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The Song of the Nibelungs: A Verse Translation from the Middle High German Nibelungenlied (Refiguring English Studies) Paperback – January 1, 1962

ISBN-13: 978-0814311929 ISBN-10: 081431192X

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Product Details

  • Series: Refiguring English Studies (Book 15)
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Wayne State University Press (January 1, 1962)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 081431192X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814311929
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,211,424 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

The first translation into English of this monumental epic in over forty years.

Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 4, 1998
Format: Paperback
While some translations of the Nibelungenlied are distorted into sentences, Ryder does a fine job in bringing this critical work to us in its original form, strophes - in groups of verse of about 4 lines each. The Nibelungenlied is almost essential for those traveling to Germany, for many streets and places are named after places and people in the lied. One will have a hard time understanding Germany if they have not read the country's national epic.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mr Peter G George on March 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
Frank G. Ryder's translation of the Nibelungenlied is the best that I have come across. I first became interested in this epic poem after seeing Fritz Lang's silent movie version. I loved the movie, but there were various aspects of the story which I did not fully understand. I turned to the poem for clarification and I'm glad I did, not merely because it aided my appreciation of the film, but more importantly because I thereby discovered one of the greatest works of literature. The story which the poem tells is exciting and has great depth. The characters are unforgettable. They are neither wholly good nor wholly bad. Even the villain of the piece, Hagen, eventually wins the reader's sympathy, while the heroine, Kriemhild, develops from virtuous maiden, to victim, to avenging harpy. This is a tale which shows what happens when the values of medieval times are taken to their extreme. It explores the consequences of fealty to a liege lord when such loyalty is given without question and upheld whatever the cost. It shows that honour and duty when held to rigidly, can lead to the destruction of all. For if two opposing sides remain unyielding, neither willing to lose face, each determined to maintain their reputations as bold, courageous heroes, then the result is catastrophe. Thus the poem while celebrating the virtues of medieval chivalry, at the same time implicitly criticises them.
I have read, in part or in whole, various prose translations of the Nibelungelied, but found them tough going. Some mistakenly used archaic language to try to reproduce the Middle High German of the original, but worst of all, none of these translations made the epic poem seem like a poem. The Nibelungenlied does not work when turned into a sort of prose novel. It comes across as stilted and stiff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Convenience shopper on August 17, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a classic work of Western literature that I somehow had never read. This version was highly readable - I don't know how true it is to the original, but it has a cadence that gives the sense of an epic narrative poem. When I ordered the book, I thought it might have a German/English format; I would have enjoyed comparing the German and English versions. However, this edition worked fine for me and I now have a fuller appreciation of the cultural context of Germanic folklore.
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