Read Irish Fairy and Folk Tales by W.B. Yeats Online


-- Nobel Prize winning writer and poet W.B. Yeats included almost every sort of Irish folk in this marvelous compendium of fairy tales and songs that he collected and edited for publication in 1892.-- Yeats was fascinated by Irish myths and folklore, and joined forces with the writers of the Irish Literary Revival. He studied Irish folk tales and chose to reintroduce the g-- Nobel Prize winning writer and poet W.B. Yeats included almost every sort of Irish folk in this marvelous compendium of fairy tales and songs that he collected and edited for publication in 1892.-- Yeats was fascinated by Irish myths and folklore, and joined forces with the writers of the Irish Literary Revival. He studied Irish folk tales and chose to reintroduce the glory and significance of Ireland's past through this unique literature....

Title : Irish Fairy and Folk Tales
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ISBN : 9781586636098
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 416 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Irish Fairy and Folk Tales Reviews

  • Trevor
    2018-12-06 01:28

    This surprised me – I was suspecting this to be very much like the Grimm or Calvino efforts. You know, lots of familiar fairy tales but told in a tippering way with a fetching Irish brogue. If you are after such then you’ll have to jump nearly to the very end of this collection. These stories would possibly come closer to ghost stories in a way. The relationship between the natural and supernatural is more dreamlike in these stories than in what I am used to in fairy tales. There is something much less comfortable about these – something much less supernatural about their fairies and even giants. There is a real sense that the non-human beings discussed are actually believed in, in much the way people today might believe in ghosts, and that effects the telling of the stories.But really, to explain the difference between these fairy stories and your common or garden variety we really need a good metaphor. And to me it is like trying to tell someone who has only ever eaten apples the difference between apples and pears. Now, clearly they are from the same family of fruit, but no one who has eaten a pear would be likely to confuse it with an apple. There is a perfume or fragrance to pears that isn’t exactly sweet, and that is subtle, but not so subtle that it goes unnoticed. And pears are ephemeral in ways apples aren’t. Apples are either ripe or they are not - fit to eat or not fit to eat. Pears are totally different. There is a ripeness to them that means eating them today is never the same as deciding to leave them till tomorrow or what they would have been like if they had been eaten yesterday. Irish folktales are like pears. There is a real sense that hearing them today is simply not the same thing as it would have been when this book was first published. But there is still wafting about these the smell of a peat fire and the howl of the wind outside - a fragrance and flavour to them. That is, like pears again, a sense that there really was a perfect time and place to share these but even so that perfect time and place still lingers about these stories, in the very air of them.Many of these tell of deeply troubling and truly horrible beliefs and (one can only assume) events. They tell of fairies coming to take away perfect children and of them replacing them with changelings, horrible gurney things. The solution being to put the changeling on the open fire or to ram a red-hot poker down its throat. “Come away, O, human child!To the woods and waters wild,With a fairy hand in hand,For the world's more full of weeping than you can understand.”There are tales of magical priests and saints. There are also stories of Irish chieftains and even literal ghost stories. Of corpses that need dragged about the countryside for a place to bury them. And, this being Ireland, there are plenty of stories of men being redeemed from the evils of the drink.Still, my favourite is The Soul Cages. I’ve a preference for stories where power (in this case, supernatural power) is outwitted by the clever and the patient. This one too is based around the horrible fact of sailors drowned at sea and then their lost souls desperately looking for any shelter only to be trapped in a kind of purgatory. But there are layers to this story – almost made explicit by the surface level of life on the land and the world undersea where quite different rules apply. And there are questions posed by this story that I've amused myself with since reading it. Coomara, a Merrow (a mermaid, but in this case, a male one) is portrayed as the fooled party by a man called Jack (not unlike Jack and the giant at the top of the beanstalk, in many ways). However, in this story I can’t help getting the feeling that Coomara wasn’t as unaware as he is made out to be and that, even if it makes no sense to the literal story, that he intended Jack to steal his treasure all along. And the fact that this ends with Coomara just disappearing one day never to be seen again and with Jack having become fond of him was also interesting. A very human story for that, I think. You know, the Irish aren’t normally as happy as all that about those who come from the sea.“The sea, oh the sea is the gradh geal mo croideLong may it stay between England and meIt's a sure guarantee that some hour we'll be freeOh thank God we're surrounded by water.”I think it is fair to say that the English don’t come out of all of this well. But then, as the world’s first negroes, the Irish were likely to get their own back in their dreams and dream-like stories, weren't they? Many of the stories of outwitting others are of outwitting the English or of outwitting their Irish representatives and frequently this is done with the help of Saints or Priests. The politics being clear and transparent in any case. Like I said, I was really quite surprised by these – they were not at all what I was expecting, in fact, they were much more than I would have even hoped.

