Have You Read The Silmarillion? May 5, 2014 11:31:23 GMT -6
Post by cadriel on May 5, 2014 11:31:23 GMT -6
It's not exactly accurate to say this. Tolkien worked throughout his life on the stories that are presented in the "Quenta Silmarillion" in The Silmarillion, but the format in which they are published in that book is not a literary invention of J.R.R. Tolkien.
Tolkien had tried to put the stories down in a format that was consistent, satisfying to him, and publishable as a book. The only time he wrote a complete version of the legendarium was the short "Quenta Noldorinwa" found in The Shaping of Middle-Earth. Every other attempt was incomplete in one way or another, missing various parts. His post-LotR efforts (Morgoth's Ring and The War of the Jewels) broke it into two parts: the two sets of Annals (The Annals of Aman, dealing with Valinor, and the Grey Annals, dealing with Arda), and the Quenta Silmarillion, which focused on the creation and theft of the Silmarils.
The published Quenta Silmarillion follows the incomplete post-LotR material where it can, except that it doesn't deal with the round-earth issues at all (Tolkien was torn on this), and to the extent it can be, it is a composite of the Annals and the later Quenta Silmarillion. This is supplemented where necessary by material from the pre-LotR work. In a few cases, chapters are shuffled around (such as "Of Aulë and Yavanna") or heavily invented (particularly in "Of the Ruin of Doriath").
I'm not saying this to be pedantic. People get confused about the genre of The Silmarillion, because it is a mixture of a flowing narrative (Quenta Silmarillion) and annalistic history (Annals of Aman / Grey Annals). It's made up of parts of both, with predictably odd results.