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The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún [Kindle Edition]

J. R. R. Tolkien , Christopher Tolkien
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Produktbeschreibungen

Pressestimmen

"Will appeal strongly to readers already haunted by the deeper, more sombre musics of Middle-earth" The Times "This is the most unexpected of Tolkien's many posthumous publications; his son's 'Commentary' is a model of informed accessibility; the poems stand comparison with their Eddic models, and there is little poetry in the world like those" Times Literary Supplement "The compact verse form is ideally suited to describing impact... elsewhere it achieves a stark beauty" Telegraph

Kurzbeschreibung

The world first publication of a previously unknown work by J.R.R. Tolkien, which tells the epic story of the Norse hero, Sigurd, the dragon-slayer, the revenge of his wife, Gudrún, and the Fall of the Nibelungs.

“Many years ago, J.R.R. Tolkien composed his own version, now published for the first time, of the great legend of Northern antiquity, in two closely related poems to which he gave the titles The New Lay of the Völsungs and The New Lay of Gudrún.

“In the Lay of the Völsungs is told the ancestry of the great hero Sigurd, the slayer of Fáfnir most celebrated of dragons, whose treasure he took for his own; of his awakening of the Valkyrie Brynhild who slept surrounded by a wall of fire, and of their betrothal; and of his coming to the court of the great princes who were named the Niflungs (or Nibelungs), with whom he entered into blood-brotherhood. In that court there sprang great love but also great hate, brought about by the power of the enchantress, mother of the Niflungs, skilled in the arts of magic, of shape-changing and potions of forgetfulness.

“In scenes of dramatic intensity, of confusion of identity, thwarted passion, jealousy and bitter strife, the tragedy of Sigurd and Brynhild, of Gunnar the Niflung and Gudrún his sister, mounts to its end in the murder of Sigurd at the hands of his blood-brothers, the suicide of Brynhild, and the despair of Gudrún. In the Lay of Gudrún her fate after the death of Sigurd is told, her marriage against her will to the mighty Atli, ruler of the Huns (the Attila of history), his murder of her brothers the Niflung lords, and her hideous revenge.

“Deriving his version primarily from his close study of the ancient poetry of Norway and Iceland known as the Poetic Edda (and where no old poetry exists, from the later prose work the Völsunga Saga), J.R.R. Tolkien employed a verse-form of short stanzas whose lines embody in English the exacting alliterative rhythms and the concentrated energy of the poems of the Edda.”
— Christopher Tolkien


Produktinformation


Mehr über den Autor

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien wurde 1892 in Südafrika als Sohn eines Bankangestellten geboren. Nach dem Tod des Vaters zog die Familie 1896 zurück in die englischen West Midlands, wo die Mutter nur wenige Jahre später ihrer Zuckerkrankheit erlag. Bevor Tolkien dann als Leutnant in den Ersten Weltkrieg zog, heiratete er 1916 Edith Bratt, mit der er später drei Söhne und eine Tochter haben sollte. Nach Kriegsende setzte Tolkien seine akademische Laufbahn fort und wurde 1925 Professor für Englische Philologie in Oxford. Aus der für seine Kinder verfassten Geschichte "Der kleine Hobbit" wurde ein Bestseller (1937). Auch die Trilogie "Der Herr der Ringe" (1954-1955) erfreut sich ungebrochener Beliebtheit. Tolkien gilt als Begründer des Fantasygenres. Er verstarb 1973.

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13 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Absolut hervorragend! 13. Mai 2009
Von Markus
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Ich gebe hier meine auf Amazon.co.uk veröffentlichte Beurteilung wieder:

In this book Tolkien gives us his English versions of the lays of Sigurd (aka Siegfried) and Gudrun - old Germanic stories known predominantly from the Edda. These are written in the style of the poetic Edda. This he really manages to pull off, especially when considering that the English language does not lend itself easily to such an undertaking. As such the English used is of very high quality and at times almost difficult to understand. These lays are the main corpus of the book; however, Tolkien junior threw in some goodies: first and foremost a lecture given by professor Tolkien in Oxford (Introduction to the Elder Edda) that is quite excellent. Then there are appendices such as the fragments of Tolkien's Old English version of the Lay of Attila. This is again brilliant. Also, Christopher Tolkien gives us an account of the genesis of these Eddaic stories. We here have standard scholarship, well written but in effect superfluous. He mistakenly continues on the road that these stories refer to historical facts. Unfortunately, by following standard opinion he gets this all wrong (cf. the research of Ritter-Schaumburg, Schmoeckel, et al.).

