Arda Reconstructed has been published (soon in paperback!)

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Arda Reconstructed has been published (soon in paperback!)

Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:36 am

I am very pleased to announce that my book, Arda Reconstructed: The Creation of the Published Silmarillion, has been accepted for publication by the Lehigh University Press. LUP is a member of the Associated University Presses, who will actually be issuing the formal contract, but I don't anticipate that there should be any problem with that. I don't have any information on when it is likely to be available, or other details, but I will surely post that information when I have it.

Here is a brief description of the book:

In The History of Middle-earth, Christopher Tolkien documents in amazing detail the development of the lifelong work of his father, J.R.R. Tolkien, that would become The Silmarillion. However, neither Christopher Tolkien himself, nor anyone else, has ever thoroughly documented the final step: his actual creation (several years after his father's death) of the published work.

That has finally changed. ARDA RECONSTRUCTED: The Creation of the Published Silmarillion reveals a tapestry woven by Christopher Tolkien from different portions of his father's work that is often quite mind-boggling, with inserts that seemed initially to have been editorial inventions shown to have come from some remote other portion of Tolkien's vast body of work. I demonstrate how material that was written over the course of more than 30 years was merged together. I also make a frank appraisal of the material omitted by Christopher Tolkien (and in a couple of egregious cases the material invented by him) and how these omissions and insertions may have distorted his father's vision of what he considered—even more then The Lord of the Rings—to be his most important work. It is a fascinating portrait of a unique collaboration that reached beyond the grave.
Last edited by Voronwe_the_Faithful on Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby rowanberry » Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:54 am

Congratulations, Voronwë! 8) :clap: :thumbsup:

Now, we'll just have to wait until it really gets out of the press... *taps foot impatiently*
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Postby MithLuin » Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:28 am

Congratulations, that's wonderful! I remember when you first proposed the project, and I know you have put so much work into this. It's wonderful! I really look forward to seeing it in print.

I'm sure you must be grinning from ear to ear about now ;). That's so cool!
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Postby truehobbit » Thu Jan 31, 2008 10:47 am

Wow, congrats, Voronwe! :clap: :thumbsup:

So good to hear that all the work and worrying has finally paid off. :)
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Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:30 pm

Thanks, Rowan, Mith and hobby!
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Postby Breogan » Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:58 pm

Congratulations, Voronwë!! :hug:
I'm delighted to hear the news.
Last edited by Breogan on Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby heliona » Thu Jan 31, 2008 5:02 pm

That's great news, Voronwe! :clap: I take it this was the big news you were hinting at a few days ago? ;)
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Postby scirocco » Thu Jan 31, 2008 8:29 pm

Heartiest congratulations, Voronwe. As you know, this is something I've felt needed doing for a very long time, and I take my hat off to you for doing so. I'm only sorry I didn't have time to make a contribution "over the road" so to speak.

Just out of curiosity, how did you overcome the issue of copyright? In all the earlier discussion of this type of project, like the Annotated LOTR here on TORC, the biggest stumbling block to publication was seen to be the need to quote far more of the texts than would normally be allowable for research purposes. Did the Tolkien Estate grant you permission, as they did for people like Douglas Anderson and Hammond and Scull?
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Re: Arda Reconstructed to be published

Postby dna » Thu Jan 31, 2008 9:42 pm

That's great news, O Faithful & Steadfast One!!! Can't wait to buy it! :)

Althought I hope its not too late for you to to edit this:

Voronwe_the_Faithful wrote:
his father's vision of what he considered—even more then The Lord of the Rings—to be his most important work.


:wink:
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Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:40 pm

Heliona, thank you. Yes that was the "big news" I was referring to.

scirocco, no I don't have permission from the Tolkien Estate. I have limited the material that I have directly quoted as much as I can, paraphrasing material rather than directly quoting it whereever possible, and I believe that the result clearly falls within the "fair use" exception to copyright law. Fortunately, I was able to convince the publisher of this as well.

dna, I left that in there just for you. I can assure you that there are no misplaced "then"s in my manuscript, and even if there were, they would be caught by the copyeditor.
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Postby RoseMorninStar » Thu Jan 31, 2008 11:52 pm

Wow. I am simply all agog. I cannot imagine attempting such a feat. Congratulations! I will be looking for it!
:thumbsup:

I was recently watching a film clip showing an interview with Carpenter where he states that he thinks Tolkien never intended to finish 'The Silmarillion' and that he fully believes that Tolkien wanted to die with it as a work in progress so that he could (and I'll paraphrase here) forever remain within his created world (I suppose as compared to a finished 'done' published work. I had read somewhere that I thought Tolkien had wanted the Silmarillion to be published first. So, I don't know which is correct!
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Postby MithLuin » Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:08 am

Not that I would know better than Carpenter, but...

