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TORn AMATEUR SYMPOSIUM Day Six- The Silmarillion topics
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TORn Amateur Symposium
Bree


Jul 26 2013, 7:06am

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TORn AMATEUR SYMPOSIUM Day Six- The Silmarillion topics Can't Post

 
We are pleased to present the following TAS entries in the category, The Silmarillion Topics:

"Who was the original owner of Orcrist?" by Dark Jackal

"Who was the original owner of Orcrist?" by Dark Jackal

"The Silmarillion as Awakening to the Real World and Adulthood" by Telain


"The Silmarillion as Awakening to the Real World and Adulthood" by Telain

To view an essay, please click on the appropriate link above. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoy posting it. The TAS is open for discussion, and any comments, questions or thought you wish to share about this particular Category pieces can be posted in this response to this thread. Also use the sub-threads below to address a particular essay.


Details on TORn's very first Amateur Symposium can be found
here

And don't forget to join in with discussions on other essays:

Day Five: The Lord of the Rings Topics

Day Four: The Hobbit Topics

Day Three: Geography and Literature, Art & Language

Day Two: Fauna of Middle-earth

Day One: Physics of Middle-earth

Happy Reading, TORn Brethren and Guests!


TORn Amateur Symposium
Bree


Jul 26 2013, 7:07am

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Subthread for "Who was the original owner of Orcrist?" by Dark Jackal [In reply to] Can't Post

 


TORn Amateur Symposium
Bree


Jul 26 2013, 7:08am

Post #3 of 56 (453 views)
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Subthread for "The Silmarillion as Awakening to the Real World and Adulthood" by Telain [In reply to] Can't Post

 


elaen32
Gondor


Jul 26 2013, 10:09am

Post #4 of 56 (418 views)
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Really nice reasoning DJ! [In reply to] Can't Post

Tolkien does gives us a lot of information about how the Lords of Gondolin fight, doesn't he? And somehow it seems fitting that a sword owned by the slayer of a Balrog ends up in the hands of an Heir of Durin! Yes, I know it didn't kill the Balrog and it is a different Balrog to Durin's bane, but still...

It would be fascinating to know the subsequent history of Glamdring and Orcrist and how they came to be in the troll hoard. That would be a fun piece of fan-fiction!


The first TORn Amateur Symposium, IS NOW ON from Sunday 21st July in the Reading Room. Come and join us for some interesting discussion on some different and personal ways of looking at Tolkien's work



elaen32
Gondor


Jul 26 2013, 11:01am

Post #5 of 56 (435 views)
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Loved reading this Telain [In reply to] Can't Post

And the Silmarillion, in this context, is really one long sequence of awakenings, eventually leading through the 2nd and 3rd Ages, to the Dominion of Men, as they mature into rulers of Middle-earth. Whether that rule is wise is another issue. Was Eru's intention that one day Men would be the ruling force of Arda, the outcome of the Music? If so, one could say that the hash that Men eventually make of it (ie coming into our Real World) was influenced by Melkor's marring and discord. But again, if one believes that Eru has foreseen all, then the discord should eventually resolve into a beautiful harmonic! And that is a comforting thought! And possibly another awakening to we know not what.

One sees more of this sleep and awakening elsewhere in the legendarium- especially in TLOTR. Instances include the awakening of the Ents from their long slumber to realisation that the whole natural world is being threatened. Also, stories such as the awakening of the lost line of Isildur, in Aragorn's coming, the awakening of Theoden when healed by Gandalf, the journey to adulthood that the younger Hobbits take, especially Pippin. Initially all the Hobbits (including Bilbo in The Hobbit) have an awakening, from their sleepy Shire existence, to the realities and dangers of the outside World. However, there is the odd phrase which Frodo speaks as the Hobbits arrive home. One of the others says "It's like waking from a long dream"(or words to that effect), to which Frodo replies "For me it is like falling asleep again". I imagine that having "awoken" to the world of the spirit, via the effects of the Ring, that going back to the Shire feels even more odd to Frodo and he doesn't truly awaken again until he reaches the Undying Lands.


