West Irish Folk Tales and Romances

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Kessinger Publishing, Apr 1, 2004 - Literary Collections - 288 pages
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1893. The following is a wonderful summary of Larminie's view of folk tales told in his own words: They [folk tales] bear the stamp of the genius of more than one race. The pure and placid but often cold imagination of the Aryan has been at work on some. In others we trace the more picturesque fancy, the fierceness and sensuality, the greater sense of artistic elegance belonging to races whom the Aryan, in spite of his occasional faults of hardness and coarseness, has, on the whole, left behind him. But as the greatest results in the realm of the highest art have always been achieved in the case of certain blends of Aryan with other blood, I should hardly deem it extravagant if it were asserted that in the humbler regions of the folk-tale we might trace the working of the same law. The process which has gone on may in part have been as follows: Every race which has acquired very definite characteristics must have been for a long time isolated. The Aryans during their period of isolation probably developed many of their folk-germs into their larger myths, owing to the greater constructiveness of their imagination, and thus, in a way, they used up part of their material. Afterwards, when they became blended with other races less advanced, they acquired fresh material to work on. We have in Ireland an instance to hand, of which a brief discussion may help to illustrate the whole race theory. Partial Contents: The Gloss Gavlen; Morraha; King Mananaun; The Servant of Poverty; and The Red Pony.

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