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El Silmarillion (Spanish) Mass Market Paperback – 30 Jun 2004


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J.R.R. Tolkien was born on 3rd January 1892. After serving in the First World War, he became best known for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, selling 150 million copies in more than 40 languages worldwide. Awarded the CBE and an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Oxford University, he died in 1973 at the age of 81.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The Silmarillion: Tolkien's true life work, ultimately unfinished though it is 7 Jan. 2012
By Mike London - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
In the Tolkien canon, THE SILMARILLION is the most highly contested of all his works. Constructed as a prehistoric history of the Universe, the book has the cultural significance of the Bible in Tolkien's universe. It is Tolkien's primary work, but it's also his most troublesome, in more ways than one. One thing you need to know. In Tolkien scholarship, there are two primary ways to refer to the "Silmarillion". One is the Silmarillion, the legendarium proper, and then the 1977 SILMARILLION, which may or may not be what Tolkien envisioned.

THE SILMARILLION, the book Tolkien spent all of his adult life writing, was, sadly, incomplete when Tolkien died at the age of eighty one in 1973. Naturally, this begs the question why did it take him decades to write the book, and it still be unfinished after all that time? Well, to understand that, you need to understand two things: the scope of the project, and how Tolkien worked.

The scope of the book was a complete imaginary history, a totally self-contained mythology, all written and developed for his home country, England (my home country as well). Imagine the Greek and Roman mythologies, all those myths and gods, developed by one man. Imagine Homer completely inventing all the gods for his stories. Imagine how hard that would be to come up with your own mythological traditions as such. No wonder Tolkien had such a hard time completing the work.

Now, the scope (which is extremely ambitious for any artist) was compounded by how Tolkien worked. First, he was a philologist first and foremost, and so before the stories he invented languages. All of these languages (which would have taken a life-time to develop on their own) had their own history, and are so interlocked with the mythology that you cannot remove them. He developed the main body of legends around these languages. Many features of the central body of legends changed relatively little over the years, but he wrote different versions of them at different times and in different styles. Some of the legends were set in poetry, those in annalistic histories, others in condensed summaries, and others in the more traditional (at least, for modern readers) novel format. A lot of these writings are also unfinished, due to Tolkien's perfectionist tendencies. Christopher Tolkien said that for most of his father's writing there existed a stable tradition from which Tolkien worked from, but there was no such thing as a stable text for the primary legends.

All this is tied to how Tolkien worked. C. S. Lewis famously stated that you did not influence Tolkien, you may as well as try to influence a bandersnatch. Tolkien would either take no notice of your criticism, or else he would start all over from the beginning. And so he did. A lot. Tolkien would reach a certain portion of the draft, be unsatisfied, and began the whole thing over again, while never reaching the end. Or Tolkien would have two copies of the same manuscript, one to be the fair copy and one to be working copy. Well, Tolkien would make conflicting revisions on both copies at separate times. How do you decide his final intent? Good question. These tendencies presented major problems from Christopher Tolkien when he prepared the 1977 SILMARILLION.

Another problem with Tolkien's work also is that toward the end of his life, he began contemplating changing major features of the mythology that stretched back to the earliest versions. A lot of these changes had to do with cosmology, with the sun and moon, and changing Arda (the earth) from a flat-world to a round world. In the original mythology, and the 1977 version, Arda begins as a flat world but is made into a round world. Tolkien contemplated other major changes that would have totally changed much of the more distinguishable features of the mythology, stable features present from the very beginning. Consult "Myths Transformed" in MORGOTH'S RING, Vol. 10 of THE HISTORY OF MIDDLE-EARTH for more information.

Then we have the problem of THE LORD OF THE RINGS. Tolkien was tantalizing close to some sort of final version of the work in the late 1930s (indeed, the 1937 version of the "Quenta Silmarillion" is the only complete version he ever made of the primary work and which is heavily used in the 1977 SILMARILLION). Then, due to publisher demand, Tolkien began working on his masterpiece for the next fourteen years, leaving the "Silmarillion" legendarium completely untouched for over a decade. When Tolkien picked up the Silmarillion again, he now had to account for LOTR and somehow incorporate that major work into the mythology. Tolkien did a lot of work on the legendarium after the completion of LOTR, but this work was plagued with uncertainty and contemplation of radical rewriting.

