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6 Jun 2012 03:41 PM #1
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- Feb 2012
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- 17 Mar 2013 @ 12:36 AM
- Alameda, California
- Irish Recon (Bard)/North American medicine
Anyone else have this book?
A couple of weeks ago, I went to Barnes and Noble and found Who Were the Celts? by Kevin Duffy.
I flicked through it and still have trouble actually reading it. Here's what jumped out at me:
- Black-and-white (and REALLY mediocre) photos. I saw the two-page list of photos and went "MUST SEE THE PRETTY JEWELRY/CAULDRONS/WEAPONS." And then I actually looked at them and went, "Thank god I only paid 8$ for this." The photo of the Battersea Shield is particularly bad--I can only see the patterns on the top and bottom, while the middle of the shield is so dark that I can only see hints of it. And then I googled the Battersea Shield and went, "FKDJA;ANJA GORGEOUS COLORS."
Two more disservices are the photos of the Tara Brooch and the Book Of Kells. I can barely tell that the latter's pictures are supposed to be a book because none of them are clear, and the former looks nowhere near as gorgeous as Duffy's painstaking description of it (due yet again to the black and white photography).
- "Stirrups were invented by the Celts." No. Just a big, big NO. Stirrups were invented in Asia.
- Iffy information about the druids and bards, which completely leaves out the seer class. I understand that this is a "historical" book, but I don't think he's EVER mentioned the ovates/seers at all. Instead he focuses on how "Druid priests were slaughtered en masse by the EBILLLL ROMANS" and how super-special-awesome the bards/fili were. A worrying claim he makes is that "In modern times visitors to Celtic countries have reported meeting farmers or other "ordinary" [...] people who were capable of discoursing on philosophy or literature on a level more usually found among university graduates."
This smacks of Celt-biased propaganda, and as someone who's 1) actually a bard/fili and 2) is a college student, I can tell you that this would be bullshit. Most classical literature is easily accessible, but I've been set back more than once due to textbook costs and, oh, the difficulty of finding them in the first place. Once I ended up two weeks behind on schoolwork (pretty much failing the semester) because it took that long to get my books shipped to me.
And I just go to community college. Universities are EVEN WORSE. No way in hell can so many average people randomly find classic literature or philosophy texts and go, "Hey, this is neat! I'll spend 30-100$ on this obscure and/or gigantic book!"
That's not even getting into the clumsy formatting, the information's lack of cohesion, and how he slips up several times and calls bards/fili "minstrels."
He also seems to consider Welsh bards the same as Irish Fili. NO, JUST NO. If someone were to consider me a Welsh bard, I'd be incredibly rich and/or famous because enough people thought a twenty-two-year-old was god-awesome enough for that title. But instead I'm an Irish bard because while I am proficient at writing and performing, I lack the formal training of a fili. Same word, BIG difference.
Last edited by Sharysa; 6 Jun 2012 at 03:47 PM. Reason: leaving out an unecessary paragraph"The sadness, the doubt, all the loss, the grief, will belong to some play from the past; as the child leads the way to a dream, a belief, a time of hope through the land." -Ilse (Spring Awakening)
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