Jacksons Silmarillion would be somewhere between 1200 - 1500 minutes
October 30, 2013 4:44 PM   Subscribe

 
I made it 20 minutes into The Hobbit, then jacked it in.
posted by Artw at 4:52 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Awesome.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 4:53 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thumbs up for the three minute version.
posted by 256 at 5:07 PM on October 30, 2013 [11 favorites]


I was kinda hoping that the 65-minute version would just be the guy from the first video speaking slower and adding details.
posted by zompist at 5:11 PM on October 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


Well, there's a number of long lectures on the book at YouTube as well. But I really wanted to link to Blind Guardian.
posted by mediocre at 5:17 PM on October 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Clicked through hoping for a musical version of the Silmarillion performed by the Jacksons. Am disappointed.
posted by The World Famous at 5:17 PM on October 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


A 30 minute summary of the story of Beren and Luthien. It's pretty good quality at the beginning, but the lack of a budget is hugely apparent by the end. I liked it for what it was. YMMV.
posted by forforf at 5:23 PM on October 30, 2013 [4 favorites]



I was kinda hoping that the 65-minute version would just be the guy from the first video speaking slower and adding details.

Yeah, no lanterns, no song? What the what?
posted by leotrotsky at 5:25 PM on October 30, 2013


I'm going to reveal far to much right here, tonight: The Silmarillion is my favorite book. Thanks for this.
posted by ob1quixote at 5:30 PM on October 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


I read through The Silmarillion once. Kind of interesting, but I can't imagine myself doing that again.
posted by JHarris at 5:32 PM on October 30, 2013


There's a lot to like about the Silmarillion. There's a lot to dislike, too. At a few points there just gets to be too much stuff to keep track of, my brain goes "nope" and I switch to reading on autopilot. And then I get to a more tightly written bit and start enjoying again.

There are tidbits I usually wind up forgetting, like Sauron's werewolves.
posted by Foosnark at 5:36 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


At a few points there just gets to be too much stuff

I straight up never recommend it to anyone but people who just discovered Tolkien and are in heavy obsession mode. Even then, I advise that it reads like a thick academic textbook rather then a novel and gets to be like wading through the swamp of sadness at points. The first time I picked it up I never even got halfway through it, only ever really finishing it out so the Blind Guardian album I linked above made a bit more sense.

Yes, I realize I mixed my fantasy franchise metaphors above.
posted by mediocre at 5:42 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I never really got into reading the Silmarillion, but I will never forget the first time hearing Hansi's voice singing "Taken the long way, dark realms I went through" through my poor computer speakers and feeling my hairs stand up.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:51 PM on October 30, 2013


I tried the Silmarillion a couple of times and found it unreadable. After the three minute version I'm a least sold on the idea of it as a myth. Awesome. On to the 65.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 6:01 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've read The Silmarillion more times than I can count. More than the LOTR trilogy, to be sure. I remember that, ever since my first reading of The Hobbit as a wee lad, and through the trilogy, my primary interest was always drawn to the back story. The Silmarillion finally, mostly, quenched that thirst.

And then I tried to satiate it more with The Book of Lost Tales volumes, and gave up almost immediately, in a fit of over-obscurity.
posted by Brak at 6:08 PM on October 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Aaron Diaz did an illustrated Silmarillion guide/recap. It's particularly helpful for keeping all of those damn elf tribes straight.

The last installment was for Chapter 6, posted back in January. Going by Diaz's prevailing pace of work, we can expect Chapter 7 in March of 2045.
posted by Iridic at 6:29 PM on October 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Thumbs up for the three minute version.

Okay, here's how to fake being a true Tolkien Geek, and catch those who aren't.

There is no soft C in any of the Elvish languages. The husband of Galadriel is Keleborn, the maker of the Rings of Power is Kelebrimbor, the mountain that almost killed the Nine Walkers is Karahadras, the shipwright who make the Grey Ships is Kírdan.
posted by eriko at 6:41 PM on October 30, 2013 [14 favorites]


Don't forget the field of Kelebrant.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 6:54 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


don't forget the silmarillion in (approximately) 4000 minutes
posted by rap and country at 7:14 PM on October 30, 2013


. It's particularly helpful for keeping all of those damn elf tribes straight.

