Kalevala: Or, Poems of the Kaleva District / Edition 1

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Overview

The Kalevala is the great Finnish epic which, like the Iliad and Odyssey, grew out of a rich oral tradition with prehistoric roots. During the first millennium of our era, speakers of Uralic languages (outside the Indo-European group) who had settled in the Baltic region developed an oral poetry that was to last into the nineteenth century. This poetry provided the basis of the Kalevala, assembled by the Finnish scholar Elias Lonnrot and published in its final form in 1849. It played a central role in the process towards Finnish independence and inspired some of the greatest music of Sibelius.

This Finnish epic presents a rare portrait of an ancient people in both war and peace.

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of American Folklore

This authoritative new translation of the Kalevala, together with the materials the volume contains relating the poetic style of the Finnish songs to the style of other orally composed poetry, is especially significant to students of European folklore...Both Professor Magoun and the Harvard University Press have placed many generations of folklorists in their debt.
— Robert Kellogg

Christian Science Monitor

Into the shifting of tone from lyrically tragic poems to those about warfare, from wedding lays to sheer horseplay, Magoun has infused the unmistakable speech rhythm and diction of our own language...The Kalevala is a monumental work.
— John Godfrey

Folklore

The original sense [of the Kalevala] breaks through in a refreshing new way...The philologist and folklorist will welcome the new precision of thought and expression. For English students of Kalevala...this is an indispensable book...Dr. Magoun's re-appraisal of this museum piece from Finland brushes off some of the dust and helps us to see anew something of its originality and distinction.
— W. R. Mead

The Scandinavian-American Bulletin
What distinguishes this work from other Kalevala translations is the fact that Professor Magoun presents a prose translation of the national folk epic of Finland, a translation which is accurate and scholarly in every detail...The translator makes his translation agree line for line with the original; the result is that this translation makes readily apparent the parallelisms, the poetic images, and the wry humor as well as the homely realism of the Finnish original.
Western Viking

Thanks to a...clear, accurate version by Francis Magoun, Kalevala is accessible to interested readers everywhere...The kaleidoscopic Kalevala opens with the creation of the world and the birth of the ancient hero, Väinämöinen, a being of supernatural origins. The work then turns to the relations between two communities: Kalevala ("Land of the Kaleva"—the poetic name for Finland), led by Väinämöinen, and Pohjola ("Land of the North"), ruled by Louhi, and old woman who can change into an avenging dragon...This...version, expertly...translated by Francis Magoun and recently issued by Harvard University Press, is probably the best translation readily available in English today.
— Donald V. Mehus and Thomas J. Martin

Journal of American Folklore - Robert Kellogg
This authoritative new translation of the Kalevala, together with the materials the volume contains relating the poetic style of the Finnish songs to the style of other orally composed poetry, is especially significant to students of European folklore...Both Professor Magoun and the Harvard University Press have placed many generations of folklorists in their debt.
Christian Science Monitor - John Godfrey
Into the shifting of tone from lyrically tragic poems to those about warfare, from wedding lays to sheer horseplay, Magoun has infused the unmistakable speech rhythm and diction of our own language...The Kalevala is a monumental work.
Folklore - W. R. Mead
The original sense [of the Kalevala] breaks through in a refreshing new way...The philologist and folklorist will welcome the new precision of thought and expression. For English students of Kalevala...this is an indispensable book...Dr. Magoun's re-appraisal of this museum piece from Finland brushes off some of the dust and helps us to see anew something of its originality and distinction.
Western Viking - Donald V. Mehus And Thomas J. Martin
Thanks to a...clear, accurate version by Francis Magoun, Kalevala is accessible to interested readers everywhere...The kaleidoscopic Kalevala opens with the creation of the world and the birth of the ancient hero, Väinämöinen, a being of supernatural origins. The work then turns to the relations between two communities: Kalevala ("Land of the Kaleva"--the poetic name for Finland), led by Väinämöinen, and Pohjola ("Land of the North"), ruled by Louhi, and old woman who can change into an avenging dragon...This...version, expertly...translated by Francis Magoun and recently issued by Harvard University Press, is probably the best translation readily available in English today.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674500105
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1985
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 440
  • Sales rank: 949,875
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Table of Contents

