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Еврей без ярлыков - The Last Ring-bearer
October 3rd, 2010
01:11 am

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The Last Ring-bearer
UPDATE: Second edition!

More than 15 years ago Russian scientist Kirill Yeskov tried to settle certain geographical problems in Tolkien's fantasy world. One thing led to another, and he tackled a bigger project - what if we assumed that it's no less real than our world? His conclusion was that in such a case, the story of the Ring of Power is most likely a much-altered heroic retelling of a major war - but what was that war really about?

The result of this re-appraisal was the publication in 1999 of The Last Ring-bearer - a re-thinking of Tolkien's story in real-world terms. Dr. Yeskov, a professional paleontologist whose job is reconstructing long-extinct organisms and their way of life from fossil remnants, performs essentially the same feat in The Last Ring-bearer, reconstructing the real world of Tolkien's Arda from The Lord of the Rings - the heroic tales of the Free Men of the West written in that world. We have a pretty good idea how well heroic tales map to reality from our own world...

I was impressed enough by this work to spend a few dozen lunch hours translating it to English. (Reportedly, some publishing houses have considered a commercial translation of this book, which had been published in several major European languages, but abandoned the idea out of fear of the Tolkien estate, which doesn't countenance any derivative works, especially in English. Witness the history of its relationship with New Line Cinema. This translation is non-commercial. The Russian original can be found here.) I have been fortunate to establish communication with the author and have the translation vetted (and much corrected) by him. I now offer this work for your perusal. At 139,000 words, this 1 Mb PDF is about 80% of the length of The Fellowship of the Ring. Suggestions for corrections will be appreciated. Please mention how you heard about this translation when commenting. Errata will be published here soon.

UPDATE: I have translated an essay Dr. Yeskov wrote after the first publication of this book. It may answer some of your questions about his motivation and method.</b>

One user has reported a virus intercepted during downloading. The PDF itself is Javascript-free and ought not to have any payload other than the text. It was likely a false positive when a stub of the file matched some virus signature during download. Sendspace has informed me that my account has gone premium thanks to all the downloads, and users should now see no ads prior to downloading. One user has reported encountering Captcha; I've never seen any, but suspect that Sendspace puts them up when the download request comes from a domain associated with bots. There have been thousands of successful downloads; if yours fails, please try again. .odt and .mobi versions are available here thanks to Matthew Wilcoxson.

I have to disappoint the fans of Sauron: His Majesty Sauron the VIII rates only a few mentions in this work, having been nothing more than an enlightened king. Nor does the Ring of Power rate more than a passing mention. Likewise the Hobbits: unlike LOTR, this story is not about them. Finally, no attempt has been made to imitate J.R.R. Tolkien's style - it is deliberately modern and down-to-earth.

I am now working on a second edition, with some corrections (very few, the author was thorough) and, hopefully, smoother prose.


Errata

  • Page 5: read "consciousness" for "conscious." I'm considering a different expression altogether, as it's hard to walk while unconscious. Same on page 71.

  • Page 53: read "Those may very well be needed more than the rest." for "Seemingly, those will be needed no more than all the rest."

  • Page 108: read "had decided to call them Mountains of Shadow" for "had decided to cal then Mountains of Shadow"

(229 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
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From:caras_galadhon
Date:February 16th, 2011 05:56 am (UTC)
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Thank you so much for this! It looks incredibly interesting, and I'm looking forward to reading it.
From:minimatar
Date:February 16th, 2011 06:01 am (UTC)
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Че это за хрень?
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From:katya_gordon
Date:February 16th, 2011 06:16 am (UTC)

I would prefer to read another book by Dr. Yeskov

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Thank you for all your efforts but I would rather read another book written by Dr. Yeskov - about paleontology.

Once I attempted reading 'The Lord of the Rings' and found it very, well, BORING.

I heard an opinion that such books are popular among computer nerds, but I disagree. Tolkien is popular among computer nerd WANNABES, not among real computer nerds.

Real computer nerds read more interesting books about computer architecture and operating system design, not these Anna Karenina-size folk tales.

