Customer Review

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From Attila to Tolkien, 12 Dec. 2004
This review is from: The Nibelungenlied (Penguin Classics) (Paperback)
Wagner's operas and Tolkien's tales are modern incarnations of legends that have evolved in the European consciousness for centuries, in much the same way as the Arthurian cycle of stories. The Nibelungenlied (Song of the Nibelungs), which dates from around 1200 CE and probably originated in Austria, is one of the best known and most significant versions of those legends. It takes as its main theme the life and death of the hero Siegfried and the revenge of his widow Kriemhild. It also incorporates characters and events based on the lives of Atilla the Hun and Theodoric the Great.
This is a valuable insight into how literature evolved in Medieval Europe. If you are a Wagner or Tolkien fan, or a lover of epic fantasy, you will want to read it, both for historical interest and for the beauty and strangeness of some of the imagery. The inconsistencies in its plot and characterizations are a consequence of the poet trying to merge contradictory sources and also to present a version of pagan legends that would be acceptable to a Christian audience. The result is sometimes awkward but always interesting.
A.T Hatto's Penguin edition is definitely the one to get. There is a brief forward, then the story itself, and then more than 100 pages of editorial, giving you a glossary of character's names, the history of the poem, etc, etc. Probably more than you ever wanted to know about medieval German literature. (Although, having said that, it is odd that there is no mention of the Volsung Saga, which is really needed to complete the picture).
This is a lively, readable and authoritative prose translation. If, like me, your medieval German is less than fluent and likely to remain so, then this is the version to read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

Reviewer

Peter Reeve
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   

Location: Thousand Oaks, CA USA

Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,776