Two findings from the local book market today:

Aus Natur und Geisteswelt: Germanische Mythologie, Julius von Negelein, 1906
Die Edda, Karl Simrock, 1927

I just had to get my hands on them. Simrock’s translation of the Edda might be one of the most accurate German translations and will be a nice addition to the translation by Genzmer which I already own. Plus it has some very lovely illustrations inside and just looks nice all in all. 

As for the book by v. Negelein, I still have to check how reliable his sources are, as in the early 20th century there has been quite interest in Germanic mythology and things often turned out to be historically highly incorrect, as a lot of things were simply made up or changed to sound more appealing or more “mysterious”, drifting more into esotericism. However, it’s part of a series of scientific books on various subjects, so my hopes are that this is indeed more of a scientific book. At least it seemed like that on the first glance. 

The old historian I bought these books from was quite supportive and offered to look through his personal archive again to see if he can find more books related to his subject, as he was quite sure he’d still have something I might be interested in, so chances are I’ll get my hands on more good and interesting stuff soon. 


Wölundlied / Brynhilds Helfahrt”, illustrations by Klaus Wrage (1930). I got it from the same source as the last two books. It contains the Wölundlied (Völundarkviða) in 44 illustrations and Brynhilds Helfahrt (Helreið Brynhildar) in 18 illustrations. Based on the German translations of the Edda by Felix Genzmer. Beautifully done and absolutely wonderful to look at. 

In one of the books I recently acquired (Wrage’s illustrations) I found this lovely handwritten dedication. Apparently a man bought the book for his girlfriend/wife and was an admirer of Richard Wagner’s “Tristan & Isolde”, as it contains two quotes from it. The dedication says:

Meine Elli, zu eigen Dir, [My Elli, all yours,]
“die im Busen mir
[who in my breast]
die Glut entfacht,
[kindled the glow,]
die mir das Herze
[who makes my]
brennen macht,
[heart burn,]
die mir als Tag
[who like Day]
der Seele lacht!”
[loughs in my soul!]
“Und achte auch
[and witness too]
des Sühne-Eids,
[the oath of reconciliation,]
den ich zum Dank
[which I take, in gratitude]
dir sage:
[to you:]
Tristan’s Ehre
[Tristan’s honour]
höchste Treu’!
[utter loyalty!]
Tristan’s Elend
[Tristan’s misery]
kühnster Trotz!”
[keenest defiance!]

Toppenstedt d. 14.8.46

I love finding this kind of stories in old books. A real one among fiction. :)