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Tips for reading The Silmarillion?
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DanielLB
Immortal


Jul 27 2012, 2:58pm

Post #51 of 75 (222 views)
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Are you enjoying reading it DesiringDragons? [In reply to] Can't Post

I love the first half the book (not that I don't like the other half Wink). It's just so (cliche I know) "magical". Love it!

Your making me want to re-read it! I still have The Hobbit to re-read before the films though! Cool


DesiringDragons
Lorien


Jul 27 2012, 3:04pm

Post #52 of 75 (208 views)
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I'm loving it [In reply to] Can't Post

and I'm so glad you all encouraged me! There are passages that are tough going (mostly those thick with new names) but the prose is incredible. Magical is a great word for it. I keep coming upon sentences or descriptions that I read three or four times just for the beauty of the words. :)


Ethel Duath
Half-elven


Jul 27 2012, 4:26pm

Post #53 of 75 (200 views)
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For me, I read it like the Odyssey [In reply to] Can't Post

in a way. I didn't expect everything to hang together perfectly, and just enjoyed the sweeping visions and terrors and fabulous deeds of each "myth" and enjoyed them all the more when they did link up. I did get awfully confused at times, but I just looked up what I had a mind to, and didn't worry too much about the rest of my confusion. The second read was a lot better.

Thingol finding Melion is one of my favorite parts.Smile


Ethel Duath
Half-elven


Jul 27 2012, 4:27pm

Post #54 of 75 (193 views)
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Yes! [In reply to] Can't Post

Reading passages over and over, just because of the language. I do that in LOTR too.Smile


DesiringDragons
Lorien


Jul 27 2012, 4:35pm

Post #55 of 75 (210 views)
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I loved Thingol and Melion too! [In reply to] Can't Post

I can't remember how I approached The Odyssey - I had to read it for college so all I recall is a lot of highlighting and note-taking and being surprised when I actually enjoyed the story!

...and then I wrote part of my final assignment on it in a pastiche of Homeric style, which makes me cringe to think about, but luckily my professor had a sense of humor. :)


DesiringDragons
Lorien


Jul 27 2012, 4:36pm

Post #56 of 75 (203 views)
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I do too [In reply to] Can't Post

and even in The Hobbit sometimes. No one uses language like Tolkien. :)


Ethel Duath
Half-elven


Jul 27 2012, 4:47pm

Post #57 of 75 (194 views)
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Sounds like a great professor! [In reply to] Can't Post

It reminds me of how my brothers Middle English professor made his class learn to pronouce it as well as learn to read it. You were just trying to enter the world, and I'm sure your prof. appreciated that!Smile


Elizabeth
Half-elven


Jul 27 2012, 5:45pm

Post #58 of 75 (208 views)
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Tips I found very helpful the first time: [In reply to] Can't Post

1. Make copies of the maps and genealogies. Make them on full-sized paper (enlarge if necessary). Put them in plastic page protectors, and refer to them as often as necessary to keep track of where you are and which F-elves you're reading about at the moment.

2. Skip the first two sections and start with the Quenta Silmarillion, unless you have a high tolerance for mind-bending concepts expressed in "biblical" language. You can always go back and pick it up later.

Personally, I think the opening sections (the "creation myth") are wonderful, but they're very heavy going for the average reader.






Join us NOW in the Reading Room for detailed discussions of The Hobbit, July 9-Nov. 18!

Elizabeth is the TORnsib formerly known as 'erather'


DesiringDragons
Lorien


Jul 27 2012, 6:21pm

Post #59 of 75 (214 views)
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I love that first idea especially! [In reply to] Can't Post

This sounds like a WONDERFUL idea to make reference easier. Thank you so much!

I've already made it through the first two sections, but I can definitely see why you advised against it. They were probably the toughest part so far to read...but on the other hand, it was nice to get the background for the main action, and to be introduced to the Valar. So now that I've actually done it I'm kind of glad. And the part about the singing in the beginning was beautiful.

Thank you again!


DesiringDragons
Lorien


Jul 28 2012, 12:22pm

Post #60 of 75 (195 views)
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Day 3 ( spoilers) [In reply to] Can't Post

(Or rather Night 3, since I read in the evening - I hope no one minds these little updates, btw, I'm just trying to keep track of my own progress. I will probably stop after a few days.)

I only managed 20 pages last night, but between the Olympics coverage and Fridays generally being my busiest, I had to get some Silmarillion time in. :)

So far:
Day 1 - 30 page
Day 2 - 40 pages
Day 3 - 20 pages

Highlights (lowlights?) of last night's read:

- Ungoliant. I am such an arachnophobe and there are giant evil spiders in every book I love!
- The fate of the trees. :(
- Adieu, Finwe :(
- Feanor, I am not sure what I think of you at all!
- Malkor is now Morgoth and has the Silmarils. Boo hiss.

I'm continually amazed by how much happens on every page. I'm so glad you all encouraged me; this is an incredible read so far.


DesiringDragons
Lorien


Jul 28 2012, 12:45pm

Post #61 of 75 (208 views)
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*Melkor, not Malkor // [In reply to] Can't Post

 


Ethel Duath
Half-elven


Jul 28 2012, 6:49pm

Post #62 of 75 (176 views)
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Ha ha! What fun! [In reply to] Can't Post

Joe elf.

Laugh


Arandiel
Grey Havens

Jul 29 2012, 5:12am

Post #63 of 75 (211 views)
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Okay, so I have a tolerance for mind-bending concepts, but alas... [In reply to] Can't Post

I actually make it through the creation story without too much difficulty; it's the more 'historical' sections I have trouble with. To this day, I haven't been able to make it through the whole book, despite having started it the first time over a couple decades ago - and having a history-heavy Master's degree in religion. One of these years...

