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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room: Mannish myth in Rivendell... maybe?: Edit Log

Grey Havens

Sep 10 2017, 9:35pm

Views: 3557
Mannish myth in Rivendell... maybe?

In Reply To
(...) I don't have a first edition "Return of the King", so I can only acknowledge with interest your note about the changes he made to the opening, and the contents of, Appendix A.

Just a little sample here (Appendix A), but also between the first and second editions, from The Adventures of Tom Bombadil it seems we can have lore reaching Rivendell from the South, and we have a reference to the Numenorean tale of Turin and Mim, emphasis on Numenorean.

Anyway, from the First Edition, Appendix A:

"Thus the Red Book contained many annals, genealogies, and traditions of the realms of the South and the North, derived through Bilbo from the books of lore in Rivendell; or through Frodo and Peregrin from the King himself, and from the records of Gondor that he opened to them: such as The Book of the Kings, The Book of the Stewards, and the Akallabeth (that is, The Downfall of Numenor). From Gimli..."

So it's not until the revised edition that Tolkien adds (to Appendix A, in addition to adding the Note on the Shire Records as well of course): "The ancient legends of the First Age, in which Bilbo's chief interest lay, are very briefly referred to, since they concern the ancestry of Elrond and the Numenorean kings and chieftains."

(...) I believe another piece is Tolkien's decision at some point to regard his Silmarillion corpus as Mannish transcriptions made in Numenor and/or Gondor, rather than by Elfwine under direct Elvish instruction as originally conceived. Bilbo then, by the time LotR was being wrapped up, would be competing with the Gondorian records if he was actually learning the tales directly from Elrond's folk in Rivendell - unless, of course, even the Elves of Rivendell were influenced (as a HalfElven cultural center) by the more recent Mannish manuscripts!

We see something of this game within the Appendices, as laid out in the "Note on Shire Records", when the editor informs us that Gondor possessed the most authentic copy of the Red Book, more complete than anything that survived via the hobbits' libraries in the Fourth Age Shire. That copy included Bilbo's Silmarillion ("Translations from the Elvish") but it would presumably have been transmitted or edited by the Gondorian scribes and scholars, so that the final text could be reasonably read as both containing Elvish knowledge via Elrond, and Mannish knowledge via Elendil!

Yes, and I think we could have mannish accounts in Rivendell from Arnor through Numenor, and that these, like museum jools of antiquity, would yet be copied faithfully by Bilbo, despite the "greater truth" that the Western Elves could possibly provide.

[the following was simply lifted from me trying to persuade William Cloud Hicklin that the "Bilbo transmission" and the "Numenorean transmission" were ultimately one and the same]

Translating ancient materials is one thing, "correcting" them another, the latter being not only unnecessary, but given the arguably "gravity" of the ancientry (and artistry) Bilbo is dealing with, he might be expected not to alter things.

If someone handed me an ancient Greek document to translate, for example, and I knew (or was told) that five things in it were factually inaccurate, would I alter these references? That's very arguably not my job, and likewise not Bilbo's. And it's not like Bilbo need leave out evidences of the Elvish perspective if the fuller legendarium includes (as I think it would) accurately translated texts that are more Elvish in nature -- more accurately describing the world from a Western Elvish perspective...

... or, a different Elven notion even showing up in the Mannish The Drowning of Anadune for example, in which the Western Elves teach the Numenoreans that the world is round before the fall.

[back to responding to Squire]

In short (and not that you said otherwise) I think Bilbo can encounter the mannish element in both Imladris and Gondor, and that certain "more Elvish" accounts like The Awakening of the Quendi (an Elvish "fairytale" mixed with counting lore) likely hails from Rivendell, for instance...

... maybe memorized by Glorfindel or Gildor or someone.

Hmm is "translaror" now something? Wink

Think Dean Sanderson from The Grinder if you've ever seen this (sadly cancelled as of now) sitcom.

(This post was edited by Elthir on Sep 10 2017, 9:48pm)

Edit Log:
Post edited by Elthir (Grey Havens) on Sep 10 2017, 9:38pm
Post edited by Elthir (Grey Havens) on Sep 10 2017, 9:38pm
Post edited by Elthir (Grey Havens) on Sep 10 2017, 9:39pm
Post edited by Elthir (Grey Havens) on Sep 10 2017, 9:43pm
Post edited by Elthir (Grey Havens) on Sep 10 2017, 9:43pm
Post edited by Elthir (Grey Havens) on Sep 10 2017, 9:45pm
Post edited by Elthir (Grey Havens) on Sep 10 2017, 9:47pm
Post edited by Elthir (Grey Havens) on Sep 10 2017, 9:48pm

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