I’ve compiled some of the bits I found interesting from ‘Fragments on ElvishReincarnation’, published in L’Effigie
des Elfes, edited by Michaël Devaux, Bragelonne 2014.
text begins with a recap of the ‘Converse of Manwë with Eru’ that appears as an
appendix to ‘Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth’ in Morgoth’s Ring. Some of the
text that follows appears in Christopher Tolkien’s notes to this text and
others, but this is the first time it has been published as a whole.
‘Converse’ was written in 1959, and begins with Manwë’s presentation of the
problem to Eru: Elves, who were supposed
to be immortal, were dying. This comes
to a crisis point when Míriel dies. In
Tolkien’s ‘Comments’, he writes:
The Valar were troubled,
not only because of the case of Finwë and Míriel but because of the Avari and
Sindar; for Middle-earth was perilous to
bodies, and many had died, even before the Eldar came to Aman. (p 102)
the Valar actually did remember, and care about the Elves who were left behind?
That is the most terrifying and disturbing interpretation of the reshaping of the world ever, I’m really annoyed with Tolkien now. Eru takes Valinor out of the world by just…killing all the Elves? Everyone who takes the Straight Road is (unknowingly) leaving the physical world behind to half-exist as spirits until the end of Arda? And the mortals who go with them just die? I knew Tolkien and I had different senses of what constituted a happy ending, but I feel weirdly betrayed now.
(mentally files this away with ‘Teleporno’ to totally ignore)
Deep stuff. Ima trying to wrap my head around it still. But yeah, this oughta be under “Read and forget”.