[Ebook] The Táin: From the Irish Epic Táin Bó Cúailnge By Anonymous – Shiningweb.info

The Táin: From the Irish Epic Táin Bó Cúailnge It s fascinating to read texts like this, because it s ALMOST like reading about what militant secularists wish were the case a world with NO religion In this pre Christian epic, we see how people make meaning of their lives without their perspective being muddled by ideas about God, heaven, hell, right and wrong What would it be like Much to the chagrin of an atheist secularist anti Christian activist, life is hell ish without religion.Take sex Secularists say Christianity spoils sex for It s fascinating to read texts like this, because it s ALMOST like reading about what militant secularists wish were the case a world with NO religion In this pre Christian epic, we see how people make meaning of their lives without their perspective being muddled by ideas about God, heaven, hell, right and wrong What would it be like Much to the chagrin of an atheist secularist anti Christian activist, life is hell ish without religion.Take sex Secularists say Christianity spoils sex for everyone why does have to come with promises and love and all that Just let people have fun without moralizing everything, they say Except rape Rape is wrong That s when we re allowed to be moral eye roll You think we live in a rape culture NOW You think taking the morality out of sex makes itfun You should have lived in Ireland in the early centuries You d see that sex free from morality was anything but fun, ESPECIALLY for women Men because they call the shots, because they re bigger and stronger make the rules Men used sex to relieve themselves and baits fools into traps Women were their pleasure toys At best, women bore men sons, who could then grow up and fight and use women just like their fathers did.The female characters with agency only obtain agency by acting as horribly as the men do They re violent, glory hungry, and evil There s bloodthirsty Queen Medb, who s obsessed with one upping her husband and leads thousands of men to their death for the sake of her pride She has sex with Fergus to keep his military loyalty, and doesn t care that her husband knows about it Sounds a bit like contemporary feminist logic, doesn t it Two wrongs make a right eyerolleyeroll Then there s the witch Morrigan, who randomly comes and and tries to shame Cuchulainn while he s single handedly defending his country from Medb s men He doesn t let her get away with it, though Not all women have this if you can t beat em, join em sexual survival strategy that Medb represents Beautiful Derdriu, after being taken captive by her husband s murderer, refuses to have sex with him which is strange, since he earned her sex through violence, of course When he can t get her to have sex with him, she s shipped off to have sex with his best friend In one of the only true romantic moves of the epic, she throws herself onto a boulder and is smashed to pieces to preserve her honor and stay faithful to her husband s memory Sex DOES mean something to her, and she d rather die than validate a worldview in which power trumps love Another miserable women, Finnebair Medb s daughter learns how many men died after they were promised sex with her hundreds Humiliated and traumatized, she dies of shame on the spot Her sex was only bait and a fun time to everyone except her Rather than conform her worldview to theirs, she dies, and shows us that, despite society s opinion, sex MEANS something to her.I could go on about this, but Wendy Shalit can probably say this all better than me Basically, I think contemporary secularists want to believe that if only we could get rid of all this stupid Christian meaning, sex could be fun again Well, sex was anything but fun before all the Christian meaning came along And with girls today still killing themselves, cutting themselves, getting eating disorders, and getting raped, I think we d better stop and wonder if we re really doing anyone any favors by trying to bring a Christian religion free sexual landscape back to society Another quick note Derdriu s suicide is actually one of the ONLY moments in the epic that features people acting as if anything other than fame and victory matters Touchingly, another rare moment like this happens when Cuchulainn kills his foster brother Ferdia After growing up together and fighting side by side many a battle, they now have to fight to the death Cuchulainn begs Ferdia not to fight, since he loves him and doesn t want to kill him, but Ferdia fights anyways because he s been promised sex with Finnebair After Cuchulainn slays Feria, he lays by his body and weeps This is a shocking moment, since Cuchulainn has slain hundreds of men with extraordinary violence without thought The epic also doesn t devote any special narrational time to most deaths It just reads then so and so s guts spilled out and he died, and maybe a hill was named after him or something Then we move on But here, we get a whole monologue from Cuchulainn All play, all sport,until Ferdia came to the ford.I thought beloved Ferdiawould live forever after me yesterday, a mountain slope today, only a shade.I have slaughtered, on this Tain,three countless multitudes choice cattle, choice men,choice horses, fallen everywhere The army, a huge multitude,that came from cruel Cruachanhas lost between a half and third,slaughtered in my savage sport.Never came to the battle field,nor did Bamba s belly bear,nor over sea or land camea king s son of fairer fame After killing a friend, Cuchulainn learns the meaning of death He s killed a half and a third of an