Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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Yep...same for me. Will buy sight unseen.
Houghton-Mifflin will be the US publisher and Harper-Collins [Ltd] will be the publisher in the UK.
I will go for the UK edition, as I did for the last several works edited by C. Tolkien.


"Unless you're prepared to surrender everything, don't surrender anything."

When seconds matter, it's reassuring to know that the police are only minutes away.

"Only the paranoid survive."

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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Valkrist wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 9:26 am Can't wait for the inevitable reviews on Amazon:

* - One star

"Bought this thinking it was a sequel to Lord of the Rings. It's not, and therefore it sucks. What's this 'Tolkien' dude even talking about? Don't waste your time on this crap. When they make the movie, it should be a straight-to-video release."

"When they make the movie, it should be a straight-to-video release."
omg, Val... that is too, too funny.... 5 stars for that. I am dying. :laugh: :db:

And....[another review] * Star

I don't get why so many people gave this 5 stars. I'm , like, What is Tolkien talking about. He, like, uses a bunch of words I never even heard of. And he , like, writes a lot of words.
Couldn't he, like, say whatever he has to say in short sentences?
Not only that, but just about everything he writes is , like, racist and sexist, or uses racist sexist words. The guy should have used Grammerly when he wrote it.
Another book by a white racist sexist male. If I could, like, give it MInus 5 stars I would.


"Unless you're prepared to surrender everything, don't surrender anything."

When seconds matter, it's reassuring to know that the police are only minutes away.

"Only the paranoid survive."

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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Publisher of the US ed. is Mariner ....not the best quality ... not even very good quality.
ISBN-10: ‎ 0358454603
ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0358454601

Better quality US publisher of Tolkien is Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (aka HMH) but apparently it is not publishing this one.

UK Publisher is HarperCollins, publisher of ALL the Tolkien books, both JRRT's and CRRT'S works.
Much better quality
ISBN 10: 0008387923
ISBN-13: 978-0008387921

I am getting the UK edition, even if shipping from the UK costs more.
But once it is released I'm pretty sure I can locate the UK edition in the US.
I have been able to do that with all the newer works by CRRT ...buy the UK edition in the US.


"Unless you're prepared to surrender everything, don't surrender anything."

When seconds matter, it's reassuring to know that the police are only minutes away.

"Only the paranoid survive."

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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I had not realized HMHwas not publishing the US edition. That's very odd...they've published every other Tolkien release, so far as I know. I've never heard of Mariner before, and having just checked my book database, none of my over 1300 books was published by them.

I'm wondering if I should cancel my existing Amazon order and try to order the UK edition.

Something that occurs to me that is almost as curious as the change in publisher is why CJRT did not edit this but rather farmed it out to someone else to do. Perhaps he felt he should finally retire? I guess we will not know.

Edit: while Amazon shows the publisher as Mariner, Barnes and Noble shows it as HMH. :?:
"Olorin I was in the West that is forgotten...."

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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Well, it's complicated, as big business always is. Near as I can tell, the original Houghton Mifflin now just does textbooks. Their other line was spun off and was bought by HarperCollins, or by HC's parent company News Corp, and Mariner is what it is now called. I guess I'm not going to worry about what edition I get. Trying to unravel business dealings always makes my head spin.
"Olorin I was in the West that is forgotten...."

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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My book has shipped and should arrive tomorrow.

I caught part of the weekly TORN livestream Tuesday. The smart one, Cliff, had just gotten back from Barnes and Noble, book in hand, and read a few excerpts from it. These were from chapters on hair and telepathy (which Tolkien called mind images). The hair part talked about the Elves and whose hair was long, short, dark, light, straight, or curly. The mind images part talked about how it worked and said that even humans had some ability, though typically only under extreme conditions. This sounded very much like the reported real-world phenomenon where family members sometimes get a really strong feeling that they should reach out to another family member.

The not so smart part of the team, Justin, said (and take this with an ocean of salt) that the manuscript of the book had been provided to the Amazon LOTR production for their guidance in developing the show. Like I say, apply salt liberally.
"Olorin I was in the West that is forgotten...."

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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Gracias for the update....will start my search for the UK edition here in the US.
But online used booksellers (Powell, Alibris, ABE) typically charge the same shipping rate ---about $4-$5 ---regardless of where the book is located.
So I don't think I'll have any problem finding it.
Also, just an FYI on the 2 editions: altho' I haven't seen the covers for either ed., the cover for The Fall of Gondolin wrt placement and size of text differs slightly between eds. At a very quick glance you might not notice it because the art per se is the same.
Don't know about this one.
Not that it matters to me, but there is a difference between eds. on the other(s).
Of more concern to me is the quality of the binding, paper, and printing.


