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Book Title: Kalevala: The Land of the Heroes|
The author of the book: Elias Lönnrot
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 15.52 MB
Edition: The Athlone Press
Date of issue: December 1st 1985
ISBN 13: 9780485120486
Read full description of the books Kalevala: The Land of the Heroes:Kalevala is the great Finnish epic of ancient life in the Far North. It tells how with magic and sword the Northern heroes fought for survival against the powers of darkness. It recounts dangerous journeys over land and sea; the boisterous celebration of weddings and rituals; the hunting of the bear and journeying with the shaman to the Otherworld. Finally, we share the heroes' joy as they celebrate in song and music the taming of the land of Kalevala and its salvation from its enemies.
Kalevala became for the Finns a cornerstone of their struggle for a national culture and identity; and a continuing source of inspiration both in the arts and in national life.
Today, leading poets, artists, composers and film directors make it the subject of their work; this stimulates fast and furious debate in the media. Nor has the Kalevala lost its power to captivate the world at large. In 1983 a Finnish TV film of the adventures of a Kalevala hero won the coveted Prix d'Italia at the Naples Film Festival.
The text is based upon W.F. Kirby's translation, still unmatched in communicating the sweep and grandeur of the original. It has a new Introduction and commentary by Dr M.A. Branch, Director of the School of Slavonic and East European Studies in the University of London. Dr Branch is the author of several works on Finnish cultural history and folklore.
Read information about the authorElias Lönnrot 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.
Lönnrot 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. Lönnrot (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 in Northern 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; Lönnrot wrote letters to the State departments, asking for food, not medicines. He was the sole doctor for the 4,000 or so 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.
Lönnrot went on extended leaves of absence from his doctor's office; he toured the countryside of Finland, Sapmi (Lapland), and nearby portions of Russian Karelia to support his collecting efforts. This led to a series of books: Kantele, 1829–1831 (the kantele is a Finnish traditional instrument); Kalevala, 1835–1836 (possibly Land of Heroes; better known as the "old" Kalevala); Kanteletar, 1840 (the Kantele Maiden); Sananlaskuja, 1842 (Proverbs); an expanded second edition of Kalevala, 1849 (the "new" Kalevala); and Finsk-Svenskt lexikon, 1866–1880 (Finnish-Swedish Dictionary).
Lönnrot was recognised for his part in preserving Finland's oral traditions by appointment to the Chair of Finnish Literature at the University of Helsinki. He died on March 19, 1884 in Sammatti, in the province of Uusimaa.
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