Oral past and written present in ‘The Finding of the Táin’

Grigory Bondarenko

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    Pre-Christian Irish culture as any pre-literate society and culture was governed by the traditional type of memory. The medieval Irish texts on the other hand witness gradual shift from this type of memory towards the historical one. The historical type of memory is characterised by its special attention to causes and effects, and to results of actions: this memory fixes crops for particular years but not the sowing-time. This type of memory causes written history to appear on the cultural level (Lotman 2000, 364). It is more or less clear that this shift could not have been an instantaneous one especially as we know that the early medieval Irish filid retained forms of the early traditional type of memory during the whole period of Middle Ages. Certain stories from the dindshenchas and certain tales devoted to exemplary characters fulfilled mnemonic functions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)18-24
    JournalUlidia 2
    Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2009


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