"Unless you're prepared to surrender everything, don't surrender anything."

When seconds matter, it's reassuring to know that the police are only minutes away.

"Only the paranoid survive."

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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So, has anyone finished this yet? I'm reading it in fits and starts. The early part of it is pretty much concerned with how elves age and how Valian time compares to normal time. This went on forever and I found it necessary to skim, or outright skip over, to get to more interesting topics. But the discussion of Galadriel in the LOTR:TROP thread made me think of it. I find interesting Tolkien's thoughts on the size of the various races, namely, Elves were taller than us, but the royal line of Numenor was taller than Elves, Seriously, those guys could've been an NBA dynasty as well as an actual one. The writings also make explicit what I had intuited from earlier books: Aragorn had no beard. Anyone of significant descent from the line of Elros could not grow a beard, due to the elvish heritage. How's that for turning the topic of gender roles on its head? There's also an interesting little discussion of Tolkien's reaction to Pauline Bayne's depiction of LOTR characters on the margins of her Map of Middle-earth. Some of the depictions he really liked, others, not so much.
"Olorin I was in the West that is forgotten...."

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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Interesting.

Don't forget Elendil and Isildur, who were also bearded in the movies. Of course, this depiction was expected when you have to drop massive portions of the mythos wholesale. Without the necessary context of Elros, the significance of Numenor beyond name-dropping, and a line of kings stretching back thousands of years, PJ was left with giving us men that fit in with the commonly expected appearance of medieval warriors for whom personal grooming was not a priority, especially in times of war. Seeing those characters perfectly clean shaven, especially Aragorn, a ranger who roughed it in the wild for most of his life, would have a raised a lot of eyebrows and sniggers of anachronism. So, while I lament all the richly detailed background of so much that we saw onscreen being lost, I don't think Jackson had much of a choice unless he had planned for an hour-long prologue sequence explaining all these details. By the same token, it would have been very difficult to explain (for all the five seconds of screen time that he got) why Cirdan *did* have a beard.

As for the Amazon series, if any kind of continuity and 'realism' is expected, especially in connection with the movies, I'm fully expecting the Men of Westernesse to sport full facial hair.
This Space for Rent

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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I suppose the lay person or casual Tolkien fan might have wondered why Aragorn had no beard, but at their level of expertise they would’ve also wondered why Legolas had no beard, unless they simply made the leap, different race, different characteristics.

Sometimes I think it’s better not to try to explain every last detail when you’re making a movie. People might’ve said, why did Aragorn have no beard, but surely one of their more knowledgeable acquaintances would’ve clued them in. But it is certainly not a thing I lose sleep over. Another such thing would ne how the movies implied that the Argonath was Elendil and Isildur instead of Isildur and Anarion.
"Olorin I was in the West that is forgotten...."

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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All the non-human races depicted in the movies (much in keeping, I think, with how Tolkien envisioned them) had a 'type'. Thus, once you saw more and more Elves throughout the trilogy, it became a subconscious act to reconcile Legolas' appearance as simply being the norm for his race.

The Argonath - yeah, I never liked that change. You can tell it was only made because they didn't want to bother having to explain who 'that other dude' was on the statues, but the irony is, the statue depicting Isildur looks nothing like the actor they used anyway. Also, one would think Anarion was completely excised from the movie continuum, but not so. In ROTK, when Denethor is angry about the suggestion that Aragorn might be coming to claim the crown, he proclaims to Gandalf that he is "a Steward of the House of Anarion". So kudos to PJ for that little Easter egg, even if most of the non book fans probably went "huh?" in that moment, if they even noticed it.
This Space for Rent

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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Yeah, I thrilled to Denethor's proclamation, too. As I recall, Anarion was actually in the much longer prologue that was shot and scrapped because it was deemed too exposition-heavy.

I think they did a good job in the trilogy with never showing even a hint of beard development on Legolas, even though Orlando Bloom has dark hair and presumably very dark whiskers. Not so much with Sam, though; in the scene with the extreme closeup of his mouth when he is saying "share the load," you can clearly see the whiskers. I suppose one might believe Sam is a member of the Hobbit breed that has a bit of beard development (don't recall which of the three it was). I also recall Elrond having, while not necessarily whiskers or five o'clock shadow, at least the large pores that are often associated beard development. And of course Lindir had some pretty strong beard shadow, not surprising with an actor as light-completed yet dark-haired as Bret McKenzie. I guess it is just really hard to have male humans playing species whose males cannot grow beards, at least without slathering them under the world's heaviest coating of foundation.
"Olorin I was in the West that is forgotten...."

