On 20/4/05 11:09, "David Stifter" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Well, there were a couple of paragraphs in BaBr where the
> descriptions couldn't actually be considered complimentary. From this
> point of view, "small wisdom" isn't unfitting.
I agree absolutely that the text can of course be uncomplimentary, it's just
that I find it a bit of a switch in this paragraph. (I have suggested a
possible reading with "laiget" but remaining complimentary in another
I find myself particularly intrigued by a number of the paragraphs that have
come up since I became aware of this forum, especially this one and §48.
These share certain characteristics of style and possibly also of theme and
The more obvious trait is that of (opposing) pairs - those we have seen here
and umaloiti-uaisli in §48. There would seem to be further word-play (e.g.
fán and glend) and layered meaning in both paragraphs. The writing in them
seems of a different quality to that in some of the other paragraphs I have
Reference to practices of penitence or castigation can be detected in §48
and §56 also and I wonder if the writer might in fact turn out to have had a
bit of an agenda in regard to the type of 10th century churchman he admired
and those about whom he was more dubious. (While I say "writer", I suppose
it would be more careful to write "writer/compiler" as that question may
also have to remain open. I should probably also say that this "agenda"
need not be his one and only reason for the text, merely that a certain
attitude may be betrayed in the text.)
Of course the sample of paragraphs which I have read (some only very
passively and many without the necessary context) is much less than your
sample of the whole text.
I would be interested in your and other list members' opinion on whether you
feel a similarity between §48 and §56, whether any such similarity is
distinguishing or significant, if there are other paragraphs of the same
On the thematic side, do people recall paragraphs where ascetic practice,
piety or chastity are treated in an uncomplimentary way? Or occasions where
politically appointed abbots or hereditary dynastic churchmen are extolled
without reference to their individual holiness or learning?
Yes, of course, I will go and read it all myself again but just thought
throwing it open to discussion might be interesting.
(I should probably have added "Attitudes to Ascetism" or suchlike to the
title of this message. Maybe others will do so in replying if, with their
wider reading of the text, they consider the topic to merit discussion.)