The Silmarillion - Ainulindalë & Valaquenta

Discussing Tolkien's foundations for Middle-earth
Merry
Varda
Posts: 3263
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:01 am
Location: Middle-west

Re: The Silmarillion - Ainulindalë & Valaquenta

Postby Merry » Tue Apr 22, 2014 12:12 am

I think there are two different references for the second song and you're right, one of them is about the end of days. But before that, at the very beginning, there are three different themes from Eru, the second of which is after Melkor sings in discord. I don't have my book with me--more later.

Hey, Philipa, check the mods development thread for an idea!
1 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.

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

Re: The Silmarillion - Ainulindalë & Valaquenta

Postby MICHKA » Wed May 07, 2014 5:55 pm

j'avoue être un peu en panne , ce récit est ardu dans certains épisodes, et j'attends les traits éclairés des connaisseurs (:-o< #-o :wink: !!
0 x
Tout ce que nous avons à décider c'est ce que nous devons faire du temps qui nous est imparti

Merry
Varda
Posts: 3263
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:01 am
Location: Middle-west

Re: The Silmarillion - Ainulindalë & Valaquenta

Postby Merry » Wed May 07, 2014 11:20 pm

I don't think I'm an expert on the Sil, Michka: I think our house expert is Lindariel! I also find it hard reading. I wish the Professor had had the energy to edit it finally.

I've been thinking about what these stories reveal about Tolkien's spiritual life and his faith in God. I think all religious myths reveal that, to believers, God is sometimes strongly present (with various faces!) and sometimes quite absent. Why does God sometimes leave us to our own devices, to fight evil apparently on our own, to mess things up as we often do? Questions like this must have plagued him especially after the Great War. How can all this be thought to be part of a divine plan for our good? To me, increasingly, the Sil reads like a believer trying to work all this out.
1 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.

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

Re: The Silmarillion - Ainulindalë & Valaquenta

Postby MICHKA » Sat May 10, 2014 6:08 am

Merry, j'ai beaucoup de difficulté à croire qu'un être suprême est au-dessus de nous , et ayant été élevée dans la religion catholique, je pense parfois qu'un ''Dieu de bonté et d'amour'', comme on nous l'a appris, ne fait pas très bien son travail(? )Je manque de respect, croyez-vous? Je suis très perplexe ,j'aimerais penser que notre passage sur terre conduit dans un but précis, mais les malheurs , guerres, maladies, actes méchants et gratuits me font douter et me rendent sceptique; mon éducation religieuse ne me sert surtout qu'à avoir une moralité, un sentiment du bien et du mal, une conduite digne et tolérante; le reste:(paradis,enfer, etc....) ne m'a pas convaincue. L'enseignement devrait suffire à mener une vie sage pour tous( suis-je assez ?)
0 x
Tout ce que nous avons à décider c'est ce que nous devons faire du temps qui nous est imparti

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

Re: The Silmarillion - Ainulindalë & Valaquenta

Postby MICHKA » Sat May 10, 2014 12:41 pm

Je pose une question à Lindariel, notre spécialiste: je ne comprends pas les motivations d'un seigneur ténébreux , comme Sauron ou Melkor, ou encore Morgoth. Si tout est détruit, si le monde est noir, si les ténèbres règnent, quel intérêt à gouverner un pays dévasté, quelle félicité trouverait-il à dominer une terre stérile? C'est le dilemne de chaque histoire où la méchanceté essaie de prendre le pouvoir, pour quel résultat en fait? Je suis d'accord sur la lutte entre le bien et le mal , mais en chacun de nous, c'est une réalité, et nous avons tous la possibilité d'agir pour nous-mêmes. Dans les contes, il y a toujours une suprêmatie à atteindre, mais en général le but est la richesse, la fertilité ou le bonheur , écraser les peuples et les anéantir ne peut rien apporter, rien résoudre, ne pensez-vous pas? Y a-t'il une explication rationnelle à cela?
0 x
Tout ce que nous avons à décider c'est ce que nous devons faire du temps qui nous est imparti

Merry
Varda
Posts: 3263
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:01 am
Location: Middle-west

Re: The Silmarillion - Ainulindalë & Valaquenta

Postby Merry » Sat May 10, 2014 3:47 pm

Hi, Michka! I think your questions are some of the ones Tolkien asked after his time fighting in the War. He was a devout Catholic and actually became more devout as his life progressed, going to Mass every day and seeing his life according to his faith more and more. But the existence of evils has always been a challenge to faith in God, as you say. Yet believers believe that God voluntarily allows evil to exist, that is, withholds the use of God's power and goodness, in order to allow humans the use of free will. I think this is what Tolkien is mythologizing in The Silmarillion. I suppose that Eru could have predicted that Melkor was going to act in discord and never have created him. He could have created beings who did only as they were told. Or once Melkor did act in discord, Eru could have killed him and destroyed all his works. That way, God could have preserved Arda free of evil. But Tolkien's God allows these things to exist, but still has a plan for the ultimate redemption of the world.

