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Elements of the folk hero-tale in the fiction of Padraic Colum MacLaine, Kay Diviney 1984

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ELEMENTS OF THE FOLK HERO-TALE IN THE FICTION OF PADRAIC COLUM By  Kay  D i v i n e y MacLaine  B.A. (cum l a u d e ) , Augustana C o l l e g e , 1973 M.A., Arkansas S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y , 197^  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of E n g l i s h )  We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d  standard  THE^tfNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA August 1984 (c) Kay D i v i n e y MacLaine  f  1984  In p r e s e n t i n g  t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of  requirements f o r an advanced degree a t the  the  University  of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make it  f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r reference  and  study.  I further  agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e copying of t h i s t h e s i s f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may  be granted by the head o f  department or by h i s or her  representatives.  my  It i s  understood t h a t copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l gain  s h a l l not be allowed without my  permission.  Department of  bn^J'sk  The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3  Date  <Mjr>h^  /A  ,  Columbia  MM  written  Abstract  The f i c t i o n of P a d r a i c Colum (1881-1972), a l t h o u g h i t r e f l e c t s important  concerns of the I r i s h R e v i v a l ,  has been, l i k e I r i s h  f i c t i o n i n g e n e r a l (Joyce e x c e p t e d ) , almost e n t i r e l y To b e g i n t o c o r r e c t t h i s c r i t i c a l  overlooked.  o v e r s i g h t , I have focused i n t h i s  study on Colum's attempt,  b e g i n n i n g w i t h h i s c h i l d r e n ' s book,  The K i n g of I r e l a n d ' s Son  (1916), to d e r i v e from the I r i s h  new  and d i s t i n c t i v e forms and themes f o r I r i s h f i c t i o n .  K i n g of I r e l a n d ' s Son,  folktale  In  Colum arranges and a l t e r s f o l k t a l e s  The to form  a f o l k t a l e - l i k e s y n t h e s i s which, however, expresses l i t e r a r y r a t h e r than f o l k t a l e meanings.  In Chapter I , I have i d e n t i f i e d Colum's  f o l k t a l e s o u r c e s ; i n Chapter I I , shown how  he f i n d s n a r r a t i v e  p a t t e r n s t o convey l i t e r a r y meaning by t r a n s f o r m i n g the rhythms of the f o l k t a l e " f a i l u r e , " and  " g a t h e r i n g " ; and  themes—of the primacy a new  i n t o the l i t e r a r y rhythms of  traditional  "deferral,"  i n Chapter I I I , e l u c i d a t e d  of t r a d i t i o n  i n determining i d e n t i t y  the and  of  I r i s h heroism, t h a t of the p e a s a n t r y — w h i c h these rhythms a r e  designed to express. F o l k l o r e c o n t i n u e s t o i n f l u e n c e s t r u c t u r e and content i n Colum's romantic n o v e l C a s t l e Conquer (1923), the s u b j e c t of  my  next two c h a p t e r s , a l t h o u g h the s u p e r f i c i a l t r a p p i n g s of the  folktale  a r e absent.  In t h i s n o v e l , Colum's new  image of heroism  romance, the a n t i - h e r o i s m of comic f o l k t a l e s , and the  blends  real-life  example of I r e l a n d ' s r e b e l - p o e t s (Chapter I V ) ; as w e l l , C a s t l e  iii.  Conquer's many i n t e r p o l a t e d  s t o r i e s c a r r y the theme of o r a l  i n t o the s t r u c t u r e of the n o v e l (Chapter V ) . c h a p t e r s a r e devoted  tradition  The f o l l o w i n g two  t o The F l y i n g Swans (1957) .  A g r e a t achievement,  t h i s n o v e l , w i t h the d i s i l l u s i o n e d h i n d s i g h t of the f i f t i e s , r e v i s e s i d e a s of heroism life  (Chapter VI) and  (Chapter V I I ) .  Yet Colum r e g e n e r a t e s both i d e a s , i n the process  recasting in r e a l i s t i c I r e l a n d ' s Son,  of the r e l e v a n c e of f o l k l o r e to  terms t h e forms and  w r i t t e n f i f t y years before.  themes of The King of  the  iv.  Contents  Page  Abstract Introduction I.  II.  The K i n g o f I r e l a n d ' s Son: A d a p t a t i o n s o f F o l k t a l e Sources  IV. V.  VI. VII.  1  19  The K i n g of I r e l a n d ' s Son: T r a n s f o r m a t i o n s of the N a r r a t i v e Rhythms o f t h e F o l k t a l e  III.  i i  56  The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son: Heroism and P o l i t i c s  117  C a s t l e Conquer: From F o l k t o L i t e r a r y Heroism  170  C a s t l e Conquer: I d e n t i t y and t h e T r a n s m i s s i o n of Culture  197  The F l y i n g Swans: Heroism, Realism, and A r t  237  The F l y i n g Swans and F o l k N a r r a t i v e : Garbled F o l k t a l e s and I r i s h A r c h e t y e s  275  Conclusion  320  Bibliography  329  INTRODUCTION  P a d r a i c Colum's l i t e r a r y c a r e e r , which i n c l u d e s works i n every genre, extended from one end o f t h e c e n t u r y almost other.  to the  The sheer volume and d i v e r s i t y of h i s work make h i s  career d i f f i c u l t  to a s s e s s , but the f a c t t h a t h i s w r i t i n g l i f e  began d u r i n g a n a t i o n a l r e n a i s s a n c e and ended s i x t y o r so y e a r s l a t e r i n a p e r s o n a l r e n a i s s a n c e means t h a t t h e r e i s t h e a d d i t i o n a l problem o f scope. poetry, c o l l e c t e d  During  t h i s time,  Colum produced n i n e books o f  i n t h r e e volumes; twenty one-act  and f u l l - l e n g t h  p l a y s ; two n o v e l s ; t w e n t y - f i v e c h i l d r e n ' s books; a long n a r r a t i v e poem; s c o r e s of short s t o r i e s ; t h r e e t r a v e l books; two b i o g r a p h i e s and  enough e s s a y s , r e v i e w s ,  i n t r o d u c t i o n s , p r e f a c e s , and other  c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o p e r i o d i c a l s and t o other people's  books t o  b r i n g t h e t a l l y c l o s e to f o u r f i g u r e s , a c c o r d i n g t o one e s t i m a t e . ^ A f u r t h e r problem i n Colum's c a r e e r i s t h e f a c t t h a t i n 1914,  newly married  f o r New York.  and s t r u g g l i n g a g a i n s t p o v e r t y ,  Colum s a i l e d  What both Colum and h i s w i f e Mary expected  a s h o r t s t a y i n America turned e x i l e which separated  t o be  into a l i f e t i m e of self-imposed  Colum from h i s n a t u r a l audience,  h i s c o n t i n u i n g I r i s h s u b j e c t matter prevented the mainstream o f American l e t t e r s .  while  him from e n t e r i n g  Colum's p e r s o n a l  anguish  at s e p a r a t i o n from h i s n a t i v e l a n d , h i s f a m i l y and h i s f r i e n d s is reflected  i n h i s treatment  o f f e l l o w - e x i l e and namesake,  C o l u m c i l l e , i n The Legend o f S a i n t Columba (1935).  H i s sense o f  artistic  l o s s i s represented  i n The  F l y i n g Swans (1957), when  U l i c k O ' R e h i l l ' s c l a i r v o y a n t c o u s i n Michaeleen warns him going  to sea.  "'You  against  w i l l have to cut y o u r s e l f i n two,'" she warns 2  him,  "'and  each of you w i l l be a s t r a n g e r to t h e  other.'"  "What you l o v e y o u ' l l l e a v e behind you. . . .There w i l l be s i g h t s and people y o u ' l l admire when you're away, and t h i n k them the best i n the world. But y o u ' l l not speak f o r them—no, U l i c k , y o u ' l l not speak f o r them." "I s a i d you had wisdom, my c h i l d , but t h e r e ' s something you don't know, and I ' l l t e l l you what i t i s now. When you l o v e something you don't l o s e t h a t l o v e by going away. You can keep i t i n your heart or your mind or someplace." FS_, 511-512  U l i c k ' s defense holds t r u e f o r Colum, who an i n t e n s e l o v e f o r I r e l a n d a l l h i s l i f e .  cherished  Nevertheless,  p o i n t i s a l s o v a l i d where Colum i s concerned. artistic  s u i c i d e no doubt express Colum's own  e f f e c t of e x i l e on h i s work. hero of The  l i f e and  r e g r e t at  the the possibly  wholeness. d i v e r s i t y of Colum's l i t e r a r y  the e f f e c t of h i s s e l f - i m p o s e d  make Colum one  standard  fears for Ulick'  F l y i n g Swans from f o l l o w i n g i n h i s path and  l e n g t h , p r o d u c t i v i t y and  Revival.  Her  Michaeleen  S i g n i f i c a n t l y , he prevents  from l o s i n g the chance f o r a r t i s t i c The  i n h i s heart  e x i l e have c o n s p i r e d  of the most n e g l e c t e d w r i t e r s of the I r i s h  H i s work r e c e i v e s comment, u s u a l l y p a s s i n g ,  to  Literary  i n the  h i s t o r i e s of t h e I r i s h R e v i v a l , from Boyd's I r e l a n d ' s  L i t e r a r y Renaissance (1916) to A. Norman J e f f a r e s ' A n g l o - I r i s h Literature  (1982).  But  few  w i t h Colum i n d e p e n d e n t l y ,  are the a r t i c l e s and  and  fewer s t i l l  books d e a l i n g  those that a r e  helpfully  3.  and  intelligently analytical.  Some w r i t e r s  and c r i t i c s  seem to  r e g a r d Colum as a g e n i a l and i n t e r e s t i n g r e l i c of the days of glory,  f u l l of e n t e r t a i n i n g  s t o r i e s about h i s more famous  contemporaries but not a r t i s t i c a l l y  important h i m s e l f .  The  study of Colum's f i c t i o n undertaken here w i l l attempt to demonstrate that  t h i s i s simply not the case. Of  the work that has been done on Colum, a great  c o n s i s t s not of c l e a r - e y e d addition  proportion  c r i t i c i s m but of r e m i n i s c e n c e .  In  to the s e v e r a l p e r s o n a l accounts of Colum, many of the  most important a i d s  to Colum r e s e a r c h  blend c r i t i c a l  (or q u a s i -  c r i t i c a l ) or b i b l i o g r a p h i c i n v e s t i g a t i o n with biographical A l a n Denson's c h e c k l i s t remains i n d i s p e n s a b l e the " a p p r e c i a t i o n "  sketch.  i r r e s p e c t i v e of  w i t h which i t b e g i n s , a l i t t l e  less helpful  3 than h i s two b i o g r a p h i c a l  sketches of Colum.  The two o t h e r major  works on^Cblum s u f f e r more than Denson's b i b l i o g r a p h y  from  s l a c k n e s s and p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h the o u t l i n e of Colum's  critical  life.  Zack Bowen's study, P a d r a i c Colum: A B i o g r a p h i c a l - C r i t i c a l Introduction  (1970), i n c l u d e s  i n i t s 150 pages, as i t s t i t l e  suggests, a b r i e f b i o g r a p h y a l o n g w i t h i t s survey of Colum's vast  and v a r i e d  canon.  to Colum s t u d i e s , and  providing  in detail.  Bowen's book i s a u s e f u l  introduction  s o r t i n g out some of the f a c t s of h i s c a r e e r  a h e l p f u l overview, but q u i t e n a t u r a l l y  lacking  Ann A d e l a i d e Murphy has more space and l e s s  material  to cover i n h e r d i s s e r t a t i o n , " P a d r a i c Colum: A C r i t i c a l Study of H i s P l a y s and Poems" (1980), but t h i s work, most u s e f u l i n i t s presentation  of r e l a t i v e l y i n a c c e s i b l e Colum m a t e r i a l s ,  offers  little  i n the way of a n a l y s i s .  The a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l element i n  Colum's w r i t i n g , one of Murphy's i n t e r e s t s , i s a t o p i c t h a t m e r i t s d i s c u s s i o n , but i t r e q u i r e s a more e x h a u s t i v e and a n a l y t i c a l treatment  than e i t h e r Murphy or Bowen can a f f o r d .  s t u d i e s need u r g e n t l y a good c r i t i c a l biography  Indeed, Colum  of Colum, as w e l l  as a s e l e c t i o n of h i s l e t t e r s and, p o s s i b l y , a c o l l e c t i o n of h i s many s c a t t e r e d and almost e n t i r e l y overlooked  short  stories.  The major s t u d i e s of Colum, then, are c r i t i c a l l y  insufficient,  but more a s t u t e c r i t i c i s m of Colum a l s o tends to be marred common c r i t i c a l misconceptions  about Column.  by the  In s p i t e of a g e n e r a l  l a c k of sympathy f o r Colum's i n t e r e s t i n peasant I r e l a n d , f o r i n s t a n c e , R i c h a r d L o f t u s ' s i n t e l l i g e n t a n a l y s i s i n " P a d r a i c Colum: The Peasant N a t i o n , " a chapter  i n h i s book, N a t i o n a l i s m i n Modern  A n g l o - I r i s h Poetry  (1964),  i s i n many ways the a b l e s t p i e c e of  w r i t i n g on Colum.  Yet L o f t u s founders  on a m i s c o n c e p t i o n which,  I f e a r , i s both w i d e l y - h e l d and damaging.  He m i s t a k e n l y  Colum's p r e s e n t a t i o n of the I r i s h peasantry, of  the heroism  L o f t u s accuses  n o t a b l y i n the theme  o f the p e a s a n t r y j an u n c r i t i c a l ,  perverse naivete.  In h i s most strenuous  finds i n  s e n t i m e n t a l , even  c r i t i c i s m , of Colum, x  him of e x a l t i n g every q u a l i t y of the peasant ,..no  matter how mean or unworthy.  One may accept as v i r t u o u s the l o n g - s u f f e r i n g of the peasants through c e n t u r i e s of o p p r e s s i o n . But one may w e l l h e s i t a t e to accept as v i r t u o u s the q u e s t i o n a b l e a v a r i c i o u s n e s s of the peasant for m a t e r i a l possessions, e s p e c i a l l y land; yet c l e a r l y enough Colum r e p r e s e n t s h i s wandering s u i l e r , who longs f o r "the good red g o l d , " and h i s tenant farmers i n The Land, who scheme and haggle i n o r d e r to cut a few  5.  pounds from the purchase p r i c e of t h e i r h o l d i n g s , as o b j e c t s f o r the r e a d e r ' s a d m i r a t i o n . ^  A s i d e from the f a c t that "a few  pounds" might seem more s u b s t a n t i a l  to a tenant farmer than i t does to L o f t u s , i t i s na'ive of to suppose t h a t Colum approves of the greed and of some of h i s c h a r a c t e r s .  Among other  w r i t i n g p l a y s and  dramatic l y r i c s .  and  neglects  that Colum i s  I t i s as i n a p p r o p r i a t e  a t t r i b u t e to Colum the a t t i t u d e s of the who  small-mindedness  things, Loftus  to take i n t o account t h a t these, are c h a r a c t e r s  Loftus  suiler  (homeless wanderer)  speaks h i s poem as i t i s to a s c r i b e to Robert Browning  sentiments of the Duke i n "My  L a s t Duchess."  to  L o f t u s may  the  be  p r o v o c a t i v e l y o v e r s t a t i n g h i s case i n the above passage, f o r l a t e r he lowliness  admits t h a t i t may  be  indiscriminately."^  " u n f a i r to say Nevertheless,  d i s t u r b i n g t h a t such an a b l e c r i t i c e s t i m a t e Colum's s u b t l e t y and  should  complexity.  i t i s perplexing  and  who  I suspect  notorious  be  a p p l i e d to h i s  Regrettably,  Colum's admirers are as g u i l t y as h i s d e t r a c t o r s of the c o m p l e x i t y of Colum's view of the  studying  authentic  i n s i g h t s i n t o the p e a s a n t r y  "P.Q.": "Peasant Q u a l i t y . "  Loftus  that Colum  have s u b s t i t u t e d f o r Colum's o r i g i n a l ,  i n t e l l i g e n t l y considered  and  so s e r i o u s l y under-  i s commonly t a r r e d w i t h the brush that should successors,  that Colum admires  the  some of ignoring  peasantry.  does o f f e r , p a r t l y by d e f a u l t , a good reason f o r  Colum's f i c t i o n .  treatment of the  In the course of d e r i d i n g Colum's  I r i s h peasant, L o f t u s names perhaps the most  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c and  important theme of Colum's work, the heroism  6.  of the peasantry.  "Colum seems to a v o i d  the d i r e c t  treatment of  h e r o i c themes i n h i s v e r s e , " w r i t e s L o f t u s , "although prose he has done so on numerous o c c a s i o n s . " ^  inhis  I f we are to  understand what Colum means by the heroism of the peasantry go f u r t h e r than L o f t u s i n e x p l o r i n g Colum's view of the we must t u r n to Colum's  l i f e t i m e d r a m a t i s t manque i n "A P l a y w r i g h t  first to  to r e c a p t u r e  decade o f t h i s c e n t u r y .  the understanding  peasantry,  fiction.  C h a r l e s Burgess, on the o t h e r hand, p r e s e n t s  always v a i n l y s t r i v i n g  and  Colum as a  and H i s Work" (1973),  the fame t h a t was h i s i n the  But Burgess n e g l e c t s a f a c t  vital  of Colum's c a r e e r : Colum stopped w r i t i n g  new p l a y s and s t a r t e d w r i t i n g f i c t i o n a t about the same time. The l a s t of Colum's p l a y s f o r the I r i s h t h e a t e r was Thomas Muskerry in  1910, the year  i n which Colum's d r a m a t i z a t i o n  of an a n c i e n t  I r i s h s t o r y , "The D e s t r u c t i o n of Da Derga's H o s t e l , " was a l s o performed.  The f i r s t v e r s i o n s of "Theodora of Byzantium" and  The Desert were completed i n 1912. continued to  As Burgess p o i n t s o u t , Colum  to work on these p l a y s f o r y e a r s , but u n t i l h i s r e t u r n  I r i s h m a t e r i a l f o r the Noh p l a y s of the S i x t i e s , he produced  o n l y two new works, "Grasshopper" (1922), a t r a n s l a t i o n whose manus c r i p t p e r i s h e d i n the Abbey Theater  fire,  and B a l l o o n  In 1913, however, Colum p u b l i s h e d h i s f i r s t A Boy i n E i r i n n . and  He continued  (1929).  c h i l d r e n ' s book,  to w r i t e s t o r i e s , both f o r a d u l t s  f o r c h i l d r e n , throughout the decade.  Then, i n 1916, from  America, Colum p u b l i s h e d ' The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son, i n which he synthesized  f o l k t a l e s and o r i g i n a l m a t e r i a l .  The success of  7.  The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son l e d to a long-term  contract with  Macmillan, which p a i d Colum $250 a month f o r c h i l d r e n ' s books u n t i l the D e p r e s s i o n . reflects  In an i n t e r v i e w w i t h Zack Bowen, Colum  upon the importance  of h i s work f o r c h i l d r e n .  Yes, I l i k e the c h i l d r e n ' s books. I wrote them w i t h a l l my i m a g i n a t i o n . They were commissioned, but I had my own way of g e t t i n g by the commission. For i n s t a n c e , The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son i s a v e r y important book.^  Although saw  Colum produced  these books by c o n t r a c t , he n e v e r t h e l e s s  them as an i n t e g r a l p a r t of h i s l i t e r a r y e x p r e s s i o n .  on to say t h a t , s i n c e these books are f o l k l o r e , interest  He  goes  they have an  f o r a d u l t s as w e l l as f o r c h i l d r e n .  Two  essays on the course of I r i s h l i t e r a t u r e which were  w r i t t e n at v e r y important moments f o r Colum p r o v i d e evidence  of  the d e l i b e r a t e n e s s w i t h which Colum changed h i s l i t e r a r y f o c u s . The  first  of these, "The  i n The Forum i n January move to America and  I r i s h L i t e r a r y Movement," was of 1915,  i n the midst of Colum's p h y s i c a l  l i t e r a r y move away from I r i s h drama.  s u r v e y i n g the development of modern I r i s h l i t e r a t u r e , to r e c e n t w r i t e r s , n o t a b l y James Stephens.  distinctively  "the f i r s t  Irish."  After  Colum t u r n s  Stephens, Colum n o t e s ,  has not w r i t t e n a p l a y i n s p i t e of h i s "dramatic but has produced  published  instincts,"  contemporary romances t h a t are  Colum ends w i t h the r u m i n a t i o n t h a t  Irish  9 literature  may  be moving from the drama to the n o v e l .  By  1923,  the year i n which he p u b l i s h e d C a s t l e Conquer, Colum i s s u r e r of the d i r e c t i o n of I r i s h  writing.  8.  The great d i s c o v e r y f o r the l a s t g e n e r a t i o n of I r i s h - w r i t e r s was drama; the g r e a t d i s c o v e r y f o r the g e n e r a t i o n p r e v i o u s was the p e r s o n a l l y r i c . I t seems to me t h a t the d i s c o v e r y f o r the present g e n e r a t i o n i s the n o v e l and the s h o r t s t o r y , and that the I r i s h w r i t e r s w i l l b e g i n to r e v e a l I r e l a n d i n the n a r r a t i v e .  Although Column, as C h a r l e s Burgess says, continued r e v i s i o n s of the p l a y s t h a t meant the most to him h i s l a s t days, when he c o n s c i o u s l y and, he  until quite  I t h i n k , e n t h u s i a s t i c a l l y chose the genre wherein  Colum's f a s c i n a t i o n w i t h drama l e d him turned  literally  turned h i s a t t e n t i o n to f i c t i o n , he  thought the f u t u r e of I r i s h l i t e r a t u r e l a y .  when he  h i s energetic  to p o e t r y ,  marks of h i s f i c t i o n ,  Yet j u s t  to w r i t e dramatic  so i t l e d to one  of the  as lyrics  characteristic  the emphasis on o r a l i t y , whether through  the g u i s e of a s t o r y t e l l e r - n a r r a t o r or through the c o n s t a n t  tale-  t e l l i n g within his narrative. Column's f i c t i o n i s a key i n c l u d e s two masterworks, The  to h i s c a r e e r , then;  King of I r e l a n d ' s Son  i t also and  The  F l y i n g Swans.  Yet Colum's f i c t i o n i s the l e a s t s t u d i e d p a r t of  h i s canon.  Zack Bowen p o i n t s out, Colum's r e p u t a t i o n  As  made as a p l a y w r i g h t likely  and  to g i v e h i s new  poet.  Readers who  poems and  s t o r i e s or n o v e l s . M o r e o v e r ,  was  knew about him were  p l a y s g r e a t e r a t t e n t i o n than h i s the n e g l e c t of Colum's  fiction  r e f l e c t s the tendency of c r i t i c s of modern I r i s h l i t e r a t u r e , q u i t e r e c e n t l y , to c o n c e n t r a t e poetry. study  almost e x c l u s i v e l y on drama and  Even so, s e v e r a l w r i t e r s who  Colum's n o v e l s ,  until  have been r e l u c t a n t to  s t o r i e s or c h i l d r e n ' s books have conceded  9.  t h e i r importance to a f u l l  understanding of Colum's work.  a d d i t i o n t o L o f t u s , Ann A d e l a i d e  In  Murphy makes use of Colum's  f i c t i o n , mining The F l y i n g Swans f o r a u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l i n s i g h t s even though her t o p i c i s Colum's p l a y s and poems. field  of I r i s h s t u d i e s , Colum's n o v e l s  a l t h o u g h never study.  In the l a r g e r  sometimes r e c e i v e mention,  F o r i n s t a n c e , Benedict  K i e l y does n o t  i n c l u d e C a s t l e Conquer i n the body o f h i s Modern I r i s h (1950), y e t he f i n d s i t s u f f i c i e n t l y e x p r e s s i v e  of some o f the  concerns of p o s t - r e v o l u t i o n a r y w r i t e r s t o b e g i n w i t h preface.  Fiction  i tin his  L o f t u s , Murphy and K i e l y each i n h i s o r h e r own way  i n d i c a t e s the i n t e r e s t o f Colum's f i c t i o n , but the c r i t i c a l treatment.of each o f the t h r e e s u b - g e n r e s — s t o r i e s ,  novels,  c h i l d r e n ' s w o r k s — i s l i m i t e d t o what Bowen can accomplish i n Padraic  Colum: A B i o g r a p h i c a l - C r i t i c a l I n t r o d u c t i o n .  Swans, r e i s s u e d by D u b l i n ' s  A l l e n F i g g i s press  The F l y i n g  i n 1969, seems t o  be the most l i k e l y of Colum's prose works t o r e c e i v e f u r t h e r critical  attention.  Bowen regards  i t h i g h l y , and A. Norman 12  J e f f a r e s considers  i t to be "underrated".  C e r t a i n l y there i s  a need f o r some d i s c u s s i o n o f t h i s n o v e l , most p r o p e r l y i n the context  of Colum's  fiction.  Most o f Colum's f i c t i o n i s an e f f o r t of v i t a l  t o r e s o l v e a problem  concern t o Colum, the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the t r a d i t i o n a l  c u l t u r e o f the I r i s h p e o p l e , e s p e c i a l l y the f o l k t a l e , and " r e a l l i f e , " which can mean, v a r i o u s l y , the " f o l k l i f e " peasantry, l i f e  o f the I r i s h  as Colum h i m s e l f knew i t , . a n d urgent i s s u e s  the p o l i t i c a l d e s t i n y of the I r i s h n a t i o n .  like  Colum's i n t e r e s t i n  r e l a t i n g I r i s h c u l t u r e to modern l i f e was Since  Standish  Period Coming  (1894), I r i s h a c t i v i s t s and w r i t e r s a l i k e had  to the  t h a t could  H i s t o r y of I r e l a n d : H e r o i c  an  h i s p o p u l a r i z a t i o n of I r i s h h e r o i c sagas i n The  of C u c h u l a i n turning  age.  James 0'Grady's i n v e n t i o n of the n o t i o n of  a n c i e n t h e r o i c I r e l a n d i n The (1878) and  e n t i r e l y of h i s  e a r l y sagas and  lift  romances f o r an image of  i t from i t s p o l i t i c a l and  been  Ireland  l i t e r a r y doldrums.  The  f o l k l o r e , p a r t i c u l a r l y h e r o i c t a l e s , c o l l e c t e d by P a t r i c k Kennedy, W i l l i a m L a r m l h i e , J e r e m i a h C u r t i n , Douglas Hyde and seen as a v e s t i g i a l m a n i f e s t a t i o n g l o r i o u s and was  of an e r s t w h i l e  ascendant I r i s h c u l t u r e .  instrumental  The  others,  was  distinctive,  revived  Irish  heritage  i n the e v o l u t i o n of a n a t i o n a l c o n s c i o u s n e s s which  gave r i s e to the p o l i t i c a l a c t i v i t y of the l a t e n i n e t e e n t h e a r l y twentieth activity.  