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Elf of Beleriand - Rank 2
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Date: Jul 6, 2006
No!

Having been compelled to study literature from Bible to Realism in Europe I realised that Tolkien could have indeed done a better job, and I do not mean the language and the narration, but the [hi]story... I remember Pushkin, Dante, even Petrarca, whose lyrics, rhymed perfectly, number many thousands.
Tolkien's imagination was not strong enough -- which is understandable, because he invented his backgrounds himself and because he would contradict himself having divinised them -- to actually create all the epic creations referred to as Elvish, like Lay of Leithian.

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[under construction]

Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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I must say you give examples I have never heard of Elvish avantguardian. How could Tolkien have possibly made his story more in depth than it is?

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Maiar
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I too would like to know a bit more about this. How exactly do you compare those writers mentioned to Tolkien's work? Were you thinking of any specific pieces? I have always considered Tolkien's works some of the deepest, most meaningful literature I have ever read. This is, of course, partially opinion but also partially based in fact. Tolkien touched on so many aspects of life in his works, so many facets that still apply and will probably always apply to reality. As for depth, he has certainly accomplished this through the layers of plot, language, behavior, and description among other things that he uses throughout. I may not quite understand what you meant about Tolkien's lack of imagination though if I do, I am forced to disagree. Someone can hardly lack imagination if they have enough of it to create a world of their own, and have the ability to bring it to life. Could you perhaps clarify your meaning?

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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I am not so sure if he really wanted to.
you reffered to the history, but Tolkien never really wanted to create very complex backgrounds for his creation, he created them for lotr and for the hobbit and more under the pressure of fans demanding this additional information he wrote a more complex background
this is what he himself said:

I now wish that no appendices had been promised! For I think their appearance in truncated and compressed form will satisfy nobody; certainly not me; clearly from the (appalling mass of) letters I receive not those people who like that kind of thing – astonishingly many; while those who enjoy the book as an "heroic romance" only, and find "unexplained vistas" part of the literary effect, will neglect the appendices, very properly.
I am not now at all sure that the tendency to treat the whole thing as a kind of vast game is really good – certainly not for me who find that kind of thing only too fatally attractive. It is, I suppose, a tribute to the curious effect that a story has, when based on very elaborate and detailed workings, of geography, chronology, and language, that so many should clamour for sheer "information," or "lore."

In a letter of the following year he wrote:

... while many like you demand maps, others wish for geological indications rather than places; many want Elvish grammars, phonologies, and specimens; some want metrics and prosodies.... Musicians want tunes, and musical notation; archaeologists want ceramics and metallurgy; botanists want a more accurate description of the mallorn, of elanor, niphredil, alfirin, mallos, and symbelmynë, historians want more details about the social and political structure of Gondor; general enquirers want information about the Wainriders, the Harad, Dwarvish origins, the Dead Men, the Beornings, and the missing two wizards (out of five).


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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Pushkin, Dante, even Petrarca...


You give these as examples Elvish Avantguardian. Personally I know nothing about them, but is it possible that each one of these may have surpassed Tolkien in some area or other, yet did not come close as an all-rounder writer?



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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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you don't know Dante...?
the Divine Commedy?

well, I think you can't really compare Tolkien to them...

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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I don't know any of them.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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well, I guess that Tolkien never really concentrated on things as the Ley of Lethian
perhaps he would have done that if his fans wouldn't have always request more and more complex historical backgrounds and explanations

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Maiar
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I suppose that's possible, and I certainly wouldn't blame him! I was rather hoping to hear where Elvish Avantguardian was coming from. And I certainly believe that Tolkien was a much more accomplished writer than those mentioned. After all, his work was so multifaceted, so complex that it made everything realistic. I don't think that was the case with the others...not that I can recall at least, it's been a while since I have read their work.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Tolkien...more accomplished then Dante?
No.
Most people only know about Tolkien as a writer because of the movies, and all the signs about "The great trilogy of JRR Tolkien". Without these, there wouldn't even be so much publicity for him, at least outside the UK.

He should however be respected and honoured for what he did, for giving people a fantasy world to which they could go to in their dreams and where theycould forget about the weariness and problems of our world.

