round the tale off effectively. Personally, I feel the coda adds to the tale, & wouldn't be without it.

LMP I don't agree that the tale ends abruptly - it ends with Turin & Nienor's death. Certainly, there is a tendency to expect long drawn out endings to Tolkien's stories - at least a full chapter summing up the after events - but in this case I felt the ending was perfect, & that, as the tale is about the Children of Hurin & not Hurin himself, if we'd gone wandering off with Hurin the full impact of the tragedy would have been lost.
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Old 05-01-2007, 01:56 AM   #343
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Win a signed copy & become the Official Voice of Tolkien stuff

http://www.myspace.com/childrenofhurin


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Become the official Tolkien website narrator and win a Deluxe Edition of The Children of Hurin exclusively signed by Christopher Tolkien and illustrator Alan Lee

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For all you hopeful narrators out there, there will be a voting system to pick the winner and it will be split into two stages.

After submission, your efforts will be posted on the Children Of Hurin MySpace profile, where your fellow MySpacer’s can vote for their fave. The second stage sees the literary bigwigs at HarperCollins cast their vote and the winner will be chosen.
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Old 05-01-2007, 05:35 AM   #344
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Originally Posted by Hilde Bracegirdle
Just popping in to ask if anyone has heard anything about how well CoH is selling.

Of course it would be nice for it to be selling that well, but it seems rather unbelievable.

EDIT: Hmm...seems that Amazon has it as their #2 top seller in the US, #3 in the UK, and #4 in Canada.

It tops the best seller lists in the Mail and the Telegraph with over 19K copies sold last week.

I am due to get my copy of Mr Baggins ere long (delayed from today's EDD alas) btw ..anyone else ordered this?
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Old 05-01-2007, 08:55 AM   #345
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Originally Posted by davem
LMP I don't agree that the tale ends abruptly - it ends with Turin & Nienor's death.
I can see ending the tale with Turin's death; it's the Hurin/Morwen ending that seems wrong. What really seems especially wrong is how Morgoth's freeing of Hurin is simply told in an overly discursive style rather than shown.

All of which is to say that CT is just too hung up on not touching his father's works at all. If a story is going to be told, it ought to be told as best it can, even if editing and revision is necessary. The lack thereof is why JRR is probably rolling in his grave that his son would publish such an under-written story as is.

Don't get me wrong. I enjoyed it immensely, but its weaknesses loom large and distracting. JRRT would never have let it be so, and didn't as long as he lived; too much the artist with integrity.