c e n t u r i e s , as w e l l as to a resurgence of  Colum was  fascinated:with  and literary  the moment when an i n d i v i d u a l  or a n a t i o n a c h i e v e s a sense of i d e n t i t y , a p r e r e q u i s i t e f o r what might be  termed " h e r o i c a c t i o n . "  He was  particularly interested  i n the r o l e which t r a d i t i o n a l h e r o i c images played of I r e l a n d ' s new Colum was, rediscovery he  sense of nationhood. then, deeply impressed w i t h the importance of  came to be deeply s u s p i c i o u s of the  during  to e a r l y and  the  of an I r i s h c u l t u r a l h e r i t a g e , yet at the same time s t i r r i n g but  romantic, even dangerous hero-worship t h a t sent men,  i n the emergence  the Land Wars, the r e v o l u t i o n , and sometimes a l l but  naively  so many young the C i v i l  p o i n t l e s s deaths.  The  War,  parallels  between the s u p e r f i c i a l l y q u i t e d i f f e r e n t worlds of f o l k t a l e  and  11.  r e a l l i f e appeared almost m y s t i c a l l y s i g n i f i c a n t to and  Colum—adventures  quests t h a t embody the e x p e r i e n c e of a c o u n t r y s i d e  full  of  ramblers, the h e r o i c s t r u g g l e s , o f t e n on b e h a l f  of home and  f a m i l y , a g a i n s t v i l l a i n s who  as the B r i t i s h  government i n I r e l a n d . gap  But  were as o p p r e s s i v e Colum was  between m a r v e l l o u s f o l k l o r e and  as f o l l y  the i n c l i n a t i o n to apply  or the m a g n i f i c e n t l y  intransigent r e a l i t y .  the easy and  gave way  a disappointing  held  n a t u r a l heroism  from what the f o l k t a l e  portrays.  the e x h i l a r a t i n g n a t i o n a l resurgence of the b e g i n n i n g of  century  and  He  the  assured outcomes of the f o l k t a l e to a modern  l i f e whose nature i s q u i t e d i f f e r e n t As  a l s o p a i n f u l l y aware of  to a b i t t e r r e b e l l i o n t r e a t y and  devastating  the  i n the c e n t u r y ' s  teens,  C i v i l War  twenties,  i n the  the d u l l a f t e r m a t h of n a t i o n a l l i b e r a t i o n i n the t h i r t i e s ,  f o r t i e s and stories  fifties,  Colum's r e v i s i o n  of f o l k l o r e and  heroic  i n h i s f i c t i o n became p r o g r e s s i v e l y more r a d i c a l .  Colum continued  to f i n d - v a l u e i n f o l k l o r e , and  i n h i s l a s t work of f i c t i o n , The While Colum was the l a b e l when o t h e r s  Flying  not h i m s e l f  uses i t e x t e n s i v e l y  Swans.  a f o l k l o r i s t , and  a p p l i e d i t to him,  Yet  there  disclaimed  can be no  doubt  that he was  t h o r o u g h l y f a m i l i a r w i t h the s u b j e c t , perhaps more  so than any  other w r i t e r of the  I r i s h r e v i v a l , w i t h the  exception  13 of the p r o f e s s i o n a l f o l k l o r i s t s .  Colum's i n t r o d u c t i o n to  f o l k l o r e came d u r i n g h i s boyhood, when s t o r y t e l l e r s would  stop  f o r a c e i l i d h at Colum's grandmother's house i n County L o n g f o r d , and when h i s u n c l e Micky Burns would p l a c e him b e f o r e s i n g e r s at the country f a i r s . among them Yeats and  L i k e many of h i s  Lady Gregory, Colum was  the b a l l a d  contemporaries,  an amateur  folklore  c o l l e c t o r , t a k i n g frequent e x c u r s i o n s i n t o the c o u n t r y s i d e i n s e a r c h of  t a l e s , songs and anecdotes.  By 1924, Colum's work w i t h  folklore  and mythology from many c o u n t r i e s was so w e l l known t h a t he was commissioned, by the government of the s t a t e of Hawaii t o work with their a b o r i g i n a l materials. about t h e i r j o i n t of  trip  An anecdote t o l d by Mary Colum  to i s o l a t e d P o l y n e s i a n v i l l a g e s i n s e a r c h  f o l k l o r e i s a good i l l u s t r a t i o n of the s p i r i t w i t h which Colum  a t t a c k e d such p r o j e c t s .  Mrs. Colum, exhausted  by the r i g o r s of  f a i r l y p r i m i t i v e t r a v e l , aching f o r a good bed and a cup of c o f f e e , was  sent back to c i v i l i z a t i o n by h e r husband, who was h i m s e l f  d e l i g h t e d t o s t a y on.  A f t e r tramping around a l l day i n the open l i s t e n i n g to s t o r i e s , songs, and watching h u l a s , he c o u l d e a t a n y t h i n g and s l e e p anywhere. As the c a r drove out of the v i l l a g e w i t h me, I looked back and saw him s t a n d i n g i n a group waving to me-—a s m a l l i s h white man surrounded by v e r y l a r g e , v e r y t a l l , dark-skinned men.14  Mary notes  t h a t P a d r a i c was " i n d e f a t i g a b l e i n d i g g i n g i n t o n a t i v e  l o r e and n a t i v e  life."  As a young man i n I r e l a n d he had been c o n d i t i o n e d i n t o j u s t such s t u d i e s , l o v e d them, and developed a s t r o n g a d m i r a t i o n f o r the Hawaiian r a c e and i t s h i s t o r i c a l characters.15  Mary Colum's account and  i n d i c a t e s t h a t Colum's i n t e r e s t i n f o l k l o r e  " p r i m i t i v e " s o c i e t i e s was temperamental as w e l l as i n t e l l e c t u a l  and p h i l o s o p h i c a l .  Of a l l of the many w r i t e r s o f the I r i s h R e v i v a l  who turned t o f o l k : m a t e r i a l s , Colum had p r o b a b l y and  the most i n t e n s e  genuine as w e l l as the l o n g e s t - l a s t i n g commitment.  In a d d i t i o n  to h i s f i e l d - w o r k , i n I r e l a n d and omnivorous r e a d e r ,  elsewhere, he was  an eager  and  so much so that i n Orpheus: Myths of the World  (1930), he i s a b l e to present  s t o r i e s from an a s t o n i s h i n g range  of c u l t u r e s , not o n l y C e l t i c ,  Greek, Norse and Hawaiian, but a l s o  I c e l a n d i c , Babylonian  and  Zuni.  His books f o r o l d e r c h i l d r e n  i n c l u d e books of I r i s h and Welsh s t o r i e s as w e l l as C l a s s i c a l Teutonic. ^ students  and  Colum a l s o knew the work of many major and minor  of a n c i e n t and  t r a d i t i o n a l culture, for references  to f o l k l o r i s t s l i k e A l f r e d Nutt, Jeremiah C u r t i n and Kuno Meyer are s p r i n k l e d through Colum's w r i t i n g s . ^  The knowledge on which  Colum draws when he c a r r i e s f o l k l o r e i n t o l i t e r a r y f i c t i o n , i s at once d e t a i l e d and and  comprehensive.  Colum's  well^-developed  i n t r i c a t e p e r c e p t i o n of the f o r m a l p r o p e r t i e s of the  means t h a t he m a n i p u l a t e s w i t h w i t and n a r r a t i v e s t r u c t u r e s demanding of c l o s e In i n i t i a t i n g  imagination  King of I r e l a n d ' s Son  heroism  of Colum's  (1916), and  of Colum's n o v e l s , C a s t l e Conquer (1923) and The  i n h i s prose  folktale  study.  on the b e s t and most important  c h i l d r e n ' s books, The  My  on  both  F l y i n g Swans  theme, Colum's t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s of I r i s h h e r o - t a l e s fiction,  i n c l u d e s Colum's treatment  drawn from f o l k l o r e as w e l l as h i s use  of i d e a s of  of the n a r r a t i v e  s t r u c t u r e s of the f o l k t a l e , which I d i s c u s s i n s e p a r a t e f o r each book. heroism  folktale  s e r i o u s study of Colum's f i c t i o n i n the f o l l o w i n g  work, I have focused  (1957).  then,  The  f o r m a l and  thematic  p r o p e r t i e s of  are not e n t i r e l y d i s c r e t e , however, and  chapters  folktale  the reader  f i n d c o n s i d e r a b l e o v e r l a p i n Chapter VX, on Colum's  will  transformation  of heroism i n The F l y i n g Swans, and Chapter V i i on h i s t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of f o l k t a l e s t r u c t u r e , which i n that book has important f o r the heroism of the p r o t a g o n i s t .  Because of the  implications  specificity  of Colum's use of the f o l k t a l e i n The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son, d i s c u s s i o n of t h a t book demands a t h i r d c h a p t e r , an  the  initial  c a r e f u l a n a l y s i s of the f o l k t a l e m a t e r i a l s i n the t e x t .  Since  we  do not know p r e c i s e l y what sources Colum had at h i s f i n g e r t i p s ,  we  need a s p e c i a l methodology f o r deducing from the evidence of  the t e x t i t s e l f  the k i n d s of m a t e r i a l s t h a t Colum used.  concepts of " t a l e t y p e " and by Antt'i Aarne and  " m o t i f , " developed and c a t a l o g u e d  S t i t h Thompson and extended  by R e i d a r C h r i s t i a n s e n and  The  S^an  to I r i s h  tales  6 S u i l l e a b h a i n , are v i t a l  to  t h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n , making p o s s i b l e the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of a c t u a l f o l k t a l e s and elements of f o l k t a l e s embedded i n the t e x t .  In  a d d i t i o n , the examples of t a l e s i n the g r e a t c o l l e c t i o n s of Irish folklore facilitate  the r e c o g n i t i o n of Colum's a l t e r a t i o n s  of the t a l e s of the same type as those w i t h which he was  working.  Although the d i s c u s s i o n c e n t e r s on the a n a l y s i s of Colum's uses of f o l k l o r e i n The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son, C a s t l e Conquer, and The F l y i n g Swans, t h e r e are a number of r e l a t e d s h a l l touch on where I can.  I have t r i e d  t o p i c s which I  to p l a c e each book  w i t h i n the chronology of Colum's c a r e e r , and I hope that i n t h i s way,  as w e l l as by r e l a t i n g  the p a r t i c u l a r books under study w i t h  those o t h e r Colum works which share i t s concerns, the d i s c u s s i o n may  be broadened  t o c o n t r i b u t e t o t h e c r i t i c a l u n d e r s t a n d i n g of  Colum's c a r e e r as a whole.  I have t r i e d as w e l l to keep i n mind  the l a r g e r q u e s t i o n o f how Colum's work w i t h f o l k l o r e and f i c t i o n r e l a t e s t o the concerns w i t h heroism  and experiments  i n literary  form of o t h e r w r i t e r s of the I r i s h R e v i v a l . Thomas Flanagan, observes  the major h i s t o r i a n of the I r i s h n o v e l ,  i n The I r i s h N o v e l i s t s : 1800-1850 (1959) t h a t " t h e  h i s t o r y of the I r i s h n o v e l i s one o f continuous  attempts to  r e p r e s e n t the I r i s h e x p e r i e n c e w i t h i n c o n v e n t i o n s  t h a t were  18 not i n n a t e l y s u i t e d to i t . " writing  L i k e Flanagan,  P a d r a i c Colum,  i n "The Promise o f I r i s h L e t t e r s " , puts M a r i a Edgeworth's  C a s t l e Rackrent I r i s h novel.  (1800) a t the b e g i n n i n g of the t r a d i t i o n  o f the  But a f t e r the l o n g , u n s u c c e s s f u l s t r u g g l e of the  n i n e t e e n t h c e n t u r y , d u r i n g which, Colum says, S i r Walter  Scott's  t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f Edgeworth's m a s t e r p i e c e , however well-meaning, effectively  r u i n e d Edgeworth as a model f o r I r i s h  writers,  I r i s h f i c t i o n was f i n a l l y about to come i n t o i t s own i n Free S t a t e I r e l a n d , or so Colum p r e d i c t e d .  H i s t h e s i s i s t h a t the  new I r i s h n o v e l w i l l have to have a new form I f i t i s t o express Irish  themes and be " i n harmony w i t h the r a c i a l g e n i u s , " and he  f i n d s t h a t w r i t e r s have a l r e a d y begun the work. The f i r s t I r i s h n o v e l , as I t h i n k , whose form i s i n harmony w i t h the r a c i a l genius i s James Stephen's "Mary Mary." With something t h a t seems l i k e the spontaneous i n v e n t i o n of the f o l k - t a l e James Stephens wrote the f i r s t s t o r y o f D u b l i n l i f e ; then t h e r e came "The Crock of G o l d , " i n which he wove t o g e t h e r a f r e s h humor and a f r e s h p o e t r y , making a s t o r y as extravagant as the h e a r t o f any s t o r y - t e l l e r might d e s i r e . Then came James Joyce w i t h "The P o r t r a i t of the A r t i s t as a Young Man"— a book t h a t i s the e q u i v a l e n t of one of Synge's dramas, w i t h the s t o r i e s i n " D u b l i n e r s " t h a t  are e q u i v a l e n t to Synge's s h o r t p l a y s , and now w i t h " U l y s s e s " that i s no l e s s than a p o r t e n t . In the meantime James Stephens p u b l i s h e s a book that has a misnomer f o r t i t l e — " I r i s h F a i r y T a l e s " — i n which, i n an a s t o n i s h i n g way, he r e c o v e r s the t r a d i t i o n of t e n t h - c e n t u r y I r i s h s t o r y - t e l l i n g . 1 9  While Colum's b r e e z y sentence on Joyce, along w i t h h i s b r i e f of other and  survey  contemporary w r i t e r s — B r i n s l e y MacNamara, S e u m a s O ' K e l l y ,  D a n i e l C o r k e r y — w h o a l s o c r e a t e d new  I r i s h forms, i n d i c a t e s  Colum's awareness of the l i t e r a r y house which he  i n h a b i t e d , what  t h i s passage most s t r o n g l y r e v e a l s i s Colum's enthusiasm f o r folklore  and  s t o r y t e l l i n g as formal models f o r the  T h i s passage and  the passage from "The  expresses h i s "dramatic  impulse" through prose romance, drawing f r e e l y on  He  an important i n s p i r a t i o n  f o l k and  ancient  f o r Colum.  compares Mary, Mary,.known i n Europe as "The Charwoman'' s~  Daughter (1912), to a spontaneously i n v e n t e d Crock of Gold i n the  tradition  t r a d i t i o n i n I r i s h F a i r y Tales h a l f a dozen of h i s own  behind him before  and  him.  folktales  and  h i s new  (1923).  Irish  places He  little  on the  shelf  doubt t h a t , as Colum turned  s t o r y t e l l i n g f o r the  and  forms and  table to  the content of h i s  from them a s t r u c t u r e f o r h i s n o v e l s  t h a t would be d i s t i n c t i v e l y I r i s h . forms t h a t Colum c r e a t e d  finds  Colum, as he wrote t h i s ,  prose romance, C a s t l e Conquer, on the  There can be  The  storytelling  syntheses of f o l k t a l e s  n a r r a t i v e s , he hoped to c r e a t e  explored  f o l t a l e and  of extravagant s t o r y t e l l i n g .  " a s t o n i s h i n g " the d u p l i c a t i o n of an a n c i e n t  had  novel.  I r i s h L i t e r a r y Movement"  quoted above suggest t h a t James Stephens, who  I r i s h t r a d i t i o n , was  Irish  I t i s the  some of the  Irish fictional  I r i s h themes t h a t  t h a t t h i s study w i l l attempt to e l u c i d a t e .  he  17.  Notes  Zack Bowen and Gordon Henderson, " I n t r o d u c t i o n : P a d r a i c Colum, 1881-1972," J o u r n a l of I r i s h L i t e r a t u r e 2 (January, 1973) 1, p. 5. 2 The F l y i n g Swans (New York: Crown, 1957), p. 501; h e r e a f t e r c i t e d i n the t e x t , as FS. 3 " P a d r a i c Colum: An A p p r e c i a t i o n w i t h a C h e c k - l i s t of H i s P u b l i c a t i o n s , " D u b l i n Magazine 6 ( S p r i n g , 1967) 1, pp. 50-67, was cont i n u e d " -i.iriv! " P a d r a i c Colum: F a c t u a l A d d i t i o n s and C o r r e c t i o n s to a C h e c k l i s t o f H i s P u b l i c a t i o n s , " D u b l i n Magazine 6 (Summer, 1967) 2, pp. 83-85. Denson's o t h e r a r t i c l e s on Colum a r e " P a d r a i c Colum at N i n e t y , " I r i s h Times (December 8, 1971), p. 10, and " P a d r a i c Colum, 1881-1972," The Capuchin Annual ( D u b l i n , 1973), pp. 45-54.  " /  4 N a t i o n a l i s m i n Modern A n g l o - I r i s h P o e t r y (Madison and Milwaukee: U n i v e r s i t y of W i s c o n s i n P r e s s , 1964), p. 184. ^ N a t i o n a l i s m , p. 185. A b e l a t e d o b j e c t i o n t o L o f t u s ' s d i s c u s s i o n was lodged by Douglas S. Campbell i n " P a d r a i c Colum's C e l e b r a t i o n of L i t t l e n e s s , " E i r e - I r e l a n d 9 (Autumn, 1974) 3, pp. 60-68. 6 Herbert Howarth quotes AE on the I r i s h stage peasant: "'Mr. P a d r a i c Colum's peasants, i n the days when they were seen t h e r e , seem t o us to have been the o n l y r e a l human beings among the many peasants t h a t have t r o d the boards of the Abbey T h e a t r e . ' " The I r i s h W r i t e r s , 1880-1940 (London: R o c k l i f f , 1958), p. 2-29. AE's complaint i s a g a i n s t the "School o f Synge" p l a y w r i g h t s who were i n r e a c t i o n .to the " s u n b u r s t e r y " of the h i g h l y i d e a l i z e d stage v e r s i o n s of I r i s h peasantry. ;  ^  N a t i o n a l i s m , p. 188.  g " N i n e t y Years i n R e t r o s p e c t , " 2 (January, 1973) 1, p. 32. 9  1923,  The Forum 53 (January,  Journal of I r i s h L i t e r a t u r e  1915) 1, p. 148.  "The Promise o f I r i s h L e t t e r s , " The N a t i o n , October 10, p. 396.  P a d r a i c Colum: A B i o g r a p h i c a l - C r i t i c a l I n t r o d u c t i o n (Carbondale: Southern I l l i n o i s U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1970), p. 98. 12 P a d r a i c Colum, p. 98; A. Norman J e f f a r e s , A n g l o - I r i s h L i t e r a t u r e ( D u b l i n : M a c m i l l a n , 1982)-,"^p.'' 272. In c o n t r a s t ; C h a r l e s Burgess  recounts an exchange he had w i t h Colum. To Colum's q u e s t i o n , " ' I f I'm not a poet, what am I , ' " Burgess responds, "'No o f f e n s e to The F l y i n g Swans, but you're c e r t a i n l y not p r i m a r i l y a n o v e l i s t . " "A P l a y w r i g h t and H i s Work," J o u r n a l of I r i s h L i t e r a t u r e 2 (January, 1973) 1, p. 43. R e c e n t l y , The F l y i n g Swans has been the s u b j e c t of a paper, " A u t o b i o g r a p h i c a l Elements i n The F l y i n g Swans," d e l i v e r e d by Ann A d e l a i d e Murphy to the May, 1983» conference of the American Committee f o r I r i s h S t u d i e s . 1  13 And, a c c o r d i n g to A l a n Denson, Seumas MacManus. "Padraic Colum, 1881-1972," p. 48. I t i s f i t t i n g , then, t h a t Colum has w r i t t e n the i n t r o d u c t i o n to one of MacManu&'.s j. c o l l e c t i o n s of f o l k t a l e s , H i b e r n i a n Nights (1963). Colum d i s c l a i m s the name of f o l k l o r i s t i n "Ninety Years i n R e t r o s p e c t , " p. 26. 14 L i f e and the Dream (Garden C i t y , New York: Doubleday, 1947), 329. 15  L i f e and  the Dream, p.  317.  16  Colum's many I r i s h books i n c l u d e The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son, f i r s t p u b l i s h e d i n 1916 and r e p r i n t e d i n 1920, 1921, and 1962; The F r e n z i e d P r i n c e , 1940; and The B i g Tree of Bunlahy, 1933. He r e t o l d Welsh s t o r i e s from The Mabinogion i n The I s l a n d of the Mighty: Being S t o r i e s of C e l t i c B r i t a i n R e t o l d , 1924. Colum's c l a s s i c a l s t o r i e s i n c l u d e The Adventures of Odysseus, 1918, r e p u b l i s h e d i n v a r i o u s forms i n 1920, 1946 and 1962; and The Golden. .Fleece • and the Heroes Who L i v e d b e f o r e A c h i l l e s , 1921, 1957, and 1962. The C h i l d r e n of Odin (1920, 1948 and 1962; London e d i t i o n s i n 1922 and 1929) i s a v e r s i o n of the T e u t o n i c mythology of the N i e b e l u n g l i e d . Colum i n d i c a t e s as w e l l that h i s books of f o l k l o r e o f t e n entailed considerable research. I f they asked me to w r i t e a book on f o l k l o r e , why I wrote i t . I d i d n ' t get i t wrong, you know. I looked i t up and c o n s u l t e d the a u t h o r i t i e s i n the l i b r a r i e s and so on. " N i n e t y Years," p. 27. 18 Flanagan, The I r i s h N o v e l i s t s (Columbia: Columbia U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1959), p. 334. "The  Promise of I r i s h L e t t e r s , " p.  397.  I:  The K i n g of I r e l a n d ' s  The King o f I r e l a n d ' s  Son: A d a p t a t i o n s of F o l k t a l e Sources  Son (1916) i s not P a d r a i c  Colum's  c h i l d r e n ' s book; A Boy i n E i r i n n (1913) precedes i t by t h r e e It  years.  i s , however, one o f t h e most w i d e l y known o f a l l Colum's works,  having gone through one German, one I r i s h and f o u r E n g l i s h and  first  editions  having i n s p i r e d t h e German film„"Fidelma," named a f t e r one o f  the book's h e r o i n e s . career  I t i s a l s o t h e t r u e b e g i n n i n g o f Colum's  as a c h i l d r e n ' s w r i t e r .  Colum's f u t u r e c a r e e r  I t s commercial success made p o s s i b l  i n c h i l d r e n ' s as w e l l as " a d u l t "  literature  i n a v e r y m a t e r i a l way: Macmillan immediately c o n t r a c t e d  w i t h Colum  f o r two c h i l d r e n ' s books a year, t h e source o f h i s bread and b u t t e r u n t i l the Depression.  In a d d i t i o n , i n The King o f I r e l a n d ' s Son,  Colum found t h e s u b j e c t m a t t e r , s t y l e and t e c h n i q u e t h a t would c h a r a c t e r i z e h i s c h i l d r e n ' s books ever a f t e r . Ireland's  In The King o f  Son, a c l e v e r i n t e r l a c i n g o f two youths' s e p a r a t e  adventures i n p u r s u i t o f a Sword o f L i g h t , a C r y s t a l Egg, and a s t o r y , t h e Unique T a l e , which r e v e a l s t h e s e c r e t o f t h e i r own common parentage, Colum a c h i e v e s h i s "great  synthesis  of f i r e s i d e  2 tales."  H i s n a r r a t i v e i s constructed  of f o l k t a l e s , and o r i g i n a l m a t e r i a l  from I r i s h f o l k t a l e s , p a r t s  framed i n i m i t a t i o n o f f o l k t a l e  The King's Son's n a r r a t i v e frame, f u r t h e r m o r e , i n which Colum assumes t h e v o i c e o f a s t o r y t e l l e r speaking t o c h i l d r e n , attempts to t r a n s f e r t h e essence of f o l k s t o r y t e l l i n g t o t h e p r i n t e d page. This pattern  of several t r a d i t i o n a l  s t o r i e s embedded i n a s t o r y -  telling  frame p r o v i d e s t h e model f o r many of Colum's l a t e r  books, among them The Boy A p p r e n t i c e d t o an Enchanter  (1920),  The Forge i n t h e F o r e s t (1930), The B i g Tree of Bunlahy and The F r e n z i e d P r i n c e My purpose  (1933)  (1943).  i n t h i s chapter i s t o i d e n t i f y , i n s o f a r as p o s s i b l e  the f o l k t a l e m a t e r i a l s i n The K i n g o f I r e l a n d ' s Son. of  children'  While most  t h e r e a d e r s o f the book would p r o b a b l y r e c o g n i z e i t s b a s i s i n  folklore,  few would be f a m i l i a r enough w i t h I r i s h f o l k t a l e s t o  r e c o g n i z e a l l o f t h e t a l e s t h a t Colum uses or t o d i s t i n g u i s h a c c u r a t e l y t h e f o l k t a l e content from Colum's f o l k t a l e - l i k e i n v e n t i o n Yet without  knowing where f o l k t a l e l e a v e s o f f and l i t e r a t u r e  begins i n The K i n g of I r e l a n d ' s Son, we can h a r d l y a s s e s s Colum's craftsmanship.  My i n i t i a l  t a s k , then, i s t o determine t h e  f o l k t a l e sources f o r Colum's n a r r a t i v e . from t h e f i r s t ,  s i n c e ' I cannot  My second  task follows  d i s c u s s Colum's sources without  d i s c u s s i n g h i s adaptation of f o l k t a l e s — h i s e x t r a c t i o n of parts, his  rearrangement  combining  o f n a r r a t i v e i n c i d e n t , and h i s method o f  several tales into a larger narrative.  These c o n s i d e r a -  t i o n s a r e p r i m a r i l y s t r u c t u r a l , but s i n c e some o f t h e fundamental changes i n Colum's sources a r e designed t o i n t r o d u c e i n t o t h e n a r r a t i v e concerns  such as depth o f c h a r a c t e r and thematic meaning  t h a t t h e f o l k t a l e by i t s n a t u r e e x c l u d e s , o t h e r o b s e r v a t i o n s w i l l f o c u s on n a r r a t i v e s t y l e .  In a d d i t i o n , I mean to examine b r i e f l y  Colum's r e - c r e a t i o n o f t h e context of t h e f o l k t a l e , t h e s t o r y telling Son.  situation,  i n t h e n a r r a t i v e frame o f The King o f I r e l a n d ' s  T h i s survey and a n a l y s i s o f f o l k t a l e sources and t h e i r  transformations  i s a n e c e s s a r y p r e l i m i n a r y to the c l o s e r study i n  Chapters I I and  I I I of Colum's a d a p t a t i o n  s t r u c t u r e to h i s own  more l i t e r a r y  Son  sources f o r The  were made i n the c o u r s e of a s e r i e s of  K i n g of  interviews  w i t h Zack Bowen, e x c e r p t e d i n " N i n e t y Years i n R e t r o s p e c t . " r e c a l l s how  he f i r s t  Betsy Brewer, a New  Ireland's and  Son,  The  s e v e r a l other  Colum  began p u b l i s h i n g f o l k l o r e , encouraged York newspaperwoman, and  Hungarian i l l u s t r a t o r who  by  W i l l y Pogany, the  c o l l a b o r a t e d w i t h Colum on The  C h i l d r e n of Odin  and  intent.  Colum's p r i n c i p a l comments about the Ireland's  of f o l k t a l e content  (1920), The  King of  Frenzied  Prince  books.  