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En 129
Early Irish Literature
9 units (3-0-6)  | third term
In the most recent Star Wars films, the young Jedi Rey finds Luke Skywalker hiding out on a remote island covered with ancient stone huts. These scenes were filmed in a real place: Skellig Micheal, a medieval monastic site off the coast of Ireland. What was the culture that produced this beautiful and strange place like? This course will introduce students to the literature and culture of early Ireland. We will read about a great war waged by the warrior queen Medbh to steal a famous bull; accounts of travel to a mysterious otherworld in the West; the story of the transformation of a king into a bird, cursed to live in tree tops and recite verse for the rest of his life; vicious and entertaining satirical poetry; and intricate poems written by professional poets for their powerful patrons. All texts will be read in English translation, but this course will also include a basic introduction to Irish, the Celtic language still spoken in Ireland, and the island's primary literary and popular language up to the modern era.
Instructor: Klement