Kalevala Criticism

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Foreign Reception

The Kalevala was translated into several languages soon after its initial publication and was hailed by European scholars as one of the world's great epics. A commentary by German linguist Jacob Grimm (of Grimm's Fairy Tales) had brought the Kalevala international recognition and prepared the way for its positive reception by other critics. Friedrich Max Muller, the influential German-born British philologist, said "The Kalevala possesses merits not dissimilar from those of the Iliad, and will claim its place as the fifth national epic of the world, side by side with the Ionian songs, with the Mahabharata, and Shanameh, and the Nibelunge'' (quoted in Public Opinion, Sept. 15,1888).

The Romantic View

Members of the Finnish Literature Society were of the opinion that Lonnrot had "found the Kalevala in the forest"— that is, they thought the Kalevala was the collective masterpiece of the Finnish folk, rescued from...

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This section contains 963 words
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Buy the Kalevala Study Guide
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Kalevala from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.