Actually, your reference to 'biblical' language is pretty accurate; the chapters of the Silmarillion do bear some resemblance to different books of the Bible - histories, theology, stories of individual figures. I just can't get them to stay in order in my head as easily as biblical accounts!


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SF
The Shire

Jul 29 2012, 10:51pm

Post #64 of 75 (169 views)
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Atlas of Middle-Earth [In reply to] Can't Post

I found having Karen Wynn Fonstad's Atlas of Middle-Earth to be useful while reading The Silmarillion. Helped me keep track of who and what was where, and also provided a refresher on character names.


DesiringDragons
Lorien


Jul 30 2012, 12:05pm

Post #65 of 75 (169 views)
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Thank you! [In reply to] Can't Post

Someone else recommended this, too - I do have a copy somewhere but I have to go dig through the boxes of books I didn't have shelf space for after my last move. :)

I really will have to do that now. Though the index at least makes all the similar elf-names a little bit easier to remember.


DanielLB
Immortal


Jul 30 2012, 10:46pm

Post #66 of 75 (154 views)
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How have you been getting along the last couple of days? :-) / [In reply to] Can't Post

 


DesiringDragons
Lorien


Jul 30 2012, 10:59pm

Post #67 of 75 (162 views)
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Thank you for asking! :) [In reply to] Can't Post

My pace has slowed a bit, because I've been busier than usual in the evenings lately and that's when I usually read.

I also wasn't sure whether it was all right to keep updating this thread?

I've been keeping at it, and enjoying it far more than I ever expected. I'm so glad you all encouraged me! Once I started to remember who the characters were, the book began to read much faster. I think the best way to read it is straight through, rather than dipping into it as I'd done previously.

I think I'll post an update in a few days if no one minds. :)


Magpie
Immortal


Jul 30 2012, 11:59pm

Post #68 of 75 (173 views)
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you can post and update as much as you want [In reply to] Can't Post

...but once the thread falls to the second page, it becomes pretty much invisible and people won't catch new posts in it. It's the way these boards are set up and it has a purpose. If you'd like to know more about that... ask on the Feedback board.

Once a thread has fallen to the second page, it's perfectly acceptable, should one wish to keep talking about the topic, to post a new thread. If you think it useful, you can link to the preexisting thread(s).


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DanielLB
Immortal


Jul 31 2012, 7:57am

Post #69 of 75 (162 views)
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As Magpie says, you can make another thread if you like :-) [In reply to] Can't Post

I suppose you didn't get much reading done last night after all the news came out? Wink

Good to see you are still enjoying it though. Has anything particularly caught your eye - a favourite storyline, or character?


DesiringDragons
Lorien


Jul 31 2012, 12:51pm

Post #70 of 75 (148 views)
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This is good to know [In reply to] Can't Post

thank you very much for the information!

I like the way the threads scroll...it keeps the conversation fresh, even if it does mean occasionally looking for old threads But the Search feature is handy for that.

I might start a new thread, then, in a day or two. :)


DesiringDragons
Lorien


Jul 31 2012, 1:07pm

Post #71 of 75 (156 views)
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Thank you, I probably will :) [In reply to] Can't Post

And no, last night was mainly spent reading reactions and articles! I did get a few pages in, though. :)

Let's see...I've made it past Mickleburg (which I mentioned wanting to do early on in the thread when Smeagirl's hilarious post was linked), and I was delighted to find it was a dwarf city.

Some reactions in a very small nutshell:

Dwarves are back in the picture now and Men will show up soon. Feanor is being a huge jerk. Galadriel and Celeborn have appeared. Beren and Luthien's story is coming up, but not just yet. (I flipped ahead.) And we have dragons (well, fire-drakes)! I know Glaurung is Bad, but - dragons.

And the descriptions continue to amaze me. I love the Necklace of the Dwarves, but the index says it's doomed.

...these make more sense when I type them out as I'm reading.


DanielLB
Immortal


Jul 31 2012, 1:16pm

Post #72 of 75 (151 views)
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That's no bad thing [In reply to] Can't Post

Seeing what chapters are coming up, or finding out that the Necklace of the Dwarves becomes important later on, is no bad thing. It makes you want to read on, and finish the story. Smile


QuackingTroll
Valinor


Jul 31 2012, 1:28pm

Post #73 of 75 (158 views)
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Take breaks... [In reply to] Can't Post

I tend to read a few chapters at a time and leave it for a while, I'll read some different books until I feel the interest again and then pick up where I left off. If you're beginning to lose interest then you're not going to enjoy the book. Tongue


DesiringDragons
Lorien


Jul 31 2012, 1:30pm

Post #74 of 75 (157 views)
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Sorry if I gave the wrong impression! [In reply to] Can't Post

I'm not losing interest at all; I've just had trouble fitting in much reading time for a few days because of Life Stuff. :)

But thank you very much for the suggestion - if I do find my interest waning, I will take your advice.


Elizabeth
Half-elven


Aug 1 2012, 7:42pm

Post #75 of 75 (201 views)
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That's why the genealogies are helpful! [In reply to] Can't Post

Keeping track of all the F-elves is tough. And then there are the Sons of Fëanor: C-sons are bad; M-sons less so, A-sons largely irrelevant.






Join us NOW in the Reading Room for detailed discussions of The Hobbit, July 9-Nov. 18!

Elizabeth is the TORnsib formerly known as 'erather'

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