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answers for questions that need them

Escapist
Gondor


Feb 25 2013, 7:13pm


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answers for questions that need them [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Lonely Mountains, Lonely Isles…they may be one of a kind, but why does Tolkien choose to call them Lonely? Does he use that term for any other spots in Aman or Middle Earth? How does that descriptor impact your impressions of these places?
>>> Lonely can mean so many different things. Taken in context, I would guess the name is fitting because the lone mountain stands apart from a mountain range and similarly, the lone isle stands apart from any other nearby isle. It reminds me of a saying I heard in China, that every lake must have a tower ... but I am not sure this applies across all cultures and situations.


2. Osse causes trouble again! What is with this guy? Why can’t he just let the Teleri go?
>>> It sounds like Osse was a representative of many people sharing a common wish.


3. Is the creation of the Lonely Isle a political compromise? What are the ramifications of Osse and Ulmo’s actions in choosing to root the Island in the Bay? Why don’t the Valar just outvote these guys and move the Island?
>>>There are limits to how far anyone can impose their whim on another.

4. For divine beings, the Valar and the Maia are pretty human at times, aren't they? They continue to second guess each other, give into persuasion, change their minds and avoid confrontation. And later, we’ll see that the Noldor have all kinds of conflicts, emotions, and problems of their own.

It strikes me that Tolkien idealizes his settings, and the physical attributes of his characters, but their motivations and actions are closer to the human condition. Do you agree? Other thoughts on these musings?
>>>I think Tolkien chooses to dwell on the most beautiful things and sometimes the most beautiful things may be certain emotional dramas.

Is the divine being acting in human ways found in other mythologies? What about in fairy stories, Faerie stories, or fantasy tales?
>>>I would expect the divine to be capable of reaching beyond human limitations of all kinds but at the same time, not wholly unlike human.

5. Let’s talk about the very brief descriptions of the Calacirya, Túna and Tirion in this section, which I included above.

Do you like the imagery here? I find these passages very moving in some ways – do you?
>>>To be honest, I find that "a picture is worth a thousand words" often specifies my feelings for long descriptive paragraphs about scenery only.

Tolkien will refer to Tuna and Tirion many times in the Sil -- does he give us enough to go on here to be able to recall these places or have some kind of emotional resonance with them when he does bring them up again?
>>>I think that for me, it is not a place in and of itself but the events that happen there and people that dwell there that make it memorable and emotionally resonant.

What about the reference to mortal men in connection with Tirion – does it make you curious as to who those lucky guys will be? Does the introduction of the human element impact your perceptions of this place in any way?
>>>It feels a little bit like a label, but it does excite my imagination which then wants to fill in missing details with other stories I have heard about humans entering the world.

6. And how about some musings on how the Sil and LOTR relate to each other, as stories…

In this section, we get the introduction of the White Tree of Numenor…for me, when I first read the Sil, the references to people, places and things I’d encountered in LOTR were very helpful because they gave me a place to land in the middle of all of the new things Tolkien was pouring out at me. Anyone else find this helpful?
>>>Those elements of the Silmarillion that appear in LOTR were easier to remember than the rest for me.

And of course, if I found something in the Sil that I remembered being mentioned in LOTR, I went back and looked it up and had a lot of “aha” moments, when I realized, for example, what the heck Galadriel was singing about in her lament. That added a new level of delight, as a reader, which I appreciated. Would you say this is one of the key things that sets LOTR apart from other fantasy tales?
>>>I like the connections in the songs. It is one of the elements that contributes to the re-readability of LOTR. Every time I read it I find more connections to make.

On the other hand, an author can get too carried away by trying to connect all the dots between past and future, and the story becomes an explanation and not a story, if I can put it that way (“cough” Star Wars prequels). Does Tolkien manage to avoid this trap, for you? Any comments on the way Tolkien weaves the Sil into LOTR and LOTR into the Sil?
>>>Well, it would be a detraction to focus on those dots that don't fit the story (but leaving them out is not the best since they add some mystery and credibility). There are certainly multitple stories happening at once, but it may be too confusing to handle them all at once with the same level of emphasis.

Subject User Time
*Silmarillion Discussion: Chapter 5, "Of Eldamar and the Princes of the Eldalie", Part 2 -- The Great Teleri Compromise and a Guided Tour…* weaver Send a private message to weaver Feb 23 2013, 9:18pm
    Of islands and where to live CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Feb 24 2013, 12:32am
    lists, names and more stuff to remember... elevorn Send a private message to elevorn Feb 25 2013, 6:42pm
    answers for questions that need them Escapist Send a private message to Escapist Feb 25 2013, 7:13pm
    Some answers from a "mythic" perspective FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Feb 27 2013, 12:39pm
        Silmarillion's actuality Mixel Send a private message to Mixel Feb 28 2013, 11:45pm
        and thank you for those answers! telain Send a private message to telain Mar 1 2013, 12:36am
            Myths, floods, and physical geography? CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Mar 1 2013, 1:20am
                a very dim light! but a light nonetheless telain Send a private message to telain Mar 1 2013, 11:55pm
                    Enlightening--thanks!// CuriousG Send a private message to CuriousG Mar 3 2013, 2:29pm
    Late answers sador Send a private message to sador Mar 3 2013, 10:40am

 
 
 

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