  • Rinda Elwakil
    2018-11-17 19:18

    سلسلة مثيرة للاهتمامكتاب متميز جدا جدا لكل من يهتم بالقصص الشعبية و حكايات الجنيات that was a good read :)

  • Ana Rînceanu
    2018-11-21 01:26

    If you think the Grimm brothers were macabre, wait till you get a load at these clever tales.

  • Damiana
    2018-11-27 19:22

    Questo libro racchiude la migliore tradizione fiabesca irlandese, tra fate, folletti, streghe, sirene e giganti, raccolti dal grande poeta in due volumi, che qui si trovano in edizione integrale. Molto interessante e piacevole nella lettura anche perchè la maggior parte dei racconti sono corti. Per chi ama l'Irlanda e la cultura Irish è il libro ideale!

  • Owlseyes
    2018-12-01 20:13

    TO SOME I HAVE TALKED WITH BY THE FIRE"WHILE I wrought out these fitful Danaan rhymes,My heart would brim with dreams about the timesWhen we bent down above the fading coalsAnd talked of the dark folk who live in soulsOf passionate men, like bats in the dead trees;… A rapturous music, till the morning break And the white hush end all but the loud beat Of their long wings, the flash of their white feet."They’re prevalent in the Irish poetry and music; I mean, the ghosts and the fairies [“SHEEHOGUE”]; those “fallen angels who were not good enough to be saved”, wrote Yeats in the introduction. Even the baroque, German musician Haendel adopted, for some of his oratorios, some of these Celtic legends. Though he had part of his childhood (15 years) in the company of his father (a painter) in London, Yeats was an expert in the fairy tales this book is a collection of. Maybe due to the influence of his mother’s stories; one who raised him in Sligo, Ireland, as if intermittently. His Celtic vein would never cease to appear in his later literary production. “A Celt is a visionary without scratching”.

  • Matthew
    2018-12-05 21:21

    I love how creepy and morbid so much of this stuff is. Mermen who keep people's souls in cages under the sea? Yes please! Heroic priests! Drunken escapades! Witches and swans! And the most sadistic fairies you'll ever know!

  • Roberta
    2018-12-05 19:28

    Ottima raccolta di racconti popolari, divisa per sezioni dedicate ai protagonisti (dal piccolo popolo ai giganti) e con grande varietà

  • Gary
    2018-11-24 01:26

    This is one of my favorite folktale books. This work bring alive the legends and ghost tales of the people of Ireland in the 1900th century and back. My favorite being the Tale of ' Teig O'Kane and the Corpse.'Some of the best ghost stories can be found in these Irish legends and folk tale books.

