Elias Lonnrot The Kalevala

ISBN 13: 9781519424914

The Kalevala

 
9781519424914: The Kalevala
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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 Pæivæ 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.

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About the Author:

About the Author:

"Elias Lonnrot (April 9, 1802 - March 19, 1884) was a Finnish philologist and collector of traditional Finnish oral poetry. He is best known for composing the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic compiled from national folklore.

Lonnrot was born in Sammatti, in the province of Uusimaa in Finland. He studied medicine at the Academy of Turku. To his misfortune the year he joined was the year of the Great Fire of Turku, burning down half the town - and the University. Lonnrot (and many of the rest of the University) moved to Helsinki, where he graduated in 1832. He got a job as district doctor of Kajaani (about in the middle of Finland) during a time of famine in the district. The famine had prompted the previous doctor to resign, making it possible for a very young doctor to get such a position. Several consecutive years of crop failure resulted in enormous losses of population and livestock; Lonnrot wrote letters to the State departments, asking for food, not medicines. He was the sole doctor for the about 4000 people of his district, at a time where doctors were rare and very expensive, and where people did not buy medicines from equally rare and expensive pharmacies, but rather trusted to their village healers and locally available remedies.

His true passion lay in his native Finnish language. He began writing about the early Finnish language in 1827 and began collecting folk tales from the rural people about that time." (Quote from wikipedia.org)

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