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Nart Sagas from the Caucasus:
Myths and Legends from the Circassians, Abazas, Abkhaz, and Ubykhs
Assembled, translated, and annotated by John Colarusso

Book Description | Table of Contents
Introduction [HTML] or [PDF format]

ENDORSEMENTS:

"There is no comparable book in English. The translation looks quite fine! This is quite original work by one of the most prominent scholars of the Caucasus in this hemisphere, one who is also most knowledgeable in Indo-European mythology and is an accomplished linguist."--Edgar C. Polomé, author of Indo-European Religion after Dumeziland Language, Society, and Paleoculture

"Reminiscent of the Grimm fairytales and the Icelandic Eddas, these lively tales abound with giants and witches and dwarves and mountain-sized monsters born of rock, ice, and fire. This is a major new resource for students in mythology, linguistics, and folklore, for which John Colarusso provides a sober and expert commentary as guide."--Elizabeth Wayland Barber, author of The Mummies of Urumchi

"This book will introduce a wide readership to a unique and ancient relic of human lore still tenaciously preserved in the North Caucasus--a fabulous world of gods and goddesses, demigods and antigods, monsters and ogres, giants and lilliputians, witches and warlocks, Caucasian Medusas and tree-ladies. Further, it is timely in that the Northwest Caucasians are stirring from a long slumber and are grappling to reforge their identity and find their place in the comity of nations. Professor Colarusso has rendered this culture a great service, enriching world culture in the process."--Amjad Jaimoukha, author of The Circassians: A Handbook

"The translations offered by Colarusso include fascinating, strange, and sometimes grotesque mythic tales that show amazing parallels with Classical and other Indo-European stories. The characters are enormously interesting, especially the figure of Satanya, a powerful female heroine/goddess, which will have an instant appeal to those, scholars and general readers alike, now discovering Goddess myths. As pure narratives, these stories, with their tales-within-tales, giants, stolen brides, and wise elders, also command attention."--Richard P. Martin, Stanford University

"Reading this book was an exciting intellectual experience. These tales are extremely rich and thought-provoking. Doubtless many other readers will respond just as enthusiastically as I have, and recognize the importance of the Nart corpus--and Colarusso's commnentary on it--for their own research. This represents the first compendium in any language, to my knowledge, of Nart sagas from all of the Northwest-Caucasian-speaking peoples."--Kevin Tuite, Université de Montréal

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File created: 4/17/2014

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