This is the epic of Finland. It is the combined folk tales of the Finnish nation starting with the birth of the world from the egg of a seabird and continuing to the birth of the Kaleva District, the lands of Finland.
'The Forsyte Saga' is the story of a wealthy London family stretching from the eighteen-eighties until the nineteen-twenties. In Chancery is the second book in the saga. Five years have passed since Irene left Soames and the death of Bosinney. Old Jolyon meets Irene and is enchanted by her. At his death he leaves her a legacy sufficient for her to live an independent life in Paris.
Soames who is desperate for a son, attempts to effect a rapprochement but is rejected by her. Meanwhile Young Jolyon, now a widower,who is Irene’s trustee falls in love with her.
Soames suspects Young Jolyon and Irene of adultery and sues for divorce. His action is successful. Young Jolyon and Irene marry. She bears him a son, John. Soames remarries. His wife Annette bears him a daughter, Fleur.
Art or politics, this is the question Nick Dormer dealls with in the course of this novel. Mirian Ruth, an aspiring actress, is the "tragic muse" of the title. Her concerns are a bit different: would proper society accept her as an actress, or would she have to choose between giving up acting and marrying well? A large and interesting cast of secondary characters accompany them along the way, for good or bad. This novel is for lovers of Trollope and Dickins, while James's sharp and keen observations and wit are there at all times. Enjoy a stroll in the park listening to this overlooked masterpiece..
"The Fall of the Nibelungs" is Margaret Armour's plain prose translation from the middle high German of the "Nibelungenlied", a poetic saga of uncertain authorship written about the year 1200. The story is believed by many to be based on the destruction of the Burgundians, a Germanic tribe, in 436 by mercenary Huns recruited for the task by the Roman general Flavius Aëtius. The introduction to the 1908 edition summarizes the story, "And so 'the discord of two women,' to quote Carlyle, 'is as a little spark of evil passion, which ere long enlarges itself into a crime; foul murder is done; and now the sin rolls on like a devouring fire, till the guilty and the innocent are alike encircled with it, and a whole land is ashes, and a whole race is swept away.'", a story not for the faint of heart
These Norwegian tales of elemental mountain, forest and sea spirits, have been handed down by hinds and huntsmen, wood choppers and fisher folk. They are men who led a hard and lonely life amid primitive surroundings. The Norwegian Fairy Book has an appeal for one and all, since it is a book in which the mirror of fairy-tale reflects human yearnings and aspirations, human loves, ambitions and disillusionments, in an imaginatively glamored, yet not distorted form. [from the book's preface]
Iceland is the home of the Saga, a form of literature which includes the telling of the story of a hero’s life and adventures in a fixed, regular form, and which is usually intended for recitation, though the Saga is never set in the customary versified style of poetry. A large number of these Sagas, relating to Iceland, Greenland, North America, and the Norse countries, still remain, and among them the Frithiof Saga, narrating the stirring adventures of that hero of the Northland and Viking of its seas, is one of the most beautiful. Its subject is noble, heroic, and free from exaggerated description or overwrought sentiment. Frithiof is a splendid type of the old Norse hero, invincible in battle upon the land, fearless of Nature’s wrath as he sails the seas in his dragon ship, impulsive yet just, swift in punishment yet quick in forgiveness. The central motives of the Saga are his love for King Bele’s daughter, Ingeborg; the refusal of her brothers to sanction their marriage because the hero is not of royal birth; her unwilling marriage to the old King Ring; Frithiof’s exile, and his final union with Ingeborg after the death of her husband and reconciliation with her brother. Interwoven with the narrative itself, which is full of dramatic situations, are some of the old myths, than which none is more beautiful than the death of the gentle god Balder. The very breath of the North sweeps through the stately story which the German author has told with so much skill. Those who wish to come in closer contact with the Saga itself can do so by consulting Bishop Tegner’s masterly translation.
The Tale of Genji (Genji Monogatari) is a classic work of Japanese literature attributed to the Japanese noblewoman Murasaki Shikibu in the early eleventh century, around the peak of the Heian Period. It is sometimes called the world's first novel, the first modern novel, the first romance novel, or the first novel to still be considered a classic... The Genji was written for the women of the aristocracy (the yokibito) and has many elements found in a modern novel: a central character and a very large number of major and minor characters, well-developed characterization of all the major players, a sequence of events happening over a period of time covering the central character's lifetime and beyond. The work does not make use of a plot; instead, much as in real life, events just happen and characters evolve simply by growing older. One remarkable feature of the Genji, and of Murasaki's skill, is its internal consistency, despite a dramatis personae of some four hundred characters. For instance, all characters age in step and all the family and feudal relationships are consistent among all chapters. NOTE: this is a highly condensed version of the text, running to just under 200 pages, whereas the original is nearly 1000 pages long!