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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I am waiting for it to be published in my country. The translated edition here goes on sale in mid-February.

All of you who are already reading it. How good is the book?. How much content does it have besides the topics I've heard the most about (facial hair and the ages of the Elves)?

Just to get the idea. As soon as it is on sale here, I will buy it for sure and I will study it thoroughly ...the knowledge of Middle Earth never spare.

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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Valkrist wrote: Sat Jan 22, 2022 11:28 am I don't have it, Xerach, just love engaging in a good debate with my pal, Olorin. :laugh:

If you want to see bad, Homer Simpson-like 5 o'clock shadow on an elf, get yourself the 4K versions of the movies and watch the scenes with Haldir (Craig Parker). :crazy:
Ok. :D It's an enjoyable debate.

I can attest to that, I bought the movies in 4K and the shadow of Haldir's beard really stands a lot out at that resolution. :O

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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XerachCruz wrote: Sat Jan 22, 2022 2:28 pm
Valkrist wrote: Sat Jan 22, 2022 11:28 am I don't have it, Xerach, just love engaging in a good debate with my pal, Olorin. :laugh:

If you want to see bad, Homer Simpson-like 5 o'clock shadow on an elf, get yourself the 4K versions of the movies and watch the scenes with Haldir (Craig Parker). :crazy:
Ok. :D It's an enjoyable debate.

I can attest to that, I bought the movies in 4K and the shadow of Haldir's beard really stands a lot out at that resolution. :O
To go totally off topic (which, of course, I rarely if ever do :rolleye: ) that is the biggest reason why I don't buy the 4K versions of any movie:
TM[V]I...Too Much [Visual] Info :-p


"Unless you're prepared to surrender everything, don't surrender anything."

When seconds matter, it's reassuring to know that the police are only minutes away.

"Only the paranoid survive."

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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Deimos wrote: Sat Jan 22, 2022 6:58 pm To go totally off topic (which, of course, I rarely if ever do :rolleye: ) that is the biggest reason why I don't buy the 4K versions of any movie:
TM[V]I...Too Much [Visual] Info :-p
I think updating is worth it in almost all movies. I am buying again my entire movie collection to BluRay 4K as they are released. In some movies the improvement in definition is not too noticeable, in others it is outrageous (as in the Hobbit trilogy, which is one of the ones that I have noticed the greatest improvement in that). But what makes the update always worth it is the HDR, the improvement in colors and the brightness above normal of the elements that emit light is amazing.

And some BluRay UHD are materialized above the color and brightness limit of current televisions, so in the future when we upgrade our televisions to better panels, brighter and more impressive they will look.
Valkrist wrote: Sat Jan 22, 2022 7:35 pm Pity, because despite the odd, unintentional side effect like that one, these movies have never looked more stunning.
It is true, LOTR in 4K improve a lot, they have never looked so good. Despite the fact that the increase in resolution makes some VFX composition shots make the effect noticeable, but not too much shots, the rest of the movie looks amazing and I think the new color treatment is much better. And as I have already mentioned, the Hobbit ones, show that they are shot in 5K, because the increased of image quality is shocking.

And sorry for off topic. :)

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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The question was asked, what's in the book besides facial hair and the ages of the Elves? First, I oversimplified when I said it talked about the aging of the Elves and the length of Valian years. There was much discussion about how many Elves were created in the first batch, how long it would have been before they had children, how long gestation lasted, how long it would have taken them to cross Middle-earth to be ferried across the sea to Aman, and various such things. But to answer the question, here is the complete list of chapter titles, courtesy of Tolkien Gateway:

Part One: Time and Ageing
Introduction
The Valian Year
Valinorian Time-Divisions
Of the Time in Arda
Time-scales
Natural Youth and Growth of the Quendi
The Awaking of the Quendi
The March of the Quendi
Eldarin Traditions Concerning the "Awakening"
Time-scales and Rates of Growth
Difficulties in Chronology
Ageing of Elves
Concerning the Quendi in their Mode of Life and Growth
Key Dates
Calculation of the Increase of the Quendi
A Generational Scheme
Note on the Youth of Growth of the Quendi
Generational Schemes
Elvish Ages & Númenórean
Elvish Life-cycles
Time and its Perception
Notes on Elvish Time-reference
A Fragment from The Annals of Aman
A Fragment from The Grey Annals

