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The Kalevala Graphic Novel

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The Kalevala is one of the great epics of the world literature, along with the Iliad and Odyssey, Gilgamesh and the Nibelungenlied. As the national epic of Finland, the stories of the Kalevala were passing on as oral tradition through centuries, recited as sung poems from one generation to another until finally compiled as a book in 1849 by Elias Lönnrot (1802-1884). The K The Kalevala is one of the great epics of the world literature, along with the Iliad and Odyssey, Gilgamesh and the Nibelungenlied. As the national epic of Finland, the stories of the Kalevala were passing on as oral tradition through centuries, recited as sung poems from one generation to another until finally compiled as a book in 1849 by Elias Lönnrot (1802-1884). The Kalevala has been translated into almost 100 languages, and has been widely used as a reference in arts and literature. This Kalevala graphic novel is the first and the only comic book adaptation of the epic, containing the whole storyline of the Kalevala and its 50 chapters. In the English translation by Eino Friberg (1901-1995) the original poetic phrasing is left, and while Friberg's masterful translation captures the essential core of the colorful language of the Kalevala, it also manages to arouse the interest of a modern-day reader.


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The Kalevala is one of the great epics of the world literature, along with the Iliad and Odyssey, Gilgamesh and the Nibelungenlied. As the national epic of Finland, the stories of the Kalevala were passing on as oral tradition through centuries, recited as sung poems from one generation to another until finally compiled as a book in 1849 by Elias Lönnrot (1802-1884). The K The Kalevala is one of the great epics of the world literature, along with the Iliad and Odyssey, Gilgamesh and the Nibelungenlied. As the national epic of Finland, the stories of the Kalevala were passing on as oral tradition through centuries, recited as sung poems from one generation to another until finally compiled as a book in 1849 by Elias Lönnrot (1802-1884). The Kalevala has been translated into almost 100 languages, and has been widely used as a reference in arts and literature. This Kalevala graphic novel is the first and the only comic book adaptation of the epic, containing the whole storyline of the Kalevala and its 50 chapters. In the English translation by Eino Friberg (1901-1995) the original poetic phrasing is left, and while Friberg's masterful translation captures the essential core of the colorful language of the Kalevala, it also manages to arouse the interest of a modern-day reader.

30 review for The Kalevala Graphic Novel

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sotiris Makrygiannis

    story is good, not as good as the iliad but good enough to be part of world heritage and inspire the Lord of the rings. but the graphics are so black, so monotonous that is not up to the current standards.

  2. 4 out of 5

    izzy_my

    The story is good, but the drawings are pretty meh in comparison.

  3. 4 out of 5

    MarjaHannele

    Kalevalainen teksti on hauskaa luettavaa, mutta minulle kuvitus on liian provosoivaa ja ankeaa.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Uuttu

    Lueskelin tämän vähän aikaa sitten ei-runomuotoisena versiona ja tämä versio tarttui lähinnä puolivahingossa mukaan. Pidän kummastakin versiosta yhtälailla. Voisin suositella nuorille, joille on tullut Kalevalan lukeminen koulussa vastaan. Sarjakuvaversiot lukee nopeasti ja näitä kahta on helppo vertailla keskenään, jos ei runojen tulkitseminen maistu.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Hilaryjoy Virtanen

    I should say that I think this is a perfectly fine way to present Kalevalaic stories overall, but I just couldn't get into it the way I get into reading the poems in translation, the Finnish-language literary epic form, or even the collected variants from the 1800s. Part of this was because of the necessary skips the author had to take to keep the entire plotline intact, to prevent the reader from being stuck in, well, an actual epic. The other part had to do with some of the artwork itself: ren I should say that I think this is a perfectly fine way to present Kalevalaic stories overall, but I just couldn't get into it the way I get into reading the poems in translation, the Finnish-language literary epic form, or even the collected variants from the 1800s. Part of this was because of the necessary skips the author had to take to keep the entire plotline intact, to prevent the reader from being stuck in, well, an actual epic. The other part had to do with some of the artwork itself: rendered in black and white with a lot of black taking up pagespace made the graphics too dark; sometimes images seemed obscured to me, and so it made me wish the author had been able to work in color, in order to make the overall imagery more clear. Personally, I lean toward reading stories with either sparse illustrations or none whatsoever so that I can visualize the story the way I like, so I do have a big bias here. But I did feel that color illustrations might have made this work a lot better visually (and of course, I do understand that this might have been an option that the illustrator did not have available). I did appreciate the use of the Eino Friberg translation (English), since that one preserves much that is unique about Kalevala meter and rhyme and I would recommend this book to those who would want to engage with Kalevala in a novel way.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elisa

    En ole aiemmin tullut tutustuneeksi kansalliseepokseen muulla kuin suomen kielellä. Suosikkiversioni on Kirsti Mäkisen nykykielellä kerrottu Suomen lasten Kalevala kauniine kuvituksineen. Huitulan sarjakuvamuotoinen versio on toimivasti ja alkuperäistä tyyliä kunnioittaen rakennettu, ja Eino Fribergin vuoden 1988 käännöksen kieli on soljuvaa ja selkeää. Tekstin runomuotoisuudesta huolimatta voisi kuvitella kuvakerronnan tukemana Kalevalan tulevan näin helposti lähestyttäväksi, sillä kuten Huitul En ole aiemmin tullut tutustuneeksi kansalliseepokseen muulla kuin suomen kielellä. Suosikkiversioni on Kirsti Mäkisen nykykielellä kerrottu Suomen lasten Kalevala kauniine kuvituksineen. Huitulan sarjakuvamuotoinen versio on toimivasti ja alkuperäistä tyyliä kunnioittaen rakennettu, ja Eino Fribergin vuoden 1988 käännöksen kieli on soljuvaa ja selkeää. Tekstin runomuotoisuudesta huolimatta voisi kuvitella kuvakerronnan tukemana Kalevalan tulevan näin helposti lähestyttäväksi, sillä kuten Huitula esipuheessa huomauttaa hän on myös vähentänyt toisteisuutta sekä luonut luettavuutta edistävän jaon lukuihin.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kai

  8. 5 out of 5

    Big Satan

  9. 4 out of 5

    Stefan

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sammy

  11. 4 out of 5

    Sari

  12. 5 out of 5

    Alison

  13. 4 out of 5

    Antti

  14. 5 out of 5

    Marjie Ayoban

  15. 5 out of 5

    Janika Puolitaival

  16. 5 out of 5

    Osmo

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jarna

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ieva Janus

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mikko

  20. 4 out of 5

    Michaela

  21. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sanna-mari Paakki

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gabriel Pagan

  24. 4 out of 5

    Teemu Kangasmäki

  25. 5 out of 5

    αναμνησία

  26. 4 out of 5

    Apple Mottram

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jen

  28. 4 out of 5

    Elma Susanna

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sanna-Mari Paakki

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kristinazephyr Airbender

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