army and not given anyone s life much thought, but Ferdia s death wakes something up in him It means something to him Like Derdriu and Finnebair, Cuchulainn life begins to have meaning after heartbreak He becomes reflective, and even wise yesterday, a mountain slope today, only a shade implies a towering question what is this all for Life, no matter how glorious, ends for everyone what do we make of that What do we think To me, this epic is a heartbreaking, haunting, and warning portrait of what man without religion is like He s empty, desperate, and violent The world is cruel and life is short But man, in the face of all this, is also questioning Derdriu, Finnebair and Cuchulainn bring the reader sudden moments of reflection.What is life Does love matter What does it mean that we die Is it any wonder that Christianity spread like wildfire throughout Ireland, after lives like these When I came across an actual copy of this book during my visit to Chicago, I was almost afraid to buy it I had to buy it, of course it s not often I find real evidence of Celtic Studies works showing up in bookstores, and when I do find titles that fit the bill, I always buy them Bookstores need to be supported and congratulated for stocking things that are outside of the mainstream.I was afraid to read the book because I was convinced that Thomas Kinsella s translation, graced by Louis le Br When I came across an actual copy of this book during my visit to Chicago, I was almost afraid to buy it I had to buy it, of course it s not often I find real evidence of Celtic Studies works showing up in bookstores, and when I do find titles that fit the bill, I always buy them Bookstores need to be supported and congratulated for stocking things that are outside of the mainstream.I was afraid to read the book because I was convinced that Thomas Kinsella s translation, graced by Louis le Brocquy s genius illustrations, was the only translation I could ever love I m a huge fan of Carson s, so I really wanted his work to shine Moreover, a few years ago I had a fraught, life affirming conversation with Carson about translation and poetry and voice where he convinced me with just a few words that I should keep up my own attempts at poetry in translation So I needed his version of this great work to be wonderful.I needn t have worried Carson opens the book with an introduction explaining just how hesitant he was to publish a translation of the T in B C ailnge, in light of Kinsella s masterful work Carson even calls his translation an homage to Kinsella Like Kinsella, Carson used Recension I Carson chose not to include the remsc la, or fore tales, which are some of my favorite bits, but which aren t physically included in Lebor na hUidre or The Yellow Book of Lecan, the two texts in which The Tain survives.Carson is a wonderful translator He s fluent in modern Irish, and he s a musician as well as a poet and writer, and I think those skills combine to enrich his translation He is clearly intrigued by the true characters of C Chulainn, Medb, Ailill, and Fergus, and by the s surrounding sex, violence, honor, ownership, land, family all the big ones Having read his and compared it to Kinsella s, I don t think I can read one without the other again Both convince me to keep struggling through language and myth that is so distant from my daily life The T in or An T in Irish , or complete asThe Cattle Raid of Cooley T in B C ailngeLet me just say I have some questions about this translation, and about the original transcribers whothan likely put their own spin on this story What sthere are multiple modern translations that differ in transliteration and literary style and I d like to understand the differences All aside this is a tale that begins with a trivial quarrel of a queen and her lover which escalates to the The T in or An T in Irish , or complete asThe Cattle Raid of Cooley T in B C ailngeLet me just say I have some questions about this translation, and about the original transcribers whothan likely put their own spin on this story What sthere are multiple modern translations that differ in transliteration and literary style and I d like to understand the differences All aside this is a tale that begins with a trivial quarrel of a queen and her lover which escalates to the point of all Ireland getting involved after a cattle deal went bad in the process of settling their domestic dispute The End.Beyond the explanations for how certain places got their name, it s upon the reader to extract any morals The most obvious takes are thou shalt not covet, try to talk it out first, don t bite offthan you can chew, and if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.You ll find several instances of absurd Looney Tune like descriptions of violence, there s also just a lot of violence I enjoyed the descriptive detail of costume and arms down to a man and a woman or two There was one point when the men of Ulster were rallying and it was like a role call of medieval superheroes.Battles with the protagonist a.k.a the boy hero C Chulainn were over the top When he s pissed he gets his Torque on basically a fit of battle rage that transforms him into some kind of Hell Hulk who goes on a rampage in his war chariot By Joseph Christian Leyendecker 1874 1951 Public domain , via Wikimedia CommonsNo doubts this would make a great movie script, that would probably be a lot harder for Hollywood to screw up as it s all action, and pretty predictable in the drama department.If you re the serious type I don t recommend this, but If you have a morbid sense of humor this will be great fun I m sure The