Dr. Yeskov! Please, please write us something about Paleozoic sharks or fossil seed ferns. We don't need another Tolkien.
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From:come_love_sleep
Date:February 16th, 2011 06:36 am (UTC)

Re: I would prefer to read another book by Dr. Yeskov

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Wow, that's not really rude or anything.
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From:kaisi
Date:February 16th, 2011 06:18 am (UTC)
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Thank's. You did a great job
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From:obodo
Date:February 16th, 2011 06:55 am (UTC)
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Чо за хрень?
(Deleted comment)
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From:tamaranth
Date:February 16th, 2011 08:56 am (UTC)
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snagged via Salon (which was linked by pegkerr)
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From:vinitski
Date:February 16th, 2011 09:22 am (UTC)
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Хотел посмотреть текст, но понял, что автор мудак. Капча на даунлоаде.
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From:chepurga
Date:February 16th, 2011 05:22 pm (UTC)
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близко к моему мнению, особенно в последней части))
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From:triba
Date:February 16th, 2011 09:46 am (UTC)
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Респект, представляю себе объем работы.
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From:silvi_ya
Date:February 16th, 2011 10:02 am (UTC)
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а можно заново и по-русски!)
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From:kolyaseg
Date:February 16th, 2011 10:06 am (UTC)
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Чо, по-русски нельзя написать? (((
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From:chepurga
Date:February 16th, 2011 05:22 pm (UTC)
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пантушки
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From:lisiy_ml
Date:February 16th, 2011 10:14 am (UTC)

:-(

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нэпонятно......
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From:gest_hds
Date:February 16th, 2011 10:17 am (UTC)
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Great job!
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From:martynmartynich
Date:February 16th, 2011 10:39 am (UTC)
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Толкиенисты. Тут вообще-то не все англоязычные. А впрочем все равно
From:rflg.myopenid.com
Date:February 16th, 2011 11:30 am (UTC)
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Hi, I've heard about this book on an article at salon.com .It seems to be a great topic and an original view over Tolkien's work, so I'll read it and recommend it to my friends!

Thanks for sharing this great work!

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From:penartur2
Date:February 16th, 2011 12:40 pm (UTC)
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Респект за проделанную работу :)
Евангелие от Афрания у Еськова тоже очень хорошо. Да и публицистика...
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From:chepurga
Date:February 16th, 2011 05:21 pm (UTC)
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ю фак ёрселв, бро
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From:David Bressler
Date:February 16th, 2011 01:25 pm (UTC)

Link not working?

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Hi, I've heard about this book on an article at salon.com.

Thanks, would love to read it, but the download's not working. Any ideas?

Thanks,

David
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From:schquee
Date:February 16th, 2011 02:56 pm (UTC)

Re: Link not working?

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I heard about this on salon.com too. I posted a link to this page on Facebook. The download worked fine for me five minutes ago.
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From:burust
Date:February 16th, 2011 01:34 pm (UTC)
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Я нихуя нипонил.
From:janon.myopenid.com
Date:February 16th, 2011 02:48 pm (UTC)

Thanks!

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Thank you Kirill Yeskov for writing this and thank you Yisroel Markov for the excellent translation.

heard about this a while ago, but could never find a translation I could read. Now heard about this new english translation via a codeproject.com newletter.

Note to others having trouble with sendspace download, here is another download link:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3301614/The_Last_Ringbearer-Kirill_Yeskov.EnglishTranslation2010.pdf
From:receptk
Date:February 16th, 2011 03:00 pm (UTC)
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Хоть английский вспомню.
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From:AndyDillbeck
Date:February 16th, 2011 03:09 pm (UTC)

Very cool, Other formats?

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really looking forward to reading this. I want to read it on my iPhone, which doesn't handle PDFs all that well, lots of scrolling.
If you have a version of the PDF without the header/footer, I can make a LIT or EPUB version using Calibre. Others with eReaders might enjoy it too.
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From:wefik2
Date:February 16th, 2011 03:09 pm (UTC)
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А по-русски?
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From:technomman
Date:February 16th, 2011 03:25 pm (UTC)
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моя твоя не понимать(((
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From:kessel
Date:February 16th, 2011 03:29 pm (UTC)
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Also here via Salon.com's article (http://www.salon.com/entertainment/movies/the_lord_of_the_rings/index.html?story=/books/laura_miller/2011/02/15/last_ringbearer). Thank you so, so much for translating this! I can't wait for the updated version.
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From:topbusiness24
Date:February 16th, 2011 05:08 pm (UTC)
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