And in the last years of his life, Tolkien also began moving away from strict narrative and began working extensively on theological matters, essays on Elvish culture and lingustics, and other matters not tied to the actual narrative of the main storyline.

So when Tolkien died in 1973, he left his son Christopher in quite the predicament. Decades of writng, much if it unfinished, with a staggering palimpsest of manuscripts from which to draw from would be daunting to anyone. As literary executor, he had to come up with a publishable version of the work (as clearly that was his father's wishes, and Christopher was the man for the job, being most acquainted with the work). So, in four years, with the assistance of Guy Gavriel Kay, he cobbled together a self-contained narrative, largely compatible with the Hobbit cycle. Due to Tolkien's tendency to not finish drafts, some of the narrative in the last portion of the work had not been touched by Tolkien in literally decades (The Fall of Gondolin never got a complete version other than the 1916 Lost Tales story). Thingol and Melian presented thorny problems, especially the Girdle of Melian (her magical protection around Doriath). Christopher and Kay constructed the chapter dealing with the ruin of Doriath from scratch, with no corresponding writing in Tolkien's own work.

Yet another major issue was, due to getting a version of the book published as soon as possible, Christopher rushed through much of material, and did not have access to all of his father's manuscripts, some of which had been sold off. While he always used post LOTR material as often as possible, Christopher was as many times incorrect as not when guessing his father's intentions for the work. In the ensuing twelve volumes of THE HISTORY OF MIDDLE-EARTH, where he had years to get to know the manuscripts, Christopher examines more closely his father's works, and there is much in those twelve volumes that were Tolkien's final intention for the work, but did not make it into the published version. Christopher has stated, given time, he may have produced a much different version than the one published. But he is now retired and will not revise the book (much of which would have to be wholesale).

That's quite a bit of history, and ultimately all that history may bog potential readers down in their journey into THE SILMARILLION. For all of its imperfections, its unfinished nature, the endless debates on how much the 1977 version is what Tolkien really intended, the book is powerful mythology. The reading is dry, and the names are jawcracking trying to pronounce. While it's hard to keep track of the multitude of characters and all the permutations and migrations of the three main Elven tribes, there are unforgettable images in the book, and beautiful passages of despair and hope.

While the work is not the most accessible for modern readers, for those who persist you can see why Tolkien really did regard this as his life work, or, as Tom Shippey says, "the work of his heart". And what a mighty work it is, despite its unfinished nature.
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Bonus Content:

In November 28, 1999, I released a small review of "The Silmarillion" on Amazon.com (which is still accessible on the main product listing of this book), and as bonus content to the review proper (which is up above), I am including my original review

Tolkien's Bible, November 28, 1999

"Hark now to "The Silmarillion", the Bible of Tolkien's fantasy world. This is not a work to be taken lightly, for here we at last uncover the great truths of Middle-earth, and hear of its creation.

"The Silmarillion", simply put, is a tragic book, beautiful, with one flaw that nearly kills it. It was unfinished. We do not know (or ever will) how much different it would have been if Tolkien live to complete his greatest work. Christopher his son has done as well as can be expected, but there are quite a few style shifts betraying his pen instead of his father's. This is to be read with such seriousness as "The Iliad" or "The Odyssey". It is a mythological work that should be studied. This is not for a conventional reader, this is for the serious student. Without the knowledge his other two novels (for "The Lord of the Rings" is one novel, not a trilogy) "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit", "The Silmarillion" is not near as rewarding as it would otherwise be. "The Hobbit" is for children, "The Lord of the Rings" is for adults, and "The Silmarillion" is for students of this great work. All students interested in literature should read this, flawed as it is because of the mortality of man.

It also shows how strong Tolkien believed in God. His world was very much a Christian world, set up in the likeness of God. God is never mentioned in "The Lord of the Rings", but as I remember he is in "The Silmarillion". You see him with the Ainur create the world. Truly, this is a master of fantasy, and a great Christian man."
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Un gran libro El Silmarillion 23 May 2005
By Mael Marius - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A pesa de todos los nombres, yo considero que es un excelente libro, de mucha información, con respecto a los personajes, lugares, con todo, es muy triste, como todos sus libros, pero es fantastico, te enteras como se creo la tierra media, quienes vinieron, que guerras pasaron, los lugares y las personas y entre muchas cosas más, que aparte de Sauron existia alguien más poderoso y malvado, de como fue derotado y el daño que causo, las divisiones que hubieron entre los elfos, y muchas otras cosas muy importantes.
La Edda de Tolkien 11 Oct. 2012
By William Rosado-Ocasio - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
El Silmarillion (The Silmarillion) es una de las obras inconclusas que dejó el conocido escrito de ficción J. R.R. Tolkien. Una obra sumamente interesante desde principio a fin, lo que hace que me pregunte: ¿Cómo hubiera sido si Tolkien hubiese tenido más tiempo para escribirla? En su estado actual es una joya de la literatura moderna junto a sus otras obras El Señor de los Anillos (The Lord of the Rings) y El Hobbit (The Hobbit or There and back Again). A mi parecer todo aquel lector que se disponga a leer las obras mencionadas en la oración anterior deberían leer esta primero para tener una mejor comprensión de los temas discutidos en la novela.

