Celtic Studies Books
These are posts discussing Celtic studies books. That includes book reviews and books about ancient Celts or Celtic languages or Celtic myth and literatures. Some of the books I discuss or include in book lists discuss Medieval literature, Middle English, Old English or Old Norse literatures and languages. Celtic studies books include books about Celtic Arthurian myths, druids, bog bodies, Medieval Irish or Medieval Welsh, or Irish, Welsh, Cornish and Scottish folklore, or Medieval Irish or Welsh manuscripts. I frequently discuss books about Celtic illuminated manuscripts like the Book of Kells or The Book of Lindisfarne. I also discuss other medieval manuscripts, like Lebor na Huidre, the Book of the Dun Cow, and the Book of Leinster. The books in question may be printed books, or Celtic ebooks. I like both printed codex books, and ebooks. I also read and write about Celtic books that are related to Celtic inspired fantasy and SF.
Free Art History Ebooks from The Getty and The MMA
Both The Getty and The Metropolitan Museum of Art are releasing digital books (.pdfs) of their own publications about their collections as a “virtual library.” These books are complete .pdf versions of the print bersions, and are free to download. Here’s The Getty’s list of free downloadable books. Here’s The Metropolitan Museum of Ar’s list of free downloadable art history publications. See also catalogs from other museums that are participating in the Getty-sponsored Online Scholarly Catalogue Initiative.
Free Ebook from RIA: Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks
Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks was edited by Fintan O’Toole and Catherine Marshall. The book, available as an ebook and as a printed book, traces the story of Ireland’s creative output from the revolutionary period until today. The book consists of 100 artworks created from 1916 (the year of the Easter Rising) to 2015, using each year as a spring board to trace the cultural history of Ireland. The works include visual works (paintings, sculptures, architecture) as well as literary; images of the visual works are included. The literary works are represented only by allusion and discussion in the short essays accompanying each piece. It’s interesting, though I suspect more interesting the…
The Book of Aneirin Digitized and Online
The 13th Century Book of Aneirin has been completely digitized and placed online. This is one of the four major Welsh mss. mostly known because it contains the text of Y Goddodin, an epic poem retelling the historic battle of Catraeth wherein 300 Men from Manaw Gododdin, near Edinburgh, fought the Saxons at Catraeth (modern day Catterick, North Yorkshire) around the year 600AD. Only three of the Britons survived the battle, one of whom, the poet Aneirin, commemorates the fallen. This is the last of the Four Ancient Books of Wales to be digitized and made publicly available. The other three books are: The Black Book of Carmarthen The Book of Taliesin The Red Book…
Lady Charlotte Guest
The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography’s “Life of the Week” post this week is a biography of Lady Charlotte Guest, the translator of the Mabinogion, including the four mabinogi proper, as well as the three Welsh tales, and the four Arthurian romances, as well as several other tales, including the prose Taliesin fragment from the sixteenth century, edited by Patrick Ford as the Ystoria Taliesin in 1991. Lady Guest’s translation, with the accompanying notes, is actually quite wonderful; it was the first translation I ever read, and it still remains well-worth reading. It has become fashionable to sneer at her—and imply that she wasn’t responsible for the work. She was;…
Amazon: “an embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error”
From the Seattle PI blog, quoting Amazon spokesperson Drew Herdener: This is an embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error for a company that prides itself on offering complete selection. It has been misreported that the issue was limited to Gay & Lesbian themed titles–in fact, it impacted 57,310 books in a number of broad categories such as Health, Mind & Body, Reproductive & Sexual Medicine, and Erotica. This problem impacted books not just in the United States but globally. It affected not just sales rank but also had the effect of removing the books from Amazon’s main product search. Many books have now been fixed and we’re in the process of…
Amazon Rankings Reek of Homophobia and Puritanism
On Amazon.com beginning April 10, 2009, sales rankings of hundreds of books Amazon considers to be gay and lesbian began disappearing. These are not porn, most aren’t even romance or erotica. These are all books that Amazon subject metadata identifies as having gay and/or lesbian interest. Mark Probst, author and publisher, broke the news here. He wrote to Amazon as a publisher, and received this response: In consideration of our entire customer base, we exclude “adult” material from appearing in some searches and best seller lists. Since these lists are generated using sales ranks, adult materials must also be excluded from that feature. Hence, if you have further questions, kindly…
Le Figaro Stings French Vanity Publishers
Via Anne Weale’s Bookworm on the Net, I read this Times UK article about a French variant on the Travis Tea Atlanta Nights sting perpetrated by SFWA upon vanity “publisher” PublishAmerica. French newspaper Le Figaro submitted a copy of Gustave Flaubert’s exceedingly well-known and much beloved nineteenth century novel, Madame Bovary to the five largest French vanity presses, or in French l’édition à compte d’auteur. Le Figaro changed the names of all the characters, the title, and the author, attributing their plagiarized masterpiece to one Charles-Denis-Bartholomé, the father-in-law of heroine Emma Bovary. Flaubert’s novel is so well known, and Flaubert’s style so marked, that these cosmetic changes shouldn’t have made…
The thing is progressing, still, which is good. But in the meantime, I thought I’d indulge by sharing some truly wonderfully awful writing. There’s a shady-not-really-professional POD “publisher” called PublishAmerica. A number of professional writers, editors, and copy editors, mostly from the fields of fantasy and science fiction, many of them author advocates, abetted by two teenagers, and a text generator, decided to find out once and for all if PublishAmerica will truly publish anything. They will. Each writer contributed a chapter, following a chapter by chapter skeleton outline for a novel (remember Naked Came the Stranger?). These writers engaged in public cacosyntheton, synchisis, acyrologia, alleotheta, amphibologia, anacoluthon, and every…
The Macclesfield Psalter
I’m going to cheat by starting with an excerpt from a press release sent out by a British cultural charity, the National Art Collections Fund. The National Art Collections Fund is spearheading the campaign to save the remarkable 14th-century Macclesfield Psalter for the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. The Macclesfield Psalter is a jewel-like treasury consisting of 252 richly-illustrated pages providing a fascinating record of medieval English humour, and teeming with highly surreal and imaginative marginal illustrations. This exquisite manuscript was sold to the Getty Museum, California, at auction in June for £1,717,335. However, the Government’s export system, which recognised the outstanding importance of the Psalter to this country, gave the UK…
When Bad Things Happen to Good Writers, Or: Earthsea in Clorox
Ursula Le Guin speaks out regarding the wretched Earthsea miniseries: To this they replied that the TV audience is much larger, and entirely different, and changes to a book’s story and characters were of no importance to them. Via Bill Higgins, in a Making Light comment thread, who also pointed me here.