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The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún by J.R.R.…

The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún (original 2009; edition 2009)

by J.R.R. Tolkien (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,822216,123 (3.92)1 / 37
Tolkien's version of the great legend of Northern antiquity. In the first part, we follow the adventures of Sigurd, the slayer of Fafnir, and his betrothal to the Valkyrie Brynhild. In the second, the tragedy 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.… (more)
Title:The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún
Authors:J.R.R. Tolkien (Author)
Info:Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (2009), 377 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun by J. R. R. Tolkien (2009)

  1. 30
    The Poetic Edda by Anonymous (guurtjesboekenkast)
    guurtjesboekenkast: De legende van Sigurd en Gudrún bevat twee epische gedichten die zijn gebaseerd op Oudnoorse mythen die bekendstaan als de Edda. Tolkien herschreef deze legende in twee modern Engelse gedichten. Samen vormen deze het verhaal van de drakendoder Sigurd, de wraak van Gudrún en de val van de Nibelungen.… (more)
  2. 30
    The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (guurtjesboekenkast)
  3. 20
    The Nibelungenlied by Anonymous (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: The German High Medieval version of the tale that Tolkien renders into English.
  4. 10
    The Saga of the Volsungs by Anonymous (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: Worth comparing the original saga (in translation) with Tolkien's modern English version of the tale in verse.

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English (18)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  All languages (20)
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
I have read the poems, and I will probably read the rest of the text when I'm able to concentrate on it better. It's a lot easier because it's in Dutch but I'm in a bit of a reading slump (or well I just got out one) so yeah.. Maybe the rating will go up after I've finished the entire book, but I just wanted to mark it as finished because I did read the poetry! ( )
  october.tune | Nov 15, 2017 |
Christopher Tolkien uses both his knowledge of Norse and Icelandic epic poems and his father's lecture notes to provide insightful commentary on the poetic tradition on which J.R.R. Tolkien's work is grounded. The history and literary analysis are fascinating and well worth reading. The poetry itself provides a better understanding of the legends Wagner's Ring Cycle is based upon. Tolkien's work merges many of the ancient poems into a cohesive whole with great emphasis placed upon both form and content. ( )
1 vote Ailinel | May 3, 2015 |
Tolkien is most famous for the Lord of the Rings and, my particular favourite, The Hobbit. I think every other book he's written pales in to insignificance when you think of him as a writer. He was, in fact, first and foremost, an academic. The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún denotes something that Tolkien was obsessed and ultimately influenced by, and that is Norse mythology. Norwegian and Icelandic poetry was his forté and here Tolkien has devised his own version of ancient poems regarding the legend of Sigurd and the fall of the Niflungs.

Written in narrative poetry form with short stanzas, The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún is quite difficult to get in to if your heart is not in it. If you love Tolkien and enjoy his often epic narrative style, then I'd recommend this book purely because his son (Christopher) has used Tolkien's own notes to add accompanying notes that explain what is happened during each section, which is invaluable. At first read the text is difficult to digest because of the archaic English that is used, but after you have grasped what is happening you can retrace your steps and revel in the story.

Like most things, I'd prefer this to have been written in novel format and I'm sure someone somewhere has done such a thing. ( )
  Xleptodactylous | Apr 7, 2015 |

One (well, actually two) of Tolkien's works that he never expecetd to see published - a translation into modern English, but using ancient metre, of highlights and interpolations from the Poetic Edda, much of which was also used by Wagner for his operas. I found the story-telling a bit dense - it is not always totally clear what is going on - but the language rather beautiful, with occasional moments where the two do come together rather well. Interesting to spot elements which were later borrowed for the Silmarillion and LotR. ( )
  nwhyte | Mar 21, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Nearly every parent, at one time or another, has had the experience of seeing a son or daughter eagerly unwrap a new toy, only to find that the child greatly prefers the box to the gift itself. This new poetry collection by John Ronald Reuel Tolkien . . . is a lot like the disappointing toy in the great box. To put it simply: The poetry is pretty bad, but the explanatory material that surrounds it--written by Ronald himself and his son Christopher--is good.

Unlike the low-rent fiction published under the names of such long-dead authors as Ian Fleming and V.C. Andrews, there's no doubt about the provenance of the poems in the collection. But by Christopher Tolkien's own account, there's no evidence that the elder Tolkien ever intended to have this work published, either. . . .

I've read substantially all of Tolkien's source material--some of it in the original languages--and still had to reread several times just to follow the plot. At more than one point, Christopher Tolkien's notes have to clarify who is taking a particular action and what is going on. Without them, the poems are almost impossible to decode. And sometimes it's pretty clear that the elder Tolkien simply left certain parts to finish later. . . .

Tolkien scholars and ardent Lord of the Rings fans may gain some insights into his fiction from reading these poems. The notes provide a very good introduction to the tradition that the elder Tolkien wrote in and, in any case, they're long enough to probably justify a look at the book. But the poems, while somewhat promising, are still in rough draft.
added by TomVeal | editThe Weekly Standard, Eli Lehrer (pay site) (Sep 21, 2009)
although Tolkien's meditations on Eddaic and heroic poetry are interesting, and although reading this book will certainly bring you closer to a number of interesting topics (the Volsung saga and the transmission of Old English and Old Norse poetry in particular)—it isn't in its own right a very effective piece of writing.

» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
J. R. R. Tolkienprimary authorall editionscalculated
Tolkien, ChristopherEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
De Turris, GianfrancoForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valla, RiccardoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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1  Of old was an age
  when was emptiness,
  there was sand nor sea
  nor surging waves;
  unwrought was Earth,
  unroofed was Heaven -
  an abyss yawning,
  and no blade of grass.
In his essay On Fairy-Stories (1947) my father wrote of books that he read in his childhood, and in the course of this he said:
I had very little desire to look for buried treasure or fight pirates, and Treasure Island left me cool.
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Middle Earth author
resets ancient Norse sagas
in Modern English.

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