The book itself is well bound, good font, good paper quality. Alas, the publishers could have spared half the paper had they not gone to such lengths to waste space in order to make the book a little thicker.

All in all, this is highly recommended for those interested in Icelandic heroic epics. However, if you're only acquainted with the Hobbit DO NOT purchase this!

Der deutsch-sprachige Leser sollte allerdings bedenken, daß für das Verständnis dieses Werkes sehr gute Englischkenntnisse erforderlich sind.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Nachlassverwertung: Edda-Version Tolkiens etc. 22. August 2010
Von Serenus Zeitblom TOP 500 REZENSENT
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Fünf Sterne, wenn Sie zufällig Skandinavistik, Germanistik oder Anglistik studieren sollten. Ansonsten eher vier, denn das Buch mit seinen Schwächen ist dann auch etwas speziell, und wirkt u.a. künstlich aufgebläht. Auch wenn auch hier ein Ring eine zentrale Rolle spielt - nein, keine Hobbits dabei.

Äußerlich im hübschen Einband aufgemacht, wird "The Legend of Sigurd & Gudrún" mit großen Zeilenabständen, dickem Papier und großer Schrift à la Modernes Antiquariat aufgeblasen, um den Preis höher zu setzen. Schade.

Auch beim Inhalt wird eher gespreizt. Sohn Christopher hat Tolkien-Texte aus dem Nachlass gehoben und mit umfangreichen Kommentartexten versehen. JRR T war ja u.a. Professor für die altenglische Sprache bzw. Altnorwegisch.

Kern des Buches sind Tolkiens teils eher freie Übersetzungen aus der Edda. Er nimmt und interpretiert hierbei verschiedene Texte in norwegische Versmaße. Das "moderne" Englisch wirkt eher wie 18. Jahrhundert, einige Vokabeln sind so altertümlich, dass der Herausgeber Christopher T. sie erklärt. Er versieht die Texte aus Tolkiens Schublade - Vorlesungsnotizen sind die andere Art der Tolkien-senior-Texte - mit Erläuterungen wie allgemeinen Einleitungstexten. Für Laien werden die sprachlichen Ausführungen zum Altnordisch etwas arg speziell, doch Christopher müht sich redlich, vergleicht die verschiedenen Formen und Wiedergaben etc. Wer Wagner oder Nibelungenlied dagegenhielte, nähme übrigens viele Unterschiede wahr.

The short-short: Essays on Norse/ Icelandic lays (Gudrún and Sigurd/ Siegfried) by Tolkien senior and son, plus the text translated by JRR T himself - no hobbits, but enlightening, yet definitely rather for students, scholars etc.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen So,so 18. Januar 2012
Format:Taschenbuch|Verifizierter Kauf
Beim versuch dieses Buch zu lesen wie ein Roman, stellte ich fest das ich sehr oft die Geschichte verlor,weil ich zu sehr met den Stanza beschäftigt war
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Tolkien turns Norse 9. Mai 2009
Von Michael B. Sullivan - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
A few corrections need to be made to the reviews already here.

First: This book is NOT a translation. It is a set of two original poems by Tolkien, with supplemental materials. The poems retell one of the most famous stories in Norse legend--the sources are the two Eddas, the Volsunga Saga, and others--but Tolkien gives here his own version. The poem is in the medieval Norse meter and style, but it is a new version, again, not a translation.

Second: These poems are not epics. I have already read a couple of reviews complaining that for epic poetry it isn't "epic" enough. But they aren't intended to be epic. As the introduction makes clear, Norse poetry had no epic mode (although Old English did). What epic verse does for some cultures the Saga did for the Norsemen. These poems are lays, which have a different intended effect, which is discussed in the introduction.