I had some books i n I r i s h I was t r a n s l a t i n g j u s t to keep my hand,in. Then W i l l y Pogany s a i d that he would l i k e to do an I r i s h book, but I hadn't any I r i s h book w r i t t e n . I had t h e s e t r a n s l a t i o n s and I suddenly thought t h a t I c o u l d put them together. And I d i d and I made the f i r s t p a r t of The K i n g of I r e l a n d ' s Son. Miss Betsy Brewer p a i d me e i g h t d o l l a r s a week f o r The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son. INTERVIEWER: Was she p r i n t i n g i t chapter by chapter? COLUM: Yes, as I wrote i t . They had a column i n the Sunday T r i b u n e . ^  T h i s i n t e r e s t i n g account i s t r o u b l i n g as w e l l as i l l u m i n a t i n g . What books was  Colum t r a n s l a t i n g ?  T h e i r i d e n t i t y , which would  a l l o w a c a r e f u l comparison of Colum's sources f o r p a r t o f book and  h i s r e v i s i o n s of them, has  the  remained u n f o r t u n a t e l y  A more e a s i l y r e s o l v e d problem i s the meaning of the phrase first  p a r t of The  here not  King of I r e l a n d ' s  to the f i r s t  Son."  elusive. "the  Colum e v i d e n t l y r e f e r s  s e c t i o n of the book, but  to the f i r s t  part  t h a t he wrote, f o r t h e s e r i e s t h a t ran i n the New t e n weeks i n l a t e 1915  and  e a r l y 1916  was  "The  York T r i b u n e f o r  Giant and  His  S e r v a n t s , " which became, w i t h s u b s t a n t i a l r e v i s i o n s , "The of Crom Duv,"  the p e n u l t i m a t e  House  s e c t i o n of The King of I r e l a n d ' s  Son. Colum names another tell  source f o r the book when he goes on to  Bowen, " I began by t e l l i n g the s t o r i e s from my  grandmother's  4 house i n The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son."  L i k e the e a r l i e r  comments,  t h i s remark i s too vague to enable the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n s of p a r t i c u l a r t a l e s from which Colum was That E x i s t e d i n My  working.  In "The  any  Tradition  Grandmother's House," the r e m i n i s c e n c e i n  which Colum e l a b o r a t e s on the s t o r y t e l l i n g m i l i e u i n which he found  h i m s e l f as a c h i l d , he r e f e r s to two memorable s t o r i e s which  undoubtedly  d i d i n f l u e n c e The K i n g of I r e l a n d ' s Son.  to one t e l l about the E a g l e t h a t was  "I l i s t e n e d  the o l d e s t c r e a t u r e i n the  w o r l d , " he w r i t e s , but he t e l l s us no more about t h i s E a g l e perhaps was  i n h i s mind as he c r e a t e d Laheen the E a g l e and  Eagle-Emperor f o r The King's Son) storyteller  except  to observe  (which the  t h a t the  seems t o p e r c e i v e such b e a s t s as symbols.  Colum  goes on to r e c a l l another t a l e t o l d by the same s t o r y t e l l e r , And what was the s t o r y ? One of a hundred of the same p a t t e r n — a k i n g ' s son, an enchanter o r a k i n g ' s daughter, a steed t h a t had some m a g i c a l endowment.^  K i n g , k i n g ' s son, enchanter, King of I r e l a n d ' s Son,  daughter  and  s t e e d a l l appear i n The  but as Colum h i m s e l f p o i n t s out,  these  d e t a i l s a r e h a r d l y enough t o d e f i n e a s p e c i f i c source, which c o u l d be  any o f a hundred o r so of the same genre. T r a n s l a t i o n s o f unnamed books of I r i s h f o l k t a l e s ,  stories  remembered from c h i l d h o o d , and, as Colum t e l l s Bowen, " a l l my imagination"'': Colum's sources f o r The King o f I r e l a n d ' s Son are do  l e s s than a c c e s s i b l e not e x i s t  cited  as s i n g l e  t o us today.  Yet f o l k t a l e s  generally  examples, n o t w i t h s t a n d i n g a counterexample  i n "The T r a d i t i o n  That E x i s t e d i n My Grandmother's House," g  an  e x c e p t i o n whose r a r i t y proves t h e r u l e .  examples o f t a l e p a t t e r n s t h a t have n a t i o n a l  They a r e l o c a l and o f t e n  international  distribution.  S t i t h Thompson g i v e s t h i s d e f i n i t i o n o f " t a l e  distinguishing  i t from " m o t i f , " i n h i s book, The F o l k t a l e .  type,"  A t y p e i s a t r a d i t i o n a l t a l e t h a t has an independent e x i s t e n c e . I t may be t o l d as a complete n a r r a t i v e and does n o t depend f o r i t s meaning on any o t h e r t a l e . I t may indeed happen t o be t o l d w i t h another t a l e , but t h e f a c t t h a t i t may appear alone a t t e s t s i t s independence. I t may c o n s i s t o f o n l y one m o t i f o r o f many. Most animal t a l e s and j o k e s and anecdotes a r e types o f one m o t i f . The o r d i n a r y Marchen ( t a l e s l i k e C i n d e r e l l a o r Snow White) a r e types c o n s i s t i n g of many o f them.^  S i n c e no two t e l l i n g s o f a t a l e a r e apt to be e x a c t l y individual  folktales,  alike,  such as t h o s e Colum heard a t h i s grandmother's  h e a r t h s i d e o r those t h a t make up a volume of t a l e s , a r e c o n s i d e r e d to be " v a r i a n t s "  o f t h e t a l e t y p e , w i t h t h e term " v e r s i o n " r e s e r v e d  for t a l e s with substantial the  t a l e type.  variation  Because i n d i v i d u a l  from t h e standard p a t t e r n of  f o l k t a l e s are related  to o t h e r s  of the same t a l e t y p e , we  can, I t h i n k , determine  w i t h some a c c u r a c y  what i n The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son comes from the f o l k t a l e and what does n o t , f i r s t  a n a l y z i n g the book f o r the t a l e types which i t  i n c l u d e s , c o n s u l t i n g A n t t i Aarne and  S t i t h Thompson's c a t a l o g u e  of i n t e r n a t i o n a l t a l e t y p e s , The Types of the F o l k - T a l e (1928), R e i d a r C h r i s t i a n s e n and Sean 0 S u i l l e a b h a i n ' s The Types of the I r i s h F o l k - T a l e (1963) and Folklore  6 S u i l l e a b h a i n ' s A Handbook of  (1942); and then comparing the t e x t of The King's  Irish Son  to the summaries of the i n t e r n a t i o n a l t a l e types g i v e n i n Thompson's The F o l k t a l e and to I r i s h examples of these t a l e s from the c o l l e c t i o n s of Kennedy, Jacobs, Y e a t s , Hyde, L a r m i n i e , C u r t i n and 6 S u i l l e a b h a i n . In t h i s way, t h a t governed  we  can a r r i v e a t some c o n c l u s i o n s about  the p r i n c i p l e s  Colum's a s s i m i l a t i o n of v a r i o u s f o l k t a l e s to each  other and to h i s o v e r a l l n a r r a t i v e d e s i g n — n o t a b l y , how up the f o l k t a l e t o l i t e r a r y concerns  he opens  such as c h a r a c t e r development,  theme, a l l e g o r y and p o i n t of view, w h i l e p r e s e r v i n g the  distinctive-  ness, even strangeness, t h a t makes the f o l k t a l e an a t t r a c t i v e model for I r i s h l i t e r a r y  forms.  E s p e c i a l l y where Colum's use of f o l k t a l e content i s concerned, it  i s convenient to d i v i d e The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son  major s e c t i o n s , o r " c y c l e s . " of action,' t h a t  into i t s three  I mean by " c y c l e " a complete  circle  is, a self-contained, resolved n a r r a t i v e u n i t .  C y c l e I , f o r i n s t a n c e , opens w i t h The K i n g of I r e l a n d ' s Son's c a r d game w i t h the Enchanter of the B l a c k Backlands t h e hero completes  t h e quest t h a t the Enchanter  and ends when  imposes.  Similarly,  C y c l e I I t a k e s us from the events t h a t l e a d t o the a b d u c t i o n of  Fedelma to the King's her r e l e a s e .  the G o a t s k i n ,  and  However, i t concerns a d i f f e r e n t  hero, G i l l y  i n c l u d e s a l l of the l o o s e l y - r e l a t e d e p i s o d e s  involving this character. i t s use  facilitating  C y c l e I I I , being more e p i s o d i c , i s not as c l e a r - c u t  as i t s p r e d e c e s s o r s . of  Son's v i c t o r y over her c a p t o r ,  (In t h i s case, t h e term " c y c l e "  i n phrases l i k e "The  Red-Branch C y c l e " and  where i t d e s i g n a t e s a c o l l e c t i o n of separate core of h e r o i c c h a r a c t e r s . )  The  embedded.in both C y c l e I I and  "The  recalls',;  Finn Cycle,"  stories involving a  Unique T a l e , which i s a c t u a l l y  C y c l e I I I , i s d i s c u s s e d here w i t h  Cycle I I . C y c l e I , the events King of I r e l a n d ' s Son  and  c e n t e r i n g on the c o n f l i c t between t h e the Enchanter of the B l a c k  Backlands,  i s the most s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d s e c t i o n of The King of I r e l a n d ' s r e l a t i v e l y untroubled  by the n a r r a t i v e c o m p l e x i t i e s t h a t c h a r a c t e r i z e  the r e s t of the book. of  the two  There i s l i t t l e a l t e r a t i o n or rearrangement  t a l e s t h a t are i t s c o n s t i t u e n t s .  type of C y c l e I i s "The  tale  Sean 6 S u i l l e a b h a i n ' s A Handbook  t h e r e a r e many examples of i t i n c o l l e c t i o n s of  I r i s h f o l k t a l e s , among them "The  King's  S c o l o g " i n Jeremiah Curt i n ' s Hero-Tales the King of E r i n and  Son  and  the White-Bearded  of I r e l a n d and  "The  the Giant of Loch L e i n " i n another  C u r t i n ' s c o l l e c t i o n s , Myths and i s the ogre's daughter, who for  principal  I r i s h F o l k l o r e l i s t s t h i s t a l e type among those c u r r e n t i n  I r e l a n d , ^ and  of  The  G i r l Helps i n the Hero's F l i g h t , "  Aarne-Thompson T a l e Type 313. of  Son,  F o l k T a l e s of I r e l a n d .  first  h e l p s the hero by  The  Son of girl  completing  him the i m p o s s i b l e t a s k s imposed by her f a t h e r , one  of which  can o n l y be completed i f the hero k i l l s her and life.  r e s t o r e s her to  Because the hero reassembles her i n c o m p l e t e l y , he i s l a t e r  a b l e to choose her from among her s i s t e r s .  The couple make  good  t h e i r escape from the "ogre through  the g i r l ' s m a g i c a l powers and  w i t h the h e l p of a m a g i c a l horse.  Thompson n o t e s t h a t t h i s  o f t e n begins w i t h the m o t i f of the maidens who  often  tale  t r a n s f o r m themselves  12 i n t o swans.  0 S u i l l e a b h a i n adds t h a t i n I r i s h v e r s i o n s of  t a l e , the hero engages, i n a magic card game and  this  i s f o r c e d to  search  13 out h i s opponent's i d e n t i t y when he l o s e s . r e s u l t a n t quest  f o r the ogre's  The c a r d game, the  i d e n t i t y , and  a l l appear i n The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son,  the Swan Maiden m o t i f  i n which the ogre i s the  Enchanter  and  the h e l p f u l maiden i s Fedelma.  The  last  and most  difficult  of the t h r e e t a s k s , the r e c o v e r y of a r i n g , i s among  those 6 S u i l l e a b h a i n mentions. 6 S u i l l e a b h a i n observes  t h a t Type 313  i s o f t e n preceded  by  14 Type 222,  "The War  of the B i r d s and Quadrupeds."  According  to  6 S u i l l e a b h a i n , i n I r i s h t a l e s of t h i s type, the hero commonly r e s o l v e s the grim s t r u g g l e by s h o o t i n g the eagle and opponent, an e e l or a snake. hero k i l l s We  the snake and  In The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son,  f r e e s the e a g l e , who  the t a l e type i n the p a r t i c u l a r t a l e which was  result  a variation  of Colum's d e l i b e r a t e r e v i s i o n s .  The e a g l e i n t h i s sequence, as we  on  Colum's source, or  i n the p r e s e r v a t i o n of the more h e r o i c of the two  opponents.  the  becomes h i s b e n e f a c t o r .  can r e a l l y o n l y guess whether t h i s r e v e r s a l was  whether i t i s a product  freeing his  I t does animal  s h a l l p r e s e n t l y see,  can be r e l a t e d to e a g l e s i n o t h e r p a r t s of the n a r r a t i v e , and i s  c e r t a i n l y a b e t t e r v e h i c l e f o r Colum's p o l i t i c a l a l l e g o r y , d i s c u s s e d i n Chapter I I I , than a snake would These two t a l e s , Types 222  be.  and 313,  of t h e n a r r a t i v e m a t e r i a l f o r C y c l e I.  provide v i r t u a l l y a l l  Colum quotes t h e events  of the n a r r a t i v e s a c c u r a t e l y and p r e s e r v e s the arrangement of events of the f o l k t a l e .  While the n a r r a t i v e changes a r e  slight,  t h e r e a r e some important a l t e r a t i o n s of f o l k t a l e s t y l e . o b v i o u s l y , the language  Most  i s s i m p l e r and more e x p l a n a t o r y than the  language of the t a l e s i n the c o l l e c t i o n s , no doubt to the y o u t h f u l n e s s of most of the book's r e a d e r s .  as a c o n c e s s i o n But  also,  Colum i n i t i a l l y p r e s e n t s h i s m a r v e l l o u s i m a g i n a t i v e world i n combination w i t h a more mundane p e r s p e c t i v e on r e a l i t y .  Romantic  f o l k t a l e s , a l s o c a l l e d Marchen, wonder-tales,and  "chimerat," c r e a t e  a s p e c i a l world i n which the most wonderful and  strange t h i n g s  happen as a matter of c o u r s e , as S t i t h Thompson n o t e s .  The  c h a r a c t e r s never show s u r p r i s e and r a r e l y comment when these e x t r a o r d i n a r y phenomena o c c u r .  But the King of I r e l a n d ' s Son  does f i n d these events e x t r a o r d i n a r y .  Consider, f o r example, the  h a n d l i n g of the c a r d game i n "Morraha," from W i l l i a m L a r m i n i e ' s West I r i s h F o l k - T a l e s and Romances.  And Morraha s a l u t e d the young man i n words i n t e l l i g e n t , i n t e l l i g i b l e , such as (were spoken) at t h a t time; and the o t h e r s a l u t e d him i n the same f a s h i o n , and asked him would he p l a y a game of c a r d s w i t h him; and Morraha s a i d t h a t he had not the wherewithal; and the other answered t h a t he was never without a candle o r the making of i t ; and he put h i s hand i n h i s pocket and drew out a t a b l e and two c h a i r s and a pack of c a r d s , and they sat  down on t h e e h a i r s and went t o t h e c a r d - p l a y i n g . The f i r s t game Morraha won, and t h e s l e n d e r r e d champion bade him make h i s c l a i m ; and he s a i d t h a t t h e l a n d above him should be f i l l e d w i t h s t o c k o f sheep i n the morning. I t was w e l l ; and he p l a y e d no second.game, but home he went.16  The method o f p r o d u c i n g - the c a r d s , t a b l e and c h a i r s , l i k e t h e magical  f i l l i n g o f t h e f i e l d w i t h sheep, may d e l i g h t t h e l i s t e n e r  w i t h i t s wonder, but Morraha h i m s e l f never  questions the p r o p r i e t y  of t h e s l e n d e r r e d champion's a b i l i t y t o d e f y the laws of n a t u r e . The King o f I r e l a n d ' s Son, however, responds w i t h which he i s faced q u i t e d i f f e r e n t l y .  to t h e s i m i l a r  events  The game i t s e l f i s  s t r a i g h t f o r w a r d : "They p l a y e d , and the King of I r e l a n d ' s Son won the game.""^  But the King's Son d e p a r t s r a t h e r smugly, and w i t h  no e x p e c t a t i o n t h a t h i s opponent w i l l make good h i s pledge.  He mounted h i s horse, s m i l i n g at the f o o l i s h o l d man who p l a y e d c a r d s w i t h h i m s e l f and who thought he c o u l d b r i n g t o g e t h e r f i f t y white k i n e , each w i t h a r e d ear, and a white c a l f by the s i d e o f each cow. KS, 4  The King's Son's a t t i t u d e , r e m i n i s c e n t i n i t s smugness of the would-be f o l k t a l e heroes who f a i l  ( u s u a l l y the two o l d e r b r o t h e r s )  r a t h e r than o f the younger b r o t h e r who succeeds,  suggests  one of  Colum's p r i n c i p a l a d a p t a t i o n s o f the f o l k t a l e , t h e development o f a moral dimension  i n h i s characters.  A c c o r d i n g l y , t h e hero's  quests, e s p e c i a l l y i n C y c l e I I , as we s h a l l see l a t e r i n t h i s Chapter  and i n the next one, serve as c o r r e c t i v e s f o r t h e hero's  flaws.  I n a d d i t i o n , t h e King's Son's p e r c e p t i o n , more o r d i n a r y  than t h a t o f most f o l k t a l e heroes, a l l o w s him f o r a time t o stand  i n f o r the u n i n i t i a t e d r e a d e r ; f o r the King o f I r e l a n d ' s Son  ceases  to f i n d m a g i c a l events e x t r a o r d i n a r y as he gets more d e e p l y i n v o l v e d i n them.  Colum uses the hero's p o i n t o f view here to  s t r e s s the enchantment that c h a r a c t e r i z e s t h e King's Son's imaginary world.  The hero's  i n i t i a l disbelief  i n the o l d man's wager, and  the i m p o s s i b i l i t y of d r i v i n g these c a t t l e out of the f i e l d , they have appeared  once  t h e r e , show t h a t the events o f the book take 18  place against a magical  landscape.  In the r e t e l l i n g of t a l e s i n C y c l e I , then, we literary  see some  i n n o v a t i o n s , n o t a b l y the a d a p t a t i o n of language  the c h i l d . r e a d e r , the deepening  to s u i t  of the hero's c h a r a c t e r t o a l l o w  f o r as yet u n e x p l o i t e d moral o v e r t o n e s , and the o r c h e s t r a t i o n of the hero's and the r e a d e r ' s g r a d u a l immersion i n t o the m a r v e l l o u s world o f the f o l k t a l e . i n c i d e n t , and no speak o f .  There  is little  change i n n a r r a t i v e  s t r u c t u r a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of the f o l k t a l e t o  C y c l e I I , which t r a c e s the attempts  of the King's  Son  to r e l e a s e Fedelma from her abductor, the King of the Land of M i s t , i s f a r more c o m p l i c a t e d . tales,  I t i s c o n s t r u c t e d out of  several  some of which must be s u b s t a n t i a l l y a l t e r e d , and none of  which bears the n a t u r a l r e l a t i o n s h i p to the" o t h e r s of C y c l e I's t a l e s , Types 313  and  222.  C y c l e I I opens w i t h events borrowed from Type 400,  "Man  on  Quest f o r L o s t W i f e , " l i s t e d by 6 S u i l l e a b h a i n among I r i s h Hero 19 Tales.  P u b l i s h e d v e r s i o n s i n c l u d e "Young Connal o f Howth" i n  O ' S u l l i v a n ' s (6 S u i l l e a b h a i n ' s ) F o l k t a l e s of I r e l a n d and "Saudan Og and Young Conal" i n C u r t i n ' s H e r o - T a l e s .  The hero o f t e n l o s e s  h i s w i f e when he f a l l s  i n t o an enchanted  slumber.  When he awakes,  he s e t s out t o f i n d her, g e t t i n g a d v i c e from an o l d e a g l e , t h e 20 sun, t h e moon, and wind, and from an o l d woman. t h i s t a l e i s o f t e n a s s o c i a t e d w i t h Swan Maidens.  L i k e Type 313, A c c o r d i n g to  Alan B r u f o r d , I r i s h v e r s i o n s d e r i v e from t h e medieval G a e l i c romance E a c h t r a C h o n n a i l l Ghulban,  i n which t h e hero l o s e s h i s  E i t h n e i n a slumber episode a f t e r a b d u c t i n g her from her g r i a n a n , or  sunny chamber.  carried her.  Upon awaking,  he d i s c o v e r s t h a t she has been  away a c r o s s t h e sea, and embarks on a sea-voyage  to f i n d  In o r a l v e r s i o n s o f t h i s s t o r y , t h e r e i s an i n - t a l e  about  whether one o f the c h a r a c t e r s , t h e R i d e r e on Ghaisge 21  (the Knight  i n Arms), has ever been worse o f f . Colum's most obvious a l t e r a t i o n  of t h i s t a l e i s i n l i f t i n g  from i t i t s b e g i n n i n g and end and d i s c a r d i n g i t s middle. King of I r e l a n d ' s Son, t h e f i r s t  sequence o f t h e f o l k t a l e , t h e  a b d u c t i o n of t h e h e r o i n e by t h e v i l l a i n , u s u a l response, a sea voyage and extended  i s severed from t h e s e a r c h , so t h a t t h e  l o s s of Fedelma m o t i v a t e s an e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t from t h a t  i n the f o l k t a l e .  a barren p l a i n  In The  c o u r s e o f events  A key change i s t h e s u b s t i t u t i o n o f  f o r t h e s t r a n d from which t h e f o l k t a l e h e r o i n e  i s abducted, which p r e p a r e s t h e way f o r t h e King's Son's o v e r l a n d s e a r c h f o r t h e Sword o f L i g h t , a . n a r r a t i v e sequence that from another t a l e  (see below).  i s adapted  The middle events o f I r i s h  folk-  t a l e s o f Type 400, i n c l u d i n g not o n l y t h e sea voyage but a l s o a f i g h t a g a i n s t t h e Turks and t h e hero's b r o t h e r s and o f t e n a second a b d u c t i o n of t h e h e r o i n e , a r e e n t i r e l y e l i m i n a t e d i n  Colum's v e r s i o n , but f o r the f i n a l s t r u g g l e w i t h the v i l l a i n middle  sequence of C y c l e I I , the  i n order t o f r e e the young l a d y .  of C y c l e I I , m o t i f s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h Type 400,  e a g l e who  g i v e s i n f o r m a t i o n and  hero's In the  such as the  the aged woman, sometimes appear,  but the context i s , of course, now  different.  A f t e r the  hero  awakens from h i s slumber, Colum e l a b o r a t e s on the f o l k t a l e s e a r c h f o r news of the a b d u c t i o n ,  hero's  i n t e r p o s i n g as a b r i d g e to  elements borrowed from another t a l e type a p a n i c k y j o u r n e y  through  a m a g i c a l wood, p r o b a b l y Colum's own  search  i n v e n t i o n , the hero's  f o r Fedelma's b l u e f a l c o n , which Colum may o r manuscript  s o u r c e s , and  have adapted  from  folk  the s t o r y of the King of Cats, e v i d e n t l y  a l s o Colum's own m a t e r i a l . The middle p a r t of C y c l e I I , and most of i t s e v e n t s , i s adapted  from "Warrior Sent f o r a Sword and a T a l e , " l i s t e d  by 22  0 ' S u i l l e a b h a i n as one of the I r i s h t a l e s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h F i n n . I t e x i s t s i n s e v e r a l examples which do not i n v o l v e F i n n , however, i n c l u d i n g "Art, King of L e i h s t e r , " i n O ' S u l l i v a n ' s F o l k t a l e s ; "Morraha," i n Larminie's West I r i s h F o l k - T a l e s and "The  S c u l l o g ' s Son  Romances;  from Muskerry," i n Kennedy's Legendary F i c t i o n s  of the I r i s h C e l t s ; and  " A r t , the King's Son,  and B a l o r Beimanach,  Two  Sons-in-Law of King Under-the Waves" and  and  the H a l f S l i m Champion," both i n C u r t i n ' s H e r o - T a l e s .  t h i s t a l e , the hero  "The  C o t t e r ' s Son  i s sent l o o k i n g f o r the Sword of L i g h t  In and  the T a l e t h a t i t s owner knows i n o r d e r e i t h e r t o pay a wager made over c a r d s o r to f u l f i l l the s t o r y i s the "One  geasa (bonds).  In " A r t , K i n g of L e i n s t e r , "  T a l e , " whereas i n "Morraha," i t i s the  " S t o r y of A n s h g a y l i a c h , " or "the The  t a l e u s u a l l y r e c o u n t s the  w i f e t r i c k s him transform  him  s t o r y of the  s u f f e r i n g of i t s t e l l e r a f t e r h i s  i n t o r e v e a l i n g a magic rod, which she uses to  into a wolf.  Alan B r u f o r d  hypothesizes that  i n - t a l e stems from a Middle I r i s h romance, no as "The  storytelling."  Werewolf's  Tale."  longer  extant,  the middle p a r t  The  end  pattern,  the  search  a T a l e , " as w e l l as the u s u a l lifting  motivational  out  frame.  motivation  ending of t a l e s of  o f the two  sought, the  for  fulfilling  the King of  In The  the  using  King of I r e l a n d ' s  the the  s t o r y , are e q u a l l y n e c e s s a r y i n sequence,  i t to f o r c e the t a l e Son,  Sword of L i g h t from the Unique T a l e .  i s needed to d e f e a t  bridge  In the f o l k t a l e ,  the geasa, a l t h o u g h they are o b t a i n e d  the hero s t e a l i n g the sword and i t s owner.  invented  f u r t h e r s t r u c t u r a l a l t e r a t i o n to  sword and  the  tales.  p a r t of t h i s t a l e which Colum does e x t r a c t . things  kill  r e l e a s e Fedelma f u n c t i o n i n g as a  There i s c o n s i d e r a b l e  two  this  f o r the quest i n Colum's h y b r i d  requirement that o n l y the Sword of L i g h t can  between the m o t i v a t i o n  the  i n "Warrior Sent f o r a  the n a r r a t i v e sequence of the quest from The  and  extraction  Colum d i s c a r d s  s t o r y i s t r a n s f e r r e d from "Lost W i f e , " w i t h the new,  the Land of Mist  the  a l t e r a t i o n , the e x t r a c t i o n of  of the "Lost W i f e . "  c i r c u m s t a n c e s which o c c a s i o n Sword and  first  of the t a l e , i s the complement of the  of the b e g i n n i n g and  the  significant  d i s t o r t what must have been h i s o r i g i n a l f a r more than  "Lost W i f e , " Type 400.  known  2 4  Colum's many changes to t h i s t a l e type are q u i t e and  this  from  however, Colum s e p a r a t e s Only the Sword of L i g h t  the King of the Land of M i s t and  to f r e e  Fedelma. for  Colum i n v e n t s a mechanism, not found  the darkening  i n the  folktale,  of the Sword of L i g h t , t h a t i s , the temporary  d e s t r u c t i o n of i t s s p e c i a l e f f i c a c y , and  then makes the Unique  T a l e t h e means f o r r e s t o r i n g i t to power and fragments the o b j e c t of search, then.  brightness.  