Work-in-Progress Seminar: "Leprechauns, lake monsters, and gullible husbands: the 13th century Death of Fergus"

  • Date: –17:00
  • Location: Engelska parken Room 16-1044
  • Lecturer: Gregory Darwin, Associate Professor in Irish, Department of English, Uppsala
  • Organiser: Department of English, Uppsala University
  • Contact person: Daniel Kane
  • Seminarium

This seminar will focus on a thirteenth-century Irish text, Imthechta Tuaithe Luchra ocus Aided Fergusa or ‘The adventures of the Tuath Luchra, and the violent death of Fergus’, which combines a retelling of a 9th-century account of Fergus’ violent death at the hands of a monster dwelling in Dundrum bay with a burlesque, almost Rabelaisian account of the eponymous Tuath Luchra, beings whom we can identify with the leprechauns of modern folklore. Despite the unusual and interesting nature of this text, and it’s possible role as a source for Swift’s Gullivers Travels, the last edition and translation was the heavily censored one offered by Standish O’Grady in his Silva Gadelica (1892). In this seminar, we will discuss the process of creating a new edition and translation, and explore some of the questions raised by this text regarding genre, poetics, high and low culture, and humour in medieval Ireland.

A copy of a draft translation of the work will be circulated prior to the seminar.