  • Ahmed Mahdi
    2018-11-30 20:17

    عانت المخلوق السحرية والاسطورية من الفيري والايلف في ايرلندا وشمال اوروبا في الدول الاسكندنافية من الشيطنة بعد دخول الديانة المسيحية فقد قامت بتحويل كل الكائنات الاسطورية الي شياطين او ملائكة ساقطون حيث يهربون من القساوسة او عند سماع اسم الرب ولا يطيقون سماع صوت اجراس الكنائس، في حين أن الايلف مثلا في الاساطير الشمالية القديمة مثل "الايدا الشعرية" كانوا في صف الييسر أو الالهة مثل اودين وثور ضد العمالقة الزرق او اليوتنز الذين سيقفون بجوار لوكي في معركة راجناروك عند نهاية العالمولم يستعيد بعض الأجناس الاسطورية والسحرية مكانتهم مرة أخرى إلا في العصر الحديث عند ابرازهم في الروايات الفانتازية الحديثة على انهم ابطال مثل كتابات لورد دونساني وخاصة كتابه "إبنة ملك الايلف" ورواية السيف المكسور لباول أندرسن وبالطبع روايات تولكن الغنية عن التعريف، حيث نمت شعبية الايلف والدوارف بعد ذلك وأصبحوا أبطال في عديد من الملاحم الفانتزية الحديثةتمثل الحكايات الشعبية في هذا وجهة النظر المسيحية تجاه المخلوقات السحرية فتصورهم على انهم شياطين وانهم سبب الامراض والشر الخ، ويتضح ذلك في مثلا قصة عشاء القس حيث يطلب "الفيري" من الصياد ان يسأل القس ان كان من الممكن ان يدخلوا الجنة وعندما يدعوهم القس لان يسألوه بأنفسهم عما يريدون يهربون من أمامه.القصص عموما أعجبتني كثيرا بالرغم من الطابع المظلم والكئيب للعديد من القصص ولكنا تمثل مصدر الهام عظيم لأي شخص محب للفانتازياالكتاب الاصلي يستحق تقييم 4 نجوم اما هذه النسخة المترجمة فبها العديد من الاخطاء في الترجمة ويبدو ان المترجم غير ملم بالثقافة الايرلندية ومصلطحاتهاSidhe فمثلا كلمةوهي مخلوقات اسطورية ايرلندية قديمة يكتبها المترجم "سيدهي" في حين ان النطق الصحيح للكمة في الايرلندية هو "شي" وأيضا ترجم الايلف إلى أقزام وغيرهاوكلمة فيري ذاتها في الاساطير القديمة لا تشير إلى الجنيات بل تشير إلى المخلوقات السحرية التي لا يستطيع البشر رؤيتهم في الظروف العادية ويشملون الجوبلنز والدوارفز وغيرهم من المخلوقاتواعجبني ما فعله المترجم عند شرحه لمخلوقات الليبركن في الهامش قبل ترجمتها لاسم الجن الاسكافي واتمنى لو فعل ذلك طوال القصة عند تعرضه لاي مخلوق سحري جديدبشكل عام فالكتاب جيد ويستحق القراءة وخاصة لمحبين الحكايات الشعبية والفانتازية

  • معتز
    2018-11-21 21:13

    دعنا نبدأ بما أزعجني أولًا -_-حينما تجد المترجم يورد في أحدى هوامش المقدمة أن هذا الكتاب يعد مختصرًا لتلك الحكايا بسبب شدة طولها ، فهذا أعزجني كثيرًا ..أعني إن لم يكن مشروع مثل مشروع "كلمة " هو من سيقدم الترجمة الكاملة لهذه النصوص..فمن الذي سيترجمها كاملة يومًا ما XD،علي أيًا هذا لم يكن ليزعجني لولا أنني وبحق وجدت أن جنيات لاجيني أفضل بمراحل ومراحل ومراحل -لا حاجة لإكررها للمرة الرابعة - من الكتاب السابق الذي قرأته في تلك السلسلة " شجرة الكرز"..في الريفيو الخاص بشجرة الكرز المقدسة قلت أنني لن أتذكر شيء حينما يمر 4 أيام - وقد كان لقد نسيت أمرها تمامًا - أما مع " جنيات لاجناني" فأعتقد أنني لن أنساها لفترة طويلة...حسنًا ضع نفسك مكاني..أنا لم اقرأ حكايات عن الجن بمثل هذه البراعة والجودة وهذا القدر من الامتاع والإلهام....الكتاب يضم 21 قصة وترنيمة تتراوح مستواياتها بين الجيد جدًا والممتاز..,,هناك 9 قصص حازوا على إعجابي أكثر من أي شيء أخر.1- تيجوكان والجثة2- الأطفال المستبدلون3- جيمي فريل والسيدة الشابة4- أقفاص الروح 5- جنازة فلوري كانتليون6- الرجل والسيد " قصة بيلي ماك دانيال"7- فاردارنج في دونجال .. الآن لديك قصة رائعة لترويها 8- الجن المحتشدون9- فرانك مارتن والجن..قصص ملهمة :3 :3