I wish I had the internet, or at least took notes, when I read it a long time ago.

I remember reading the whole thing, but I am embarrassed by how little I remember of it now.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:16 PM on October 30, 2013


I've always wanted more of the Silmarillion covered by Blind Guardian. As it is Feanor is perfectly represented. He's fucking metal already.
posted by charred husk at 7:16 PM on October 30, 2013


I was disappointed by how little time in the 3 minute version was spent on the Silmarillion proper. By 1:50 he was on the Akallabeth.

(I read my copy until it fell apart when I was 13, so...)
posted by eruonna at 7:21 PM on October 30, 2013


I can never understand how people can find the Silmarillion unreadable. People talk about it like it's a chore to slog through.

It's one of the most rewarding books I've ever read. Tolkien spent decades - almost his whole life - working on it, and it shows. Single sentences become so evocative. The prose reads like poetry. It's just exceptionally delightful, both in terms of its content and its form.

The whole anthology is significantly shorter than The Lord of the Rings (which many of its detractors read and re-read without a problem), and its constituent parts are easily digestible.

I just don't get where the problem lies.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 7:28 PM on October 30, 2013 [9 favorites]


I made it 20 minutes into The Hobbit, then jacked it in.

Ewww, TMI.




Oh, wait, it in?
posted by Sys Rq at 7:36 PM on October 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


the problem with the Silmarillion is that you discover that Tolkien is one of those people who *don't* think Lucifer was the hero of Paradise Lost (see Phillip Pullman for the opposing view.)
posted by ennui.bz at 7:50 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Before the Silmarillion, I read books cover to cover, including the forward, preface, credits, more by this author - all of it. After the Silmarillion, well let's just say I've given myself permission to not finish books and perhaps have applied said permission too liberally.
posted by piyushnz at 7:52 PM on October 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


The secret to getting the most out of the Silmarillion is to read Unfinished Tales first. For as much as he's on about elves, it's the stories of man in the First Age (Beren, Turin, Tuor) where Tolkien really lets his storytelling take flight. UT focuses on those stories (particularly Tuor & Turin). Everything else is scene setting and context for those stories.

That said, I don't think there is a more beautiful creation myth ever imagined by the mind of man then The Ainulindale and The Silimarillion is worth readinng multiple times just for that part alone.
posted by KingEdRa at 7:53 PM on October 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


Paradise Lost is my favorite poem; I think John Milton is the hero of Paradise Lost.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 7:54 PM on October 30, 2013


I've always looked at the Silmarion as if it were the bible of Middle Earth. The language used is very different from Hobbit and LotR. It's dry in parts, and sometimes a slog, but every once in a while, the clouds part, and you get a moment of pure beauty (a la "There were giants in the land in those days."). It might be a bit of complete-ist-nish, but I think of it as essential reading to really appreciate LotR.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:55 PM on October 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


I just don't get where the problem lies.

Basically it's the part at the beginning with the singing where everything is real abstract.
posted by vogon_poet at 7:55 PM on October 30, 2013


> I just don't get where the problem lies.

Basically it's the part at the beginning with the singing where everything is real abstract.


What is it - five, ten pages? So all these people read The Lord of the Rings (something like a thousand pages), and are enamored enough by Tolkien to give The Silmarillion a shot, and get bogged down by what amounts to the prologue?
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 7:58 PM on October 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'm hoping if I watch that 3 minute Silmarillion précis a few more times, I'll finally be able to hold my own at dinner parties.
posted by Flashman at 8:04 PM on October 30, 2013


I felt a lot better about the recent Hobbit movie when it dawned on me it was a adaptation of The Silmarillion with a The Hobbit framing device.
posted by The Whelk at 8:05 PM on October 30, 2013


get bogged down by what amounts to the prologue?

I did, originally, and I have run into other people who did. Like, "The Silmarillion? You mean the weird book with the singing?"
posted by vogon_poet at 8:15 PM on October 30, 2013


Oh well. It's okay to skip the Ainulindale (aka 'the bit with the singing') and just go straight to the Quenta Silmarillion (the story proper). It's an anthology - it doesn't have to be read in chronological order.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 8:30 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


adaptation of The Silmarillion with a The Hobbit framing device

i'm curious about how you see it this way - care to expand?
posted by rap and country at 8:45 PM on October 30, 2013


the best advice i've heard for first-time readers of the silmarillion is don't even try to remember any names of people or places
posted by rap and country at 8:46 PM on October 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


What, I'm the first in this thread to post this epic summary of The Silmarillion from 2004?
posted by King Sky Prawn at 9:12 PM on October 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


I've always looked at the Silmarion as if it were the bible of Middle Earth.