Colum  In a d d i t i o n to s e p a r a t i n g  the Unique T a l e from the Sword of L i g h t , Colum s p l i t s the Unique Tale i t s e l f  i n t o two  p a r t s , the t a l e i t s e l f and  i t s b e g i n n i n g and what comes a f t e r i t s end" King's Son to  first  "what went b e f o r e  (KS, 88-89).  The  f i n d s the Unique T a l e , but t h a t alone i s no  him without.what comes b e f o r e i t and a f t e r i t .  good  Colum m a g n i f i e s  the c o m p l i c a t i o n s of the o r i g i n a l n a r r a t i v e , c r e a t i n g a s e r i e s of interdependent  tasks.  The h a p l e s s hero can't f r e e Fedelma u n t i l  he has the Sword of L i g h t and can't use the Sword of L i g h t it  i s brightened.  He can't b r i g h t e n i t without  which i s inadequate  until  the Unique T a l e ,  u n t i l he f i n d s i t s b e g i n n i n g and  end.  This  arrangement r e p r e s e n t s a l a y e r i n g of t a s k s , which a r e embedded i n each o t h e r r a t h e r than f o l l o w i n g each o t h e r In  serially.  h i s rearrangement of elements of "Warrior Sent  and a S t o r y , " Colum fragments the f o l k t a l e n a r r a t i v e ,  f o r a Sword  inserting  e p i s o d e s such as the one which r e s u l t s i n t h e darkening of the Sword of L i g h t .  He a l s o c o m p l i c a t e s the c h a i n of events  embedding quests w i t h i n o t h e r quests. the s e r v i c e of a more profound of  moral overtones and  folktales.  by  These changes a r e i n  t r a n s f o r m a t i o n , t h e development  c h a r a c t e r depths t h a t would not appear i n  When the King of I r e l a n d ' s Son  i s searching f o r the  Sword of L i g h t , f o r i n s t a n c e , Colum has the Gobaun Saor, a c h a r a c t e r known as the craftsman  of the gods i n I r i s h mythology  and  represented  as a c l e v e r b u i l d e r i n some f o l k t a l e s ,  t h a t the hero prove "your w i l l , (KS, for  81).  The  your purpose"  King's Son must guard the Gobaun Saor's  three nights against  K i n g ' s Son  your mind, and  require  at f i r s t  the Fua,  whose a g g r e s s i o n  takes the form o f t e m p t a t i o n .  forge  against  the  Whereas i n  the f o l k t a l e , "moral f i b e r " i s e x t e r n a l i z e d i n t o p h y s i c a l  strength,  25 courage, prudence and  cleverness,  in Cycle I I , i t i s f a i r l y of c h a r a c t e r  i n t h i s invented  c l e a r that  t h a t are being  tested.  interpolation  i t i s moral f i b e r and When the Fua  shrinks  strength into  a " s m a l l , empty s o r t of c r e a t u r e " a f t e r the King's Son's p h y s i c a l v i c t o r y over him  (KS,  p h y s i c a l shrinkage.  83),  there  Thus the p h y s i c a l s t r u g g l e r e p r e s e n t s  p s y c h o l o g i c a l b a t t l e of w i l l of good a g a i n s t  i s i m p l i e d a moral as w e l l as a  evil.  against  f e a r and  the moral b a t t l e  T h i s symbolism d i s t i n g u i s h e s t h i s  episode  from f o l k t a l e s t r u g g l e s , because the f o l k t a l e ' s focus on generally precludes moral dimensions. s i m i l a r l y moral and race  action  the development of such p s y c h o l o g i c a l The  the  and  encounter w i t h the Swallow People i s  q u a s i - a l l e g o r i c a l . L i k e the Fua,  i s Colum's c r e a t i o n , and  t h i s shadowy  the hero's e x p e r i e n c e w i t h them  demonstrates e x p l i c i t l y h i s own  folly  and  pride.  Because  Sword of L i g h t l o s e s i t s e f f i c a c y through a f a i l u r e of as opposed to a f a i l u r e of muscle, the  the  spirit  subsequent quest f o r  the  means to r e s t o r e i t becomes a s p i r i t u a l quest f o r p u r i t y , moral strength, for  and  atonement.  For t h i s reason, the King's Son's quest  the Unique T a l e i s l o n g and  difficult  than not  o n l y the  arduous, more i n v o l u t e d  search  but a l s o the whole of C y c l e I.  and  f o r the Sword of L i g h t  itself  In c o n d i t i o n i n g the quests i n  C y c l e I I i n t h i s way,  Colum suggests the t r a d i t i o n of w r i t t e n  h e r o i c sagas and romances r a t h e r than h e r o i c  folktales.  The Unique T a l e , C y c l e I I ' s embedded s t o r y , or i n - t a l e , i s i t s e l f based on t h r e e d i f f e r e n t  folktales.  The p a r t c a l l e d "what  went b e f o r e i t s b e g i n n i n g and.what comes a f t e r i t s e n d i n g " i s a v e r s i o n of "The Werewolf's T a l e , " mentioned  above as a common  i n - t a l e i n "Warrior Sent f o r a Sword and a S t o r y . " t h i s e p i s o d e i n The K i n g of I r e l a n d ' s Son analogue had  i n L a r m i n i e ' s "Morraha" t h a t  "Morraha" i n mind.  s t y l e of  i s so s i m i l a r t o i t s  i t seems l i k e l y t h a t  Colum  The Unique T a l e p r o p e r , however, i s based  on a t a l e type that u s u a l l y i s independent, i n another t a l e .  The  "The Maiden Who  r a t h e r than embedded  Seeks Her B r o t h e r s , " Type  451,  i s r e p r e s e n t e d i n p u b l i s h e d c o l l e c t i o n s by "The Twelve Wild Geese," which f i r s t of I r e l a n d  appeared  (1870) and was  i n Kennedy's The F i r e s i d e  Stories  l a t e r i n c l u d e d by Yeats i n h i s F a i r y  and F o l k T a l e s o f the I r i s h P e a s a n t r y (1888); i t i s l i s t e d among i n t e r n a t i o n a l t a l e types found i n I r e l a n d  in 6  Suilleabhain's  26 Handbook.  In t h i s s t o r y , the seven o r twelve b r o t h e r s t u r n  i n t o swans, geese o r ravens on the b i r t h of a s i s t e r and f l y away. Devoting h e r s e l f to f i n d i n g and r e s t o r i n g them, t h e s i s t e r on the t a s k o f sewing a s h i r t sound or c r y .  last  shirt  f o r each o f them without making a  She m a r r i e s a k i n g and  her c h i l d r e n , but remains as she i s about  takes  i s accused of  s i l e n t l y sewing.  murdering  She f i n i s h e s  the  to be executed, l i f t s the enchantment 27 from her b r o t h e r s , and i s r e s c u e d by them. Colum must t r u n c a t e "The Maiden Who Seeks Her B r o t h e r s , " f i r  i n order  to h o l d  i t s r e s o l u t i o n u n t i l l a t e r i n the book,  secondly to i n v o l v e i n i t some of the c h a r a c t e r s plots.  Accordingly,  he  the maiden the e x p u l s i o n d r a s t i c and  s u b s t i t u t e s f o r the n e a r - e x e c u t i o n of Sheen, a r e p u d i a t i o n  A l s o , Sheen, who  q u i t e as i m p e r t u r b a b l e as her  that  of  is less  She  though s t o u t - h e a r t e d  in i s not  f o l k t a l e p r e d e c e s s o r , must f a i l  so that they may  be  solved l a t e r .  p r o p h e s i e s that the enchantment can  and  the s t o l e n  child,  F i n a l l y , the Spae-Woman be l i f t e d  s t o l e n c h i l d , which p r o v i d e s  r e s o l u t i o n of the  by one  who  truly  a mechanism f o r the  story's d i f f i c u l t i e s .  These t h r e e  future  steps  trans-  form the f o l k t a l e from a s e l f - c o n t a i n e d s t o r y to an element fits  i n t o the l a r g e r n a r r a t i v e of The Within  at  i s r e u n i t e d w i t h her husband without r e s o l v i n g  the problems of the enchanted b r o t h e r s  l o v e s the  other  e a s i e r to revoke than the punishment t h r e a t e n e d  the o r i g i n a l t a l e .  her t a s k .  of the  and  "The  Maiden Who  Seeks Her  where Sheen meets the Hunter-King, her  K i n g of I r e l a n d ' s Brothers,"  that  Son.  at the  point  f u t u r e husband, Colum  i n s e r t s another independent f o l k t a l e , "The  G i r l Who  Corpse."  for this tale either  i n The  I cannot f i n d a s p e c i f i c l i s t i n g  Types of the F o l k t a l e or The  Follows  the  Types of the I r i s h F o l k t a l e ,  nor  does 0 S u i l l e a b h a i n mention i t i n the Handbook, a l t h o u g h  are  s e v e r a l somewhat s i m i l a r t a l e s of husbands whose enchantment  must be l i f t e d  by t h e i r wives or l o v e r s .  there  In s p i t e of the absence  of a s p e c i a l c l a s s i f i c a t i o n f o r t h i s t a l e , Kennedy n o t e s t h a t i t was  one  of the t a l e s t h a t he heard most f r e q u e n t l y when he  compiling  Legendary F i c t i o n s of the I r i s h C e l t s , i n which  was he  i n c l u d e s an example, e n t i t l e d "The s u c c e s s i v e n i g h t s , two or deformed, as  i f by  Corpse Watchers."  obstacles.  f r i g h t , on the next morning.  The  f o l l o w i n g i t s t e a d f a s t l y through a s e r i e s of m a g i c a l  Colum's v e r s i o n of the t a l e i s v e r y c l o s e to Kennedy's,  t h e i r p a r t of the t a l e t o l d v e r y b r i e f l y and  Except f o r t h i s change, the t a l e f i t s n e a t l y as an  two  girls,  indirectly.  i n t o the Unique T a l e  quite  entire narrative entity.  In a s s i m i l a t i n g to each other up  heroine  f r e e s i t from bonds of  a l t h o u g h s i n c e Colum i s l i t t l e concerned w i t h the f i r s t he has  two  g i r l s watch a c o r p s e , each a p p e a r i n g maimed  watches the c o r p s e on the t h i r d n i g h t and enchantment by  On  C y c l e I I , Colum f i r s t  the v a r i o u s  f o l k t a l e s t h a t make  of a l l r e s t r u c t u r e s the  constituent  t a l e s , s e l e c t i n g complementary p a r t s of d i f f e r e n t t a l e s ("Man Search f o r Lost W i f e , " "Warrior Sent f o r Sword and fragmenting and  Seeks Her  Story"),  extending n a r r a t i v e i n c i d e n t s (the quest i n  "Warrior Sent f o r Sword a n d , S t o r y " ) , d e l a y i n g Who  on  Brothers").  r e s o l u t i o n ("Maiden  A l l of these are l i t e r a r y  transformations  of the o r i g i n a l o r a l m a t e r i a l t h a t combine independent f o l k t a l e s i n a n a r r a t i v e whole more complex than any those of complicated  design.  An  single folktale,  important element i n the  combination of these t a l e s i s the c o n f l a t i o n of Because "Maiden Who b o t h make use  Seeks Her  of the m o t i f  Brothers"  combine them, making them two  about the  same l o s t  w i t h another c h a r a c t e r ,  and  characters.  "The  Werewolf's T a l e "  of the s t o l e n c h i l d , f o r  Colum can  child.  even  When the  instance,  s i d e s of a s i n g l e s t o r y  stolen child  G i l l y of the G o a t s k i n ,  is identified  the two  in-tales  i n C y c l e I I are l i n k e d to C y c l e I I I . several tales, one r o l e .  In o r d e r t o i n t e g r a t e the  i n o t h e r words, c h a r a c t e r s must assume more than  As a r e s u l t , the q u a s i - f o l k t a l e c h a r a c t e r s of The  K i n g o f I r e l a n d ' s Son tend to be more complex than r e a l  folktale  personages, who  folktale  stepmother,  are o f t e n l i t t l e more than c o u n t e r s .  A  f o r example, o f t e n the primary source of v i l l a i n y i n  a t a l e , g e n e r a l l y remains unrepentant and i s punished by banishment,  o r even death.  In The King o f I r e l a n d ' s Son,  C a i n t i g e r n , the hero's unsympathetic  step-mother  however,  i n Cycle I, turns  out to be Sheen, the h e r o i c and a f f l i c t e d maiden of the Tale.  humiliation,  Unique  Such a combination, i m p o s s i b l e i n the f o l k t a l e , i n t r o d u c e s  a moral f l e x i b i l i t y and depth t o Colum's n a r r a t i v e . effect  Colum i n  i m p l i e s a c h a r a c t e r psychology, one which would e x p l a i n  C a i n t i g e r n ' s c r o s s n e s s by way  o f Sheen's g r i e f .  S i m i l a r l y , the  Hunter-King, the hero's f a t h e r , i s g i v e n a s p i r i t u a l through h i s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h the enchanted  corpse.  dimension Colum doesn't  e x p l o r e e i t h e r C a i n t i g e r n or t h e Hunter-King v e r y d e e p l y by the standards of l i t e r a r y f i c t i o n , that  i s a step or two  but he does suggest a c o m p l e x i t y  away from f o l k t a l e  characterization.  C y c l e I I , then, c o n t a i n s f o u r s e p a r a t e f o l k t a l e s : "Man Quest  on  f o r Lost Wife"; "Warrior Sent f o r a Sword and a S t o r y " 1  ( i n c l u d i n g the i n - t a l e , based on "The W e r e w o l f s T a l e " ) ; Maiden Who Corpse."  Seeks Her B r o t h e r s " ; and "The  G i r l Who  "The  F o l l o w s the  I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t h a t n e i t h e r C y c l e I nor C y c l e I I  c o n t a i n s the f o l k t a l e t h a t i s a c t u a l l y known as "The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son," an example of which may B e s i d e the F i r e  (1890).  be found i n Douglas Hyde's  In c o n s t r u c t i n g C y c l e I I out of t h e s e  t a l e s , Colum has  elaborated  the f o l k t a l e ' s mechanism f o r embedding  t a l e s i n t o a system of l a y e r s i n which each t a l e envelops the next one.  First  comes the beginning  the maiden from the  of F o l k t a l e I, the a b d u c t i o n  s l e e p i n g hero.  T h i s s t o r y i s suspended when  the change i n the c i r c u m s t a n c e s of the abduction i n t o the quest f o r the Sword of L i g h t and F o l k t a l e I I r a t h e r than the  of  l e a d s the hero  then the Unique T a l e of  sea voyage of F o l k t a l e I.  Folktale III  i s i n t e r p o s e d when the second o b j e c t of s e a r c h of F o l k t a l e I I , that  i s , the Unique T a l e , i s "found" ( i . e . , heard).  In t u r n ,  F o l k t a l e I I I i s i n t e r r u p t e d by F o l k t a l e IV, watching the The  t a l e s are reassembled  in reverse order:  Hunter-King to complete F o l k t a l e IV;  corpse.  Sheen m a r r i e s  she g i v e s up  her  search,  to c l o s e F o l k t a l e I I I ( c o n s i d e r a b l y d i f f e r e n t l y from the the King's Son  the  original);  l e a r n s of the r e s t of the Unique T a l e to complete  the quest e x t r a c t e d  from F o l k t a l e I I ; and  f i n a l l y , the b a t t l e  f o r t h e r e l e a s e of Fedelma completes F o l k t a l e I.  This involution  i s modelled on the p a t t e r n of the f o l k t a l e , but goes f a r beyond i t •in the extent  and  the symmetry of the l a y e r i n g , making.a  literary  e l a b o r a t i o n of a s t r u c t u r a l f e a t u r e of o r a l n a r r a t i v e . The  c o n s t r u c t i o n of C y c l e I I I , the p a r t of the a c t i o n  f e a t u r i n g G i l l y of the Goatskin, difficult i s created and  also c a l l e d Flann,  i s more  to a s s e s s than other p a r t s of the n a r r a t i v e because i t out  invention.  of a jumble of f o l k t a l e , f o l k m o t i f ,  folk  character,  In C y c l e I I , Colum's i n v e n t i o n s , such as  King's Son's encounter w i t h the Swallow People, stand  the  out  l a r g e l y because the f o l k t a l e m a t e r i a l i n C y c l e I I i s so  clearly,  well-defined.  There are whole f o l k t a l e s i n C y c l e I I I , but these tend t o be s e p a r a t e from the main events, which combine b i t s of t a l e s w i t h o r i g i n a l m a t e r i a l , o f t e n i n a form t h a t mimics f o l k t a l e form. The c h a r a c t e r i z a t i o n of G i l l y of the Goatskin i s t y p i c a l of t h i s c y c l e i n the d i f f i c u l t y one G i l l y of the G o a t s k i n  (a g i l l y  occurs i n several d i f f e r e n t Kennedy's "Adventures F i c t i o n s , Type 650 who  contexts i n I r i s h f o l k l o r e .  In  of G i l l a na Chreck an Gour" i n Legendary  ("Strong  John"), G i l l y  i s a humorous f i g u r e , t a k e s up a goat  s i x t e e n b e f o r e f i n a l l y going out i n t o t h e world.  the e f f o r t s of the King to d e s t r o y him f a i l ,  wins t h e King's daughter to  i s a l a d , o f t e n a servant l a d )  s t i r s from t h e ashes by t h e h e a r t h - s i d e and  s k i n at age of  has i n a n a l y z i n g i t s s o u r c e s .  by making her l a u g h .  be i n the t r a d i t i o n of the Great  adventures,  and  Gilly  finally  This G i l l y  F o o l , or .Amadan Mor,  All  seems whose  B r u f o r d t e l l s us, are r e c o r d e d i n E a c h t r a an Amadain  29 Mhoir.  A second  G i l l y of the G o a t s k i n appears  " G i l l a na G r a k i n and Tales.  i n a hero  tale,  F i n MacCumhail," i n C u r t i n ' s Myths and  A w a r r i o r d i s g u i s e s h i m s e l f i n s k i n s and t a k e s  Folk  service  w i t h F i n n as a common g i l l y or servant i n o r d e r t o evade an opponent who two  has the r i g h t  ever meet.  to one u n r e s i s t e d blow should  During h i s s e r v i c e w i t h F i n , he performs  o r d i n a r y f e a t s , d i e s at the hands of h i s foe and r e s t o r e d to l i f e .  the extra-  i s magically  N e i t h e r t h i s s t o r y , r e l a t e d to E a c h t r a  Iollainn  30 Airmdhearg,  nor Kennedy's s t o r y bears a great l i k e n e s s to  the events c o n c e r n i n g Colum's G i l l y . Gilly  i s , at l e a s t at f i r s t ,  However, because Colum's  a l o w l y , comic f e l l o w , he seems more  a k i n to Kennedy's Great F o o l than to C u r t i n ' s h e r o i c G i l l y . the same reason, he seems l i t t l e r e l a t e d to the G i l l y First  M a r r i a g e " (Legendary  b r i e f l y disguised though,  some comic  F i c t i o n s ) , who  i n goatskins.  For  i n "Fionn's  i s a c t u a l l y Finn himself,  T h i s m u l t i p l i c i t y of  analogues,  and a n t i - h e r o i c , some more t r a d i t i o n a l l y  heroic,  i s a p p r o p r i a t e to the changes G i l l y undergoes i n The K i n g o f I r e l a n d ' s Son.  G i l l y ' s adventures begin w i t h the a b s u r d l y t a r d y m a t u r a t i o n  o f Kennedy's G i l l y , and l i k e him,  Colum's G i l l y goes out  the world i g n o r a n t of i t s ways and of h i s own  powers.  into  By the  end of t h e book, however, G i l l y has been transformed from a common bumpkin w i t h the l o w l y , g e n e r i c name " G i l l y , " to a King's Son  and  q u a s i - h e r o , w i t h the more h e r o i c name of " F l a n n . " An important d i f f e r e n c e between the King of I r e l a n d ' s Son and  G i l l y of the G o a t s k i n t h a t has a profound e f f e c t on the form  of t h e i r r e s p e c t i v e n a r r a t i v e s stems from the d i s t i n c t i o n  between  the f o l k t a l e ' s a c t i v e and p a s s i v e p r o t a g o n i s t s , i t s " s e e k e r - h e r o e s " and  "victim-heroes".  V l a d i m i r Propp notes t h a t t h i s  determines the form of a f o l k t a l e n a r r a t i v e almost  distinction  from the o u t s e t .  The d e p a r t u r e s of seeker-heroes and v i c t i m - h e r o e s are . . . d i f f e r e n t . The d e p a r t u r e s of the former group have s e a r c h as t h e i r g o a l , w h i l e t h o s e of the l a t t e r mark the b e g i n n i n g o f a j o u r n e y without searches, on which v a r i o u s adventures await the hero.31  Whereas the King's Son  i s c l e a r l y a seeker-hero, whose o b j e c t i s  to s e a r c h out the e v i l Enchanter and to r e s c u e h i s abducted sweetheart  Fedelma, G i l l y i s a v i c t i m hero.  He l e a v e s h i s dubious  home t o get away from h i s none-too-sympathetic  g u a r d i a n s , the Hags  of  the Long Teeth.  of  l o o s e l y r e l a t e d episodes.  i n c i d e n t at f i r s t , interested  Accordingly, G i l l y ' s story f a l l s Although  into a  i t rambles from i n c i d e n t  i n l e a r n i n g h i s own  name and  the i d e n t i t y of h i s p a r e n t s . somewhat from the t r u e  v i c t i m - h e r o of the f o l k t a l e , whose j o u r n e y s i n v o l v e no all.  to  i t g a i n s a vague u n i t y as G i l l y becomes i n c r e a s i n g l y  These g o a l s , though hazy, d i s t i n g u i s h G i l l y  at  string  searches  But on the o t h e r hand, G i l l y ' s s e a r c h i s not a t a l l l i k e  t h e King's Son's q u e s t s . l a z y f a s h i o n and  I t i s c a r r i e d out  i s plagued  runs a l o n g w i t h and  by f a i l u r e .  The  i n a rambling,  almost  f a c t that Cycle I I I  i s bound by the t i g h t l y c o n t r o l l e d , e n d - d i r e c t e d  C y c l e I I , i n which i t f i r s t  appears  s t r u c t u r e C y c l e I I I than does  as an i n - t a l e , does more to  G i l l y ' s i n t e r m i t t e n t quest f o r  name and f a m i l y . Cycle I I I i s episodic, and l a r g e l y i n v e n t e d .  i n c o n t r a s t to C y c l e s I and  II, flexible,  I t does, however, c o n t a i n some important 32  t a l e types. A man  and  The  first  of these i s "The  Anger B a r g a i n , " Type  h i s servant make a c o n t r a c t t h a t the f i r s t  angry w i t h t h e o t h e r w i l l be s e v e r e l y p e n a l i z e d .  one  Often,  1000.  to get the  master b a r g a i n s double wages a g a i n s t the s e r v a n t ' s doing h i s s e r v i c e without H i s Master,"  pay.  Jacobs r e p r i n t s a v e r s i o n of t h i s , "Jack  i n C e l t i c Fairy Tales; i t f i r s t  Fireside Stories.  appeared  i n Kennedy's  T h i s v e r s i o n i s q u i t e l i k e Colum's, s i n c e the  l o s e r of the wager must f o r f e i t not o n l y money but a s t r i p of from h i s neck to h i s h e e l . taking l i t e r a l l y legs"  and  The  metaphorical  servant manipulates  by  i n s t r u c t i o n s l i k e "Come w i t h h o r s e s '  (that i s , come q u i c k l y ) . (Type 1007)  sheep" (Type 1006).  events  skin  or "Keep an eye on  Because of the e p i s o d i c n a t u r e of C y c l e  the Ill's  v i c t i m - h e r o p l o t , Colum can i n s e r t t h i s t a l e whole i n t o t h e adventures  of G i l l y .  As w i t h "The G i r l Who Watches a  Corpse,"  t h e t a l e f u r t h e r s t h e c o n c e p t i o n of c h a r a c t e r somewhat, t r a n s forming G i l l y ' s i n i t i a l ficial  crudeness  cunning.  l a c k of w o r l d l y knowledge i n t o a super-  t o h i d e h i s e s s e n t i a l c l e v e r n e s s and p r a c t i c a l  T h i s s t o r y does n o t , however, combine f o r m a l l y w i t h other  n a r r a t i v e m a t e r i a l t o form p a r t o f t h e main p l o t . Another f o l k t a l e t h a t i s i n s e r t e d whole i n t o C y c l e I I I i s 33 "The  M a s t e r - T h i e f , " Type 1525.  t h i e v e s and becomes adept. well-guarded  A youth i s a p p r e n t i c e d t o  His s k i l l  i s tested i n stealing a  h o r s e , sheep from a d r i v e r and so on.  Colum's  method o f i n t e g r a t i n g t h i s t a l e w i t h o t h e r s i n t h e book by c o n f l a t i n g characters i s s i m i l a r to that i n Cycle I I .  Mogue t h e  Robber i n t h i s e p i s o d e l a t e r p r o v i d e s g i f t s f o r G i l l y t o g i v e t o Flame-of-Wine and exposes t h e Enchanter  o f t h e B l a c k Back-Lands  to  t h e King o f I r e l a n d ' s Son.  The t h i e v e s , s i m i l a r l y , j u s t  to  be t h e v e r y band o f robbers who e a r l i e r  i n G i l l y ' s story  the Spae-Woman's goose and the C r y s t a l Egg a l o n g wth i t . t h e l e s s , t h e episode, which f o l l o w s t h e f o l k t a l e f a i r l y  happen stole  Neverclosely,  i s a d i v e r s i o n t h a t i s n o t r e a l l y n e c e s s a r y f o r t h e main p l o t . • There i s an i n t e r e s t i n g analogy between t h i s l i t t l e events i n C y c l e I . to  J u s t as t h e King o f I r e l a n d ' s Son was f o r c e d  perform t a s k s t o uphold  apprentice,  episode and the  h i s d i s g u i s e as an enchanter's  so G i l l y performs  kind of protective coloration.  f e a t s o f master t h i e v e r y as a T h i s symmetry, a l o n g w i t h t h e  i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f c h a r a c t e r s i n t h e episode w i t h c h a r a c t e r s i n o t h e r p a r t s of t h e n a r r a t i v e ,  i n t e g r a t e s ''The M a s t e r - T h i e f " i n t o  t h e book more t h o r o u g h l y than "The The t h i r d  Anger B a r g a i n . "  f o l k t a l e i n C y c l e I I I p r o v i d e s much of the m a t e r i a l  f o r an i n - t a l e , the s t o r y t h a t Morag t e l l s G i l l y at the House of Crom Duv.  "The  Three S i s t e r s , " or " C i n d e r e l l a , " Type 510,  r e l a t e d to I r i s h magic t a l e s 29 and  is  30 i n 0 S u i l l e a b h a i n ' s  34 Handbook. husbands.  Both of t h e I r i s h t a l e s concern t h r e e g i r l s The youngest  at f i r s t  seeking  i s o s t r a c i z e d , e i t h e r f o r her  u g l i n e s s or her l a z i n e s s , but e v e n t u a l l y wins husbands f o r a l l three. who  T a l e 29  i s known as " A s s a p e l t " a f t e r t h e t h i r d  i s not o n l y u g l y but extremely  hairy.  daughter,  Thrown i n t o the  fire  d u r i n g a s t r u g g l e , she emerges w i t h her h a i r y p e l t burned o f f , the most b e a u t i f u l of the t h r e e g i r l s .  The h e r o i n e of T a l e  l i k e Morag i n The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son, must outsmart her t h r e e daughters.  