Monday, February 05, 2007

Gaeilge Abú!

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.

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