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Subject: Re: Bri/athra Flainn Fhi/na
From: Dennis King <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Scholars and students of Old Irish <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 16 Apr 2000 13:37:01 -0700
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Scríobh Neil McLeod an mhí seo chaite:

> >_Old Irish Wisdom Attributed to Aldfrith of Northumbria:
> >An Edition of Bríathra Flainn Fhína maic Ossu_  by Colin A. Ireland
> >1999 / 256 pages / 86698-247-7 / MR205 / $28, £24
> >Further info is available at:
> >http://www.asu.edu/clas/acmrs/mrts/angsax.html
>
> This is terrific news. I have been eagerly awaiting the appearance of this
> volume. Thanks to Dennis I have now been able to put in an order.
>
> I don't suppose you'd like to review it for us when you get a chance would
> you, Dennis?

An bhfuair tú an leabhar fós, Neil?  Tá sé agam le coicís agus tá
mé fíorshásta leis.

By way of review: on first glance I noted two things: that the
actual edition and translation of the text take up just 32 pages
of the 244 pages in the book.  The introduction, notes and apparatus
- variant readings and other materials for the critical study of the
document - make up the rest; and that in his Foreword Dr. Ireland
chose to use the spelling "rôle", a likely sign of a healthy interest
in linguistic minutia. :)

Further reading has revealed this to be a very pleasing book: well
laid out, exactingly edited, carefully introduced, felicitously
translated, backed up by copious commentary, and, last but not least,
accurately printed on good paper and nicely bound by a publisher that
respects good book design.  Well worth the $28 I paid for it!

One of the first maxims I looked at in Ireland's book was one that
had caught my eye in Kuno Myer's early edition for its apparent snide
cynicism: "descaid gensa dímaisi", translated in the DIL as "homeliness
is a token of chastity", s.v. "dímaisse = uncomeliness, plainness".
Ireland's translation puts a kinder spin on it, interpreting "dímaise"
as a matter of personal choice rather than physiognomical fate:

"Descad gensa dímaise. -  Lack of adornment is a sign of chastity."

Dennis King

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