So, today the mail brought my copy of Douglas Kane's long-awaited ARDA RECONSTRUCTED: THE CREATION OF THE PUBLISHED SILMARILLION. I'd been hearing about this one for a year or two, so it's nice to finally see it in print. Essentially it's a chapter-by-chapter look at how the 1977 SILMARILLION was put together, using the source-material published in THE HISTORY OF MIDDLE-EARTH. Glancing at it, I'm struck by how much it resembled Darrell Martin's pioneering work presented at the 1983 Marquette Tolkien Conference, where (when the HME was just getting off the ground) Darrell drew on Kilby's notes to show how specific sections came from specific sources. Aside from that, there's really nothing quite like this out there; Wayne & Christina do devote a separate (lengthy) entry to every chapter of THE SILMARILLION in their COMPANION & GUIDE, but their approach is v. different and, given that there each chapter appears alphabetically under its chapter title, not sequentially as in the original book, the overall effect is completely different. Besides, they focus on the development of each 'chapter' over time, whereas Kane's focus is on exactly where each paragraph and passage came from: to retrace the assemblage so as to get a better idea of the 1977's volume's construction.
Anyway, congratulations to Kane for the publication; more on this one later when I've had more time to look over and absorb it.
inside Edmund Wilson
5 hours ago