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The Heroic Biography of Cú Chulainn
Gibney, Lisa
Early Irish literature is romantic, idealised, stylised and gruesome. It shows a tension between reality and fantasy ’which seem to me to be usually an irresolvable dichotomy. The stories set themselves in pre-history. It presents these texts as a “window on the iron age”. The writers may have been Christians distancing themselves from past heathen ways. This backward glance maybe taken from the literature tradition in Latin transferred from the continent and read by Irish scholars. Where the authors “undertake to inform the audience concerning the pagan past, characterizing it as remote, alien and deluded” or were they diligent scholars trying to preserve the past. This question is still debateable. The stories manage to be set in both the past and the present, both historical Ireland with astonishingly accuracy and the mythical otherworld. Most of the time these two places and the people involved are hard to distinguish and their fates are intertwined. It seems at the time of writing these stories some of the characters were euhemerised Gods.
Keyword(s): School of Celtic Studies; Biography; Cú Chulainn
Publication Date:
Type: Master thesis (research)
Peer-Reviewed: No
Institution: Maynooth University
Citation(s): Gibney, Lisa (2004) The Heroic Biography of Cú Chulainn. Masters thesis, National University of Ireland Maynooth.
File Format(s): other
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First Indexed: 2020-01-31 06:47:11 Last Updated: 2020-04-02 07:05:28