Is e seo mo dara leamh de Seacht Bua. I gcoir an leamh seo thog me amach an clo deas a chuir Sairseal agus Dill amach (bail O Dhia oraibh!) timpeall 1966. The Gaeilge of O Conaire is a suppose what you would call ‘limpid’ in English, the pages where he describes nature in Ceoltoiri are lovely, just for starters. Ceoltoiri is so out of the possible that it is surreal, in fact it reminded me of Salvador Dali’s (only) novel Hidden Faces, where the characters are so unlikely. The meeting of an mathair with an ceoltoir dall is totally surreal and in fact it’s this meeting that put Dali in mind, as the meeting of Veronica with the Count Grandsailles must surely be one of the most extraordinary in literature. Well here’s one in Gaeilge. (If this was a book club we could have a great time proposing our favourite meetings in lit, like David Copperfield with his aunt – I think?).
The beirt Mna did not work for me – however did the old lady account for the letters – and Anam an easpag was too light, besides which it irritated me constantly having to read an easpag here and an t-easpag there (when will our language shake off this archaic stuff of putting letters before words for no reason at all). Now I am into Be, a great heroine, all limpid Gaeilge, and one’s knowledge of the Eiri Amach eerily fitting your understanding of the plot, like when the hero is trailed to a tobacconist’s shop.
Claisic an Gaeilge – 4 realtai (as 5). Why do we have to rank it out of 10, its normally 5 for books.