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Jul 8
2022/7/8 1:26:49 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Urulókë wrote:

All valid critiques, I cannot speak to all of Ferré's choices (perhaps I can get him to talk with us at some point).

My personal position is that Ferré is saying that the act of taking a fragment from here, and a bit from there, and stitching it into a story is an act of creation in this case, not editing. It is creating a coherent plot line that JRRT did not ever write, Christopher did (using Tolkien's raw materials). It is a narrow distinction, and clearly Christopher felt differently (in his published statements) than Ferré does.

Unless Guy Kay did 100% of the plot stitching for The Silmarillion - no-one is arguing that, I acknowledge - then Christopher did some of it, and thus Christopher (by this line of argument) is an author of (some of) the book - and it doesn't matter if Kay was 0% or 5% or 50% - Christopher is a non-zero percent, and that's the point Ferré is making - thus no mention of Kay is necessary for Ferré's argument to stand (if it stands on other grounds).

[edit to add] I’m not trying to say I’m right and you are wrong, at this point - just trying to clarify my thinking process here.

All fair points. I don't consider it a matter of right or wrong, we have, or had, different expectations of the article, which is a good thing I think. Counter arguments and points can only help our understanding of an article after all.

We are fundamentally on different sides over the exclusion of any mention of GGK. I do see your points but from my own perspective, to argue the point that is being made one has to also consider all the evidence that is available and to me at least certain information has been left out to better arrive at a conclusion. One I feel was preordained, which may mean that I am judging this too harshly given the books topic. If it were as a academic article in a journal, I'd hope that most of you would agree that the conclusions were flawed.

One thing I should add is that while I don't personally agree with the articles conclusions or some of the missing details that I feel should have been included, I enjoyed reading it very much, especially as it pushed me to go back and read some of what Christopher Tolkien said in his forewords and preface material that I've probably neglected, thinking I don't need to revisit them. And that can only be a good thing.
Jul 8
2022/7/8 6:23:39 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
If the author (here) hasn't read Noad's article then they don't know what they're talking about. It's a massive piece of evidence explaining not just Kay, but Christopher's role. This has also (as mentioned) been touched upon before in several articles in The Silmarillion - Thirty Years On. One criticism of some Tolkien studies over the years (by some notable figures in Tolkien scholarship) is articles expounding research that has already been written about. This doesn't sound like it covers any new ground, but I'll personally reserve judgement until I've read it.
Jul 8
2022/7/8 11:00:03 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Khamûl wrote:

If the author (here) hasn't read Noad's article then they don't know what they're talking about. It's a massive piece of evidence explaining not just Kay, but Christopher's role. This has also (as mentioned) been touched upon before in several articles in The Silmarillion - Thirty Years On. One criticism of some Tolkien studies over the years (by some notable figures in Tolkien scholarship) is articles expounding research that has already been written about. This doesn't sound like it covers any new ground, but I'll personally reserve judgement until I've read it.

I agree Khamûl, it is important to have read Noad's article, one I had entirely forgotten the most essential points of importance regarding this current topic until I revisited it. From Noad's article the following is in my view very important and should have been noted in any attempt to claim Christopher Tolkien "an author in his own right".

The initial idea had been to produce a scholarly text rather than a single narrative. Such a book would have been some 1300 pages long, and would have consisted of chapters which had as their main text the latest version of the passage concerned, followed by appendices giving variant readings from other, earlier versions, complete with an editorial apparatus of footnotes and comments on dates and inconsistencies, and so on. The first two chapters had already been drafted in this academic style by Christopher Tolkien when Kay started work. However, Kay felt strongly that such an approach was the wrong one. Tolkien had regarded himself primarily as a storyteller, and what was needed was a real story, a continuous narrative; and, eventually, the decision was made to attempt to edit a chapter as this type of straightforward narrative. This was done with "Of the Coming of the Elves", where it proved to be a catalyst. It was seen to work so well that the narrative approach was thenceforward adopted. Kay would proceed one chapter ahead of Christopher Tolkien, proposing solutions to various textual problems and the like. The latter would then go over the result critically and change it as he thought fit, and then type the initial draft of the chapter.