Part Two: Body, Mind and Spirit
Introduction
Beauty and Goodness
Gender and Sex
Eldarin Hands, Fingers, and Numerals
Hair
Beards
Descriptions of Characters
Mind-Pictures
Knowledge and Memory
Ósanwe-kenta
Notes on Órë
Fate and Free Will
The Knowledge of the Valar
Spirit
The Visible Forms of the Valar and Maiar
Elvish Reincarnation
From The Statute of Finwë and Míriel
Death

Part Three: The World, its Lands, and its Inhabitants
Introduction
Dark and Light
The Primal Impulse
Powers of the Valar
The Making of Lembas
Note on Elvish Economy
Dwellings in Middle-earth
The Founding of Nargothrond
Manwë's Ban
Elvish Journeys on Horseback
Rider to "The White Rider"
Lives of the Númenóreans
The Ageing of Númenóreans
Of the Land and Beasts of Númenor
Note on the Consumption of Mushrooms
The Númenórean Catastrophe & End of "Physical" Aman
Galadriel and Celeborn
Silvan Elves and Silvan Elvish
Note on the Delay of Gil-galad and the Númenóreans
Note on Dwarvish Voices
Note on the Dwarf Road
From The Hunt for the Ring
The Rivers and Beacon-hills of Gondor

Appendices
Metaphysical and Theological Themes
Glossary and Index of Quenya Terms

I have only made it as far as Knowledge and Memory. But I will definitely continue reading (even in fits and starts) as much of this looks quite interesting.
"Olorin I was in the West that is forgotten...."

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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Just received my [Hardbound] copy last week.
I located the UK edition (Pub Harper Collins Ltd) from a seller in the US. Good quality edition...very well bound.
So far (I am ashamed to say) I have not yet even looked at it.
(Life just gets in the way of so much that I want to do...*sigh*... :roll: )


"Unless you're prepared to surrender everything, don't surrender anything."

When seconds matter, it's reassuring to know that the police are only minutes away.

"Only the paranoid survive."

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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Deimos wrote: Sun Jan 23, 2022 7:41 pm Just received my [Hardbound] copy last week.
I located the UK edition (Pub Harper Collins Ltd) from a seller in the US. Good quality edition...very well bound.
So far (I am ashamed to say) I have not yet even looked at it.
(Life just gets in the way of so much that I want to do...*sigh*... :roll: )
They don't publish those beautiful slipcase editions here, I have to settle for the normal hardcover edition. I mean the translated editions.

I'm even still waiting (only with my paperbacks bought more than 20 years ago), for a hardcover edition of LOTR illustrated in all three volumes. For now and since 1993, here it is only sold in hardcover the same illustrated edition in a only one volume, in three volumes it has never come out with illustrations. Hopefully, in not many more years, they will bring out here translated the same as the illustrated editions in English of 2020... I hope!. :)

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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XerachCruz wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 12:30 am
Deimos wrote: Sun Jan 23, 2022 7:41 pm Just received my [Hardbound] copy last week.
I located the UK edition (Pub Harper Collins Ltd) from a seller in the US. Good quality edition...very well bound.
So far (I am ashamed to say) I have not yet even looked at it.
(Life just gets in the way of so much that I want to do...*sigh*... :roll: )
They don't publish those beautiful slipcase editions here, I have to settle for the normal hardcover edition. I mean the translated editions.

I'm even still waiting (only with my paperbacks bought more than 20 years ago), for a hardcover edition of LOTR illustrated in all three volumes. For now and since 1993, here it is only sold in hardcover the same illustrated edition in a only one volume, in three volumes it has never come out with illustrations. Hopefully, in not many more years, they will bring out here translated the same as the illustrated editions in English of 2020... I hope!. :)
Oh, mine wasn't slipcased. I don't waste my money on such nice cosmetics unless the edition is only available that way. And I have sometimes ditched tacky slipcases. I simply meant that the book was well bound: unwarped boards, tight binding, decent weight paper, good print quality.


"Unless you're prepared to surrender everything, don't surrender anything."

When seconds matter, it's reassuring to know that the police are only minutes away.

"Only the paranoid survive."

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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Deimos wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 1:03 am Oh, mine wasn't slipcased. I don't waste my money on such nice cosmetics unless the edition is only available that way. And I have sometimes ditched tacky slipcases. I simply meant that the book was well bound: unwarped boards, tight binding, decent weight paper, good print quality.
A ok, I thought the choice of the UK edition was because it was because you wanted the edition that comes with the slipcase, which I don't know if it is also sold in the USA.

