Reading post #3

Wow. I really haven’t written here for a moderately long period of time.

I had to read Hõbevalge by Lennart Meri for school in the meantime, so I had to put a few pieces of reading off for a later time. For more compulsory reading, I will have to read five novellas from Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron.

Added to my non-compulsory reading list would be a collection of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s short stories. It’s called The best of Marion Zimmer Bradley and I hope I have time to read it before its owner wants it back (my mum borrowed it from a friend and lent it to me.) To make more reading time for myself, I’ll have to cut down on the time I spend messing around on the Internet, I guess.

I really did like Lennart Meri’s Hõbevalge, even if I didn’t have a chance to properly read it from cover to cover.

I read the new edition of the book which is actually put together from two books (Hõbevalge first published in 1976 and Hõbevalgem first published in 1984). The title translated is basically “Silver White”.

Hõbevalge speaks about the past of the Baltic and Finno-Ugric people, hypothesising about the various possible ties Estonia, the beliefs Estonians held and remarkable historic going-ons that took place in Estonia a long time ago could have influenced foreign writers and historians. For example, Meri explores the aftermath of the creation of Kaali lake (which was by way of a meteorite hitting the ground) and the traditions and assumptions which might have stemmed in peoples lives from that specific incident.

Most of the book is written in a scientific style, while bits of it are more poetic, and while it might be very convincing, it is useful to bear in mind that it is still a work of fiction first and foremost, if a very well researched one. Meri cites different sources and gives many possible explanations for what he thinks realistically could have happened.

Of course, with strange theories like this one going around, the themes explored in Hõbevalge make more sense than they should.


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