Continuing on details about the gestation of the Silmarillion. It’s fascinating, the changes, and unchanges, the manuscript got through the years.
As mentioned, I’m looking forward to the different-facets approach of this page-a-blogpost project. Before the first page in the book gets even a look, there’s already details enough about the book that characterise (for me) a Silmmie read: a lot of details, and a lot to mull on.
The concluding thoughts threw in another surprise.
The published Silmarillion, as we know, contains nothing of the framing. It is presented as if the work had been simply found along the road somewhere. It’s clear that most of it comes from and is for the Elves, but beyond that, it’s a mystery….
… A big part of me agrees with Christopher Tolkien, and I would have absolutely loved for the hobbits to have framed it. But in the end, where would that have brought us? If Ælfwine the Englishman really had handed it down through his ancestors to today, why wasn’t he mentioned in Lord of the Rings? His inclusion, and maybe any inclusion of the framing narrative, might have created more questions than answers.
The first part of the quote I definitely agree with. It’s the second part that’s got the wheels turning. Imagine if this framing happened, what a full and rich mythology of ME we’d get. But just trying to visualise the effort of it is enough to boggle the mind, without the professor’s own involvement. Personally, I’ll let my inner pragmatist take over and put it out there: I”ll take the Silm as it is and trade the tantalising yearn of framing for hopes of that Hobbit-upgrade seeing light of day, because it does seem that has better chances of being.