The first TORn Amateur Symposium, IS NOW ON from Sunday 21st July in the Reading Room. Come and join us for some interesting discussion on some different and personal ways of looking at Tolkien's work



noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Jul 26 2013, 12:12pm

Post #6 of 56 (395 views)
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Re waking & sleeping when the hobbits return to the Shire [In reply to] Can't Post

Somebody (Prof Shippey, I think, but I no longer remember where I read this) takes this further - Frodo &Co who have been away in Faerie have to wake up the rest of the hobbits, who have been sleepwalking into a miserable industrial dictatorship.So who has been waking & who has been sleeping? Goes nicely with Tolkien's comments on the usefulness of Fairy stories.

Merry blowing the Horn Call of Buckland on his horn from King Eomer fits nicely with this reading.

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimė I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Jul 26 2013, 12:13pm

Post #7 of 56 (386 views)
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I agree - good bit of deduction! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimė I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Jul 26 2013, 12:18pm

Post #8 of 56 (430 views)
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Melian as a sleeper [In reply to] Can't Post

Reading the Thingol and Melian part of the paper made me think about Melian: while in Middle-earth, she is pretty sleeper-like! Having created a sort of psychic duvet of the Girdle of Melian, she snuggles inside, and seems to limit herself to murmuring warnings (which Thingol often ignores). No "Council of Melian" to work out what to do with the silmaril that Beren and Luthien recover, for example. Melian's come in for some stick about this during our current Silmarillion Read-through. next week, of course we reach the chapter in which Thingol and Luthien dies, and Melian abandons her people to their fate. Which is hard to understand - unless the whole thing was pretty dream-like for her, perhaps?

Nice essay, glad someone put you up to writing it, telain Wink

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimė I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


telain
Rohan

Jul 26 2013, 2:12pm

Post #9 of 56 (383 views)
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bring forth the "beautiful harmonic"! [In reply to] Can't Post

as you so eloquently said:

Quote
But again, if one believes that Eru has foreseen all, then the discord should eventually resolve into a beautiful harmonic! And that is a comforting thought! And possibly another awakening to we know not what.


...which begs the question whether we are currently in a second "adulthood" or have we actually regressed? Or was the Silmarillic awakening of Men into "adulthood" exclusively for the Numenoreans, who "went back to sleep" with the Akallabeth, and this modern-day human society is the product of an awakening of non-Numenorean humans (say that 10 times fast...)?

But most of us would like the second awakening that you alluded to above to come about a little sooner rather than later! Bring forth the beautiful harmonic! But I think Tolkien's Ages are long and patience (coupled with short life-span) makes that difficult. (THinking these thoughts always brings to mind film Gandalf's description of his time "out of the Earth" as longer than an Age of the Earth... Yet another awakening!) Someone recently remarked to me that it is so difficult to imagine the amount of time involved in the geophysical processes of the Earth. I think the same is true of the ages depicted in The Silmarillion; they are so much longer than I think most of us can conceive (especially when the chapters are only a couple of pages long...)

I am glad you and others are making connections to awakening in his other works. I wanted to limit my essay to the Sil, but I wanted people to bring up other examples!


noWizardme
Tol Eressea


Jul 26 2013, 2:51pm

Post #10 of 56 (370 views)
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regressing and proud of it // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

Disclaimers: The words of noWizardme may stand on their heads! I'm often wrong about things, and its fun to be taught more....

"nowimė I am in the West, Furincurunir to the Dwarves (or at least, to their best friend) and by other names in other lands. Mostly they just say 'Oh no it's him - look busy!' "
Or "Hold off! unhand me, grey-beard loon!"


Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 26 2013, 3:17pm

Post #11 of 56 (384 views)
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Love the logic of your construct DarkJackal! [In reply to] Can't Post

I agree about Glorfindel, who would be an otherwise strong candidate for bearing Orcrist. In the tradition of warriors and their swords, I believe note would have been made of either a weapon broken in battle or at death (as a symbol of the loss) or a weapon interred with a named and mighty warrior such as Glorfindel. Especially given the Rebodying, had he a significant weapon interred with him it would presumably have been waiting for him.

The passages on Ecthelion are great points. I love your unearthing of the various classes of weapons used by each House.

Wonderful!

The first TORn Amateur Symposium starts this week in the Reading Room! Come and join in!









telain
Rohan

Jul 26 2013, 3:26pm

Post #12 of 56 (373 views)
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Absolutely! [In reply to] Can't Post

Melian is such a good example to explore a little further. She's already part of the "grown-ups" crowd -- wait! Maybe she so quickly abandons "her" people (her children?) so she can go back to sitting at the "adult" table.