I didn't know about those problems in the US editions. I don't know what the edition they release here in Spain will be like. When I have it in mid-February I will tell you.

I was referring to the Spanish translated editions, in English I know that over the years a few different illustrated editions have come out in three volumes. :)

The only illustrated edition of the LOTR translated into Spanish is this one, which has been on sale since 1993.

Image


My ability to concentrate when reading/translating is not enough to read a book the size of LOTR... without taking a thousand years to finish it, having to go to the translator to see what a word or expression means all the time. :P

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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Oh I get it, about trying to read for pleasure while having to translate.....mutually exclusive activities in my mind.
And I guess you saw my post about the 3 volume illustrated US edition before I deleted it. :embarasse :rolleye:

I thought Olorin (and not you) had posted the comment about there not being any illustrated multi-volume editions.
And I thought, "HUH?...Sure there are... c'mon, Olorin, you ought to know that."
Then I noticed it was YOU who posted the comment and tried to delete mine before you saw it....guess I was too slow. :laugh:

About cheap quality publications.... up until this book all of the books/stories/fragments edited by CRRT had been published in the US by Houghton Mifflin, a good enough publisher. H-M may have a cheapie department called something else but I've not ever seen it used for any of the JRRT/CRRT editions.
But The Nature of ME is published by (in my mind) a second tier publisher (Mariner), and that means risking second rate quality.
Just not willing to spend money on it, so I looked up the UK edition, which is still published by the same company (Harper Collins Ltd) that has done all the other works.


"Unless you're prepared to surrender everything, don't surrender anything."

When seconds matter, it's reassuring to know that the police are only minutes away.

"Only the paranoid survive."

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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As someone who has read quite a few novels and plays in a foreign language (I had two semesters of German literature in college), I will agree that frequently having to look words up takes a lot of the pleasure out of it, not least because it tells you that you are not as fluent as you thought you were. I was, I thought, totally fluent in conversational German, but it's the more esoteric words that pop up in literature that really shake you. And as for Tolkien, his many invented words give translators pause for thought. I can only assume that they have to use the same word that Tolkien used. I actually have a German edition of The Hobbit (Der kleine Hobbit...for some reason they felt it necessary to tell you right in the title that hobbits are small), given to me by my high school German teacher, enough decades ago now that I don't really remember how that issue was handled in it (obviously "hobbit' was retained).

But the benefit of reading a work in its original tongue is getting the full flavor of the author's language (see what I did there?). Beyond his invented words, Tolkien used archaisms that flavor the text, and of course British English is a little different from American English (spelt vs spelled, Great Plough vs. Big Dipper, etc.), further coloring the work. I fear that would all be lost in translation. At the end of the day, I suppose it simply comes down to trusting a translator's choices vs. having your pleasure reading turned into a scholarly exercise. Not a fun choice!
"Olorin I was in the West that is forgotten...."

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It's not just the case of a different/foreign language.
I had to stop to take notes when I first read Dune and also the original three Foundation novels, just to keep track of all the characters.
And I know I'm going to have to do that when I [finally!] read the Silmarillion.
There are just too many "foreign" people and place names for me to keep straight in my head, coupled with the characters specific attributes and/or associations (thinking of the Valar in particular), and then of course all the Houses/lineages/family trees.
It's very much the case of: "You can't tell the players without a program." :O


"Unless you're prepared to surrender everything, don't surrender anything."

When seconds matter, it's reassuring to know that the police are only minutes away.

"Only the paranoid survive."

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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Deimos wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 1:36 pm It's not just the case of a different/foreign language.
I had to stop to take notes when I first read Dune and also the original three Foundation novels, just to keep track of all the characters.
And I know I'm going to have to do that when I [finally!] read the Silmarillion.
There are just too many "foreign" people and place names for me to keep straight in my head, coupled with the characters specific attributes and/or associations (thinking of the Valar in particular), and then of course all the Houses/lineages/family trees.
It's very much the case of: "You can't tell the players without a program." :O
Lucky for you, the Silmarillion actually includes a couple of pages with family trees for Elves and Men, helping you at a glance to at least see who's related to whom and in what fashion at a glance. For the Valar, they're actually fairly straightforward, but for place names and locations, I'd advise you to print (or have handy on a screen nearby) a map of the world in the First Age. It will help immensely with tracking the numerous movements of the characters.
This Space for Rent