Tain, sortof a bizarro Irish epic like all the other Irish epics was one of my favorite works in college The definitive translation is by Kinsella 1969 , but there s this newish one by Ciaran Carson 2007 , which I ve finally gotten around to judging.Here s the spoiler free gist of the Tain the Irish king Ailill and his wife Medb argue in bed over who s richer, and on the spot they insist on having every item they each own brought to them so they can tally it up herds and all They The Tain, sortof a bizarro Irish epic like all the other Irish epics was one of my favorite works in college The definitive translation is by Kinsella 1969 , but there s this newish one by Ciaran Carson 2007 , which I ve finally gotten around to judging.Here s the spoiler free gist of the Tain the Irish king Ailill and his wife Medb argue in bed over who s richer, and on the spot they insist on having every item they each own brought to them so they can tally it up herds and all They find that Ailill is up by an enormous bull, the equal of which can only be found in Ulster.Here s the rest of the plot, with some view spoiler Medb offers to sleep with the Ulster cattle owner if he ll give it to her He refuses after some consideration , so they decide to take it by force Why Ailill goes along with this is never explained For further insight into Medb s character when she gets her period, she fills three trenches big enough that armies have to ford them So there s that Like the Old Testament, one of the Tain s central messages is that women are the root of all evil That s what happens when a mare leads a herd of horses all their energy gets pissed away, following the rump of a skittish female I would feel offended by this, but it is true that Irish women are pretty slutty As opposed to Boston women, who are allmostly Irish.Unfortunately for Ulster, their entire force is currently laid low by a periodic curse that makes them unable to fight, except the 17 year old prodigy Cu Chulainn, who once got so carried away during battle practice that all Ulster s women had to flash their tits at him to distract him from killing his own friends He proceeds to hold the entire Irish army back single handedly via guerrilla warfare, Braveheart style, and the time honored Jackie Chan one at a time fighting method After a while, Ailill and Medb take to betrothing their daughter to volunteers to take on Cu Chulainn, which she seems agreeable to until half the camp realizes they re engaged to her and kill each other at that point she finally dies of shame All the while Fergus, an Ulster exile and foster father of Cu Chulainn, is playing both sides although technically on the Irish side, he repeatedly warns Cu Chulainn of traps and tries to delay Ailill and Medb Finally, the Ulstermen get over The Curse yes, this is the only national epic that sor less about periods and, y know, big ass battle, and a remarkably perfect ending hide spoiler It s a terrific, bizarre, filthy story, and I haven t even mentioned that Cu Chulainn is basically the Hulk, prone to fits of rage where his body contorts into shapes that take whole pages to describe I love the thing.Carson s translation is fine It modernizes the language, with the usual pros and cons of modernizations it flows quickly and naturally, but every once in a while you get a line like Two hearts that beat as one, and if Stacey Q references don t throw you right out of a thousand year old epic poem, I don t know what will He also makes the grave mistake of trying to approach the rhyme of the original s occasional poetry breaks, despite having no rhyme skills whatsoever witness this disgrace You ve walked into the gap,You re in the danger zone.Sharp weapons will pierce you and cleave flesh and bone.This hero will take youto another placewhere you will find nothing but death and disgrace p 139 Those are some shitty rhymes, man And, yes, another 80 s music reference Compare Kinsella s version, in which heor less throws his hands up at rhyme You have reached your doom,your hour is come.My sword will slash, and not softly.When we meet you will fallat a hero s hands.Never again will you lead men p 184 Neither is terrific poetry, but Kinsella s is at least not distractingly awful Kinsella sporadically uses slant rhyme, which is a much better decision And can you feel how numbingly rhythmic Carson s lines are Like Run DMC at their worst, right Whereas Kinsella breaks his metre up violently, which helps it feel a little less like a poem written by a sixth grader Carson isfaithful to the original but metres that work in one language don t always work in another, and he should ve admitted that in English, this sort of two stress line sounds like nursery.That s one sort of poem that recurs occasionally throughout the Tain The other is called rosc, and it s entirely weirder Sortof a show off ambiguous prophecy flyting combination, it s purposefully obscure and pretty much impossible to deal with Here s a comparison of the two translations, in a passage where Ailill says he doesn t really care that his wife slept with Fergus for no reason other than she s generally a trick Carson I know the game welllikewise queens and women true what they saythe first fault theirs their sweet companionable wrathFinnabair s fair shield valorous Fergus p 62 Kinsella I know all about queens and womenI lay first fault straight at women sown sweet swellings and loving lustvalorous Fergus p 105 I chose these two passages at random In general, both have moments of passable aesthetic value Kinsella is generallyclear in his meaning, although that also means he s takingliberty with the