> From: David Stifter [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
> Whitley Stokes is one of the greatest figures of Irish scholarship,
> and maybe nobody will surpass him in the number of texts he
> edited. But his attitude towards the texts he edited at times seems
> to have been more than questionable.
For the record, Stokes also regarded the texts with what we might
call a Victorian or Edwardian attitude. If he found a passage at all
distasteful or vulgar, he translated it into Latin, not English, so that it
would be available only to scholars and not those who might read the texts
only out of "prurient" interest, I suppose. The passage did not have to be
particularly outrageous by modern standards to offend Stokes. For example, a
poem about a woman farting as she walked over a saint's grave made his list
of offensive passages.
While Stokes' attitude was not unique for his time, I think it's
important to keep in mind that this was the way he regarded the texts, along
with his poor opinion of their poetic value.