He was something special, something unique, but surely not the best writer or poet ever.
Then again, to say that a writer is better then another is impossible.
Noone, not even some person with experience in this field can say with certainty that one or another writer was or is the best writer of all times.
Nor can anyone say who the greatest painter of all times was, or the greatest singer of all times.
Such things are totally subjective, it is up to each and every one of us to find their own favourite writer or painter or musician.
Why? Because it's your opinion that counts here.

So Ungoliant, if for you JRR Tolkien is the greatest writer ever, then don't care what others say, and keep that opinion.
He could have indeed perhaps did, as Elvish Avantguardian says, better lyrics and rhymes like Dante, he could have made a more complex and more interesting mythology, he could have described many things in detail, but if at the end of the day, when you draw a line, he is your favourite, than that is how it should be.

The problem is that all these literary or movie or art critics have a much stronger say then they should these days.
Many people talk about a book as rubbish, even though they never read it, just because some literary critic made a bad review on it.
That is why it is very important that you keep your own opinion, and don't let others influence you so easily...

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Elf of Beleriand - Rank 2
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Date: Jul 24, 2006
Elvish Avantguardian, the forum's laggard!

Behold: Seldom, perhaps never, did Tolkien actually go in-depth, whilst he was ambitious [I do not say unsuccessful] in going in-width.

More: The only book he wrote that was complete and consistent, overall valuable, is The Hobbit.

Even more: To whatever I may object in The Silmarillion regarding the story is justified by the simple fact that he was mostly consistent in portraying the Elves and their societies. Their history is not human, so it lacks exciting turnovers and complicatons of natural death of, say, A Song of Ice and Fire. The Elves are mostly retardating the story.

Yet it is true that The Silmarillion was to cover Aragorn's past, that of Elrond and the other chars, more than to stand for itself. Alone, it is a decapitated creation.

To be concluded.

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[under construction]

Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Still, the Hobbit was in the beginnig not designed as a small part of a much larger and more complex mythology and universe.
Only after the great success of the book, did Tolkien begin to think about making a more serious attempt to create a fantastic universe.
The Hobbit, is indeed the only complete and consistent book, as it was never supposed to have any sequel in the beginning. Also, the way it is written in is different, as it is in the end, a "historic romance", and not what one would consider "lore".
But I wouldn't necessarily say that "The Hobbit" is the most valuable book overall, Elvish Avantguardian...at least not from my point of view.

And excuse me for asking, but what is the meaning of the word "laggard" ?

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Maiar
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Date: Jul 26, 2006
TM: I discovered Tolkien's work well before the movies, and though I cannot say for sure whether it would have become popular to the extent it is now I still think it would be much better known than you think. I had heard of the books many years before I finally read them, and I think that the movies boosted the popularity of Tolkien's work rather than "make" their popularity. Anyhow, I never claimed the Tolkien was the greatest writer of all time as I have never decided upon one writer and most likely never will! I might venture to say he is among the best, or perhaps label him the father of modern fantasy (though that might be insulting...depends on which novels he fathered I suppose). I agree, however, with what you said "but if at the end of the day, when you draw a line, he is your favourite, than that is how it should be".

Elvish Avantguardian: Though you are certainly entitled to your opinion, I am afraid I must disagree once again. Tolkien may not have delved into every aspect, but to say that he did not go in-depth I think is stretching things a bit too far. As for The Hobbit, it may be the only book that is entirely consistant, but you cannot possibly base the value of the book on something so small. Though indeed, as TM already stated, it is the beginning of much greater things I would not say it is the most important or most valuable. To me, the inconsistancy is one of the intriguing things about his work. This is, naturally, an opinion but I enjoy something that isn't so neat, so carefully brought together in the end. In The Hobbit, Tolkien tied up every loose thread and answered every question. In LotR he leaves you with questions, he doesn't bring everything together and that's one of the things I enjoy about his work...it leaves me free to imagine and turn things over in my head. In a way I believe this is also true with the Silmarillion, especially with the inconsistancies.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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I must agree with you on the "imagine yourself" thing. Indeed, he left gaps that the reader himself should fill, and not simply want the writer to provide him all the information.

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Honor, Freedom, Fatherland
Maiar
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Date: Jul 26, 2006
*wink* Well at least we agree on some things! Oh yes, and I rather forgot to provide the definition of "laggard" in my last post so here you are...

laggard (adj.): lagging or tending to lag
laggard (noun): one that lags or lingers

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The more I consumath the more I hunger for, render me the Silmarils!
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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so why would Elvish Avantguardian be the forums laggard?
she is the one that lingers on the forum...???
I'm confused...

