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Meeting the Other Crowd Paperback – January 29, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
The folklorist is obsessed with the collection and sharing of Ireland's old stories. Realizing that the old ways -- sharing stories over a peat fire or a pint -- are in danger of extinction in modern Ireland, Lenihan moves mountains to find tales before they're lost and forgotten in the wake of television and technology. Meeting the Other Crowd: The Fairy Stories of Hidden Ireland is Lenihan's latest effort to share and preserve those tales.
Worth the cover price alone is Lenihan's lengthy introduction, which discusses Ireland's vanishing oral tradition, as well as ancient and modern perceptions of fairy stories. Ireland may be a player in the international field of the 21st century, but that doesn't mean the people there -- even the younger generation -- discount entirely the lore that forms the bedrock of their society. And maybe, just maybe, there is still good reason to believe....
Yet I am not so sentimental as to imagine that people can be other than creatures of their time and place. And our time and place is a world, a society that emphasizes the technological rather than the personal (despite what advertisers might have us believe), the superficial and fleeting rather than the profound, the commercial at the expense of the communal. All these changes have their price, and the casualties we can see all around us. (12)
Here, Lenihan speaks for all of us who witness the recent decades that have transformed the physical and spiritual Irish landscapes irrevocably. Lenihan's compilation of oral testimony, mainly gathered from the region, witnesses a less manicured environment. There, ringforts survive as fairy redoubts, lights dance and dust puffs as evidence of fairy activity, and those of us who dare to cross to their side live shortly or longer afterwards, seemingly at the whim of beings diminished in size but not in power. Speaking Irish, hurling, dancing, they represent the survival of a "hidden Ireland" refusing to capitulate to the modern age, just as Daniel Corkery wrote, perhaps romantically I admit, of the 18c bards clinging to the their remnants of an indigenous Munster mentality. Lenihan's collected accounts of rural informants tell us of an era that may, I hazard, hearken back to a "race memory" of the Iron Age, as the indigenous people retreated before the triumph of the unbending ax and the steely blade, so that their descendants the Tuatha de Danaan cringe before the mower's scythe or the spalpeen's knife, while we flee from their nocturnal hegemony across flowing water to at least temporary refuge.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I truly believe in fairies now. Def wouldn't mind if they kidnapped mePublished 9 months ago by Ariana
I like this book BUT am disappointed that 99 % of the fairies in this book are sinister.
I've studied metaphisics for years and am well versed in the world of spirits, spirit... Read more
I don't know why anybody would want to forget these fairy legends. I don't know why people would abandon the Celtic harp. These are the heart and soul of an ancient people. Read morePublished 21 months ago by seagypsy
I didn't like the style of writing. I don't like the ol' Irish accent in the story telling, or the storybook padding in the tales.Published on July 27, 2014 by Vincent Spume
Well documented accounts of Irish encounters with the "other crowd", who have also been called fairies. They are of course nothing like tinkerbell. Highly recommended.Published on July 18, 2013 by Mark13
All of these stories about fairies were told to the author by the older generations that are now grandparents. Read morePublished on September 24, 2012 by Shannon M. Mcgee
I found out about this book through the radio program "To the Best of Our Knowledge". It is a delightful collection of stories, written in the various tellers' own voices. Read morePublished on January 7, 2012 by Tangerine
It is always wonderful to hear from a great traditional story-teller. This collction is fascinating because it is a collection of fairly contemporary stories about encounters with... Read morePublished on July 7, 2010 by Gwendolyn J. Reece