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Manas : the Kyrgyz heroic epos in four parts

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The epic revolves around a family dynasty in three parts: the pater-familias Jakyr Bey and his hero son “Manas” followed by Manas’s son “Semetei” and his grandson “Seitek”. The trilogy follows the cycle of exile, migration and return, vengeance avenged, justice for evil-doers, and forgiveness for enemies. Enacted by “manaschi” – Kyrgyz bards consecrated to memorizing the ...more
Hardcover
Published 2004 by Raritet (first published 1995)
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Elise
Dec 28, 2010 Elise rated it liked it
In order to translate poetry, one needs to be a poet. Sadly, Mr. May's relationship to poetry is so vastly different from mine that, were I not firmly of the belief that no-one has the right to say that somebody is not a poet, I would be tempted to do just that.

In fairness to Mr. May, Manas is terribly hard to bring into English because the music of the Kyrgyz language is so different than that of English, and the structure of the language lends itself to rhyming in a way that English, with its
...more
Denis
The epic story was interesting, but the translation was into very poor English verse. Translating poetry is difficult, so I'm normally pretty forgiving, but this was the worst kind of sing-song verse with painfully awkward syntax imposed on it in order to fit the rhyme scheme.
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