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Re: Help on Saruman and Radagast question
Thain
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Well, the list of possibilities narrows... in The Peoples of Middle-earth Christopher points out on p. 384 (US 1st HC, follow the 'Radagast' index entry for other editions) that immediately preceding the sentence printed in Unfinished Tales ("We must assume...") Tolkien says (and I am quoting Christopher's phrasing here, not JRRT) "there is no possibility that some of them were Eldar 'of the highest order of power', rather than Maiar."

I hadn't seen the full text online for that Mythlore article that Jason refers to - thanks for the reminder/tip Dior! A great read - though it explicitly calls Radagast a Maia without discussion.

It still is a significant phrase ("assume") - must keep digging to figure out if he was just playing with the idea of one or more being a Vala, or if some of them were "other" (what other?)

There is another single word that Tolkien uses in a particular quote that I am pursuing on a completely different subject - may try to get it published in Beyond Bree's humor issue, as it is not serious research.

Posted on: 2007/12/17 2:29
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Re: Help on Saruman and Radagast question
Thain
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To clarify for those who were wondering...

Tolkien says "We must assume that they [the Istari] were all Maiar" (Unfinished Tales, p. 394 of US 1st HC ed.) This comment is dated around 1972 by Christopher in a description of the source of the quote.

So even JRRT must "assume" they are Maiar. What else could they be? Has anyone written on this, or just taken the assumption as fact and never discussed?

Posted on: 2007/12/17 0:16
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Re: Gift wish list
Thain
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Don't know how I missed not having A Question of Time by Verlyn Flieger yet. Added to my list! (I've loved all of her other books so far that I have read.)

I also agree that the Tolkien Studies volumes are an excellent summary of the year past (well past, as the year reviewed bibliographically is two years behind publication) as well as enjoying the critical pieces. Only critique I have heard of the volumes is that the critical pieces tend to be heavily weighted to the editors of the volume.

For the Encyclopedia, I am also in agreement with you guys - it has flaws and is very pricey, and there are a couple of other books out around the same time that are more accessible and more immediately useful too (like the Companion and Guide.) I do think most of the flaws are being addressed online (on this website and similar) and there is useful critical work here that will quickly become inaccessible once the book is no longer available from the publisher (there are reportedly only 800 copies in print.) Should be a useful resource even given it's painful genesis and resultant flaws.

See Michael Drout's blog post on the topic.

Posted on: 2007/12/16 10:35
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Which way is up?
Thain
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I've always liked those southern hemisphere focused world maps and globes that are reversed (south is towards to top) - a nice perspective on things. After all, North is completely arbitrary...

Posted on: 2007/12/16 10:18
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Re: New forums, new category
Thain
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And finally (maybe not...) it appears that you need to re-add your email notification preference for the new category (emails are not sent out for any of the new forums even if you had the "email me if anything new is posted" flag set before.) Turns out those flags are per category, not really global.

Posted on: 2007/12/16 10:12
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