Kay's role appears far more important than Ferré's article suggests, in which he doesn't exist at all of course. And if he had not been there, would The Silmarillion as we know it exist at all? In fact, had Christopher been left to produce his 1300 page monumental commentary of his fathers unpublished Silmarillion, would we have eventually seen his History of Middle-earth series? Quite possibly not, not in the form it is at least. So how Kay can be expunged entirely by Ferré is baffling, to me at least.
Jul 8
2022/7/8 17:31:47 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Christopher would still go on to write/compile The History of the Silmarillion anyway. I agree Kay (taking his account at face value) helped shape The Silmarillion as published. Of course, Christopher himself would go on to criticise that himself e.g. the loss of the narrative frame. So, who knows? As I said to begin with: I don't believe anyone besides Christopher or Kay know, the rest would appear to be speculation.
Jul 10
2022/7/10 7:23:26 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I just finished reading Ferrè's article as well and, while I find it interesting, I think he is mixing up a bit too much the 3 aspects: a) the "creative editor" (as I call it), b) the fiction writer and c) the HoMe's narrator.

While a) and b) have clearly something in common, I find the association with c) a bit forced.

Concerning the role of Kay, I find strange Ferrè not mentioning him, expecially because as an example of b) he mentions the Fall of Doriath.

This chapter is almost entirely fictional, as described by Doug Kane in Arda Reconstructed and about it Christopher himself says:

This story was not lightly or easily conceived, but was the outcome of long experimentation among alternative conceptions. In this work Guy Kay took a major part, and the chapter that I finally wrote owes much to my discussions with him. It is, and was, obvious that a step was being taken of a different order from any other 'manipulation' of my father's own writing in the course of the book.

All the more because the beginning of this extract is mentioned in the article.
Jul 10
2022/7/10 22:59:37 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Ecthelion wrote:

This story was not lightly or easily conceived, but was the outcome of long experimentation among alternative conceptions. In this work Guy Kay took a major part, and the chapter that I finally wrote owes much to my discussions with him. It is, and was, obvious that a step was being taken of a different order from any other 'manipulation' of my father's own writing in the course of the book.

I think it clear that Ferré knows about Guy Kay and the decision was made to not mention him in this essay. I have no knowledge why that decision was made, or by whom. I'll just reiterate one final time that Christopher says he himself wrote that chapter (emphasized above by me), which is the point Ferré makes in his essay. Christopher is the author of that chapter.
Jul 11
2022/7/11 6:14:52 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Urulókë wrote:



I think it clear that Ferré knows about Guy Kay and the decision was made to not mention him in this essay. I have no knowledge why that decision was made, or by whom. I'll just reiterate one final time that Christopher says he himself wrote that chapter (emphasized above by me), which is the point Ferré makes in his essay. Christopher is the author of that chapter.

Yes, you are right and as Ferré himself says, the subject is so vast one might dedicate a book to it; so he/they probably decided to "stay on topic". For sure the style of that chapter is remarkable as it shows that the voice of the son is (at least sometimes) on the same level of that of the father.
Jul 11
2022/7/11 11:23:56 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Khamûl wrote:

Kay was in Oxford, working on the "Silmarillion" material with Christopher, from October 1974 to June 1975;

I wonder if Kay only worked on "Silmarillion" till Feb 1 1975. The article mentioned they worked for a "autumn" and a "winter", finished the 1st draft on Feb 1 1975. Then he went for something else (which the article didn't mention) and came back to the barn on June for a last look.

Another funny thing I just discovered: the mysterious Swedish visitor mentioned in the article is the notorious Åke Ohlmarks. He recorded this visit in 1978 book Tolkiens arv
http://tolkiensarda.se/new/nummer/magsidor/art19_2.php
Jul 11
2022/7/11 14:21:17 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I find Denis Bridoux made another note of Kay's 1987 worldcon talk and provided a few more details here: https://www.tolkiendil.com/tolkien/por ... pere_fils_-_denis_bridoux
Jul 20
2022/7/20 15:59:01 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Good evening to all,
And thank you very much for your interest. I must say that I am surprised to see that an element (GG Kay's role) seems more important to some readers than discussing the core of my essay (CRT's status), the theoretical frame, or the perspective - D. Kane's review, for instance, is entirely missing the point.

Some speculations here could be spared by reading the footnotes of my text: I am aware of the bibliography; it is obvious that ""The essay from Vincent went through editorial review and [...] was seen by the [...] family" ; and this paper has been read beforehand by scholars such as John Rateliff, Douglas A. Anderson & Thomas Honegger, in a volume edited by Catherine McIlwaine.

So, it is not true to say that "information was left out." It is a choice, based on facts. It is not my first text on JRR Tolkien & Christopher Tolkien's books, nor my last.

with my very best wishes to you all,
vincent
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