I was delighted to see your reference to Stokes' bowdlerization of the text
(a woman farting). For some reason, that action seems to be one of the
things which women might see as a difference between the sexes. Or, perhaps
it's only when men fart publically! Perhaps Stokes was concerned about the
Victorian or Edwardian concept of hiding prurience. When I studied OIr forty
plus years ago, that was not my major concern, so I find the whole scene
humourous, if you will excuse me. Dictionary editors have given euphemisms
for years about some to the text in Propertius, Ovid, and even Shakespeare.
----- Original Message -----
From: Francine Nicholson <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, 10 November, 1999 8:53 AM
Subject: RE: buiden léigind: Amrae Choluim Chille
> > 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
> 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,
> poem about a woman farting as she walked over a saint's grave made his
> 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,
> with his poor opinion of their poetic value.
> Francine Nicholson