Friday, February 17, 2012

Irish Fairy Tales Written by: James, Stephens

Now, this was an interesting book indeed. It was written by Stephens, James an Irish Poet an author born perhaps 1882 he wasn't really sure of his date of birth and he passed away in 1950. This book follows mostly this main character Fionn and his decedents and forbearers. The tales themselves were at times a bit confusing, but I think that might be my own fault for not knowing the history of Ireland and her families. Or, they could have been complete works of fiction. I do not know, but the humor and whit were so fun and kept a very interesting pace. I am not sure if these were moral stories or not some seemed that way and then would just end. I did enjoy them though and found myself laughing at a few of the characters predicaments they found themselves in. There were some familiar aspects to the book such as the land of colors, people being turned into hounds, etc... classic Celtic and faery lore. It was also interesting since this seemed to take place during the time when the Irish had their old Gods and then their "new" God. My favorite quote and story does not come until the end of the book, there is an Abbot and he wishes to collect all of the stories or Ireland which were in danger of being forgotten. He says "These things also must be told. For said he, there are very good tales among those ones, and it would be a pity if people who come after us should be ignorant of what happened long ago, and of the deeds of their fathers." Very interesting that an Abbot of the Christian faith would want to preserve the past and her many Gods, supernatural, and fathers tales.

It was a very nice and pleasant read, though I think a bit too much wife swapping went on in that time and the fact women who were beautiful were thus considered all fare and good, where as a hag was nothing but evil and a nuisance. But, those were the times. Right? Those were the times, not at all relevant to today... Or is it?

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