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Old 05-01-2007, 10:41 AM   #346
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Originally Posted by William Cloud Hickli
But there was no way to have Hurin appear at Menegroth without 'editorial invention:' Tolkien pere never wrote it.
That is not right. From the Book of Lost Tales II:Turambar and the Foalókë
Quote:
Now Húrin caused his followers to bear this gold to the halls of Thingol, and they murmured at that, but he said: "Are ye become as the drakes of Morgoth, that would lie and wallow in gold and seek no other joy? A sweeter life shall ye have in the court of that king of greed, an ye bear such treasury to him, than all the gold of Valinor can get you in the empty woods."
Now his heart was bitter against Thingol, and he desired to have a vengeance on him, as may be seen. So great was that hoard that great though Húrin's company might be scarce could they bear it to the caves of Thingol the king, and some 'tis said was left behind and some was lost upon the way, and evil has followed its finders for ever.
Yet in the end that laden host came to the bridge before the doors, and being asked by the guards Húrin said: "Say to the king that Húrin the Steadfast is come bearing gifts," and this was done. Then Húrin let bear all that magnificence before the king, but it was hidden in sacks or shut in boxes of rough wood; and Thingol greeted Húrin with joy and with amaze and bid him thrice welcome, and he and all his court arose in honour of that lord of Men; but Húrin's heart was blind by reason of his tormented years and of the lies of Morgoth, and he said: “Nay, O King, I do not desire to hear such words -- but say only, where is Morwen my wife, and knowest thou what death did Nienor my daughter die?” And Thingol said that he knew not.
Then did Húrin fiercely tell that tale, and the king and all his folk about him hid their faces for great ruth, but Húrin said: "Nay, had you such a heart as have the least of Men, never would they have been lost; but lo, I bring you now a payment in full for the troubles of your puny band that went against Glaurung the drake, and deserting gave up my dear ones to his power. Gaze, O Thingol, sweetly on my gifts, for methinks the lustre of gold is all your heart contains."
Then did men cast down that treasury at the king's feet, uncovering it so that all that court were dazzled and amazed – but Húrin´s men understood now what was forward and were little pleased. "Behold the hoard of Glaurung," said Húrin, "bought by the death of Nienóri with the blood of Túrin slayer of the worm. Take it, O craven king, and be glad that some Men be brave to win thee riches."
Then were Húrin's words more than Thingol could endure, and he said: "What meanest thou, child of Men, and wherefore upbraidest thou me? Long did I foster thy son and forgave him the evil of his deeds, and afterward thy wife I succoured, giving way against my counsel to her wild desires. Morgoth it is that hates thee and not I. Yet what is it to me -- and wherefore dost thou of the uncouth race of Men endure to upbraid a king of the Eldalië? Lo! in Cuiviénen my life began years uncounted before the first of Men awoke. Get thee gone, O Húrin, for Morgoth hath bewitched thee, and take thy riches with thee" -- but he forebore to slay or to bind Húrin in spells, remembering his ancient valiance in the Eldar's cause.
Then Húrin departed, but would not touch the gold, and stricken in years he reached Hithlum and died among Men, but his words living after him bred estrangement between Elves and Men.
Changes for the better understanding of the text. The original names have been changed to the latter ones. They are in bold, in the text.

Úrin > Húrin, Tinwelint > Thingol, Melko > Morgoth, Mavwin > Morwen, Nienóri > Nienor, Glorund > Glaurung, Hisilómë > Hithlum, Palisor > Cuiviénen.

However, if one wants to be literal.
From the Book of Lost Tales II: §2. Places and peoples in the Tale of Tinúviel
Quote:
The picture of Menegroth beside Esgalduin, accessible only by the bridge (The Silmarillion pp. 92 -- 3) goes back to the beginning, though neither cave nor river are named in the tale. But (as will be seen more emphatically in later tales in this book) Tinwelint, the wood-fairy in his cavern, had a long elevation before him, to become ultimately Thingol of the Thousand-Caves ('the fairest dwelling of any king that has ever been east of the Sea'). In the beginning, Tinwelint's dwelling was not a subterranean city full of marvels, silver fountains falling into basins of marble and pillars carved like trees, but a rugged cave; and if in the typescript version the cave comes to be 'vaulted immeasureable', it is still illuminated only by the dim and flickering light of torches (pp. 43, 46).
One could say that at the time of the meeting of Húrin and Thingol in Menegroth, the name Menegroth was not in existence.
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Old 05-01-2007, 12:09 PM   #347
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Littlemanpoet wrote:
Quote:
I can see ending the tale with Turin's death; it's the Hurin/Morwen ending that seems wrong. What really seems especially wrong is how Morgoth's freeing of Hurin is simply told in an overly discursive style rather than shown.

All of which is to say that CT is just too hung up on not touching his father's works at all. If a story is going to be told, it ought to be told as best it can, even if editing and revision is necessary. The lack thereof is why JRR is probably rolling in his grave that his son would publish such a underwritten story as is.
I agree with the first part of what you say but not the second. JRRT did write a full account of Morgoth freeing Hurin and Hurin coming to Brethil ('Wanderings' in HoMe XI). But that was to be the beginning of the next tale, not the end of this one. Personally, I think CT made the right choice in not including 'Wanderings', but I think he made the wrong choice in including the short epilogue.