Here's the deal, Rose, as far as I know - part of the reason it took so long to get LotR published was because Tolkien insisted to his publishers that it was all one story with the Silmarillion, and so they had to publish them together. The publishers disagreed, and only wanted LotR (as a sequel to the Hobbit). If LotR did well, then they could consider the Silmarillion.

Tolkien was so disheartened he talked to another publisher, but eventually, his only option was to accept the LotR alone (with Appendices to explain what he thought necessary of the backstory).

The problem was that after the publishing and success of LotR, the Silmarillion didn't stay put. Tolkien continued to work on it, and the more work he did, the harder it would be to pull together into a single manuscript again. Towards the end of his life, he must have realized that it wasn't going to happen, so even if he kept working on it, it wasn't with the goal of publication.

However, his will specifically gave Christopher the right to take any and all of his work and publish it, finishing it if he had to. So, I'd say that Tolkien never lost the goal of seeing the Silmarillion published, he just...lost the ability to follow through. Keep in mind how much encouragement C.S. Lewis had leant him while he was working on the LotR - Lewis was dead and he was busy answering LotR fanmail. True, he could afford a secretary now, but....

So, I think Carpenter is right that Tolkien would have found it hard to 'let go' after a lifetime of working on these legends. But - there always would have been stuff to write (essays, geneologies, grammars). The fact that he never finished his return to the Fall of Gondolin or the Lay of Leithian is probably not because he couldn't bear to finish it. He was just a perfectionist working on a massive project, and it proved too big. Otherwise, he would have left a much more polished manuscript to Christopher with the instructions, "Publish this when I am gone."
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Postby Parmamaite » Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:52 am

Wow! :Q

Congratulations Voronwë
:thumbsup:
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Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:59 am

Thanks, Parma. Long time, no see!
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Postby Elendil36 » Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:20 pm

Congrats Veronwe! That's fantastic!
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Postby Hunter » Fri Feb 08, 2008 12:47 am

~

Wow! Congratulations! :)

The amount of work you must have put into this endeavor is simply mid-boggling!

Please keep us informed as to the publication date.

~
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Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Fri Feb 08, 2008 7:50 am

Thanks, Elendil and Hunter! I will surely let you know when I have more information.
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Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:17 pm

I got my signed contract in the mail today. So it is official!
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Postby RoseMorninStar » Fri Feb 08, 2008 11:53 pm

Voronwe_the_Faithful wrote:I got my signed contract in the mail today. So it is official!


WOO HOO!! How awesome is that!! Perty darned awesome I'd say!!

MithLuin:
Yeah.. I was surprised when I heard Carpenter say what he did (about Tolkien not wanting to finish the Silmarillion) after having read the bio.

I had been watching a documentary of sorts where Carpenter was interviewed and that is when he said (and I'll have to paraphrase) "I now actually don't think he ever intended to really finish the Silmarillion in his lifetime." When Carpenter said that.. I got the impression that perhaps he felt that Tolkien didn't want the myth to end--that once it would be published it would be 'set in stone' and he could no longer create (or sub-create as Tolkien liked to say) his imaginary world. Yes, I do believe that originally Tolkien had wanted to publish the Sil first before LotR.. but maybe as he got older.. he not only did not have the time, energy (and perhaps, orginizational skills :wink: ) but that something else was holding him back and he felt it was more.. appropriate for it to be 'finally finished' after his death. Almost as if someone were finding a real mythology & trying to piece it altogether.

