A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #181
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Mystic Muse reads The Silmarillion.

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    Make some talking trees and we'll see .
    "Gardener, gardener, make me a flower. That's the work of somebody with far greater power."

  2. - Top - End - #182
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    Default Re: Mystic Muse reads The Silmarillion.

    Or, for a Star Wars example, there's Yoda's "make me a rose" speech to Dooku in Yoda: Dark Rendezvous, when Dooku's trying to tempt Yoda to the Dark Side.
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  3. - Top - End - #183
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    Default Re: Mystic Muse reads The Silmarillion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim Portent View Post
    Why the Void exists in the first place is never explained, it seems to predate the creation of even the Ainur.
    It predates all of creation, as best I can grok the opening bits of Silmarillion. The songs happened in the void before Arda came into being.
    I'm not sure if the Wall of Night was physical or purely metaphysical in nature after the world changed shape. I think originally it literally ringed the outermost limits of creation.
    I always took it as metaphysical.
    Spoiler: Mentions a future character.
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    I prefer to think of Ungoliant as something a bit more Lovecraftian in nature I suppose.
    That might get you a glare from Prof T. H.P. Lovecraft was, in both comparative terms and general terms, a hack. (I have read the complete Lovecraft, and being paid by the word can lead to some real excesses. )
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2022-02-25 at 12:50 PM.
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    Gosh, 2D8HP, you are so very correct!

  4. - Top - End - #184
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    Default Re: Mystic Muse reads The Silmarillion.

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    It predates all of creation, as best I can grok the opening bits of Silmarillion. The songs happened in the void before Arda came into being.
    It certainly predates the creation of the material universe, but what it is respective to the Timeless Halls isn't specified.

    Did the Void exist before the Timeless Halls? Was it made by Illuvatar? If it was then what for? Did it exist before Illuvatar somehow? Is it just the natural state of things outside of Illuvatar's presence? But if so then why does it still exist?

    There are no answers to these questions, but I do think it would be interesting to know what Tolkien actually thought of the Void as. Pity about him being dead really, though I imagine were he not he'd be in a bit of a state by now.

    I always took it as metaphysical.
    I'm torn on it. Things like the Gate of Night make me think there is an actual defined point at which the Wall of Night exists, but it's also something that doesn't really make sense. I'm leaning towards it being physical until a certain point.

    Since Arda started as a disc, presumably a reference to old depictions of the world where the heavens were a dome, the earth a disc, hell below the earth and the stars windows through which rain fell and so on, my thought is that the Wall of Night would have been a literal wall separating the outer limits of a dome shaped Ea from the Void. When the world was changed to a sphere, and the universe presumably became a sphere with it the Wall of Night transitioned to a more metaphysical limit at the outer bounds of a now infinite universe.

    That might get you a glare from Prof T. H.P. Lovecraft was, in both comparative terms and general terms, a hack. (I have read the complete Lovecraft, and being paid by the word can lead to some real excesses. )
    To be fair, Tolkien could get a bit excessive in his use of language to describe terrain. My intent was more to evoke the expanded idea of Lovecrafts work that has grown in pop culture over the years, that of the Cthonic beings that dwell in the dark spaces beyond and before understanding.

    Though I think Tolkien did take some influence from other authors from around the same time as Lovecraft, if not Lovecraft himself. The Watcher in the Water, and a few others things besides, have been pointed out as having very strong Cthonic vibes, something Lovecraft and his colleagues used a lot.
    Sanity is nice to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.

  5. - Top - End - #185
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    Default Re: Mystic Muse reads The Silmarillion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim Portent View Post
    To be fair, Tolkien could get a bit excessive in his use of language to describe terrain.
    Definitely. Tolkien is EXTREMELY wordy

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    Default Re: Mystic Muse reads The Silmarillion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohandas View Post
    Definitely. Tolkien is EXTREMELY wordy
    So was everyone before Hemingway.

    (Not actually true, Mark Twain wasn't as wordy as, for example, J.F. Cooper)
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2022-03-07 at 03:22 PM.
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    b. greenstone (paraphrased):
    Agency means that they {players} control their character's actions; you control the world's reactions to the character's actions.
    Gosh, 2D8HP, you are so very correct!

  7. - Top - End - #187
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    Default Re: Mystic Muse reads The Silmarillion.

    Will be updating this coming Sunday at the latest.

    Wanted to do one last week, but grandma passed away Sunday before last, and funeral stuff understandably threw things off.

    Was a nice ceremony for how quickly it was put together. I did one of the readings, and got to visit with lots of family.

    Just hoping the after stuff goes smoothly. She apparently didn't designate someone to inherit the house and has 7 kids (50s and 60s) who have to agree on what to do with it.
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  8. - Top - End - #188
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    Default Re: Mystic Muse reads The Silmarillion.