I love this:

Quote
Having created a sort of psychic duvet of the Girdle of Melian, she snuggles inside, ...


So, this is why she is so "out of it" for most of the stories! Makes so much more sense now. Now I have a great image in my head of Galadriel sitting at a table with a cup of tea while Melian lounges in a Psych(edeli)ic duvet musing (gossiping? How scandalous!)

So is the psychic duvet causing Thingol, et al to be in a semi-dream state? Does this state make them unprepared to deal with the outside world?


Rembrethil
Tol Eressea

Jul 26 2013, 3:29pm

Post #13 of 56 (372 views)
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A short but sweet paper [In reply to] Can't Post

A question with no answers, but you have worked it out very well. I agree that the word 'mate' should not be taken too literally, though it does beg more questions. The detail in the description of weapons would seem to support your suppositions, though I do not know that JJRT had any specific plans to explain Orcrist and Glamdring's prescence in TH. The opinion has been voiced, that he added the material on Gondolin to TH because the Sil was rejected for publication, and I agree. I does set up a few interesting discussion points, and should keep us busy in the RR for a while

Throughout this essay, you have presented info that I had forgotten, from my first HoME read. Time to read it again.

Good job presenting such a broad subject, and a solution, in so few pages!!


Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 26 2013, 3:39pm

Post #14 of 56 (363 views)
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So many great examples in the literature [In reply to] Can't Post

which support your point!

I am intrigued about Aredhel and her almost 'dreamlike' state that she seems to spend with Eol. Its almost Hansel and Gretel-ish (only Gretel here) the way she wanders into the woods in the twilight, and finds the House which offers something appealing (A Dark Elf as opposed to food) and seems to stay in that twilight state, literally and figuratively. She leaves with Maeglin once Eol departs: does she 'wake' at the withdrawal of Eol's glamour? (One cannot see the Moon when the Sun is out - a bit of a literary inversion there!)

I agree about the waking and travel journey to adulthood that JRRT sets the Valar on. Its much easier to see them in this light, and witness the changes and the 'awakening' which for them culminates in moving further away from Middle Earth. Their 'real world' seems to be defined by their role. They move from being Elf-friends who clad themselves in Firstborn forms to removed divinities who observe from afar, and witness the Song unfolding. A great metaphor Telain!

Interesting that Denethor and the Numenorean tradition becomes ancestor-worship, and the 'sleeping' Kings become objectified (and valued more than living sons.)

The first TORn Amateur Symposium starts this week in the Reading Room! Come and join in!









Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 26 2013, 3:44pm

Post #15 of 56 (365 views)
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Frodo's falling asleep [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
However, there is the odd phrase which Frodo speaks as the Hobbits arrive home. One of the others says "It's like waking from a long dream"(or words to that effect), to which Frodo replies "For me it is like falling asleep again". I imagine that having "awoken" to the world of the spirit, via the effects of the Ring, that going back to the Shire feels even more odd to Frodo and he doesn't truly awaken again until he reaches the Undying Lands.




I completely agree with this interpretation of that line. After feeling and seeing the boundless world of Spirit and feeling the strength and power of the Ring, corrupted as it was, the sleepy Shire would be like a loss of 'wakefulness,'

In the Undying Lands he can awaken again, fully heal, and then fall asleep in peace.

The first TORn Amateur Symposium starts this week in the Reading Room! Come and join in!









Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 26 2013, 3:51pm

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Melian and Thingol [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Melian is such a good example to explore a little further. She's already part of the "grown-ups" crowd -- wait! Maybe she so quickly abandons "her" people (her children?) so she can go back to sitting at the "adult" table.

I love this:

Quote
Having created a sort of psychic duvet of the Girdle of Melian, she snuggles inside, ...


So, this is why she is so "out of it" for most of the stories! Makes so much more sense now. Now I have a great image in my head of Galadriel sitting at a table with a cup of tea while Melian lounges in a Psych(edeli)ic duvet musing (gossiping? How scandalous!)

So is the psychic duvet causing Thingol, et al to be in a semi-dream state? Does this state make them unprepared to deal with the outside world?




