Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: [mythsoc] Heaney's Beowulf or someone's Hiawatha?

Expand Messages
  • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
    Darn it all--now you ve got me interested too. I guess a trip to the library is in order again. lol You ll probably beat me to it. I m still slogging
    Message 1 of 17 , Nov 29, 2003
    • 0 Attachment
      Darn it all--now you've got me interested too. I guess a trip to the
      library
      is in order again. >>

      lol You'll probably beat me to it. I'm still slogging through Shippey's
      _Road_ with the plan to reread the first bit and make some notes before I'm
      through. I have Longfellow's poem around here somewhere, and a list of
      things to look up at the library when I do go. And then there's the whole
      Beowulf question. How does anyone ever keep up with their reading? It's a
      much more impossible task than housework, although infinitely more
      enjoyable.

      Lizzie Apgar Triano
      lizziewriter@...
      amor vincit omnia
    • alexeik@aol.com
      In a message dated 11/29/3 6:26:25 PM, Anne wrote:
      Message 2 of 17 , Dec 1, 2003
      • 0 Attachment
        In a message dated 11/29/3 6:26:25 PM, Anne wrote:

        <<Actually Hiawatha was a real person and one of the
        instigators of the Iroqouis Federation (Confederation? Convention?) anyway it
        was
        an attempt to unite the various tribes and some historians believe it had
        influence on the writers of the U.S. Constitution.
        >>

        And of course the historical Hiawatha had absolutely nothing to do with the
        character in Longfellow's poem. Longfellow based his story on Ojibwe mythology
        (quite unrelated to anything Iroquois), where the character he referred to as
        "Hiawatha" is actually called Wenabozho. Longfellow liked the Iroquois name
        better, apparently, and arbitrarily substituted it for the original name.
        Alexei
      • David S. Bratman
        ... This meter sounds a lot better in Finnish than it does in English, by the way. ... In that, Longfellow showed good taste. - David Bratman
        Message 3 of 17 , Dec 2, 2003
        • 0 Attachment
          At 12:09 PM 11/29/2003 , Carl F. Hostetter wrote:
          >Be it noted that "Hiawatha" is (approximately, and deliberately) in the
          >meter of the Finnish national epic, _Kalevala_, that was a huge
          >influence on Tolkien's mythology (underlying, _inter alia_, the story
          >of Túrin).

          This meter sounds a lot better in Finnish than it does in English, by the way.


          At 10:05 AM 12/1/2003 , alexeik@... wrote:
          >Longfellow based his story on Ojibwe mythology
          >(quite unrelated to anything Iroquois), where the character he referred to as
          >"Hiawatha" is actually called Wenabozho. Longfellow liked the Iroquois name
          >better, apparently, and arbitrarily substituted it for the original name.

          In that, Longfellow showed good taste.

          - David Bratman
        • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
          David said a couple of things: 1) This meter sounds a lot better in Finnish than it does in English, by the way. Ooh, and how do we get to listen to it in
          Message 4 of 17 , Dec 3, 2003
          • 0 Attachment
            David said a couple of things:

            1) This meter sounds a lot better in Finnish than it does in English, by
            the way. >>

            Ooh, and how do we get to listen to it in Finnish? Then again, since I for
            one can't understand Finnish, is that a silly exercise?


            At 10:05 AM 12/1/2003 , alexeik@... wrote:
            >Longfellow based his story on Ojibwe mythology (quite unrelated to
            anything Iroquois), where the character he referred to as "Hiawatha" is
            actually called Wenabozho. Longfellow liked the Iroquois name better,
            apparently, and arbitrarily substituted it for the original name. >>

            2) In that, Longfellow showed good taste.

            LOL I have to admit that I like "Hiawatha" better than "Wenabozho", but
            would one call it good taste or perhaps good judgement of his primarily
            English-speaking audience? Taste is kind of a tricky concept don't you
            think?

            So, let me see. Hiawatha the Iroquois would have been a local figure to
            me, as a NYer, but I would have to look him up to see if he existed, etc.

            Wenabozho, who goes with the story we know, was Ojibwe, a nation I've heard
            of but I'm not sure where to place them geographically.

            I am wondering lately, in my usual muddy way, whether a Yank interest in
            things Native American would be a similar thing to the English interest
            (occasionally) in things Celtic. With all the inaccuracies and
            subjectivities of both hobbies, still it's like a searching out of the
            earlier people.

            Lizzie Apgar Triano
            lizziewriter@...
            amor vincit omnia
          • David S. Bratman
            ... Despite its formidable appearance, Finnish isn t a difficult language to learn to pronounce. With a copy of the Finnish text of the Kalevala, and a
            Message 5 of 17 , Dec 3, 2003
            • 0 Attachment
              At 06:23 AM 12/3/2003 , Elizabeth Apgar Triano wrote:

              >Ooh, and how do we get to listen to it in Finnish? Then again, since I for
              >one can't understand Finnish, is that a silly exercise?

              Despite its formidable appearance, Finnish isn't a difficult language to
              learn to pronounce. With a copy of the Finnish text of the Kalevala, and a
              Finnish pronunciation guide, both of which could be findable in a good
              library and probably on the Web, you can read it aloud for yourself.

              A recording of the whole Kalevala read in Finnish might require some
              tracking down and might not be worth the trouble for the merely curious,
              but if you just want an easy way to hear some of it and get some great
              music into the bargain, may I suggest acquiring a CD of Jean Sibelius's
              choral-orchestral suite "Kullervo"? I recommend the Naxos recording
              conducted by Jorma Panula. The booklet has the original text plus translation.

              Tolkien, who was passionately interested in the sheer sound of language,
              believed that it was anything but a silly exercise to listen to a language
              you do not speak. Characters in LOTR frequently hear such languages, and
              are moved by the sound of them, or find that a meaning comes through even
              without a knowledge of the words. Tolkien himself discovered his favorite
              languages through reading their (then unknown to him) words in print.


              >2) In that, Longfellow showed good taste.
              >
              >LOL I have to admit that I like "Hiawatha" better than "Wenabozho", but
              >would one call it good taste or perhaps good judgement of his primarily
              >English-speaking audience? Taste is kind of a tricky concept don't you
              >think?

              I was being jocular, but a good judgment of the audience is essential to
              good taste. To write something that might be appropriate for another
              audience but not for the one you have (I'm thinking of things like
              off-color humor here) would not be good taste.


              >So, let me see. Hiawatha the Iroquois would have been a local figure to
              >me, as a NYer, but I would have to look him up to see if he existed, etc.
              >
              >Wenabozho, who goes with the story we know, was Ojibwe, a nation I've heard
              >of but I'm not sure where to place them geographically.

              Upper Great Lakes. Usually spelled Ojibwa (which may be why you had
              trouble turning info up on the Web) and now usually known as the Chippewa.


              >I am wondering lately, in my usual muddy way, whether a Yank interest in
              >things Native American would be a similar thing to the English interest
              >(occasionally) in things Celtic. With all the inaccuracies and
              >subjectivities of both hobbies, still it's like a searching out of the
              >earlier people.

              Why not? I live in a part of the country occupied by numerous small Native
              tribes in aboriginal days. I like to keep track of whose territory I am in
              when I travel, and I find that passing from one to another usually marks a
              vegetative or landscape boundary as well.

              - David Bratman
            • alexeik@aol.com
              In a message dated 12/3/3 3:36:08 PM, David Bratman wrote:
              Message 6 of 17 , Dec 3, 2003
              • 0 Attachment
                In a message dated 12/3/3 3:36:08 PM, David Bratman wrote:

                <<A recording of the whole Kalevala read in Finnish might require some
                tracking down and might not be worth the trouble for the merely curious,
                but if you just want an easy way to hear some of it and get some great
                music into the bargain, may I suggest acquiring a CD of Jean Sibelius's
                choral-orchestral suite "Kullervo"? I recommend the Naxos recording
                conducted by Jorma Panula. The booklet has the original text plus
                translation.
                >>

                Another fun recording in the same vein is that of the contemporary Finnish
                composer Einojuhani Rautavaara's oratorio _Sammon ryötsö_ (The Myth of the
                Sampo), which is a setting for vocal soloists, chorus and electronic sounds of the
                section of the _Kalevala_ that deals with the three hero-brothers' expedition
                to Pohjola (Lapland) to obtain the magical object called the Sampo. The music
                is very expressive and well-suited to its legendary subject, besides giving a
                good sense of what the verses of the _Kalevala_ sound like in Finnish. It also
                comes with the original text plus translation.
                Alexei
              • Jack
                greenmanreview.com/book/book_beowulf_criticaledition.html [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                Message 7 of 17 , Dec 3, 2003
                • 0 Attachment
                  greenmanreview.com/book/book_beowulf_criticaledition.html

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • alexeik@aol.com
                  In a message dated 12/3/3 3:36:08 PM, David Bratman wrote:
                  Message 8 of 17 , Dec 3, 2003
                  • 0 Attachment
                    In a message dated 12/3/3 3:36:08 PM, David Bratman wrote:

                    << Ojibwe, a nation I've heard
                    >of but I'm not sure where to place them geographically.

