9 April 2007

In need of some advice...

I've been meaning to buy the Nibelungenlied for quite some time now, but I'm not sure which translation to buy. My online friend recommended William Lettsom's translation, but that one is freakishly expensive (well, for a poor student anyway) and it's not even a hardback. I've found a version which is quite cheap, but it's one of those Penguin Classics, and I was not impressed by their translation of The Song of Roland. The person who translated the Nibelungenlied is not the same as the one who translated the SoR, but I'm not sure if I want to spend two weeks of pocket money on something that *might* be good. Does anyone know if this translation is any good? Any other recommendations are also very welcome.

And I need more book advice... You see, my little brother says reading is boring. He only likes the Harry Potter books (and he doesn't read them more than once), and says that all other books are dull, boring, too long, too complicated, etc etc. He doesn't even want to try other books. I've tried and tried to find something he might like, but no luck so far. I've made him read the Hobbit, the Fellowship of the Ring (which he never finished), Kruistocht in Spijkerbroek... I've given him my abridged children's edition of Ivanhoe, but he hasn't even looked at it. He says they're all boring. I think he actually likes some of them, but he just can't admit it because he has already said that he hates reading (he's incredibly stubborn).
I've been looking for books he might like, but I can't really find any. The problem is that he doesn't really know what he likes either, because he's read so few books. I want to buy him a book that he'll like, to show him that reading can be fun, but I don't know what to buy. I think he might like a fantasy book of some kind, something which is easy to read, not too childish, with a good plot, a bit of humour... Does anyone know a book which fits this description?

I hope this post made sense. If not, please excuse me. It's 2 AM and I didn't get much sleep last night - I woke up early this morning because a huge amount of snow fell down from the roof.

Anyway, here's Olav Tryggvason. This statue stands on a huge pillar in the centre of the market place in Trondheim, and is part of a huge sundial.
Olav Tryggvason was the king of Norway from 995-1000, and he's the legendary founder of Trondheim (in 997).

It's not a brilliant picture - blame the lousy Norwegian weather, lol.


Gabriele C. said...

I have a good translation of the Song of the Niblungs but it's in German. It is a prose translation and that might be something to look for in English or Norvegian as well - good prose is better than bad verse, and boy, do some of those old translations spot some bad verse. ;)

Sorry, don't know what to do about your brother. My nephew started reading with the Harry Potter books as well, but gobbles up books since then - Fantasy mostly, but historical novels too, and detective stories. He has read Ivanhoe, Quentin Durward, Tad Williams Dragonbone series and a trilogy called Otori, among others. The books I filched from his shelves last time was a German YA trilogy about the Crusades with a bit of the Holy Grail thrown in.

Hm, what about Artemis Fowl?

hank_F_M said...


Penguin Classics are always browse before buying, the quality of the translating varies greatly. The older one’s pre-1970 have a writing style that I find more decorative than readable. But some are good. “Rewards and Fairies” by Rudyard Kipling (with Puck of Pooks Hill, featuring Gabrielle Hadrian’s wall and the Legio XXXin some of the stories) which was written in English is excellent and originally written for persons a few years younger than you, but Penguins introduction is an embarrassment. It is something a boy would enjoy, anyway I did.

What does your brother enjoy doing? Playing soccer? Try a story about a soccer team. Also does he watch a television series with accompanying novels? So it’s not literature, he is much more likely to enjoy it and build to better reading.

I also read back then some stories with Olav Tryggvason in them, with local source material like that maybe your brother is not a recreational reader, don’t try so hard that you turn him off completely.