30,  a hag  and  L i k e the h e r o i n e of T a l e 30, Morag makes an  exchange w i t h the h a g s — p i l l o w s w i t h slumber p i n s i n them r a t h e r than n i g h t c a p s , h o w e v e r — i n order t o p r o t e c t her s i s t e r s . Type 510  Although  i s p r e s e n t e d as an i n - t a l e , Colum p r o v i d e s l i n k s  w i t h C y c l e I I and w i t h other p a r t s of C y c l e I I I .  both  The young  men  whom Morag wins as husbands f o r her s i s t e r s are Downal and Dermott, the h a l f - b r o t h e r s , once c h u r l i s h , now King of I r e l a n d ' s Son. f o l k t a l e by marrying Long Teeth, who  first  appear here as w e l l .  reformed,  of the  Morag e v e n t u a l l y f o l l o w s the l e a d of the  the t h i r d b r o t h e r , G i l l y .  The Hags of the  appear at the v e r y b e g i n n i n g of C y c l e I I I , Morag handles them much more c l e v e r l y  does G i l l y , whose e a r t h i n e s s m a n i f e s t s i t s e l f  than  i n f e e t of c l a y  r e s u l t s i n f a i l u r e when he c o n f r o n t s them t o d i s c o v e r h i s  and  parentage.  C u r i o u s l y , Morag's i n - t a l e i s one given i n the f i r s t  one  t h a t the Enchanter t e l l s i n the s e c t i o n d e r i v e d from the  first  Traditional  i n The King of I r e l a n d ' s  Son  "Warrior  person.  of the few  i n Search of a Sword and  person,  and  in-tales,  such as  the  a T a l e , " a r e u s u a l l y i n the  i n the manuscript  romances, a c c o r d i n g to B r u f o r d , 35  the n a r r a t o r of an  i n - t a l e always t e l l s of h i s own  experiences.  To make the t a l e of t h e "Three S i s t e r s " such an i n - t a l e , however, i s t o change i t s terms c o n s i d e r a b l y .  Although  i t s events o r i g i n a t e  i n f o l k l o r e , the p o i n t of view of Morag's i n - t a l e makes i t seem l e s s l i k e a f o r m u l a i c f o l k t a l e than the p e r s o n a l r e m i n i s c e n c e a character i n a novel. literary  Colum, then,  of  gives t h i s t a l e a decidedly  treatment. 36  C y c l e I I I ends w i t h "The After forgetting him,  F o r g o t t e n F i a n c e , " Type  a warning from the f a i t h f u l maiden who  the hero l o s e s a l l memory of her.  f o r t h r e e s u c c e s s i v e n i g h t s w i t h him, memory, j u s t  Folk Tales.  appears s u b o r d i n a t e d by day and Norway." Son  and  a man "The  t r a d e s magic o b j e c t s  f i n a l l y arouses  to Type 425,  about a husband who  by n i g h t , i n the t a l e e n t i t l e d "The F i a n c e " appears i n The  in a f a i r l y unadulterated  form.  "The  not  also i s a bear Brown Bear of  King of I r e l a n d ' s  Colum chooses to have the s l e e p w i t h him,  i n c o n s i d e r a t i o n f o r h i s young audience. l i n k t h i s t a l e w i t h "The  his  This t a l e often  In the same volume, Type 313C  Forgotten  helped  the Giant of Loch L e i n " i n C u r t i n ' s  maiden simply meet her young man,  to  has  " G i r l Helps i n Hero's F l i g h t , " as i n  of the King of E r i n and  Myths and  She  as he i s about to be m a r r i e d .  f o l l o w s t a l e 313A, Son  313C.  no  doubt  He uses the magic  Three S i s t e r s . "  The  only  gifts  significant  i n t e r p o l a t i o n i s Morag's L i t t l e Red Hen as the means f o r j o g g i n g G i l l y ' s memory.  Otherwise, t h i s episode c l o s e s C y c l e I I I by  r e t u r n i n g G i l l y ' s e p i s o d i c , rambling and f r e q u e n t l y  unfolkloric  n a r r a t i v e to t h e form and content o f the f o l k t a l e . Colum uses f o u r f o l k t a l e s i n c o n s t r u c t i n g C y c l e I I I , then, and many more f o l k t a l e m o t i f s .  But as the f o l l o w i n g o u t l i n e of  events demonstrates,.a great d e a l of the m a t e r i a l i s not but i n v e n t i o n , a l t h o u g h i t i s f r e q u e n t l y d i s g u i s e d by  folktale  folktale-like  form or s t y l e .  1.  Escape from the Hags of the Long Teeth  2.  Rescue of the Weasel (a donor)  3.  Recovery of the magic C r y s t a l  4.  Life  5.  T h e f t of the Egg  6.  "The Anger B a r g a i n " (Type  7.  Quest f o r I d e n t i t y ! ! : counting horns, Unique T a l e  8.  Quest Egg  9.  "The M a s t e r - T h i e f " (Type  i n the f o r e s t  (a. s t a t i c  Egg episode)  1000) telling  f o r I d e n t i t y I I : s e a r c h f o r the C r y s t a l 1525)  10.  C o u r t s h i p of  Flame-of-Wine  11.  Quest f o r I d e n t i t y I I I : capture by Hags of Long Teeth  12.  Escape from Crom Duv  13.  M o r a g s s t o r y ("Three S i s t e r s , " Type F a i r y Rowan Tree)  14.  Escape from Crom Duv  15.  Morag's j o u r n e y (which completes her  16.  "The F o r g o t t e n F i a n c e " (Type  (and r e t u r n )  1  510;  I I (with Obstacle F l i g h t ) story)  313C)  In a c t u a l i t y , f o l k t a l e n a r r a t i v e makes up o n l y a s m a l l p a r t of Cycle I I I .  The o t h e r e p i s o d e s i n G i l l y ' s adventures a r e d e s i g n e d  to i m i t a t e f o l k l o r e events and s t r u c t u r e s  ( f o r i n s t a n c e , the mock  donor-sequence, w i t h genuine  number 2 i n the l i s t ) and  f o l k t a l e m o t i f s , but they a r e r e a l l y o r i g i n a l  than t r a d i t i o n a l m a t e r i a l . G i l l y much d i f f e r e n t folktales,  f r e q u e n t l y a r e stocked  The events t h a t Colum c r e a t e s make  from the f o l k t a l e hero.  the ."Adventures  rather  More than most  of G i l l y o f the G o a t s k i n " educate  t h e i r hero, p r o v i d i n g him w i t h the o p p o r t u n i t y to develop a p r o b i t y and depth a l i e n to the f o l k t a l e .  There are f o l k t a l e maidens  whom the hero u l t i m a t e l y scorns f o r t h e i r h a u g h t i n e s s , i n of the a t t r a c t i o n of  of t h e i r beauty, but G i l l y ' s misguided  spite courtship  Flame-of-Wine i s too f u l l of p i n i n g and misjudgement, and  the  t r u t h f o r c e d out o f her by the G i r d l e of T r u t h too p h i l o s o p h i c a l and too m o r a l , to s t r i k e one as f o l k l o r i c . way  t o t e a c h G i l l y about  The e p i s o d e i s a  beauty, t r u t h and l o v e .  The quest f o r  37 a name and a f a m i l y are q u i t e u n f o l k l o r i c ,  and more than  any  o t h e r f e a t u r e of the book i n d i c a t e that Colum has t h i n g s t o say i n t h i s n a r r a t i v e that go q u i t e beyond the f o l k t a l e . o r d e r l i n e s s of these events, i n which the neat n a r r a t i v e i n C y c l e I I g i v e s way  i n v o l u t i o n of  to a rambling l i n e a r i t y , suggests  t h a t Colum i s p u r p o s e l y working a g a i n s t f o l k t a l e II w i l l  show i n some d e t a i l .  often f a i l , falls  as when he f i r s t  The d i s -  Indeed,  forms, as  Chapter  G i l l y ' s attempts at a c t i o n  searches f o r the C r y s t a l Egg,  or  i n l o v e w i t h Flame-of-Wine, or c o n f r o n t s the Hags of the  Long Teeth, and c o n v e r s e l y , he. i s o f t e n rewarded without having earned  it.  The  with information  system of a c t i o n s and rewards of  the f o l k t a l e , then, i s q u i t e d i s r u p t e d . The changes t h a t  Colum makes i n h i s source m a t e r i a l to c r e a t e  The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son are l a r g e l y  c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the i n t e n t i o n  of  transforming f o l k material into a u n i f i e d n a r r a t i v e f o r c h i l d r e n .  Colum e l a b o r a t e s the s t r u c t u r e of the f o l k t a l e , combining d i v e r s e f o l k n a r r a t i v e s i n t o one  grand,  literary fairy  many  tale.  To c r e a t e a l o n g , f a i r l y u n i f i e d n a r r a t i v e out of ten or e l e v e n f o l k t a l e s , a f a i r amount of o r i g i n a l m a t e r i a l , and  countless f o l k  and m y t h i c a l c h a r a c t e r s and m o t i f s , Colum d i s s e c t s , and of  embeds h i s c o n s t i t u e n t " f o l k t a l e s . the thematic  import  rearranges  To g i v e the work some  of w r i t t e n m a t e r i a l , Colum t r a n s f o r m s  t h e personages of the f o l k t a l e , h a r d l y more than c o u n t e r s t o be pushed through t h e t w i s t y channels of the p l o t ,  into characters  w i t h g r e a t e r p s y c h o l o g i c a l and moral c o m p l e x i t y than f i g u r e s but w i t h l e s s i n d i v i d u a l i t y and characters in novels.  folktale  l e s s "inner l i f e "  Colum a l s o makes h i s c h a r a c t e r s and h i s  n a r r a t i v e c a r r y q u a s i - a l l e g o r i c a l meanings, as when the Son  f i g h t s w i t h the Fua or encounters  Gilly  than  King's  the Swallow People, or when  of the G o a t s k i n f a l l s i n l o v e w i t h Flame-of-Wine.  Along  w i t h a l l of these t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s , Colum a l s o minimizes  sex  and  v i o l e n c e i n h i s s o u r c e s , t o make them more s u i t a b l e f o r a y o u t h f u l audience. In  The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son,  f o l k t a l e c o n t e n t , f o l k t a l e form and  Colum borrows and folktale style.  transforms One  of h i s  most noteworthy t r a n s f o r m a t i o n s i s of the f o l k t a l e ' s o r a l i t y , which he f a s h i o n s a n a r r a t i v e frame t h a t i s one of the of  the book.  Reminiscing  of  some of h i s own  i n the P r e f a c e to t h e 1966  c h i l d r e n ' s s t o r i e s , The  from  distinctions  collection  Stone of V i c t o r y  and  Other T a l e s , Colum i n d i c a t e s t h a t p a r t of h i s purpose i n w r i t i n g books of t a l e s was  " t o make s t o r i e s read as i f they were being  told,  as a man who was a s t o r y t e l l e r t o l d them when s t o r y t e l l i n g was a 38 vocation."  In many p l a c e s ,  from h i s own youth, s t r e s s i n g  Colum r e c a l l s such a s t o r y t e l l e r that  i t was h i s t e c h n i q u e , s p e c i -  f i c a l l y h i s use o f h i s v o i c e , t h a t made h i s t a l e s memorable.  especially  In h i s small book, S t o r y T e l l i n g New and Old,  from t h e p r e f a c e Colum d e s c r i b e s  reprinted  to The F o u n t a i n o f Youth; S t o r i e s t o be T o l d  (1927),  t h i s s t o r y t e l l e r of o l d .  The s t o r y - t e l l e r whom I l i s t e n e d t o when I was young had many advantages over t h e s t o r y - t e l l e r i n one o f our p u b l i c l i b r a r i e s . He t o l d h i s s t o r i e s i n the evening; he t o l d them by t h e l i g h t o f a c a n d l e and a peat f i r e — o f t e n by the l i g h t o f a peat f i r e o n l y . There were shadows upon t h e w a l l s around. Nothing t h a t he t o l d us had t o be v i s u a l i z e d i n t h e g l a r e of day o r by t h e f l a r e o f e l e c t r i c l i g h t . He had a language that had n o t been w r i t t e n down; he had words t h a t had not been made c o l o r l e s s by constant use i n books and newspapers. He was f r e e t o make a l l s o r t s of rhymes and chimes i n the language he used, and t o u s e words t h a t were meaningless except f o r t h e overtones o f meaning t h a t were i n t h e i r sounds. And he c o u l d make h i s hero s t a r t from t h e h i l l t o p t h a t was known t o a l l h i s audience, and he c o u l d have h i s b a t t l e fought upon t h e s t r a n d t h a t they had a l l been upon. H i s audience was s m a l l , no more than a score o f p e o p l e , and so he c o u l d be i n t i m a t e i n v o i c e and manner. He had few g e s t u r e s , t h i s p a r t i c u l a r s t o r y - t e l l e r : sometimes he beat h i s hands t o g e t h e r ; sometimes he r a i s e a s t i c k t h a t was by him t o g i v e solemnity t o some happening. And o u t s i d e was t h e s i l e n c e of t h e n i g h t and the s i l e n c e o f a c o u n t r y s i d e . 3 9  In p a r t  from h i s memory of the t a l e s  Colum drew m a t e r i a l  that the s t o r y t e l l e r  f o r The King o f I r e l a n d ' s  Son.  told,  But from h i s  e x p e r i e n c e l i s t e n i n g t o t h e s t o r y t e l l e r ' s v o i c e , he f a s h i o n e d t h e n a r r a t i v e frame, based on the f i c t i o n t h a t t h e events o f t h e book are being  t o l d and heard r a t h e r than w r i t t e n and read.  As Colum  h i m s e l f says i n h i s r a d i o memoir, "Vagrant V o i c e s , " the of t h i s  storytelling  shanachie  stayed i n my mind as a performance. Afterwards, when I came to w r i t e books t h a t were based on legends, t h i s method o f o r a l d e l i v e r y was i n my mind. Here i s the opening o f my King o f I r e l a n d ' s Son: i t does not come out of any p a r t i c u l a r s t o r y that I heard, but the i n f l e x i o n s i n the v o i c e of the man by t h e f i r e s i d e , the g e s t u r e s w i t h t h e s t a f f i n h i s hand a r e i n i t . ^ O  Colum's s t o r y t e l l i n g p r e t e n s e i n The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son i s s u b t l y and q u i e t l y handled.  I t i s l a r g e l y conveyed  through a  language whose v o c a b u l a r y , syntax, idioms and rhythms a r e taken from speech, r a t h e r than a l i t e r a r y language "made c o l o r l e s s by c o n s t a n t use i n books and newspapers."  In a d d i t i o n , Colum p r o v i d e s  a s p r i n k l i n g of c o n v e r s a t i o n a l p o i n t e r s ,  i n c l u d i n g a s e r i e s of  v a r i a t i o n s on the phrase " I t e l l you," to e s t a b l i s h by the e x i s t e n c e of a frame n a r r a t o r .  The s t o r y t e l l i n g  of c o n d i t i o n i n g the r e a d e r ' s response to the t e x t .  implication  frame i s a  way  I t becomes  more e f f e c t i v e when Colum p r o v i d e s a vague i d e n t i t y f o r h i s listener. if  " I t i s w i t h t h e youth F l a n n . . . t h a t we w i l l go  i t be p l e a s i n g to you, Son of my  H e a r t , " Colum has the m y s t e r i o u s  f r a m e - s t o r y t e l l e r announce (KS, 211). "my  kind f o s t e r - c h i l d "  now  L a t e r , the n a r r a t o r addresses  (KS, 255) , i n v o k i n g t h e s p e c i a l and  r e l a t i o n s h i p of f o s t e r a g e , the same p r o t e c t i v e and k i n d l y ship that the Spae-Woman extends t o the c h i l d r e n who  traditional relation-  stay w i t h her.  41 (Both G i l l y and Morag c a l l her " f o s t e r e r . " )  Colum uses the  fondness o f the f o s t e r i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p , i n d i c a t e d by the phrase  "Son  of my  Heart" and  the a d j e c t i v e "kind',', to p e r s o n a l i z e the  c a t i o n between author and only "overhears"  reader.  The  reader,  who  i n one  communi-  sense  the s t o r y , i s i n v i t e d to p a r t i c i p a t e i n an  intimate  encounter, much as a newcomer i n t h e house of Colum's grandmother might have enjoyed from h i s s t o o l i n the corner t a l e s t a k i n g p l a c e around the peat The n a r r a t i v e frame of The a structuring function. of events"  of the s t o r y .  t h a t "the a r t of the  of  fire.  King  of I r e l a n d ' s  I t i s important  also  fulfills  i n emphasizing the  "pattern  In S t o r y T e l l i n g New  storyteller  the s h a r i n g  and  Son  Old, Colum  claims  . . . c o n s i s t s i n g i v i n g spon-  t a n e i t y to a s e r i e s of happenings.  They have to be i n  formal 42  series,  f o r the  s t o r y has  v o i c e of the s t o r y t e l l e r  to have a d i s t i n c t p a t t e r n . "  Like  i n Colum's grandmother's k i t c h e n ,  " v o i c e " of Colum's frame n a r r a t o r h e l p s to marshal the that are the c o n s t i t u e n t s of t h i s p a t t e r n . In doing as one  the  events  so, i t serves  of the most I r i s h of the forms t h a t Colum c r e a t e s f o r h i s  fiction. and  the  It provides  i t s p a s t , a way  a ready l i n k between modern day  of embedding the past  a d d i t i o n , the s t o r y t e l l i n g p r e t e n s e the t r a n s m i s s i o n  of i t .  In doing  of the book.  i n the p r e s e n t .  In  i n c l u d e s b o t h the s t o r y  so, i t symbolizes the  of c u l t u r a l h e r i t a g e to modern events, to be the f o u n d a t i o n  literature  and  relevance  which Chapter I I I w i l l show  Notes  A l a n Denson l i s t s New York e d i t i o n s (Macmillan) i n 1916, 1921 and 1962 and a London e d i t i o n (Harrap) i n 1920. Denson g i v e s 1935 as t h e date f o r the D u b l i n e d i t i o n but g i v e s no date f o r the Stuttgart edition. " P a d r a i c Colum: An A p p r e c i a t i o n w i t h a Checkl i s t of H i s P u b l i c a t i o n s , " D u b l i n Magazine 6 ( S p r i n g , 1967) 1, p. 54, item 10. To Denson too we owe the d i s c o v e r y of " F i d e l m a , " whose date he g i v e s as 1967-1968. " P a d r a i c Colum at N i n e t y , " The I r i s h Times (December 8, 1971), p. 10. 2 B e n e d i c t K i e l y , "The Core of Colum's I r e l a n d , " The I r i s h Monthly 77 (October, 1949), p. 448. 3 " N i n e t y Years i n R e t r o s p e c t , " J o u r n a l of I r i s h L i t e r a t u r e 2 (January, 1973) 1, pp. 25-26. Although Colum had some c o n t a c t w i t h the I r i s h language and I r i s h speakers as a boy, i t was not h i s mother tongue. L i k e o t h e r l i t e r a r y n a t i o n a l i s t s of the day, Colum immersed h i m s e l f i n G a e l i c as a v e r y young man. He o f t e n worked from G a e l i c sources i n h i s p o e t r y ( o f t e n sources a l s o t r a n s l a t e d or paraphrased by o t h e r s ) , but u n l i k e h i s c o l l e a g u e P a d r a i c P e a r s e , never himself published i n Gaelic. I t i s , of course, p o s s i b l e t h a t these u n s p e c i f i e d " t r a n s l a t i o n s " were not Colum's work a t a l l but someone e l s e ' s , perhaps even p u b l i s h e d t r a n s l a t i o n s . "Ninety Y e a r s , " p. 2 6 5  "The T r a d i t i o n That E x i s t e d i n My Grandmother's House," Y o r k eerr (December 23, 1967), 1961 p. 28  The New 6  "The  7  T r a d i t i o n , " p.  " N i n e t y Y e a r s , " p.  30. 32.  g "The T r a d i t i o n , " p. 31. Colum c i t e s a t a l e t o l d by h i s grandmother as the source f o r h i s poem, "Dermott Donn MacMorna," and observes t h a t n e i t h e r he nor the f o l k l o r i s t he c o n s u l t e d on t h i s p o i n t knows of another example of the s t o r y . The f o l k l o r i s t h y p o t h e s i z e s t h a t i t was o r i g i n a l l y a poem and was "broken down i n t o a fireside story."  q The F o l k t a l e (1946; r p t . B e r k e l e y : U n i v e r s i t y of P r e s s , 1977), p. 415.  California  A l l t a l e types a r e a c c o r d i n g t o the enumeration i n S t i t h Thompson's The Types of the F o l k t a l e : A n t t i Aarne's V e r z e i c h n i s der Marchentypen T r a n s l a t e d and E n l a r g e d (1928; 2nd r e v . H e l s i n k i : Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia, 1964). My source f o r m o t i f s i s S t i t h Thompson's six-volume, r e v i s e d and e n l a r g e d M o t i f - I n d e x of F o l k L i t e r a t u r e (Bloomington: I n d i a n a U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1955-58). A Handbook of I-rish F o l k l o r e (1942; r p t . Hatboro, P e n n s y l v a n i a : F o l k l o r e A s s o c i a t e s , 1963), p. 560. 1  2  The F o l k t a l e , p.  88.  14  1 5  A Handbook, p.  560.  A Handbook, p.  559.  The  F o l k t a l e , p.  8.  16 New  West I r i s h F o l k - T a l e s and Romances (1893; r p t . Totowa, J e r s e y : Rowman and L i t t l e ' f i e l d , 1973), p. 11.  The 1962), p. 4;  King of I r e l a n d ' s Son (1916; r p t . New h e n c e f o r t h c i t e d i n the t e x t as KS.  York: Macmillan  18 Another i n d i c a t i o n i s the c o l o u r i n g of the c a t t l e , s i n c e "red and white are the c o l o r s of animals of the Otherworld i n C e l t i c t r a d i t i o n , " a c c o r d i n g to P a t r i c k K. Ford's headnote to " P w y l l , P r i n c e of Dyfed," The MabinogL (Berkeley: U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a Press, 1977), p. 35. In t h i s t a l e , Arawn, p r i n c e of Annwfn, "the Otherworld," has white hounds w i t h red e a r s . Colum included t h i s s t o r y i n Orpheus: Myths of the World (1932). 19 A Handbook, p. 600. 20  T h i s i s Thompson's account, The  F o l k t a l e , pp.  91-92.  21  A l a n B r u f o r d , G a e l i c F o l k - T a l e s and Medieval Romances ( D u b l i n : The F o l k l o r e of I r e l a n d S o c i e t y , 1969), pp. 72-77. 0 ' S u l l i v a n a l s o r e f e r s to E a c h t r a C h o n a i l l Ghulban, i n the n o t e s to "Young Connal of Howth," F o l k t a l e s of I r e l a n d , p. 266. 22  A Handbook, p. 595. 0 S u i l l e a b h a i n does not g i v e a t a l e type number, and I have been unable to l o c a t e one, e i t h e r i n The Types o f the F o l k t a l e or The Types of the I r i s h F o l k t a l e , i n s p i t e of the many examples of t h i s s t o r y i n the c o l l e c t i o n s . 23 A c c o r d i n g to L a r m i n i e ' s note, West I r i s h F o l k - T a l e s , 252. 24  Gaelic Folk-Tales  and  M e d i e v a l Romances, p.  158.  25  Max L i i t h i e x p l a i n s the concept of e x t e r n a l i z a t i o n i n Once Upon a Time: On the Nature of F a i r y T a l e s , t r a n s . Lee Chadeayne and P a u l Gottwald (Bloomington,: I n d i a n a U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s , 1976), pp. 124-125. p.  563.  27 T h i s account i s e s s e n t i a l l y Thompson's from The F o l k t a l e , pp. 110-111, but w i t h the I r i s h example of "The Twelve W i l d Geese" f i r m l y i n mind. A w r i t t e n romance that shares m a t e r i a l w i t h t h i s f o l k t a l e i s the s t o r y of Rhiannon i n " P w y l l , P r i n c e of Dyfed" from The Mabinogion. Rhiannon has no enchanted b r o t h e r s to worry about but l i k e the f o l k t a l e maiden i s accused of murdering her newborn babe, "framed" by j e a l o u s s i s t e r s - i n - l a w .  28  Legendary F i c t i o n s of t h e I r i s h C e l t s (1866; r p t . D e t r o i t : S i n g i n g Tree P r e s s , 1968),p.53. 29 G a e l i c F o l k - T a l e s and M e d i e v a l Romances, pp. 147-149. 30 See B r u f o r d , G a e l i c F o l k - T a l e s and M e d i e v a l Romances, pp. 84-85. 31 V l a d i m i r Propp, Morphology of t h e F o l k t a l e , t r . Laurence S c o t t (1928; f i r s t t r a n s l a t e d , 1958; r e v . A u s t i n : U n i v e r s i t y Texas P r e s s , 1968), p. 39. 32 S e v e r a l v e r s i o n s o f "The Anger B a r g a i n " a r e noted by 0 S u i l l e a b h a i n , A Handbook, p. 579. 33 0 S u i l l e a b h a i n , A Handbook, p. 583. 34 35  A Handbook, pp.  617-618.  G a e l i c F o l k - T a l e s and M e d i e v a l Romances, p.  10,  36  0 S u i l l e a b h a i n and C h r i s t i a n s e n , who have i n c l u d e d The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son among the books t h a t they a n a l y z e i n The Types of the I r i s h F o l k t a l e , e v i d e n t l y confuse t h i s episode w i t h "The B l a c k and the White B r i d e , " Type 403, which, they i n d i c a t e , appears w i t h Type 313 ( " G i r l Helps Hero i n H i s F l i g h t . " ) They a l s o l i s t The K i n g of I r e l a n d ' s Son as c o n t a i n i n g an example of Type 451, "The Maiden Who Seeks Her B r o t h e r s . " See The Types of the I r i s h F o l k t a l e , F o l k l o r e F e l l o w s Communications 188 ( H e l s i n k i : Suomolainen t i e d e a k a t e m i a , 1963), pp. 70 (Type 313), 89 (Type 403), and 94 (Type 451). 37 F o l k t a l e heroes do engage i n quests f o r l o s t , s t o l e n or departed kin f a i r l y f r e q u e n t l y , but Colum has i n v e n t e d r a t h e r than adapted G i l l y ' s p a r t i c u l a r quest, whose p r i n c i p a l f e a t u r e s a r e t h e s t a r s which r e v e a l him as a k i n g ' s son, the i l l u m i n a t i o n o f h i s h i s t o r y by the t e l l i n g of the Unique T a l e , the u n s u c c e s f u l attempt t o l e a r n more from t h e Hags of t h e Long Teeth, and the e v e n t u a l r e v e l a t i o n of the i d e n t i t y of G i l l y ' s p a r e n t s i n a dream t h a t comes to the Spae-woman. ( T h i s l a s t i s a p a r t i c u l a r l y u n f o l k l o r i c way t o r e s o l v e a quest.) The quest f o r a name does not e x i s t i n f o l k t a l e s , or a t l e a s t , i s n o t l i s t e d i n Thompson's M o t i f - I n d e x of F o l k - L i t e r a t u r e . 38 P r e f a c e to The Stone of V i c t o r y (New York: M a c m i l l a n , 1927), p. x i . 39 S t o r y T e l l i n g New and Old (New York: Macmillan, 1968; r p t . from The F o u n t a i n of Youth, 1927), pp. 2-4. Colum a l s o t a l k s about t h i s s t o r y t e l l e r i n "Vagrant V o i c e s , " J o u r n a l of I r i s h L i t e r a t u r e I I (January, 1973), 1, pp. 63^-75; i n the P r e f a c e t o The Stone o f V i c t o r y ; i n "The T r a d i t i o n That E x i s t e d i n My Grandmother's House"; and i n "Ninety Years i n R e t r o s p e c t . "  "Vagrant 1973) 1, p. 65.  