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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Unlocking My HoMe Notes

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet




"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Unlocking My HoMe Notes

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can of worms
Well, on the advice of rhapsody11 and angelica_ramses, I have decided to open up that can of worms and unlock my History of Middle-earth notes for anyone who is interested. I wouldn't expect any great excitement here; it's mostly in-text annotations that I make while compiling my HoMe summaries. Most recently, I have done a comparison of The Ainulindale from The Silmarillion and The Music of the Ainur from BoLT1, highlighting which lines are identical, similar, and completely different between the two pieces. So I don't know what sort of use people will have for these, but I spend hours on this stuff, and so if someone else can get some use out of it, then that makes me happy. :)

And so if you're interested in being put on the list to view my HoMe notes, please leave a comment here and I'll add you. However, I would like to make a few points clear first:

First, these are notes, not final conclusions. While I'd love to hear if anyone has any thoughts to add, then I'd prefer not to engage in debates over my notes. Most of the time, I simply type whatever I think/feel/observe as I am reading along. I know that my notes aren't always correct, and when I change my mind, I rarely go back to change the notes. So basically, if you disagree with what you see in my notes, wait until it makes it into a final essay or project and then raise protest. If you don't see it in a final essay or project ... well, I probably agreed with you and disregarded that particular idea.

Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, please do not reproduce these notes or share them with people not on the list. I am using a custom lock for a reason: I simply copy the complete original texts into my journal and add my notes to them. Since they are for personal use and I own all of the books that I am studying, then it is not a copyright violation; now if these documents find their way onto the wilds of the Internet, that would be a copyright violation and would not only be unethical (as most of us are writers or artists and surely can empathize with other writers/artists who do not want their work distributed for free) but could also get me into trouble. And that would not make 'gund a happy gal. :)

So if you're okay with both of these things and interested in the project, then please let me know, and I will add you to the list!

If you're on the list, then all that I have so far can be found here.
  • Well, can't say I'll ever be able to bring myself to give a damn about the Valar and their musical skills, but if you plan on continuing to do this for later parts of the Sil, I'd be interested to read them.
    • Okay, you're added! :)

      I will eventually get to "the interesting stuff" ... the L&C, the Shibboleth, et cetera. Though, actually, I love the Ainulindale! So many ideas that shaped the rest of the myths started here ... and I also like that sort of hardcore mythology BS. :^P
      • I like the idea of the Ainulindale. *Band nerd and all* ;) I just...the details of it bore me. Maybe because music is such a hard thing to really explain. Now, if I could get a recording...;)
        • It was really hard to get into The Ainulindale. I seriously think it took reading it five times before I started to think, "Hey, there's some really cool ideas in here!" Now, scarily enough, it's starting to become as familiar as the "Of Feanor" chapter ... o.O
          • o.O

            Let's think about this logically. "Of Feanor": Hot Elves.
            "The Ainulindale": No Hot Elves.

            See the difference? ;P
  • Am I on the list? I can't say I'll always comment, but I do try to read them and find them interesting.
    • I've added you! :)

      I don't expect anyone to comment, so no worries there! It just occurred to me, after spending hours on these notes, that it was really a waste to hide them, when others might find them useful. So there ya go. :)
  • I would like to read your notes. They'd probably be helpful, as the only HoME books I actually own are the two Books of Lost Tales. (Grad-student loan takes care of some of the others.)
    • You might be bored for a while ... I'm starting with the BoLT. But you've been added to the filter, and if I can ever calm my life down, then I might be able to finish a chapter a fortnight and get out of the BoLT!

      ...

      Ha ha ha. Wow, I'm sure funny tonight ...
  • I'd love to see your notes - my readings of the HoME have, so far, been unstructured and done completely without taking notes or even sticking post-its on the particularly interesting pages, so my ideas usually end up at "Wait, I think I saw something about that in one of the HoME books at some point... um..." Basically, I'd have to do a complete re-read, and currently I lack the time for that *sighs*
    So, yeah, it'd be nice to see the notes of someone who was smart enough to jot them down while they were reading ;)
    • No worries ... I'm not that much smarter. ;) In fact, much of my HoMe reading to this point has kind of gone like this:

      1) Start essay with good intentions.
      2) Get bored or otherwise distracted.
      3) Start looking up Feanorians in index and reading only passages that pertain to them.
      4) Getting buried by plotbunnies and getting absolutely nowhere.

      Until I started the HoMe summary project, I couldn't focus enough to take notes or even pay too close of attention. It was a shame; so much slipped past my notice. So I feel odd when people thank me for writing the HoMe summaries ... I sometimes think I'm benefiting the most of anyone! :)

      You are added to the list and should be able to access what little I have so far.
  • I'm interested! :)
  • What the heck. Please add me to the list, and be assured I will not share your notes. I mean, I have a patent application for one of my ideas so I greatly respect proprietary information.

