16.71 The Tain (Penguin Classics)

ISBN 13: 9780140455304

The Tain (Penguin Classics)

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9780140455304: The Tain (Penguin Classics)

'[A] brilliant and altogether engaging new translation' (Los Angeles Times) of the greatest epic in Irish literature

The Tain Bo Cualinge, centrepiece of the eighth-century Ulster cycle of heroic tales, is Ireland's great epic, on par with Beowulf and The Aeneid. The story of the emergence of a hero, a paean to the Irish landscape, and a bawdy and contentious marital farce, The Tain tells of a great cattle-raid, the invasion of Ulster by the armies of Medb and Ailill, Queen and King of Connacht, and their allies, seeking to carry off the great Brown Bull of Cualige. The hero of the tale is Cuchulainn, the Hound of Ulster, who resists the invaders single-handed while Ulster's warriors lie sick. In its first translation in forty years, Ciaran Carson brings this seminal work of Irish literature fully to life, capturing all of its visceral power in what acclaimed poets Seamus Heaney and Paul Muldoon individually called one of the best books of the year. 

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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About the Author:

Ciaran Carson was born in Belfast in 1948. His poetry collections include The New Estate; The Irish for No, Belfast Confetti, which won the Irish Book Award and was shortlisted for the Whitbread Prize; First Language, which won the T.S. Eliot Prize; Opera et Cetera, which was a UK Poetry Book Society Choice; and The Twelfth of Never and The Ballad of HMS Belfast. He has written two prose books, The Pocket Guide to Irish Traditional Music and Last Night's Fun and one novel, Shamrock Tea. He is a member of Aosdána and lives in Belfast.

From Publishers Weekly:

Loosely translated as The Cattle Raid of Cooley, the Táin Bó Cúailnge is part of the 80-story, multiauthor Ulster Cycle, an Irish epic that dates to the eighth century. Rendered in laconic vernacular prose by veteran poet and translator Carson, The Táin (pronounced toyne) opens on the pillow talk of King Ailill of Connacht and his boastful wife, Queen Mebd. Reckoning that her husband has one greater asset than she, namely, the prize white-horned bull, Finnbennach, the queen enlists the entire army of Connacht to wage war against Cúailnge, a province of Ulster, in order to secure its fine brown bull. As the army moves into Ulster, it is led by Fergus, a former king of Ulster now in exile who remains sympathetic to the Ulster side and to his 17-year-old foster son, Cú Chulainn, whose youthful exploits Fergus recounts. Three-day hand-to-hand combat pits Cú Chulainn against his beloved foster-brother, Fer Diad Mac Damáin; at the climax, the white and brown bulls come face to face. The narrative revels in place names and their etymologies, telling story upon story. Carson's version is a lively and vivid journey through a mythic landscape. (Feb.)
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2009. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Original. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Tain Bo Cualinge, centrepiece of the eighth-century Ulster cycle of heroic tales, is Ireland s great epic. It tells the story of a great cattle-raid, the invasion of Ulster by the armies of Medb and Ailill, Queen and King of Connacht, and their allies, seeking to carry off the great Brown Bull of Cualige. The hero of the tale is Cuchulainn, the Hound of Ulster, who resists the invaders single-handed while Ulster s warriors lie sick. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780140455304

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