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My Most Precious Riddle: Eggs and Rings Revisited

My Most Precious Riddle: Eggs and Rings Revisited Thomas Honegger olkien enjoys the reputation of having been a "niggler"1 with his texts, which is, in the case of his legendarium, mainly due to his wish to solve textual contradictions or explore the origins of words and names.2 The overall effect achieved, however, is not that of a coherent "monomyth" but rather of a "great chain of (re)reading," to use Gergely Nagy's term.3 Yet while Tolkien could and would change, revise and develop the manuscript texts of his legendarium at will or at least within self-imposed limits, the same freedom no longer applied to those that had been printed and published. The case of The Hobbit, which originated as a tale for his children yet later changed into a "prequel" for The Lord of the Rings, is the most prominent example.4 But even the existence of a printed and published text did not stop Tolkien from changing it in subsequent editions.5 Within The Hobbit, it has been the chapter "Riddles in the Dark" that has undergone the most extensive re-writing in the second (1951) and later editions so that the account of the finding of the Ring and of Gollum's character is now more in line with http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Tolkien Studies West Virginia University Press

My Most Precious Riddle: Eggs and Rings Revisited

Tolkien Studies , Volume 10 (1) – Jul 18, 2013

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Publisher
West Virginia University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 West Virginia University Press.
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1547-3163
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Abstract

Thomas Honegger olkien enjoys the reputation of having been a "niggler"1 with his texts, which is, in the case of his legendarium, mainly due to his wish to solve textual contradictions or explore the origins of words and names.2 The overall effect achieved, however, is not that of a coherent "monomyth" but rather of a "great chain of (re)reading," to use Gergely Nagy's term.3 Yet while Tolkien could and would change, revise and develop the manuscript texts of his legendarium at will or at least within self-imposed limits, the same freedom no longer applied to those that had been printed and published. The case of The Hobbit, which originated as a tale for his children yet later changed into a "prequel" for The Lord of the Rings, is the most prominent example.4 But even the existence of a printed and published text did not stop Tolkien from changing it in subsequent editions.5 Within The Hobbit, it has been the chapter "Riddles in the Dark" that has undergone the most extensive re-writing in the second (1951) and later editions so that the account of the finding of the Ring and of Gollum's character is now more in line with

Journal

Tolkien StudiesWest Virginia University Press

Published: Jul 18, 2013

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