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Valkrist wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:19 pm
Deimos wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 1:36 pm It's not just the case of a different/foreign language.
I had to stop to take notes when I first read Dune and also the original three Foundation novels, just to keep track of all the characters.
And I know I'm going to have to do that when I [finally!] read the Silmarillion.
There are just too many "foreign" people and place names for me to keep straight in my head, coupled with the characters specific attributes and/or associations (thinking of the Valar in particular), and then of course all the Houses/lineages/family trees.
It's very much the case of: "You can't tell the players without a program." :O
Lucky for you, the Silmarillion actually includes a couple of pages with family trees for Elves and Men, helping you at a glance to at least see who's related to whom and in what fashion at a glance. For the Valar, they're actually fairly straightforward, but for place names and locations, I'd advise you to print (or have handy on a screen nearby) a map of the world in the First Age. It will help immensely with tracking the numerous movements of the characters.
I knew about the Appendices, but yep, got to make sure I have the "Fonstad ME Atlas" handy.


"Unless you're prepared to surrender everything, don't surrender anything."

When seconds matter, it's reassuring to know that the police are only minutes away.

"Only the paranoid survive."

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

36
Deimos wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 7:48 am Oh I get it, about trying to read for pleasure while having to translate.....mutually exclusive activities in my mind.
And I guess you saw my post about the 3 volume illustrated US edition before I deleted it. :embarasse :rolleye:

I thought Olorin (and not you) had posted the comment about there not being any illustrated multi-volume editions.
And I thought, "HUH?...Sure there are... c'mon, Olorin, you ought to know that."
Then I noticed it was YOU who posted the comment and tried to delete mine before you saw it....guess I was too slow. :laugh:

About cheap quality publications.... up until this book all of the books/stories/fragments edited by CRRT had been published in the US by Houghton Mifflin, a good enough publisher. H-M may have a cheapie department called something else but I've not ever seen it used for any of the JRRT/CRRT editions.
But The Nature of ME is published by (in my mind) a second tier publisher (Mariner), and that means risking second rate quality.
Just not willing to spend money on it, so I looked up the UK edition, which is still published by the same company (Harper Collins Ltd) that has done all the other works.
Yeah, I was too fast replying :P I didn't even realize you deleted that part of the post until I had already replied.

I did not know about the different publishers in USA. A pity, these editions deserve the best quality.

I think here it is published by the same as always, Minotauro, although I have not verified it. Here in paperback doesn't usually have too much quality, especially in the latest editions that have cheapened, but in hardcover it's not bad... I think it's similar to the UK editions. But there are no deluxe editions. I think the only one I remember that was edited translated was the 60th anniversary edition of LOTR, but I found out that it had been published when it had already sold out.
Olorin wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 12:29 pm As someone who has read quite a few novels and plays in a foreign language (I had two semesters of German literature in college), I will agree that frequently having to look words up takes a lot of the pleasure out of it, not least because it tells you that you are not as fluent as you thought you were. I was, I thought, totally fluent in conversational German, but it's the more esoteric words that pop up in literature that really shake you. And as for Tolkien, his many invented words give translators pause for thought. I can only assume that they have to use the same word that Tolkien used. I actually have a German edition of The Hobbit (Der kleine Hobbit...for some reason they felt it necessary to tell you right in the title that hobbits are small), given to me by my high school German teacher, enough decades ago now that I don't really remember how that issue was handled in it (obviously "hobbit' was retained).

But the benefit of reading a work in its original tongue is getting the full flavor of the author's language (see what I did there?). Beyond his invented words, Tolkien used archaisms that flavor the text, and of course British English is a little different from American English (spelt vs spelled, Great Plough vs. Big Dipper, etc.), further coloring the work. I fear that would all be lost in translation. At the end of the day, I suppose it simply comes down to trusting a translator's choices vs. having your pleasure reading turned into a scholarly exercise. Not a fun choice!
I know what you are referring to. Someday I would like to read LOTR in its original language, but in the future, when I improve my English much more and not as a regular reading but as once in a lifetime. Right now I think I don't see myself able to enjoy it because I would advance it too slowly. Now it would be like exhausting work.
Deimos wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 1:36 pm It's not just the case of a different/foreign language.
I had to stop to take notes when I first read Dune and also the original three Foundation novels, just to keep track of all the characters.
And I know I'm going to have to do that when I [finally!] read the Silmarillion.
There are just too many "foreign" people and place names for me to keep straight in my head, coupled with the characters specific attributes and/or associations (thinking of the Valar in particular), and then of course all the Houses/lineages/family trees.
It's very much the case of: "You can't tell the players without a program." :O
I think I didn't understand you very well, sorry. Did you read Dune and Foundation in another language than English? ...or did you read it English but your native language not English?