I would agree that Melian places them into an isolated existence, purely I think out of her wish to be with Thingol. I think that is her motivation, and to her - with her foresight she knows it will end, and probably how - and that is why with Thingol's loss she leaves so quickly. She has 'snuggled' in for the time that they have together, but I think it removes her from the rest of life in Arda. Its a choice I think, for her - more fait accompli for Thingol once he is enchanted by Melain.

The first TORn Amateur Symposium starts this week in the Reading Room! Come and join in!









Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 26 2013, 3:52pm

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I shall regress as one of you! // [In reply to] Can't Post

 

The first TORn Amateur Symposium starts this week in the Reading Room! Come and join in!









telain
Rohan

Jul 26 2013, 4:29pm

Post #18 of 56 (349 views)
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Hanseol and Aretel? [In reply to] Can't Post

Sorry... couldn't resist the wordplay!

I like the image you conjure here -- Aredhel is a bit like Gretel (or Little White Riding Hood!?) Who gets waylaid by a Wolf? Love the more grown-up fairy-tale angle (and given Tolkien's assessment that fairy-tales were more for adults than children, I am sure he would, too.) I think she does wake up as she tells Maeglin the tales of her "life before," and it helps that Eol was out galavanting with dwarves... But you wouldn't see the value in that, would you?Wink

Denethor, Numenoreans and ancestor-worship! Great one. Let sleeping kings lie! Have you or anyone else read Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising sequence? As I read your reference to the sleeping kings, I was instantly reminded that in Cooper's books one of the main goals of the Light is to Wake the Sleepers (knights) so that they can rise against the Dark in the one big final battle. Hmmm. Sound familiar? Cooper draws on Arthurian legend as well as Celtic (esp. Welsh)-- as does Tolkien--so it's not too strange that they should be similar in theme, if not in tone or complexity.

But it does make me wonder more about sleeping and waking in more "common" fairy-tales -- of course there is Sleeping Beauty, but the idea of Sleeping Beauty is far less about the growth of the person who is waking up than the fact that someone is waking her up. Are themes of sleeping and awakening drawing on something universal, or is my argument that Tolkien is waking up his characters to the Real (Adult) World fairly unique? It certainly feels more "Celtic fairy-tale" than I have knowledge of...


DanielLB
Immortal


Jul 26 2013, 5:42pm

Post #19 of 56 (361 views)
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I would love to find out how the swords got from Gondolin to the Trolls hoard [In reply to] Can't Post

What was the discussion the other day regarding Bilbo's mithril vest, and the possibility of it originally being made for someone in Gondolin? For the life of me, I can't find it on here, and now I'm doubting whether I even read it here or not.

It was quite a fun theory.

The first TORn Amateur Symposium starts this week in the Reading Room! Come and join in!



DanielLB
Immortal


Jul 26 2013, 6:04pm

Post #20 of 56 (354 views)
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Great essay, thank you telain :-) [In reply to] Can't Post


Quote
In the examples I have given, the races or individuals have a clearer view of the Real World upon waking, whether they are able to interact with the Real World through consciousness, whether they mature and gain the sense of greater responsibility in the Real World that characterizes Adulthood from Childhood, or whether they gain greater knowledge of the Real World and see things as they were meant to be seen (or some interesting combination of all three.)


I suppose Ents also nicely fit into this category of awakening. Tolkien says in Letter 248:


Quote
But as the War in Beleriand was at the time of the hobbits' meeting some 7,000 years ago, no doubt they were not quite the same: less wise, less strong, shyer and more uncommunicable (their own language simpler, but their knowledge of other tongues very small).


It seems like a good example of how a race matures: Ents slowly grew and multiplied, and soon became more aware of their world.

And what does that us who are "morning people" and don't mind getting up? Wink

The first TORn Amateur Symposium starts this week in the Reading Room! Come and join in!



Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 26 2013, 6:28pm

Post #21 of 56 (332 views)
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Sleeping through the ages [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Sorry... couldn't resist the wordplay! No apologies - that's what we do here!
...and it helps that Eol was out galavanting with dwarves... But you wouldn't see the value in that, would you?Wink I can maybe see doing that for a day, or two...or a couple of decades. Maybe. WinkEvil

