The Children of Hurin to be Published

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Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:39 am

A couple of more quotes from that tolkienlibrary page, that actually come from a Spanish language interview that Adam Tolkien did.

First, for Mithfânion:

Many parts of the text will be – if not identical – recognizable to the knowledgeable reader, but there are also pieces that have never appeared before.


And for Melilot:

‘The text of The Children of Húrin is entirely in the author’s (so J.R.R. Tolkien’s) words – apart from very minor reworkings of a grammatical and stylistic nature. Christopher’s work has been to produce a text that is a faithful rendition of his father’s writings – using many sources spaced out over decades.’


The "spaced out over decades" augers well for dna's hope (and my fear ;)) that parts of the Lost Tales will be incorporated. But it might just refer to going back to the Quenta Noldorinwa (and perhaps both of our hopes that the Second Prophecy, so unfortunately left out of the Silmarillion itself, will be included).
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Postby scirocco » Wed Mar 07, 2007 1:16 am

Voronwe_the_Faithful wrote:But it might just refer to going back to the Quenta Noldorinwa (and perhaps both of our hopes that the Second Prophecy, so unfortunately left out of the Silmarillion itself, will be included).


Hi Voronwe. :) I'm interested to hear that you think the Second Prophecy should have been included by CT in the Sil, and that you hope to see it again in CoH. Because I have to say that I'm in the other camp; I'm with CT on its omission from the published Sil (I'm not conflicted about that!), and I'm dubious about its inclusion in CoH.

My problem with it is that it cannot be presented as the "truth" of what will happen in M-E, because that clearly was not Tolkien's intent, and I suspect that you're not suggesting that it was. So, I'm assuming you mean it to be presented in CoH as the Mannish myth we talked about, with appropriate framework to identify it as such. But even that would not be consistent; CoH is a First Age narrative, and the "Numenorean tradition" to which the Second Prophecy belongs has not yet arisen.

IMHO, it would have been quite inappropriate in 1977, and would still be so today, for CT to pluck "§31 Thus spake Mandos in prophecy..." from the Later QS (which in this area is little more than a copy of the 1930's QS) and use it to end the published Sil or CoH. To do so would be to ignore the subtle but significant changes in JRRTs thinking in the decades since that time (which I tried to document here.)

Poor old CT (poor being a relative term!) He's criticised for omitting the Second Prophecy from the Sil, and will be again re the CoH, yet imagine the complexity of presentation that would be required. He would have had to present the end of the world as remote and unknown, while simultaneously having the characters of the last two hundred pages apparently play a part in it. I don't think that was achievable or desirable in 1977 and I'm not sure it is today. :)
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Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:04 am

Hi scirocco. :) That is certainly an impressive documentation of the history of the second prophecy. But it is not quite complete, is it? As I mention here, as late as 1968 Tolkien still considered the Second Prophecy an integral part of his mythology, albeit with a complicated backstory. I stated, with regard to the text that CT used to end the Quenta Silmarillion:

CT states in his discussion of the Valaquenta that the text used for this paragraph shows that "The Second Prophecy of Mandos had now therefore definitively disappeared" (Morgoth's Ring, p. 204). He is referring, of course, to the fact that it states that "if any change shall come and the Marring be amended, Manwë and Varda may know; but they have not revealed it, and it is not declared in the dooms of Mandos".

However, it is not (not surprisingly), so simple as that. The question of the Second Prophecy is tied up in the whole complicated question of what tradition the Silmarillion and related works came from: Elvish or Mannish. In a note to the late work referred to as "The Problem of Ros" (which dates to later then 1968), a version of part of the prophecy is attributed to Andreth the Wise-woman, in which she states "that Túrin in the Last Battle should return from the Dead, and before he left the Circles of the World for ever should challenge the Great Dragon of Morgoth, Ancalogon the Black, and deal him the death stroke" (see The Peoples of Middle-earth, pp. 374-375, fn. 17, in which CT also offers a good summary of the history of the Second Prophecy). More importantly, however (given the relative importance of the work), in the Athrabeth Finrod Ah Andreth, which having been written in around 1959 also is later then the Valaquenta, it is stated in Note 7: "It is noteworthy that the Elves had no myths or legends dealing with the end of the world. The myth that appears at the end of the Silmarillion is of Númenorean origin; it is clearly made by Men, though Men acquainted with Elvish tradition. All Elvish traditions are presented as 'histories', or as accounts of what once was." (Morgoth's Ring, p. 342.)

