The Kalevala
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The Kalevala

4.05 (3,642 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

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 Loennrot, 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 probably been 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 liveliness with accuracy in a way which reflects the richness of the original.
ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 736 pages
  • 128 x 196 x 43mm | 506g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New ed.
  • 1 map
  • 0199538867
  • 9780199538867
  • 32,705

Back cover copy

The national folk epic of Finland is here presented in an English translation that is both scholarly and eminently readable. The lyrical passages and poetic images, the wry humor, the tall-tale extravagance, and the homely realism of the 'Kaevala' come through with extraordinary effectiveness.
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Review Text

an unread masterpiece...The translator, Mr Bosley, is an English poet and knows the Finnish language, accomplishments which few can rival...try this book; you will not be disappointed. The Spectator
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Review quote

The Kalevala is a fabulous narrative spiced with exotic images and much hilarity. * Jennifer Cooke, Melbourne Sunday Herald * a valuable addition to the OUP World's Classics Series ... Bosley's version benefits from his deep knowledge of Finnish language and lore and his command of ethnic English, with its colloqualisms, that more than adequately, and often quite brilliantly, conspire to render the feel of the original with amazing fidelity. * Ossia Trilling, Stage & Television Today * Keith Bosley has been able to imitate the weaving repetitions, formulae, parallelisms, imagery, and content, and feels a poetic affinity for the life depicted...The text is now accessible in English: it can be read without a stumble, enjoyed and taken seriously. Not the least feature of this rewarding edition is Keith Bosley's witty and informative introduction. * Herbert Lomas * Keith Bosley's Kalevala is a poet's translation, impressive for its stylistic daring, its taste and its scholarly awareness and for the sheer pleasure it gives. The zest and energy of the 22,795 line epic is communicated by the freshness and force of the translator's approach. Not only the poetry itself, but also the long introduction which Mr. Bosley provides convey his enthusiasm and personal enjoyment of the original text... The publication of Mr.
Bosley's Kalevala is, I think, a major literary event... More than any previous translation, Mr. Bosley's should establish The Kalevala as part of our common cultural background. * Anthony James, Agenda * an unread masterpiece...The translator, Mr Bosley, is an English poet and knows the Finnish language, accomplishments which few can rival...try this book; you will not be disappointed. * The Spectator *
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About Elias Lonnrot

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

3,642 ratings
4.05 out of 5 stars
5 38% (1,373)
4 36% (1,327)
3 20% (743)
2 4% (156)
1 1% (43)
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