The Silmarillion - Ainulindalë & Valaquenta

Discussing Tolkien's foundations for Middle-earth
Merry
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Postby Merry » Fri Jul 23, 2010 4:16 pm

:lol: Thanks for your good wishes in regard to my eternal destiny, marbretherese. We're working on it!

And thanks for your report, Lindariel. Too bad about the lack of a thesis statement :roll: , but some interesting parallels. I wonder how well JRRT knew or cared about theories like Big Bang. I don't think he would have liked it.
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Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Iolanthe
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Postby Iolanthe » Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:33 pm

That's very interesting Lindariel, and it confirms how I felt at her talk - as she highlighted the different essays I thought their link with Tolkien was very tenuous and I couldn't quite see how everything would hang together in one book. For this particular essay, all the theories about the Universe, the Big Bang, dark matter, cosmic acoustics etc. are extremely interesting but bear no relation to Tolkien's mythic Creation because they are coming from an entirely different place. Tolkien's description is a spiritual one, not physics.
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Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Iolanthe
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Postby Iolanthe » Tue Aug 03, 2010 12:24 pm

Incidental to our discussion, I've been reading a book which recounts the mystical experiences of ordinary people (not all of whom are religious, some have just been floored by a sudden and powerful insight while going about quite ordinary tasks). What is interesting is the number who have heard music - often great harmonious chords that can't be described - and their insight has been that all Creation is full of a beautiful music-like energy.

I know Tolkien had unusual dreams (his Great Wave) and insights, and it makes me wonder whether he ever experienced something like this, or knew it intuitively.
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Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Lindariel
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Postby Lindariel » Fri Aug 06, 2010 2:43 pm

Sorry to have been absent from this conversation lately. I'm scrambling to get a TON of work off my desk so I can take a week of vacation with my family to a lovely mountain resort Aug 7-14, and therefore I haven't had much time to continue reading the essays in Music in Middle-earth.

Iolanthe, your book reminds me of the first verse from an old Protestant hymn --

This is my Father's world,
And to my listening ears,
All Nature sings and 'round me rings
The Music of the Spheres!

(Don't get me started! I can sing every verse of that hymn by heart; it's the preacher's daughter/singer in me coming out! I can also sing all the verses to every Christmas carol and quite a few hymns, anthems, oratorios, etc. from memory.)

I plan to take Music in Middle-earth with me along with my laptop. If the wifi connection in our villa cooperates, I'll plan to file a report next week from the beautiful Shenandoah Mountains.
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“Therefore I say: Eä! Let these things Be! And I will send forth into the Void the Flame Imperishable, and it shall be at the heart of the World, and the World shall Be.”

Iolanthe
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Postby Iolanthe » Fri Aug 06, 2010 5:10 pm

Fantastic! Have a wonderful time and we look forward to new insights :D .
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Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

Merry
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Postby Merry » Fri Aug 06, 2010 7:01 pm

I'm pretty good in church, too, Lindariel, even without a hymnal! Amazing that I can remember the words to songs I haven't sung in years, but fail to remember all my various usernames and passwords!

Iolanthe, the language that the people in your book use to describe their experiences is interesting. They're not exactly saying that it was music, are they? It seems like they're saying that it was something well beyond any every-day experience, but the closest they can come to describing it is to say that it is like music. So what are they saying? The experience is complex but harmonious and unified at the same time? It has intellectual, emotional, social, and aesthetic dimensions?

One of the common experiences of the mystics is that words, derived to describe the experiences of this life, fail adequately to describe the Beyond. But that doesn't stop people from trying! Tolkien was good at this, as we would expect. I read the Houses of Healing chapter last night and enjoyed all over again, as I always do, his descriptions of what athelas smelled like as it stole through the rooms--really quite beautiful.
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Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

Iolanthe
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Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2005 2:21 pm
Location: Washing my hair in the Sundering Sea

Postby Iolanthe » Sun Aug 08, 2010 2:30 pm

Actually, some of the people in the book did hear music, but so unlike how we usually experience music as to be beyond description. How incredible!

I think Tolkien had a great ability to tap into the wonder that lies under the surface of ordinary experience and use words to pull us towards this wonder. Even if it's beyond adequate description, he somehow manages to convince us that it's there. I think the Ainulindalë is probably the best example of that!
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Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather...

MICHKA
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Re: The Silmarillion - Ainulindalë, the Music of the Ainur

Postby MICHKA » Tue May 17, 2011 11:42 am

Salut, qu'en est-il des analyses chapitre par chapitre? Je dois avouer que ça m'aiderait beaucoup pour ma deuxième lecture, car les textes se rejoignent souvent et compliquent la narration; j'en suis à la moitié du livre, il y a une poésie certaine mais tout n'est pas toujours très clair; et dans chaque histoire il est beaucoup question de destruction, les succés, les triomphes, la gloire sont toujours ternis par la colère, l'envie, la jalousie, en fait la lutte du mal contre le bien. Est-ce bien cela en résumé?
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Merry
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Re: The Silmarillion - Ainulindalë, the Music of the Ainur

