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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Reading Room:
Where did you read that? A reading room quiz


Jun 22 2010, 11:23pm

Views: 411
Where did you read that? A reading room quiz Can't Post

As Curious, Atlas-like, double-handedly holds up the RR tradition of close textual analysis of Tolkien’s books, I think the rest of us need to reconnect with the deep roots that the written word has in Tolkien’s ostensibly oral-traditional world. Thus: a squire quiz on reading in Middle-earth.

Can you identify the textual source and speaker/writer of the following quotes? Extra credit for naming the culture or people involved; and extra-footnote-credit for discussing how and why the quote shows the written word to be important in the context of that culture or people’s history.

1. ‘Still, I wonder if we shall ever be put into songs or tales. We’re in one, or course; but I mean: put into words, you know, told by the fireside, or read out of a great big book with red and black letters, years and years afterwards.’

2. ‘And yet there lie in his hoards many records that few now can read, even of the lore-masters, for their scripts and tongues have become dark to later men.’

3. [He] was sitting in his study writing his memoirs - he thought of calling them “There and Back Again, a Hobbit’s Holiday”

4. In all that time there were but affrays on the marches, and all Beleriand prospered and grew rich. Behind the guard of their armies in the north the Noldor built their dwellings and their towers, and many fair things they made in those days, and poems and histories and books of lore.

5. At the end of the Third Age far the most notable survival was Yellowskin, or the Yearbook of Tuckborough. Its earliest entries seem to have begun at least nine hundred years before Frodo's time; and many are cited in the Red Book annals and genealogies.

6. There were many recesses cut in the rock of the walls, and in them were large iron-bound chests of wood. All had been broken and plundered; but beside the shattered lid of one there lay the remains of a book. It had been slashed and stabbed and partly burned, and it was so stained with black and other dark marks like old blood that little of it could be read.

7. And the loremasters among them learned also the High Eldarin tongue of the Blessed Realm, in which much story and song was preserved from the beginning of the world; and they made letters and scrolls and books, and wrote in them many things of wisdom and wonder in the high tide of their realm, of which all is now forgot.

8. A love of learning (other than genealogical lore) was far from general among them, but there remained still a few in the older families who studied their own books, and even gathered reports of old times and distant lands from Elves, Dwarves, and Men.

9. ‘…there are moreover in our treasuries many things preserved: books and tablets writ on withered parchments, yea, and on stone, and on leaves of silver and of gold, in divers characters. Some none can now read; and for the rest, few ever unlock them.’

10. This account Bilbo set down in his memoirs, and he seems never to have altered it himself, not even after the Council of Elrond. Evidently it still appeared in the original Red Book, as it did in several of the copies and abstracts. But many copies contain the true account (as an alternative), derived no doubt from notes by Frodo or Samwise, both of whom learned the truth, though they seem to have been unwilling to delete anything actually written by the old hobbit himself.


squire online:
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Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Footeramas: The 3rd TORn Reading Room LotR Discussion; and "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
squiretalk introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary

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Subject User Time
Where did you read that? A reading room quiz squire Send a private message to squire Jun 22 2010, 11:23pm
    Tolkien had a special love of old manuscripts. Curious Send a private message to Curious Jun 23 2010, 12:38am
        For heaven's sake, Don't Shrug! :) // Ethel Duath Send a private message to Ethel Duath Jun 23 2010, 2:22am
    attempting PhantomS Send a private message to PhantomS Jun 23 2010, 3:34am
    Reading as metaphor visualweasel Send a private message to visualweasel Jun 23 2010, 4:01pm
    Missed those! sador Send a private message to sador Jun 23 2010, 4:26pm
        Verrry funny, sador! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jun 29 2010, 12:49am
            *shrugs* // sador Send a private message to sador Jun 29 2010, 4:25am
                "Oog," mumbled Orlon. dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jun 30 2010, 2:40am
                    "But wait a bit," sador cried, sador Send a private message to sador Jun 30 2010, 6:21am
                        Oh, no need for concern! dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jun 30 2010, 11:29pm
    Probably won't recognise them all... dormouse Send a private message to dormouse Jun 23 2010, 10:36pm
    Because I cannot resist a quiz Finding Frodo Send a private message to Finding Frodo Jun 24 2010, 2:43am
    I peeked FarFromHome Send a private message to FarFromHome Jun 24 2010, 12:58pm
    I'm not learned but I'll try. Aunt Dora Baggins Send a private message to Aunt Dora Baggins Jun 24 2010, 11:09pm
    Out of practice. Penthe Send a private message to Penthe Jun 26 2010, 10:13am
    Here goes: Ethel Duath Send a private message to Ethel Duath Jun 26 2010, 9:48pm
    Meaning no harm dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jun 27 2010, 1:12pm
        And to consider your questions... dernwyn Send a private message to dernwyn Jun 29 2010, 12:40am


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