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Honor, Freedom, Fatherland
Elf of Beleriand - Rank 2
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Date: Jul 28, 2006
Where, oh where to start! Perhaps with the lagging.

As I have explained that to The One in the ages so far behind, my Internet connection is rather erratic, so it happens to me that I start controversial discussions and try to get them back on predicted tracks after the other members have already commenced mutual avantguardianless discussions, whereby rendering me, who coined the Leitmotiv, nearly superfluous.

Alright: No, there is no stretching anything excessivelly but preferring the tone and its devices to the context and content. I think that Valaquenta and Ainulindale are, in that case of individual imagination, as unnecessary as many other chapters of many books.

Plus the logical inconsistencies, on Ungoliant's part: Tolkien wrote, in an empirist's manner, that the idea of a hill contains individual additions of the subject due to which there are no two identical concepts of hill. A shepherd perambulating mountainous terrains daily with his sheep shall have a more vivid vision of Ezellohar than many. To extend this onto the matters of fabula... exaggerated.

The lore and the depth in this discussion are mutualy disparable, exclusive. Because the fairy-story tone insists on facts like where Frodo really goes in the end if not concealed then shrouded in fog. This, too, came from Tolkien's quill.

To be continued.

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Valar
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Date: Jul 28, 2006

In a letter of the following year he wrote:

... while many like you demand maps, others wish for geological indications rather than places; many want Elvish grammars, phonologies, and specimens; some want metrics and prosodies.... Musicians want tunes, and musical notation; archaeologists want ceramics and metallurgy; botanists want a more accurate description of the mallorn, of elanor, niphredil, alfirin, mallos, and symbelmynë, historians want more details about the social and political structure of Gondor; general enquirers want information about the Wainriders, the Harad, Dwarvish origins, the Dead Men, the Beornings, and the missing two wizards (out of five).~TM


That's an interesting letter TM.  If you wouldn't mind could I get the number, or if it doesn't have one, the date?  I find this Letter interesting...because I think it shows Tolkien's tiredness and weariness of his writings.


From the 1930's until around the 50's Tolkien was very adammant about trying to get the Silmarillion published.  And he actually went after his publishers at the time, Unwin and Collins, because they published LOTR but rejected the Silmarillion, saying it wasn't a 'presentable publication.'  And Tolkien felt strongly up until around the 50's that The Sil should have been published before LOTR.  But, after the 50's he just seems to give up and abandons trying to get the Silmarillion published, and he just leaves it unfinished. 


I think Tolkien got tired of fighting and arguing with his publishers (not just with the Silmarillion case but there were other disagreements between the two), and it appears here that he got weary of explaining more and constantly trying to write more.  So, if possible could I get the number, or at least a date of the Letter, for I will probably end up using it.



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I am Lórien, Lord of Dreams, my true name is 'Irmo' in Quenya.
Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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I believe thats 187 From a letter to H. Cotton Minchin, but not entirely sure.

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Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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If you wish to read about this Lord Lorien, then i recommend you the foreword to the Unfinished Tales. There Christopher Tolkien describes the attitude of his father about the work and explains why he did the things he did. It is indeed an interesting reading material.

-- Edited by The One at 20:05, 2006-07-29

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Elf of Beleriand - Rank 2
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Date: Aug 2, 2006
Let us return to what I wished to discuss... a month ago.

Ah, the lore. Then, LotR is not lore as well. The Silmarillion is not hardcore lore, but a reflection of ancient Elvenlore, summarized, incomplete, for the purposes of tone and due to Tolkien's mortality [+ other?]. That is why I inferred Leithian.

We need to standardize lore, determine the term. [Aside with religion] the method in Bible might do. Perhaps even Byron's romanticistic epic poetry [cheesy it be, one may glean quite a bit from it]. Lore is more of an approach to a history than a sort of a history. I do not say that any history is lore material.

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Elf of Rivendell - Rank 2
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Date: Aug 2, 2006
Elvish Avantguardian wrote:


  Tolkien's imagination was not strong enough



 


you can say anything you want,that's your opinion, but you really can't say this!!!!