Had CT followed his father's express stated wishes about the Athrabeth (see the discussion about the Appendices), it would have been perfectly appropriate to leave the conclusion of the Valaquenta with the Valaquenta, and include these paragraphs [referring to the second prophecy], since their inclusion would have been explained.


Contrary to the conclusion drawn by both CT and you, I think the clear evidence shows that in JRRT's mind the Second Prophecy was alive and well. First, there is the fact that when working on the later Quenta he made some revisions to the second prophecy, but did not remove it, clearly showing his intention to keep it. Second (and to my mind most important) is his specific comment in the Athrabeth (which absolutely should have been included as appendix to The Silmarillion, as JRRT expressly wished) explaining the second prophecy, which also clearly shows that it was his intention to keep "the myth that appears at the end of the Silmarillion." And finally, the fact that even almost 10 years later, in some of his latest writings, JRRT still considered the second prophecy to be a vital part of his mythology.

I think it was wrong of CT to substitute his judgment for that of his father, to satisfy his (in my opinion) obsessive search for "consistency". I am hopeful that he will not repeat this (in my opinion) error with the new work.
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Postby scirocco » Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:01 am

The main interest in the remnant of the Second Prophecy mentioned in the note to The Problem of Ros is of course its speaker. For it is no longer the Second Prophecy of Mandos, but the Prophecy of Andreth! After thirty years, JRRT removes the Prophecy from the mouth of Mandos, the infallible Vala, and presents it as the musings of a Woman (who, however Wise and far-seeing, can hardly be compared with him). What further proof could be required (if any were needed) that the Prophecy is a Mannish myth and that the Valar and Eldar do not know what will happen at the End?

I think CT was in an unenviable position when he produced the Silmarillion. He was obligated to present the Valar's view of the End (the 1950's Valaquenta conclusion) as remote and unknown, and this had to be presented as the "story-internal" Truth. He could have simultaneously presented the Mannish legend of Turin's return, which would have required enormous care to avoid confusion with the "Truth" (or we'd still be getting TORC threads from n00bs on it today!). Perhaps he should have done so, but I can forgive him for not making the attempt.

I think we easily forget how comfortable we have become over the years with Tolkien's layered, story-within-myth-within-story world. Nowadays, we take it for granted as the natural order. Things must have been very different for CT before publication of the Sil, no doubt anticipating the bewilderment and confusion of readers exposed to the work, so very different from LOTR, and concerned not to add further complication to an already forbiddingly complex project. Could he really have got away with two simultaneous different versions of the End, or would the framework and explanations necessary simply have appeared too mechanical and contrived to a generation of readers unaccustomed to it all?

Personally, I have no problem with the legend of Turin slaying Morgoth appearing in CoH, but it needs to be presented as just that, a legend, in such a way that it will not conflict with the published Sil, and definitely not emanating from the mouth of Mandos.

(BTW, Voronwe, congratulations on completing your long project. A fine and much-needed piece of work. :) (Even if the last post is flawed!:D:D ))
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Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Thu Mar 08, 2007 8:52 am

scirocco wrote:What further proof could be required (if any were needed) that the Prophecy is a Mannish myth and that the Valar and Eldar do not know what will happen at the End?


But that's the whole point. The Silmarillion-related texts were to a large extent Mannish myths, or more correctly Elvish histories filtered through the eyes of Men. As you yourself were quick to point out (though dna got there first), the preamble to the Annals of Aman (which, along with its companion The Grey Annals, provides probably the largest portion of the material of the published Silmarillion), reads “Here begin the ‘Annals of Aman’. Rúmil made them in the Elder Days, and they were held in memory by the Exiles. Those parts which we learned and remembered were thus set down in Númenor before the Shadow fell upon it.

I've been reading (or re-reading) Verlyn Flieger's great book, Splintered Light, and she makes a point that is very relevant to this issue.

Verlyn Flieger wrote:Tolkien wrote that the legendarium "ends with a vision of the end of the world, its breaking and remaking, and the recovery of the Silmarilli and the 'light before the sun' -- after a final battle which owes, I suppose, more to the Norse vision of Ragnarok than to anything else, though it is not much like it" (Silm xvi). I would be strange if he had not envisioned such an end, for the mythologies on which he draws most heavily, Judeo-Christian and Norse, both included remaking and renewal in surprisingly similar terms.