El Silmarillion más que una novela es una compilación de relatos que cuentan la creación de la Tierra Media y Valinor, además de contar con una mitología impresionante que me dejó perplejo cuando comencé a leerla. En su interior se encuentran relatos como "AINULINDALË" que habla de los orígenes del mundo; el "VALAQUENTA" que es el listado de todos los Valar y figuras menores; "Quenta Silmarillion" que relata la creación de los elfos, enanos y hombres y la guerra de los Silmarils (este es el relato más extenso del compendio) y "DE LOS ANILLOS DEL PODER Y LA TERCERA EDAD" que narra detalles de la creación de los anillos que se mencionaban en sus otras obras. El libro además cuenta con mapas, genealogías y detalles sobre significados y pronunciaciones de las distintas lenguas del universo de la Tierra Media.

Esta obra no tiene nada que envidiarle al texto medieval de Snorri Sturlson: la Edda Prosaica, pues cumple un papel similar en explicar los detalles que le dan significado a muchas otras historias construidas en el universo mitológico nórdico. Sin duda Tolkien como medievalista estudió a fondo los textos y logró recrear un universo rico y lleno de significado no solo para su lado como cristiano católico, sino también como académico y erudito de la materia (cuando vemos recreaciones de textos medievales de su mano como La Leyenda de Sigurd y Gudrun (The Legend of Sigurd & Gudrun). Sin duda alguna para los fanáticos de los filmes y de la trilogía del Señor de los Anillos este es un texto esencial y primordial, aunque para algunos el texto pueda resultar pesado ya que hay una extensa mención de nombres en "VALAQUENTA" que constantemente se repetirán en "Quenta Silmarillion" que hará que más de uno regrese para recordar quién es quién.
Compilación de Mitologías 11 Oct. 2014
By Allan Elvir - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Un excelente libro, tanto para amantes de Tolkien como para lectores en general interesados en las mitologías del mundo y sus más destacadas historias.

Esto último debido a que básicamente, en este libro en el cual se contiene toda la "prehistoria" del mundo de Tolkien, se puede observar como el autor hace una gran recopilación de las tragedias, leyendas, héroes y villanos de las mitologías más sobresalientes del mundo y las compila en esta obra de una forma exquisita, teniendo de una manera totalmente admirable, el cuidado en los detalles para interconectar cada una de las historias y hacerles tener total sentido para formar un mundo rico en elementos para hacer referencia en sus obras posteriores.

Es interesante conocer la procedencia de cada raza, los dioses que les crearon y los semi dioses que jugaron los papeles de libertadores y conquistadores y que dieron forma a toda la flora y fauna de la Tierra Media, la cual contiene referencias de leyendas celtas, griegas, romanas y hasta nativo-americanas, entrelazadas con gran ingenio.

Altamente recomendado para cualquier persona que guste de dejar volar su creatividad y que ame los grandes cuentos de antaño.
Very good book for those who loves research 15 Jun. 2013
By Pablo Solorzano - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
About the product itself I have no complaints, it came to me in very good conditions.

About the contents, Its a very good story, and perhaps some people find it as complex to read and so much names and places, but in the end, those are good reasons for reading chapter by chapter again and again, inspecting the maps, the names and descendants and the way that elements intertwined, because there's always something you'll find out and you'll be fascinated (not bored), its like studying history kind of that. The names index its very helpfull for knowing the facts around a single character or place.

Hints for a better comprehension: First try to locate and memorize the most part of names in the Beleriand map, another helpful hint is to memorize the family trees of elves and men (if you can, but annotations on a piece of paper will help a lot too), then the details will be much easier to undestand.
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