What is your country's national epic?
Prose or poetry allowed. Must involve history and the perceived national character.
The Discovery of Heaven by Harry Mulisch is often seen as the best Dutch book ever written. I love his work, I love his style of writing and the content of most of his books, but I haven't gotten to reading it.
Other Dutch books which are noteworthy are The Dark Room of Damocles by Hermans, Back to Oegstsgeest by Wolkers and The Little Blonde Death by Buch.
We have two short poems, one is about a talking sheep who warns her master his two bros are planning to kill him and steal his herd. Guy literally waits to get killed and in a really beautiful sequence tells it to let everyone (including his depressed sheep and desperate mother) know he got married to a queen with the entirety of nature as his witness.
The second one is about a man who keeps trying to build a church for his lord but the building keeps collapsing and one night he hears a voice 'from above' telling him that the first wife or daughter to bring the masons food will have to be immured in order for things to go well. The first woman to show up is obviously his pregnant wife and after a pretty depressing stanza which sounds like live footage of her slowly suffocating the church is done. The lord appears in the end and the masons are dumb enough to boast they can build something even more beautiful, so he just leaves them to die on the roof. They all start jumping off and the last one is our protagonist who can still hear his dying wife. The end.
Not too sure what the moral is but I guess it fits my people in a tragicomic way.
>recht de afvalbak in
rechtstreeks, vieze buitenlander.
Either Ramón López Velarde's La suave patria, or Octavio Paz's Piedra de sol // El laberinto de la soledad.
I'd like to consider Sor Juana's Primero Sueño, because of its scope and poetic force, but she doesn't really deal with the Mexican character or even with that of the New Spain. It is perhaps more universal in that regard.
It's the national hymn lyrics, talking about drinking alcohol and is hopeful for all nations in need. It's written by a giant drunkard lawyer that wrote dirty poetry - considered the country's greatest writer.
Yup, pretty much a must-read and it should pay off for you in particular because you've read most of his other books. Though it doesn't quite fit the 'national character'-definition that the OP uses. But that's because it's a dumb definition. I guess The Assault is more in line with the national spirit of The Netherlands and it also has popcultural recognition.
M8 the reveals at the end are the best part of the book and made the entire read pay off in such a significantly awestriking way. That of course doesnt detract from the quality of the first three quarters/.
"Pan Tadeusz" is considered to be Polish national epic. It also might be considered to be a Lithuanian national epic.
It's okay. But nothing spectacular. Just a nostalgic dream of the good old times, when there was anarchy in Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth and every family fought with each other over trivial matters.
People even dresses like the characters and throw around yellow butterflies made of paper for the carnivals on this one.
Fülembe forró ólmot öntsetek,
Legyek az új, az énekes Vazul,
Ne halljam az élet új dalait,
Tiporjatok reám durván, gazul.
De addig sírva, kínban, mit se várva
Mégiscsak száll új szárnyakon a dal
S ha elátkozza százszor Pusztaszer,
Mégis gyõztes, mégis új és magyar.
Mieleni minun tekevi, aivoni ajattelevi
lähteäni laulamahan, saa'ani sanelemahan,
sukuvirttä suoltamahan, lajivirttä laulamahan.
Sanat suussani sulavat, puhe'et putoelevat,
kielelleni kerkiävät, hampahilleni hajoovat.
Extending this to the south: The Sorrow of Belgium. Nobody captured the introverted and incestuous (often literally) nature of Flemish national character as well as Claus did.
Not really. Perhaps Beowulf and The Faerie Queene. The Canterbury Tales are not even considered epic poetry, and Paradise Lost is only an epic poem, but Milton never intended (and is not regarded as) an epic of the "national" kind.
So yeah, your smugness about it won't change that fact.
Does Ulysses gets harder as it goes on?
I'm a non-native English reader and I checked out the first 4~ pages. A bit confusing but I guess I could read this looking up words and references here and there. Unless you're gonna tell me it gets significantly harder.
>includes many, many references to American history, popular culture and most importantly the national "character", far more than with any other country
though i do think m&d fits far better
Came here to post El laberinto de la soledad, I feel like it truly encompasses the essence of Mexico from a political and historical standpoint.
Recomiendas leer La suave patria? Cómo está?
this is pretty neat. I wouldn't have heard of it otherwise, so thx for posting based straya
kangaroo by dh lawrence is the only work i've read connected with australia besides some stuff incidentally here and there
did get really high and read a bunch of banjo paterson in a bookstore once tho, that was fun