exact translation.Overall, Carson s translation is serviceable, except for his crap poetry, and reads fast I m not too down on it, but Kinsella is still the king.A bookmarkI made a bookmark out of one of Louis Le Brocquy s amazing illustrations.More on my weird bookmark project here I just read this book for the third time, and finished teaching it this morning I always kind of forget how very, very weird the Irish were We just spent 30 minutes in each section talking about sex, and then 20 on whether this is a credible source or not for the 1st century Cuchulainn kills people in the most interesting ways Anyway, I love this book it just is such a reminder that people think about the world differently Kinsella s translation is also interesting no notes marked in th I just read this book for the third time, and finished teaching it this morning I always kind of forget how very, very weird the Irish were We just spent 30 minutes in each section talking about sex, and then 20 on whether this is a credible source or not for the 1st century Cuchulainn kills people in the most interesting ways Anyway, I love this book it just is such a reminder that people think about the world differently Kinsella s translation is also interesting no notes marked in the text, but lots of notes at the end this is a pet peeve of mine, as you might be able to tell Because of the nature of our sources, he has to choose which bits of the different manuscripts to include, and try to reconcile the mess of a story that is left some people die several times, for example So, it s an interesting reminder that even this book is someone s interpretation of the story Imagine someone took you for a walk from the North to the South of the USA, from New England across the Mason Dixon line and onward to Georgia, all the while using cues from the landscape to narrate the Civil War The T in does this, guiding the reader through an interactive map where the story and the landscape are inseparable While undeniably a classic epic, the unity of place, narrative, and heritage gives The T in the feel of classic Indian epics, like the Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana, couc Imagine someone took you for a walk from the North to the South of the USA, from New England across the Mason Dixon line and onward to Georgia, all the while using cues from the landscape to narrate the Civil War The T in does this, guiding the reader through an interactive map where the story and the landscape are inseparable While undeniably a classic epic, the unity of place, narrative, and heritage gives The T in the feel of classic Indian epics, like the Bhagavad Gita and Ramayana, couching stories within stories and relying on a body of tales outside of the work at hand for reference The resulting diverted and allusion filled text offers a satisfying richness, a remarkable accomplishment given how starkly the text was written or translated It paints the Irish world with a few strokes.Indeed, one thought I had reading The T in was a genuine surprise that neither the BBC nor the SciFi channels had thought to remake the story in mini series form The bare bones nature of the tale had me hungry to see the work fleshed out I can dream, can t I I haven t read much Irish mythology at all, so it was high time I got round to reading The T in It s an epic based around the feats of C Chulainn, as he defends the land of Ulster from the armies of Ailell and Medb It s here s one of my favourite words again hyperbolic and, well, it s an epic, what do you expect There s verse and one on one combats and ridiculous feats of arms involving throwing spears through boulders and so on I was actually surprised by how little I knew about The Tain I haven t read much Irish mythology at all, so it was high time I got round to reading The T in It s an epic based around the feats of C Chulainn, as he defends the land of Ulster from the armies of Ailell and Medb It s here s one of my favourite words again hyperbolic and, well, it s an epic, what do you expect There s verse and one on one combats and ridiculous feats of arms involving throwing spears through boulders and so on I was actually surprised by how little I knew about The Tain I m sure I ve read plenty about C Chulainn, but knew very little about what goes on in the Cattle Raid.The translation seems clear and is very easy to read, though I can t comment on accuracy The introduction is helpful, and the notes are comprehensive and informative Giving this stars seems kind of ridiculous But I will, anyway.It is a minor embarrassment that I had not read The T in until last week When my sister found out she made me, which is fair enough We are quite immersed in many of the stories surrounding the Ulster cycle during our education the young C chulainn, Medb and Ailill We are even told a vastly simplified version of the T in B C ailnge, mostly focusing on the two bulls and not the war going on around them.My first shock was how blood Giving this stars seems kind of ridiculous But I will, anyway.It is a minor embarrassment that I had not read The T in until last week When my sister found out she made me, which is fair enough We are quite immersed in many of the stories surrounding the Ulster cycle during our education the young C chulainn, Medb and Ailill We are even told a vastly simplified version of the T in B C ailnge, mostly focusing on the two bulls and not the war going on around them.My first shock was how blood thirsty the epic is They certainly excised that aspect of the tales in school My second was how funny it was And I m still not sure if the humour is