  • Praxedes
    2018-11-25 02:13

    This collection of Irish lore by Nobel laureate W. B. Yeats is extremely thorough. What most intrigues me about folk and fairy tales is their role as modern-day fables, offering advice about life and how to live it. Great for people interested in the nuances of Irish culture.

  • Terry Calafato
    2018-11-18 03:11

    Una lettura piacevole nonché un ricco excursus sul folklore irlandese.

  • Nadine Jones
    2018-12-07 22:34

    I know I read this a long time ago, but I need to re read b cause I can't remember it

  • Vitani Days
    2018-12-03 02:28

    Nessuno, probabilmente, canta l'Irlanda come William Butler Yeats.La raccolta delle Fiabe offre in un unico volume - in originale erano due - uno spaccato incredibilmente organico del folklore irlandese nelle sue varie manifestazioni. Si tratta di un folklore profondamente legato alla natura, al vento e alla pioggia, alle montagne e al fuoco, alle foreste e al mare. E' un folklore arcaico, antico, quasi animistico, a cui vanno a unirsi nutrimenti esterni, più tardi, come i santi del cristianesimo o le fiabe popolari germaniche.Sono fiabe più o meno allegre, ironiche, popolari. Molte sono incredibilmente inquietanti e cupe, come inquietanti erano le buie notti d'Irlanda. Si tratta, però, di racconti pieni di vivacità, memorie di un passato antico in cui dèi ed eroi pagani sono diventati folletti dispettosi e giganti, belle e dolenti banshee che precedono la morte, oppure entità non così cattive da meritare di cadere all'Inferno con Satana, ma neppure così buone da meritarsi il Paradiso. I racconti si popolano così di giganti codardi e mogli furbe, di fabbri ingegnosi che riescono a gabbare il demonio, di sirene ubriacone, di elfi litigiosi e di cadaveri rianimati.Un universo vitalissimo che non può non aver influenzato generazioni di scrittori, prima e dopo dello stesso Yeats, in cui coesistono alla perfezione guerrieri e asceti, fattucchiere e fate buone, Satana - ops, Old Nick! - e leprecauni, che vivono senza entrare in contraddizione tra loro. Un universo che risente della durezza della vita contadina irlandese, poiché l'Irlanda è terra generosa ma anche aspra, e che riflette tra le righe le condizioni di vita, le speranze e le abitudini di un popolo intero.Raccolta, si è detto, inquietante, poetica ma anche popolaresca e divertente, che al sole del Mediterraneo preferisce l'oscurità delle notti di luna e dei cimiteri popolati dai fantasmi.Nota di merito alle stupende ballads di Yeats, che completano il volume.

