Kalevala Essay

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Lonnrot's contemporaries... were of the opinion that Lonnrot had "found the epic in the forest," i.e., had restored the original form of the epic. That is, of course, only an illusion. In reality, in its structure the Kalevala was entirely Lonnrot's compilation. This compilation was based on the best and most complete variants of the songs that he had at his disposal, with the addition of verses from other variants and even from other songs. Research has revealed that Lonnrot did not take more than three or four consecutive lines from the same variant. Therefore, the majority of sequences of lines (verses) in the Kalevala never appeared this way in the oral tradition. This technique of compilation is unique in world literature. It has been pointed out half jokingly that Lonnrot, who in his youth worked for his father as a tailor's apprentice, made use of his...

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This section contains 746 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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.