minstrel: Cultural Transmigration (was The Coming of Spring)
J. Michael Shew
jshewkc at pei.edu
Thu Jan 16 21:06:29 PST 1997
Okay Thomas, you can buy the first round. But I reserve the
second...By the by, do you like Guiness? (he chuckes evily....)
Wayland/Volund is the main character in one of the tales I have
sent to this list. As a shapechanger, he is second rate. (In that tale
he does not shift at all! In the second, he becomes a badger!)
Norse shapeshifters normally weren't the good guys. However, you
should note that the valkyries were sometimes "adopted daughters" of Odin,
and many, like Helgi's lover, were human. They could become swans or
wolves at will.
As to the "Giegeresque" transformations of the Celts in the warp
throes, well, this might have something to do with the fact that many of
the heroes mentioned were not seen by the poets themselves. The Norse saw
their berserks often on the streets. It's hard to live up to one's press
when it includes really cool FX like those!
EEEEEEEEEE! Research alert! Patricks Deer's Cry is not
Patrick's. It belongs to the latter day poetry, Post 800. The dear old
Snake Charmer didn't write down the poetry he did. Like most of the Norse
stuff we have today, it was copied down by Patrican Monks who kept the
libraries in Ireland and Norway.
So the comparison is valid. Also that does explain a lot of the
similarities. You see the Norse had a choice: Paper from plants that
didn't grow in Norway, Or paper from animal hides, which meant you had to
kill the sheep that you had growing wool for you. Limited grazing, no
So the only written records outside of late Icelandic works that
survived were the ones the Patrican Monks kept, even after the Roman
church came in and declared all that stuff "bad juju!"
(Hey, that means the Christians did something right! Way to go,
This also might account for the lack of some really similar
material. The Patricans were really interested in literature, but not
real concerned about being good librarians. I can see some monk, Fra.
Seamus, saying "aye, tis good verse here, but my own dear countryman did
HMMMMM...Irish Censorship. Can I claim a foul?
Mikal the Ram; an annoying Bard of no redeeming qualities
__________________________(jshewkc at pei.edu)________________________________
That he is bright, let no man boast
But take good heed of his tounge
The silent sage , will seldom need grief
They are honored here in the hall
A friend more faithful, you will never find
Than a shrewd head on your shoulders
The Hamaval (translation mine)
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