This is Tolkien's faith. I find it intellectually satisfying and imaginative, and it causes me to value the use of my free will (I think we have become automatons, not of God, but of an overarching consumer culture!) since my Creator valued it so much.
1 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.

Lindariel
Posts: 1062
Joined: Fri Sep 23, 2005 8:30 pm
Location: The Hall of Fire, Imladris (otherwise known as Northern Virginia)

Re: The Silmarillion - Ainulindalë & Valaquenta

Postby Lindariel » Sun May 11, 2014 2:51 am

Michka, I have forgotten a great deal of my high school and college French, despite the fact that I am an opera singer and sing in French from time to time! Hopefully, between what I remember and the assistant of Google mangle's butchery, I have been able to translate and understand your questions sufficiently.

I think it is very hard to understand the motivations of any destructive being, be it a person we know who is behaving inexplicably, or historical butchers like Hitler, or literary figures such as Morgoth and Sauron. What I take away from Professor Tolkien's depiction of Melkor/Morgoth and his fall from Grace is ultimately a sense of tragedy. Melkor is depicted as the brightest and greatest and mightiest of the Ainur -- one in fact who shares in the skills and abilities of all of Valar. And from this ultimate of heights, he falls to the lowest depths of depravity. Tolkien's very first mention of Melkor is already fraught with tension and a sense of the tragedy that will ultimately unfold:

But as the theme progressed, it came into the heart of Melkor to interweave matters of his own imagining that were not in accord with the theme of Iluvatar; for he sought there in to increase the power and glory of the part assigned to himself. To Melkor among the Ainur had been given the greatest gifts of power and knowledge, and he had a share in all the gifts of his brethren. He had gone often alone into the void places seeking the Imperishable Flame; for desire grew hot within him to bring into Bring things of his own, and it seemed to him that Iluvatar took no thought for the Void, and he was impatient of its emptiness. Yet he found not the Fire, for it is with Iluvatar. But being alone he had begun to conceive thoughts of his own unlike those of his brethren.


Right there in one brief paragraph -- the very first thing Tolkien ever says about Melkor -- we are given the seed of his entire downfall. Above all things, Melkor desires power and glory to be accrued to himself. He is unhappy with the gifts he has been given -- even though they are above those given to any of his brethren -- and he seeks for more. He wants the Flame Imperishable for himself. He is impatient of the void places and wants to fill them with his own creations. Ultimately, I believe he wishes to BE Iluvatar.

And the final line in that quote I believe is especially telling -- "But being alone he had begun to conceive thoughts of his own unlike those of his brethren." Melkor keeps to himself. He doesn't share his thoughts. He hoards his ideas. In his aloneness, there is nothing to temper his roiling dissatisfaction with everything. In this brief paragraph, Tolkien outlines perfectly the mind and personality of the megalomaniac: dissatisfied with the riches he has; always seeking for more at any price; never, never, never satisfied, and ultimately very alone.

As Tolkien's creation myth proceeds, we see how such a personality inevitably plays out. What Melkor cannot have, he will destroy so no one can have it; and if he cannot have the Flame Imperishable, then he will have NOTHING and there will be NOTHING. If he cannot create his own children, then he will twist Iluvatar's children into dreadful parodies of the original, and kill as many of the rest as he possibly can. It is the ultimate revolt against All Father -- "Since you won't give me EVERYTHING, then I'll destroy it ALL!"

Melkor's Fall is tragic, because it is the ultimate Fall. He had such incredible promise. He was the brightest and greatest and mightiest, and he becomes the vilest, the lowest, the most despised. At some point, I have to believe Melkor must have uttered to himself that famous line from Macbeth, "I am in blood Stepp'd in so far that, should I wade no more, Returning were as tedious as go o'er." In other words, "I have sinned so deeply and completely that going back to undo all the terrible things I have done would be as bloody and painful as following through on the horrible path before me."

And yes, for anyone who wonders, I feel the same way about Feanor!

Is that a good beginning for you Michka? Again, I don't understand wanton destruction either. I don't think any person of good conscience can. But I can stretch my mind to at least contemplate the reasons why power corrupts and what that kind of corruption can drive a person to do.
1 x
Lindariel Image

“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.”

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

Re: The Silmarillion - Ainulindalë & Valaquenta

Postby MICHKA » Sun May 11, 2014 6:46 am

Eh bien, je pense qu'on peut comprendre le désespoir, et la haine à partir de cela, merci pour ces éclaircissements, très bien décrits. La force destructrice devient impérieuse , une sorte de vengeance violente, un rejet de compréhension et d'amour, un état de choses qui explique parfois les crimes. :idea:
0 x
Tout ce que nous avons à décider c'est ce que nous devons faire du temps qui nous est imparti

Merry
Varda
Posts: 3263
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:01 am
Location: Middle-west

Re: The Silmarillion - Ainulindalë & Valaquenta

Postby Merry » Sun May 11, 2014 4:06 pm

I also think your's is a very fine explanation, Lindariel. It reminds me of the line from Paradise Lost, that Satan would rather reign in hell than serve in heaven. Lucifer was also the best and brightest of the angels, so we have another mythologizing of the Christian story, in this case, the Judeo-Christian story. I also thought of Feanor.

