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Apr. 28th, 2012

Arthurian Things post #4 - Favorite Arthurian book pt 1

So [info]kabal42 suggested I do a post on my favorite Arthurian books. I have two, though both are only tangential to Arthurian lit. I'll do one today and one (hopefully) tomorrow (I do keep forgetting to do these posts...bad girl).

So the first I'll cover is the Mabinogoin (pronunciation for those interested: Mah-bin-oh-gee-in).

This is my copy, though there are at least as many versions of it as there are Arthurian legends. I've linked it to an online version, for those who are interested in reading it, though I'm not sure how long the link will be good for.

The Mabinogoin is a collection of Celtic (mostly) Welsh tales from the ages before and around the early Medieval period. Because of the timing of these tales, King Arthur is often mentioned, because by the Norman conquest of England, he was a popular folk hero in a dark time, so minstrels would connect their stories to him in order to make them feel more heroic, and in some ways, more real.

I remember getting copies of some version of these tales when we went to England when I was in 5th grade. I have no clue where they went, or if my parents still have them, but I remember coming home and just devouring them like candy. I think these and the English Fairy Tales and More English Fairy Tales books are the beginning of my love affair for Fairy Tales, but the Arthurian connection in the Mabinogoin always lingered in my mind as well.

The various editions generally cover 11 tales (some adding other Welsh tales, some taking out others) that focus on Celtic heroes and romances from ancient Britain. The texts were likely originally transcribed by welsh or English monks who had heard them as youths, though no one is entirely sure of their true origins, as with most myth and legend.

Of the legends generally included are two particular tales:  Culhwch and Olwen, and The Dream of Rhoabwy, both of which mention Arthur, though neither focuses on him as a character. Rather, they focus on others in the time of Arthur, who have some tangential connection to him.

Tomorrow, I'll cover a more historical work: The Celtic Heroic Age.

But for now, I'll leave with a question: What's your favorite Arthurian work? Or works, if you have more than one.

Aug. 12th, 2007

Review time! Stardust

My first movie review on IJ. 

And a good one, too.  For those of you who don't know, yet, I'm a huge fairy tale nut.  Stardust is the sort of story that manages to catch every bit of that love and throw it back to me.  Gaiman is a genius.  The plot is light and silly, but at the same time, manages to catch every bit of the wonder that makes the Grimm tales so enticing.  In a way that movies like Ladyhawke and The Brothers Grimm do not.

I highly recommend it.

Spoiler details under the cut )

My overall impression?  Excellent movie.  We'll be buying it as soon as we can.  Go see it.