Back in my religious youth I used to read the books of Joshua, Judges, and the Kings during services, and when I came to the Silmarillion I found it had a quite familiar narrative "shape." Conquest, war, exile, hope beyond defeat.
posted by AdamCSnider at 9:17 PM on October 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


Basically it's the part at the beginning with the singing where everything is real abstract.

That's actually my favorite part of the whole thing. It's very origin-myth-y.
posted by JHarris at 9:18 PM on October 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


The Hobbit movie has eight billion prolongs and framing devices in the first twenty minutes as it is... The book starts beautifully simply and it never even got to that point.
posted by Artw at 9:18 PM on October 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah that's why I tend to see as an Silmarillon adaptation, like here's TWELVE HOURS OF WORLD BUILDING AND BACKSTORY EAT IT EAT IT NOW.
posted by The Whelk at 9:35 PM on October 30, 2013 [2 favorites]


If you like your musical creation myths interpreted in comic form with splashes of color and light, then Evan Palmer has the Ainulindalë for you.
posted by rewil at 10:15 PM on October 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


I've read it... uh... three or four times. Straight through. It's absolutely the Bible of Middle-earth, but there's something beautiful about that, about the author's total commitment to his work of imagination. I loved the Lord of the Rings for its feeling of ancient myth, its weight of history, the tang of its aching, pervasive sense of loss... but I also grew up religious, and read the Bible through at least twice (maybe three times?); there's something deeply nostalgic about the Silmarillion which touches on that childhood experience without directly invoking any of the nasty guilt-morality-tradition stuff that comes with the actual Bible.
posted by Mars Saxman at 10:33 PM on October 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


Mars Saxman, I think that's exactly what I was trying to get at. It's almost like Arthurian Legend is to LotR as the Bible is to the Silmarillion. You can read one without the other, and enjoy it, but it helps to have both.

AdamCSnider, your comment reminds me of sitting in synagogue on Saturdays when I was a kid. I couldn't understand the Hebrew in the torah portion, but the copies we had in the seats had English alongside the Hebrew, so I'd sit and read the English until they were done.
posted by Ghidorah at 11:37 PM on October 30, 2013


I'm listening to the 890 minute long version and it's fascinating. This is a text best spoken. The language sings, even the lists of names. I'm not usually a fan of audiobooks but this is literally epic.

I've always looked at the Silmarillon as if it were the bible of Middle Earth.

The Bible itself says almost nothing about angels. We get brief, obscure, vague hints that there was a war in heaven when Satan fell. What we get in the first hour of the 890 minute version is simultaneously the lost book of the Bible about how and why Satan fell and a polytheistic Norse saga. It's extremely Christian and extremely pagan at the same time.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:01 AM on October 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


. It's an anthology - it doesn't have to be read in chronological order.

If they had printed that on the cover of the paperback I bought in 1982, maybe I would have actually read it..
posted by mikelieman at 3:22 AM on October 31, 2013


I really loved LotR when I was a child, and I bought The Silmarillion on its US release date, and... well, I didn't love it. I mean parts were neat and all, but I guess I was already seeing how thin the characters were in LotR, and I wanted something different (or maybe I was already moving into teen years where Elric, with his cynical brooding and great hair and doom was more attractive). And The Silmarillion has a lot of stuff, but characters are not one of them.

