Kalevala, once more

Fluks, H.W. H.W.Fluks at research.kpn.com
Tue Feb 1 17:47:05 CET 2000

I recently had the pleasure of reading the German printing of Don Rosa's
Kalevala story. I can't help making some comments.

The extra German cover, and the layout of the pages, look great (as others
already mentioned here).

The Germans did, I think, some extra effort for the Kalevalan "poetry". They
used alliteration at several places, with amusing results. For instance
"Zähneklappern ziert nur Zahme", "Schlick schlingt sie an Schlammesgrunde".
No idea what it means, but it sounds great! 8-)

And that brings me to a general criticism about the story: there's a *lot*
of Kalevalan stuff in the story. Lots of texts that slow down the story. The
fact that it's in archaic German doesn't help; I can understand only half of
what is being said. On the other hand, I *could* follow most of the story
line. I think. 8-)

In this story, as in some other recent Rosa stories, Donald is a real dope.
And Scrooge is too harsh on him. This doesn't fit in my personal view of the
character. Yes, I know he is quite heroic in the story. BTW, I liked the
part that Donald "swims like a duck".

The story contains quite some magic. Probably Finns directly understand
this, but for the occasional reader (like me), it's strange that some things
aren't explained. For instance, why does Magica arrive in that big wooden(?)
bird construction.

Talking about that bird construction: on the splash panel on page 20, the
drawing of Magica looks quite impossible: Magica's body is *before* the
pole, but her right wing is behind the ship? I don't see where that wing
could be attached to Magica's body...

I hope to be able to visit Helsinki one day, and see the buildings. Maybe
then I'll also get the meaning of some in-jokes... 8-)

The page about the "golden snow of the Sampo" is a total mystery to me.
Probably a reference to the Kalevala that only insiders would recognise?

All in all, a good story. I hope to be able to read it in English one day. I
don't even dream of a Dutch version, since the story is 33 pages, which is
too long for any Dutch publication...

("Ha, ha, and ha!")

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