I think I could never read the Silmarillion in another language other than my own. I even remember the first time I read it in high school it cost me a lot, because I got lost many times, reading it in my own language. It is too dense and complex to read in another language. As you comment, it has too many names and too many things happen.

But after that I've read The Silmarillion so many times, I've already lost count of how many. I think I've read it more times than the Hobbit and LOTR combined. For me it is Tolkien's masterpiece, my favorite book. Haven't you read it? No matter how many times you read it, it always progresses more slowly than other books... but even though it's hard to read, it's worth it every time.

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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Valkrist wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 2:19 pm
Deimos wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 1:36 pm It's not just the case of a different/foreign language.
I had to stop to take notes when I first read Dune and also the original three Foundation novels, just to keep track of all the characters.
And I know I'm going to have to do that when I [finally!] read the Silmarillion.
There are just too many "foreign" people and place names for me to keep straight in my head, coupled with the characters specific attributes and/or associations (thinking of the Valar in particular), and then of course all the Houses/lineages/family trees.
It's very much the case of: "You can't tell the players without a program." :O
Lucky for you, the Silmarillion actually includes a couple of pages with family trees for Elves and Men, helping you at a glance to at least see who's related to whom and in what fashion at a glance. For the Valar, they're actually fairly straightforward, but for place names and locations, I'd advise you to print (or have handy on a screen nearby) a map of the world in the First Age. It will help immensely with tracking the numerous movements of the characters.
Yes, they are very helpful to have them apart. You have to consult it many times and go back all the time to the end of the book is annoying and makes you lose the thread.

I use two editions for that, the paperback and the hardcover edition that I have... I always keep open the appendices while I read in the other.

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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XerachCruz wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 3:14 pm ...
Deimos wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 1:36 pm It's not just the case of a different/foreign language.
I had to stop to take notes when I first read Dune and also the original three Foundation novels, just to keep track of all the characters.
And I know I'm going to have to do that when I [finally!] read the Silmarillion.
There are just too many "foreign" people and place names for me to keep straight in my head, coupled with the characters specific attributes and/or associations (thinking of the Valar in particular), and then of course all the Houses/lineages/family trees.
It's very much the case of: "You can't tell the players without a program." :O
I think I didn't understand you very well, sorry. Did you read Dune and Foundation in another language than English? ...or did you read it English but your native language not English?

I think I could never read the Silmarillion in another language other than my own. I even remember the first time I read it in high school it cost me a lot, because I got lost many times, reading it in my own language. It is too dense and complex to read in another language. As you comment, it has too many names and too many things happen.

But after that I've read The Silmarillion so many times, I've already lost count of how many. I think I've read it more times than the Hobbit and LOTR combined. For me it is Tolkien's masterpiece, my favorite book. Haven't you read it? No matter how many times you read it, it always progresses more slowly than other books... but even though it's hard to read, it's worth it every time.
Sorry for the misunderstanding.....
I did read both Dune and the three original Foundation books in English (my native language).
What I was saying was that (even reading those books in English) there were so many characters/races and geneologies that I had to take notes to keep everything straight in my head.

For the record.... I have lived in the American SW more than half my life so, willy-nilly I have picked up some Spanish (or Span-glish as it is sometimes spoken here :laugh: ), and I learned Latin well enough at University many moons ago.
But I'm sure it would be a slog for me to read LOTR (or any complex story) in either Language .... "Et tu, Saruman?"


"Unless you're prepared to surrender everything, don't surrender anything."

When seconds matter, it's reassuring to know that the police are only minutes away.

"Only the paranoid survive."

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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Deimos wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 6:18 pm Sorry for the misunderstanding.....
I did read both Dune and the three original Foundation books in English (my native language).
What I was saying was that (even reading those books in English) there were so many characters/races and geneologies that I had to take notes to keep everything straight in my head.
Sorry, I misunderstood. Which just goes to show that I can't read a book like LOTR in English... I would understand a totally different story. :D

Yes, I understand you, I have not yet read Dune or Fundación (although I have seen the movies and the series) and they are complex stories in which there are too many characters and many things happen, like the Silmarilion, that as I mentioned, the first time I read it I got lost many times and had to go back to confirm who that character was or if I was confusing him with another... I should have taken notes or had the separate appendix to consult it that first time.
Deimos wrote: Mon Jan 24, 2022 6:18 pm For the record.... I have lived in the American SW more than half my life so, willy-nilly I have picked up some Spanish (or Span-glish as it is sometimes spoken here :laugh: ), and I learned Latin well enough at University many moons ago.
But I'm sure it would be a slog for me to read LOTR (or any complex story) in either Language .... "Et tu, Saruman?"
Yes, even if one knows enough another language to understand, reading a book like this is very difficult. Here they also teach English from children in schools, but they don't teach enough to read books of that level... just common language, for common day-to-day use.

