Wishing it were all real...

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Wishing it were all real...

Post by Reepicheep » Tue Dec 23, 2003 1:57 am

So, I thought I'd share a disappointment I had when first reading LoTR (and only parts of the silmarillion)..
Elves are tall.
See, my whole life I've been fascinated with Faeries and Elves..and I really wanted to be one...really. I mean, as a child..(and only a few times as an adult...) I would go into the woods by my house and um..pretend I was an Elf.
Now the disappointing part, is that there is no way that at 5"1' I could ever qualify as an Elf...and I'm way too big to be a Faerie *sniff sniff*
Also, after reading the book "Encyclopedia of things that never were" (GREAT book, by the way) I realized I can't really be a pixie becasue they are sort of evil. Oh well.
Is anyone else also overcome with disappointment when you realize that those things actually don't exist?? I mean, I'm a grown woman (ha ha..sort of) and I hate it that I can't actually find a land where hobbit holes exist. (Dang it, I want a hobbit hole!)
Well, my poor child may learn from a young age that Santa isn't real (sorry, I really don't like the guy), but he or she is going to be dragged around to go hunting for faeries and gnomes!
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Re: Wishing it were all real...

Post by MayorOfLongview » Tue Dec 23, 2003 8:37 am

Reepicheep wrote:Is anyone else also overcome with disappointment when you realize that those things actually don't exist?? I mean, I'm a grown woman (ha ha..sort of) and I hate it that I can't actually find a land where hobbit holes exist. (Dang it, I want a hobbit hole!)
Well, my poor child may learn from a young age that Santa isn't real (sorry, I really don't like the guy), but he or she is going to be dragged around to go hunting for faeries and gnomes!


Flo,
Stop what you're doing right now and order a copy of The Tolkien Reader. Read Tolkien's essay "On Fairy Stories". (Tree and Leaf may be another title). You will no longer see it the same. There's still some magic out there for those who have eyes to see :)
Also Flo - you are very elven. Anyone with a voice like yours should know that you have some of the blood of the eldar in your veins! Keep thinking like an elf! :)
Steve
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Post by Sam Gamgee » Tue Dec 23, 2003 12:05 pm

Amen to that, Steve!

So once you read the Essay on Fairy Stories, which is very awesome, you might be interested to know this bit of trivia. In early conception of the Silmarillion, Lost Tales 1 & 2 and such, Tolkien originally imagined that elves were once numerous, but gradually, their power began to wane, and men began to multiply and become stronger. As the elves lost power, they diminished in size, until they were altogether invisible to the human eye. They all sailed to the Lonely Isle then.
So at one point in time, Tolkien wrote about small elves!

And Gnomes - that was Tolkien's original name for the Noldor, from its root meaning "knowlege" ('gnosco' -it;s greek), and after a long time he finally changed it (probably with the changing of the noldor's language).

That's one of the cool thigns about Tolkien. Not only can you read the story once in the Silmarillion, but you can read three other version: one in epic poem format (Lays of Beleriand - i highly recommend it!), and two in prose, but one with a lot more detail (Unfinished Tales), and one with the most primitive beginnings of Tolkien's mythology, which are much lighter and sometimes even humerous (Lost Tales - in which the role of Sauron in the Tale of Tinúviel is replaced by Terivil, the evil demonic giant cat! Doesn't Huan's role as the big dog make more sense now?).