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anar kaluva tielyanna!
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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Etymology Old English lār
Noun lore (uncountable)

1. all the facts and traditions about a particular subject that have been accumulated over time through education or experience
2. (Games) the backstory created around a fictional universe, especially in role-playing games, as opposed to the story and setting of the individual game session

well, that is the dictionary explanation of the term "lore"
now, if we would apply this definition in the context, "lore" would be the backstory created around the story, so actually, all books would be more or less.

But if we would see things in Tolkiens own view, "lore" would be simply sheer information. Anyway, I think that the definition of "lore" is not so easy to find, and that it anyway not something that can be very clearly defined.

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Valar
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Perhaps some of these quotes will help...to get an idea on how 'Middle-earthians' view lore:


'Rather he [Boromir] was a man after the sort of King Earnur of old, taking no wife and delighting chiefly in arms; fearless and strong, but caring little for lore, save the tales of old battles.  Faramir the younger was lik him in looks but otherwise in mind...He was gentle in bearing, and a lover of lore and of music, and therefor my many in those days his courage was judged less than his brother's.'~Appendix A: The Stewards


Of these words we could understand little, and we spoke to our father, Denethor, Lord of Minas Tirith, wise in the lore of Gondor...~The Council of Elrond


In these two quotes I would disagree with Elvish Avantguardian and say that history is a big part of 'lore.'  But, I don't think lore is just history alone.  It's an acquiring of facts, or knowledge from history that is lore.  As Faramir and Denethor were remarked to be great 'scholars' and wise in lore.  They knew a lot about Gondor and other 'ancient stories,' and they took that knowledge to hopefully be of some use to them.  Where in Boromir's case, the only 'lore' he cared for was studying of battles and generals, and he took that knowledge and used it to better himself



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I am Lórien, Lord of Dreams, my true name is 'Irmo' in Quenya.
Elf of Beleriand - Rank 2
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[A brief note] Please do not extract from my writing regardless of the context, even if it does not justify its elements.

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Black Numenorean - Rank 3
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This may seem sacreligious to some, but Tolkien was not the first to devise a new "world" and a simulated history complete with maps of said world (and taking it a step further), how that world transcended into our own.


I am speaking of Robert E. Howard, and his history and world revolved around (none other then) Conan the Cimmerian. Obviously Conan is not on the same intellectual level as LOTR, but his stories are alive and rich in color, and characters (I know, I've read about 50 books). The setting is similar in that they take place between the sinking of Atlantis, and the beginning of our recorded history.


The point I'm trying to make is...Ah, nevermind, just call it food for thought.



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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Good points there. Tolkien is not the first to make a new world, however I doubt anyone else's would come though in terms of depth and scale. His world is complete from The Creation to The End (The Last Battle), with only a few shady area's.

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Utúlie'n  aurë!  Aiya  Eldalië  ar  Atanatári,  utúlie'n  aurë! 
Auta  i  lómë! 
Aurë entuluva!

Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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of course he wasn't the first, even in antiquity there were legends and talesw about inexistent far away lands...kind of fairy talesand ME itself is a fairytale, just a very complex one


what I don't like however is all the writers like Stan Nicholls or Bernhard Hennen who have the nerve to write books about Elves or Dwarves, just like Tolkien, but of course not to honor him, but only for profit


the books are terrible and can't be compared with Tolkien#S creations, but stilll these books seem to have a big success


and I quote, from the cover of one book: "and again they strike, the herose of Tolkien's fantasy world, the Orks"


The books is owned by a friend of mine and it deals with the Orks...


how can you have the nerve to plagiarise (hope the word is correct) the great work of someone like JRR Tolkien and try to make some lame attempt to re-create his writigs


it is just as if I would start to make a sequel for the Divine Comedy, or if I wrote a book to reming of the saga of the Nibelungs



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Elf of Beleriand - Rank 2
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We do not have to resort to such comparisons here. I do not wish to p**** own ponderings, which speak for themselves.

Do people at this forum regard me female? [Some proding pronouns caught my eye.]



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Royal Guard of Menegroth - Rank 5
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I hadn't really given it much thought until reading your post. The Gollum avatar made me think of you as male, but then your style of writing and use of language would seem more feminine.

LoL So that leaves me wondering for a moment, though your last post implies that you are in fact male.

