The Legend of St. Brendan: A Comparative Study of the Latin and Anglo-Norman Versions
"The Legend of St Brendan" is a study of two accounts of a voyage undertaken by Brendan, a sixth-century Irish saint. The immense popularity of the Latin version encouraged many vernacular translations, including a twelfth-century Anglo-Norman reworking of the narrative which excises much of the devotional material seen in the ninth-century "Navigatio Sancti Brendani abbatis" and changes the emphasis, leaving a recognisably secular narrative. The vernacular version focuses on marvellous imagery and the trials and tribulations of a long sea-voyage. Together the two versions demonstrate a movement away from hagiography towards adventure. Studies of the two versions rarely discuss the elements of the fantastic. Following a summary of authorship, audiences and sources, this comparative study adopts a structural approach to the two versions of the Brendan narrative. It considers what the fantastic imagery achieves and addresses issues raised with respect to theological parallels.
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the man and the manuscripts
from the familiar to the fantasticuncanny
from the fantasticuncanny to the marvellous
Chapter Four The mirrors of salvation
A.N. Voyage abbot Anglo-Norman Literature Anglo-Norman Voyage anxieties Barrindus Benedeit Bibliothèque Book of Lismore Brendan Legend Brendan narrative brethren Burgess caput Celtic century chapter Christian claustrophobia community of Ailbe conﬂicts of monsters coracle Crystal Column damnation deﬁnition describes descriptions Deserted Citadel didactic message discussed divine early Irish echtra elements encounter example familiar fantastic imagery fantastic-uncanny ﬁnal ﬁnd ﬁre ﬁrst ﬁsh ﬂaming Freud genre God’s hagiography Húi Corra Ibid inﬂuence Intoxicating Spring Ireland Island of Sheep Jasconius journey Judas Iscariot Judas’s land Latin literary Literature London Máel Dúin manuscripts Medieval monastery monastic monks motif Navigatio Navigatio Sancti Brendani neutral angels observes Otherworld Paradise of Birds Paul the Hermit Plummer presented pure fantastic recognise reﬂect represents respite romance Saint Brendan scene secular Selmer spiritual St Brendan Stokes Strijbosch suggests supernatural supernumeraries Terra repromissionis sanctorum Three Choirs Todorov’s model translation uncanny versions Vita Brendani Voyage of St Waters