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The Last Ring-bearer - Еврей без ярлыков Page 5
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.


  • 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"

(226 comments | Leave a comment)

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[User Picture]
Date:February 17th, 2011 05:04 pm (UTC)
Got linked through a comment on an ONTD post about this. Snagging the translation, thanks so much! :D
Date:February 17th, 2011 07:55 pm (UTC)

MOBI format

Can you release the translation in MOBI format, so Kindle we'll be able to read it?

[User Picture]
Date:February 19th, 2011 05:07 am (UTC)

Re: MOBI format

My Kindle reads PDF documents just fine. Why doesn't yours?
[User Picture]
Date:February 17th, 2011 08:57 pm (UTC)
Linked here via livejournal. Thanks for doing this, I can't wait to read it.
[User Picture]
Date:February 17th, 2011 10:00 pm (UTC)
Impressive...both the write and your commitment to translate the work! I can't wait to read it.
[User Picture]
Date:February 17th, 2011 11:39 pm (UTC)

Can't wait to read this! I heard about it through a friend, who directed me to the Salon article.
Date:February 18th, 2011 03:02 am (UTC)
a friend linked me, i'm guessing he saw it on reddit. can't wait to start reading!
[User Picture]
Date:February 18th, 2011 10:37 am (UTC)
linked by iulia_linnea. Thank you for sharing!
[User Picture]
Date:February 18th, 2011 02:20 pm (UTC)

I've posted a blog post on The Last Ringbearer

It's in Turkish, http://wp.me/pKuOY-pE . I also mirrored the book in my blog. Hope you don't mind.
Thanks for this work.
[User Picture]
Date:February 18th, 2011 06:50 pm (UTC)
Found via a link left on my Facebook. Just started reading and am loving it so far. Thanks so much for sharing!
[User Picture]
Date:February 19th, 2011 10:06 pm (UTC)
I saw the Salon article. This looks awesome!
[User Picture]
Date:February 20th, 2011 04:49 am (UTC)
Came here from Salon.com, putting the pdf on my e-reader for later perusal. Sounds really interesting, will link my fellow nerdy birdies to it :3
[User Picture]
Date:February 20th, 2011 07:34 am (UTC)
I heard about this on tumblr. I'm really excited to read it! :D
[User Picture]
Date:February 20th, 2011 03:43 pm (UTC)

Just what I need!

Thank you very much for making this book available in English! I'm in a LotR mood now and began reading the book once again, as soon as I finish it I'll read The Last Ring-bearer.
I'm a Tolkien fan, but not a fanatic ;) and it's great to see how the world he created can be seen through completely different perspectives (and I love a bit of irony if it fits in the context).

Sorry for my not so good English, but I wanted to thank you badly enough to forget my shyness :)
[User Picture]
Date:February 20th, 2011 07:03 pm (UTC)

Top of page 6: "regained conscience" sounds like it should be "regained consciousness".

Followed a link here from [info] - personal amethysta

[User Picture]
Date:February 20th, 2011 08:07 pm (UTC)
Linked here via a friend, am snagging the translation, thanks!
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