Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Irish Century

Happy Birthday to Me!! Believe it or not, this blog is now one year old. On its flickering digital interface, over 350 books, audiobooks, movies, CDs and magazines have been summarized and advertised. The blog has also received a couple dozen comments from viewers, including some actual authors! (Oddly enough, they never seem to comment if I didn't like their book). So keep reading, keep viewing, and keep letting me know what you think!

Irish author Morgan Llywelyn has just finished her multi-volume saga of modern Irish history with 1999: a novel of the Celtic tiger and the search for peace. This saga, which began with the novel 1916: a novel of the Irish rebellion follows the Halloran family through years of violence, politics and shaky alliances. Llywelyn does a nice job of using fictional characters to drive the story and provide a connecting thread, and historical characters to give the backdrop and meaning to the story. The crucial event in this installment, of course, is the signing of the Good Friday accord in 1998 - an accord which seems to have finally established peace in a very troubled land. Fans of historical fiction and/or Irish history will enjoy this series.
An another Irish note, we have a new translation of the classic Irish poem The Táin. Poet and professor Ciaran Carson has written this new translation of the ancient poem (the Irish equivalent of Beowulf) and it has received very good reviews. If you know your ancient Irish history (and who doesn't?), you'll remember that this poem tells the story of Cú Chulainn and his defeat of the army of Connacht, who were trying to steal the famed bull of Ulster. If you don't ordinarily lean towards epic poems, don't worry - Carson has translated the majority of the story into prose, with an occasional stanza or two of poetry. He also provides a pronunciation guide, if you're feeling brave enough to try to read this out loud. Good luck with that.....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Ketchikan Public Library Blog!