It is a difficult question: why would someone who has more than any of his peers want more? In this case, Morgoth's greed is compounded by an intellectual error: he thinks that the Void is something, instead of the nothing it is. And so he has the wrong model of Being, and he seeks to turn beings into nothing, literally, to annihilate. I've just read the chapter on the horrible partnership of Morgoth and Ungoliant: what a reign of terror. Ungoliant's self-destructive ending shows that this model of being is horribly wrong.

Yet, you're right, we do see this model at work, in large ways and small, in our own day.

(By the way, I find the Bing translator much better than the Google!)
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.

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

Re: The Silmarillion - Ainulindalë & Valaquenta

Postby MICHKA » Sun May 11, 2014 5:57 pm

Vous faites bien de me rappeler Faënor qui change également de comportement avec l'avidité du pouvoir, c'est vraiment une tare qui se développe dans tout dictateur, et c'est aussi ce qui arrive aux meilleurs quand la paranoïa les prend, et l'impression d'être moins considéré des Dieux ( je suis contente que vous puissiez avoir de bonnes traductions, personnellement je me fie à Coogle et à certains moments je vérifie , contrôle par REVERSO, /Bling est très bien , mais je ne l'ai plus°
0 x
Tout ce que nous avons à décider c'est ce que nous devons faire du temps qui nous est imparti

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

Re: The Silmarillion - Ainulindalë & Valaquenta

Postby MICHKA » Tue May 13, 2014 6:16 am

sorry, je voulais écrire ''BING'', lapsus de clavier(!?!)
J'ajoute à mon paragraphe la conclusion suivante: la formule des méchants de Tolkien c'est donc ''Tout anéantir plutôt que partager'' /Eh bien dans le monde d'aujourd'hui, il n'y a rien de changé!
0 x
Tout ce que nous avons à décider c'est ce que nous devons faire du temps qui nous est imparti

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

Re: The Silmarillion - Ainulindalë & Valaquenta

Postby MICHKA » Sat Sep 20, 2014 8:10 am

pendant mes quelques jours de vacances où je n'ai pas accès à internet, je vais à nouveau essayer de replonger dans le Silmarillion, que je laisse souvent sur le côté après plusieurs chapitres #-o #-o , la vie et ses obligations reprenant le dessus.A bientôt,donc pour quelques réflexi :wink: ons.....
0 x
Tout ce que nous avons à décider c'est ce que nous devons faire du temps qui nous est imparti

Merry
Varda
Posts: 3263
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:01 am
Location: Middle-west

Re: The Silmarillion - Ainulindalë & Valaquenta

Postby Merry » Wed Sep 24, 2014 4:47 am

I just returned from a few days of vacation myself, Michka. Tolkien is a fine companion for an autumn trip!
1 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.

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

Re: The Silmarillion - Ainulindalë & Valaquenta

Postby MICHKA » Wed Oct 15, 2014 4:57 pm

En fait le livre est souvent fait de mêmes récits revisités d'une autre manière, nous retrouvons les héros bons et méchants dans chaque chapitre et leur lutte pour le bien contre le mal; il y a des épisodes plus attractifs que d'autres , l'histoire n'est pas linéaire, continue, toutefois et bien des moments décrits me sont encore obscurs, donnant des versions plus ou moins claires des évènements toujours dramatiques en quelque sorte. Je pense comme beaucoup que Tolkien a été traumatisé par sa participation à la grande guerre.
0 x
Tout ce que nous avons à décider c'est ce que nous devons faire du temps qui nous est imparti

Merry
Varda
Posts: 3263
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 7:01 am
Location: Middle-west

Re: The Silmarillion - Ainulindalë & Valaquenta

Postby Merry » Thu Oct 16, 2014 3:42 pm

I think the war certainly did affect him and we find some of his experiences there showing up as themes in all his writings. One biographer I have read went so far as to say that Tolkien suffered clinical depression all his life! I'm not sure that the evidence is there for that conclusion. I think Garth's conclusion is closer to the truth, that his writings were mythologized accounts of some of his experiences. It may even be that recreating those experiences in myth form was a kind of therapy for him. He certainly was working out themes of good and evil, and a way to understand death and suffering in light of his religious faith, and what the moral response should be in the face of dictatorship. But there were also many other themes he was trying to work that were unrelated to war.

All writers, indeed, all artists, I think, use themes, don't they?
1 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.


Return to “The Silmarillion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests