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New Tolkien coming

Solicitr
Gondor


Nov 26 2021, 4:20pm

Post #1 of 8 (1509 views)
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New Tolkien coming Can't Post

In the wake of CF Hostetter's wonderful Nature of Middle-earth, we can expect a much smaller but still very interesting Tolkien manuscript, previously unpublished, in the spring:


Quote
On behalf of my co-editors, Michael D.C. Drout and Verlyn Flieger, and myself, I wish to announce a special supplemental issue to vol. 19 of the journal Tolkien Studies. The material for this special issue is now in the hands of our publisher, West Virginia University Press, and the volume is scheduled to be published in softcover and online on Project MUSE in the spring of 2022.

The contents of this issue consists of one document/article, unusually large in both size and importance:
J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Chronology of The Lord of the Rings," edited, with introduction, notes, and commentary, by William Cloud Hicklin

Together with this article is a preface by William Fliss, and a special introduction by the editors. - David Bratman, co-editor



Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Nov 26 2021, 6:08pm

Post #2 of 8 (1471 views)
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Congratulations! [In reply to] Can't Post

I very much look forward to reading this. As I know you have pointed out elsewhere, this is a text that Hammond and Scull quote excerpts from in their Lord of the Rings Reader's Companion, greatly supplemented with your own very extensive work over many years.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


squire
Half-elven


Nov 26 2021, 7:21pm

Post #3 of 8 (1466 views)
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That should be interesting [In reply to] Can't Post

Can you or Voronwe comment on,
1. What the 'Chronology' is focused on or includes, that readers have not see before from Tolkien or his various editors and critics.
2. Where this manuscript has been for all these years, and how and why it is finally being published with full scholarly regalia?
3. How many more works from the Prof's own hand remain to be published - or, contrarily, are known to exist but will not likely be published in our lifetimes (I'm thinking of his diary and more private letters, for starters, but what else might there be?).



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


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Solicitr
Gondor


Nov 26 2021, 11:41pm

Post #4 of 8 (1462 views)
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answers to queries [In reply to] Can't Post


In Reply To
Can you or Voronwe comment on,
1. What the 'Chronology' is focused on or includes, that readers have not see before from Tolkien or his various editors and critics.
2. Where this manuscript has been for all these years, and how and why it is finally being published with full scholarly regalia?
3. How many more works from the Prof's own hand remain to be published - or, contrarily, are known to exist but will not likely be published in our lifetimes (I'm thinking of his diary and more private letters, for starters, but what else might there be?).


1) The Chronology (Tolkien's heading for the manuscript), is- well, I'll here to save labor just pirate my own post on another forum: This is the third and last of the 'synoptic' time-schemes Tolkien made, in other words using parallel columns to keep track of his various groups of characters. They wind up looking something like calendar pages, grids of boxes. This version, which I have dubbed S3, postdates the completion of the story. That fact I think is important in understanding its nature- it's not a 'working' document, in which we can see him developing his ideas as with the drafts in HME, but more in the nature of a 'reference' document like the Appendices, of which impulse it really was a part, although it was not I believe intended for publication but rather as groundwork for published material.

The first two pages (one leaf), written on 13-inch lined paper in the normal manner, are a linear time-scheme of the story from Hobbiton to the entry into Lorien. The next six (three leaves) use the same paper but are oriented landscape-fashion and divided into columns for the dramatis personae (these change constantly as needed), with a row for each date, January 15 through March 7. The next page, the ninth, followed suit; but it dissolved into a welter of alterations, strikethroughs, insertions, directional arrows and ultimately became such a chaotic mess that Tolkien discarded it (it was found separately in the archives) and replaced it. From this point he used blank pages from exam booklets, his usual medium for drafting. As so often, what had started as a "final" copy had become mere rough work. (It's also possible though that he simply ran out of the other paper!). The new pages 9-11 continue the multicolumn time-scheme through the fall of Sauron on March 25. The verso of 11 was left blank (for now), and 12-14 return to portrait linear mode, there being no need for multiple columns, until Sam's return to Bag End on 6 October 1421. At some time, I am inclined to think much later in around 1954 while working on 'The Great Years,' Tolkien jotted some Appendix B-style entries on the back of p.11, all concerned with global events after the fall of the Dark Tower.

