Carl's Reviews > The Nibelungenlied

The Nibelungenlied by Unknown
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's review
Sep 16, 2007

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Recommended for: Fans of Medieval Romance and the Volsung tradition
Read in September, 2006

I suppose I'm biased by ON lit and saga style, but I just didn't get all that into this version of the Volsung material-- I think I just am not a Romance kind of guy (much as I like to think that I am romantic) and prefer the less flowery Norse material. Not that Volsunga saga is any better-- I may even rate that worse, as it is painfully obvious that the person responsible for that saga, whether scribe or otherwise, was patching together so many different variants of the material that he could not create a coherent whole. Actually, Nibelungenlied suffers from some of the same problems, as elements of the first half do not fit with elements of the second-- but I think I remember the translator's footnotes claiming that this could be a result of the different aesthetics and ideas of coherence in an oral society-- which maybe I could buy, but I think that by the time we have this written down it is clearly a literary product attempting to collect a diverse tradition. Well, but I'm several thousand miles away from my area of specialty right now, so maybe I should shut my trap.
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