The purpose of the overview is to afford the reader insight into how evidence is extracted from its sources when approached from a variety of perspectives. The author supplements this outline by acknowledging certain issues scholars encounter through the use of one approach or another in this field of study. Ó Cathasaigh structures his overview by drawing on a system derived from the work of Mark Abrams that divides the content of the article into four distinct sections; the work, the artist, the universe, and the audience. Ó Cathasaigh notes that even though the work should be and is frequently at the heart of any scholarly inquiry, the artist and the universe just as often find themselves a central focus considering the unique context of early Irish literature. A fifth and final section includes an excerpt from Cath Maige Tuired and commentary in order to demonstrate the pract...
... middle of paper ...
... Murphy’s inclination toward the oral tradition carries more weight considering the Christian influence is felt only with minor inclusions along the lines of the reference to the Holy Spirit in the excerpt. The mimetic perspective is discussed briefly with the possibility of an actual Celtic chief having possessed a silver prosthetic limb and is followed by the Generation Conflict as a focal point and source of debate for mythological and textualist critics. In concluding his overview, Ó Cathasaigh highlights the significance of early Irish narrative as a unique and invaluable body of literature brought about by the coalescence of two distinct cultures.
Tomás Ó Cathasaigh, ‘Pagan survivals: the evidence of early Irish narrative’, in P. Ni Chathain and M. Richter (eds), Irland und Europa: die Kirche in Fruhmittelalter (Stuttgard, 1984), pp. 291-307.
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