intentional There s a section where Cathach comes back after riding his chariot off into battle alone, and he s been ripped to bits C chulainn sends for healers and 15 some say 50 of them come and each says he s done for, and every time one of them says that Cathach kills them with a fierce punch Eventually C chulainn says Come on Cathach, you can t be killing healers A healer eventually comes and agrees to treat Cathach, and he begins describing each wound, and each awful wound he mentions Cathach describes the man or men who inflicted them, and C chulainn says Oh I know them That s the brothers so and so, they re the son of this guy and have killed that guy This goes on for three pages, in exactly the same repetitive structure And it s so long and elaborate that it seems like it must be comic, but I m just not sure.These tales were written down by monks in the 12th century from spoken stories that had been passed down for hundreds of years, since perhaps around 0AD So they are very like Homer s works, and that you can see the repetition and exaggeration that would be characteristic of such stories So much of Irish storytelling shows its roots in this work.Also the depiction of women in these stories is really interesting There are warrior queens Strong women Girls decide who they will marry Men must pursue them and gain their approval It is simply a fundamentally different relationship to the gender roles Christianity brought to this country.A couple of times men make harsh statements about women in general, but it s always born out of a frustration with the fact that, e.g Medb wont stop sending warriors to kill them Bloody women The Tain is epic In fact it is Epic at least as Epic asfamous Epics, such as the Iliad In fact, the number of correspondences between the Cattle Raid of Cooley and the story of Achilles rage is remarkable It must be I just remarked it Wanna know what they are at least some of them, anyway Oi you at the back stop saying, No here we go Illiad Achilles only vulnerable on one heel.Tain CuChulain s foster brother only vulnerable to a gae bolga shoved where the sun doesn t s The Tain is epic In fact it is Epic at least as Epic asfamous Epics, such as the Iliad In fact, the number of correspondences between the Cattle Raid of Cooley and the story of Achilles rage is remarkable It must be I just remarked it Wanna know what they are at least some of them, anyway Oi you at the back stop saying, No here we go Illiad Achilles only vulnerable on one heel.Tain CuChulain s foster brother only vulnerable to a gae bolga shoved where the sun doesn t shine The gae bolga is a mysterious design of spear the blade had backward pointing barbs other aspects of the design are obscure and variously interpreted Illiad Lots of riding round in chariots, killing people.Tain Lots of riding round in chariots, killing people.Illiad Lots of stomping around on foot, killing people.Tain Lots of stomping around on foot, killing people.Illiad Single combat.Tain Single combat Generally in a ford that gets its name from the event.Illiad Riding round in a chariot, dragging the corpse of your enemy behind you.Tain Riding round in a chariot, dragging the corpse of your enemy behind you.Illiad Supernatural intervention.Tain Supernatural intervention.Illiad Heaps of famous heroes.Tain Heaps of famous heroes, especially near the end.Illiad Big fight over a beautiful woman.Tain Big fight over a prize bull Okay not such a close correspondence.Illiad Javelins.Tain Spears.Illiad Achilles chooses a short life but ever lasting fame But maybe this isn t mentioned in the Illiad I can t remember Tain CuChulain chooses a short life rather than everlasting ridicule But not during the Cattle Raid Illiad Achilles rage.Tain CuChulain s warp spasm.Illiad Verse.Tain Mainly prose some cryptic verse.So, by now you should be convinced that the pagan Celts in Ireland were just as crazy and violent as any ancient Achaen group you care to name and appreciated the stories of their ancestors crazy violence as much, too.Three fifties of Bards couldn t praise this Epic enough, so I won t even try just read it and find out how many boys can play hurling on the back of Ulster s prize bull, how CuChulain the Hound of Culann got his name and weapons and the name of every ford, hill and rock that figured in CuChulain s almost single handed defense of Ulster from an army of 30,000 The T In B C Ailnge, Centre Piece Of The Eighth Century Ulster Cycle Of Heroic Tales, Is Ireland S Nearest Approach To A Great Epic It Tells The Story Of A Great Cattle Raid, The Invasion Of Ulster By The Armies Of Medb And Ailill, Queen And King Of Connacht, And Their Allies, Seeking To Carry Off The Great Brown Bull Of C Ailnge The Hero Of The Tale Is C Chulainn, The Hound Of Ulster, Who Resists The Invaders Single Handed, While Ulster S Warriors Lie SickThomas Kinsella S Presents A Complete And Living Version Of The Story His Translation Is Based On The Partial Texts In Two Medieval Manuscripts, With Elements From Other Version, And Adds A Group Of Related Stories Which Prepare For The Action Of The T In Illustrated With Brush Drawings By Louis Le Brocquy, This Edition Provides A Combination Of Medieval Epic And Modern Art


About the Author: Anonymous

Books can be attributed to Anonymous for several reasons They are officially published under that name They are traditional stories not attributed to a specific author They are religious texts not generally attributed to a specific author Books whose authorship is merely uncertain should be attributed to Unknown.


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