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The national folk epic of Finland is here presented in an English translation that is both scholarly and eminently readable. To avoid the imprecision and metrical monotony of earlier verse translations, Magoun has used prose, printed line for line as in the original so that repetitions, parallelisms, and variations are readily apparent. The lyrical passages and poetic images, the wry humor, the tall-tale extravagance, and the homely realism of the Kalevala come through with extraordinary effectiveness.

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