Regarding the work of Stan Nicholls and Bernhard Hennen, I have never heard of them. There is a great deal of fantasy literature out there that owes tribute to Tolkien, not that the authors need to mention it. Personally I am a huge Fan of Tad Williams, Michael Moor****, and Steven Brust. Both Moor**** and Brust are very subtle in how they characterize Elves in their work. LoL But I guess that discussion belongs on another forum.

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Therefore I say that we will go on, and this doom I add: the deeds that we shall do shall be the matter of song until the last days of Arda
Witchking of Angmar - Rank 10
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is hermaphrodite a choice as well?
no, seriously now, I'd say you are a female...maybe 40 or 50 years old...

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Honor, Freedom, Fatherland
Royal Guard of Menegroth - Rank 5
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Wow, I would guess male and much much younger.

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Therefore I say that we will go on, and this doom I add: the deeds that we shall do shall be the matter of song until the last days of Arda
Elf of Beleriand - Rank 2
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Date: Oct 6, 2006
I do not understand your reasoning regarding the gender. I deemed that the most of the members are either as old as me or younger. I am eighteen.

I suppose that associations prevail. Hermaphrodites are as able to wield swords [and speak tongues] as males, but that is not a sign of recognition.

Needless to say that the characterizations above this post are far from flattering. They are, in addition, not offensive to me.

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Don't worry Elvish Avantguard I knew you were male, I thought you were about 23 though...

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Utúlie'n  aurë!  Aiya  Eldalië  ar  Atanatári,  utúlie'n  aurë! 
Auta  i  lómë! 
Aurë entuluva!

Royal Guard of Menegroth - Rank 5
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Date: Oct 6, 2006
Since the hermaphrodite comment was made in jest, I can only assume that you considered my characterization of your style of writing as "feminine" to be less than flattering if not entirely offensive.

If that is the case then I apologize as that was not the intent. Your post indicated that you were interested in others' perceptions of you through this limited medium. I will admit that the pronoun 'she' did influence my own perception but then your query clearly indicated that the opposite was true.

As to your age, my guess of much much younger was meant to imply that you would be in your late teens or early twenties, as is the case. That too can be attributed to your style of writing.

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Therefore I say that we will go on, and this doom I add: the deeds that we shall do shall be the matter of song until the last days of Arda
Elf of Beleriand - Rank 2
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Date: Oct 6, 2006
I took no offence to both comments on my style, as I have written above. I have merely admitted to being perplexed regarding your induction, which could, with most bitterness possible, be only described as "presumptuous".

Since my interests were purely motivated by curiosity, I do not feel blameful of ignoring the obvious or growing inconsistent, which Celethil's previous entry would have implied had it been truthful in the aspect of my opinion; that I have explained. Never did I resent honest remarks. Seldom did I resent even the intentionally offensive ones. Plain statements I posted above might mislead anyone to believe I am age-sensitive.

Apologies may be reserved and countered by my own. I do not wish to learn of others' opinion perforce. Regarding the lang... I have already said, several months ago, that constructive criticisms are most welcome.


The Gollum avatar is an undetachable part of my kindly assigned Special Rank. Suffice it that a short discussion occured between me and Eru on this topic. This sounds ominous, but let me add that there are, to my knowledge, no complaints on either side.

-- Edited by Elvish Avantguardian at 17:27, 2006-10-06

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Royal Guard of Menegroth - Rank 5
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Suffice to say that we have gone considerably off topic, but that is not to say that the discussion was not well worth it.

Regarding your gender, I did not know your question was to be interepreted as rhetorical. As for induction, the very nature of such reasoning is based on presumption. Perplexing as it may seem, the conclusion was indeed accurate.

We understand that the avatar issss compulsory.




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Therefore I say that we will go on, and this doom I add: the deeds that we shall do shall be the matter of song until the last days of Arda
Elf of Beleriand - Rank 2
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Date: Oct 18, 2006
Not all forms of induction are based on presumption. Then again, the solipsists and certain empirists prove that the inmost nature of all causality [apart from that of will and action, which added Nietzsche] and matter in total remains unknown to people, so that logics is, at least in some corporeal matters, used with respect to its relativity.

I do not know which question you are referring to as meant-to-be-interpreted as rhetorical.

The conclusion mentioned might be q perplexing but indeed accurate /q if it was not expressed in a corresponding tone and words, but unnecessarily frivolously. Off topic -- yes. But the topic is exhausted by the readers stating their opinions. Perhaps others shall obligingly join this discussion?

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