  • Parrish Lantern
    2018-12-01 19:39

    “People think I am merely trying to bring back a little of the old dead beautiful world of romance into this century of great engines and spinning Jinnies. Surely the hum of wheels and clatter of presses, to let alone the lecturers with their black coats and tumblers of water, have driven away the goblin kingdom and made silent the feet of the little dancers.”W. B. Yeats, then goes on to state that Old Biddy Hart, in her thatched cottage has little use for such opinions, will hold no truck with the “learned sorts” and their new fangled knowledge. She knows that to offend the old ways will lead to ones come-uppance and any one not rightly respectful of the ancient folk, cannot be alright in their head, regardless of the books & words they claim to know. This is part quote, part paraphrase from the introduction to a lovely book of Irish Fairy Tales compiled in 1892 by William Butler Yeats.The book is divided under four main headings – Land and Water Fairies, Evil Spirits, Cats, and Kings and Warriors, it also has a fascinating appendix, which explains the classification of Irish Fairies divided into The Sociable Fairies,The Sheoques,Merrows and Solitary Fairies such as The Lepricaun, The Pooka & The Dullahan etc. This is followed by a section listing the authorities on Irish Folklore & a biography of Yeats himself.What makes this a great read is the universality of the tales. I wrote a post last year about a similar book, Italian Folktales (Fiabe Italiane, pub’ 1956) compiled & edited by Italo Calvino and although this isn’t of that scale, what he wrote in his introduction holds true here.“These folk stories are the catalogue of the potential destinies of the men and women,especially for that stage in life when destiny is formed, i,e, youth, beginning with birth, which itself often foreshadows the future, then the departure from home, and finally through the trials of growing up, the attainment of maturity and proof of one’s humanity. This sketch although summary, encompasses everything: the arbitrary divisions of humans, albeit in essence equal, into Kings and poor people, the persecution of the innocent and their subsequent vindication, which are the terms inherent in every life, love unrecognised when first encountered and then no sooner experienced than lost; the common fate of subjection to spells, or having one’s existence predetermined by complex and unknown forces. This complexity pervades one’s entire existence and forces one to struggle to free oneself, to determine one’s own fate; at the same time we can liberate ourselves only if we liberate other people, for this is a sine qua non* of one’s own liberation. There must be fidelity to a goal and purity of heart, values fundamental to salvation and triumph. There must also be beauty, a sign of grace that can be masked by the humble, ugly guise of a frog; and above all, there must present the infinite possibilities of mutation, the unifying element in everything: Men, Beasts, Plants, Things.”One of my favourite of the tales here is The man who never knew fear (Translated from the Gaelic by Douglas Hyde), this is a tale of a man who, through his lack of fear, goes through a series of task and ends up rich and with the pretty girl. This is a tale I already knew under a different title(Dauntless Little John) in the Italian folktales, perfectly demonstrating that these tales under numerous guises are universal. Another of my favourites has echoes of Don Quixote...... In reply to the quote starting this post, What’s wrong with bringing back a little of the old dead beautiful world of romance into this century of great engines.

  • Frahorus
    2018-12-07 19:32

    William Butler Yeats nacque a Dublino nel 1865 e faceva parte di quel gruppo di scrittori del Rinascimento Celtico ma proveniva anche da quelle famiglie la cui storia era molto legata alla cultura della chiesa irlandese ed è evidente la sua grande sensibilità di stampo cristiano nei racconti che ha raccolto in questo volume. Questa opera racchiude e raccoglie due sue raccolte, ovveroFairy and Folk Tales of the Irish PeasantryeIrish Fairy Tales , pubblicate assieme la prima volta col titoloFairy and Folk Tales of Irelandnel 1973 dall'editore irlandese Colin Smithe, edizione che verrà aggiornata nel 1977 e corredata da un elenco delle fonti di Yeats. In questo volume vi troviamo, data la varietà degli autori dei racconti, una grande disparità di stili narrativi. Ci sono rielaborazioni letterarie di racconti tradizionali, traduzioni dall'irlandese, trascrizioni di fiabe raccolte dalla viva voce dei narratori. Grazie a questo straordinario lavoro di raccolta dell'autore possiamo, ai giorni nostri, leggere le fiabe che hanno da sempre caratterizzato la cultura irlandese come: folletti, sirene, spettri, streghe, diavoli, giganti, re e regine, ballate e leggende.

  • Katherine Sas
    2018-11-21 00:39

    This combination of two of Yeats' compilations of Irish folk and fairy tales gives a phenomenal sense of the spirit of Irish folklore. Some of the elements are familiar from other European traditions (for example I recognized cognates of the Grimms' Golden Bird & the Boy Who Went Forth to Learn Fear as well as a few quotes, motifs, and characters of the earlier Irish myths found in sources like the Ulster Cycle) but the dry wit is uniquely Irish. The people and storytellers have a matter-of-fact neighborly relationship to the "good folk" (as long as you leave them alone and are a basically decent person, you should be fine) and a general common knowledge of how to live well in a land where the Otherworld is constantly threatening to break through. Though danger is ever-present, most of the stories are fun and funny. Sprinkled through with a few bits of Yeats' own poetry, this is a rich and invaluable collection both for scholarly study and pleasure reading.