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    It predates all of creation, as best I can grok the opening bits of Silmarillion. The songs happened in the void before Arda came into being.
    I always took it as metaphysical.
    Spoiler: Mentions a future character.
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    I prefer to think of Ungoliant as something a bit more Lovecraftian in nature I suppose.
    That might get you a glare from Prof T. H.P. Lovecraft was, in both comparative terms and general terms, a hack. (I have read the complete Lovecraft, and being paid by the word can lead to some real excesses. )
    Lovecraft is definitely in the dictionary under 'purple prose', but I think he really did capture something unique in his writing, that I'm not aware of any real examples of earlier. Lovecraft was writing at a time when humanity's understanding of the scale of the universe, and our place in it, was expanding to a scope we now more-or-less take for granted, when we think about it at all. The age of the Earth, and the Universe, jumped from thousands or millions of years to billions. We went from being a planet orbiting the Sun to a single, tiny planet is a vast galaxy that was itself but a small one in a universe larger than the human mind can readily comprehend. And I think he did a pretty effective job.

    If you want to think of it in terms of relating Tolkien and Lovecraft, think of the moment when Numenor was drowned, and the very nature of the world was changed. And think that what Lovecraft is doing is trying to capture the zeitgeist of the the real-world equivalent of that moment and that change.

  9. - Top - End - #189
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    BlackDragon

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    Default Re: Mystic Muse reads The Silmarillion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Muse View Post
    Wanted to do one last week, but grandma passed away Sunday before last
    Sorry for your loss.

  10. - Top - End - #190
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    Default Re: Mystic Muse reads The Silmarillion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Muse View Post
    Will be updating this coming Sunday at the latest.

    Wanted to do one last week, but grandma passed away Sunday before last, and funeral stuff understandably threw things off.

    Was a nice ceremony for how quickly it was put together. I did one of the readings, and got to visit with lots of family.

    Just hoping the after stuff goes smoothly. She apparently didn't designate someone to inherit the house and has 7 kids (50s and 60s) who have to agree on what to do with it.
    Oh no! I hope you and yours are doing okay, Mystic. We've had two sudden deaths in the family recently, so I can relate.

    Succession issues like this have a tendency to get ugly, I hope your parents/uncles/aunts can settle it amicably.
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  11. - Top - End - #191
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    Default Re: Mystic Muse reads The Silmarillion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Muse View Post
    Will be updating this coming Sunday at the latest.

    Wanted to do one last week, but grandma passed away Sunday before last, and funeral stuff understandably threw things off.

    Was a nice ceremony for how quickly it was put together. I did one of the readings, and got to visit with lots of family.

    Just hoping the after stuff goes smoothly. She apparently didn't designate someone to inherit the house and has 7 kids (50s and 60s) who have to agree on what to do with it.
    How dreadful! Thinking of you in this. I hope that, wherever she's gone, she's at peace.

    Sadly,

    Brian P.
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  12. - Top - End - #192
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    Default Re: Mystic Muse reads The Silmarillion.

    I'm hoping that things have gone at least somewhat smoothly, and that she at least named an executor who can deal with things. My experience is that, in the best of circumstances, the finances can be slow to deal with, getting banks to admit that, yes, you are the executor, and you need to be able to get at the money.

  13. - Top - End - #193
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    Default Re: Mystic Muse reads The Silmarillion.

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidSh View Post
    I'm hoping that things have gone at least somewhat smoothly, and that she at least named an executor who can deal with things. My experience is that, in the best of circumstances, the finances can be slow to deal with, getting banks to admit that, yes, you are the executor, and you need to be able to get at the money.
    I think the family has pretty much agreed to sell it, especially since some of the siblings actively need the money.

    So, bad news. The forum ate my update and like a dummy I didn't have a backup.

    Good news, I will still be updating this week. hopefully Thursday or Friday, and definitely Sunday if not.

    Finally pretty much moved into apartment. Need to get some things figured out, and find out where the heck my Xbox 360 ran off to, but couch will be arriving this week and having my friends over Saturday.

    I finally, finally, finally, finally, finally passed Network+ and can mentally move on to other exams. That's what I was doing Sunday instead of updating this, since the voucher expired...yesterday I think, and those vouchers are not cheap.

    Not sure I passed Project+ (Beta exam, so no results until October) but eh, that's not key to my mental health the way Network+ was.

    Also finally starting a workout regimen. Gonna end up being best friends with the row machine whether I want to or not.

    Hope everyone is doing okay and thank you for your patience, I swear it'll pay off.
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  14. - Top - End - #194
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    Default Re: Mystic Muse reads The Silmarillion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Muse View Post
    Good news, I will still be updating this week. hopefully Thursday or Friday, and definitely Sunday if not.
    Excellent!

    I finally, finally, finally, finally, finally passed Network+ and can mentally move on to other exams. That's what I was doing Sunday instead of updating this, since the voucher expired...yesterday I think, and those vouchers are not cheap.
    *Nods* Yeah. I work for an online education company at the moment and some courses go into the thousands of dollars for a certificated course. Trying to keep the wheels on can sometimes be as much a full time job as new development.

    Also finally starting a workout regimen. Gonna end up being best friends with the row machine whether I want to or not.
    A very good idea. I got physical education in school but my body needed me to start a very similar regiment.

    Hope everyone is doing okay and thank you for your patience, I swear it'll pay off.
    Looking forward to it!