Except then you start to get all the stories confused together...
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Post by Reepicheep » Wed Dec 24, 2003 1:47 am

I really need to read the Silmarillion all the way through..and stick with it. My husband keeps saying "It's better than LoTR!" (I told him, "That's what Steph says.") but for some reason, I never could get past the first couple of pages. He said the way he did it was by printing maps to go along with it for reference..he said it helped, and enhanced it quite a bit.
Oh, by the way, Steph,..Josh would like to know what your favorite tale in the Silmarillion is.
We've got just about every other Tolkien work here because of Josh's website and his "research" (I'm not sure what he's been doing, but he bought calligraphy pens and has been practicing writing "runes") as well as every book on linguistics you could imagine..he's getting crazy with this..anyway, since I have all of this great literature right at my fingertips..I know I should be reading.
I think I'm just a bit intimidated by it all.
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Post by MayorOfLongview » Wed Dec 24, 2003 10:02 am

Reepicheep wrote:I really need to read the Silmarillion all the way through..and stick with it. My husband keeps saying "It's better than LoTR!" (I told him, "That's what Steph says.") but for some reason, I never could get past the first couple of pages. He said the way he did it was by printing maps to go along with it for reference..he said it helped, and enhanced it quite a bit.
Oh, by the way, Steph,..Josh would like to know what your favorite tale in the Silmarillion is.
We've got just about every other Tolkien work here because of Josh's website and his "research" (I'm not sure what he's been doing, but he bought calligraphy pens and has been practicing writing "runes") as well as every book on linguistics you could imagine..he's getting crazy with this..anyway, since I have all of this great literature right at my fingertips..I know I should be reading.
I think I'm just a bit intimidated by it all.


I was 17 when the Silmarilion was released and my name was on the waiting list! I never read the whole thing and was somewhat dissapointed with it at the time. I was too young to realize that there would NEVER be another LOTR's. Twenty years go by and I pick it up again. Guess what - its the greatest thing ever. The opening is SLOW. Later though, you'll grasp the scope of it and you will be in awe of Tolkien. That's my prediction. Read it!
Steve
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Post by MayorOfLongview » Wed Dec 24, 2003 10:04 am

Sam Gamgee wrote:Amen to that, Steve!

So once you read the Essay on Fairy Stories, which is very awesome, you might be interested to know this bit of trivia. In early conception of the Silmarillion, Lost Tales 1 & 2 and such, Tolkien originally imagined that elves were once numerous, but gradually, their power began to wane, and men began to multiply and become stronger. As the elves lost power, they diminished in size, until they were altogether invisible to the human eye. They all sailed to the Lonely Isle then.
So at one point in time, Tolkien wrote about small elves!

...


I read that Tolkien once said that his elves were a vision of 'man before the fall'. Ain't that cool!
Steve
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Post by Sam Gamgee » Wed Dec 24, 2003 2:11 pm

Yes, it does start out slow. I tried to read it right after I finished LotR, when I was 13, but I just couldn't get through it very fast, and it was a library book, so i finally gave up and returned it. I got it for my birthday 2 years later, and I gave it another shot. It was long and rather painful, but i got through it. There were so many elvish names and places, though, that I had mingled al the stories together in my mind and I didn't really remember much of it, and didn't really appreciate it that much.
Just last summer I read it again, though, and... wow. I was reading it on the 23 hour bus ride to Toronto for World Youth Day, and I didn't finish the whole thing, but I read at least half of it in pretty much one sitting, and it was incredible. It was like watching our history - peoples rose and fell, the darkness was ever spreading, but even in the midst of the darkest time, a single hero, a beacon of light would shine forth to iluminate all around him. This time I was at least familiar with the names and places, so it wasn't as difficult to follow along, and I was able to focus on the tapestry that was being woven with the characters as opposed to the little details of the individual stories. See, that's the thing - the Silmarillion is not just a regular story like LotR, where you have your specific heroes and enemies and plot. The Sil is a story through hundreds of LotRlike stories (though with less detail and complexity than lotr, but you know what I mean). You have to be able to step back and see what's happening in the grand scheme of things. Basically, it's all the Music of the Ainur - Morgoth is trying to blot out the good forever. And the harder he tries, the more he fails, and the moe the good triumphs through all the suffering. It's so beautiful, especially when you make the comparison to our world - it's really the same story, only we're in the midst of it, while Morgoth is still at work, luring the hearts of men to worship the darkness and become his agents of evil. These are very poor attempts to capture the divine in a few words, but maybe they'll help you put a little perspective on it. Just plow your way through it, and if you can't see it this time, read it again a little later, and see if anything clicks.

