Feast

Overview

Acclaimed historian and storyteller Randy Lee Eickoff returns to Celtic mythology with a modern translation of one of Ireland's most thrilling legends. Handed down by seanchai, who have sung this story as part of a boisterous oral tradition since the 8th century B.C., The Ulster Cycle was first written down in the 7th century by Medieval monks. From these illuminated manuscripts and the parchment copies that followed, came Fled Bricrend, the Cycle's most important tale, and one ...
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Overview

Acclaimed historian and storyteller Randy Lee Eickoff returns to Celtic mythology with a modern translation of one of Ireland's most thrilling legends. Handed down by seanchai, who have sung this story as part of a boisterous oral tradition since the 8th century B.C., The Ulster Cycle was first written down in the 7th century by Medieval monks. From these illuminated manuscripts and the parchment copies that followed, came Fled Bricrend, the Cycle's most important tale, and one of the most exiting and vital mythos to come out of Ireland.

The Feast picks up where Eickhoff's last translation, the acclaimed novel The Raid left off.

Author Biography: Randy Lee Eickhoff is an award-winning novelist, essayist and poet who has received grants from the National Endowment for Humanities. He is the author of Bowie, The Fourth Horseman and The Gombeen Man. Randy Lee Eickoff lives in El Paso, Texas.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Continuing his expansive retelling of the ancient Irish epic of Cuchulainn begun in The Raid (Forge, 1997), Eickhoff spotlights the swashbuckling and humorous tale of the feast of Fled Bricriu, god of mischief. Traversing between this and the "otherworld," three of Ireland's great mythic heroes enter into a battle of wits, swords, and elements to be named Champion of Conchobor of Nessa's realm in Ulster and win the accompanying privileges. As the competition unfolds, Bricriu sends them on a rollicking quest. What Eickhoff's modern retelling loses in poetic form it more than makes up for in colorful, lively prose, complete with a glossary that does much to enhance understanding of the historical context. Predating Sir Gaiwain and the Green Knight, this portion of the epic Ulster Cycle has been known since the eighth century. Readers of mythology and lovers of the richness that is Irish literature will find this modern retelling accessible and most entertaining.--Susan Gene Clifford, Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, CA
Kirkus Reviews
Historical storyteller Eickhoff turns out tight, compellingly grand novels, most recently the story of Cùchulainn, the greatest hero of Irish literature (The Raid, 1997), and, with coauthor Leonard C. Lewis, a masterful retelling of the life of Big Jim Bowie (Bowie, 1998). Now he returns to the Boy-Warrior Cùchulainn and picks up where The Raid left off. Like The Iliad and The Odyssey, The Raid and The Feast spring from bardic oral traditions dating back to 800 b.c., the Irish sagas having later been transcribed by monks. Eickhoff's recensions of the Ulster Cycle are taken from an 11th-century transcription containing the main stories of the cycle, including "Cattle Raid of Cooley" and "Bricriu's Feast" and telling of Iron Age Celtic culture as Cùchulainn's warriors fight for their rightful land. The best-known tales (many were lost) are about Cùchulainn's father, Conchobar, while others bear hints of Beowulf and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; the trickster Bricriu echoes the Norse trickster Loki. Eickhoff's translation from a nearly dead language offers a window into the past and reveals to Ireland today the values of its progenitors. Coming clearly through Eickhoff's his rolling periods is a raw sensuality suggesting that Irishmen in the dim past, like those today, could talk up a fearfully heady storm of words streaming with nose-catching rose-oil, all the while allowing for plenty of tugging and tumbling into rumpled sheets. A fine retelling of an ancient Irish saga. .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312866471
  • Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates, LLC
  • Publication date: 3/28/1999
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 254
  • Product dimensions: 5.76 (w) x 8.57 (h) x 1.07 (d)

Table of Contents

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