The Kalevala

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Oxford University Press, 1999 - Literary Criticism - 679 pages
5 Reviews
The Kalevala is the great Finnish epic, which like the Iliad and the Odyssey, grew out of a rich oral tradition with prehistoric roots.During the first millenium of our era, speakers of Uralic languages (those outside the Indo-European group) who had settled in the Baltic region of Karelia, that straddles the border of eastern Finland and north-west Russia, developed an oral poetry that was to last into the nineteenth century.This poetry provided the basis of the Kalevala. It was assembled in the 1840s by the Finnish scholar Elias Lonnrot, who took `dictation' from the performance of a folk singer, in much the same way as our great collections from the past, from Homeric poems to medieval songs and epics, have probablybeen set down.Published in 1849, it played a central role in the march towards Finnish independence and inspired some of Sibelius's greatest works. This new and exciting translation by poet Keith Bosley, prize-winning translator of the anthology Finnish Folk Poetry: Epic, is the first truly to combine livelinesswith accuracy in a way which reflects the richness of the original.

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User Review  - antiquary - LibraryThing

This is a more modern translation than the other one I have , not necessarily great poetry in its translated form, but with very helpful and compared top y other copies up-to-date information on the ... Read full review

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User Review  - JVioland - LibraryThing

Incredibly boring epic poetry. This book was supposedly written by collecting old Finnish myths of their heroes. Vikings they ain't! Fishermen and farmers, fish bones and wood...good Lord! This is the material from which an epic is made? Don't waster your time on this one. Read full review

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About the author (1999)

Keith Bosley is the author of Finnish Folk Poetry: Epic and was awarded the first Finnish State Prize for translators.

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