My favorite story is the story of Fingolfin. So he doesn't know about Gondolin, and he sees Morgoth destroy everything he holds to be good, basically, and he sees no hope left for the world. What does he do? Die and despair, go mad and try to burn himself like the pagan kings? His situation is far worse than Denethor's, but instead of giving up and compeltely despairing, he rides to meet the Dark Lord in single combat. He dies, but manages to seriously wound Morgoth. I love that story. LotR talks about overpowering despair, but Fingolfin beats Frodo by a long shot. (Not to belittle Frodo.) Even Morgoth himself was afraid to meet him because of his courage!

Second favorite goes to Eärendil. And Beren and Luthien. It's tied.

So Steve, "the greatest thing"? Better than LotR? See, I knew you were one of the cool people.
Man before the fall? You mean before the Elves' fall? Or maybe in LotR times? Because I definately could see Elrond, Galadriel, and company as man before the fall, but what about Fëanor? Or Turgon? Or Thingol? They all started out good, but pride was their ruin, whether from Silmaril, confidence in his city, or, well, lust for the Silmaril again. (Thingol's complications with Luthien are a little easier to understand - if I was in his place, I wouldn't really want to give up my daughter to a scruffy homeless little mortal either. But especially if you read Lost Tales and such, Thingol is a very proud elf.) The weird thing about Elves is that they just keep getting better and better - after Fëanor messes everything up, and after they live through the time of Morgoth and Sauron, they are so much more humble, wise, and gentle. The sorrow they suffer purifies them.
I was about to say that Men seem to be getting worse, but that's not really true either. Maybe it just happens to Elves faster, but after their initial fall, they are progressing to a better state. I wonder if you could argue the same about our world today.

Wow, I love Tolkien. There's so much depth!! True myth. You ahve to love it.
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By his blindness to see that the warmth of his being
Is promised for his seeing, his reaching so clearly[/i][/color]

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Post by Reepicheep » Sat Dec 27, 2003 12:12 am

So, since I'm bad at starting books, and not finishing them..I decided to finish the books I started and haven't finished and THEN read The Silmarillion..
Right now I'm in the middle of "Portrait of a Lady". Once I start, I get into it and it becomes obsessive (I read Atlas Shrugged in like, 3 days)..and even though Portrait is STILL hard to get through right now, halfway through..I WILL finish it, and then on to Sil..
A couple of years ago I forced myself to finish reading Great Expectations..and I loved it, so I'm hoping Portrait will be the same....
I'm always torn because there are so many books I want to read at once...and thanks to an inheritence of antique books from Josh's grandparents..our house is like a library, so I'm always deciding what to read.
Any opinions on good non-tolkien??
Last night we read "The Ten Silly Monkeys" and "Curious George Goes Camping" to our unborn child..absolute masterpieces
:wink:

Oh, by the way...Josh says his favorite story in the Silmarillion is Nirnaeth Arnoediad...
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Post by MayorOfLongview » Sat Dec 27, 2003 8:07 am

Reepicheep wrote:So, since I'm bad at starting books, and not finishing them..I decided to finish the books I started and haven't finished and THEN read The Silmarillion..
Right now I'm in the middle of "Portrait of a Lady". Once I start, I get into it and it becomes obsessive (I read Atlas Shrugged in like, 3 days)..and even though Portrait is STILL hard to get through right now, halfway through..I WILL finish it, and then on to Sil..
A couple of years ago I forced myself to finish reading Great Expectations..and I loved it, so I'm hoping Portrait will be the same....
I'm always torn because there are so many books I want to read at once...and thanks to an inheritence of antique books from Josh's grandparents..our house is like a library, so I'm always deciding what to read.
Any opinions on good non-tolkien??
Last night we read "The Ten Silly Monkeys" and "Curious George Goes Camping" to our unborn child..absolute masterpieces
:wink:

Oh, by the way...Josh says his favorite story in the Silmarillion is Nirnaeth Arnoediad...