There then follow far more than 15 pages of my own blathering about the above, and an ungodly number of footnotes. The blathering actually covers much more than just this document, because I found myself for better or worse describing the development of all three 'synoptic' chronologies, and their interrelationship to the development of the narrative itself. This applies even to S3: although the story was 'finished,' making S3 caused Tolkien to completely overhaul the week leading up to the Pelennor, and accordingly rewrite all the many, many threads converging on Minas Tirith.

And then there's the matter of converting his calendar post facto from our modern calendar to Shire Reckoning.......

Since it's a detailed if laconic record of what everyone was up to during the period of the story, including allies and enemies, it is especially valuable in giving events occurring "offstage," many of which are not mentioned in the book at all.




2) Up until the mid-1990s, it was in Christopher Tolkien's possession. After the completion of The History of Middle-earth, he donated a great trove of material relating to The Lord of the Rings to Marquette, to which his father had sold the manuscript in the 50s; CT felt that at least morally if not legally the entirety of the Lord of the Rings papers should be included, and at any rate belonged together.

Why not published until now? Well, in the first instance because nobody had bothered to do it. To that then add my own dilatoriness, distraction, and sloth: my writing process is something like Tolkien's himself's, fits and starts separated by long hiati. Also, although it was finished 13 months ago the process of turning a manuscript into print grinds slowly. My greatest regret is that, due to my dithering, Christopher was never able to see it finished.


3) A very large quantity. Marquette alone has boxes upon boxes of unpublished papers, and what the Bodleian has is much larger than that. CT only published such manuscripts or excerpts from them as he needed to tell his history within the compass of a dozen rather thick volumes, but there is many times that not printed. In fact, there is much material CT never had time to study in detail, or in some cases to decipher (with JRRT's handwriting, deciding to decode some passages represents a major commitment!) In other words, there is enough material there to keep textual scholars busy for decades, assuming such people still exist in the coming years. Christopher is gone, but I don't think we should leave the trail he blazed unfollowed.


squire
Half-elven


Nov 27 2021, 1:11am

Post #5 of 8 (1452 views)
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Thank you for such a thorough answer [In reply to] Can't Post

I knew Tolkien had executed working timeline grids to enforce continuity, but I didn't know that they had not been published as such. I'm looking forward to your piece more than ever now.

Thanks also for noting that there is a trove of JRRT manuscripts and drafts that have not been published, or even (at times) read by anyone since the Prof jotted them down. As you say, more work for Mother going forward.



squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
Archive: All the TORn Reading Room Book Discussions (including the 1st BotR Discussion!) and Footerama: "Tolkien would have LOVED it!"
Dr. Squire introduces the J.R.R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: A Reader's Diary


= Forum has no new posts. Forum needs no new posts.


Voronwë_the_Faithful
Valinor

Nov 27 2021, 3:03pm

Post #6 of 8 (1404 views)
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Thank you! [In reply to] Can't Post

It is my understanding that a team that consists of Tolkien scholar John Rateliff, Ed Sanchez, head of Marquette's Library IT, software developer Erik Mueller-Harder, and the curator of Marquette's Tolkien Collection, William Fliss (who wrote a preface for your work, yes?) are creating a "map" of the manuscripts that are in the Marquette Tolkien collection, to make it easier for scholars to access material within in them. I am not aware of any similar project with regard to the greater stash of manuscripts at the Bodleian.

'But very bright were the stars upon the margin of the world, when at times the clouds about the West were drawn aside.'

The Hall of Fire


Solicitr
Gondor


Nov 27 2021, 6:30pm

Post #7 of 8 (1387 views)
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Yes [In reply to] Can't Post

This is Phase 1 which Bill hopes will lead to Phase 2, completely re-doing the organization and cataloguing of the Tolkien Collection. Unfortunately, the accession of a horde of new manuscripts in four tranches, forty years after the original JRRT sale, has left things very disjointed; additionally, a lot of things in there are "misfiled," as it were, because nobody had realized that Folio A is actually part of Document X and ought to be filed with it.


Ioreth
Rivendell

Jan 4, 11:03am

Post #8 of 8 (580 views)
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Cool! [In reply to] Can't Post

Cool info, thanks! Smile

 
 

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