Voices," Journal of I r i s h L i t e r a t u r e  2 (January,  The concept of f o s t e r a g e l i n k s The K i n g of I r e l a n d ' s Son to P a d r a i c Pearse's experiment i n n a t i o n a l i s t e d u c a t i o n a t S t . Enda's s c h o o l , where Colum was an o c c a s i o n a l v i s i t o r . Colum quotes Pearse thus: "The:word f o r ' e d u c a t i o n ' among t h e o l d G a e l was t h e same as t h e word f o r ' f o s t e r i n g ' ; the t e a c h e r was a ' f o s t e r e r ' and t h e p u p i l was a .'.foster-child. '" Poems o f t h e I r i s h R e v o l u t i o n a r y Brotherhood (Boston: S m a l l , Maynard and Co., 1916), pp. x i v - x v . 42 S t o r y T e l l i n g New and O l d , p. 9.  II:  The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son:  Transformations:^.'the -  N a r r a t i v e Rhythms - of the ..Folktale  P a d r a i c Colum's i n t i m a c y w i t h and r e s p e c t f o r f o l k l e d him t o use e n t i r e f o l k t a l e s and  s i g n i f i c a n t p a r t s of  tradition folktales  i n The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son, where he adapts them w i t h both and  care  i n g e n u i t y to h i s l i t e r a r y purposes. H i s t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of the  f o l k t a l e , however, goes beyond the s e l e c t i o n and rearrangement of f o l k t a l e e p i s o d e s or the development of c h a r a c t e r p s y c h o l o g i e s . Colum, I hope to show, was  e s p e c i a l l y s e n s i t i v e to t h e  n a r r a t i v e r h y t h m s — i t s repeated c h a i n of events personae,"  incidents,  folktale's  i t s w e l l - d e f i n e d , ordered  (what V l a d i m i r Propp c a l l s " f u n c t i o n s of  Morphology of the F o l k t a l e , 1928,  dramatis  t r . 1958), and  c u l a r l y i t s p u l s e of a c t i o n : t a s k s and rewards, searches  parti-  and  r e u n i o n s , " i n t e r d i c t i o n s " and v i o l a t i o n s of them, d e p a r t u r e s r e t u r n s , s t r u g g l e s and victories.'''  Colum's concern  and  f o r these  rhythms, as I c a l l them, i s e v i d e n t i n the emphasis on p a t t e r n i n S t o r y T e l l i n g New  and Old: events  i n f o l k t a l e s , Colum w r i t e s ,  "have to be i n f o r m a l s e r i e s , f o r t h e s t o r y has t o have a d i s t i n c t 2 pattern."  One  of the most i n t e r e s t i n g a s p e c t s of Colum's t r a n s -  f o r m a t i o n of f o l k l o r e i n The K i n g of I r e l a n d ' s Son of such n a r r a t i v e p a t t e r n s .  He uses them t o p a t t e r n h i s own  but transforms them through e x a g g e r a t i o n and literary  i s h i s treatment  elaboration into  'rhythms of a c t i o n ' which, though based  Colum t o express h i s l i t e r a r y meanings.  on f o l k l o r e ,  narrative, new, help  In t h i s chapter, I wish to f o c u s on what I p e r c e i v e to be the t h r e e p r i n c i p a l n a r r a t i v e rhythms of The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son, which I w i l l c a l l d e f e r r a l , f a i l u r e and g a t h e r i n g .  S i n c e each  of t h e s e rhythms develops i n i t s own  way,  to t r e a t them i n s e p a r a t e s e c t i o n s .  There a r e two primary  why  I have found i t convenient reasons  I f e e l t h a t a c l o s e study of these rhythms i s worthwhile.  F i r s t of a l l ,  Colum's n a r r a t i v e rhythms are;his way  of c o n v e r t i n g  the f o l k t a l e ' s forms i n t o v e h i c l e s f o r h i s p o l i t i c a l themes. These themes, i n f a c t  (the s u b j e c t of Chapter I I I ) determine  the s e l e c t i o n and arrangement o f m a t e r i a l s f o r the e n t i r e book, and the n a r r a t i v e rhythms, f o r m a l and f o l k l o r i c on the one hand, thematic and l i t e r a r y on the o t h e r , mediate between the form content of the book and Colum's p o l i t i c a l  intent.  and  A study o f  The King o f I r e l a n d ' s Son's n a r r a t i v e rhythms, then, i s e s s e n t i a l to an u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the range and the p a r t i c u l a r i t y of Colum's p o l i t i c a l commentary i n the book. Secondly, the n a r r a t i v e rhythms of The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son r e p r e s e n t one of Colum's most i n g e n i o u s i n n o v a t i o n s . the p a t t e r n s o f e x t e r n a l events  ( a c t i o n s ) to express  By u s i n g literary  meaning, r a t h e r than c o n v e n t i o n a l l i t e r a r y d e v i c e s such as m o r a l i z e d d e s c r i p t i o n , extended meaningful d i a l o g u e and d i r e c t  symbolism,  i n t e r i o r monologue,  thematic statement,  Colum e x p r e s s e s  as w e l l h i s profound u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the forms and the n a r r a t i v e s t y l e of the f o l k t a l e . without v i o l a t i n g  He d e f t l y t r a n s f o r m s f o l k t a l e  structures  them, an unusual n a r r a t i v e s t r a t e g y t h a t  i l l u s t r a t e s the l i t e r a r y p o t e n t i a l of f o l k t a l e forms,  hitherto  unrealized. Son, own  The  study of the n a r r a t i v e forms of The King of I r e l a n d ' s  a much more p a t t e r n e d book than most n o v e l s , i n c l u d i n g Colum's C a s t l e Conquer and  The  F l y i n g Swans, has p a r t i c u l a r v a l u e  i n t e r e s t because the book o c c u p i e s a middle f o l k t a l e and  ground between the  the n o v e l .  Colum h i m s e l f does not a p p l y the term "rhythm" to n a r r a t i v e s , but Tales he  t  and  folktale  i n h i s i n t r o d u c t i o n to an e d i t i o n of Grimms' F a i r y  he shows t h a t , l i k e the s t o r y t e l l e r whom he d e s c r i b e s ,  i s a t t u n e d to the rhythms of d a i l y  life.  In the p l a c e where the s t o r y t e l l e r was the coming of n i g h t was marked as i t was not i n towns nor i n modern houses. I t was so marked t h a t i t c r e a t e d i n the mind a d i f f e r e n t rhythm. There had been a rhythm of the day and now t h e r e was a rhythm of the n i g h t . . . . The s t o r y t e l l e r seated on a r o u g h l y made c h a i r on a c l a y f l o o r d i d not l o o k h i s t r i o n i c . What was i n h i s f a c e showed t h a t he was ready to respond to and make a r t i c u l a t e the rhythm of the n i g h t . He was a s t o r y t e l l e r because he was attuned to t h i s rhythm and had i n h i s memory the o f t e n repeated i n c i d e n t s t h a t would f i t i t . ... A rhythm t h a t was compulsive, f i t t e d to d a i l y t a s k s , waned, and a rhythm t h a t was a c q u i e s c e n t , f i t t e d to wishes, took i t s p l a c e . 3  In the adventures  of The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son,  uses the compulsive  rhythms of day and  n i g h t as c o u n t e r p o i n t Son and  we  f i n d t h a t Colum  the s u g g e s t i v e rhythms of  i n the n a r r a t i v e s of the King of I r e l a n d ' s  G i l l y of the Goatskin.  Beyond these, Colum f a s h i o n s other  k i n d s of rhythms f o r other n a r r a t i v e sequences, and which these rhythms make to the s t r u c t u r e and book i s the c e n t r a l concern  of t h i s  chapter.  the c o n t r i b u t i o n  the meaning of  the  1.  The  first  are important  Deferral  of t h e t h r e e rhythmic  p r i n c i p l e s which I b e l i e v e  t o The King o f I r e l a n d ' s Son i s what I c a l l  deferral  D e f e r r a l , c r e a t e d out o f the e x i s t i n g forms of t h e f o l k t a l e , i s the d e l a y o f an e s s e n t i a l p a r t o f t h e a c t i o n .  In t h e f o l k t a l e ,  the many sequences of a c t i o n through which the hero may have t o go i n order t o s e t t l e h i s o r i g i n a l problem d e l a y r e s o l u t i o n ; but i n The King o f I r e l a n d ' s Son, t h i s element of d e l a y i s accentuated sometimes extremely.  I t i s t h e p r i n c i p l e o f d e f e r r a l which  underlies the s t r i k i n g i n t h e book's p l o t .  "two-steps-forward, one-step-back" movement  The King's  Son, f o r i n s t a n c e , wins Fedelma  i n C y c l e I, but s c a r c e l y has he done so when she i s abducted. S i m i l a r l y , he f i n d s t h e Sword of L i g h t , but a l l o w s i t t o be t a r n i s h e d ; he counts t h e horns o f t h e Old Woman o f Beare's y e a r s , " o n l y to f o r g e t t h e f i n a l hears find of  "half-  f i g u r e ; and when he f i n a l l y  t h e Unique T a l e , a f t e r much s e a r c h i n g , he s t i l l must i t s beginning  and end b e f o r e i t has any e f f i c a c y .  t h e Goatskin moves through s i m i l a r p a t t e r n s .  Gilly  G i l l y f i n d s and  then l o s e s t h e C r y s t a l Egg and g i v e s up t h e s e a r c h f o r i t o n l y to  have t h e O l d Woman o f Beare reimpose i t .  r e i m p o s i t i o n of the search backtracks  For that matter, t h e  i n another  way, f o r G i l l y  has  f u l f i l l e d h i s p a r t of t h e b a r g a i n w i t h the Old Woman o f Beare  and  should be given a name without  demand.  having  t o meet an a d d i t i o n a l  These examples, f a r from being t h e o n l y ones, a r e o n l y  t h e most obvious  i n s t a n c e s i n a p l o t composed of ebbs and flows of  incident. These d e l a y s r e s u l t  from i n n o v a t i o n s of Colum's designed  to e x p l o i t and a c c e n t u a t e the rudimentary d e f e r r a l p r e s e n t i n the f o l k t a l e i n the a l t e r n a t i o n o f p r o g r e s s and d e l a y , event and o b s t a c l e .  In order to make such a p a t t e r n , t h e events of  the f o l k t a l e n a r r a t i v e must be d i s c e r n i b l e u n i t s p l a y e d a g a i n s t f o r m a l l y d i f f e r e n t and t h e r e f o r e c o n t r a s t i n g elements.  In the  f o l k t a l e , t h e s e are the b a r r i e r s , m o s t l y v a r i o u s k i n d s of t e s t s , t h a t the hero circumvents, sometimes w i t h g r e a t d i f f i c u l t y . P r e c i s e l y at these p o i n t s , the forward n a r r a t i v e movement encounters a r e s i s t a n c e ; from the s t r u g g l e of the a c t i v e of the n a r r a t i v e w i t h t h i s r e s i s t a n c e , the p a t t e r n of the n a r r a t i v e emerges.  impetus folktale  When Colum, i n The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son,  emphasizes p o i n t s of r e s i s t a n c e , the r e s u l t  i s a striking  rhythm  of d e f e r r a l which suggests the c h a r a c t e r s ' and the n a r r a t o r ' s a t t i t u d e s toward  the a c t i o n , most n o t a b l y d e s p a i r , of which the  f o l k t a l e i s f o r the most p a r t i n c a p a b l e . In c o n s i d e r i n g f u r t h e r how The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son,  d e f e r r a l o p e r a t e s as a rhythm i n  i t i s perhaps best to c o n c e n t r a t e  f o r the moment on the p a r t of the n a r r a t i v e f e a t u r i n g the King's Son,  f o r as s h a l l become c l e a r  itself Gilly  becomes exaggerated i s involved.  i n the next  section,  and o p e r a t e s r a t h e r d i f f e r e n t l y where  By comparing  a s i g n i f i c a n t example  from the King's Son n a r r a t i v e w i t h i t s - f o l k t a l e we  deferral  \ •  source  can g a i n a b e t t e r sense of the s p e c i f i c n a t u r e of Colum's  t r a n s f o r m a t i o n o f f o l k t a l e form.  The episode i n which the hero,  e n t i r e l y through Fedelma's o f f i c e s ,  i s completing  by t h e Enchanter i s q u i t e c l o s e to an episode  the t a s k s  assigned  i n "The Son o f 4  the King o f E r i n and the Giant of Loch L e i n . " is  This  bound by t h e c l a s s i c f o l k t a l e form of t r e b l i n g .  episode On each o f  t h r e e s u c c e s s i v e n i g h t s , t h e g i a n t puts t h e v i s i t i n g k i n g ' s son to  bed " i n t o the deep water tank t o drown" ("SKE," 7 ) .  daughter, Y e l l o w L i l y , retires,  spreads  The g i a n t ' s  r e s c u e s t h e hero as soon as t h e g i a n t h i m s e l f  a f e a s t b e f o r e him, f i n d s him a good bed, and  r e t u r n s him t o t h e tank b e f o r e her f a t h e r a r i s e s i n t h e morning. On each o f t h e t h r e e mornings, the g i a n t a s s i g n s t h e hero a t a s k , each more d i f f i c u l t  than t h e l a s t .  The k i n g ' s  son always f a r e s  b a d l y by h i m s e l f , but each day Y e l l o w L i l y a r r i v e s t o coach him in  t h e completion  of h i s t a s k and thus t o save h i s l i f e .  W i t h i n t h e form of t r e b l i n g t h a t governs t h i s episode, p a t t e r n s may be d i s c e r n e d .  First,  each encounter,  further  whether/by day  or by n i g h t , has t h e same arrangement: t h e g i a n t endangers t h e hero's l i f e  and purposes, t h e hero f i n d s h i s own e f f o r t s of no  use, and t h e h e r o i n e e v e n t u a l l y saves him.  In o t h e r words, i n  each case the hero c o n f r o n t s a . s e r i o u s o b s t a c l e . ( a n d t h e movement of  t h e p l o t a r e s i s t a n c e ) that o n l y t h e i n t e r v e n t i o n of a b e n e f i c e n t  h e l p e r can l i q u i d a t e . and  A g a i n s t t h i s p a t t e r n , which l i n k s t h e t a s k s  t h e n i g h t s , t h e r e a r e a number of other p a t t e r n s t h a t d i v i d e  them.  For i n s t a n c e , t h e t a s k s i n t e n s i f y , whereas t h e n i g h t  do n o t .  Not o n l y do the t a s k s get more d i f f i c u l t  scenes  and o c c a s i o n a  g r e a t e r r e a c t i o n from t h e hero as they p r o g r e s s , but a l s o the l a s t t a s k can o n l y be accomplished  i n t h e s t r a n g e s t and most  h o r r i f y i n g way: steps up But  the hero must k i l l Y e l l o w L i l y , use  the g l a s s t r e e , and  then reassemble and  w h i l e the t a s k s p r o g r e s s i n t h i s way,  remain a b s o l u t e l y the daytime and  same.  her bones as  revivify  the n i g h t  scenes  Another d i s t i n c t i o n between  night-time events has  to do w i t h t h e i r p l a c e  n a r r a t i v e ; the daytime t a s k s are an  her.  the i n the  important f u n c t i o n on which  the advancement of the p l o t depends, whereas the n i g h t - t i m e  danger  of drowning i n the water tank i s s t r i c t l y t a n g e n t i a l to the n a r r a t i v e mechanism.^  F i n a l l y , the p e r i p h e r a l n a t u r e of the n i g h t  scenes,  t h e i r impotence i n terms of the p l o t ' s advancement, along t h e i r s t a s i s and  l a c k of p r o g r e s s i o n ,  between them and  the day  they begin,  the n i g h t  with nights conversation night  spent a t h i r d  respite.  i n e a t i n g and  or s t o r y t e l l i n g , and Son  and  T h i s dichotomy i s struggles  drinking, a third  a third  i n slumber.  in  The  of the King of E r i n " d i f f e r from these  i n i n c l u d i n g an o b s t a c l e — t h e  water t a n k — w h i c h r e q u i r e s  an  However, s i n c e i t i s so i n c i d e n t a l to the n a r r a t i v e  mechanism, the o b s t a c l e of the important as a c h a l l e n g e than to h i s l i f e . around, the n i g h t  s l e e p i n g arrangements i s more  to the hero's s l e e p and  Once the d i f f i c u l t y scenes o f f e r the  nourishment  i n t h i s story i s gotten  same s a f e t y zone, the same  r e l e a s e from the n e c e s s i t y f o r a c t i o n , t h a t one folktales.  distinction  episodes c o n t r a s t the d a i l y e f f o r t  many hero t a l e s a l t e r n a t e t a s k s or  scenes i n "The  obviation.  indicate a further  scenes: i n s p i t e of the r e s c u e w i t h which  a c t i o n of the t a s k s w i t h r e s t and a t r a d i t i o n a l one;  with  finds in  other  63.  Colum begins h i s v e r s i o n of t h e t r e b l e d n i g h t s and t a s k s o f t h i s t a l e by h e i g h t e n i n g On t h e f i r s t is  n i g h t , the King's Son, l i k e t h e hero of t h e t a l e ,  shown t o h i s bed i n a water tank, but Colum makes i t a d r y  r a t h e r than a f u l l question no  the d i v i s i o n between a c t i v e day and r e s t f u l ' n i g h t .  longer  one.  As t h e r e i s consequently no l o n g e r any  of p h y s i c a l harm.to t h e hero, the n i g h t share t h e p a t t e r n of danger, i n i t i a l  s u c c e s s f u l rescue  sequences, which  f a i l u r e , and  w i t h the d a i l y t a s k s , a r e more c l e a r l y  t i a t e d from t h e day scenes than i n the sample t a l e .  differen-  As w e l l ,  i s no l o n g e r any d i s t r a c t i o n from t h e r e s t and nourishment  there  that A  night-time, through Fedelma, b r i n g s t o t h e weary hero. The  King's Son now does not a b s o l u t e l y r e q u i r e Fedelma's  h e l p each n i g h t ,  so Colum i s f r e e t o d i s p e n s e w i t h her on the  second and t h i r d n i g h t s .  He i n t e r p o s e s h i s most  significant  i n n o v a t i o n on these subsequent n i g h t s , when encounters  with  Fedelma's unsavory s i s t e r s , Aefa and G i l v e e n , a r e s u b s t i t u t e d for  t h e expected encounter w i t h Fedelma.  encounters a r e wholly in  the f o l k t a l e .  effects.  First,  The d e t a i l s of these  Colum's i n v e n t i o n ; t h e r e i s n o t h i n g  Formally,  t h i s innovation  has two n o t a b l e  i t b r i n g s i n t o t h e n a r r a t i v e an u n c e r t a i n t y  which i s not c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the f o l k t a l e . nor  similar  t h e King's Son can t e l l  Neither  t h e reader  that t h e b i r d who comes f o r t h e hero  on the second n i g h t has not come from Fedelma.  Secondly, i t  s i g n i f i c a n t l y a l t e r s the p a t t e r n of t r e b l i n g i n "The Son of the King o f E r i n . "  Instead  of the t h r e e e q u a l l y s u c c e s f u l n i g h t  episodes o f the f o l k t a l e , we now have a s u c c e s s f u l n i g h t  succeeded  by two t h a t , i n terms o f p r o c u r i n g the hero's r e s t , at l e a s t , are unsuccessful.  Since t h i s p a t t e r n does n o t conform t o any 1  of t h e k i n d s o f t r e b l i n g t h a t Propp observes i n the f o l k t a l e , i t f o c u s e s a t t e n t i o n on t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e o f t h e c o n t r a s t between the two k i n d s of n i g h t  encounters.^  Colum proceeds on t h e second and t h i r d n i g h t s t o develop a new s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r n i g h t - t i m e  itself.  By i n v o k i n g  so s t r o n g l y  n i g h t ' s a s s o c i a t i o n s w i t h r e s t and r e j u v e n a t i o n on t h e f i r s t he makes t h e new a s s o c i a t i o n s o f n i g h t passages t h a t begin  i n the p a r a l l e l  night,  lyrical  t h e accounts o f t h e next two n i g h t s a l l the  more s t r i k i n g .  U n t i l t h e white moon r o s e above t h e t r e e s ; u n t i l t h e hounds went out h u n t i n g f o r themselves; u n t i l t h e foxes came down and h i d i n the hedges, w a i t i n g f o r t h e cocks and hens to s t i r out at t h e f i r s t l i g h t — s o long d i d t h e King o f I r e l a n d ' s Son stay huddled, i n t h e d r y water tank. KS_, 16 U n t i l t h e white moon went out i n t h e sky; u n t i l t h e S e c r e t People began t o whisper i n t h e woods--so long d i d t h e King o f I r e l a n d ' s Son remain i n t h e d r y water tank t h a t n i g h t . KS, 22  These passages s t r e s s t h e strange absence o f a s s i s t a n c e f o r t h e King o f I r e l a n d ' s Son, who i s l e f t  f o r the f i r s t  time t o fend f o r  i himself.  But i n a d d i t i o n , they  s p e c i f y the c h a r a c t e r o f t h e  n i g h t i n a way t h a t t h e f o l k t a l e does not. and  animals,  The moon, the b i r d s  and e s p e c i a l l y the " S e c r e t P e o p l e " w h i s p e r i n g  themselves make t h e night-time world i n h o s p i t a b l e one.  among  a b l o o d l e s s , strange, and  For g i v e way  the King's Son, the r e s t and comfort of the f i r s t t o insomnia and  night  unease.  He made h i s way through woods and t h i c k e t s , and mighty g l a d he was when he saw the tank at the gable-end of the house. . . . He got i n t o the tank and waited and w a i t e d . No message came from Fedelma. He was a l o n g time t h e r e , s t i f f and sore and hungry, b e f o r e the sun r o s e . . . . KS_, 18  The v e r b a l frame c r e a t e d here by the phrase " s t i f f  and  sore and  hungry," which r e p e a t s e x a c t l y a phrase i n the opening of the s e c t i o n , emphasizes  the King's Son's d i s c o m f o r t .  Whereas the  day i s a time of p h y s i c a l t r i a l , h i s n i g h t of s l e e p l e s s n e s s r a t h e r than s l e e p , of hunger r a t h e r than nourishment, r a t h e r than companionship  and of l o n e l i n e s s  becomes a time of s p i r i t u a l  turmoil,  w i t h i n t i m a t i o n s of t r o u b l e d dream, the s p i r i t ' , and the l o n e l y vigil. to  As a consequence,  take on the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of a t r i a l  the.inner  o f the moral worth o f  man.  The element the  f o r the King's Son, night-rtime b e g i n s  of s p i r i t u a l t r i a l  i s p a r t i c u l a r l y evident i n  encounters w i t h A e f a and G i l v e e n on which the n i g h t s c e n t e r .  These encounters take the form of t e m p t a t i o n s . t u r n tempts  Each s i s t e r i n  the King's Son to b e t r a y h i s commitment to Fedelma;  each o f f e r s t o save the hero from the g i a n t i f he w i l l to  marry her.  promise  F o r t u n a t e l y , the King's Son always r e f u s e s .  Fedelma  e v e n t u a l l y i n d i c a t e s the importance of h i s r e s i s t a n c e .  "I have helped you i n e v e r y t h i n g , " s a i d Fedelma, "and i n the l a s t t a s k I c o u l d not have helped you i f you had not been t r u e t o me when Aefa and G i l v e e n brought you to them." KS, 2 6  The n i g h t s w i t h Aefa and  G i l v e e n , t h i s passage r e v e a l s , have been  c r u c i a l t e s t s of the hero's  steadfastness.  Temptation i s e s p e c i a l l y i n t e r e s t i n g here, g i v e n t o night-time, because, i t s i m p l i c i t i n n e r l i f e and  as a r e t h e  qualities  r e l e v a n c e to a f i g u r e ' s  s p i r i t u a l worth i s e s s e n t i a l l y u n f o l k l o r i c .  The  t r a d i t i o n a l f o l k t a l e , as Colum h i m s e l f observed, d e a l s o n l y  with  8 "happenings," never w i t h " s t a t e s of mind."  Max  L'uthi a l s o n o t e s  the f o l k t a l e ' s tendency to " e x t e r n a l i z e " q u e s t i o n s  of i n n e r worth.  To be sure, the f a i r y t a l e l i k e s to p o r t r a y e x t e r n a l happenings. I t does not p o r t r a y f e e l i n g s , moods, i n n e r c o n f l i c t s , and thought p r o c e s s e s , but s t r i v e s t o t r a n s l a t e e v e r y t h i n g i n t o a c t i o n . I t doesn't t e l l us that the t h i r d son i s compassionate and t r u t h f u l , but shows him as he shares h i s bread w i t h a beggar and k i n d l y g i v e s him the i n f o r m a t i o n he seeks, whereas t h e o l d e r b r o t h e r s keep t h e i r cake f o r themselves and answer the q u e s t i o n w i t h d e r i s i o n and l i e s . 9  L u t h i ' s sample encounter of these young l a d s w i t h a p o t e n t i a l donor demonstrates how  the f o l k t a l e transmutes temptation  a p u r e l y formal t e s t .  More important  into  to i t than moral worth i s  the i d e n t i t y of the hero as a hero, and  the p r e c i s e l y governed  f o r m a l r e l a t i o n s h i p of the "dramatis personae" i s p r e f e r r e d to a group of r e l a t i o n s h i p s d e f i n e d by t h e good or e v i l n a t u r e the  of  characters. Throughout the second and  displays a greater interest s t o r y t e l l e r would.  During  t h i r d n i g h t s ' episodes,  i n s t a t e s of mind than the  Colum folk  the daytime, Fedelma's i n c r e a s i n g  dread as she a n t i c i p a t e s t h e l a s t  t a s k i s another i n d i c a t i o n of  t h i s i n t e r e s t , f o r i t a l t e r s the f o l k t a l e form by which the t h r e e t a s k s i n t e n s i f y and emphasizes an e s s e n t i a l l y moral concern w i t h the heaviness of the s a c r i f i c e t h a t Fedelma must make. Fedelma r e v e a l s that her a b i l i t y to perform the f i n a l depends on the King's Son's r e s i s t a n c e t o Aefa and  When task  G i l v e e n , she  shows t h a t the f o r m a l mechanism of the p l o t , which s t i l l quite f o l k l o r i c ,  seems  i t s e l f depends on an u n f o l k l o r i c moral mechanism  t h a t c a u s a l l y precedes i t . In g i v i n g the n i g h t scenes a new  c h a r a c t e r and  i n changing  them t o i n c l u d e the encounters w i t h A e f a and G i l v e e n , Colum them t o l i t e r a r y purposes. Yet Colum a v o i d s emphasizing l i t e r a r y a s p e c t s of h i s s t o r y . which i s important  the  Fedelma's r e v e l a t i o n , f o r i n s t a n c e ,  i n e s t a b l i s h i n g the moral and  psychological  s i g n i f i c a n c e of the e p i s o d e , i s p l a c e d a f t e r the c r i t i c a l and  so i s undercut.  shapes  action,  Moreover, Colum l e a v e s the f o l k t a l e forms o f  h i s source i n p l a c e ; h i s a l t e r a t i o n s of them may p a t t e r n s , but they do not d e s t r o y them. never overwhelm the form.  s c u l p t or change  Colum's thematic  Another w r i t e r might  elements  be more i n c l i n e d  than Colum to e x p l o r e the courage and heroism of Fedelma as  she  f a c e s her s a c r i f i c i a l death, f o r i n s t a n c e , or t o d e s c r i b e t h e h o r r o r of her f a t e .  Another might  s t r e s s t h e m i r a c l e of her  r e j u v e n a t i o n and a l l but f o r g e t the t a s k . hand, i s d i f f i d e n t  Colum, on the o t h e r  i n h i s h a n d l i n g of the scene's o v e r t o n e s .  t e m p t a t i o n , t o o , the elements  With  t h a t r e f e r to t h e King's Son's  c h a r a c t e r r e c e i v e o n l y the l i g h t e s t unemphatic, i n c h o a t e , and vague.  touch, remaining  curiously  The f o r m a l a s p e c t s of t e m p t a t i o n  are more obvious than i t s s p i r i t u a l  ones.  In a d d i t i o n to r e t a i n i n g m o d i f i e d f o l k t a l e forms  in this  e p i s o d e , Colum c r e a t e s a formal e q u i v a l e n t to a major aspect of the temptations, despair.  The s i s t e r s '  temptations of the King's  Son are as much i n v i t a t i o n s to d e s p a i r as temptations to b e t r a y Fedelma.  "My f a t h e r i s p r e p a r i n g a t a s k f o r you," s a i d [ A e f a ] , "and i t w i l l be a t e r r i b l e t a s k , and t h e r e w i l l be no one to h e l p you w i t h i t , so you w i l l l o s e your head s u r e l y . And what I would a d v i s e you to do i s t o escape out of t h i s c o u n t r y at once." KS, 18  T h i s f r i g h t f u l warning  o c c u r s i n a n i g h t m a r i s h s e c t i o n whose form  i s i n c r e a s i n g l y confused and d i s s o l u t e . u n c e r t a i n t y and u n p r e d i c a b i l i t y mentioned  There i s the u n f o l k l o r i c above; but a l s o , the  King's Son's s u c c e s f u l s t a l w a r t n e s s meets w i t h abuse r a t h e r than reward.  "But," s a i d he, " i f I l i v e at a l l Fedelma i s the one I w i l l marry." No sooner d i d he say t h e words than A e f a screamed out, " S e i z e him, my cat-o'-the-mountain. Seize him and h o l d him." Then the cat-o'-the-mountain that was under the t a b l e sprang a c r o s s the room and f i x e d h i m s e l f on h i s s h o u l d e r . He ran out of the house. A l l the time he was r u n n i n g the cat-o'-the-mountain was t r y i n g to t e a r h i s eyes out. KS, 18  The King's Son r e t u r n s to h i s l o n e l y , uncomfortable water where he remains,  "stiff  and sore and hungry,"  tank,  f o r the r e s t of the  n i g h t , denied knowledge of the c o n t r i b u t i o n h i s behaviour  indirectly  makes to the advancement of h i s quest u n t i l a l l the n i g h t s and a l l  the daytime tasks are completed. despair  entirely,  experience If  Although he does not succumb to  the keynotes of the King's Son's  are d e s p e r a t i o n  and  night-time  despondency.  the s i s t e r s ' temptations m o r a l l y  represent  invitations  to  d e s p a i r , f o r m a l l y they are c a l l s to abandon the p r i n c i p l e of a c t i o n on which the n a r r a t i v e depends. Son  to g i v e up b o t h the tasks and  the Enchanter's to win temptation, and  no  A e f a and  King's  the quest that has brought him  back h i s l i f e .  Were he  further action consistent with The  p r i n c i p l e of a c t i o n t h a t operates d u r i n g  f e e l s some of i t s . e f f e c t , and  the day  J u s t as the King's Son the f o r m a l  yet p a r t l y present.  the  scenes; they c a r r y  to s p r o u t , would o b s t r u c t  of the a c t i o n a l t o g e t h e r .  posed,  the f o l k t a l e forms that have  n i g h t scenes, then, threaten a d i s r u p t i o n of  seeds which, i f allowed  to  to c a p i t u l a t e to  t h e r e c o u l d be no r e s o l u t i o n of the problems a l r e a d y  been invoked.  avoided  G i l v e e n e n t i c e the  the forward  impetus  r e s i s t s despair  but  d e s t r u c t i o n of the n a r r a t i v e i s  For the n i g h t episodes r e m a i n , u n t i l  Fedelma r e v e a l s t h e i r n a r r a t i v e s i g n i f i c a n c e , f o r m a l l y ambiguous. The  reader  i s at a l o s s e i t h e r to i n t e r p r e t them or to f i t them  i n t o the n a r r a t i v e mechanism u n t i l the end night episodes,  indeed,  the hero does not and  saved, nor  seem not  recuperate  i s an e v i d e n t  of the e p i s o d e .  to p r o g r e s s  during  them, nor  The  but to deny advancement: i s his l i f e  endangered  advancement of the n a r r a t i v e made.  They are emblems of the p r i n c i p l e of No-Action, of the A n t i N a r r a t i v e t h a t the temptations r e p r e s e n t , d e s p a i r , and  t h e i r a l t e r n a t i o n with  a formal v e r s i o n of  the daytime and  i t s principle  of A c t i o n exaggerates and  r e c r e a t e s the p u l s e of f o l k t a l e n a r r a t i v e ,  which a l t e r n a t e s p r o g r e s s  and  o b s t a c l e , a c t i o n and  respite.  This  i s Colum's l i t e r a r y v e r s i o n o f t h e f o l k t a l e process t i o n that Luth,i d e l i n e a t e s .  of e x t e r n a l i z a -  Colum couches h i s concern f o r such  u n f o l k l o r i c matters as t h e hero's emotional  and moral s t a t e i n t h e  formal terms o f a c t i o n and i t s t h r e a t e n i n g o p p o s i t e ,  no-action.  In t h e t a s k sequence, t h e l o n g , t r o u b l e d n i g h t s d e f e r t h e n a r r a t i o n o f t h e daytime successes the p l o t ;  Colum develops,  t h a t express h i s i n t e r e s t  and hence t h e advancement o f  i n t h e space t h a t i s thus c r e a t e d , forms i n t h e hero's c h a r a c t e r .  s i m i l a r l y elsewhere i n The King o f I r e l a n d ' s Son.  D e f e r r a l works Colum uses i t as  a t o o l w i t h which to expand f o l k t a l e forms, o f t e n t o express t h e spiritual trial Son,  and s p i r i t u a l growth which i n The King o f I r e l a n d ' s  but not i n t h e f o l k t a l e , must precede n a r r a t i v e advancement.  For i n s t a n c e , i n t h e s t r u g g l e w i t h t h e Fua noted i n t h e p r e v i o u s chapter,  which l i k e t h e episode  just discussed e x p l o i t s a contrast  between n i g h t and day, n i g h t i s q u i t e s p e c i f i c a l l y t h e a p p r o p r i a t e time f o r a v i g i l  that w i l l test  t h e hero's c h a r a c t e r , "your  your mind, and your purpose" (KS, 81).  will,  The most exaggerated use  of d e f e r r a l i s i n t h e episode  d u r i n g which t h e s t o r y o f "When t h e  King o f t h e Cats Came to King  Connal's Dominion" i s t o l d .  episode  This  shares w i t h t h e t a s k s e c t i o n an o p p o s i t i o n between day  and n i g h t , an emphasis on d e s p a i r , and a breakdown i n the a b i l i t y of t h e n a r r a t i v e to p r o g r e s s . more important,  Here, however, where d e f e r r a l i s  t h e new p a t t e r n s t h a t Colum develops a r e p a r t i c u l a r l y  clear. In t h i s s e c t i o n , Colum d e f e r s n a r r a t i v e p r o g r e s s one  by extending  o f i t s elements, what Propp would c a l l t h e f u n c t i o n o f "mediation,  o r the " c o n n e c t i v e i n c i d e n t . "  T h i s f u n c t i o n ' s name, i n s t r e s s i n g  not a c t i o n but t h e c o n n e c t i o n between t h e hero and events, i t s uniqueness.  M e d i a t i o n , which " b r i n g s t h e hero  suggests  into the t a l e , "  i s t h e one j u n c t u r e i n t h e f o l k t a l e n a r r a t i v e where t h e hero's s t a t e o f mind and degree o f knowledge a r e c r i t i c a l t o t h e n a r r a t i v e movement: t h e hero must acknowledge and understand i s to counteract i t . " ^  villainy  These s p e c i a l q u a l i t i e s make t h e c o n n e c t i v e  i n c i d e n t p a r t i c u l a r l y u s e f u l t o Colum, w i t h h i s i n t e r e s t hero's  i f he  i n the  psychology. Here, m e d i a t i o n  the hero  begins a f t e r t h e h e r o i n e ' s a b d u c t i o n , when  f i n a l l y awakens.  Often, i n the f o l k t a l e v e r s i o n s o f  Colum's m a t e r i a l , t h e hero r e a l i z e s t h e h e r o i n e ' s absence o n l y s l o w l y ; then he may wander a i m l e s s l y f o r a time b e f o r e d i s c o v e r i n g the w r i t i n g the h e r o i n e has l e f t kidnapping. immediately  Such knowledge s u f f i c e s f o r t h e f o l k t a l e hero, who l e a p s aboard  and r e s c u e t h e h e r o i n e . the expansion the hero's  his sailing  ship to confront the v i l l a i n  In The King of I r e l a n d ' s Son, however,  o f the m e d i a t i o n  quest c o n s i d e r a b l y .  to t h e intermezzo hero,  o r e n c o u n t e r i n g w i t n e s s e s t o the  sequence d e l a y s t h e b e g i n n i n g o f For one, Colum adds i n c i d e n t s  between the a b d u c t i o n and t h e d e p a r t u r e o f t h e  A f t e r r e a d i n g t h e name o f Fedelma's abductor  i n the d u s t ,  f o r i n s t a n c e , t h e King o f I r e l a n d ' s Son s t r a y s i n bewilderment and d e s p a i r i n t o t h e Wood o f the Shadows. the f o l k t a l e hero, he completes  Furthermore,  h i s j o u r n e y home.  a d d i t i o n t o i n v e n t i n g f u r t h e r events  unlike  But Colum, i n  i n o r d e r t o s t r e t c h t h e episode  s t r i k i n g l y fragments the knowledge t h a t t h e King's Son needs i n  o r d e r t o proceed: the King's Son must l e a r n not o n l y who Fedelma but by what means she can be r e l e a s e d and how that means.  The  s e a r c h f o r these s e p a r a t e fragments  kidnapped  to acquire of v i t a l  i n f o r m a t i o n consumes a g r e a t d e a l more time and r e q u i r e s a f a r g r e a t e r d i l i g e n c e of e f f o r t  than the s e a r c h f o r the s o l e  fact  n e c e s s a r y i n the f o l k t a l e .  F i n d i n g Fedelma's f a l c o n , the c u s t o d i a n  of the i n f o r m a t i o n that the Sword of L i g h t w i l l r e l e a s e Fedelma, i s a s m a l l quest i n i t s e l f .  Only a f t e r much f r a n t i c and  futile  q u e s t i o n i n g o f v i s i t o r s t o the c o u r t , when the King's Son l e a r n s how  finally  to a c q u i r e the Sword of L i g h t , i s he reconnected to  events and a b l e to proceed.  In the meantime, the expansion o f  the moment o f knowledge has d e l a y e d d r a m a t i c a l l y the  resumption  of n a r r a t i v e a c t i v i t y , which f o l k t a l e v e r s i o n s a c c o m p l i s h i n two or t h r e e sentences, extending the f u n c t i o n over s e v e r a l days of n a r r a t i v e time and t h i r t y pages of t e x t . In e f f e c t , the e x a g g e r a t i o n of the " c o n n e c t i v e i n c i d e n t " t r a p s the hero i n a moment o f d e s p a i r and the hero's mental  failure.  s u f f e r i n g by having him f i r s t  Colum  conveys  essentially  lose  h i s senses i n the Wood of the Shadows and then d i s t r a c t e d l y i g n o r e the m i n i s t r a t i o n s of the King's C o u n c i l l o r .  Only a f t e r the King's  Son i s shown Fedelma's r i n g on h i s f i n g e r i s he " l e s s w i l d i n h i s t h o u g h t s " (KS, 52).  H i s d e s p e r a t i o n i s i n p a r t a demonstration  of the depth of h i s commitment to Fedelma. Son i s f r u s t r a t e d because  But a l s o , the King's  he has no means o f resuming  activity:  the heavy emphasis on the n a r r a t i v e o b s t a c l e , the need f o r i n f o r m a t i o n , d e p r i v e s him o f the f o l k t a l e hero's n a t u r a l  ability  to a c t .  As i n the t a s k episode, then, the hero's d e s p a i r accompanies  a d i s r u p t i o n of n a r r a t i v e p r o g r e s s . The  l e n g t h y i n - t a l e whose e p i s o d e s , i n t e r s p e r s e d i n the  l o n g search f o r knowledge, s t r e t c h the c o n n e c t i v e i n c i d e n t  hero's  and  d e l a y n a r r a t i v e p r o g r e s s even f u r t h e r , c o n t r i b u t e s c o n s i d e r a b l y to the e f f e c t i v e n e s s of Colum's treatment Through i t ,  f o r i n s t a n c e , Colum once again draws a c o n t r a s t between  day and n i g h t .  As i n the t a s k episode, daytime i s g i v e n over t o  a c t i v i t y , a l t h o u g h the King's  Son's d a i l y f o r a y s over the c o u n t r y -  s i d e f o r news of Fedelma at f i r s t devoted Connal's  accomplish very l i t t l e .  Nightrtime  t o the e p i s o d e s of "When the King of the Cats Came to King Dominion," i s once again t r o u b l e d .  i n the t a s k episode,  More c l e a r l y  i t i s a l s o the p r o v i n c e of  of a d i s t i n c t l y n i g h t m a r i s h s o r t . and  of t h i s p a r t of the p l o t .  The  than  imagination—here,  i n - t a l e ' s grim tone,  haughty  f i e r c e p r o t a g o n i s t , and vague f l a v o r of myth and mystery echo  the hero's d e s p e r a t e u n c e r t a i n t y and make the t a l e an a p p r o p r i a t e n i g h t - p i e c e . Ev'en ".mo re -noteworthy, however, i s a c r u c i a l f e a t u r e of the t a l e : i t has no ending. E a g l e , embroiled  The King of Cats and  i n such f i e r c e and v i o l e n t  t h r e a t e n to d e s t r o y the heroes them, a r e transformed  and  formal the  s t r u g g l e t h a t they  the f a i r i e s of I r e l a n d w i t h  f i n a l l y by C u r o i the D r u i d .  " I f t h i s should go on," s a i d C u r o i , "our t r o o p s w i l l j o i n i n and men and F a i r i e s w i l l be s l a u g h t e r e d . We must end the combat i n the air." Saying t h i s he took up the h u r l i n g - b a l l and f l u n g i t a t the Cat and E a g l e . Both came down on the ground. The Cat was about t o s p r i n g , the E a g l e was about to pounce when C u r o i d a r t e d between them and s t r u c k both w i t h h i s spear. E a g l e and Cat became f i g u r e s of stone. KS, 77  The  i n - t a l e i s r e s o l v e d by a r t i f i c i a l l y  stabilizing  the stone i n t o which the combatants a r e c a s t ensures of  their battle.  the p e r p e t u i t y  In terms o f t h e n a r r a t i v e p r i n c i p l e s o f t h e  f o l k t a l e , n o t h i n g c o u l d be more n i g h t - m a r i s h . a r e now," concludes of  irresolution:  A r t the King's  "And t h e r e  Steward, emphasizing  they  the irony  e s s e n t i a l a c t i v i t y made s t a b l e , "a Stone E a g l e w i t h h i s wings  outspread raised"  and a Stone Cat w i t h h i s t e e t h bared and h i s paws  (KS, 77). T h i s image r e p r e s e n t s an e x t r e m i t y of d e f e r r a l ;  i t s dark p a r a d o x e s — f r o z e n  motion, e t e r n a l becoming,  everlasting  p o t e n t i a l i t y — a r e d e f e r r a l ' s l o g i c a l consequence, extreme v e r s i o n s of  the t h r e a t t o t h e p r i n c i p l e of n a r r a t i v e advancement  i n t h e dramatic to  action,  extension of mediation,  i n the enveloping  During  a moment o f r e s i s t a n c e  plot.  t h e c o n n e c t i v e i n c i d e n t , i n sum, as w e l l as i n t h e  t a s k and Fua e p i s o d e s , an i n v e n t e d element, i n s e r t e d narrative,  implicit  into the  expands one o f the i n a c t i v e moments of f o l k t a l e n a r r a t i v e  i n o r d e r t o a l l o w e x p l o r a t i o n , w i t h i n t h e moment, o f t h e moral dimensions o f t h e hero's difficulty  suggests  character.  At t h e same time t h a t  t h e p o s s i b i l i t y o f t h e hero's moral  spiritual  failure,  d i s r u p t i o n o f t h e measured a c t i o n t h r e a t e n s t h e i d e a o f n a r r a t i v e progress Son to  i n h e r i t e d from t h e f o l k t a l e .  i s enduring progress.  his spiritual trial,  i n o t h e r words, he i s unable  Indeed, i n Colum's m o d i f i c a t i o n of h i s f o l k t a l e  sources, t h e hero's his  While t h e King o f I r e l a n d ' s  a b i l i t y to succeed  comes t o depend n o t on  p h y s i c a l s t r e n g t h , h i s magic h e l p e r s and donors,  or the  mechanism o f f o l k t a l e a c t i o n , but on h i s p e r s o n a l f o r t i t u d e .  The  accompanying e x t r a p o l a t i o n of the f o l k t a l e a l t e r n a t i o n of o b s t a c l e and a c t i o n i n t o the o p p o s i t i o n of A c t i o n and No-Action, the main p l o t and  both i n  i n the "King of the Cats' i n - t a l e , makes f a i l u r e  a more r e a l and  frightening p o s s i b i l i t y  Son than i n the  folktale.  i n The K i n g of I r e l a n d ' s  A f t e r the King's Son a c q u i r e s the Sword of L i g h t , becomes dominant i n the n a r r a t i v e . of  Colum's i n v e n t e d i n s e r t i o n s ,  the consequences are grave.  When the King's Son,  succumbs at l a s t  The  deferral i n another  to moral  f o l l y of h i s arrogance  temptation,  and  i n c o n t i n e n c e a l l o w s the Sword of L i g h t to be t a r n i s h e d , so t h a t what should immediately  f o l l o w h i s a c q u i s i t i o n of the Sword of  L i g h t — a n a t t a c k on the King of the Land of M i s t — m u s t w h i l e the King's Son  be  postponed  l a b o r s t o undo t h e damage to h i s magic weapon.  The d i f f e r e n c e here from p r e v i o u s d e l a y s i s t h a t the  folktale  n a r r a t i v e , i n which d e f e r r a l has h e r e t o f o r e i n s e r t e d an i n v e n t i o n , i s now  itself  embedded i n one of Colum's embedded e p i s o d e s .  The  gap  i n the c h a i n of events, between a c q u i s i t i o n of the magic h e l p e r  and  s t r u g g l e w i t h the v i l l a i n ,  becomes the l o n g e s t , most  s e c t i o n of C y c l e I I , the p u r s u i t  important  of the Unique T a l e and what comes  b e f o r e and a f t e r i t .  D e f e r r a l , i n t h i s i n s t a n c e , makes n a r r a t i v e  p r o g r e s s tremendously  more d i f f i c u l t  for  most f o l k t a l e heroes, and  folkloric King's Son his  f o r the King's Son  h e l p s t o t r a n s f o r m an  than  essentially  sequence of events, the quest, i n t o a means f o r the to r e g e n e r a t e h i m s e l f s p i r i t u a l l y and  steadfastness.  to prove  again  2.  In g e n e r a l ,  the n a r r a t i v e forms of the adventures of  of the G o a t s k i n and one,  as  i n d i c a t e d by  episodic  Failure  the King of I r e l a n d ' s  are d i s t i n c t .  In a d d i t i o n ,  tendency to l o s e the thread  of the  t h a t one  and  story i t s e l f .  so f u z z y  d i s t i n g u i s h the  "main p l o t " from the  The  cannot, on p u r e l y sub-plots,  I I ; a l l p a r t s , major and  an  depends on  i t i s characterized  of the p l o t are  I and  For  Chapter I above, G i l l y ' s n a r r a t i v e has  s t r u c t u r e , uses more o r i g i n a l m a t e r i a l ,  lower k i n d of t a l e .  Cycles  Son  Gilly  by a  a  curious  outlines  f o r m a l grounds,  as one  can  in  minor, are p r e s e n t e d  as  e q u a l l y weighted e p i s o d e s of a l o o s e l y - k n i t a c t i o n . One  must begin i n s t e a d w i t h a d e s c r i p t i o n based on  the "main p l o t " i s t h a t p a r t of the a c t i o n  ( l a t e r merging w i t h  the quest to s o l v e the Unique T a l e ) i n which G i l l y seeks acquires has  knowledge of h i m s e l f  and  of h i s h e r i t a g e .  i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r n a r r a t i v e form.  commodity by interest  f o l k t a l e standards.  Insofar  and  Such a quest  Although G i l l y may  knowledge through a c t i o n , knowledge i t s e l f  content:  gain  i s an amorphous as i t suggests an  i n " s t a t e s of mind" r a t h e r than "happenings," i t  d i s t i n g u i s h e s the main a c t i o n of C y c l e  I I I from the  e x t e r n a l i z a t i o n of the main a c t i o n of C y c l e s  I and  bright I I , i n which  Colum's i n t e r e s t i n " s t a t e s of mind" i s l a r g e l y d i s g u i s e d subordinate.  and  In s h o r t , tension  G i l l y ' s p l o t i s marked by a s l a c k e n i n g  and a p a r t i a l disengagement of t h e well-meshed gears o f t h e  n a r r a t i v e mechanism which serve t o advance t h e a c t i o n the King of I r e l a n d ' s to p l a y  of the n a r r a t i v e  Son.  Deferral  still  involving  has an important  i n C y c l e I I I , but, n o t s u r p r i s i n g l y i n view of these  differences,  i t undergoes some s i g n i f i c a n t changes.  f a c t , d e f e r r a l occurs as something o f a norm. most e x a g e r r a t e d g u i s e o n l y  i n interludes  such as t h e "King o f C a t s " s t o r y .  Here, i n  D e f e r r a l dons i t s  i n t h e King's Son p l o t ,  G i l l y , however,  frequently  defers  action or f a i l s outright  goals,  s u c c e e d i n g unencumbered by d e f e r r a l i n n o n - e s s e n t i a l  ludes.  For i n s t a n c e ,  outwits the Churl Chief  role  when p u r s u i n g t h e most  important inter-  he i s c l e v e r and i n t r e p i d enough when he  o f t h e Townland o f Mischance and t h e Robber  i n extraneous e p i s o d e s whose i n c i d e n t s f o l l o w t h e i r f o l k t a l e  sources c l o s e l y , but i s almost w h o l l y i n e f f e c t u a l when i t comes to h i s main t a s k s o f d i s c o v e r i n g Tale. and  But w i t h G i l l y ,  himself  and r e s o l v i n g the  i t i s not only that  u n s t a b l e moments s t r e t c h e d .  Unique  events a r e d e l a y e d  Key e p i s o d e s end e i t h e r  incon-  c l u s i v e l y , as when G i l l y abandons h i s attempt to r e c o v e r the C r y s t a l Egg,  or i n f a i l u r e , as when t h e Hags o f t h e Long Teeth make c h i l d ' s  p l a y o f c a s t i n g an o b s t r e p e r o u s G i l l y back i n t o bondage. clusiveness  and f a i l u r e go f a r beyond d e f e r r a l i n d i s t u r b i n g t h e  f o l k t a l e ' s n a r r a t i v e mechanism. i n t o i t s l o g i c a l extreme, The Son's,  Incon-  D e f e r r a l , i n f a c t , metamorphoses  failure.  formal properties  of G i l l y ' s  a c t i o n , l i k e the King's  i n c l u d i n g the r o l e i n i t o f d e f e r r a l and f a i l u r e ,  can best  be d e l i n e a t e d w i t h r e f e r e n c e to a s p e c i f i c example.  The  events  i n v o l v i n g the C r y s t a l Egg a r e i n many ways t y p i c a l of C y c l e I I I . We  readily find  i n t h i s sequence evidence of the d i s c o n t i n u i t y  which marks the e n t i r e n a r r a t i v e . long, d i s j o i n t e d  G i l l y becomes i n v o l v e d i n a  s e r i e s of e p i s o d e s .  In f a c t , t h e s t o r y of the  C r y s t a l Egg begins o u t s i d e of G i l l y ' s own  s t o r y w i t h two  t h a t occur b e f o r e G i l l y i s even i n t r o d u c e d . Egg f i r s t ;  she r e c i t e s the poem e n t i t l e d  C r y s t a l Egg" w h i l e she and fields.  T h i s poem t e l l s how  t o h a t c h from  c r a n e " who in  carried  Fedelma mentions the  "The  Sending  of the  the King's Son a r e c r o s s i n g t h e i r  A t l a s by the Kings of Murias due  episodes  the C r y s t a l Egg,  sent to t o i l i n g  so t h a t the Swan of E n d l e s s T a l e s  i t might d i v e r t him, was i t . A bit later,  still  l o s t by the before G i l l y  "fitful appears  the book, the p o s s i b l y u n r e l i a b l e Crow of A c h i l l r e c o u n t s t o  the King of I r e l a n d ' s Son a s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t v e r s i o n of Fedelma's t a l e : she h e r s e l f  s t o l e the Egg,  where Laheen the E a g l e had the accounts  laid  the Crow says, from the n e s t it.  The  s l i g h t d i v e r g e n c e of  i s c u r i o u s ; i t d i s g u i s e s the c o n t i n u i t y between them,  making them seem l i k e d i s c r e t e s t o r i e s . whether the C r y s t a l Eggs i n these two  The reader may  even doubt  episodes are r e a l l y  the  same. The  C r y s t a l Egg,  i n t h i s way,  i s . i n t r o d u c e d as one of the  book's s e v e r a l conundrums, l i k e the t a l e of the K i n g of the Cats. When G i l l y it,  spies i t lying  i n the r i v e r and  he b r i n g s i t more d i r e c t l y and  has the Weasel r e c o v e r  c o n c r e t e l y i n t o the s t o r y .  the s t o r y of the C r y s t a l Egg proceeds  e p i s o d i c a l l y , and  remains  Still,  half-embedded i n t h e o u t e r n a r r a t i v e .  Rory the Fox, b e f o r e h i s l u s t  f o r t h e Egg d e v e l o p s , g i v e s y e t another account o f i t .  There i s  no p a r t i c u l a r reason t o b e l i e v e h i s s t o r y more than t h e o t h e r s , yet i t does p r o v i d e a way o f r e c o n c i l i n g t h e two p r e v i o u s a c c o u n t s ; a p p a r e n t l y the Crow o f A c h i l l s t o l e t h e Egg n o t from t h e n e s t but from t h e bare r o c k where t h e crane l e f t  it.  Rory soon s t e a l s t h e  Egg h i m s e l f , and puts i t under t h e Spae-Woman's goose,  to h a t c h ,  as he t h i n k s , i n t o t h e "toothsome b i r d " he has dreamt about. it  But  seems t h a t m o r t a l p l a n s i n v o l v i n g t h e C r y s t a l Egg a r e bound  never t o mature.  