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Racconti perduti. Parte II (1984)

di J. R. R. Tolkien

Altri autori: Christopher Tolkien (A cura di)

Altri autori: Vedi la sezione altri autori.

Serie: The History of Middle-Earth (2), Middle-earth (7.02)

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3,36683,143 (3.67)21
A collection of early stories and original ideas by J.R.R. Tolkien, presented and analyzed by his son Christopher Tolkien. Each tale is accompanied by notes and commentary.
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If you are going to read the Silmarillion, do not read this book (or Part one for that matter). This book contains some of the stories the Silmarillion has with pages and pages of notes from Christopher Tolkien about the changes and different version that were found.

While I am interested in the progress needed to write something of this magnitude, explaining every little change really pulled me out of the story. ( )
  oraclejenn | Dec 15, 2015 |
Great Book ( )
1 vota Rossi21 | Dec 20, 2014 |

The second of the History of Middle Earth series edited by Christopher Tolkien. Here we are looking at two of the core stories of The Silmarillion, and several other narratives which were largely or completely set aside as Tolkien's work developed. I found the very first story, "The Tale of Tinúviel", particularly interesting. For the first time I was struck that it is a tale if love between one character with a short name starting with B and another with a longer name starting with T, whose father opposes the romance just as Tolkien's own guardian opposed his relationship with Edith Bratt. Beren goes off to prove himself in battle and returns maimed, as Tolkien returned with trench fever from the Great War (though after his marriage rather than before). And of course Tolkien was himself always explicit that Tinúviel's dancing in the forest was inspired by Edith dancing for him one day in 1917 when they were out in the woods near his base. His personal identification with this particular story can be seen on his tombstone. I was always a bit disappointed that the version in The Silmarillion doesn't convey much emotional freight, but The Book of Lost Tales is worth getting for this chapter alone.

(We also meet the earliest version of Sauron, as Tivaldo the evil king of cats and servant of Melko, a counterpart to Beren's heroic dog.)

The other story treated in depth here is "Turambar and the Foalókë", which however has since been published in a pretty definitive format as The Children of Húrin; I found the joins between Beowulf, Kullervo and Tolkien's own imagination much more visible here.

The most interesting of the other chapters is "The Tale of Eärendel", another story which is curiously flat in The Silmarillion, a lost tale that underlies a fair bit of Middle Earth mythology but never seems to have found a definite written form; one almost senses Tolkien feeling more comfortable with it inside his head, so that Bilbo and Aragorn could make in-jokes about it in Rivendell, rather than spoiling it by putting too much down on paper.

(Also a shout out for "The Fall of Gondolin", with its gripping account of hand-to-hand combat as the city is taken.)
Despite the density of the prose I have found both Lost Tales volumes fairly quick reading, Tolkien's prose being as fluent in his twenties as it was later in his life, and Christopher Tolkien's annotations being complete enough to satisfy curiosity without being overwhelming. I'm glad to have got back into this series of books. ( )
2 vota nwhyte | Feb 17, 2011 |
(review continued from here on LibraryThing)

Despite my reservations, I can understand why Christopher Tolkien would spearhead the publication of his father's drafts. Middle-earth is a legitimate subject for the literati to dissect, and the more we can learn about Middle-earth, the richer our insights. Scholars are interested in the development of Tolkien's mythology, and the Histories of Middle-earth must be of infinite value to those seeking to retrace Tolkien's imaginative development. And then there are people like me who simply wonder about his idea of a purely English mythology and how that overarching plan tied in with the rest of his legends. And it isn't as if there's anything personally embarrassing in these early stories (except perhaps that Tolkien sometimes wrote so fast that some of his words cannot be deciphered).

And it really is fascinating to trace the mythology from its beginning. Tolkien was notorious for his never-ending revisions, and in these fragments we get a glimpse of the mad pace at which he wrote, changing his mind midstride about characters, names, histories, and plotlines. Sometimes a story would evolve to the point where its initial defining feature would be completely removed from the last version. Christopher Tolkien notes the rich conceptions of the sun and moon legends and how they — at first the hub of the whole mythological conception — slowly decreased in prominence in later revisions and may have eventually faded from the narrative entirely. Looking at Tolkien's imagined mythology is like looking at a microcosm of how real-world myths develop. Names, characters, and roles change; the elements are fluid.

The thing that struck me most about the way the mythology evolved is Tolkien's conception of the gods, or Valar. In the early drafts they are far less noble than they later become in The Silmarillion. While never descending to the moral bankruptcy of the Greek pantheon, the early Valar are certainly more like human beings in their selfishness and desire for personal comfort. They are worried more about the peace and comfort of their home Valinor than the events in Middle-earth, and squabble often among themselves. At one point they concoct an elaborate deception in order to vanquish Melko; apparently the end justified the means. In his later writings Tolkien certainly cleaned this up, and the mythology is all the stronger for it. But it's interesting how different his ideas were when he was a young man.

I do respect what Christopher Tolkien has done in his father's legendarium. He has to be one of the foremost authorities in the field; it is clear he has immersed himself in Middle-earth and writes with intelligence and a deft sense of what is fitting. Whatever your thoughts on the publication of these materials, The Book of Lost Tales is a fascinating read for anyone interested in the development of myth and Middle-earth. ( )
4 vota atimco | Oct 21, 2010 |
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» Aggiungi altri autori (4 potenziali)

Nome dell'autoreRuoloTipo di autoreOpera?Stato
Tolkien, J. R. R.autore primariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Tolkien, ChristopherA cura diautore secondariotutte le edizioniconfermato
Adlerberth, RolandTraduttoreautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
Howe, JohnImmagine di copertinaautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
Pieruccini, CinziaTraduttoreautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
Tolkien, AdamTraduttoreautore secondarioalcune edizioniconfermato
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The Tale of Tinuviel was written in 1917, but the earliest extant text is later, being a manuscript in ink over an erased original in pencil; and in fact my father's rewriting of this tale seems to have been one of the last completed elements in the Lost Tales.
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A collection of early stories and original ideas by J.R.R. Tolkien, presented and analyzed by his son Christopher Tolkien. Each tale is accompanied by notes and commentary.

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