As far as world-building goes, I dunno. World-building is actually kind of easy and often self-indulgent, it seems to me, and novels where that is what the author is really interested in usually fall kind of flat, because the author often seems to get caught up in all that history and stuff rather than telling a story about people I might care to hear about. And the myth stuff... the problem with Tolkien's mythology is that pretty much any real world mythology tramples it flat. Tolkien's sanitized and Edwardian-sensibility just isn't weird enough to feel like real myth, not even Biblical stories. It's probably the result of being one man's imagination rather than the work of a culture, so it hangs together too neatly, the organizational schema too in place, the stories too understood by the teller. While I think Narnia is an insufficient cousin to Middle-Earth (which is probably unfair of me), Lewis at least goes seriously nuts in The Last Battle.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:23 AM on October 31, 2013


For those who couldn't get through The Silmarillion proper, give The Children of Hurin a go. Published by Christopher Tolkien a few years ago, it's a longer-form version, based on his father's notes, of a story/chapter from Sil – "The Tale of Turin Turambar". I can't help but think it would make a great libretto for a Wagnerian epic: hero-with-a-destiny, magic swords, betrayal, dragons breathing fire, amnesia and mistaken identity, and of course a great tragedy. It's pretty great!
posted by The Nutmeg of Consolation at 5:26 AM on October 31, 2013


Ah, the Silmarillion. It's easy to see why a lot of people quit on it. The main disconnect is that LOTR, despite its length or diversions, is a novel whereas the Silmarillion is mostly a history book, a collection of chronicles and tales. People who like novels don't necessarily enjoy history books.

The counterpoint of fans of the Silmarillion is that between the massive battles and the tales of heroism and tragedy interspersed throughout the book, LOTR fans would find a lot to love in the Silmarillion. That's also true since Silmarillion was the main work of Tolkien and it was meant to be the sequel to The Hobbit. His view of constant decline means that certain events in LOTR are a shadow of events in the Silmarillion. Sauron gets defeated thrice, a human romances a demigod instead of an elf, kingdoms to which Minas Tirith would be an outpost fall etc.

However, many readers won't reach that point as the weakest part of the Silmarillion is arguably the beginning. Readers of LOTR, a book with a simple plot that is established early (There and Back Again) get treated to a plodding start, with conflict that is initially weak: Melkor won't sing in tune and he undoes the worldbuilding of his peers, almost like a petulant child. Then the stakes are raised: He destroys the predecessors of the sun and moon, builds a massive fortress... and he's swiftly brought down and imprisoned. These descriptions are so short that the problem becomes that we are told that Melkor (Morgoth) is powerful and the Valar even more powerful, but we don't really see it.

The truth is that the Silmarillion only picks up steam later. The introduction of the elves brings people (Quenti) who can have their own stories and the squabbling between houses provides a lot of fodder. Morgoth becomes a proper antagonist when he starts acting like it: he tortures, kills and commands. Once he is established as the most powerful being in Middle Earth, as the other Valar take a hands-off approach, the protagonists become underdogs and that keeps the stakes high. When the gods can swoop in and resolve the conflict in half a page, there is no tension. But when a hero fights a god, now you've got the reader's attention.
posted by ersatz at 5:40 AM on October 31, 2013 [4 favorites]


This spoiler alert applies both to the Silmarillion and to all of history:




Everybody dies.

("Hey, here are all these immortal characters that we don't see in LoTR; I wonder why that is?")
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:41 AM on October 31, 2013


Huffy Puffy:
("Hey, here are all these immortal characters that we don't see in LoTR; I wonder why that is?")
There are notes somewhere that indicate that some of the elves you meet LoTR were in the Similirillion. I know Galadriel followed Feanor which makes her OLD. I vaguely recall Elrond getting a mention in there at some point, too.
posted by charred husk at 6:16 AM on October 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


There are notes somewhere that indicate that some of the elves you meet LoTR were in the Similirillion.

This is a pretty good map of lineage:

http://lotrproject.com/
posted by Reasonably Everything Happens at 7:01 AM on October 31, 2013


I think the Silmarillion has, somewhat indirectly, done great harm to fantasy and science fiction writing.

For the love of god, people, stop "world-building" and tell a good story, please.
posted by kyrademon at 7:02 AM on October 31, 2013 [2 favorites]



For the love of god, people, stop "world-building" and tell a good story, please.


Jack Chalker sorta, kinda did it right. Until I burned out on the premise. Here's a world made of hexes. Each hex is a different world. Lather, Rinse, Repeat....
posted by mikelieman at 7:06 AM on October 31, 2013


For the love of god, people, stop "world-building" and tell a good story, please.

I was reading Sarah Monette's blog and someone had asked a question about her complicated royal lineage (which is a plot point in a couple of novels) and she was "I have no idea. I developed the royal line in a very vague way and fleshed out the 2-3 parts which were significant to the novels. I really don't have the time to develop a thousand years of irrelevant history when I could be writing novels." Now, if she wrote a whole bunch more novels in that world, I guess it could come back and bite her, but, for what she was trying to do (build a very finely-textured fantasy world), what she did was enough.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:22 AM on October 31, 2013


I ran across this years ago:

The Entire Silmarillion of JRR Tolkien In One Thousand Words.

http://camwyn.livejournal.com/328358.html
posted by chiefjoe at 7:42 AM on October 31, 2013


There are notes somewhere that indicate that some of the elves you meet LoTR were in the Similirillion. I know Galadriel followed Feanor which makes her OLD. I vaguely recall Elrond getting a mention in there at some point, too

Off the top of my head, characters from The Silmarillion who are still around in LOTR: Galadriel (old enough to have been in born in Valinor during the Years of The Two Trees-- yes, she predates the Sun & The Moon), Celeborn (place and time of birth uncertain-- may be older than Galadriel but JRRT didn't really give a shit about the character enough to flesh out his story beyond "Galadriel's Consort.") Depending on which book you're reading, Galadriel & Celeborn meet in Alqualonde (UT) before the Kinslaying & Exile of The Noldor or in Doriath (SIL) after The Noldor show up. Elrond (born at the end of The First Age, not really much of an actor in the events of SIL) & Glorfindel (complicated-- Third Age Glorfindel in LOTR is technically Resurrected First Age Glorfindel of SIL, so not actually in Middle Earth continuously from The First Age to The Third Age).

Of course, Sauron & Gandalf (as Olorin back in Vailonor) are there but A) Both are Maiar & B) Gandy doesn't show up in Middle Earth proper until The Third Age-- see Zombie Glorfindel, above.
posted by KingEdRa at 8:15 AM on October 31, 2013


Are there hobbits in The Similirillion?
posted by sammyo at 8:43 AM on October 31, 2013


For the love of god, people, stop "world-building" and tell a good story, please.

Some novels are good because of their compelling, carefully-drawn characters. Some depend on a tightly written plot. Others use plot and characters as little more than a stage for the author's innovative word-play. World-building is just a different thing you can enjoy about a story. Maybe it's not your thing, but for me there's something really delightful about getting a look into an imaginary world.
posted by Mars Saxman at 8:58 AM on October 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


Six second Silmarillon: Feanor is a dick. No really, Feanor is a total dick; Earth sucks, and it's his fault.

I can imagine there's some really awkward concussions in the Halls of Mandos:
"So yeah, you killed me and all my children, for what? Some boats? Really?l
"Um yeah... uhh...um silmarils...seemed like a good idea... shit."
"Hey F, remember me? Remember the boats you were going to send back to us? The ones you BURNED?"
"Oh hey, uh, yeah."
posted by happyroach at 9:23 AM on October 31, 2013 [3 favorites]


See, I love fantasy. And I love history. And I love mythology. So the mythological history of a fantasy world? Essentially porn.
posted by lydhre at 9:40 AM on October 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Feanor & Morgoth deserved each other. Really, the whole Quenta Silmarillion is the saga of two people who plunge all of creation into war and destruction because they are incapable of expressing their love.
posted by KingEdRa at 11:36 AM on October 31, 2013


Glorfindel2 was the reincarnated Glorfindel1? I never realized that.
I just reread The Silmarillion for the first time in years and really enjoyed it. I'm currently working through Lord of the Rings, and had promised myself not to skip over the songs this time. I kept that promise for nearly 100 pages.

And yes, Feanor is a complete dick.
posted by Eddie Mars at 1:31 PM on October 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


These descriptions are so short that the problem becomes that we are told that Melkor (Morgoth) is powerful and the Valar even more powerful, but we don't really see it.

The Bible's not everyone's cup of tea, but Genesis 1 makes similar moves and is even more terse. Standard translations may be smoothing over just how terse the original is. God doesn't proclaim "LET THERE BE LIGHT!" For one, there's no one to proclaim to. The best translation might be light, just a muttering to himself as a world comes into being around him. Him or them, it's not clear, that's how light on description the passage is.

