In the 1670s, in Småland, the south of Sweden, the mistress of the Röckla estate died while giving birth to her first child. This doesn't seem like a particularly special event, but for some reason there would be many stories and rumours to circle around her death, even when her widowed husband was still alive.
The priest of Virestad parish back then was called "Master Nils" by the local population. There were lots of stories told about him too; that he knew magic both of the good and bad kind. Maybe this was what originally spurred the legend around Röckla.
The forests of Småland are old and big. The trees are tall and the rocks are big and covered with moss; in some parts the light may come trickling down through the crowns of pines and aspen. They are real troll forests, and trolls are in my experience more usual in Småland than anywhere else in southern Sweden.
The story of Per and Kersti of Röckla is no exception. The first time I heard about it, was in a folk song from the 1800s that I decided to upload and translate.
( Sent om en afton... )
Google Maps tells me, that Röckla still stands down in southern Småland, Virestad parish. But if Per's family lives there to this day, I do not know.
I'm still working my way north from the southernmost parts of Sweden. Some day I'll probably make a post collecting all the sägner, but so far it's just something I do when I feel like it. I'm not really trying to achieve anything; picking one tale from each province is more of a guideline I use than an attempt at some kind of structure.
And difference from before is, that I now use another source for the tales I translate. The old book was borrowed from the library and so this one is a bit more recent: Svenska Folksägner by Bengt af Klintberg. Here the tales are a bit shorter, but there's also greater variation on many different subjects.
( Blekinge )
( Bohuslän )
( Västergötland )
"Some wives are, when they have yet to be taken to church, so vulnerable to the Stream man's intrusiveness that they, for protection, when there is nothing between them and the sky, wear one of their husband's clothes; for if they wear as much as his hat, the rascal doesn't have any power over them. In Rebbelberga parish, Bjäre county, the village of Skörpinge, there served a farm maid many years ago now, I knew her very well, who was always so exposed to the Stream man's impudence, that she always walked around dressed in men's clothing and couldn't stand anyone calling her by her real name."
Now, I'm not going to draw any conclusions here. These beliefs are spread by oral tradition; it's impossible to tell if the person who told this snippet on information is really recalling something s/he had personal experience from.
I'm just saying, that from a queer historical point of view, that last sentence is quite intriguing though.
Long story short, stalkerbunny wrote THIS a couple of days ago after a most interesting MSN convo. Because we are terrible that way. And because we are partners in crime, I translated the medieval ballad it is based on and post it here for you to see in all its glory.
Now you can see that our version isn't that far off. Really.
( Not even the Middle Ages were conservative enough to prevent crossdressing. In people's imagination. )
... I don't think I've ever heard about anyone getting owned as hard as this. For serious.
First day of Christmas break = awesome. I promised myself to do nothing today, and I haven't. Just lazed around, taken a long hot bath, watched television and eaten pizza. And sat in front of the computer, translating some more sägner.
This time, there are stories from Sweden's two island provinces, and the western part of Skåneland. The source is as before, Herman Hofberg's Svenska Folksägner from 1882.
And like before, here's a map of the Swedish provinces.
( Gotland )
( Öland )
( Halland )
You know, I was planning on making this... Huge epic post with Swedish myths and legends; one from each province. But then I got so impatient that I decided to post the two I've translated so far. >3>;
In Swedish there is a word called sägen, which roughly translates to myth or legend, although I personally feel that those words are too ambiguous to properly express what sägen means. To put it really simply, a sägen is something that was thought to have happened a long time ago that was true; the events are often trivial and might explain a name, a place, a phenomenon; but it could also simply be a story. They're the urban legends of the old farmers' society (urban legend in Swedish is vandringssägen, wandering myth). You recognize the traits; the story is attributed to a special place and the characters have names and might even be historical people, amongst others.
I work from the south to the north. These two first ones are from Skåne and Småland; map of the Swedish provinces here. The source is Svenska folksägner by Herman Hofberg, 1882, with annotations.
I've only translated the annotations if I felt that they were worth adding...
( Skåne )
( Småland )
This one might also duly note that "Ebbe Skammelsson" is indeed a medieval ballads as well, although the content differs quite a bit from the tales presented here.
Ok. Reading the first chapter of Catch 22 and post opinion in A course forum=Done. Also, almost finished the first of my two Swedish essays. :D
Therefore, I thought it was time for me to indulge myself and some other people on my F-List a little. Not counting the coke and chocolate next to me, that is. I remember telling (promising? o__o;) Finny amongst other people to make an entry here concerning the English edition vs the Swedish translation of Good Omens, comparing words and expressions and such. Last year, in fact. And today I finally had enough of severe procrastination to the point of ridiculousness and decided to write it.
Since I haven't actually *read* the Swedish edition, just skimmed through, I won't bring up every single difference between the two, just some of the more memorable quotes or that I find a little funny. Since I'm going to write both English and Swedish quote and then try to explain as detailed as possible the differnces it might end up quite long as well, so I'm not sure how many quotes I'll get done when I'm writing this.
Anyway, here's to dorkiness: