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Kalevala

Kalevala (kä´lĕvä´lä), Finnish national epic. It is a compilation of verses recounting extraordinary deeds of three semidivine brothers from mythical Kaleva, land of the heroes. Zakarias Topelius published fragments in 1822; Elias Lönnrot gave the cycle its present form, editing the material and sometimes writing transitional verses himself. Lönnrot published the collection of 50 runes (nearly 23,000 lines) in 1849. Its effect on Finnish art in all its branches has been great. The rhythms of the epic had a strong influence on the composer. Jan Sibelius, who used it in a number of works, notably Karelia (1893). The eight-syllable trochaic line of the Kalevala was imitated by Longfellow in Hiawatha.

See tr. by W. F. Kirby (1907, new ed. 1956) and F. P. Magoun (1963).

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Kalevala

Kalevala (from Kaleva, Finland). Finn. nat. epic, transmitted orally over several centuries, on which Sibelius based several works. In 1835 Elias Lönnrot published an edn. of 12,000 verses and in 1849 a 2nd edn. of 23,000 verses in trochaic verse, unrhymed, divided into 50 cantos or runes. This has been trans. into Swed., Ger., Eng., and Fr. Sibelius works which draw on it incl. Kullervo, Pohjola's Daughter, and the Lemminkäinen works.

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Kalevala

Kalevala a collection of Finnish legends transmitted orally until published in the 19th century, and now regarded as the Finnish national epic.

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