Mara L. Pratt
Collection of tales from the Norse legends, from the beginning of the golden kingdom of the Aesir, to it's end within the flames of Ragnarok.
The Kalevala is a 19th-century work of epic poetry compiled by Elias Lönnrot from Karelian and Finnish oral folklore and mythology. It is regarded as the national epic of Karelia and Finland and is one of the most significant works of Finnish literature. The Kalevala played an instrumental role in the development of the Finnish national identity, the intensification of Finland's language strife and the growing sense of nationality that ultimately led to Finland's independence from Russia in 1917. The first version of The Kalevala (called The Old Kalevala) was published in 1835. The version most commonly known today was first published in 1849 and consists of 22,795 verses, divided into fifty songs. The title can be interpreted as "The Land of Kaleva" or "Kalevia." If the rhythm of the poetry sounds familiar to American readers, it is probably because Henry Wadsworth Longfellow borrowed its trochaic tetrameter form for his famous "Song of Hiawatha." Of the five complete translations of the Kalevala into English, it is only the older translations by John Martin Crawford (1888) and William Forsell Kirby (1907) which attempt strictly to follow the original rhythm (Kalevala meter) of the poems. Modern writers influenced by the Kalevala include J. R. R. Tolkien, whose epic "Lord of the Rings" trilogy make use of both style and content from the Finnish work.
This volume contains the principal hero-lays of the six great epic cycles of the Teutonic Middle Ages: The Langobardian Legends, the Amelung and Kindred Legends; Dietrich of Bern's Adventures; the Nibelung Legends; the Hegeling Legends; and Beowulf. To them, the author has added the great mythical Carolingian cycle, which centred round the persons of Charlemagne and his heroes, and the Breton ones of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, as well as the legend of the Holy Grail. Therefore, this one book tells all of the great epic and romances of the Middle Ages in accessible language for the general public.
A tale from Iceland, 800 years ago.
In a dream of quarrels and death
The birth of fair Helga is told
Cross the north seas ventured for fame
At the call of kings, hearth bereft
Wounded pride, spawn'd of a sensed slight
When tongues fail, sharper blades prevail
Falcon soothes the cloak wrapt wound
Fair one pines and fades from the light. - Summary by Fritz
Sample a moment of magic realism from the Red Book of Hergest:
On one side of the river he saw a flock of white sheep, and on the other a flock of black sheep. And whenever one of the white sheep bleated, one of the black sheep would cross over, and become white; and when one of the black sheep bleated, one of the white sheep would cross over, and become black.
Before passing on to the Mabinogion proper, Lady Charlotte Guest devotes Volume I of her compilation of medieval Welsh tales to three brief romances of Arthur’s Court. The centrepiece is the story of Peredur, the Dumb Youth – known elsewhere as Perceval, Parzifal, the Holy Fool, et al.
This is the violent world of satin-clad knights and their clashing encounters, peremptory slayings of giants and cave-dwelling monsters – a world where love is as sudden and final as death.
One dark winter's day in the north of Finland, Father Mikko seeks shelter in an isolated cabin till a storm abates. After dinner the family sit around the fire, and the daughter asks him to tell them "all the stories he had ever heard from the very beginning of the world all the way down", and so the book begins. In the words of the author "If this little volume may in any degree awake some interest in the Finnish people its author will be amply satisfied, and its end will have been attained." ( Annise)
First published in 1893, this novel came to question many subjects which were considered taboo. Through a few interconnected plots and sub plots, the story examines the role of women and the different opportunities women and men had. Through the twins of the title, a girl and a boy, and through two other ladies we discover the Victorian world in a different light. What does a woman have to do if, after marriage, she discovers very unsettling things about her husband's past? Yes, society expects her to stay with him and honor the marriage. But what if she is not willing? What are women expected to do when trapped in loveless marriages? The book also examine in many ways the idea that women are not inferior to men and should receive the same education, information about life, and preparation for the real world. This book received much academic attention. It is a must read for all feminist fiction admirers, history lovers, and many more from every field. It tells about Victorian society as it really was.
Betsy Thoughtless is about an intelligent and strong-willed woman who marries under pressure from the society in which she lives. Betsy learns that sometimes giving way to the role of women within a marriage can at times be fulfilling. This is the fourth and final volume in this series. Does she get her man you will have to listen and find out. ( Michele Eaton)
This is the second of three volumes of The Mabinogion, a collection of some of the earliest tales from the British Isles. Lady Charlotte Guest translated the stories in Volume 2 from a 14th-century Welsh manuscript, The Red Book of Hergest. These stories include the earliest written reference to the legendary King Arthur.