Maedhros: You quite correctly point out that a full account of Hurin's meeting with Thingol does exist. But I think that William Cloud Hickli's point stands - to reconcile the 'Lost Tales' text with 'Wanderings' requires a bit more editorial intervention that CT seems willing to perform.
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Old 05-01-2007, 12:43 PM   #348
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I beg to disagree. (about not ending the book at the death of Turin)

As I think I've already said, I found the epilogue extremely effective and imo, including Hurin and Morwen after the death of the children was vital.
The book is not called Turin Turambar. It is called the Children of Hurin. They were cursed because Morgoth hated Hurin. Hurin on the high seat, forced to watch the utter effectiveness of the curse on his family - that is a fundamental basis of the story.
Any normally inquisitive reader would want to know, what happened to Hurin, did he die on that chair, or what? So the epilogue is vital. And I would have liked more, at least in the appendix if not in the novel itself. The passage just posted by Maedhros, for example.
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Old 05-01-2007, 02:04 PM   #349
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Quote:
Maedhros: You quite correctly point out that a full account of Hurin's meeting with Thingol does exist. But I think that William Cloud Hickli's point stands - to reconcile the 'Lost Tales' text with 'Wanderings' requires a bit more editorial intervention that CT seems willing to perform.
And what a shame that is. I would have really wanted to read a whole Fall of Gondolin, with the parts in Later Tuor (Unfinished Tales) and the one in the tale in the Book of Lost Tales II.
Good thing that there is a place where such story is recreated from such material. I think that most people would love to read it, even with "editorial intervention" than to not have it at all.

Quote:
As I think I've already said, I found the epilogue extremely effective and imo, including Hurin and Morwen after the death of the children was vital.
The book is not called Turin Turambar. It is called the Children of Hurin. They were cursed because Morgoth hated Hurin. Hurin on the high seat, forced to watch the utter effectiveness of the curse on his family - that is a fundamental basis of the story.
Any normally inquisitive reader would want to know, what happened to Hurin, did he die on that chair, or what? So the epilogue is vital. And I would have liked more, at least in the appendix if not in the novel itself. The passage just posted by Maedhros, for example.
That is true of course. Do you really really want to read about it? There is a way that you can of course.
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Old 05-01-2007, 02:53 PM   #350
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Originally Posted by Lalaith
I beg to disagree. (about not ending the book at the death of Turin)

As I think I've already said, I found the epilogue extremely effective and imo, including Hurin and Morwen after the death of the children was vital.
The book is not called Turin Turambar. It is called the Children of Hurin. They were cursed because Morgoth hated Hurin. Hurin on the high seat, forced to watch the utter effectiveness of the curse on his family - that is a fundamental basis of the story.
Any normally inquisitive reader would want to know, what happened to Hurin, did he die on that chair, or what? So the epilogue is vital. And I would have liked more, at least in the appendix if not in the novel itself. The passage just posted by Maedhros, for example.
But if this section needed to be there, then what happened immediately after should have been as well. The story is either unfinished with the epilogue added and no addition to the story of Hurin, or too long with the inclusion of the epilogue, for as you say it's the story of the children of Hurin, who by this time are all dead.
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Old 05-01-2007, 02:55 PM   #351
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Originally Posted by Hilde Bracegirdle
Just popping in to ask if anyone has heard anything about how well CoH is selling.
Its doing very well, apparently

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/artand...s_Tolkien.html

Quote:
"The Children of Hurin," which came out April 17, has topped numerous best-seller lists and Houghton Mifflin has increased its printing from 250,000 to 550,000. In Britain, copies in print have been raised from 250,000 to 360,000.
Michael Gove in the Times thinks

Children of hype
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Belting along the M4 the other day, I saw a massive poster stretched across a tower block advertising the new “Tolkien” novel The Children of Hurin. It’s clear the publishers believe that they’ve unearthed a goldmine. But the key question as to whether or not his book is a success is not how big the ad spend is, but how many people will be happy to be seen with that iconic book cover under their arms, or on their laps, on our buses and in our parks. And my guess is that there won’t be many people this summer who’ll be happy to be seen toting around a volume which will mark them out as The Children of Hype.
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/com...cle1732466.ece

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Old 05-01-2007, 09:28 PM   #352
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You guys have been talking about the "epilogue"...