  • Francisca
    2018-11-22 20:14

    And this was the first butterfly that was ever seen in Ireland; and now all men know that the butterflies are the souls of the dead, waiting for the moment when they may enter Purgatory, and so pass through torture to purification and peaceRead if you're interested on fairies, changelings, leprachauns, banshees, merrows, disappearing islands, ghosts, giants, witches, fairy doctors, the Devil, saints, kings, queens, earls, and robbers. Or if you have been currently obessing over (like me) and decided you did not have enough strange creatures in your reading (and hearing) life.

  • Fiona
    2018-12-01 01:26

    For this book, I just read a few stories under the T'yeer-na-n-oge section. In Irish folklore, T'yeer-na-n-oge or Tir-na-n-Og, is The Land of Youth and many believe it to be the home of most of fairies. The fairy tales I read revolved around a healing lake, a just and benevolent king, and fairies. T'yeer-na-n-oge is a strange place that stops time, but if you are able to leave it, all your time catches up with you. This book was a little hard to read because some of the words are in Gaelic; I had to call my mother to translate a few for me. Other than that, I really enjoyed reading these fairy tales.

  • Booklovinglady
    2018-11-20 20:29

    In English there is plenty of choice when it comes to Irish folk and fairy tales but if you'd like a Dutch edition, then the stories in Ierse elfenverhalen en andere volksvertellingen uit Ierland, collected by William Butler Yeats. is the book for you!See also Summer Challenge 2014 (message 45) for a review in Dutch.

  • Diana Dimovska
    2018-12-06 19:10

    So many similarities with Macedonian folk tales, I'm amazed!

  • Megan
    2018-11-13 21:19

    2.5In some instances.. Creepy as f*** but not too bad.

  • Abdel Aziz Amer
    2018-11-30 02:24

    مجموعة حكايات من التراث الآيرلندي .. تظهر فيها مسحة التدين والإيمان بالقديسين واحترام الكنيسة .. و تشترك جميعاً في وجود الجن فيها .. ورغم أن الجن تظهر داخل الحكايات بأن لها رهبة وخشية في قلوب الناس ، إلا أن لقاء أبطال الحكايات بهم يتشابه بلقاء الأصدقاء .. فهم يساعدونهم على تجاوز العقبات ويعاقبونهم إذا أسائوا التصرف !

  • G.K. Hansen
    2018-11-18 22:25

    This took forever but I really enjoyed it.

  • Keith Boynton
    2018-11-22 01:35

    The stories are uneven, but some are delightful, and Yeats's introductions to the book's various sections are absolutely priceless.

  • Eman Shahen
    2018-12-12 22:29

    مَن أراد السفر إلى أيرلندا والأستماع إلى حكايات الأجداد والجدات التى تهدهد بها الصبيان والبنات ليخلدوا إلى سبات فليقرأ هذه الحكاياتجنيات لاجنانيأول كتاب من ضمن سلسة الحكايات الشعبية ذهبت إلى إيرلندا من المفارقات القدرية أن هذا أول كتاب تقع عليه يدي من ضمن سلسلة حكايات شعبية والذي يحوي العديد من الحكايات الشعبية مختلفة الثقافات ومن ثم بعدها ندرس عن وليم باتلر ييتس وقضية الوطنية في تجميع التراث الإيرلندي بعيدًا عن إنجلترا. ولييتس أيضًا كتابين آخرين هما "نزهة الساحرات وبحيرة الشفاء" يدور الكتاب في مجملة عن تجميع ييتس لحكايات إيرلندا الشعبية أو ما يسمى في عرفنا "بالحواديت" وتدور في مجملها عن جن وجنيات لها قدرات عجيبة، كما لا يخفى علينا. ركز ييتس في كتابه على الحكايات ذات الأصل الإيرلندي. والكتاب ملئ بالكثير من الحكايات الممتعة، ولكن أكثرها إمتاعًا وأحبها إلى هي: " الولد المخطوف، جنيات بئر لاجناني، تيجوكان والجثة، جيمي فريل والسيدة الشابة، أقفاص الروح، فاردارنج في دونجال، سمكة السلمون البيضاء." الاقتباس: "ما أعجب ألغازك أيتها الطبيعة:حيث الرؤية أروع مما يُرىوحيث ريشة الطبيعةتعجز أمام ريشة الخيال" (2) " ولاعزاء لي سوى التنهدات والدموع لماذا من سرق مني الأمل لم يأخذ معه ألمي!"