Who needs to read this book? Certainly people who like The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings but hated The Children of Hurin when it came out recently, and who never got through the Silmarillion, will most likely not want this. If, when you read The Lord of the Rings, you skip the poems and songs, you should definitely skip this. On the other hand, if the Tolkien's poetry is especially attractive to you this may interest you. If you're interested in Tolkien's other writings, though, you probably will want this. For instance, if you've read vol. 3 of The History of Middle Earth, The Lays of Beleriand, you will know the sort of thing you're in for. On the other hand, if you don't care or don't know much about Tolkien's own invented mythology, this book will still fascinate you if you have an interest in Old English or medieval Icelandic literature.

While this book is in general unconnected with Tolkien's own Middle-earth, it does shed some interesting light on it here and there. The Sigurd legend is, of course, related to Tolkien's legend of Turin Turambar. Seeing Tolkien in full heathen mode allows us to draw interesting contrasts with the "redeemed" paganism of his own mythology. Furthermore, Tolkien adds certain elements of his own to the traditional story of the Volsungs which are not irrelevant to the interpretation of his other writings. His interpretation of the heathen myth provides clues to his attitude to myth and its creation which are unique in his writings. This is not *merely* a retelling, but an artistic re-working of the old tale in light of his Tolkien's own insights, interests, and concerns, as well as a virtuoso display of versecraft in an authentic medieval style and meter which, to my knowledge, no other modern author has mastered so well.

This book, then, is not for everyone. But all the negative reviews I've seen blame it for not being something else. For what it is, it is excellent. For those interested in its content or its form, and for true lovers of Tolkien's work, it's a must-have.
117 von 121 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen There is crying of ravens, cold howls the wolf 6. Mai 2009
Von E. A Solinas - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
When J.R.R. Tolkien wasn't teaching philology at Oxford or penning classic fantasy novels, he did some retellings of old poetry. VERY old poetry.

"The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun" is one such work: a verse working of the Norse legend of the hero Sigurd and his adventures, as well as the two doomed women who loved him. The wording is a bit awkward in places, and a good chunk of the book's content is commentary by his son Christopher Tolkien -- but the deep-rooted mythic story and Tolkien's vivid prose are gorgeous.

After exploring the gods and their glittering Valholl, Tolkien introduces the bitter dwarf Andvari and his magic ring, the greedy dragon Fafnir, and the tragic tale of Sigmund, Sigurd's daddy. Sigurd was tricked into slaying Fafnir for his treacherous foster father, and gained a hoard of cursed gold and a roasted dragon heart. Then he learns of the beautiful Valkyrie Brynhild, who is doomed to "wed the World's chosen" only, and sleeps in a fortress of flames.

Though he wakes Brynhild, Sigurd claims that he isn't going to marry her until he has a kingdom of his own -- and he gets one too. But in the process, he falls in love with the beautiful Gudrun and marries her. When his brother-in-law Gunnar wants the finest woman in the world, Sigurd tricks Brynhild into marrying Gunnar instead. This betrayal -- and a cursed ring given to both Gudrun and Brynhild -- leads to lies, hatred, death, and a devastating tragedy that destroys more than one person's life.

"The Lay of Gudrun" is a sort of sequel to the Sigurd legend: after Sigurd dies, Gudrun goes a little nuts in her woodland house and ends up being wed against her own wishes (courtesy of her witchy mom) to the king of the Huns, Atli. Of course, everything goes wrong for the poor woman -- and her brothers Gunnar and Hogni rush to attack Atli.

"The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun" is not for those who only like to read Tolkien's Middle-Earth stories. Sure, there's a cursed ring and a mention of "Mirkwood," but the rest of it is pure Norse saga infused with gods, sorrow, magic and ancient battles. But it's a fascinating story, and you can hear the ring of the elves and the Rohirrhim in some of the stately passages ("Hail O sunlight/and sun's rising").

It's also very complex story, with lots of gory battles, doomed love affairs, and everybody involved ending up miserable and/or dead -- in particular, the bleak yet exquisite finale of "The Lay of Gudrun" is astonishing. And Tolkien does make you feel for the two lead characters of Sigurd and poor, tragic Gudrun (whose only crime was to love her husband), even if Sigurd is kind of a jerk. Brynhild just comes across as a snotty ice queen.