Right now, I'm not quite sure how I feel about it. I do feel that it was vital to bring the story "full circle" by informing the audience of Hurin's release and including the Morwen's poignant death sequence. But the final pages as presented I felt left a little to be desired. I didn't mind the last sequence itself; it worked well, I think. What's problematic is how we "jump" to Brethil immediately after his release with the following set-up:

"After the deaths of Turin and Nienor Morgoth released Hurin from his bondage in furtherance of his evil purpose. In the course of his wanderings, he reached the Forest of Brethil..."

Then Hurin reaches the stone. I understand that including the Wanderings poses too many problems, but I would've liked something--just a line or two even--in between to explain Hurin's mental state after release and emphasize that he had "seen" the events unfold already from atop Angband (which is merely alluded to when Hurin didn't look at the stone because he "knew what was written there").
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Old 05-01-2007, 10:25 PM   #353
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This is totally unrealated to the subject at hand but, instead of having this:
From the Published Silmarillion: Of Tuor and the Fall of Gondolin
Quote:
And at the last by the power that Ulmo set upon them they came to the hidden door of Gondolin, and passing down the tunnel they reached the inner gate, and were taken by the guard as prisoners. Then they were led up the mighty ravine of Orfalch Echor, barred by seven gates, and brought before Ecthelion of the Fountain, the warden of the great gate at the end of the climbing road; and there Tuor cast aside his cloak, and from the arms that he bore from Vinyamar it was seen that he was in truth one sent by Ulmo. Then Tuor looked down upon the fair vale of Tumladen, set as a green jewel amid the encircling hills; and he saw far off upon the rocky height of Amon Gwareth Gondolin the great, city of seven names, whose fame and glory is mightiest in song of all dwellings of the Elves in the Hither Lands. At the bidding of Ecthelion trumpets were blown on the towers of the great gate, and they echoed in the hills; and far off but clear there came a sound of answering trumpets blown upon the white walls of the city, flushed with the rose of dawn upon the plain.
I would rather have something like this available to the reader:
Quote:
Behold, the armed guardians of the gate pressed back the thronging folk that gathered about the wanderers, and one among them spake saying: ‘This is a city of watch and ward, Gondolin on Amon Gwared, where all may be free who are of true heart, but none may be free to enter unknown. Tell me then your names.’ But Voronwë named himself come hither by the will of Ulmo as guide to this son of Men; and Tuor said: ‘I am Tuor son of Huor son of Galdor of the House of Hador of the sons of the Men of the North who live far hence, and I fare hither by the will of Ulmo of the Outer Oceans.’
Then all who listened grew silent, and his deep and rolling voice held them in amaze, for their own voices were fair as the plash of fountains. Then a saying arose among them: ‘Lead him before the king.’
Then did the throng return within the gates and the wanderers with them, and Tuor saw they were of steel and of great height and strength. Now the streets of Gondolin were paved with stone and wide, kerbed with marble, and fair houses and courts amid gardens of bright flowers mounds of mallorns, birches, and evergreen trees were set about the ways, and many towers of great slenderness and beauty builded of white marble and carved most marvellously rose to the heaven. Squares there were lit with fountains and the home of birds that sang amid the branches of their aged trees, but of all these the greatest was that place where stood the King’s house, and the tower thereof on a pillared arcade was the loftiest in the city, and above it flew the banner of Fingolfin and the fountains that played before the doors shot twenty fathoms and seven in the air and fell in a singing rain of crystal: therein did the sun glitter splendidly by day, and the moon most magically shimmered by night. The birds that dwelt there were of the whiteness of snow and their voices sweeter than a lullaby of music.
On either side of the doors of the palace were the gilded images of two trees, one of gold and the other of silver, and they were in the likeness of the glorious Trees of Valinor that lit those places before Morgoth and Ungoliant withered them: and those trees the Gondolindrim named Glingal and Belthil.
Then Turgon King of Gondolin robed in white with a belt of gold, tallest of all the Children of the World, save Thingol and a coronet of garnets was upon his head, and at his side a white and gold sword in a ruel-bone sheath stood before his doors and spake from the head of the white stairs that led thereto. ‘Welcome, O Man of the Land of Shadows. Lo! thy coming was foretold by Ulmo, saying that beyond ruin and fire hope shall be born for Elves and Men whenso thou faredst hither.’ And upon the King's right hand there stood Maeglin his sister-son, but upon his left hand sat Idril Celebrindal his daughter and at the sight of her Tuor marvelled, for he had known or even seen few women in his life.
If that requires editorial addtions by CT so be it. To me it would be worth reading it.
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Old 05-02-2007, 01:01 PM   #354
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I can see ending the tale with Turin's death; it's the Hurin/Morwen ending that seems wrong. What really seems especially wrong is how Morgoth's freeing of Hurin is simply told in an overly discursive style rather than shown.

