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Eng Book- The Silmarillion (J.R.R. Tolkien)- Download Free PDF


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FOREWORD
The Silmarillion, now published four years after the death of its
author, is an account of the Elder Days, or the First Age of the World. In
The Lord of the Rings were narrated the great events at the end of the
Third Age; but the tales of The Silmarillion are legends deriving from a
much deeper past, when Morgoth, the first Dark Lord, dwelt in Middleearth, and the High Elves made war upon him for the recovery of the
Silmarils.
Not only, however, does The Silmarillion relate the events of a far
earlier time than those of The Lord of the Rings; it is also, in all the
essentials of its conception, far the earlier work. Indeed, although it was
not then called The Silmarillion, it was already in being half a century
ago; and in battered notebooks extending back to 1917 can still be read
the earliest versions, often hastily pencilled, of the central stories of the
mythology. But it was never published (though some indication of its
content could be gleaned from The Lord of the Rings), and throughout
my fatherís long life he never abandoned it, nor ceased even in his last
years to work on it. In all that time The Silmarillion, considered simply as
a large narrative structure, underwent relatively little radical change; it
became long ago a fixed tradition, and background to later writings. But
it was far indeed from being a fixed text, and did not remain unchanged
even in certain fundamental ideas concerning the nature of the world it
portrays; while the same legends came to be retold in longer and shorter
forms, and in different styles. As the years passed the changes and variants,
both in detail and in larger perspectives, became so complex, so pervasive,
and so many-layered that a final and definitive version seemed unattainable.
Moreover the old legends (ëoldí now not only in their derivation from the
remote First Age, but also in terms of my fatherís life) became the vehicle
and depository of his profoundest reflections. In his later writing mythology
and poetry sank down behind his theological and philosophical
preoccupations: from which arose incompatibilities of tone.
On my fatherís death it fell to me to try to bring the work into
publishable form. It became clear to me that to attempt to present, within
the covers of a single book the diversity of the materials - to show The
Silmarillion as in truth a continuing and evolving creation extending over
more than half a century - would in fact lead only to confusion and the
submerging of what is essential I set myself therefore to work out a single
text selecting and arranging in such a way as seemed to me to produce
the most coherent and internally self-consistent narrative. In this work the
concluding chapters (from the death of T˙rin Turambar) introduced peculiar
difficulties, in that they had remained unchanged for many years, and- 6 -
were in some respects in serious disharmony with more developed
conceptions in other parts of the book.
A complete consistency (either within the compass of The
Silmarillion itself or between The Silmarillion and other published writings
of my fatherís) is not to be looked for, and could only be achieved, if at all
at heavy and needless cost. Moreover, my father came to conceive The
Silmarillion as a compilation, a compendious narrative, made long
afterwards from sources of great diversity (poems, and annals, and oral
tales) that had survived in agelong tradition; and this conception has
indeed its parallel in the actual history of the book, for a great deal of
earlier prose and poetry does underlie it, and it is to some extent a
compendium in fact and not only in theory. To this may be ascribed the
varying speed of the narrative and fullness of detail in different parts, the
contrast (for example) of the precise recollections of place and motive in
the legend of T˙rin Turambar beside the high and remote account of the
end of the First Age, when Thangorodrim was broken and Morgoth
overthrown; and also some differences of tone and portrayal, some
obscurities, and, here and there, some lack of cohesion. In the case of
the Valaquenta, for instance, we have to assume that while it contains
much that must go back to the earliest days of the Eldar in Valinor, it was
remodelled in later times; and thus explain its continual shifting of tense
and viewpoint, so that the divine powers seem now present and active in
the world, now remote, a vanished order known only to memory.
The book, though entitled as it must be The Silmarillion, contains
not only the Quenta Silmarillion, or Silmarillion proper, but also four other
short works. The AinulindalÎ and Valaquenta, which are given at the
beginning, are indeed closely related with The Silmarillion; but the
AkallabÍth and Of the Rings of Power, which appear at the end, are (it
must to emphasised) wholly separate and independent. They are included
according to my fatherís explicit intention; and by their inclusion is set
forth the entire history is set forth from the Music of the Ainur in which the
world began to the passing of the Ringbearers from the havens of Mithlond
at the end of the Third Age.
The number of names that occur in the book is very large, and I
have provided a full index; but the number of persons (Elves and Men)
who play an important part in the narrative of the First Age is very much
smaller, and all of these will be found in the genealogical tables. In addition
I have provided a table setting out the rather complex naming of the
different Elvish peoples; a note on the pronunciation of Elvish names, and
a list of some of the chief elements found in these names; and a map. It
may be noted that the great mountain range in the east, Ered Luin or Ered
Lindon, the Blue Mountains, appears in the extreme west of the map in- 7 -
The Lord of the Rings. In the body of the book there is a smaller map: the
intention of this is to make clear at a glance where lay the kingdoms of
the Elves after the return of the Noldor to Middle-earth. I have not burdened
the book further with any sort of commentary or annotation. There is
indeed a wealth of unpublished writing by my father concerning the Three
Ages, narrative, linguistic, historical, and philosophical, and I hope that it
will prove possible to publish some of this at a later date.
In the difficult and doubtful task of preparing the text of the book
I was very greatly assisted by Guy Kay, who worked with me in 1974-
1975.

Christopher Tolkien
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