And Tolkien's wordcraft is pretty smooth, easily read if you're used to epic poetry. There are a few awkward moments ("Last night I lay/where loath me was/with less liking/I may lay me yet"), but most of it is easy to decipher and to follow. And the words are usually quite vivid, beautifully written ("gleaming robed/as flower unfolded/fair at morning") and evocative ("his beard was grey/as bark of ash"), with many moments that are simply beautiful.

For the record: "The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun" has a LOT of Christopher Tolkien's forewords, commentary and Tolkien's own information on Norse mythology (for the record, "midgardsormr" means the serpent around the world). There's fifty pages to wade through before the poem even starts. Those with little experience in Norse myth might find it handy, but anyone who already knows the story will find it rather dry.

The legendary JRR Tolkien's working of "The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun" is a vivid retelling of this saga, and his unmistakable touch is left on the words. If you can handle epic poetry, this one is definitely worth a read.
77 von 78 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Wonderful Book That Is Not For Everyone 11. Mai 2009
Von R.A. - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
So you liked THE LORD OF THE RINGS and THE HOBBIT, and now you want another great reading of Tolkien fantasy? Be careful of THE LEGEND OF SIGURD AND GUDRON. It is a scholarly work. If you are interested in Norse mythology, though, and enjoy reading a good translation of Beowulf (which although not Norse mythology has a lot in common with Old Norse poetry) you will love this book. The tales of Odin and company were told and retold by many poets and saga writers, working hundreds of years apart. Many of their tellings are often contradictory. What Tolkien has done is to recreate a unified Norse mythology and given us new lays, written in English, but following the classic 8 line stanzaic style of the Elder Eddas, the Old Norse poetry form. This also means that there is none of the end rhyming we usually associate with poetry. No, these new lays use alliteration, just as in the Old English Beowulf. It really is a treat to get that style of poetry rendered in English. ( Imagine yourself in an old mead hall, while a gifted bard recites in this long-ago verse form. Better yet, read it out loud and become the bard.)

J.R.R. Tolkien's son, Christopher, has provided fascinating introductory information and explanatory notes that really make the reader feel like a serious student of Norse mythology and Old Norse poetry. This material occupies at least as many pages as the poems themselves. Without this extra material, much of the impact and complexity of the poems would be lost.

If you are serious about understanding the life's work of perhaps the greatest author of the 20th Century and the influences that helped lead him to Middle Earth, take a chance on THE LEGEND OF SIGURD AND GUDRUN.
26 von 26 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen There is crying of ravens, cold howls the wolf 16. Mai 2009
Von E. A Solinas - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
When J.R.R. Tolkien wasn't teaching philology at Oxford or penning classic fantasy novels, he did some retellings of old poetry. VERY old poetry.

"The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun" is one such work: a verse working of the Norse legend of the hero Sigurd and his adventures, as well as the two doomed women who loved him. The wording is a bit awkward in places, and a good chunk of the book's content is commentary by his son Christopher Tolkien -- but the deep-rooted mythic story and Tolkien's vivid prose are gorgeous.

After exploring the gods and their glittering Valholl, Tolkien introduces the bitter dwarf Andvari and his magic ring, the greedy dragon Fafnir, and the tragic tale of Sigmund, Sigurd's daddy. Sigurd was tricked into slaying Fafnir for his treacherous foster father, and gained a hoard of cursed gold and a roasted dragon heart. Then he learns of the beautiful Valkyrie Brynhild, who is doomed to "wed the World's chosen" only, and sleeps in a fortress of flames.

Though he wakes Brynhild, Sigurd claims that he isn't going to marry her until he has a kingdom of his own -- and he gets one too. But in the process, he falls in love with the beautiful Gudrun and marries her. When his brother-in-law Gunnar wants the finest woman in the world, Sigurd tricks Brynhild into marrying Gunnar instead. This betrayal -- and a cursed ring given to both Gudrun and Brynhild -- leads to lies, hatred, death, and a devastating tragedy that destroys more than one person's life.

"The Lay of Gudrun" is a sort of sequel to the Sigurd legend: after Sigurd dies, Gudrun goes a little nuts in her woodland house and ends up being wed against her own wishes (courtesy of her witchy mom) to the king of the Huns, Atli. Of course, everything goes wrong for the poor woman -- and her brothers Gunnar and Hogni rush to attack Atli.