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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I like when books have glossaries in the back. I am HORRIBLE with names, both while reading and in person. I will forget your name immediately after you tell me, I digress. I am always flipping to the back of the book or sometimes looking up a fandom/wiki on my phone to remind myself who was who, especially in some of Tolkien's works when some people and places have 3 different names, or when names are reused generation after generation, or my personal favorite, fathers/sons with one letter difference, like Huor and Tuor and Hurin and Turin.. I'm like "c'mon man!?"
The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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BladeCollector wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 4:28 am I like when books have glossaries in the back. I am HORRIBLE with names, both while reading and in person. I will forget your name immediately after you tell me, I digress. I am always flipping to the back of the book or sometimes looking up a fandom/wiki on my phone to remind myself who was who, especially in some of Tolkien's works when some people and places have 3 different names, or when names are reused generation after generation, or my personal favorite, fathers/sons with one letter difference, like Huor and Tuor and Hurin and Turin.. I'm like "c'mon man!?"
Yep, like Strider's three names....
It can make your head spin :O


"Unless you're prepared to surrender everything, don't surrender anything."

When seconds matter, it's reassuring to know that the police are only minutes away.

"Only the paranoid survive."

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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Deimos wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 5:20 am
BladeCollector wrote: Tue Jan 25, 2022 4:28 am I like when books have glossaries in the back. I am HORRIBLE with names, both while reading and in person. I will forget your name immediately after you tell me, I digress. I am always flipping to the back of the book or sometimes looking up a fandom/wiki on my phone to remind myself who was who, especially in some of Tolkien's works when some people and places have 3 different names, or when names are reused generation after generation, or my personal favorite, fathers/sons with one letter difference, like Huor and Tuor and Hurin and Turin.. I'm like "c'mon man!?"
Yep, like Strider's three names....
It can make your head spin :O
Gandalf/Olorin/Mithrandir... etc etc. I also love exploring the familial relationships that arent really expressly mentioned in the movies, like Galadriel is Elrond's mother in law, they also shared relatives, Turgon (scandalous!!)
The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Re: New Tolkien book, The Nature of Middle-earth

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Just grabbed this book again today to look something up and am lamenting that I have not yet finished it. It was quite a slog to get through the section on Valian years and Elven aging and whatnot, so by the time I started to get into the more interesting section, I ran out of steam. I've also been in a slump for some time now, in terms of inclination to read. That happens to me periodically. I really need to finish this so I can be reading for The Fall of Numenor and The Great Tales Never End. And maybe someday I'll swing back and read Beren and Luthien and The Fall of Gondolin, LOL. You know, I read The Children of Hurin when it came out and really enjoyed it. It was a cohesive narrative and even though it did not have a beginning or end per se, I could still appreciate it as I knew how it fit into the larger mythos. But when the other two Great Tales got their standalone editions, I was dismayed to learn that they were in the style of the History of Middle Earth series, a study of the evolution of the texts. I read HoME once (ever serious Tolkien fan should) but undoubtedly never will again. I imagine that subconsciously I felt that the two new standalone tales would simply be retreading what I had already read, and that, coupled with my disappointment that they were not straightforward narratives, derailed me.

In any case, the Nature book reminds me of an elemental aspect of Tolkien's writing, that he could change his mind on conceptions over the years. It's known to anyone who's read HoME that late in his life, he decided that readers would never accept that Earth had ever been flat, so he felt he needed to rework the Silmarillion to remove that aspect. That's part of why he never finished it. So if he could envision changing such an enormous aspect of the legendarium, it's no surprise that he could change much less consequential things. Early in the legendarium's development, he did indeed say that male Elves would develop beards when they were very old. Much later on, he stated that Elves did not have beards, period. Obviously that was after LoTR was written and published, as in there Cirdan has a "very long" beard. Similarly, in one of the HoME volumes, it is revealed that Dwarven women had facial hair, but in the Nature book's chapter on beards, he says only that all male Dwarves had beards. Did he decide that bearded females was another thing readers would not accept and therefore backed away from it? Hard to say. But it is interesting when we consider various aspects that we feel are carved in stone because we read it in such and such volume. The Professor definitely changed his mind on things as life wore on.
"Olorin I was in the West that is forgotten...."
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