The passage that she quotes from is taken from the preface to the second edition of The Silmarillion, which contains large portions of Tolkien's 1951 letter to Milton Waldman of Collins Publishers, describing his mythology. How ironic is it that Christopher included those quoted words in the preface, and yet did not include the passage that they refer to in the published text. I continue to believe that his failure to do so constitutes a failure to properly reflect his father's vision (and I think that Flieger's words support that belief).

I think CT was in an unenviable position when he produced the Silmarillion. He was obligated to present the Valar's view of the End (the 1950's Valaquenta conclusion) as remote and unknown, and this had to be presented as the "story-internal" Truth. He could have simultaneously presented the Mannish legend of Turin's return, which would have required enormous care to avoid confusion with the "Truth" (or we'd still be getting TORC threads from n00bs on it today!). Perhaps he should have done so, but I can forgive him for not making the attempt.

I think we easily forget how comfortable we have become over the years with Tolkien's layered, story-within-myth-within-story world. Nowadays, we take it for granted as the natural order. Things must have been very different for CT before publication of the Sil, no doubt anticipating the bewilderment and confusion of readers exposed to the work, so very different from LOTR, and concerned not to add further complication to an already forbiddingly complex project. Could he really have got away with two simultaneous different versions of the End, or would the framework and explanations necessary simply have appeared too mechanical and contrived to a generation of readers unaccustomed to it all?


I think that if Christopher had placed the Silmarillion text in a proper framework the readers would have been more accepting of it, not less. This is a topic for a different discussion, but I think that when The Silmarillion was released, it should have been a work at least as long as The Lord of the Rings and that the truncated version that Christopher released did a disservice to his father's legacy.

(BTW, Voronwe, congratulations on completing your long project. A fine and much-needed piece of work. :) (Even if the last post is flawed!:D:D ))


Thank you very much, my friend. That means a lot (despite our difference of opinion about the Second Prophecy and related topics).
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Postby N.E. Brigand » Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:51 pm

dna wrote:Regarding the 320pg page-count, 221 pgs may be accounted for, give or take: UT's Narn is 135 pgs, which doesn't include 15 Sil pgs, plus 60 pgs of the Wanderings of Hurin (including in both cases, footnotes & appendices, necessary in piecing together the story) . Also, 5 pgs of the Tale of Turambar Lost Tale (+ 1 pg of QS's 2nd Prophecy) could be used to properly close the Tale, as well as 5 pgs of AElfwine and Dirhaval to open it. Leaving 99 pgs for introduction & illustrations.


Hmm... the Children of Húrin FAQ at TolkienLibrary.com must have been updated since Ted linked to it on Feb. 20, since what's there now renders moot a good deal of the subsquent discussion in this thread. If Pieter Collier's information is correct, The Wanderings of Húrin will not be included, and he gives a table of contents suggesting that the tale proper takes up about 230 pages.

Mind you, that contents list, which concludes the tale with the death of Túrin, dates to October, and who knows? Maybe it was leaked as misinformation.
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Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Fri Mar 09, 2007 4:58 pm

Thanks, N.E. Brigand (can I call you "N.E"?). That update must have been done in the past couple of days because I was just at that site a few days ago. It sounds like my speculation about the lack of inclusion of the Wanderings of Húrin are turning out to be accurate. Although I must say that the explanation given for not including it does not make a lot of sense:

More on Húrin can be found in The War of the Jewels, the eleventh volume of The History of Middle-earth series, published in 1994, in "The Wanderings of Húrin". These additional narratives involving Húrin and the tragedy of his children, "The Wanderings of Húrin" is the conclusion to the "Narn". It was not included in the final Silmarillion because Christopher Tolkien feared that the heavy compression which would have been necessary to make it a stylistic match with the rest of the book would have been too difficult and would have made the story overly complex and difficult to read. These will for the same reason not be included in "the Children of Hurin".


I can see why CT felt that the Wanderings of Húrin would have needed to be overly compressed to fit into the truncated version of the Silmarillion that he gave us, but I thought the whole point of this new work was to present the story on a full narrative scale. I don't see why the Wanderings of Húrin would have needed to be compressed to make a stylistic match with the rest of this book.