    I have been skipping around the volumes of the HoME, and lately have concentrated on the Fall of Gondolin from BoLT2, trying to commit the strategic, cultural, architectural and geological details to my sieve-like memory, but I did take a look at The Music of the Ainur, so yeah, I'd be interested to read your parsing of the two creation myths.

    I don't think you'll be surprised to know that I am a major fan of a more contemporary Oxford don, Richard Dawkins, and lately have been imagining the charged dialogue he and JRRT might have; Dawkins is a fan of sci-fi and fantasy, but he is, at heart, an afrodoist. ;^) Anyway, this has spilled over into my AU fic hackery, which may or may not ever see the light of day, with the protagonists, he a man of faith and she a woman of reason, and whose late father quoted stuff right out of Bertrand Russell's mind, getting into some faith vs. rationalism dialogues. So, yep, your notes would be relevant to me, I think.

    Btw, after my perusals of the HoME, I think I'll just b*tch-slap anyone who whines about rigidly following canon. :^D

    Thanks a mil!
    • The Super Sekrit Key has been granted! :^D

      I mean, I have a patent application for one of my ideas so I greatly respect proprietary information.

      Yay! I'm a bit goofy about this, personally. I've gotten in arguments with friends about downloading music ... eep. Dawn on a Soapbox is a scary thing.

      I have been skipping around the volumes of the HoME

      Until starting this project, my reading of HoMe consisted of looking up interesting characters in the index and reading what was said about them. So I know nearly every bit about Feanor, Nerdanel, Maedhros ... and not a whole lot else. I did read the whole "Shibboleth of Feanor" because, of course, Feanor's name was in the title. :^P

      with the protagonists, he a man of faith and she a woman of reason, and whose late father quoted stuff right out of Bertrand Russell's mind, getting into some faith vs. rationalism dialogues.

      Hehe ... my Feanor and Nerdanel have been known to have similar fights, so I empathize! I find that keeping a bucket of ice water on hand helps a lot.

      Btw, after my perusals of the HoME, I think I'll just b*tch-slap anyone who whines about rigidly following canon. :^D

      *snerk* Tell me about it! I remember when I was in middle school, my best friend's mother said that a clever person could use the Bible to defend nearly anything ... yeah, I think that Tolkien's "canon" is much the same. If you want to find it there, you can. And I've done my share of bitch-slapping. *ahem*
  • Wow. I'm definitely interested! I promise not to do anything nefarious with your notes, because, after all, they're yours. (So it's like a holy relic or something. "This was touched by Dawn Felagund, Smuggest of the Smug! *awe*" ;-P)

    A few years ago, when I was very ambitious and inspired and interested in comparatively analyzing texts, I did a bit of structural comparisons of all the different versions of the Oath of Fëanor I could find: the prose version from the Silm, the two verse versions (one alliterative and one rhymed) from the Lays of Beleriand, and I think there was another one, but I can't think where it would have been from. (I wonder where the pages of that ended up? They've got to be around somewhere... probably in one of my gazillion identical purple notebooks I use for note-taking on fics. ;-D) It was awesome interesting and fun, and to do it for more passages is really cool. So, yes, I'd love to see your notes on the subject?
    • Hm. For some reason that last sentence turned into a question. *shrug* It wasn't meant to be. I'm not quite that valley-girl. ;-)
      • Hey, as one whose behavior sometimes makes me wonder if I put the "dumb" in "dumb blond," then not only did I not notice, but I would have no right to think poorly of you if I did! :^D

        (If that makes sense ... *twirls hair, pops gum, and stares off into space*)
    • I promise not to do anything nefarious with your notes, because, after all, they're yours. (So it's like a holy relic or something. "This was touched by Dawn Felagund, Smuggest of the Smug! *awe*"

      Bwahahahahaha! Hey, aren't you my Herald anyway ...? So you are also smug by association! ;^D

      I did a bit of structural comparisons of all the different versions of the Oath of Fëanor I could find

      Ooooohhh ... if you ever find that and wish to share ...?

      8^D <--big hopeful grin

      I had way too much fun comparing Ainulindale and Music of the Ainur. Eru, I'm such a hopeless geek. That proves it, if nothing else does! And if I'm this exciting about some hooting Valar, just imagine when I get to the Feanorians ... o.O

      And of course, you are added to the filter. ;)
  • Thank you. For me it's a great opportunity to really read BoLT - I mean, paying attention and not just skimming over the text to get to where the real action (i.e. Noldorin) begins.
    • You're very welcome! And I know exactly what you mean ... before starting this HoMe project for SWG and Henneth-Annun, I had trouble focusing on anything that did not have "Feanor" or "Maedhros" buried in there somewhere. But since, I've really discovered a liking for some of the more obscure stuff. There was some awesome things in there, I just hadn't taken the time to look.
  • Add me please! I'm definitely interested to hear what you think about BoLT.
  • Hey, Dawn! Yeah, it´s me, still alive, thank Eru!

    Will you add me to the reading list as well? I know my request is terribly late and I should be punished for dropping off the face of the Earth for so long, but pretty please... ;)
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