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A Celtic Miscellany: Translations from the…
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A Celtic Miscellany: Translations from the Celtic Literatures (1951)

by Kenneth Hurlstone Jackson

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PREFACE
 
There have been a number of anthologies of translations from Celtic literature published since Charlotte Brooke's Reliques of Irish Poetry (1789), though hardly any are now still in print.
HERO-TALE AND ADVENTURE
 
NOTE
 
Literary historians are familiar with the concept of what is called the Heroic Age. The theory is that early in the evolution of society a stage is reached when, in a materially and socially simple contest, an aristocratic warrior caste dominates the scene....
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Epic feats, ribald verse, tales of Celtic magic, descriptive passages, Bardic poems, laments and poems of love and nature - these carefully chosen selections reveal the full and brilliant spectrum of the Celtic imagination. Drawing on ancient sources written n Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Manx, Welsh, Cornish and Breton. Jaskson's fresh and accurate inhalations cover the whole of the Celtic literature, encompassing six languages and thirteen centuries.

Celtic literature began in early times and continued into the Middle Ages as the principal form of entertainment for an aristocratic social system: both prose and verse were composed by a professional class of literary men.
Setting aside the romantic image of the Celtic mind as mysterious and filled with the darkness of the supernatural, Jackson has chosen and translated these pieces to illustrate the entire literature of the Celtic peoples as we see it today.

Arranged in sections on Hero-Tales and adventures, nature, Love, Epigram, Celtic Magic, Description, Humor and Satire, Bardic Poetry, Elegy and Religion, A Celtic Miscellany presents both general characteristics and a detailed, literary exploration into popular and obscure source material.

Each section is prefaced by an introductory Note that covers that particular genre, and at the end of each selection the original language, author's name and approximate date are given (whenever available.)

Filled with vivid colors, fresh imagination, ordinary magic and the simply unexpected, this many-splendored collection of prose and poetry ranges from Cattle Raid of Cooley - known as the Iliad of the Irish - to Tom Moore's The Harp That Once Through Tara's Hall... where the poet laments on a ruined building and the power and glory which once flourished there.

So can we also, in this remarkably collection, taste the power and the glory of the ancient Celtic literature and revel in those literary epics of olden Times.
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