Short Stories, Irish literature, Classics, Modern Fiction and Contemporary Literary Fiction, The Japanese Novel and post Colonial Asian Fiction are some of my Literary Interests





Monday, March 26, 2012

Patrick Kennedy-Legendary Fiction of The Irish Celts

"The Enchantment of Gearoidth Larla" by Patrick Kennedy  (1866, 5 pages)



March 23 to April 11
Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish 





Please consider joining us for Irish Short Story Week Year Two, March 12 to April 11.   All you need do is post on one short story by an Irish author and send me a comment or an e mail and I will include it in the master post at the end of the challenge.  



There is much more to Irish and Celtic folklore than Fairies and Leprechauns.  One very important stream  is what I will call, for want of a better name, Tales of Ancient Warriors.   These stories are just what they sound like, tales of a mythologized pasts where men were so much more gallant and heroic than they are now and the women so much more beautiful and virtuous.    The same sort of stories became very popular in Japan after their defeat in WWII, in the form of the still very popular Samurai Tales genre.   Perhaps these stories arise in places that have little, in their minds, to be proud of in their present leaders and feel their culture is under the shame of  domination by unworthy outsiders..    Lord Dunsany wrote a lot of stories about the ancient past of Ireland, perhaps the most famous is "The Sword of Wellran".

"Welcome to Irish Short Story Week,
now expanded to a month, I am so happy"-
Carmilla
William Butler Yeats says that Patrick Kennedy (1801 to 1873, Dublin, Ireland) was one of the first great Irish Folklorists.    By occupation he was a bookseller but his passion in life was collecting Irish Folk Tales from the people of County Wexford and turning them into stories.   He collected them in his Legendary Fiction of the Irish Celts (1866).   Many of his stories were first published in Dublin University Magazine.


"The Enchantment of Gearoidth Larla" is about an ancient lord that stood up to the English.

 "Whenever the English Government was striving to put some wrong on the country, he was always the man that stood up for it.  Along with being a great leader in a fight, and very skillful at all weapons, he was deep in the black art, and could change himself into whatever shape he pleased'
The lord's wife knew he was a changeling but he had never changed into an animal in front of her.   He, to please her, changed into a beautiful goldfinch.   Then a wild eagle flies through and open window.   She never lays her eyes on her husband after that day.  He still somehow lives on.  He and all warriors are sleeping in a cavern.   They will sleep until a miller's son born with six fingers on each had blows a trumpet for them to mount on their battle steeds and attack the English.   Every seven years he does awake for one night and can sometimes be seen riding at night.
"A whole month, Carmella I know you
cannot resist me that long"-Rory

Mel u

1 comment:

ds said...

Oh, those tales are wonderful! I've not heard of Kennedy, but Yeats himself was no mean folklorist. As always, you instruct. Thank you!