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
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    Default Re: Mystic Muse reads The Silmarillion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Muse View Post
    Hope everyone is doing okay and thank you for your patience, I swear it'll pay off.
    It wouldn't be The Silmarillion if it were published on time.
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    Default Re: Mystic Muse reads The Silmarillion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    It wouldn't be The Silmarillion if it were published on time.
    A Mystic Muse is never late, nor are they early; they arrive precisely when they mean to


    Respectfully,

    Brian P.

    PS. Also, MysticMuse, if you can remind me what your preferred pronoun is I'll be sure to use it. -- BDP.
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    Default Re: Mystic Muse reads The Silmarillion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fyraltari View Post
    It wouldn't be The Silmarillion if it were published on time.
    I remember, back in the day, it seemed like ages between reading the teaser in the Appendices "Of these things the full tale, and much else concerning Elves and Men, is told in the Silmarillion", and getting to read the newly published Silmarillion. It can't really have been more than six years, but that was a significant fraction of my life in those days.

  18. - Top - End - #198
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    Default Re: Mystic Muse reads The Silmarillion.

    Any update, Mystic_Muse? I know life is happening but I'm looking forward to your reading.

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
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  19. - Top - End - #199
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    Default Re: Mystic Muse reads The Silmarillion.

    Okay, I see that we still haven't gotten past the very first bit of the Silmarillion. So I can weigh in on the matter of Eru's omniscience.

    The problem here is that time is something that only exists within the little creation made by Eru from the Ainur's designs. It's not that there's a greater sort of time that is beyond our world's time, like the way we can read a novel in any order and return to any section yet there's an order to our experiences and events. There's no time at all.

    The whole story is told with heavy layers of metaphor, so that the Elves (and, ultimately, we) have something they can comprehend. But the story takes place in a state of being that we are fundamentally unable to understand, and even the Ainur present in our world can no longer fully grasp, because we're all inherently connected to time in this existence.

    The way you think your future decisions are undetermined? And your past decisions are set? And what you're deciding right now is the point where the one becomes the other? To the beings outside of time, those moments are all the same. Eru treats past, present, and future as all exactly the same thing, and is not subject to the illusions created by temporal perspectives. Eru didn't know the choices Melkor made before Melkor made them, because there is no 'before'. Or, for that matter, 'after'. Events don't happen one after each other, outside of time. They are, for lack of a better term, simultaneous.

    'Free will' is usually a very poorly-defined concept, but most people's dim and vague understandings of the idea deal with how causality interacts with time. If there is no time... the concept doesn't apply.

    Is your choice of what (if anything) to eat for breakfast yesterday not free because you're unable to affect it now?

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim Portent View Post
    It's also a remarkably slow rate of technological development.
    Necessity is the mother of Invention. What do the free peoples of Middle Earth need technology for? That sort of thing is what the orcs dabble in - always more machines to kill more people more efficiently.

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    H.P. Lovecraft was, in both comparative terms and general terms, a hack. (I have read the complete Lovecraft, and being paid by the word can lead to some real excesses. )
    A hack writer is one who churns out material he thinks is trash because he wants a paycheck. Lovecraft wasn't a hack; if nothing else, he wasn't prolific enough. He also doesn't fit in terms of quality: his bad writing is awful, but his good writing... well, there're excellent reasons he's the Grandfather of Modern Horror.
    Last edited by Caledonian; 2022-05-18 at 02:25 PM. Reason: grammatical agreement, elves, double-posting doesn't mean what I thought it did
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    Chaos: Specific, local, and inconsistent trump general, universal, and consistent.

  20. - Top - End - #200
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    Default Re: Mystic Muse reads The Silmarillion.

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    So was everyone before Hemingway.

    (Not actually true, Mark Twain wasn't as wordy as, for example, J.F. Cooper)
    Ah, but have you read Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses by Mark Twain, because it's always struck me as a bit wordy.

  21. - Top - End - #201
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    Default Re: Mystic Muse reads The Silmarillion.

    Sigh

    I'm sorry, I've enjoyed doing this, but life is throwing me for too much of a loop and I just can't continue this right now. The mental load is too high and I've got too much on my plate.

    Sorry everyone.
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  22. - Top - End - #202
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    Default Re: Mystic Muse reads The Silmarillion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystic Muse View Post
    Sigh

    I'm sorry, I've enjoyed doing this, but life is throwing me for too much of a loop and I just can't continue this right now. The mental load is too high and I've got too much on my plate.

    Sorry everyone.
    Nah, that's okay. We can all see you're overwhelmed and, well, to be blunt, the entertainment of random strangers on the internet should not be a priority to you.

    Take care of yourself.

    I'm tempted to start a read-through of Silmarillion myself. That said, it would not be a blind readthrough at all since I've been through it many, many times.

    Would anyone be interested if I did so?

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
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    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post

    I'm tempted to start a read-through of Silmarillion myself. That said, it would not be a blind readthrough at all since I've been through it many, many times.

    Would anyone be interested if I did so?
    Sure.

    And yeah, no worries about not having the bandwidth to write English reports for the interwebz.
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