David scríbas (12 Mar 2004):
> I just happened to have started reading OIr. genealogies with
> my students yesterday. A most boring piece of literature they
In Lewis Carroll's original English version of Alice in Wonderland,
the Mouse proposes to dry out the wet animals by reciting the "the
driest thing I know", which turns out to be the history of the
Norman invasion. In Nicholas Williams' new translation of "Alice"
into Irish, "an rud is tirime" turns out to be... Irish genealogy!
To wit, "Ar shliocht Breasail Bhéalaigh mic Fiachach Aiceadha atá
Mac Murchadha. Ar shliocht Rossa Fáiligh mic Cathaoir Mhóir atá
Ó Conchubhair Fáilghe agus Ó Díomasaigh agus Ó Dúinn agus clann
Cholgan amhail adéaram dá éis-so...." ;-)
This is the second translation of Alice that has appeared in Irish,
the first being by Pádraig Ó Cadhla in 1922. The new translation
is quite lovely, and includes John Tenniel's original 19th century
Since we're working on Echtra Nerai, it might be worth pointing
out that the title of the 1922 translation is _Eachtradh Eibhlís
i dTír na nIongantas_. For both Nerae and Alice/Eibhlís, a trip
to an "otherworld" is an "echtra". The title of Williams' new
translation is nearly identical: _Eachtraí Eilíse i dTír na
nIontas_. The difference here is that "eachtraí" is in the plural:
not a single "going out of the known world", but rather the more
modern meaning, "adventures".