• Calendar,  Celtic Myth,  Games Fairies Play,  Music

    Tam Lin: Love, Sacrifice, and Halloween

    I can’t really think about Halloween, or Samain, if you prefer, without thinking of the ballad of “Tam Lin,” especially this part:   And ance it fell upon a day A cauld day and a snell, When we were frae the hunting come, That frae my horse I fell, The Queen o’ Fairies she caught me, In yon green hill to dwell. And pleasant is the fairy land, But, an eerie tale to tell, Ay at the end of seven years We pay a teind to hell; I am sae fair and fu o flesh, I’m feard it be mysel. But the night is Halloween, lady, The morn is Hallowday;…

  • Celtic Myth,  Games Fairies Play

    They are fairies; he that speaks to them shall die: Speech and Silence in Medieval Fairy Narratives Kalamazoo 2008

    I’m going to be doing a link-post to others who are blogging Kalamazoo, and maybe add some general impressions of my own, in a bit. I’ve uploaded my paper on medieval fairies, and speech and silence in Sir Orfeo, Thomas of Erceldoune, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight “‘They are fairies; he that speaks to them shall die’: Speech and Silence in Medieval Fairy Narratives” here. Mostly I’m smug that I aimed for a fifteen minute paper, and I nailed it, even though it meant reducing about twelve thousand words to three thousand.

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  • Celtic Myth,  Games Fairies Play,  History

    Bridget Cleary, Sex, Death, Fairies and Other

    This is the third in a series of posts about fairies as other. I promised, in my first post, to concentrate on fairies as other, particularly in the context of sex and death, because, as MacAllister Stone notes “other is all about sex and death.” Last time I looked at the tragic death of Bridget Cleary, burned because her husband Michael thought Bridget was the victim of a fairy abduction. This time I want to look at the story of Bridget Cleary in the context of sex and death. In Bridget Cleary we have a woman who is seen as other, an outsider in her community because of her differences,…

  • Celtic Myth,  Games Fairies Play

    Medieval Fairies as Other

    MacAllister Stone has been posting a series about the roles of the other in spec fic. You can find Part I Magical Negroes, expendable queers, and other well-worn tropes here, Part II here, and Part III, or, The Magical Other here. Part IV is likely to appear some day in the future. I wanted to pick up on two observations MacAllister makes that particularly intrigued me because they deal with the role of fairies as the øther in medieval literature. It’s something I’ve been thinking about quite a lot. First, MacAllister Stone defines Other as a term to describe the phenomenon of the outsider, particularly in fiction, who represents some…