Translator's Foreword

The Kalevala

Poem

1. Lönnrot's prologue; the creation of the world and the birth of Väinämöinen

2. Väinämöinen's sowing of the primeval wilderness; a sower's charm

3. Väinämöinen's defeat of Joukahainen in a contest of wisdom; the pledging of Aino; maxims

4. Väinämöinen's ill-fated wooing of Aino; Aino's drowning

5. Väinämöinen's unsuccessful fishing for Aino; his mother's advice to woo the maiden of North Farm

6. Joukahainen fells Väinämöinen's horse

7. Väinämöinen and Louhi of North Farm; his promise of a Sampo

8. Väinämöinen and the maiden of North Farm; his wounded knee

9. The origin of iron; blood-stanching charms; the healing of Väinämöinen 's knee

10. Ilmarinen forges the Sampo

11. The marriage of Lemminkäinen and Kyllikki of the Island

12. Lemminkäinen bewitches North Farm; protective charms

13. Lemminkäinen woos the maiden of North Farm; he fails to catch the Demon's elk, assigned as a qualifying task

14. Huntsmen's charms; a ransom charm; Lemminkäinen captures the Demon's elk and bridles the Demon's gelding; while going to shoot the swan of Death's Domain he is shot dead by Soppy Hat

15. At home blood on his brush reveals Lemminkäinen 's death; his mother finds and reassembles the pieces of his body and restores him to life; vein, bee, and cowbane charms

16. Väinämöinen's boat-building and his visit to Death's Domain

17. Väinämöinen exacts charms from tortured Antero Vipunen; banishment charms and charms against disease and misadventure

18. Väinämöinen and Ilmarinen sue for the maiden of North Farm

19. The maiden of North Farm accepts Ilmarinen; IImarinen's three qualifying tasks; a snake charm, a huntsman's charm

20. The slaughtering of the big Karelian steer; preparations for the wedding feast at North Farm; the origin of beer

21. The wedding feast at North Farm; wedding lays

22. Wedding lay: Tormenting and consoling a bride

23. Wedding lays: The government of a bride; The lay of an abused daughter-in-law

24. Wedding lays: The government of a groom; Lay of a bride's going away; Ilmarinen and the maiden of North Farm set out for home

25. At home Ilmarinen and his bride are ceremoniously received

26. Lemminkäinen intrudes upon the wedding at North Farm; snake charms; the origin of snakes

27. The duel at North Farm

28. Lemminkäinen's hasty return from North Farm

29. Lemminkäinen's self-exile on an island

30. Lemminkäinen's and Snowfoot's wild goose chase and the big freeze; charms against Jack Frost and wizards

31. The feud between Untamo and Kalervo; Kullervo's unfortunate upbringing; an antifertility charm

32. Kullervo as a herdsman; cattle, milk, and bear charms

33. The death of Ilmarinen's lady

34. Kullervo's homecoming

3. The unhappy meeting of Kullervo and his sister

36. Kullervo's revenge on Untamo; his suicide

37. Ilmarinen's gold and silver bride

38. Ilmarinen's new bride from North Farm; a report on the Sampo

39. The expedition of Väinämöinen, Ilmarinen, and Lemminkäinen to North Farm to steal the Sampo

40. Väinämöinen's pikebone harp; rapids charms

41. Väinämöinen plays the pikebone harp

42. The theft of the Sampo from North Farm

43. The sea and air battle for the Sampo; the lucky preservation in the Kaleva District of some fragments of the Sampo; a soldier's protective charm

44. Väinämöinen 's new birchwood harp

45. Magically induced diseases in the Kaleva District; the origin of pestilences; charms against pain

46. The slaying of the bear at North Farm and the great feast in the Kaleva District; a bear-hunter's charm; the origin of bears

47. The mistress of North Farm steals the sun and the moon; the disappearance of Ukko's fire

48. The difficult recovery of Ukko's fire; a fisherman's charm; a charm against burns

49. Ilmarinen's silver sun and golden moon; Väinämöinen's duel at North Farm; the mistress of North Farm releases the true sun and moon; divining charms

50. The virgin Marjatta's immaculate conception; her son is designated King of Karelia; Väinämöinen 's discomfiture and flight; Lönnrot's epilogue

Appendices

I. Materials For The Study of The Kalevala

A. "Elias Lönnrot," by Aarne A. Anttila

B. "The Kalevala," by Vaino W. Salminen and Viljo Tarkiainen

C. Concordances: Old and New Kalevala

D. Lönnrot 's Prefaces to the Kalevala

E. Henrik Gabriel Porthan on Ceremonial Peasant Singing

II. Translator's Appendix

A. On the Translation of Certain Words

B. Glossary of Proper Names

C. Reference List of Finnish Names

D. List of Charms, in Order of Occurrence

F. Corrigenda

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