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Zuidhorn, 1 November 2015 Cornelius Hasselblatt 7 Bibliographical Note T he following original articles, all written by Cornelius Hasselblatt, form the basis of the chapters of the book: Die Bedeutung des Nationalepos Kalevipoeg für das nationale Erwachen der Esten. (second chapter) Geburt und Pflege des estnischen Epos. And second, in the Swedish political system serfdom was unknown.
(Zetterberg 2007: 16) The Estonian rural population, however, was dependent on its German landlords, and in part was downright repressed.
The first volume of the Studia Fennica series appeared in 1933. More recent publications can be found on the homepage of the Estonian Literature Museum:
Since 1992, the series has been divided into three thematic subseries: Ethnologica, Folkloristica and Linguistica. The complete text of the epic is available on this site.
Ten years later, in 1867, the first bookshop for Estonian books was opened in Tartu.I had read Elias Lönnrot’s famous Kalevala at least once, and I may have seen some references to Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald’s Kalevipoeg in the comments of my German edition of the Finnish epic, but it was not until I heard the lectures of my Estonian teacher in Helsinki that Kalevipoeg really entered my consciousness. One year later, in March 1984, I discovered in an East Berlin antique bookshop the famous German translation of the epic by Ferdinand Löwe – the first edition from 1900! However, the cultural situation of Estonia1 in the third quarter of the nineteenth century was something quite different from Shakespearean England or the Germany of Goethe’s times.In those times, it was strictly forbidden to export antique books from the socialist countries, but my eagerness to obtain the book was stronger than my fear of East German frontier soldiers. In the period in question, the Estonian population stood at a crossroads.From that moment on, I began working continuously with Kreutzwald’s epic, eventually re-reading it, giving lectures and publishing articles about it. (See Raun 2001 for an excellent English overview of Estonian history.) The area we call Estonia today was conquered by Danes and Germans in the thirteenth century and from this time on was dominated by a linguistically different upper class.As all of the articles have been published in German, in diverse venues and spread over two decades, I deemed it appropriate to have them published once more – this time as an English-language monograph and equipped with an introduction in order to create more coherence. This top echelon, however, never formed more than roughly 5 per cent of the entire population (Miljan 2004: 121; Hasselblatt 2012a: 51).