From Gaelic to Romantic: Ossianic Translations
Fiona Stafford, Fiona J. Stafford, Howard Gaskill
Rodopi, 1998 - Literary Criticism - 264 pages
The appearance of James Macpherson's Ossian in the 1760s caused an international sensation. The discovery of poetic fragments that seemed to have survived in the Highlands of Scotland for some 1500 years gripped the imagination of the reading public, who seized eagerly on the newly available texts for glimpses of a lost primitive world. That Macpherson's versions of the ancient heroic verse were more creative adaptations of the oral tradition than literal translations of a clearly identifiable original may have exercised contemporary antiquarians and contributed eventually to a decline in the popularity of Ossian. Yet for most early readers, as for generations of enthusiastic followers, what mattered was not the accuracy of the translation, but the excitement of encountering the primitive, and the mood engendered by the process of reading. The essays in this collection represent an attempt by late twentieth-century readers to chart the cultural currents that flowed into Macpherson's texts, and to examine their peculiar energy. Scholars distinguished in the fields of Gaelic, German, Irish, Scottish, French, English and American literature, language, history and cultural studies have each contributed to the exploration of Macpherson's achievement, with the aim of situating his notoriously elusive texts in a web of diverse contexts. Important new research into the traditional Gaelic sources is placed side by side with discussions of the more immediate political impetus of his poetry, while studies of the reception of Ossian in Scotland, Germany, France and England are part of the larger recognition of the cultural significance of Macpherson's work, and its importance to issues of fragmentation, liminality, colonialism, national identity, sensibility and gender.
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MURRAY G H PITTOCK
MíCHEAL MAC CRAITH
F J LAMPORT
Absalom Agandecca ancient appears authenticity bard bardic battle beauty Blair Book Cairbar Celtic Celts century characters Charles O'Conor clan classical Conaire Mór context Cormac critics Cuchullin Dar-thula death defeat Dublin Edinburgh edition eighteenth eighteenth-century emotional English epic Faulkner feeling Fingal Fingalian Fiona Stafford Fragments Gaelic ballad georgic Goethe Goethe's harp heroes heroic Highland Homer Howard Gaskill Hugh Blair Ibid imagination Ireland Irish Jacobite James Macpherson John Keats king language Lenz letter liminal literary literature London Mackenzie Mackenzie's Macpherson's Ossian memory Milton modern Morven myth narrative novel O'Carolan original Oscar Paradise Lost past pastoral perhaps Pittock Poems of Ossian poet poetic poetry political published readers reading reference romance Scotland Scots Scots Magazine Scottish Scottish Enlightenment seems sentiment Society Sterne story Sublime Savage Sueur suggests Swaran Temora thou tion Titans tradition translation Trenmor Tristram Shandy United Irishmen warrior Werther writing Yeats
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