And really, who knows? Except for maybe Christopher. It was only Carpenter giving his opinion.
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Postby rowanberry » Sat Feb 09, 2008 8:27 am

Yay! Congratulations, Voronwë! That's great news! 8) :clap:
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Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Wed Feb 13, 2008 12:07 pm

Breogan wrote:And if you ever need an amateur illustrator ... ;)


This comment got me to thinking, since I so greatly admire Breogan's work. So I took a chance and checked with the publisher to ask whether it would be possible to include some illustrations. To my surprise, they said yes, so long as they are black and white, so I have asked Breogan to work with me on that, and she has agreed!

I am very, very excited about that!
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Postby rowanberry » Wed Feb 13, 2008 12:20 pm

Now that's going to be a great combination! 8)

*swoons once again for Breogan's sig pic* :P
Image I'm judging MoST again this year! Ready for the opening banquet...

MoME 2013 results are in!

The Sons of Fëanor re-embodied in the beginning of the Fourth Age? Yes, for The Maedhros and Tygarya Saga – and, as fire-hearted as ever!

On my way to Morannon on the Walk to Rivendell and Beyond!


Shire and Shutter - the TORC photoblog

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Postby truehobbit » Wed Feb 13, 2008 3:26 pm

w00tw00t for Bre! :D :thumbsup: :D

I think illustrations will be great for the book. :)
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Postby MithLuin » Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:07 pm

That's awesome! I'm glad Breogan suggested it, and that you followed through, Voronwë!

*is even more excited about seeing this book now*

*if that is possible* :P
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Postby scirocco » Wed Feb 13, 2008 9:18 pm

Now, like Tolkien would have said, we should all go out and BUY a copy! Not beg, borrow, steal, download etc....:)

Can't see it on Amazon yet, ! Seriously, what are the plans for retail, Voronwe? Presumably you're only looking at US publication at the moment? Are you considering any form of online purchase arrangement?
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Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Wed Feb 13, 2008 11:15 pm

scirocco, it should at least be available through Amazon U.S.A. (Lehigh's other books are). My contract does grant them the right the right to sell it internationally (for that matter, it also includes a provision for selling the film rights 8) ), but I don't know whether anything will come of that. They have asked me to provide them with any information that I have regarding contacts for selling the book internationally. Any suggestions?

(I doubt anything will appear on Amazon for a while, since we don't have a publication date yet, and it isn't likely to be until next year some time.)
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Postby truehobbit » Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:02 am

Next year??? :shock:

Alright, I guess we can stop twiddling our thumbs for a bit. ;)

But it's good to hear, as that'll probably give Bre enough time for her illustrations. :)

Prim's book popped up on European Amazon shops shortly after it went up on Amazon com - maybe because of the pre-orders it had received?
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Postby Hunter » Thu Feb 14, 2008 11:39 pm

~

This comment got me to thinking, since I so greatly admire Breogan's work. So I took a chance and checked with the publisher to ask whether it would be possible to include some illustrations. To my surprise, they said yes, so long as they are black and white, so I have asked Breogan to work with me on that, and she has agreed!



More good news! This is exciting and certainly worth waiting for. I always admired Breogan's work.

~
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Postby M.L. » Thu Apr 24, 2008 2:35 am

Hi, I have just learned about it. It's a great news.
I, for a some time, thought that there is a great need for such a book. So my expectactions are rather high.
The only thing, we had for a long time, was the text by Charles Noad in the Tolkien's Legendarium, and to some extent Elizabeth A. Whittingham's, The Evolution of Tolkien's Mythology. I just wonder if you had any access to archival material. Although I think that teh material incuded in HoME, VT and PE, is adequate enough to prepare such a study.
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Postby Voronwe_the_Faithful » Thu Apr 24, 2008 6:33 am

M.L., thanks for writing. No, I did not have access to the material in the Bodleian Library, or other material still in Christopher Tolkien's possession. But as you say, the material in HoME, UT, Tolkien's letters, CoH, and the linguistic journals covers the vast majority of the material that was used to create the published Silmarillion. I would say that the main source that I missing is the material stored in Christopher's head. It is of course impossible for me to truly duplicate his thought processes, or report on private conversations that he undoubtably had with his father that colored his decisions.

I hope I don't disappoint your high expectations!

Watch this space later in the year for more certain information regarding when the book will be available.
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