The Poetic Edda

Trans. by Jeramy Dodds. Coach House (Consortium, U.S. dist.; PGC, Canadian dist.), $23.95 trade paper (280p) ISBN 978-1-55245-296-7
Dodds has brought forth an exciting new translation of these Medieval Icelandic poems. So important to the stock of Norse mythology, this great inheritance is adapted and treated in three key divisions: the mythological poems, heroic poems, and the inclusion of some representative material not present in the Codex Regius. Among these are found not only entertaining and didactic poems that can be read somewhat in isolation, but also poems that help give body to the pagan pantheon, with the likes of Odin, Thor, and Loki, and the haunting fate that waits them in Ragnarök. It is the charm and scope of these poems that insure that the work still resonates. Like many translation attempts of this kind, fidelity to the text is a priority and poetic conventions must be adapted in the best effort to remarry form and content. Dodds appears to do this successfully. However, more might be asked of the scholarly apparatus, so important to situate both text and translation, for the orientation of the reader whether he be a specialist or casual reader. Nevertheless, the re-rendering of this work is a service in itself and will prove a rewarding read for anyone interested in mythologies. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 01/19/2015
Release date: 11/01/2014
Genre: Nonfiction
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