Entries tagged "finland"

September 3, 2017

Kalevala

Research notes:

  • Kalevala - Epic poem of the Karelian people; an area that spans Finland and Russia. Originally from an oral history sung in 5/4 (1-2 2-2 3-2 4 5, example recording here). Made up of 50 songs (Finnish: runot). Many may be of Estonian origin. First published in two volumes of 32 songs/12,078 verses as The Old Kalevala, then revised and appended to be 50 songs/22,795 verses as The Kalevala (i.e. The New Kalevala).
  • Elias Lönnrot - Gathered and transcribed the Kalevala verses from dozens of singers. Made 11 trips from 1828 to 1836 in the central part of Finland and the neighboring part of Russia (i.e. Karelia).
  • Language - The language family, simplified: Uralic (root) > Hungarian, Finnic > Estonian, Finnish, Karelian. Unrelated to Indo-European languages. Karelian is sometimes considered a dialect of Finnish.
  • Amazon search - translators: Keith Bosley, John Martin Crawford, Eino Friberg, W. F. Kirby, and Francis Peabody Magoun Jr. In the list of books, Bosley, Crawford, and Friberg are the most positively reviewed.
  • I was hoping for a bilingual edition - XKCD - Board index > Numberologics, Alchemy, Linguinomics, and other Academiology > Language/Linguistics - Kalevala: no bilingual editions?: John Martin Crawford is the best [translation] I've seen but not bilinqual, side-by-side publishing of the Finnish original and the (rather literal) 1907 Kriby translation: Kalevala, bilingual edition. The side-by-side edition is a self-published hardback based on the Kirby translation.
  • From Ian M. Slater's review on October 17, 2004 at the Magoun edition on Amazon - Very much worth reading in its entirety for a comparison of editions. two early complete versions in verse, that by Crawford (nineteenth-century, from a German translation; available on-line), and the 1907 W.F. Kirby translation, directly from Finnish; Magoun's translation (1963) filled a need for a more literal treatment, with more supporting information; two translations of the "New Kalevala" into English verse, by Eino Friberg (1988) and Keith Bosley (1989), which many will find more appealing; for those who want both the story and all of the details, but either don't care about, or don't care for, such things as meter and rhyme, Magoun's translation remains a first choice

It seems that Bosley is artful but with few references and Magoun is dry with many. I went with the Magoun. I really wanted to get the a translation of the Eddas too, but that's just too much ancient mythology for now.

posted by sstrader at 10:43 AM in Language & Literature , Religion | tagged finland | permalink
Entries tagged "finland"

November 28, 2012

The Fractal Prince; Hannu Rajaniemi

I'd read Rajaniemi's first book in this series, The Quantum Thief, a little over a year ago and have been anxious for the follow-up. Where the first riffed on themes of presence as identity--common in posthuman lit--this worked through story as identity, modeling it's chapters after those stories in The Arabian Nights. This has the same fire hose of information as the first but with a different character: the primary setting is Earth gone desert and infested by nanotechnology that can both steal your mind (through stories) and subvert your body to destructive growth. Perhaps more moody than the first?

It's an effort not to be irritated by a book that demands multiple readings and earns them.

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posted by sstrader at 12:11 AM in Current Interests , Language & Literature | tagged finland, posthuman | permalink
Entries tagged "finland"

July 19, 2011

The Quantum Thief; Hannu Rajaniemi

Highly recommended heist/detective novel dressed in post-human scifi garb. Our hero gets busted out of a dilemma prison by a warrior from the Oort cloud in order to retrieve a valuable object that a previous version of him had hidden on one of the walking cities on Mars where people use life time as currency before they are harvested by the Resurrection Men to become Quiets, human/machine hybrids that sustain the city and terraform the planet. Not for the technologically squeamish. This was a completely show-don't-tell novel that, despite the maelstrom of undefined terms, provided thrilling action next to thoughtful drama. Another great recommendation from the io9 book club. Moving on to The City and The City next.

See the Wikipedia entry for more details plus keep their articles on characters and terms used for a reference while reading. [ updated 22 Mar 2015 ] The terms page has been deleted, but has thoughtfully been archived by Karan Gill here.

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posted by sstrader at 12:23 AM in Current Interests , Language & Literature | tagged finland, io9, posthuman, the windup girl | permalink