This does suggest that, unless the font size is quite large, some other parts of the narrative are quite expanded from what we have seen before. For instance, 43 pages for "Túrin among the Outlaws" and "Of Mîm the Dwarf ". That should be interesting. And "The Childhood of Húrin" suggests that Húrin and Huor in Gondolin is in. The fact that there are two page from "NARN I CHIN HURIN" (yeah! "Chin" not "Hin") to the beginning of the first chapter suggests that at least part of AElfwine and Dirhaval might open it.

Thanks for the info!
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Postby dna » Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:17 pm

2 things I left out of my count, as I mentioned already, are Hurin's visit to Gondolin (Sil - end Ch.18 ), and the Nirnaeth Arnoediad (Sil Ch.20), which would shore up the 230-pgs.

But if the Wanderings are not included, then it must be larger text. I'm not surprised, and not terribly disappointed, at no Wanderings. I hope that other things *are* included much moreso, like the 2 above things. The full Battle of Unnumbered Tears should replace the short "Many songs are yet sung" UT paragraph, and instead a 'Dirhaval' frame, such as this (merged from AElfwine & Dirhaval A&B - minus AElfwine) I think should be used to open, rather than "Hador Goldenhead was a lord of the Edain"...

"Many songs are yet sung and many tales are yet told by the Elves of the Nirnaeth Arnoediad, the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, in which Fingon fell and the flower of the Eldar withered. But here begins a Tale of Men, the work of a Mannish poet Dírhaval who lived at the Havens in the days of Eärendil long ago. Narn i Chîn Húrin* he called it, the Tale of the Children of Húrin, which is the longest of all the lays of Beleriand now held in memory.
Dírhaval came of the House of Hador, it is said, and the glory and sorrow of that House was nearest to his heart. Dwelling at the Havens of Sirion, he gathered there all the tidings and lore that he could; for in the last days of Beleriand there came thither remnants out of all the countries, both Men and Elves, remnants and fugitives from Hithlum and Dor-lómin, from Nargothrond and Doriath, from Gondolin and the realms of the Sons of Fëanor in the east.
From Mablung he learned much; and by fortune also he found a man named Andvír, and he was very old, but was the son of that Andróg who was in the outlaw-band of Túrin, and alone survived the battle on the summit of Amon Rûdh. Otherwise all that time between the flight of Túrin from Doriath and his coming to Nargothrond, and Túrin’s deeds in those days, would have remained hidden, save the little that was remembered among the people of Nargothrond concerning such matters as Gwindor or Túrin ever revealed. In this way also the matter of Mîm and his later dealings with Húrin were made clear.
This lay was all that Dírhaval ever made, but it was prized by the Elves and remembered by them, for Dírhaval used the Grey-elven tongue, in which he had great skill. His lay was composed in that mode of Elvish verse which was called Minlamad thent / estent, which was of old proper to the narn. Dírhaval they say perished in the last raid of the sons of Fëanor upon the Havens.
[* narn among the Elves signifies a tale that is told in verse to be spoken and not sung.]"

But enough speculation... This is worse than the LOTR casting rumours! :wink:
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Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:30 pm

I'm going to make one more citation in support of the idea of the material regarding the Elder Days being filtered through Mannish eyes being firmly fixed in Tolkien's mind, this very interesting passage in one of the Myths Transformed texts (Text VII, entitled "Notes on motives in the Silmarillion):

It has to be remembered that the 'mythology is represented as being two stages removed from a true record: it is based first upon Elvish records andlore about the Valar and their own dealings with them; and these have reached us (fragmentarily) only through relics of Númenorean (human) traditions, derived from the Eldar, in the earlier parts, though for later times supplemented by anthropocentric histories and and tales. (Morgoth's Ring, pp. 401-402.)
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Postby dna » Sat Mar 10, 2007 6:53 am

My previous post was a hasty one (cross-posting with Voronwe), and I hadn't even looked at the 'leaked' Table of Contents. Yes, NEB, it does render a lot moot! It appears, as I feared, little more than a fixed unedited Narn. As expected, 4 'new' chapters (from Sil + UT appendix) filling the gaping hole after 'Of Mim'; plus, fortunately, the full Battle of Unnumbered Tears as Ch.2, and a Narn/Tale Intro (which I'm guessing will look a lot like the Dirhaval-minus-AElfwine piece I stitched together above).

