Friday, February 23, 2007
Have finally begun work on the last Chronicle, The Book of Dreams, after weeks of dithering, recovering from flu, and exploring my Buddhist leanings. The e-files are broken down into chapters, I've been reading and making notes, and now I am drawing up the big wall chart that shows me what is happening in each chapter. So there I am, working away on the chart, when in comes Hamish, a big fat wet cat who walks right across it and leaves muddy paw prints all over it. Appropriately enough, I guess, since he appears in Chapter 3 as the King of Cats. And I'm delighted it's raining. That's why Ireland has so many writers. What else is there to do when it's lashing outside?
Thursday, February 15, 2007
Heard today that the Japanese edition of The Book of Dreams will be published in April of this year. Can't wait to see it! I understand it will be in two volumes. Kodansha do the most exquisite covers and there are always smaller illustrations at the beginning of the book such as this one at the front of The Summer King (Granuaile's galley). I'll post some of their other illustrations plus the maps of Ireland in Japanese. Honestly, I just adore foreign translations. They are so exciting.
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Copies of the Slovenian edition of The Summer King arrived today. Findabhair took one look at Ian on the cover and said, "hello, hello." There is a nice pattern to the artwork of this Slovenian series. Each cover depicts attractive young people and a central image of a moon disc with the shadow of an animal figure featured in the tales, i.e. here you see Laheen, the great golden eagle. The Light-Bearer's Daughter cover (see below) shows the shadow of Dana's wolf guardian, while The Hunter's Moon cover (in the archives) presents the Faerie king on his horse. Nicely done.
Monday, February 05, 2007
I have written in my personal blog about Mark Abley's Spoken Here, a book concerning endangered languages. Here I want to speak about its relevance to my own work. The use of the Irish language in The Chronicles of Faerie is no light matter. Yes, its chief role is literary. As the true language of Irish síscealta - fairy tales - it bows towards the Source, the creative Well of my ancestors, from which I draw my inspiration. Thematically, it implies esoteric and ancient knowledge; the power of arcane words which can 'spellbind.' It is also used to enhance the poetic and lyrical weave of the text. Like Tolkien's elvish languages, Irish is a silver thread that shimmers through the stories. But there is another reason why I use it. A political and racial one. As Abley clearly points out, our mother tongues will only survive when we go beyond cherishing them and insist on using them.