Postby Merry » Tue May 17, 2011 9:00 pm

Good suggestion, Michka! I will soon be out of school for the summer with more time to devote to rereading and discussion of the Sil. I have only read it a few times and still easily get confused about the histories. Anyone else interested?
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Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

MICHKA
Posts: 535
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:45 am

Re: The Silmarillion - Ainulindalë, the Music of the Ainur

Postby MICHKA » Sun May 22, 2011 5:18 pm

J'en arrive à l'histoire de Beren et Luthien, amour et tristesse, destinée tragique, force des sentiments. Tout le long de l'épopée se jouent des drames, jalousie, possession, déception, chagrin, rébellion, dans un univers où était créée la beauté; l'imagination de Tolkien n'a rien à envier au monde actuel, les évènements relatés pourraient se situer de nos jours dans un contexte différent, mais la suspicion, le pouvoir, le scandale, font toujours recette, hélas!
Je suis contente de relire ces épisodes qui éclairent davantage la vision pour arriver au 'Seigneur des anneaux', que je relirai d'ailleurs aussi avec un regain d'intérêt. ( je viens de m'apercevoir que toute l'oeuvre de Tolkien est éditée en pocket, je pourrai donc me la procurer en entier, ouf!chance!!)
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Tout ce que nous avons à décider c'est ce que nous devons faire du temps qui nous est imparti

MICHKA
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Re: The Silmarillion - Ainulindalë, the Music of the Ainur

Postby MICHKA » Wed May 25, 2011 4:24 pm

La légende de Beren et Luthien ,si belle mais tragique, prédit l'amour entre Arwen et Aragorn. Le choix de la mortalité est infiniment généreux de la part de Luthien pour vivre unis, ensemble, peu, mais dans l'amour total, durable au delà de la destinée. Quelle leçon de force et de courage, superbe histoire de lutte et de sacrifice au service de l'Amour avec un grand 'A'.Le silmaril est aussi funeste que l'anneau unique; sans toutefois asservir les personnages, il corrompt ceux qui le possèdent et ne veulent plus s'en séparer. L'avidité est la source de tous les malheurs. Tout cela reflète une image du monde, destruction pour le pouvoir, et cet univers mythologique est loin des contes de fées de notre enfance, bien que là également il y a toujours des méchants!Tolkien a vraiment dû souffrir durant les batailles; il les narre avec une multitude de détails, c'est inoui!
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Tout ce que nous avons à décider c'est ce que nous devons faire du temps qui nous est imparti

Merry
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Re: The Silmarillion - Ainulindalë, the Music of the Ainur

Postby Merry » Wed May 25, 2011 4:50 pm

They should hire you to write new blurbs for the books, Michka. You describe them well!
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Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.

MICHKA
Posts: 535
Joined: Sat Apr 23, 2011 4:45 am

Re: The Silmarillion - Ainulindalë, the Music of the Ainur

Postby MICHKA » Sat Jun 04, 2011 2:58 pm

J'ai enfin terminé la lecture du 'Silmarillion', les derniers chapitres sont enchanteurs, d'une si fine ,si spirituelle écriture! j'entame la chute de Numénor tout en replongeant dans ''le Seigneur'',(à ce propos je trouve tout à fait adroit, sagace ,d'avoir ,dans le film, intégré l'histoire d'Arwen , et P.Boyens et F.Walsh ont été subtiles de prêter des dialogues à ce niveau qui n'existent pas dans le livre,non?) Je continue d'être ravie par cet écrivain à l'imagination débordante et qui nous fait croire à ses histoires. Je ne pense pas qu'il en sera de même avec G.Martin (une profusion de personnages qui déroute ,j'attends les vacances (?!) pour le commencer(casse-tête)
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MICHKA
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Re: The Silmarillion - Ainulindalë, the Music of the Ainur

Postby MICHKA » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:03 pm

Le ''Trône de fer'' est trop compliqué, décidément, je préfère d'autres lectures pour le moment; peut-être changerai-je d'avis si une chaîne française diffuse un jour le feuilleton en épisodes comme sur la BBC. D'autant que Sean Bean en est un des héros, j'aime assez cet acteur; mais avouez que c'est très entrepêtré de nombreux personnages plus tordus les uns que les autres, et qu'il s'agit d'une histoire bien plus méchante que ''Le seigneur des anneaux'', avec moins de subtilité , de romanesque, et de fond 'moral'!
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Tout ce que nous avons à décider c'est ce que nous devons faire du temps qui nous est imparti

Merry
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Re: The Silmarillion - Ainulindalë, the Music of the Ainur

Postby Merry » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:16 am

I have given up on Martin, for good, I think, after reading four books. I realized that I was pretty much skimming through, not enjoying the writing itself, just to find out what happens to a couple of favorite characters. So I decided to cheat and look up their destinies on the internet. I found out that they haven't even been published yet! I guess Martin will milk this as long as he can!

I think I was influenced to buy the books because of Sean Bean, too, but I'm done. I really hate the lack of moral vision. Martin won't be getting any more of my money!
0 x
Sing and be glad, all ye children of the West,
for your King shall come again,
and he shall dwell among you
all the days of your life.


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