The page-counts suggest a considerably larger text-size. But the chapters with the largest variances are (1) the last, (2) Of Mim, and (3) the first. So the Second Prophecy, or some kind of afterword summation of events, is more than possible! Voronwe, the slight Ch.1 increase is no doubt due to Hurin in Gondolin, but the title must simply be a Hurin-for-Turin typo, no? And the Outlaws chapter appears bang-on with the average page-count increase, so I don't see anything new added there, unfortunately.
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Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:13 am

dna wrote:Voronwe, the slight Ch.1 increase is no doubt due to Hurin in Gondolin, but the title must simply be a Hurin-for-Turin typo, no?


Yes, I'm sure you are right.
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Postby Mithfânion » Sat Mar 10, 2007 10:41 am

plus, fortunately, the full Battle of Unnumbered Tears as Ch.2

Would this simply be the chapter that is in the published Silmarillion?

I have to admit to some disappointment with this table of contents. It seems very much to be a simple as possible in the sense that it simply makes one text of the Narn and Silmarillion chapters.

Am I saying it won't be a great tale for people to read as a standalone? I'm not, I know it will be. But for a reader of the Sil and the UT this seems to offer even less "new" than what little I had been expecting.
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Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Sat Mar 10, 2007 4:49 pm

Mithfânion wrote:plus, fortunately, the full Battle of Unnumbered Tears as Ch.2

Would this simply be the chapter that is in the published Silmarillion?


Mith (I'm going to call both of you guys "Mith", unless it seems to cause confusion), the Narn account of the Fifth Battle was just one source of four used for Chapter 20 in the published Silmarillion. As CT wrote:

The text of Chapter 20 in the published Silmarillion was primarily derived from the story in the Grey Annals, but elements were introduced from the Old Chapter 16 in QS (V.307-313), and also from a third text. This is a typescript made by my father, and to all appearance made ab initio on his typewriter; it was explicitly intended as a component in the long prose Tale of the Children of Húrin (the Narn), but he had the manuscript of the Grey Annals in front of him, and for much of its length the new version remained so close to the Annals text that it can be regarded as scarcely more than a variant, although unquestionably much later. For this reason, and also because some of its divergent (additional) features had in any case been incorporated in the Silmarillion chapter, I excluded it from the Narn in Unfinished Tales (see pp. 65-66 and note 2 in that book), except for its end. (The War of the Jewels p. 165.)


The fourth source that I am referring to is CT's own editorial additions. If you are interested in checking out a detailed analysis of exactly what portions of the published text of the chapter comes from which source, go here

I have to admit to some disappointment with this table of contents. It seems very much to be a simple as possible in the sense that it simply makes one text of the Narn and Silmarillion chapters.


I still think that there will be quite a bit of deviance from the text printed in UT and the Sil, Mith. There were a lot of different sources for CT to choose from and I expect that in a number of places he will make a different choice then he made before. But it probably will require a detailed comparison between the new work and the old versions to really get a sense of how different it is.
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Postby Iorlas » Sun Mar 25, 2007 5:17 pm

Wow, where have I been? I just found out about this. I can hardly wait! The Narn was by far my favorite story from Unfinished Tales, despite its unrelenting gloom and despair. It looks like CT has done a good job of editing everything into one consistent narrative, and I can't wait to see Alan Lee's illustrations.

I'd love to see this done for other unfinished tales, but if Christopher is 81, well, we can only expect so much more from him. He's certainly done us Tolkien fans a great service though, first with the Sil, UT, HOME, and now The Children of Hurin.
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Postby thebachelor » Fri Mar 30, 2007 9:00 am

Thinking about the possibility that The Children of Húrin may include parts of the "Tale of Turambar" from the Lost Tales, it occurs to me that the most likely passage to contain text from the "Tale" is Beleg's search for the captured Túrin, leading to his encounter with Gwindor and the tragedy that follows.