  • John Kulm
    2018-11-24 00:32

    Part of the appeal of fairytales, for me, is that I want to understand archetypes. That’s why archetypal literature intrigues me: Faust, Zarathustra, or modern examples like The Alchemist, and The Teachings of Don Juan. Irish fairytales have an interesting similarity to contemporary conversations about archetypal encounters and spirit guides. The Irish fairy tales recorded by Yeats take on a special meaning when seen as archetypal, and understood as the product of the inner-work described by Carl Jung. The difference between Irish folk tales and modern psychological archetypal work is that the people of their era and culture viewed the archetypal figures in a different way than we view them in our era and culture. The result is, through these fairytales, we can read examples of how people of ancient Europe interacted with archetypal figures. These quotes give evidence of that: The Confessions of Tom Bourke“He was invested with the privilege, enjoyed by few of the sons of men, of communicating with those mysterious beings called ‘the good people’ … It is not easy to prevail on Tom to speak of those good people, with whom he is said to hold frequent and intimate communications.”T’yeer-na-n-oge“There is a country called Tir-na-n-Og, which means the Country of the Young, for age and death have not found it; neither tears nor loud laughter have gone near it. The shadiest boskage covers it perpetually. One man has gone there and returned. The bard, Oisen, who wandered away on a white horse, moving on the surface of the foam with his fairy Niamh; lived there three hundred years, and then returned looking for his comrades.” The Trooping Fairies“The Irish word for fairy is sheehogue [sidheog], a diminutive of ‘shee’ in banshee. Fairies are deenee shee [daoine sidhe] (fairy people). Who are they? ‘Fallen angels who were not good enough to be saved, nor bad enough to be lost,’ say the peasantry. ‘the gods of the earth,’ says the Book or Armagh. ‘The gods of pagan Ireland,’ say the Irish antiquarians, ‘the Tuatha de Danan, who, when no longer worshiped and fed with offerings, dwindled away in the popular imagination, and now are only a few spans high.’” Carl Jung considered the archetypes to be “primal instincts.” Yeats recorded the view of an earlier time.

  • Delaney Warren
    2018-11-18 03:16

    The Irish myths that I read in my novel were centralized around morals and social expectations. Often times, a character would be overcome by their greed or desire for something and go against their well-established beliefs. In return, that character would be met by a spirit or creature that would make the character question their actions by utilizing the element of human fear or angst. Although there were many different authors for each of the short stories, I believe that they wanted the reader to think about their actions and how they impact those around them. The characters are met with difficult scenarios similar to modern day difficulties, such as having to decide between family and fortune, and serve as examples for what we should and should not do. Very different than Greek mythology, Irish mythology was less focused on drama and the gods themselves, and instead centered in on living in a peaceful, nature environment. Often times, the short story took place outside or in a farm setting, which emphasized the importance that the Irish placed on nature. Water and white trout were very symbolic of purification and regality, considering that wells and places of water were thought to be where the gods and goddesses spent most of their time. Another interesting aspect of each of the stories was that the evil creatures could also be genuine and kind. For example, fairies were depicted with a positive and negative connotation in the many short stories, and were often more mischievous than the Greek gods. The fairies often brought about the end of the short story by making the main character realize that what they did was wrong and getting them to change their course of action. The conflict was resolved in ever short story. However, the resolution normally occurred quickly at the end, suggesting that the resolution was not the important part of the story, the lesson was. Finally, after having read the short stories in this book, I would highly recommend this novel to readers interested in fantasy and fables. The stories were intriguing with their dynamic characters and interesting creatures most believe they understand but truly don’t. The book makes the reader question their life decisions and exposes the sometimes harsh reality of the world.

