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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room: I looove this "chapter": Edit Log

Tol Eressea

Jan 11 2013, 6:20am

Views: 1026
I looove this "chapter"

so much so, that I'm doing my senior thesis (for my religion major) on it this coming semester (eeep!)
which brings me to

In Reply To
does anyone know of a creation story based on music?

None that I know of (as of now), but one of my ideas for my thesis is to do a comparison of creation stories, so I'll get back to you on that in a few months.
Still there is a similarity in that it was voice that brought the world into being in Genesis and the Ainulindalë.

In Reply To
Any ideas on why he didn’t sing them into existence?

Perhaps because there was no one to sing to?

In Reply To
The Music of the Ainur lives on in water, especially the Sea, and the Ainur considered water better than earth and air. Yet Ulmo isn’t the chief of the Valar. Why do you suppose Tolkien chose Manwe as the king of the world over Ulmo? Was he bowing to the influence of Norse and Greek myths that had the thunder/sky god as First God?

This also struck me on this read-through.
As we see in the further narrative, Ulmo wouldn't have made a particularly good leader (though if he was named leader he may have acted differently), so perhaps Ulmo was not chosen for that reason.
Or perhaps Ilúvatar chose Manwë because of his brother relationship to Melkor, so he would best oppose Melkor. But that is arguing from within the story, not about Tolkien's choices (please excuse my rambling, the thoughts, they are not fully formed before getting typed).

In Reply To
Do waterfalls and ocean waves sound musical to you, or is their sound their own and unrelated to music?

When listening to water, I think of its beauty, power and curious nature. I wouldn't say my first thought is music, though I can hear it as music. On the flip side, music often reminds me of water. So there's that...

In Reply To
Melkor’s sins: secrecy, pride, lust for power. What would you add?

Actually, I would remove secrecy and replace it with deception. Here's why / my thoughts:
There were two times when the word secrecy stood out to me (relating to Melkor)

and Melkor was filled with shame, of which came secret anger

at which point I questioned who it was a secret from and who knew of it

And thou, Melkor, wilt discover all the secret thoughts of thy mind, and wilt perceive that they are but a part of the whole and tribultary to its glory.

so I think his anger was secret even from himself
he will discover his secret thoughts and THEN perceive that they are part of the whole. It is not that he is just discoveries that they are part of the whole, he is discovering the truth of what his thoughts are to begin with.

and then there is

And he feigned, even to himself at first

which brought up questions like:
At what point did he realize the actual reasons for his actions?
What was his reaction upon realization?
and incidentally, this incident reminds me this of Melkor as an addict, trying to fool himself without realizing it

and now my random thoughts...

first some Genesis comparisons

and they were with him before aught else was made

This is just begging for a creatio ex nihilo vs creation out of chaos debate.

A short summary for those unfamiliar with the debate:
In translations of Gen1:1, there are alternate translations "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. All was void and without form..." and "In the beginning, WHEN God created..."
The first is creatio ex nihilo (creation out of nothing), since God brings everything into existence. Whereas the second is creation out of chaos, since the "stuff" of the world exists and has power of its own.
And each side has its own implications about evil in this world and God's power.

Anyhow, I'm probably boring you, but there is potential for a similar debate here. The Void is referred to, but does it mean that there was utterly nothing, or nothing was formed/created/made? And then in the quote above, does "was made" mean "was formed" or "was in existence"?

and more with Genesis, this time with Augustine too:
According to Augustine, the second creation story in Genesis was not simply a restatement of this first. Rather, the creation in 6 days (Gen1) was an instant in which everything was created potentially. Then the the second story (Gen2-3) happened in time (since it has dialogue) and is when everything is created actually. (I think he continues to say that this creation is still going on, but I can't remember for sure)
Sound familiar? The world is created in song in the Timeless Halls, and then created actually in time. The Ainur entered into the world at the beginning of time.

And now some snippets of thoughts...

and a sound arose of endless interchanging melodies woven in harmony that passed beyond hearing into depths and into the heights

In what way did they pass beyond hearing? In pitch? spatially? volume?
Or perhaps did they pass beyond in that they became more, seemed tangible?


many trumpets braying upon a few notes

Then he raised up both his hands, and in one chord

Observation: notes show knowledge and ability, but a chord shows understanding

When therefore Earth was yet young and full of flame Melkor coveted it

Is that flame the Flame Imperishable (which doesn't diminish, but was perhaps more obvious) or the "great fires" that Melkor kindled?

Okay, that's enough of my rambling and questions without answers.
I should go read the thread now. (or sleep first)

..The land of long-forgotten name:
......no man may ever anchor near;
..No steering star his hope may aim,
......for nether Night its marches drear,
..And waters wide no sail may tame,
......with shores encircled dark and sheer.

..O! Haven where my heart would be!
......the waves beat upon thy bar
..For ever echo endlessly,
......when longing leads thy thought afar

(This post was edited by Oiotári on Jan 11 2013, 6:21am)

Edit Log:
Post edited by Oiotári (Tol Eressea) on Jan 11 2013, 6:21am

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