I’ve been reading stories from the Ulster Cycle the past two weeks. Randy Lee Eickhoff has done an excellent job translating them into an English I can relate to. Thomas Kinsella’s version of the Tain Bo Culain I had tried to read before, but couldn’t get into it. Of course it took a trip to Texas to really get an intuitive grip on the story at all (seeing all the cowboy stuff in Texas helped me to understand herding and cattle raids in a way closer to home for this American). Anyway, it’s come back around as something for me to delve into again.
Also, while in Texas I found some used books by Steve Blamires that I bought. They’ve been sitting on the shelf unread the past 2 1/2 years but now they see to have some useful stuff for me, particularly in The Irish Celtic Magical Tradition: Ancient Wisdom of the Battle of Moytura. And Randy Lee Eickhoff is a Texan too. He wrote some cowboy books. Don’t know what it is about the Texas-Irish connection for me but there seems to be one? (I didn’t enjoy actually being in Texas all that much though.)
One of the things I’ve found while looking into the Ulster Cycle is this 21 minute animation of the Tain made for the band the Decemberists who did a music EP of the same name. Their lyrics don’t always seem to relate as far as I can tell to the story, but the animation is awesome. If you don’t like the music you can turn the sound down, as it stands on its own, or put your own soundtrack to it. Just thought I’d share for people’s viewing pleasure.