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I need some encouragement - help!

Rushlight

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Ok, I'm reading The Sil for the first time. It ranks up there as one of the more difficult books I've ever read! Good heavens! I just started Chapter 9, "Of the Flight of the Noldor". So lots has happened.......let's see, Morgoth and Ungoliant have crashed a party and gotten away with the Silmarils and a whole lot of stuff is taking place. My problem is this: So many names! Confusing names.......! Any character in the book can be known by two or three names. For someone who can't remember where her carkeys are, this is a dilemma. Someone recommended getting the "Guide to Middle Earth" and I do plan to do that. Maybe if I just read, re-read and keep on going it will all sink in. Will it? Or do I just need someone to shake me by the shoulders until my ears ring and say "KEEP READING!!" ??

Rushlight
 

Gothmog

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I would say that if you are having trouble in keeping things straight with this book, then you are trying to read too much each time. Try reading just a page or two and then put it down and go back to it later. I Know that this can be hard to do but it might help.
 

Walter

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Here's what I did when I read it a couple weeks ago: I didn't read more than a chapter at once, I had downloaded and printed somewhat bigger maps which I used to look up the locations, I was often crosschecking relationships on the genealogy tables in the appendices and I frequently consulted Foster's Guide to ME to look up names I had forgotten whom they belong to...

Oh yes - and the dictionary - I'm not a native english speaker ;)
 

fëanáro

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i had exactly the same problem.
but for my luck i got the second edition to read it from. and the second edition (the one with chris tolkiens prologue etc...) there is an appendix with all the names of places, people, things and battles. it really helped me a lot. Without it i wouldn´t have finished it so early.

so my only advice for u is to get that appendix from somewhere hehe, sorry.
 

Gwaihir

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Rushlight: You might also look into some maps of Beleriand; I have The Atlas of Middle Earth, which can be very helpful.

I tell friends to just keep moving though it and try to "get" the big themes and story elements the first time. On a second reading many more elements will become clearer. You might try this one chapter at a time; read it quickly then go back and read it again more slowly.

Later on in the book you will get into the story of Beren and Luthien and the tale of Turin. These are more traditional narratives and a bit easier to follow, and well worth the wait, they are the highlights of the book IMHO.
 

Rushlight

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Thank you!

Gothmog, Walter, feanaro, Gwaihir.......thank you SO MUCH for the advice and encouragement. That's what I needed to hear! I am reading the edition of The Sil with an index in the back so I do use that frequently to look up names. I'm taking my time, and re-reading. The stories, of course, are excellent and giving me a deeper understanding of the whole world Tolkien created.

Now if someone could just help me look for my car keys......;)


Rushlight
 
B

B Proudfoot

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This is excellent advice!!! I've never been able to finish the Sil. I get lost when ever I reach the Flight of the Noldor. Oh yes, I seem to remember looking up what Galadriel had done to have passed the test and return to the west. It's all abit grey. But I was attempting it when I was 10. Think I put myself off it. But you've all wet my appetite again.

"Do you not yet understand? My time is over: it is no longer my task to set things to rights, nor to help folk to do so."
 

starlight

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ok, I don't know if this will help you but it helped me...

I found the BBC Version of the LOTR on CD and listened to them over and over. It helped me reading the Silmarillion because I had a sound to correlate those confusing names to. There is also a book on CD of the Silmarillion, that I haven't tried yet, but may also give you a sense of the name pronunciation.

I also agree with the others, Take is Slow, and look at the maps, and keep refrencing back to where you heard the guys name first.

Hope it helps
 

Ståle

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I have the strategy of just reading it over and over again. Tedious and slow though, but I now know the major persons and locations. After just three reads :D
 

Rushlight

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I am just taking my time, and letting everything soak in. And yes, I'm re-reading some parts that I found confusing at first. Another thing is this: When I read about the "Sundering of the Elves" I found it a bit challenging to keep it straight.....Who went to Aman, who didn't, who stayed where and so forth. In my mind, I thought of it in terms of my own US history, like the migration of the Indians. So I look at the differences in the Elves as belonging to different tribes (like Indians). Is what weird or what???? But it works for me!

I'm also searching for a good atlas.....I'm seen some on Ebay but I don't know if it's what I need or not.

Rushlight
 
E

Eol of Doriath

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I cannot say this enough, you could go out and spend money on another book, but here is a cheaper route...take notes!

Yes, it is not just for required reading anymore folks! I have been taking notes as I reread the Sil and it helps to soak in the information, *and* if you get lost, you can always go back and look at your notes.
 
S

snapdragon

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Note taking

Yes, take notes! I also have the Atlas of Middle Earth (which I follow along with the Sil) and The Languages of Middle Earth. It's nice to be able to look up the names with translation.
 

Ståle

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Oh, the delicious irony. We're actually taking notes while reading a forking book. ;)
 

Rushlight

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Notes???Arrrgghhh!!!

Reminds me of my school days long ago......! I'm looking for a good atlas to help me out......any recommendations?

Rushlight
 

Beleg Strongbow

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Re: Notes???Arrrgghhh!!!

Originally posted by Rushlight
Reminds me of my school days long ago......! I'm looking for a good atlas to help me out......any recommendations?

Rushlight


Rushlight trust me if you read it reguraly it will sink in and become 2nd nature. When i 1st read the book i han no idea what was going on!! Now i like reading it more then when i 1st read it.
 

starlight

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the atlas

if your still intrested in an atlas. Let me recommend "Atlas of Middle Earth" By Karen Wynn Fonstad. It includes maps relevent to the silmarillion, lord of the rings, and the hobbit. I kinda like it, and next time I plung head long into the sundering of the elves, or the wars of beleriand I'll be using it.
 

Rushlight

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Ok Mr.Strongbow......I am sticking with it! It does get a bit easier as certain names are repeated over and become more familiar. One chapter at a time, quite a bit of re-reading.....but darn if I'm going to get out a pen and paper and take notes! Actually what I do is use a highlighter to emphasize certain key points that I want to remember. That does help.

Rushlight
 

Rushlight

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Thanks for the atlas recommendation, Starlight. I'm going to hop over to Amazon and see if I can find it. Sounds like what I've been looking for.

Rushlight
 

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