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Dear List.

After the rather cumbersome production of Hemprich's "Könige von Irland",
I am very happy to announce the forthcoming book:


Doris Edel:
Inside the Táin – Exploring Cú Chulainn, Fergus, Ailill, and Medb

Softcover, 384 pp, 2 maps, 2 figures, 1 diagram
ISBN: 978-3-942002-20-2

Preorder now for 32,10 € until the 25th of July (+ postage)
Price afterwards 39,90 €  (+ postage)

Delivery starts the 27th July 2015
– right after the ICCS for everybody who can't pick a copy at Glasgow 
... ;-)

This is the first literary-critical study of the Táin Bó Cúailnge in its 
entirety, and as an autonomous literary work. The key to a more deeply 
probing understanding of the semiliterate epic is the study of its 
characters: what they do and why they do it – why more important than 
what. Why reveals the differences between the various versions. Most 
promising is the multilayered Recension I, mainly preserved in Lebor na 
hUidre, which testifies of the keen interest of its compilers in the 
portrayal of the characters, while the version in the Book of Leinster, 
with its tendency to omit what might lessen the heroes’ prestige, pays 
for its greater unity with loss of depth.
The multifacetedness of the characters in the early version, combined 
with the deceptive simplicity of the plot, lends the work a remarkable 
pragmatism. Despite occasional baroque descriptions of battle frenzy, 
the main heroes Cú Chulainn and Fergus embody a heroism reined in by 
prudence. All through the war they do everything in their power to limit 
the use of force. Ailill and Medb represent a new type of 
ruler-entrepreneur, who seeks to realize his aim at the lowest possible 
cost and accepts failure matter-of-factly. So the epic has no fatal 
end-point. The greater part of the two armies are able return to their 
countries. The theme of mutual destruction is relegated to the Battle of 
the Bulls. The lasting antagonism between the North and the remainder of 
the island must have endowed the
Táin with contemporary significance at various points in time, as the 
allusions to (near-)contemporary events suggest.


All the best,
and a good start into the week!
Daniel

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