TIW: [Letter regarding sounds of voices of races in Tolkien and other short responses to Entmoot #1 and #2 with in-line commentary by Greg Shaw]

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5-6

[page 5] June M. Koningsberg : 480 Fairview Avenue : Sierra Madre, Calif. 91024 Dear Entmoot: Thank you very much for the complimentary copy. I rather like your cover, although your artist seems to go in for knobbly skulls. The cover occurs to me as being Pippin and perhaps Grishnakh--anyway, one of those jolly fellows. With all the opinions being given on the pitch of Hobbit voices, I am mildly surprised to find that no one apparently went to Tolkien to see what _his_ opinion was. Early in The Hobbit, perhaps the first or second page, Tolkien states that they have "deep, rich, fruity laughs." Now I contend that anybody with a laugh of that description is not going to have a high, shrill voice. It is true that when Treebeard first meets Merry and Pippin, he refers to their "nice little voices--reminded me of something I cannot remember--" but it must be recalled that Treebeard's own voice is like the rumbling of a great organ, so that just about any voice above basso profundo would sound "nice and little" to him. Also, in the passage where Frodo is trying to escape from Old Willow-Man, and first meets Bombadil, there is a reference to "the sound of his own shrill voice." This is not conclusive evidence, since a state of fear such as Frodo was being subjected to would tighten anyone's vocal chords, producing a shrill effect. In concluding, I will say that I personally believe that Hobbits had as wide a range of voice qualities as Men. As far as the Hobbits being mistaken for children is concerned, that was more because of their size than their voices. If you recall, even San @Sam@ mistook Merry and Pippin for children until he got a better look at them, when Pippin told him "We are knights of the City and of the Mark, as I hope you observe." Well, now that I've settled _that_ question, let's go on to something else. The picture of Gollum in the first issue I didn't like at all. Aside from the fact that Gollum wouldn't look like that anyway, the artist apparently did not read the story, where it states that ' Gollum paddled the boat _with his hands_ -- not standing up, poling it. As far as Gollum's personal appearance is concerned, just remember that he is a very old, starved-down Hobbit -- indeed, in one passage he is described as _looking_ like that. Just forget about the knobbly skull -- I have searched for some reference to whether or not Gollum had [page 6] hair, and couldn't find any evidence either way. The tehtar are quite good--they make it a little more possible to read the Tengwar. Kalimac Brandagamba and I don't agree at all on the Angerthas, so maybe with the tehtar, we can get some agreement out of the Tengwar. I do not understand Greg's comment about the u-curl should have been doubled on the cover. I have searched the table of the tehtar, and failed to find anything, single _or_ double, that looks like that single thing on the cover. If it's a u-curl, it's backwards and a few other things, too. -/My fault for neglecting to explain this, among several other things. See my explanation in this issue./-

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