Why did Carl Hostetter go back to 1959 material in Chapter XX?


Well-Known Member
Professor Olsen suggested that we ask Hostetter this question if we get an interview with him?

I was the one who raised this question in class (and in a post on this forum earlier).

It seems like a curious choice to me. We left the 1959 material (and extensive math) in chapter XVII. We then got 1965 material in chapter XVIII, and 1969 material in chapter XIX. The 1965 and 1969 material both seem to indicate that JRRT was not satisfied with the entire copious 1959 scheme (which Hostetter has been chronicling from chapter I through chapter XVII. It seems clear that JRRT was discarding all the 1959 efforts and attempting to come up with different conceptions of the life of Elves.

However, Hostetter then goes back to 1959 in chapter XX. Chapter XX is the last chapter in Part One, which deals with Elvish time and formulae for comparing Elvish life cycles to that of Men. To a reader who has not noticed that this chapter is a reversion to 1959, this would appear like JRRT’s conclusion on the subject of Elvish time scales. It is not. The conclusion seems to be chapter XIX from 1969, and the conclusion must be that JRRT was throwing out the 1959 scheme, and still thinking about alternative conceptions.

So, why did Carl Hostetter put chapter XX where he did, instead of back with the rest of the 1959 stuff?