|Star Wars the Saga (or, who needs Joseph Campbell anyway?)
||[Mar. 13th, 2010|02:12 am]
You've probably seen the Star Wars = Harry Potter post, which has gone on to become an internet meme. This rather different interpretation of Star Wars is just as funny, a touch less waspish for those offended by such things, and matches my previous Votan/The Long Ships post rather nicely.
I'm two weeks late on picking it up, but with something this good, better late than never.
If you know the slightest thing about Old Norse, Viking literature or our little-known but very exciting Icelandic saga (obligatory nod to M. Python) then unless a new keyboard and monitor are at the top of your shopping list, do not have a mouthful of mead - or anything else - while reading it...
Which only goes to show there is nothing new under the sun.
Star Wars has always been a folk tale set in space. A nice scholarly take on it though.
It has all the classic elements.
A young boy who has a great destiny . Who turns out to have noble, not humble origins. Of course in the folk tale he'd marry the princess, not be a brother to her. :¬D
Mind you if Tolkein can crib from the Ring Saga, why not!
I've always regarded Star Wars as Fantasy, not SF (a pity nobody hung the useful "Space Opera" label on it right at the start.) This shows what can be done without even Fantasy trappings.
In the folktale version, yes, he'd marry the princess - but in some cases he'd still be her brother! After which there's be either accidental or deliberate revelation of the incest, followed by curses, murder, feud, people burned in their houses, and basically all the indications of things not going well Oop North.
2010-03-13 04:00 am (UTC)
and if the sagas AND SW run in your veins, you'll be helpless after.
If this has been doing rounds up here, why haven't I seen it until now!
2010-03-13 01:15 pm (UTC)
By Óðinn and all the gods... he actually went on and is writing the thing.
It's the best saga for 700 years!
Diane got a Twitter from someone who summed it up: "This redefines Geekery!"
Holy shit. I couldn't stop laughing as I read that.
There's silliness, and there's Inspired Silliness. Guess which this one is...?
I approve of your musical taste! Who's performing Bertran on your album? (I'm a great fan of Gerard Zuchetto and the Troubadour Art Ensemble!)
This is by the Martin Best Medieval Ensemble, in a rather good English translation; it's not on any of the CDs I have, but was caught almost 40 years ago from BBC Radio 3. It's a lot of fun to play for the unsuspecting, because the beginning -
I love the joyful time of Easter,
For it makes the leaves and flowers come forth,
And it pleases me to hear the mirth of the birds
Who make their song resound through the woods*
- is all typical troubadour tirra-lirra, a bit like Fotherington-Thomas skipping along going "Hello clouds, hello sky, hello pretty flowers!" Then it degenerates until by this -
And I hear them scream “Help! Help!”
And I hear them fall among the ditches,
Little men and great men on the grass,
And I see, fixed in the flanks of the corpses,
Stumps of lances with silken streamers.**
- I'm watching the faces of the listeners, who usually look like they've had a serious Twilight Zone moment. I had my own Twilight Zone moment a few years back, because while there are many places you might reasonably expect to see this particular little ditty, the back of a Kellogg's Cornflakes packet
is not one of them...
Occitan is an odd language: if you know a little French, then it's a bit like the equivalence of Dutch/Flemish and English: if the mental needle would only jump, you're sure you'd understand it. Of course you won't, it's not that simple - but take a look and you'll see what I mean.
*Be.m plai lo gais temps de Pascor,
Que fai fuoillas e flors venir!
E plai me qand auch la baudor
Dels auzels que fant retintir
Lo chant per lo boscatge!
**Et auch cridar, “Aidatz aidatz!”
E vei cazer per los fossatz
Paucs e grans per l’erbatge,
E vei los mortz qe pels costatz
Ant los tronchos ab los cendatz.
I know it well, but wasn't aware they'd ever performed it. I love Bertran's work: he wrote a couple of songs (well, one song in 2 drafts) about one of my long-term historical hunks, Conrad of Montferrat.
I know Occitan, too: I've performed songs in it myself. It's a beautiful language, and still used. Modern Catalan is basically another dialect of it. Mediæval Piemonteis was, too (though not modern Piemonteis, which has more French and Italian influences).
I totally lost it when I got to 'Himelgengærelied', right near the start, I'm now sitting here in pain from giggling! And he's translating the whole thing, this is hilarious. I have to pass this on...
Please do! This is some of The Good Stuff! (Next, the fan-flick based on it, made by a group of Viking re-enactors...)
I would so totally offer my services for that fanflick.
My Old Norse isn't good enough to be able to read the Saga without a lot of reference to dictionaries, but I can read it out loud and occasionally get caught by a bit I do understand.