                    Upper Great Lakes. Usually spelled Ojibwa (which may be why you had
                    trouble turning info up on the Web) and now usually known as the Chippewa.
                    >>

                    "Chippewa" is the form most commonly used in the US, while "Ojibway" is the
                    form most commonly used in Canada. Both are approximations of the native form
                    _Ojibwe_. Today it's become fashionable to use the term _Anishinaabe_
                    (literally "normal person"), which can be applied to a number of Algonkian-speaking
                    peoples of the Great Lakes area.
                    Alexei
                  • alexeik@aol.com
                    In a message dated 12/3/3 2:36:07 PM, you wrote:
                    Message 9 of 17 , Dec 3, 2003
                    • 0 Attachment
                      In a message dated 12/3/3 2:36:07 PM, you wrote:

                      <<LOL I have to admit that I like "Hiawatha" better than "Wenabozho", but
                      would one call it good taste or perhaps good judgement of his primarily
                      English-speaking audience?>>

                      Certainly "Hiawatha" (especially pronounced the familiar English way: the
                      actual Iroquois pronunciation would be 'hee-ya-watt-ha") sounds far less bizarre
                      to an English-speaking audience than "Wenabozho". Longfellow's choice is
                      perfectly reasonable if one assumes that his audience will never have any further
                      interest in the culture that serves as the background for the story. For anyone
                      who does know something about it, however, the effect is as jarring as, say,
                      arbitrarily giving one of the characters in a Chinese story a Japanese name.
                      Alexei
                    • alexeik@aol.com
                      In a message dated 12/3/3 2:36:07 PM, Lizzie wrote:
                      Message 10 of 17 , Dec 3, 2003
                      • 0 Attachment
                        In a message dated 12/3/3 2:36:07 PM, Lizzie wrote:

                        <<I am wondering lately, in my usual muddy way, whether a Yank interest in
                        things Native American would be a similar thing to the English interest
                        (occasionally) in things Celtic. With all the inaccuracies and
                        subjectivities of both hobbies, still it's like a searching out of the
                        earlier people.>>

                        I've been pointing this out for a long time. The relationship is similar in
                        that both involve the cultures of conquered peoples, with most of the terms
                        defined by the conquerors -- who choose precisely which aspects of the conquered
                        cultures are of interest to them, what their significance is, and how they are
                        to be given expression in the dominant culture's art and literature.
                        Alexei
                      • Stolzi@aol.com
                        In a message dated 12/2/2003 10:40:12 PM Central Standard Time, ... In that, Longfellow showed good taste. Well, to YOUR linguistic taste, which is formed by
                        Message 11 of 17 , Dec 3, 2003
                        • 0 Attachment
                          In a message dated 12/2/2003 10:40:12 PM Central Standard Time,
                          dbratman@... writes:
                          >"Hiawatha" is actually called Wenabozho. Longfellow liked the Iroquois name
                          >better, apparently, and arbitrarily substituted it for the original name.

                          In that, Longfellow showed good taste.
                          Well, to YOUR linguistic taste, which is formed by neither of the languages
                          under discussion, or, one might grant, for a poem in English. Perhaps
                          "Wenabozho" sounds exquisite in the ears of an Ojibwa, and "Hiawatha" awkward.



                          Diamond Proudbrook


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Stolzi@aol.com
                          In a message dated 12/3/2003 1:10:05 PM Central Standard Time, ... Algonkian-speaking ... How ethnocentric of them Diamond Proudbrook [Non-text portions of
                          Message 12 of 17 , Dec 3, 2003
                          • 0 Attachment
                            In a message dated 12/3/2003 1:10:05 PM Central Standard Time,
                            alexeik@... writes:


                            >Today it's become fashionable to use the term _Anishinaabe_
                            >(literally "normal person"), which can be applied to a number of
                            Algonkian-speaking
                            >peoples of the Great Lakes area.


                            How ethnocentric of them



                            Diamond Proudbrook


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.