The Kalevala by Elias Lönnrot
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Oh my goodness, this is a real treasure!
I was expecting this classic Finnish mythos, this fantasy epic, to be kinda dense and worldly and weighty, but I didn't expect it to be totally readable, droll, classy, and exciting. I also didn't expect to see it as the source material for so many classics I adore, including most of the stories behind Tolkien's The Silmarillion and a good portion of his LoTR.
It reads like a fantastically mythical adventure from start to Finnish and it's no wonder, even in the English translation and the narrator I got for this audiobook, a ton of love was put into it. I see now exactly how well-beloved it is and why it is so. :) :) :)
I'm blown away. By epic poetry. Hmmmm Maybe this means I need to do a poetry kick, next. :)
And no, I didn't do a line by line analysis of this text, but I did pick up some really awesome beauties in it, such as procession of the equinoxes, Rosy-Cross alchemical transformations, World-Tree as Sampo, and the most huge current of the mythical Singer and Smith.
Orpheus? Hell yeah. And the Master Forger? Another hell yeah. The later adventure actually just brought tears to my eyes. :) Totally had me dancing in my seat with joy. :)
My only complaint was the Guides For New Brides and Guides For New Husbands. lol, that stuff was a riot of wtf. Maybe it would have gone down better if I was a brawny anachronism. :) But no, I'm a modern man and none of that shit flew. :)
Everything else, though? I was really impressed that women still refused to lay down and take it, but still a lot of that still happened in the text. And no matter my personal opinions on a lot of what happened, I cannot help but see this epic as totally brilliant. I could see myself memorizing it and doing a cant and impressing all the drunks. :)
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