🧙 The Tolkien Forum 🧝

Welcome to our forum! Register a free account today to become a member! Once signed in, you'll be able to participate on this site by adding your own topics and posts, as well as connect with other members through your own private inbox! Plus you won't see ads ;)

Lays of Beleriand

N

Noldor Elf

Guest
Is there going to be new editions of some of the History of Middle-Earth books? Like The Lays of Beleriand or the Shaping of Middle Earth? I read that there will be new editions of The Book of Lost Tales available in April of 2003. Is this correct?
 

redline2200

Registered User
Joined
Nov 26, 2002
Messages
252
Reaction score
0
Location
Illinois, USA
I am not sure about the Book of Lost Tales, but I saw The Lays of Beleriand in a new version at a bookstore where I live. It was a Waldenbooks store. I dont know where you live so I don't know if those stores exist there, but if you know of one near your house then check it out because they have a lot of new books there from Tolkien.
 

Olorgando

Active Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2019
Messages
294
Reaction score
151
Location
Germany
I must confess that this book was the most difficult read for me, and that I definitely did not finish it - though I certainly got at least part way through both lays, and probably read a bit more of the commentary and notes. Poetry is just not my cup of tea, and I certainly skipped almost all of the poems in several early re-reads of LoTR. though I later did read all of them, probably through some of the early books by Tom Shippey and others that I came across.
Christopher did include some philological stuff in other books that made me think he was addressing graduates students of the subject - that just went whooshing way over my head, and I had to give that a pass. o_O
 

Gothmog

Lord of Balrogs
Staff member
Joined
Sep 10, 2001
Messages
1,930
Reaction score
119
Location
Cardiff, United Kingdom
I enjoyed The Lays of Beleriand. However, I read it when I was alone and read it out loud as I think the Lays come over better when spoken rather than just read silently as with the prose versions.
 

Squint-eyed Southerner

Skulking near Archet
Joined
Apr 9, 2018
Messages
1,068
Reaction score
1,019
Location
Virginia, USA
Now THIS is necroposting! :D

But since the corpse has already been unearthed, does anyone know what the original posters were referring to? I don't recall any "new" editions of those books, other than a change of covers. Certainly no lavishly illustrated editions; those would be very welcome -- though I'd expect Unfinished Tales to get that treatment first.

PS: You know, you are allowed to start new threads, Olorgando!
 
Last edited:

Olorgando

Active Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2019
Messages
294
Reaction score
151
Location
Germany
… PS: You know, you are allowed to start new threads, Olorgando!
Yes, I'm aware of that. But I have, in my just over a week of "trolling" through the threads here, often enough found comments to the effect "this has been discussed quite at length in ..." followed by a link to another thread. So I'm still quite content to continue "trolling" for a while yet, and not collecting a bushel of such comments on "brilliant insights" of mine that turn out to be chestnuts. ;)

Also, the kind of discussion I've found and enjoyed here was quite common on the first JRRT site I joined in late November 2013. This was before the second TH film "Desolation" hit the cinemas. I have since watched the decline in participation there, which might have more than just partially been because many participants there were on the youngish side. So I do not wonder that real-life intrusions like graduations and all sorts of life changes that follow such watersheds in the lives of young people have made other things push aside their (perhaps also waning) interest. And of course at some point very much of what can be said has then been said, and without further movies in the offing (in stark contrast to the continuous production of Marvel) to do their part. But I also haven't seen the rising murmur about Amazon having had much of an effect in raising interest once more. But then, these sites (I joined the second one on the recommendation of Halasían and another veteran of the first in March 2017) have become virtual orphans as far as attention by their owners is concerned. Thus perhaps a bit clunky by today's standards, and perhaps not very (or not at all?) accessible by "smart"-phone, which could become a mounting drawback.
So anyway, I also don't remember having done much starting of threads in those other sites. Could be mostly (not entirely) due to that becoming increasingly pointless there. Maybe at some point I's hit on a fresh idea. But then again, maybe this "confession" gives you a hint of the likelihood of that happening: I'm pretty much wasted on the RPG part of any site - in fact I didn't have much use for roleplay computer games in the days when such stuff was offline standalone! (I know, I know - Necrotech! ;) )
 
Last edited:

Squint-eyed Southerner

Skulking near Archet
Joined
Apr 9, 2018
Messages
1,068
Reaction score
1,019
Location
Virginia, USA
Olorgando, "Ah feel yore pain!" :p

I don't haunt the RP and game forums either -- or the film sections much, for that matter -- as my interest lies in the books.

Clearly, a number of Tolkien forums have fallen off since the movies faded; not surprising, several began with the films, and associated fandom.

I do think activity is likely to pick up, as we get closer to the Amazon series.
 

Olorgando

Active Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2019
Messages
294
Reaction score
151
Location
Germany
I love the Lay of Leithian and so disappointed that it was not finished.
Like I mentioned above, I'm not big on poetry, but also feel that having at least these two long poems finished would have been much of a gain.
But JRRT really was a "grand master" at not finishing things. Very meticulous he was, but also a self-confessed "natural niggler", able to spend enormous amounts of time on minutiae while not making any real progress. He probably would have needed to have been an author’s version of some great artists of the past, who actually were heads of schools and had journeymen (and some apprentices) helping them with some details ( maybe some were good at hand, some at clothes …), while keeping overall artistic control.
 

Starbrow

Tolkien Fan
Joined
Aug 14, 2003
Messages
1,323
Reaction score
141
Location
Wootton Major
Thanks for your comments, Olorgando.
Now I am thinking the "Leaf by Niggle" is semi-autobiographical.
 

Olorgando

Active Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2019
Messages
294
Reaction score
151
Location
Germany
Now I am thinking the "Leaf by Niggle" is semi-autobiographical.
Semi without a doubt.

As is "Smith of Wootton Major", this story perhaps more strongly focused of JRRT's professional life, as Tom Shippey surmises.
An interesting point about "Smith" is that Shippey was taken to task over his writings about it in his 1992 second edition of "The Road to Middle-earth" by another eminent JRRT scholar, Verlyn Flieger, with accusations of "furor allegoricus". JRRT's position on allegory was quite a bit more nuanced than most people would derive from his comments in the "Foreword to the Second Edition" [of LoTR], as Shippey has managed to make quite clear. (JRRT was allergic to "sloppy" allegory, but then he was basically allergic to anything sloppy concerning languages.) As a result of Flieger's criticism, Shippey reworked the "offending" chapter in his 2003 third edition of "The Road to Middle-earth" (I own both editions, and had to make sure my favorite bookstore ordered the right one when ordering the third edition, as the second edition apparently is also still in stock). But much of Shippey's argument about "Smith" still stands, convincingly as far as I can see.

And then of course, "Beren and Lúthien" - and with it the unfinished Lay - is very much autobiographical to JRRT, if in "deep background". His having "Lúthien" inscribed on the tombstone after Edith had died (one of the last letters in Humphrey Carpenter's book "Letters" touches on the subject) speaks volumes, and now the tombstone carries the inscriptions "Lúthien" and "Beren". 'Nuff said!
 

Thread suggestions

Top