Denethor, Numenoreans and ancestor-worship! Great one. Let sleeping kings lie! Have you or anyone else read Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising sequence? As I read your reference to the sleeping kings, I was instantly reminded that in Cooper's books one of the main goals of the Light is to Wake the Sleepers (knights) so that they can rise against the Dark in the one big final battle. Hmmm. Sound familiar? Cooper draws on Arthurian legend as well as Celtic (esp. Welsh)-- as does Tolkien--so it's not too strange that they should be similar in theme, if not in tone or complexity. I think we have a lot of ancient references to draw upon here. Arthur springs right to mind (but I think JRRT had a profound dissatisfaction with Arthur's return in the context of his own legendarium - he mentions the difficulty in Letter #154 [I think that's the one] which may be why he abandoned Fall). We have the tales of both Snow White and Sleeping Beauty: both 'asleep' (one physically/spiritually, one lost in the woods with Dwarves. Which sounds fine by me, thank you very much) and 'awakened' with true love's kiss by the Prince in their tale. I think these tales have evolved: from older versions which perhaps were addressing the line between Seen/Unseen and Life/Death metaphors, to more socially symbolic and cautionary tales in the light of advancing Christian mores and social change and the notions of Courtly Love. Another example could certainly be Vainamoinen (sorry I can't do all the umlauts, etc.) from the Kalevala. He is said to be the symbol of Old beliefs who sails off in his boat to 'rest' and will return when needed (interesting inversion here as an inspiration as he may represent the Pagan versus the Christian faith). In addition Bruinen (most excellently!!!) cited the Tale of King Heidrek and The Waking of Agantyr, in which Hervor 'wakes' her dead father to demand the family blade, cursed Tyrfing. JRRT was well acquainted with both the tales. In waking the sleeping knight: in context of the awakening metaphor and specifically Sil and the tale of Tyrfing, I think of Turin, waking with Anglachel when the time is right. So I think you have tapped into a very elemental factor I the telling of the tale - and in much of the Sil as his 'ancient' and Creation text. )And then we have Vlad the Impaler who is supposed to be just 'resting'. I'll skip that awakening party, thanks.)


The first TORn Amateur Symposium starts this week in the Reading Room! Come and join in!









Ardamķrė
Valinor


Jul 26 2013, 7:01pm

Post #22 of 56 (347 views)
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UUT - mithril shirt [In reply to] Can't Post

Here's the link. I read through it, too, and really liked the idea. But then, I'm partial to the Fall of Gondolin story anyway Evil

UUT

"...not till now have I understood the tale of your people and their fall.
As wicked fools I scorned them, but I pity them at last.
For if this is indeed, as the Eldar say, the gift of the One to Men,
it is bitter to receive." -Arwen Undómiel




Riven Delve
Grey Havens


Jul 26 2013, 7:58pm

Post #23 of 56 (324 views)
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I wonder about this too, elaen and Daniel [In reply to] Can't Post

Elrond himself didn't know how the swords came to be in the troll cave--"...one may guess that your trolls plundered other plunderers, or come on the remnants of old robberies in some hold in the mountains of the North" (TH)--so we are in good company!

But I like to think that, like many other of the "small events" in Middle-earth, the swords were meant to be found, and found by Gandalf and company...


"To remember love after long sleep; to turn again to poetry after a year in the marketplace, or to youth after resignation to drowsy and stiffening old age; to remember what once you thought life could hold, after telling over with muddied and calculating fingers what it has offered; this is music, made after long silence."--The Hollow Hills



Brethil
Half-elven


Jul 26 2013, 7:58pm

Post #24 of 56 (328 views)
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Thanks for the link Ardamire! [In reply to] Can't Post

And again to Elizabeth for the posting!

Its a nice bit of theory isn't it? Really once you accept the idea the Earandil had a shirt of Mithril the rest has so many different permutations. The travelling around seems to be the least of difficulties in accepting the possibility (I'm partial to it myself.)

Reminds me of Ulmo getting everything in place for Earandil. The next generation would be getting everything 'in place' for Bilbo and for Frodo: the mithril shirt, Sting, chance meetings... Smile

The first TORn Amateur Symposium starts this week in the Reading Room! Come and join in!









DanielLB
Immortal


Jul 26 2013, 8:10pm

Post #25 of 56 (331 views)
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That's the one, thank you Ardamķrė. [In reply to] Can't Post

It's nice that Reverend's posts stay on in the Reading Room. I really like the theory regarding the shirt, and I can see a similar explanation working for Orcrist,

The first TORn Amateur Symposium starts this week in the Reading Room! Come and join in!


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