This is the only section of the story present in the "Tale" which is not told with equal or greater fullness in any previously published prose work by Tolkien. The story of Dor Cúarthol exists only in the fragments CJRT drew upon for the Silm and UT (and which will presumably be reassembled in a more connected way in The Children of Húrin). The stories of Túrin's healing by Eithel Ivrin and his sojourn in Nargothrond are told fully only in the alliterative "Lay of the Children of Húrin" in The Lays of Beleriand. The Battle of Tumhalad was never fully recounted by JRRT to my knowledge, and I fear may prove to be the most embarrassingly sparse passage in the new book.
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Postby Elendil36 » Fri Apr 06, 2007 11:48 pm

Does anyone but me think that the 'book trailer' that Harper Collins is offering up is a touch odd? :?
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Postby Mahima » Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:36 am

The very fact that a book has a "trailer" is odd to me.

Just wanted to bring to everyone's notice that Christopher saying thus:

In this book I have endeavoured to construct, after long study of the manuscripts, a coherent narrative without any editorial invention.


Is because of Voronwe. :D

Swoooooon...
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Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Sat Apr 07, 2007 9:38 am

It is a bit odd, but it has some great stuff in it. I watched it several times, and there were different images included each time, including some really great stuff.
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Postby N.E. Brigand » Tue Apr 10, 2007 4:18 pm

The first review of The Children of Húrin, by Bryan Appleyard in The Sunday Times, can be read here. Anyone who's followed the discussion here will find nothing spoiled in Appleyard's review, which is actually a critical discussion of Tolkien's career. However, this doesn't seem to be something that Appleyard is particularly qualified to discuss, as you'll see if you read the review.

Verlyn Flieger and Michael Drout have already responded to Appleyard on the Times site, and Drout follows up with a post on his own blog that is well worth reading.
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Postby MithLuin » Tue Apr 10, 2007 10:04 pm

People who could not finish reading Lord of the Rings because they found it to lack depth should really not be allowed to write reviews of Tolkien's works. It just makes them look foolish (the reviewers, not Tolkien). Tolkien most certainly did 'update' his stories. He did not give them modern settings nor did he tell them in a modern style....but he infused the characters with a dignity and gave their lives a meaning that is sorely lacking in (for instance) the Tale of Kullervo that serves as the model for Turin and Neinor. I suppose "purged them of the gross" is how he put it.

I was also confused by the references to Harry Potter, Star Wars and D&D. Glaurung is not very like Jabba. They are both large villains, I suppose. And they speak. But....that's about the extent of it. And if Harry Potter picks up a sword that says "gladly will I drink your blood," I think JKR's readers will howl. The device would fit, but the tone is way off for a Potter book. Swords are common place in Tolkien's world, though a talking one is unusual. Talking objects are common in Harry's world, though a sword is rather unique.



I think reviewers are just afraid to sound too enthusiatic about anything, in all honesty. They are so critical because they are timid.
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Postby N.E. Brigand » Tue Apr 10, 2007 10:42 pm

MithLuin wrote:I think reviewers are just afraid to sound too enthusiatic about anything, in all honesty. They are so critical because they are timid.


True of many reviewers, perhaps, though not always without cause: John Simon, later a well-known drama and film critic, was reprimanded as an undergraduate writer for Harvard's student paper for giving a too enthusiastic review to A Streetcar Named Desire, then a new play on out-of-town tryouts in 1947. And it can work both ways: critics can likewise be too afraid to give a stinker the shredding it deserves: Pauline Kael was fired from McCall's after reader outrage at her pan of The Sound of Music in 1965 (headline: "The Sound of Money"). But both of them went on to write plenty of criticism both rhapsodic and damning, to their credit. On the other hand, my favorite film critic, Stanley Kauffmann, could write in 1964 that Dr. Strangelove was the best American film he'd seen in 17 years, and nonetheless find fault with it (but then, Tolkien himself felt there were flaws in Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Pearl -- oh, and LotR). I like criticism, but I like to argue, too. Be sure to read Drout's argumentative response to Appleyard.

And rereading back through this thread, it occurs to me that there is a kind of spoiler in Appleyard's review, though one that few readers outside of this thread will pick up on. Let's just say... I suspect dna is shaking his head sadly.
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Postby semuta » Fri Apr 13, 2007 3:26 pm

New info on amazon.com.

Adam Tolkien essay on Children of Hurin http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/?docId=1000074611

New artwork:

Image

Image

Four days, folks!
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Postby solicitr » Sat Apr 14, 2007 9:22 am

True enough, but I'm holding out for a "genuine and well-meant" redemption by CT of what he spun from a briefly-dead author in 1974-5!