If you read Atlas Shrugged in 3 days - you'll blow through the Silmarilion! BTW, there'll be a quiz when you're done. lol
Are you singing to your baby yet?
Steve
I don't like country music, but I don't mean to denigrate those who do. And for the people who like country music, denigrate means 'put down.'- Bob Newhart

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Post by Reepicheep » Sat Dec 27, 2003 1:52 pm

MayorOfLongview wrote:If you read Atlas Shrugged in 3 days - you'll blow through the Silmarilion! BTW, there'll be a quiz when you're done. lol
Are you singing to your baby yet?
Steve


Well, Atlas Shrugged was mostly action and dialogue, which obviously helps a story move a little faster..I don't know if I'll be able to get through the Silmarillion that fast! For instance, every dickens book I've read takes me weeks, no matter how short the story is because it's just chapters and chapters of endless description.

Well, I've been singing a little, but not directly to the baby..We only just started reading, becuase we heard that it wasn't until about the 3rd trimester or 7th month at least that it can even hear your voice..I started the 3rd trimester today, yippee!!
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Post by Sam Gamgee » Sun Dec 28, 2003 1:30 pm

Do you have names picked out yet, Flo?

And the Battle of Unumbered Tears was the one where Hurin was captured, right? Or am I getting my battles mixed up again?
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Is promised for his seeing, his reaching so clearly[/i][/color]

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Post by Reepicheep » Sun Dec 28, 2003 4:20 pm

Sam Gamgee wrote:Do you have names picked out yet, Flo?

And the Battle of Unumbered Tears was the one where Hurin was captured, right? Or am I getting my battles mixed up again?


Okay, names..here they are:

Boy: Judah (Jude) Israel
Girl: Sara Sage (and we'd probably call her that as a double name, I like the Sage part and Josh likes Sara..so who knows what we'll call her:)

We also are not finding out what the gender is..but sometime next month I think I'll post a little baby gender guessing game and we can all guess what it will be and when it will get here, etc. Hmm, I don't think I have any good prizes for winners though..I'll have to think about that :wink:


Oh, and yes, that is the correct battle..
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Post by Sam Gamgee » Sun Dec 28, 2003 4:37 pm

Cute!! well, uh... Just for thre record, I'm guessing it's going to be a boy and is going to be born on March 26th, because that's the day the ring was destroyed, and that would be a cool birthday. then you can name him Frodo. ;)
(25th, in the hobbit calendar, should the Tolkien Knowledgable read this, but then again, the hobbit calendar had 30 days every month including february. Thus converted to our calendar, 26th. Unless i did the math wrong. Which probably is the case...)
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Post by idoron » Sun Dec 28, 2003 9:40 pm

Sam Gamgee wrote:Cute!! well, uh... Just for thre record, I'm guessing it's going to be a boy and is going to be born on March 26th, because that's the day the ring was destroyed, and that would be a cool birthday. then you can name him Frodo. ;)
(25th, in the hobbit calendar, should the Tolkien Knowledgable read this, but then again, the hobbit calendar had 30 days every month including february. Thus converted to our calendar, 26th. Unless i did the math wrong. Which probably is the case...)


There is an iCal calendar out there that has the Tolkien dates on it. I know you're a Mac user, so check it out. I haven't done any date calculations or date/calendar research in tolkien so I can't attest to accuracy or lack thereof.

webcal://boobah.com/calendars/lotr.ics

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Post by Sam Gamgee » Sun Dec 28, 2003 11:24 pm

Hmm... "Access is forbidden by the server". I have no idea what that means. :( Bummer.

Hello, by the way! I'm glad you finally signed up! Welcome to the wonderful land of the forum!
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By his blindness to see that the warmth of his being
Is promised for his seeing, his reaching so clearly[/i][/color]

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