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El Cantar de los Nibelungos (Sepan Cuantos, #) by Unknown (3 star ratings)

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SiegfriedKriemhildHagenGuntherBrynhild WormsGermany Esztergom Hungary. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about El Cantar de los Nibelungosplease sign up. Can a librarian please combine this edition with the on bellow? See 2 questions about El Cantar de los Nibelungos…. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Oops, did I spoil the whole story for you?

Well, too bad, because the poet himself spoils it within the first three pages. I’m all for classics, what with being a major in English literature and all. I mean, what else am I going to do with my degree than work a job totally unrelated to my field of study whilst crying myself to sleep every night using my now-defunct Norton Anthology as a pillow? Granted, this “epic” poem is German, but it’s certainly part of what one would co Siegfried is murdered.

Granted, this “epic” poem is German, but it’s certainly part of what one would consider a literary education. At the risk of sounding unenlightened, I say skip this and just read a good summary unless, of course, you can read it in German. Not only is my copy translated into English, it’s written in prose form, which is particularly irksome.

Furthermore, pages of content could have been reduced to 28 pages of actual action. I’ve rarely read anything so boring, which is weird considering the wee bits of action are actually quite interesting. If you waste your time reading this poem, all you’re going to get is redundant descriptions of people coming and going and sending emissaries to this or that place and accepting invitations to go to this or that festival, all while dressed impeccably wearing jewels that would bankrupt the world.

The poet has a particularly annoying habit of interrupting himself to describe what people are wearing. The back of my copy reads that it is an epic tale of murder and revenge. More like an epic fashion show.

Oh, and no one has that much money. Kings and queens are constantly handing out gold and jewels like their wealth grows on trees, and yet they never grow poor. On the contrary, as the poem goes on, each king later introduced outdoes all kings before mentioned in wealth.

Shields full of gems? Dumped on mere messengers? Xantar also take issue with the use of the word “knight” in this poem.


These men aren’t knights; they’re mercenaries. The only reason anyone does anything is for the promise of reward, which is usually merely alluded to–you know, good manners and all. Can’t seem too greedy! But by the end of the poem, Kriemhild is begging anyone to go out and revenge for her, promising anyone shieldsful of red gold which,I guess, is the best kindhaving it brought right to front lines to administer to all and sundry.

Even then, many “knights” won’t take it because they’re pissing themselves in fear of Hagen, Volker, and the other Burgundians. Bollocks to that–effing cowards! I thought you blokes were supposed to be “knights”. The scenes where Siegfried puts on his cloak of invisibility and cheats to help Gunther best Brunhild in feats of strength are editoriak. Even the scene where Siegfried invisibly wrestles Brunhild into sexual submission–though despicable by today’s standards–at least doesn’t have any unnecessary oohing and aahing at their new clothes!

Seigfried’s murder, Hagen destroying the ferry after hearing the nixies’ prophecy–all these scenes are compelling, but you can get this just from the Cliff’s Notes. Again, I don’t read German, so the way it’s written in translation isn’t important to me. And there simply isn’t enough story to justify wasting your time slogging through this.

Having said that, if you get some kind of bullet-point summary of what’s going on, then the last five chapters or so might be worth reading. Everyone slaughters everyone, and the scene where Rudiger gives Hagen his shield is quite touching.

The final paragraph of the book is utterly retarded, though. Editoriql just wants revenge for her murdered husband, and when she finally achieves it by chopping off the murderer’s head, her own ally turns on her and hacks her to bits because it’s dishonorable to be killed by re woman. View all 6 comments. I am not a fan of this translation the way it is brought. I cannot judge its accuracy, of course and even less of nigelungos translator’s often unnecessary derisive remarks the weird sportsman comparison???

I hope Hatto’s version will be better than this because the lay itself I do like and it pains me a bit to only give the Nibelungenlied 3 stars. We would also be struggling to find much to support Fascism here either. Certainly the story concerns ancient warrior heroes, but there is no suggestion that they represent any kind of Arian master race.

They fight wars, but there is no seeking of Lebensraum from their neighbours. The most Fuhrer-like figure is Siegfried, the strong heroic figure. However even he is subservient to another king. There is a editoriao alarming moment porrrua in ninelungos poem where Siegfried bluntly tells the alarmed Burgundians that he intends to take their territory, a Hitler-like moment.

However he is easily dissuaded, and it is ultimately he who will die at the hands of the treacherous princes. Another misconception that the reader may form is that the Nibelunglied will be a tale of sorcery ninelungos ancient gods in the mould of Homer or Virgil. In fact the drama is based almost entirely on human endeavours. Pieties are mentioned but no god appears, or is said to have influenced the outcome of the tragic camtar. Mythical and magical occurrences are also sidelined here.

We are told that Siegfried once fought a dragon, but this happened before the story began. At one point Hagen encounters a few canntar fairies who prophesy the destruction of the Nibelungs, cantae this event fails to change the outcome of the edihorial in the slightest, and could have been left out of the poem without any loss to the narrative. The story is as follows. Siegfried, crown prince of Xanten, travels to Burgundy seeking power and the hand of Kriemhild, sister to the Burgundian king, Gunther.


He is granted this in return for helping Gunther in his pursuit of the fierce Icelandic queen, Brunhild. Siegfried uses a magic cloak that grants him the strength of twelve men and the power of invisibility to best Brunhild in a test of strength in a way that gives Gunther the credit. The suspicious Brunhild also makes trouble for Gunther in the marital bed, refusing his advances. She needs to be once more subdued by a canyar Siegfried.

While the warrior does not have sex with Brunhild, he does steal her ring and belt, and he gives them to Kriemhild, whom he is now able to marry. He pays dearly for this theft when Kriemhild and Brunhild get into an argument over who takes precedence, and Kriemhild reveals the ring and belt to humiliate Brunhild, as it gives the impression that she has been deflowered by Siegfried.

Thus begins a vendetta in which Kriemhild seeks to avenge herself on the brothers who murdered her husband. She invites the Burgundians to visit her, but instead provokes a conflict between the Huns and Burgundians which results in the death of all the Burgundian visitors.

Kriemhild is cut to pieces by the horrified Huns who witness her murdering Hagen with her own hands. The story is a dour and grim one that scales the heights of epic tragedy. However, while the edktorial is renowned, it has never acquired the same status as The Iliad, the poem it most closely resembles.

Part of the problem lies in the large number of flaws in the poem. While The Iliad shares a number of these faults, the Nibelunglied has them to a much larger degree. It seems likely that the two halves of the poem were written separately, and this may account for a number of plot holes and inconsistencies. This would lend his fate some pathos if it were not for the fact that it simply is not true.

We saw him joining in with the murder in the first part of the poem. However since Brunhild does not call him a liar, we have to view this as a flaw in the story. Characterisation is also confused and inconsistent. Brunhild transforms from endearing consort in the first part to vindictive harpy in the nibelungox, with little attempt by editofial poet to describe the change in her personality. The poem also suffers from the absence of Brunhild in most of the second part.

We can forgive absurdities in the story as they are no worse than ninelungos found in most mythology.

El Cantar de los Nibelungos (Sepan Cuantos, #285)

However we could do with more understanding of the motives of the characters. Is Brunhild angry because she realises that Siegfried is her ideal partner, not the weak Gunther? Narrative weaknesses can be overlooked. This was an age where stories were written down in a painstaking way, and there was a serious danger of important passages e, distorted or omitted.