Eight volumes of the original source-texts isn't enough for you?
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Postby thebachelor » Sat Apr 14, 2007 1:00 pm

Adam Tolkien: "...the earliest passages in The Children of Húrin are 90 years old..."

So there are passages from "The Tale of Turambar" used in the new book.
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Postby Vaevictis Asmadi » Sat Apr 14, 2007 7:33 pm

"...and also passages that have never appeared before."

This is what intrigues me. So it seems there are pieces of the Narn and other versions of this story that were not published in Unfinished Tales and the History of Middle-Earth? I hope that is what he means. I'm looking farward to this book.
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Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Sat Apr 14, 2007 11:16 pm

Vaevictis Asmadi wrote:"...and also passages that have never appeared before."

This is what intrigues me. So it seems there are pieces of the Narn and other versions of this story that were not published in Unfinished Tales and the History of Middle-Earth? I hope that is what he means. I'm looking farward to this book.


Vaevictis, Christopher has made it clear that this is the one area that he did not completely present in The History of Middle-earth. As he said in the Foreword to The War of the Jewels:
. . . that history is with this book largely completed ('largely', because I have not entered further into the complexities of the tale of Túrin in those parts that my father left in confusion and uncertainty, as explained in Unfinished Tales, p. 6).
(The War of the Jewels, p. x.)


The quote from Unfinished Tales that he is referring to is the following:
My father was still evolving this part when he ceased to work on it; and the shorter version for The Silmarillion was to wait on the final development of the Narn. In preparing the text of The Silmarillion for publication I derived, by necessity, much of this section of the tale of Túrin from these very materials, which are of quite extraordinary complexity in their variety and interrelations.
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Postby scirocco » Sun Apr 15, 2007 12:47 am

Yes, if you read the notes to the Narn in UT as you go through the text itself, you get some indication of the variety of versions, motivatations and actions of the characters that CT had to choose from. These include subtly but significantly different ones, like the band of outlaws accepting Turin after the slaying of Forweg because he declares himself as the son of Hurin at that time.

CT (as per usual) gives little or no indication as to why he selected or didn't select any particular version. As there will apparently be no editorial comment in the published CoH (hey, we can say "published CoH" now, like "published Sil" :)) we will be no closer towards knowing CT's motivation for the editorial choices he has made.

I'll close by gloating irritatingly about the fact that the bookshops where I live will be open and selling CoH on Tuesday hours before the US and UK. :)
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Postby Iorlas » Sun Apr 15, 2007 3:13 am

scirocco wrote:As there will apparently be no editorial comment in the published CoH (hey, we can say "published CoH" now, like "published Sil" :)) we will be no closer towards knowing CT's motivation for the editorial choices he has made.


We can only hope he's made the right ones. I can imagine it will be consistent with what is in the Silmarillion, at least.
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Postby ToshoftheWuffingas » Mon Apr 16, 2007 1:08 pm

There is to be a brief review on UK TV tonight. It will be on BBC2's Newsnight some time between 10.30 and 11.15.
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Postby Linden » Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:17 pm

Andrew O'hehir has a review up at Salon.com:

http://www.salon.com/books/feature/2007/04/17/hurin/

....."Unlike Sauron in "Lord of the Rings," Morgoth appears in "The Children of Húrin" as a malevolent but sophisticated physical being, rather as the gods of Greek and Norse mythology can appear to human beings. Indeed, this entire story presents a dark, visceral view of life, much closer to the fatalism of early European myth than to the rural, commonsensical Englishness of the hobbits that forms the moral bedrock of "Lord of the Rings."

Part of this stems from the fact that "The Children of Húrin" is primarily a story about human beings, always the most morally ambiguous figures in Tolkien's universe. Although distinctly the hero of this story and a great warrior of his age, Túrin cannot adequately be described as good or evil. Like Oedipus or Siegfried or the hero of the Finnish epic "Kalevala" (one of Tolkien's models), he is defined by the dark cloud of doom hanging over him. He has been cursed by a power too great for him to defeat or outrun, but his own temperament only makes things worse, like a fly wiggling its way into a spider web. He is arrogant, headstrong, short-tempered and prone to violence, and those who love and befriend him are sucked into his dark vortex."
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