Elias Lönnrot Writing Styles in Kalevala

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Compilation

In 1835 Elias Lonnrot wrote, "Already while reading the songs previously collected, particularly those collected by Ganandre, I at least wondered whether one might not possibly find songs about Vainamoinen, ITmarinen, and Lemminkainen and other memorable forebears of ours until from these had been got longer accounts, too, just as we see that the Greeks [in the Homeric poems] and the Icelanders [in the Poetic or Elder Edda] and others got songs of their forebears. On his research trips, Lonnrot heard hundreds of individual short poems (a typical Finnish rune or epic song ranges from 50-400 lines and treats a single episode), which he judged to be imperfectly preserved. Bits had been forgotten, and in many cases Christian interpolations had replaced original names and themes. His wish was to take these distorted and corrupted poems and, by comparing as many variants as possible, attempt to reconstruct the truest versions...

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This section contains 887 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Kalevala Study Guide
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Epics for Students
Kalevala from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.