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 Lönnrot, 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.
A collection of awe-inspiring stories from Finnish mythology, drawn from the oral traditions of the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala. 38 entrancing tales are appropriate for all ages. 4 illustrations.
THE following translation was undertaken from a desire to lay before the English-speaking people the full treasury of epical beauty, folklore, and mythology comprised in The Kalevala (the Land of Heroes, the national epic of the Finns.) The Kalevala describes Finnish nature very minutely and very beautifully. Grimm says that no poem is to be compared with it in this respect. A deeper and more esoteric meaning of the Kalevala, however, points to a contest between Light and Darkness. The numerous myths of the poem are likewise full of significance and beauty, and the Kalevala should be read between the lines, in order that the full meaning of this great epic may be comprehended. The whole poem is replete with the most fascinating folk-lore about the mysteries of nature, the origin of things, the enigmas of human tears, and, true to the character of a national epic, it represents not only the poetry, but the entire wisdom and accumulated experience of a nation. One of the most notable characteristics of the Finnish mythology is the interdependence among the gods. The Finnish deities, like the ancient gods of Italy and Greece, are generally represented in pairs. They have their individual abodes and are surrounded by their respective families. The Sun and the Moon each have a consort, and sons and daughters. Only two sons of Paeivae appear in The Kalevala, one comes to aid of Wainamoinen in his efforts to destroy the mystic Fire-fish, by throwing from the heavens to the girdle of the hero, a "magic knife, silver-edged, and golden-handled;" the other son, Panu, the Fire-child, brings back to Kalevala the fire that bad been stolen by Louhi, the wicked hostess of Pohyola. 33% of the net profit from the sale of this book will be donated to charities.
Complied by the various sources of Finland's national mythology, the Kalevala outlines the creation myths of the world and typical stories of heroes of old including romance, lust and conquest. The stories that are told here are a national icon for the people of Finland, which makes this volume an important part of human history.
"The Key to the Kalevala" was originally published in Finland in 1916. Now this insightful and detailed exploration of the ancient origins of Finnish mythology is available in English. Students of the ancient traditions and mystical teachings will find no better introduction to the profound esoteric meaning of the Kalevala, the Finnish National Epic, than Ervast's explanation. This translation is authorized by Ervast's study-school in Finland, whose members have worked to preserve his insights into his culture's past and the spiritual evolution of humanity. It relies on Eino Friberg's beautiful translation of "Kalevala" (1988) into the modern idiom. The combined work of Ervast and Friberg results in a unique, insightful, and aesthetically pleasing offering.
A deeper and more esoteric meaning of the Kalevala, however, points to a contest between Light and Darkness, Good and Evil; the Finns representing the Light and the Good, and the Lapps, the Darkness and the Evil. Like the Niebelungs, the heroes of the Finns woo for brides the beauteous maidens of the North; and the similarity is rendered still more striking by their frequent inroads into the country of the Lapps, in order to possess themselves of the envied treasure of Lapland, the mysterious Sampo, evidently the Golden Fleece of the Argonautic expedition. Curiously enough public opinion is often expressed in the runes, in the words of an infant; often too the unexpected is introduced after the manner of the Greek dramas, by a young child, or an old man.
Provides a colorfully illustrated retelling of this classic Finnish epic featuring the hero Vainamoinen, his rival Joukahainen, and the dashing Lemminkaiinen as they partake in an exciting adventure to find the mysterious magical being named Sampo.