  • Michael
    2018-11-19 22:10

    I am a bit unsure of just how to rate this book. On one hand, for such a well-known and renowned work, its author shows, in his introduction alone, a remarkable ignorance of and naivete about folklore, folk tales, folk tradition, and his own culture's traditional inheritance. His fancies seem at once romantic, and harshly skeptical. Fortunately, the tales contained in this book are not of his own authorship and therefore show a quite accurate rang of folk motifs. The book is a very curious mix of lore and literature, of poetry and prose, of fairy tales and legends. Much of the contents seems to have been drawn from literary collections, and to have been embellished into literature (in which case it is no longer folklore). Yeats seems, as well, to be somewhat ignorant of the difference between legend, folktale, and fairy tale; and this is doubly bewildering because the book portends to be a book of legends, but has in reality a good deal of all three types. Yeats scatters these three types indiscriminately through the book, ordering its contents instead by the most prominent subject (fairies, both trooping and solitary, puca, witches, ghosts, the devil, kings and princesses, etc.). On the other hand, the stories themselves are wonderful, both in terms of conveying a good range of accurate folk motifs and themes, and of sheer enjoyability. The proper way to read this book is probably to read for the purpose of enjoyment, which is the best way possible to read any story at any rate. It should be noted that this is not a book for a folklorist. But it is a great read nonetheless, filled with wondrous things, chilling tales, the earthy texture of Irish peasantry, and clever wit. It is well worth having on your shelf: so long as you firstly enjoy it, and secondly take it with a grain of salt.

  • Anna [Floanne]
    2018-11-25 19:25

    Abbastanza delusa da questa raccolta di fiabe incentrate sulla mitologia celtica e le credenze popolari della tradizione irlandese. Attirata dal nome del celebre poeta e drammaturgo irlandese, premio Nobel per la letteratura, William Butler Yeats che curò e scelse i racconti e le ballate più rappresentative di vari autori irlandesi, mi ero avvicinata a questo libro con l'aspettativa di scoprire qualcosa di più su folletti e lepricani. In realtà le storie si assomigliano tutte troppo e, se pur raggruppate per argomento, la differenza tra spettri, diavoli, puka o banshee si perde in un susseguirsi di personaggi e vicende molto stereotipate e ripetitive. Per le prime 300 pagine c'è sempre un qualche ricco giovanotto che beve e sperpera il denaro di famiglia finché non incontra un qualche essere magico di quelli sopra elencati che, o lo punisce, o lo riporta sulla retta via. Di fanciulli rapiti da creature mitologiche ho perso il conto, così come di uomini mutati in animali e preti attaccati dal demonio. I racconti sono brevi ma tutti con lo stesso ritmo che appiattisce la lettura. I continui rimandi al Gaelico obbligano inevitabilmente a fare ricorso alle note. Unica parentesi meno noiosa: il capitolo dedicato a Re Regine e Principesse etc.. dove comunque sono lampanti le somiglianze con altri celebri autori di favole europei. Anche qui, dunque, nulla di veramente originale. Paradossalmente la parte che ho apprezzato di più sono state le introduzioni di Yeats alle varie sezioni del libro. Lì sì che affiora lo stile e la penna di un grande scrittore. Per quanto riguarda le Ballate, invece, credo siano veramente difficili da rendere in traduzione. Dopo la seconda, già mi calava la palpebra!In parole povere, è stata una noia pazzesca e alla fine, ahimè, ho deciso di archiviarlo tra i libri non finiti con 2 stelline, giusto per...