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Loki * Georges Dumézil (1948/1959)

Dumézil first wrote this book in his native language (French) and 10 years later completely rewrote the book for a German version. The French version still seems to be in print (or at least, recently was). I got a nice German version. I can read French, but only if there is no other option. German goes a lot better, but I still had a hard time reading this book, especially during the parts that are less interesting. A book of Dumézil about Northern European mythology, what more could you ask for? The first half of the book is extremely interesting. Dumézil takes the figure of Loki, puts him in a frame of Northern European mythology, explains Loki and other figures, makes cross-references with other mythologies, quotes texts that I never heard of, etc., etc. Halfway the focus shifts towards the Ossetian area in which Dumézil speaks about Syrdon, Soslan, the Narts, etc. A lot of quotes from myths, different version and a bit of an overkill of new information. Strangely enough these myths are still quite unknown by the way. In the last short chapter Dumézil compares the roles of Loki and Syrdon. A very interesting book and I wish that Dumézil had written more about Northern mythology (and that what he wrote was more easiliy available).
(18/4/07 -4-)
Read quotes of Dumézil here.
1948 / 1959 wissenschaftliche buchgesellschaft

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