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Revision as of 17:19, 12 September 2008 by Ingwe (Talk | contribs)

Since the encyclopedia treats the post-silmarillion things as canon (eg. Gil-galad son of Orodreth) perhaps the encyclopedia should also prefer 'updated' words such as Echoriad, Amon Gwared and Dor Fin i-Chuinar? Sage 15:08, 5 August 2008 (EDT)

I don't know, I'm in the Second Sentence group, "Quite a few readers do not believe that any clear canon exists at all." -- Ederchil 15:36, 5 August 2008 (EDT)

The New Section

By Matthew, "On Canon and Mythology". I'm having some trouble with it, but I wanted to hear other people's opinion.
  1. It's out of place at its current location. It could be an extension of the third reason, though.
  2. Who is Joseph Campbell? You quote him like he's the next best thing since sliced bread, but wouldn't a more Tolkien-related explanation be better?
  3. The spelling, dude, the spelling. Again. Middle-earth. Tolkien. And please no "JRRT"'s anywhere except on talk pages.
  4. "While the readers of Tolkien often take all of the material as being inerrent and a "factual" accounting of what transpired in the various ages of Middle Earth". It could do with a[source?]. Where are these LotR-thumpers? If we want anything good, we don't want to quote anonymous authorities, let alone exaggerated ones.

Yours, Ederchil (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 18:02, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

I agree with your suggestions to whomever the writer of this article is Ederchil, but I am shocked that you are oblivious to the brilliance of Joseph Campbell.You may want to "study up." Perhaps you are right that he should not be quoted nonetheless. -Ingwe

I think Joseph Campbell was a professor on mythology, but I don't know how relevant he is to Tolkien (there are no mentions to "Hobbit", "The Lord of the Rings", "Tolkien" or "Middle-earth" on his Wikipedia article). Although I don't mind quoting someone who was a professor on mythology, the lack of references is slightly irritating and there are many "weasel words" in the article (I do think this is problem with the article in general as there appear to be no references).
I think that although Joseph Campbell may have been an expert in his field, it sounds as if many of the points raised refer to historical mythologies which have evolved over time when later writings became very different from the earlier ones (the tales of King Arthur are a good example of this). Although The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings are very different, I do not think this is because of massive re-tellings in the story: it is because The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings were written very differently for very different purposes; I personally think The Hobbit stands alone from the rest of the legendarium in this respect and it is slightly unfair to compare the two - after all, the two were very separate for a long time and were moulded together it latter years.
Along with the issue of re-tellings, I do not believe that many of the conflicting passages are reconcilable: what, in fact, needs to be decided (although, of course, not by us as editors) is which parts Tolkien considered final and which parts he didn't; he was a man not a omniscient super-being, he made mistakes and changed his mind as the years progressed as many authors do (The History of "The Lord of the Rings" is a testament to that).
On the issue of spelling, I recommend using Firefox which comes with an in-built spell-checker for text-areas.--Mith 23:27, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
Okay, I hadn't heard of Campbell. But I agree with Mith; his theories do not seem to be centered on Modern, "made-up" mythology.
I also agree that The Hobbit stands out of the rest; obviously written for another audience, it uses many similes and anachronisms that are out of touch with the rest of the legendarium.
The problem with "final" is this: currently, the Third Edition Hobbit is "canon" by our standards. However, in HoTH, there's the "Fifth Phase" Hobbit, which was an attempted rewrite to "merge" it with the LotR environment - more Inns, including the PP, a longer route, but unfortunately, he never got past Rivendell (don't know out of my head whether he disgarded it or not).
Tolkien was, without a doubt, the biggest retconner in the history of retcons. Some were explained away by what now could/would be called fanwank (think Riddles in the Dark).
Also in the retcon department - the 50th anniversary edition has several "mistakes" corrected - Tale of Years mostly. Is that canon?
Tolkien must have said something on the "Tolkien the Chronicler" interpretation (Letter 268 comes to mind), can't we use that?
Spelling isn't really an issue of browsers, it's just that this user showed some wrong spellings - Middle Earth, Dol Goldûr, among others - before.
--Ederchil (Talk/Contribs/Edits) 07:46, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

How long are we going to wait for the spelling in this article to be rectified before we start editing mercilessly? In some places, "Tolkien" is not even capitalized! -Ingwe