Jan 6 2018, 5:49pm
a tale versus a scholarly approach
Well, that is Canon, like it or not, whatever one thinks of Christopher Tolkien's editing prowness. But, I would also point out, these things about the Elves were constantly shifting in JRRT's mind...
For myself, I don't consider the 1977 Silmarillion canon, but it has nothing to do with Christopher Tolkien's editing prowess.
I think CJRT did a great job compiling the texts into a reader's version (I agree with him, however, about his treatment of the fall of Doriath* for example, and his regretted lack of giving some internal context or authorship regarding each account, for another instance), but I don't think his compilation was ever meant to be taken as canon...
... despite that, and granted, had no posthumously published materials (especially The History of Middle-earth series), ever been published after 1977, the constructed Silmarillion would have "had" to be canon, at least by default as far as discussions go, about (a lot of) the Elder Days. Obviously perhaps, as in such a case we readers wouldn't have anything else as a "common read" to discuss or think about.
I keep in mind too, that a one volume "reader's version" (as I call it) was not the way CJRT wanted to go in the first place, as he's noted, including the influence of Guy Kay in this matter.
*and that said, it's not like my initial read of the fall of Doriath felt wrong, unTolkienly, in any case.
(This post was edited by Elthir on Jan 6 2018, 5:58pm)