Das Nibelungenlied: Song of the Nibelungs

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Yale University Press, 2006 - Poetry - 351 pages
4 Reviews
No poem in German literature is so well known and studied in Europe as the 800-year-old "Das Nibelungenlied." In the English-speaking world, however, the poem has remained little known, languishing without an adequate translation. This wonderful new translation by eminent translator Burton Raffel brings the epic poem to life in English for the first time, rendering it in verse that does full justice to the original High Middle German. His translation underscores the formal aspects of the poem and preserves its haunting beauty. Often called the German "lliad," "Das Nibelungenlied" is a heroic epic both national in character and sweeping in scope. The poem moves inexorably from romance through tragedy to holocaust. It portrays the existential struggles and downfall of an entire people, the Burgundians, in a military conflict with the Huns and their King. In his foreword to the book, Michael Dirda observes the story 'could be easily updated to describe the downfall of a Mafia crime family, something like "The Godfather," with swords'. The tremendous appeal of "Das Nibelungenlied" throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries is reflected in such works as Richard Wagner's opera tetralogy "Der Ring des Nibelung," Fritz Lang's two-part film "Die Nibelungen," and, more recently, J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings."
 

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User Review  - DinadansFriend - LibraryThing

This is the version in English you should read as a narrative. I have another translation "translated into Rhymed English Verse in the Metre of the Original" by George Henry Needler, which I use for ... Read full review

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User Review  - hbergander - LibraryThing

This German epos of great moment has been sadly present up to the horrible World War II, when it was exploited by the Nazi propaganda. Even nowadays, often an unnecessary touch of bombastic heroism ... Read full review

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