This thread has been kind of a revelation for me. I've been listening through it and for me the Silmarillion is resonating as a live myth that can be compared to the Bible without embarrassment.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:13 PM on October 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


To expand on my comment above: I liked the Silmarillion, though it took me awhile to get through it. Parts of it are just wonderfully beautiful, and parts are pretty sad. Often the same parts.

I know a handful of characters (recognizable in the narrative by their names) survive, but to a first approximation, yeah, everyone dies.

By the way, did the term deus ex machina exist prior to the Silmarillion, or was it invented for the book?
posted by Huffy Puffy at 4:29 PM on October 31, 2013


did the term deus ex machina exist prior to the Silmarillion

It's older than Jesus.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 4:56 PM on October 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


Truly Tolkien was a master of myth.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 5:14 PM on October 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Silmarillion has a lot of stuff, but characters are not one of them.

Oh come on! I could lounge around all day just thinking about Thingol or Tuor or Maedhros or Turgon or any number of other well-rounded, tragic characters.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 5:58 PM on October 31, 2013 [2 favorites]


The Silmarillion is a book of many pleasures, ones I still indulge myself with from time to time, but all of them of a certain order. By contrast, I'm always amused by the low and humorous-to-me fact that Tolkien, an eminently capable and respected philologist, worked up an intricate system of branching language(s) complete with attendant lineages and supporting myths which somehow spat out Feanor, the guy who Fears Naught. False friends presumably, but that's a still a name redolent of something you'd find in the worst post-Tolkien Fantasy dross and only perhaps the best clunky, thousand-year-old myths.

There's an observation I've seen reprinted or quoted a few times regarding how Tolkien wasn't the sort of person to see the potential for reader confusion in naming LotR's antagonists Sauron and Saruman, because the etymologies were clearly entirely different. Maybe it's an example of that same authorial immersion, along with a hefty dollop of my reading something into the name that isn't there.

Come to think of it, I may well have been doing him a proper disservice. I know his writing method was more to build over what he'd written rather than to throw away. Does anyone know if the name Feanor was something he came up with in his earlier writings, then chose to stick with?

(I'm also willing to concede that the name might well be pronounced differently than I've always imagined).
posted by comealongpole at 6:55 PM on October 31, 2013


happyroach:
Feanor is a total dick
The image we get of elves from generic fantasy is mostly drawn from the Lord of the Rings, when they were all tired, mellow and ready to go home. Tree-dwelling hippie elves is what most fantasy fans were given for a long time. Almost pseudo-Vulcans.

Reading the Silmarillion is actually kind of shocking when that's what you're used to. Feanor is the embodiment of this. I like to picture him foaming at the mouth, covered with blood among a pile of corpses. He was fucking metal.

(I tried and failed to read the Silmarillion the first time in Junior High. It read like as if the Bible has been written by Dr.Seuss.)
posted by charred husk at 6:42 AM on November 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


I can never understand how people can find the Silmarillion unreadable.

I can only speak for myself, but for me a lot of it came to something as simple as pronunciation. When reading it and having not a damn clue on how to pronounce so many of the words within, it becomes very frustrating. Consistently having to just look at a word, take it for its visual but be unable to parse what it really says makes it nigh unreadable for me.

It's only when listening to the audiobook that I can appreciate the poetry of it, epitomized by the Ainulindalë creation myth and moments like the momentous single combat between Fingolfin and Melkor. Reading it does nothing for me, but hearing someone else read it who knows what they hell they are saying is beautiful.
posted by mediocre at 2:19 PM on November 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


When reading it and having not a damn clue on how to pronounce so many of the words within, it becomes very frustrating.

Actually, I can kind of empathize with this. I've had a lot of trouble with Russian literature because, the nomenclature being so foreign to my experience, I find it very difficult to get all the characters straight in my head.

But at least Tolkien provided pronunciation guides at the ends of his books, IIRC.
posted by paleyellowwithorange at 7:01 PM on November 1, 2013




Amazing that they had any of those.
posted by Artw at 4:58 PM on November 2, 2013 [1 favorite]






Stephen Fry: Master of Laketown
posted by homunculus at 5:35 PM on November 13, 2013


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