The Lament of the Nibelungen

November 1994
232 pages
22.8x15.2 in
Medieval Texts & Translations
ISBN: 9781879751736
Format: Hardback
Camden House

The Lament of the Nibelungen

Winder McConnell

The first translation into English of the Lament, appended to most major MSS of the 13c Nibelungenlied.
Appended to most of the major manuscripts of the German national epic poem, the Nibelungenlied, the Diu Klage (Lament) is the first known commentary on this great thirteenth-century poem. Composed in rhyming couplets, the 4360-verse Klage describes the aftermath of the debacle at the court of Attila the Hun and the manner in which news of the catastrophe is carried back to the land of the Burgundians. The poet attempts a fascinating reconciliation of Christianity with a pre-Christian ethos (revenge = loyalty = a place in heaven). Of particular note in this regard is the pro-Kriemhild stance of the Klage's author and the concern demonstrated for continuity at the Burgundian court. The present translation (based on Manuscript B in St Gallen) will provide English-speaking readers with the first opportunity to acquaint themselves with the commentary.


"This prose translation of the Klageis all the more welcome because it accompanies a transcription of the original text as it is recorded in manuscript B. The book thus gives new access to the MHG text and allows for close comparison of translation and original." FORUM FOR MODERN LANGUAGE STUDIES
"...a very impressive translation, praiseworthy for its philological precision and efforts to render the often rather cumbersome style of the original Middle High German text into Modern English." American Journal of Germanic Linguistics and Literatures 8.1 (1996)

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