Instead I started in on The Silmarillion in earnest. I even read the first chapter. So... Melkor is Lucifer, right, and the rest of those passing for gods on Middle Earth are really angels. I have come to realize that I have to read this as if it were a text on mythology, rather than as a work of fiction. That's fine. I like history and mythology; I can deal.
So there I was, lying in bed, The Silmarillion in front of me, The Lord of the Rings and Foster's A Guide to Middle Earth on my bed table, and a couple of pages on the pronunciation of vowels in Quenya snagged from a website at my side. I have to admit that Tolkein's use of accent marks and circumflexes in his writings has always been just so much noise to be filtered out for me. Never bothered to find out exactly how á or é are supposed to be pronounced until last night. Turns out á is a long a, pronounced as the a in father (which surprised me, because to me a long a is pronounced as in fate). The normal, short a is to be pronounced somewhere between the a in father and the a in fat, which sort of gives me the amusing image of the elves all speaking like Kennedys. Feh.
Olórin is going to turn out to be Gandalf, isn't he?
One thing about it is that it is making me really want to reread Zelazny's Lord of Light, a book based on a mythology with which I was initially unfamiliar, that made me want to learn more about it.