My Summer reading list. (in Off-topic)
I've decided to start studying Welsh/Finnish/Anglo-Saxon-y literature over the summer, and here's what I've come up with thus far:
The Faerie Queene (by Edmund Spenser)
The Exeter Book
The Crist of Cynewulf
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight
The Volsunga Saga
Anglo-Saxon England (by Frank Stenton)
Poetic Diction (by Owen Barfield)
Tree and Leaf (by J.R.R. Tolkien)
A Voyage to Arcturus (by David Lindsay)
Out of the Silent Planet (trilogy) (by C.S. Lewis)
Musashi (by Eiji Yoshikawa)
(Finish the Malazan Book of the Fallen series)
Comments? Anyone know of anything else I should be reading? Or other Ang.-Sax., Welsh, Celtic, or Finnish texts I should read?
June 23 2009 4:44 AM EDT
For Welsh search out The Mabinogion, specifically the Alan Lee illustrated version, which is absolutely beautifully illustrated. Alan Lee is better known for his Lord Of The Rings artwork, but in my opinion his work on this book is far superior.
The Mabinogion is an old collection of Welsh and Arthurian stories.
The High Deeds of Finn Maccool by Rosemary Sutcliff is a great retelling of old Irish legends. And, if you're really familiar with the Arthur legends then you'll see the similarities between the two, and parallels with Beowulf as well. I guess if you go far enough back the stories probably all came from the same place.
June 23 2009 4:45 AM EDT
And actually Rosemary Sutcliff also did a pretty damn good retelling of Beowulf that's well worth reading, and several books about Arthur.
June 23 2009 4:51 AM EDT
Oh what have you done? My bank balance isn't going to like you.
I'd forgotten how many great books Rosemary Sutcliff wrote.
Swords At Sunset is an attempt to write about the Arthur behind the legends and is amazing.
And Frontier Wolf is about a Roman commander sent to lead a legion based on the furthest Roman frontier. Wonderful book that I used to own when I was younger and that got lost along the way.
Kerching goes Amazon's till...
Beaten to it.
Was going to suggest The Mabinogion. ;)
There's also, hmmm, must google it can't remember exactly, but the Tales of Britton or some such.
Historia Regum Britanniae (English: The History of the Kings of Britain) by Geoffrey of Monmouth.
Historia Brittonum (History of the Britons) by Nennius.
If you can find anything from those. The Tales or Corin, Gog and Magog, and Vortigern might be of interest to you.
June 23 2009 6:24 AM EDT
is about The Mabinogion and also has some of the Alan Lee illustrations.
The problem with Welsh/Celtic things is that they never wrote their stories down. Stories and legends were passed on in the oral tradition, so things are fairly thin on the ground in comparison to a lot of other cultures.
Thanks a bunch! I'll def. check those things out. :)
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