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covenant ticket arrived today - which is cutting it a bit close. tomorrow gig, then friday up to sheffield for batfink! :
started reading the Kalevala
(in English translation), which has been kindly lent to me by cyniborg
this is the Finnish "national epic", which when read in 1911/1912 by a kid called Ronald from the fringes of Birmingham
, caused him to say "we've got to get ourselves one of these" and then a few years later to write one
, in some cases just lifting things wholesale (compare Túrin
.) i started to write a filk about Túrin once
, which is not quite of the same level of inspiration, but hey.Tags: books
yAY, SEE YOU TOMORROW AT THE GIG BABE
*bloody caps lock, argh1!*
ah didn't know you were coming. see you there :)
the main link between The Lord of the Rings and the Kalevala is Tom Bombadil and the poetic style of his speach which is more evident in "The Adventures of Tom Bombadil" (note Turin appears in the silmarillion which can be considered to pilfer from the bible with that whole tedious creation myth which makes the beginning hard to get through). The main difference might be considered to be the lack of christian references in the lord of the rings since it was written from scratch and not corrupted over the years by do gooding purveyors of middle eastern mythology. See the mabinogion for similar corruption by the church.
Another consideration is that its an epic poem so not so easy to read
For me, the Silmarillion has always been the most important work by Tolkien - or rather the Silmarillion-that-never-was, that we can only glimpse. (see Leaf by Niggle
, in which a Tolkien in the late 1930s is clearly well aware he'll die without finishing it, despite his death being nearly 40 years away). It draws from a large range of mythology: I think cyniborg
was saying that (my retelling of) the Ainulindalë reminded her of Irish creation myths?
There is a Christian undertone there - although obviously not overt - because it is set before the coming of Christ - whilst there are "gods", they were created themselves by the One God, who can be identified with YHWH. And Tolkien struggled greatly with the idea of the origins of the Orcs over the years - he didn't want them to (a) have souls and yet (b) be totally unredeemably.
Athrabeth Finrod ah Andreth (The Dialogue of Finrod and Andreth) is quite interesting - Finrod (an elf who has recently encountered humans and has taken a great interest in them) and Andreth (a wise-woman) have a long conversation about how the different peoples see their fates differently. The Elves know that the Men "escape the circles of the world" : hence go to the afterlife after their worldly death, but the Men themselves have no surety in this. For their part, the Elves are very worried about their fare : whilst they are immortal, they are tied to the world, and they fear that when the world ends, so will they. Andreth talks eventually of a human myth, that one day the One will incarnate into the world and set it to rights.
This is all very obscure stuff though.
Well he wasn't exactly an entirely original author and was just pilfering from his studies of ancient mythology but his books are more readable than the original sources due to being written in a style closer to contemporary english and not suffering from a reverence to original text that you get in most religious books (be it the bible or shakespeare).
Though I still reckon the silmarillion could do with the entire first section being removed.
For a direct pilfering of irish, finnish and english mythology see the incompleat enchanter where the main protagonist uses predicate logic equations to throw himself and a few others into the worlds of the epics (which is of course a comedy novel and does include the Faerie Queen which is just an unreadable epic poem of mock arthurian nature)
I went to school with JRR Tolkien's great-grandaughter, Ruth.
She was very cool... and amazingly clever. :)
Which translation is that? According to Ian Watson, Keith Bosley's translation (which the Oxford World's Classics edition uses) would be more tolerable to read to the English-speakers althought it does not preserve the original poetic syntax.
it's the Bosley translation, yeah (in that edition). i had a brief look at the original and have decided not to read it further, otherwise i might be tempted to learn finnish, and i can't be having with that.
Well, many people who want to read Sagas end up learning Icelandic. And if "mielesi sinun tekevi"... :-)
(At least Foyles used to have good Finnish study books...)
What i need to do is find some immediately beautiful poetry in a language that would be actually useful for me to learn: ie chinese, german, or spanish.
|Date:||May 5th, 2006 04:53 am (UTC)|| |
Are you still going to Fink?
I'm sadly not at my stomping best but might pop along for a drink - I'll text you or something.
I have to warn you Batfink has been a bit disapponting the last couple of times I've been - they've changed the venue and it's, well, a bit rubbish now...so don't expect to much and you *might not* be disappointed. ;)
|Date:||May 5th, 2006 08:07 am (UTC)|| |
I will be wearing very can't be arsed clothes, I think. There wil be blackness, but that's probably it.
My most easily identifiable accessory will be a 6'6" bloke with long blonde hair. ;)
There, that should do it. :) What time are you thinking of going, do you know? I'm probably only going to stay an hourish (do you feel honoured...if you weren't going it would be Angel DVDs and a sofa tonight!), so it would be good to, you know, coincide at some point. :)
Should be there at around 10.30 if not before. Will text you.