I’m sure everyone has memories of being tortured with works of classic literature in high school. Evidently it’s a constant, regardless of where you come from. I recently decided I might try to kill two birds with one stone with my next audiobook selection. I would like to learn more about the culture of my country-in-law, Finland, and I’ve heard that the Kalevala, regarded as the national epic of Finland, is one of the works that inspired Tolkien. Evidently it also inspired Michael Moorcock’s character Elric of Melniboné (Moorcock denies direct influence), and was the basis of a Donald Duck comic, The Quest for Kalevala.
So I decided to download it, and will start to listening to it shortly.
I informed my wife of this, thinking she might be pleased. Instead she cautioned me to be careful listening while driving. It’s evidently not the most action-packed epic poems ever written. But I am hopeful. I didn’t get far with Tolkien’s The Silmarillion when I was a teenager, either, but found it quite interesting as an adult. I’m hoping, too, that having it read to me might help as well.
So I’ll let you know. Perhaps I’ll find it everything my wife says it is. But considering how influential the epic has been in Finnish culture, I think it will be time well spent. And who knows. I’ve recently resurrected a D&D campaign with some friends. Perhaps there is source material there I can borrow.