Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry by W.B.Yeats, Social Science, Folklore & Mythology

Fairy and Folk Tales of the Irish Peasantry by W.B.Yeats, Social Science, Folklore & Mythology

by William Butler Yeats (Editor)


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According to Yeats the fear gorta walks the earth during times of famine, seeking alms from passers-by. In this version the fear gorta can be a potential source of good luck for generous individuals.

If you are a stranger, you will not readily get ghost and fairy legends, even in a western village. You must go adroitly to work, and make friends with the children and the old men, with those who have not felt the pressure of mere daylight existence, and those with whom it is growing less, and will have altogether taken itself off one of these days. The old women are most learned, but will not so readily be got to talk, for the fairies are very secretive and much resent being talked of and are there not many stories of old women who were nearly pinched into their graves or numbed with fairy blasts. At sea, when the nets are out and the pipes are lit, then will some ancient hoarder of tales become loquacious, telling his histories to the tune of the creaking of the boats. Holy-eve night, too, is a great time, and in old days many tales were to be heard at wakes. But the priest have set their faces against wakes. In the Parochial Survey of Ireland it is recorded how the storytellers used to gather together of an evening and if any had a different version from the others, they would all recite theirs and vote and the man who had varied would have to abide by their verdict. In this way stories have been handed down with such accuracy, that the long tale of Dierdre was, in the earlier decades of this century, told almost word for word, as in the very ancient MSS. in the Royal Dublin Society.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780809564903
Publisher: Alan Rodgers Books
Publication date: 09/01/2004
Pages: 380
Sales rank: 898,367
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

William Butler Yeats (1865 - 1939) was an Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of 20th-century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, he helped to found the Abbey Theatre and in his later years served as an Irish Senator for two terms, and was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival along with Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn and others, founded the Abbey Theater, where he served as its chief during its early years. In 1923, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature as the first Irishman so honored for what the Nobel Committee described as "inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation". Yeats is considered to be one of the few writers who completed their greatest works after being awarded the Nobel Prize.

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