"The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun" is not for those who only like to read Tolkien's Middle-Earth stories. Sure, there's a cursed ring and a mention of "Mirkwood," but the rest of it is pure Norse saga infused with gods, sorrow, magic and ancient battles. But it's a fascinating story, and you can hear the ring of the elves and the Rohirrhim in some of the stately passages ("Hail O sunlight/and sun's rising").

It's also very complex story, with lots of gory battles, doomed love affairs, and everybody involved ending up miserable and/or dead -- in particular, the bleak yet exquisite finale of "The Lay of Gudrun" is astonishing. And Tolkien does make you feel for the two lead characters of Sigurd and poor, tragic Gudrun (whose only crime was to love her husband), even if Sigurd is kind of a jerk. Brynhild just comes across as a snotty ice queen.

And Tolkien's wordcraft is pretty smooth, easily read if you're used to epic poetry. There are a few awkward moments ("Last night I lay/where loath me was/with less liking/I may lay me yet"), but most of it is easy to decipher and to follow. And the words are usually quite vivid, beautifully written ("gleaming robed/as flower unfolded/fair at morning") and evocative ("his beard was grey/as bark of ash"), with many moments that are simply beautiful.

For the record: "The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun" has a LOT of Christopher Tolkien's forewords, commentary and Tolkien's own information on Norse mythology (for the record, "midgardsormr" means the serpent around the world). There's fifty pages to wade through before the poem even starts. Those with little experience in Norse myth might find it handy, but anyone who already knows the story will find it rather dry.

The legendary JRR Tolkien's working of "The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun" is a vivid retelling of this saga, and his unmistakable touch is left on the words. If you can handle epic poetry, this one is definitely worth a read.
13 von 13 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen One of the Great Myths of the World 3. Juni 2009
Von Bookreporter - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
THE LEGEND OF SIGURD AND GUDRÚN is epic adventure teeming with the ingredients of fantastic myth and wonder: dwarves, wolves, grand heroes, valkyries, gods, a great dragon, and, without coincidence, a powerful magic ring imbued with a curse that will affect the lives of all within the tale. Perhaps the work of composer Richard Wagner has exposed more people to this fantastic Norse legend. Maybe some others have read William Morris's retelling. In any event, the tale is an involved one; it has two tellings, German and Norse, and some of their aspects do not mesh together.

And there is a gap.

The history of the Edda is itself a great story to read up on, but this book by J. R. R. Tolkien is not a historical reference per se. There is a fantastic introduction included here that is a speech Tolkien gave in 1926 about the Elder Edda and the Völsungs, and it gives a sensational overview and historical discussion. From there, Tolkien proceeds to unfold his answer to the gap and problems inherent in the Edda with "The New Lay of the Völsungs" and "The New Lay of Gudrún."

Within these two stories are the adventures of the hero Sigurd and his combat with the dragon Fáfnir. There is also the meeting with and betrayal of Brynhilde the valkyrie, the corruptions and deceptions within the Niflungs, the forced marriage of Gudrún to Atli, the mighty warrior we know as Atilla the Hun, and her revenge against those who fixed the marriage. All great tragedies, all epic and vibrant, and all touched by elements that the author would later borrow to forge his own great myth for England known as THE LORD OF THE RINGS.

Tolkien presents these two tales in their proper verse form, and the work he has done is exceptional. What many overlook about the man is the fact that he was, truly, a master of language, sitting as professor of Anglo-Saxon and English Language and Literature at Oxford. But he also taught courses in Germanic, Medieval Welsh, Gothic, Old Icelandic, and many others, including Old Norse. And his love of Old Norse mythology, including the Völsungs, is documented.

What can be said is that this book will not be for everybody. There are people who are turned off by poetry, and some who decide to try this will likely be turned off even quicker by its strict dedication to the old Norse poetic style. For those who do endeavor to read it and give it proper attention, they will be treated to one of the great myths of the world, written in beautiful language, and will be given a glimpse through a crack in the door at the seed of what would flourish into Tolkien's greatest achievement.

--- Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard
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