Were it up to me (and of course it wasn't), I would have solved the problem in a manner not dissimilar to the published Silmarillion: quote the Wanderings of Hurin, complete, as far as Morwen's death. This brings in Hurin's failed attempt at Gondolin, and the irony that this attempt largely fulfills Morgoth's goal- the driving impetus of the narrative.

Whether to follow Morwen's death with anything is a different question. One might add the "cast himself into the sea" legend, skipping silently the whole Brethil/Nargothrond/Doriath business.
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Old 05-02-2007, 01:46 PM   #355
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maédhros

If that requires editorial addtions by CT so be it. To me it would be worth reading it.

Personally, I disagree - less is sometimes more. And given that so many people are almost hysterically eager to condemn CT (something I find baffling), I am not surprised if he has taken a minimalist approach.
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Old 05-02-2007, 02:22 PM   #356
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mithalwen
Personally, I disagree - less is sometimes more. And given that so many people are almost hysterically eager to condemn CT (something I find baffling), I am not surprised if he has taken a minimalist approach.
I don't think that makes much sense. You are going to get criticized no matter what. Look at this:
Quote:
Exactly. We're talking about the BOOK Children Of Hurin, not the story Children Of Hurin. When I first read it I had no idea about Earendil or Mandos' prophecy and it made for very grim reading.
How many people are there who have not read the Published Silmarillion, such as he/she. The story of the Fall of Gondolin is in itself a thing of beauty. Good thing that he didn't feel that way when he published the Silmarillion, I wonder if people thought that less is more. Not for me at least.
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Old 05-02-2007, 03:06 PM   #357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Cloud Hickli
Were it up to me (and of course it wasn't), I would have solved the problem in a manner not dissimilar to the published Silmarillion: quote the Wanderings of Hurin, complete, as far as Morwen's death. This brings in Hurin's failed attempt at Gondolin, and the irony that this attempt largely fulfills Morgoth's goal- the driving impetus of the narrative. Whether to follow Morwen's death with anything is a different question. One might add the "cast himself into the sea" legend, skipping silently the whole Brethil/Nargothrond/Doriath business.
I'd have really liked to see this, actually. Include Hurin's attempt to enter Gondolin because not only does it poetically contrast the story's beginning (his stay there Huor), but, as you said, reveals Morgoth's "evil purpose" that is only vaguely mentioned in the epilogue. This is what I felt was missing--we couldn't perceive that Hurin was being manipulated and in a compromised state after his release.

Then have Morwen's death, then have Hurin casting himself into the sea...skip the whole Nargothrond/Doriath bit, it's too much to mess with for the purpose of bringing this particular tale full-circle.
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Old 05-03-2007, 12:04 AM   #358
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Old 05-03-2007, 04:59 AM   #359
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Excellent information, thanks davem!
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Old 05-03-2007, 05:39 AM   #360
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maédhros
I don't think that makes much sense. You are going to get criticized no matter what. Look at this:

How many people are there who have not read the Published Silmarillion, such as he/she. The story of the Fall of Gondolin is in itself a thing of beauty. Good thing that he didn't feel that way when he published the Silmarillion, I wonder if people thought that less is more. Not for me at least.

I was partly referring to prose style. The alternative you provided I found indigestible, even as a devotee of the King James Bible - there are only so many "hithers" one passage can take....
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