B e f o r e Rory's p l a n can s u c c e e d — a n d  G i l l y and t h e Weasel can f o i l  before  i t — t h e r o b b e r s i n t e r v e n e , making  o f f w i t h goose, n e s t , eggs, Egg, and a l l . The t h e f t a t f i r s t  seems but t o d e f e r G i l l y ' s r e c o v e r y o f  the Egg, but as i t t u r n s o u t , t h i s d e f e r r a l i s permanent. a l t h o u g h G i l l y e v e n t u a l l y drops h i s attempt Egg, t h e C r y s t a l Egg i t s e l f  i s n o t dropped  However,  to recover the C r y s t a l from t h e n a r r a t i v e .  The Old Woman o f Beare p r e s e n t l y sends G i l l y t o l e a r n t h e f a t e of t h e Egg, a t which p o i n t G i l l y t e l l s o f h i s own e x p e r i e n c e w i t h the Egg, thus adding a f o u r t h t o t h e s t r i n g o f accounts o f i t . But b e f o r e t h e Old Woman makes her r e q u e s t , t h e two heroes, as they a r e t a l l y i n g her age, have a s t r a n g e e x p e r i e n c e .  J u s t as they were adding t h e two numbers t o g e t h e r they both heard sounds i n t h e a i r — they were l i k e t h e sounds t h a t Bards make c h a n t i n g t h e i r v e r s e s . And when they looked up they saw a swan f l y i n g round and round above them. And t h e swan chanted t h e s t o r y of t h e coming o f t h e M i l e s i a n s t o E i r i n n , and as t h e two youths l i s t e n e d they f o r g o t the number of horns they had counted. KS, 129  80.  Once a g a i n , the c o n t i n u i t y of the s t o r y of the C r y s t a l Egg i s d i s r u p t e d ; Colum p r e s e n t s t h i s encounter w i t h a s t o r y t e l l i n g  swan  as i f i t had no c o n n e c t i o n w i t h the Swan of E n d l e s s T a l e s . C o n s i d e r i n g the Old Woman of Beare's Egg and who  i n the  Crystal  the Swan o f E n d l e s s T a l e s , one might expect her t o r e c o g n i z e  t h i s swan must be, but she h e r s e l f , no doubt d i s t r a c t e d by the  youths' f a i l u r e to compute her age, the i n c i d e n t .  When G i l l y i s f i n a l l y  of the C r y s t a l Egg, who  interest  he has no  e a r l i e r eluded him.  i g n o r e s t h e s i g n i f i c a n c e of sent to l e a r n what became  f u r t h e r t r o u b l e i n f i n d i n g the r o b b e r s  What he d i s c o v e r s c o n f i r m s what the above  passage i m p l i e s : the C r y s t a l Egg has indeed hatched, of E n d l e s s T a l e s has been born  and the Swan  i n t o t h e World.  The d i s c o n t i n u i t y of the episodes making up the C r y s t a l  Egg  s t o r y d i f f e r s from whatever d i s j u n c t u r e c h a r a c t e r i z e s the e p i s o d i c folktale.  E p i s o d i c t a l e s — s u c h as "Mor's Sons and the  from under the Sea" i n C u r t i n ' s H e r o - T a l e s of I r e l a n d independent  adventures  Herder (pp.36-57)—juggle  t h a t are e i t h e r complete moves or l a r g e  p a r t s of moves, whereas the C r y s t a l Egg episodes are by v e r y s m a l l p i e c e s o f the a c t i o n . the e a r l y h i s t o r y of the Egg  Furthermore,  comparison  t h e r e p e t i t i o n of  i s u n l i k e episodes o f  folktales,  which a r e f r e q u e n t l y i n t e g r a t e d by such d e v i c e s as b e t r o t h a l , mentioned above.  E p i s o d e s i n the C r y s t a l Egg  story are o f t e n  f o r m a l l y ambiguous; the l o n g e s t and most f o l k l o r i c of the episodes i s the s t o r y of G i l l y ' s i n t e r a c t i o n w i t h the Egg, but i t , l i k e some e a r l i e r e p i s o d e s , i s l e f t first  two  hanging.  Other  episodes—the  accounts of the C r y s t a l Egg and the p e n u l t i m a t e appearance  of the m y s t e r i o u s  swan to G i l l y and the King's S o n — n e g l e c t  d e f i n e the p a r t ' s r e l a t i o n s h i p to the whole. it  Such d i s j o i n t e d n e s s ,  seems, i s a matter of Colum's d e l i b e r a t e shaping of the n a r r a t i v e  i n t h i s way Having  r a t h e r than a r e s u l t of i m i t a t i o n of f o l k t a l e s o u r c e s . something  of the same e f f e c t  chance i n the n a r r a t i v e .  i s the preponderance  The crane's a c c i d e n t a l l o s s of the  the r o b b e r s ' u n w i t t i n g t h e f t of i t , and most important, a c c i d e n t of G i l l y ' s f i n d i n g i t a l s o r e p r e s e n t d e p a r t u r e s  the Sword of L i g h t  Egg,  from example,  i n L a r m i n i e ' s "Morraha" (West I r i s h T a l e s , pp.10-30)  the' d e v i l ' s f l a i l  i n Kennedy's "The Lad w i t h - the"Goatskin" (Legendary  Fictions, pp.23-31)—-usually a quest, G i l l y  of  the  f o l k t a l e p r a c t i c e ; whereas magic o b j e c t s i n f o l k t a l e s — f o r  and  to  r e q u i r e a search, a s t r u g g l e , or  simply happens on the C r y s t a l Egg.  T h i s k i n d of  chance and the d e l i b e r a t e d i s c o n t i n u i t y among the e p i s o d e s ,  like  d e f e r r a l , d i s t u r b n a r r a t i v e p r o g r e s s and d e l a y r e s o l u t i o n .  But  the a t t a c k on the n a r r a t i v e mechanism i s much more here than i n C y c l e s I and I I .  thoroughgoing  E a r l i e r e p i s o d e s l e d onward i n  s p i t e of d e f e r r a l , sometimes accentuated because of i t ; the c a u s a l b a s i s of the n a r r a t i v e mechanism was p l a c e s superseded t h e C r y s t a l Egg  by moral concerns but i t was  not d e s t r o y e d .  In  sequence, d i s j u n c t u r e and c a s u a l n e s s usurp  causality's place. the C r y s t a l Egg  suspended and i n  I t i s f o r t h i s reason t h a t the episodes i n  sequence l i e so i n e r t l y between i n t e r r u p t i o n s  and r e f u s e to r i s e to the chase as the e a r l i e r episodes d i d . C y c l e I I I no l e s s than C y c l e s I and I I invokes f o l k t a l e  form,  but uses i t as a d i s g u i s e f o r a n a r r a t i v e form i n which the forward  impetus  of f o l k t a l e a c t i o n i s b a f f l e d .  The C r y s t a l Egg episodes c o n t r a d i c t the p r a c t i c e of n a r r a t i v e more s p e c i f i c a l l y on two donor,  occasions.  First,  the Weasel, d e s e r t s him i n h i s hour of need.  folk  Gilly's Previously,  the Weasel has indeed invoked the c h a r a c t e r and the form of the f o l k t a l e donor: G i l l y r e s c u e s him and earns h i s s e r v i c e i n the c l a s s i c f o l k t a l e manner by f r e e i n g him from the claws of a p r e d a t o r 1  (Proppian f u n c t i o n D^)."*" Weasel i t s e l f  (The s t a l w a r t companionship  echoes the f o l k t a l e . )  o f the  F o l k t a l e donors, however,  u s u a l l y appear or v o l u n t e e r h e l p j u s t when t h e hero most needs i t ; indeed, we  can w e l l say that t h a t  i n the n a r r a t i v e .  i s their entire  purpose  For t h i s reason, the d i s a p p e a r a n c e of the  donor at the c r i t i c a l moment i n the C r y s t a l Egg episode i s r a t h e r shocking.  I t i n v e r t s f o l k t a l e c o n v e n t i o n and  suggests a more  profound d e n i a l o f the p r i n c i p l e s of f o l k t a l e n a r r a t i v e than i n s t a n c e of d e f e r r a l The  second  any  i n C y c l e I I accomplished.  i n c i d e n t that f l i e s  i n the f a c e of  folktale  c o n v e n t i o n , G i l l y ' s abandonment of h i s p u r s u i t of the robbers and the Egg, i s l i k e ' t h e Weasel's abandonment a'_ symptom of an u n d e r l y i n g change i n n a r r a t i v e form. for  It i s p a r t i c u l a r l y  interesting  i t s p a r a l l e l s w i t h one of the i n s t a n c e s of d e f e r r a l d i s c u s s e d  above.  G i l l y ' s o c c a s i o n a l f o r a y s from the Spae-Woman's house i n  s e a r c h of the robbers i n many ways resemble  the King's Son's  daytime o u t i n g s i n s e a r c h o f Fedelma's b l u e f a l c o n ; both proceed i n t e r m i t t e n t l y and d e f e r success d u r i n g a s e r i e s of attempts t o advance.  thwarted  However, w i t h p e r s e v e r a n c e , t h e King o f  I r e l a n d ' s Son manages to overcome the o b s t a c l e s that r a i s e s a g a i n s t him, placed  along  whereas G i l l y cannot budge the one  i n h i s path.  search.  Of course,  the way,  He  r e a l l y has no c h o i c e but  obstacle  to abandon h i s  a f o l k t a l e hero, though delayed  or d i s t r a c t e d  never g i v e s up h i s purpose, nor does the n a r r a t i v e  ever l e a v e him without  an o p p o r t u n i t y  for successful action.  Once a g a i n  i n the C r y s t a l Egg  mediation,  d i s p a t c h of the h e r o — a r e invoked  In t h i s way,  deferral  sequence, f o l k t a l e f o r m s — v i l l a i n y , o n l y to be  denied.  Colum e x t r a p o l a t e s the kind of d e f e r r a l attendant  the King's Son's l o n g p u r s u i t of the f a l c o n , i t s e l f an  exaggeration  of f o l k t a l e p a t t e r n , i n t o a downward-turning p a t t e r n of q u i t e at odds w i t h the rhythms of the It  G i l l y ' s i n f a n c y and  structures v i t a l as a whole.  i s the well-head  a l s o , as we  not  to the C r y s t a l Egg  s t o r y as w e l l as to C y c l e I I I  F a i l u r e i s s t a r k e r and more obvious i n the Unique  f o l k t a l e source  so c l o s e l y .  The  follows i t s  adventures of the C r y s t a l Egg,  have seen, a r e themselves d i s j o i n t e d ,  f a i l u r e i n a way But  only f o r the  s h a l l see, f o r o t h e r n a r r a t i v e  T a l e than elsewhere because t h i s s t o r y o t h e r w i s e  as we  f o r events  i t , yet t h e Unique T a l e , r e a c h i n g back to  earlier,  rhythm of f a i l u r e but  failure  folktale.  i s , perhaps, c u r i o u s to c a l l a s t o r y a source  which a r e t o l d b e f o r e  on  so t h a t  Gilly's  i s j u s t another i n a l o n g s e r i e s of puzzlements.  the Unique T a l e has the t i g h t l y - b o u n d , e n d - d i r e c t e d  structure  of the f o l k t a l e — u n t i l g r i e f e r u p t s i n Sheen's f a t a l c r y . increasing pressures  on the h e r o i n e , which i n the source  The tale .  i n c r e a s e the drama of her j u s t - i n - t h e - n i c k - o f - t i m e s u c c e s s ,  overcome t h e h e r o i n e o f t h e Unique T a l e .  Sheen's s t o r y t r a n s f o r m s  the k i n d o f i r r e s o l u t i o n o f t h e K i n g o f Cats t a l e i n t o a d a r k e r , more t r a g i c f a i l u r e .  There, t h e v e r y l a c k o f r e s o l u t i o n was  m a g i c a l l y , p a r a d o x i c a l l y t r a n s f i x e d , and so became a r e s o l u t i o n : s i n c e t h e combatants were p e t r i f i e d , t h e f i g h t was at a d e f i n i t e end, even i f t h e r e was no winner. unresolved.  Here, Sheen's dilemma i s t r u l y  Her f a i l u r e produces a n a r r a t i v e imbalance and an  accompanying gloom not d i s p e l l e d u n t i l t h e end o f t h e book. Colum underscores' Sheen's f a i l u r e by d w e l l i n g on t h e j o y w i t h which she a n t i c i p a t e s t h e success o f her t a s k . of her g a t h e r i n g bog-cotton f o r t h e " s e v e n t h and l a s t  The p i c t u r e shirt" i s  a k i n d o f n e g a t i v e foreshadowing.  Sheen c o u l d h a r d l y keep from her mouth t h e song t h a t was i n her mind. She would s i n g and l a u g h and t a l k when t h e l a s t t h r e a d was spun and woven, when the l a s t s t i t c h was sewn, when t h e s h i r t s o f bog-down she had made i n s i l e n c e would have brought back her b r o t h e r s to t h e i r own human forms. She gathered t h e s c a r c e heads o f the cannavan o r bog-down w i t h one hand, w h i l e she h e l d t h e o t h e r hand t o her l i p s . KS, 134  The j o y o f r e s o l u t i o n , however, i s denied i n t h e Unique T a l e .  This  passage of premature l i g h t - h e a r t e d n e s s makes t h e r e a l i t y o f f a i l u r e which succeeds i t t h e more s i g n i f i c a n t .  A b i t t e r c r y came from her. Then t h e s t i t c h e d c l o t h t h a t was. i n her hand became bog-down and was blown away on t h e breeze. When she saw t h i s happen she turned from t h e King's C a s t l e and r a n through the woods c r y i n g and c r y i n g . KS, 146  Colum a c c e n t u a t e s  t h e f a i l u r e by r e p e a t i n g  f o l k t a l e predecessors,  i t . Sheen, u n l i k e her  makes a second attempt at her l o n g , j o y l e s s  task.  But when the f i r s t t h r e a d was spun the memory of her c h i l d blew a g a i n s t her heart and she c r i e d t e a r s down. The t h r e a d she had spun became bog-down and was blown away. For days she wept and wept. KS, 146.  Blowing t h r o u g h both of these passages i s a b i t i n g wind o f d e s p a i r . But  i f Sheen's s h i r t s a r e of a t i g h t and c a r e f u l weave, so i s t h e  narrative.  I t too i s shredded and d i s p e r s e d a t Sheen's  outcry.  Colum makes c l e a r t h a t f o r the n a r r a t i v e as w e l l as f o r Sheen, the a c t i o n ends i n d i s a s t e r .  The n a r r a t i v e e q u i v a l e n t of d e s p a i r ,  suggested but suppressed i n i n t e r l u d e s , i n C y c l e s I and I I , becomes the keynote here. The i r r e s o l u t i o n of the Unique T a l e d r i f t s i n t o the o u t e r n a r r a t i v e .  l i k e bog-down  For one, t h e terms of t h e King's  quest make c l e a r t h a t the Unique T a l e does not e x i s t  Son's  in isolation:  he must f i n d not j u s t the Unique T a l e , but a l s o "'what went its  beginning  and what comes a f t e r i t s end'" (KS, 88-89).  before As i t  t u r n s out, these o t h e r p a r t s of the Unique T a l e i n v o l v e i t w i t h c h a r a c t e r s i n t h e main n a r r a t i v e .  u n l i k e the t a l e of the King of  the Cats, the Unique T a l e r e f u s e s to remain a mere i n - t a l e , but becomes continuous in.,  w i t h the n a r r a t i v e that  F i n a l l y , t h e Unique T a l e o c c u p i e s  the C r y s t a l Egg sequence. quest  i t is initially  embedded  a t e l l i n g position within  I t i s t o l d a f t e r G i l l y abandons h i s  and goes on t o other adventures, w h i l e the C r y s t a l Egg  86.  seems t o have v a n i s h e d undertakes request  f o r e v e r from the s t o r y , and b e f o r e  Gilly  t o d i s c o v e r i t s f a t e f o r the Old Woman o f Beare, whose  about i t takes G i l l y by s u r p r i s e .  The suspended n a r r a t i v e ' s  more vague v e r s i o n of f a i l u r e borrows some of t h e f o r c e of t h e example o f u r - f a i l u r e w i t h which i t i s j u x t a p o s e d . S i n c e t h e system o f n a r r a t i v e advancement invoked  i n Cycles I  and  I I i s revoked  is,  i n s p i t e o f a l l o f G i l l y ' s f a i l u r e s , a happy, s u c c e s s f u l  outcome.  i n C y c l e I I I , i t cannot be r e s p o n s i b l e f o r what  Colum accompanies t h e f i t f u l  w i t h another,  l e s s obvious,  f o l k t a l e a c t i o n of C y c l e I I I  but more e f f e c t i v e n a r r a t i v e mechanism.  I f the- a c t i o n s of the hero cannot be counted  on t o advance t h e  p l o t — a n d we must remind o u r s e l v e s t h a t , i n s p i t e o f t h e s e t b a c k s , it  i s n e v e r t h e l e s s framed, l i k e t h e f o l k t a l e , i n terms o f f u n c t i o n s  of dramatis  personae, of whom the hero i s t h e most  then o t h e r s must i n t e r v e n e . and  Y e t behind  the King o f I r e l a n d ' s Son,  p r o v i d e him w i t h v i t a l  the seemingly  t h e Spae-Woman, Morag,  who at v a r i o u s times a d v i s e  i n f o r m a t i o n , o r f a c i l i t a t e the  of Sheen's b r o t h e r s f o r him, unifies  important—  t h e r e moves another  Gilly,  restoration  hand, one which  d i v e r s e i n t e r v e n t i o n s on G i l l y ' s b e h a l f .  In t h e C r y s t a l Egg sequence, t h i s hand can be seen shaping t h e outcome through  the g e n e r a l l y u n f o l k l o r i c c h a i n o f happenstance i n  the n a r r a t i v e .  A l l o f the v a r i o u s a c c i d e n t s o f t h e C r y s t a l Egg  episode,  from the moment G i l l y f i n d s the Egg l y i n g i n the  r i v e r t o i t s t h e f t by u n t r a c e a b l e robbers who don't even know they've s t o l e n i t , may be seen as means o f m a n i p u l a t i n g  events  to bring  about t h e h a t c h i n g o f the Egg and t h e f u l f i l l m e n t o f i t s l o n g - d e l a y e d  destiny. Colum p r e s e n t s t h i s mechanism f o r shaping events from o u t s i d e the n a r r a t i v e , l i k e the rhythm of f a i l u r e , most s t r o n g l y i n the Unique T a l e , where i t i s c l e a r l y named f o r t h e f i r s t time.  and  only  A f t e r Sheen's double f a i l u r e , the Spae-Woman a d v i s e s her  to commend her l o s t  c h i l d and t h e f a t e of her b r o t h e r s i n t o the  c a r e of Diachbha  "Commit t h e . c h i l d you have l o s t to D i a c h b h a — t h a t i s , to D e s t i n y — a n d Diachbha may b r i n g i t about that he s h a l l be the one t h a t w i l l r e s t o r e ,.your seven b r o t h e r s t h e i r human forms.""' KS 146  The Spae-Woman t r a n s l a t e s Diachbha as D e s t i n y , but as i t i s a p e r s o n i f i e d and b e n e f i c e n t p r i n c i p l e of o r d e r , i t seems t o be a D e s t i n y v e r y c l o s e i n c o n c e p t i o n to P r o v i d e n c e .  At t h e moment  t h a t t h e breeze s c a t t e r s t h e l i t t l e l e a f y e f f i g y t h a t Sheen makes (echoing the d i s s o l u t i o n o f the s h i r t s i n t o bogsdown), Diachbha takes on the c a r e of the n a r r a t i v e as w e l l as of Sheen's many enchanted r e l a t i v e s .  A l t h o u g h Diachbha i s never a g a i n e x p l i c i t l y  addressed, i t can be seen at work behind t h e s u r f a c e of t h e n a r r a t i v e at many p o i n t s — i n dreams, f o r i n s t a n c e .  the Spae-Woman's numerous p r o p h e t i c  Elsewhere, i t works through and  hence  t r a n s f o r m s G i l l y ' s f a i l u r e , as when the Hags t u r n him over to Crom Duv and b r i n g about h i s meeting w i t h Morag; and indeed, t h e success t h a t e v e n t u a l l y comes to the Unique T a l e through Sheen's failure it  i s more complete than the g o a l she f a i l s t o r e a c h s i n c e  encompasses not o n l y the disenchantment of her b r o t h e r s but  a l s o a r e u n i o n w i t h G i l l y , her l o s t  son.  Perhaps, t o o , i t i s  Diachbha who  puts the thought  escapes from Crom Duv,  of Morag i n t o G i l l y ' s mind a f t e r  he  f o r when he r e t u r n s to her, he r e t u r n s t o  the person whose s a c r i f i c e w i l l r e l e a s e Sheen's seven b r o t h e r s from t h e i r  spell.  The p r i o r i t i e s of Diachbha at  loggerheads.  and  those of G i l l y a r e sometimes  For i n s t a n c e , the importance  g i v e n t o the meta-  morphosis o f the C r y s t a l Egg i n t o the Swan of E n d l e s s T a l e s puts t h i s l a r g e r a c t i o n a t odds w i t h the d i r e c t i o n of G i l l y ' s G i l l y wants to r e t u r n t o h i s i d y l l i c  forest l i f e ,  house, and h i s communion w i t h the animals.  his  He cannot,  a c c o m p l i s h t h i s without r e c o v e r i n g the C r y s t a l Egg,  adventures  charming however,  and to do  that would be to prevent i t s ever a c h i e v i n g the d e s t i n y l a i d out f o r i t .  Because f u l f i l l i n g  t h i s d e s t i n y i s paramount,  n a r r a t i v e — t h e f o l k t a l e p a r t of the a c t i o n — h a s t o be here and  elsewhere,  must f a i l to for it  h i s own  to the workings of P r o v i d e n c e .  f o r P r o v i d e n c e to succeed.  Yet G i l l y ' s  subordinated,  Indeed,  Gilly  instrumentality,  d e t r i m e n t , i n the f a t e of the C r y s t a l Egg,  D e s t i n y does f o r G i l l y what G i l l y  Gilly's  i s rewarded,  i s unable to do f o r h i m s e l f ;  a c q u a i n t s him w i t h h i s i d e n t i t y , r e s t o r e s him t o Sheen, and  e f f e c t s the disenchantment the Unique T a l e .  That  of the b r o t h e r s and  G i l l y acts, w i l l y - n i l l y ,  P r o v i d e n c e , or Diachbha,  the r e s o l u t i o n of i n the s e r v i c e of  i s confirmed by t h e a c t i o n  f o l l o w i n g the Unique T a l e ; whereas the King's Son d i s c o v e r the b e g i n n i n g and  i s r e q u i r e d to  ending of the Unique T a l e , G i l l y i s  sent t o f i n d what we might c a l l C r y s t a l Egg."  immediately  In l e a r n i n g and  "the r e s t of the s t o r y of the r e p e a t i n g the f a t e o f the  Crystal  Egg,  p a r a l l e l t o t h e King's  Tale, G i l l y  Son's l e a r n i n g and t e l l i n g o f t h e Unique  i n e f f e c t completes t h e s t o r y t h a t Fedelma began and  c o n f e r s c o n t i n u i t y on the many f a r - f l u n g C r y s t a l Egg e p i s o d e s . H i s reward f o r t h i s bears c o n c r e t e l y on h i s main quest, t h e s e a r c h for  i d e n t i t y : he i s g i v e n a name. W i t h i n G i l l y ' s p l o t , Colum g i v e s both t h e C r y s t a l Egg and  the Swan o f E n d l e s s T a l e s a symbolic, m y t h i c a l aura t h a t h e l p s d i s t i n g u i s h them from magic o b j e c t s i n f o l k t a l e s , which a r e u s u a l l y more w h o l l y  subordinated  t o the a c t i o n .  A magic egg w i t h  super-  n a t u r a l o f f s p r i n g can e a s i l y a c q u i r e m y s t i c a l c o n n o t a t i o n s ; invokes a s i m i l a r image i n t h e f i c t i o n a l first  Yeats  i n t r o d u c t i o n to the  e d i t i o n of A V i s i o n .  Mary B e l l then opened t h e i v o r y box and took from i t an egg t h e s i z e o f a swan's egg, and s t a n d i n g between us and t h e dark window-curtains, l i f t e d i t up t h a t we might a l l see i t s c o l o r . " H y a c i n t h i n e b l u e , a c c o r d i n g to t h e Greek l y r i c poet," s a i d Robartes. . . . " I bought t h i s egg from an o l d man i n a green turban i n A r a b i a , or P e r s i a , or I n d i a . He t o l d me i t s h i s t o r y , p a r t l y handed down by word o f mouth, p a r t l y as he had d i s c o v e r e d i t i n a n c i e n t m a n u s c r i p t s . . . . Those o f you who a r e l e a r n e d i n t h e c l a s s i c s w i l l have r e c o g n i s e d t h e l o s t egg of Leda, i t s m i r a c u l o u s l i f e s t i l l unquenched. I return to the d e s e r t i n a few days w i t h Owen Aherne and t h i s l a d y chosen by d i v i n e wisdom f o r i t s guardian and b e a r e r . When I have found t h e appointed p l a c e , Owen Aherne and I w i l l d i g a shallow h o l e where she must l a y i t and l e a v e i t t o be hatched by the sun's heat.  Colum's Egg i s o f a somewhat l e s s m y s t i c a l and c a t a s t r o p h i c s p e c i e s than Y e a t s ' s .  Still,  t h e correspondences  are s t r i k i n g .  Both Eggs  have an e x t r a o r d i n a r y o u t e r appearance, Colum's p r e s e r v i n g a f o l k t a l e c l a r i t y , Y e a t s ' s a romantic  l u x u r i a n c e ; both, l i k e dormant  seeds, r e t a i n t h e i r spark o f l i f e and  through l o n g , i n f e r t i l e  years  i n h o s p i t a b l e c i r c u m s t a n c e s , u n t i l t h e moment comes t o warm  them t o v i t a l i t y a g a i n .  Yeats and Colum a l i k e f e e l compelled t o  p r o v i d e a p a r t i a l h i s t o r y o f t h e i r Eggs, each o f which has i t s own fame a l r e a d y , and each h i s t o r y i s somewhere incomplete.  Both Eggs  a r e s u f f i c i e n t l y beyond t h e d i c t a t e s of b i o l o g y t o h a t c h  into  s p e c i e s o t h e r than t h e i r p a r e n t s ' ; each, furthermore, i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h a m y t h i c a l swan, Leda's Egg w i t h Jove i n c a r n a t e , t h e C r y s t a l Egg w i t h t h e Swan o f E n d l e s s T a l e s i n t o which i t w i l l metamorphose. F i n a l l y , and most important, both Eggs w i l l h a t c h i n t o embodiments of  apocalypse.  Y e a t s ' s Egg, however, w i l l  in  t h e h i s t o r y of t h e cosmos.  i n t r o d u c e a new c y c l e  The apocalypse  Egg, on t h e o t h e r hand, whose Swan i s f i r s t  suggested  heard  by Colum's  dumbfounding  I r i s h p r i n c e s w i t h t h e s t o r y o f t h e coming o f t h e M i l e s i a n s t o I r e l a n d , w i l l usher  i n a new I r i s h "age, the I r i s h m i l l e n i u m t h a t  n a t i o n a l i s t s have l o n g a n t i c i p a t e d . T h i s k i n d o f symbolism g i v e s t h e C r y s t a l Egg a l i f e and s i g n i f i c a n c e independent  o f i t s importance  to G i l l y , while suggestin  as w e l l why i t s f a t e might e n t i c e t h e i n t e r v e n t i o n o f an I r i s h Providence.  Colum once o r t w i c e r e i n f o r c e s t h e Egg's  through imagery,  importance  as i n t h e d e s c r i p t i o n o f Rory t h e Fox's t h e f t o f  the Egg.  The Weasel was r i g h t ; i t was Rory t h e Fox who had s t o l e n G i l l y ' s C r y s t a l Egg. One n i g h t , j u s t as he was l e a v i n g G i l l y ' s house, the moon shone f u l l upon the C r y s t a l Egg. In t h e t u r n of a hand Rory t h e Fox had made a l i t t l e s p r i n g and had taken t h e Egg i n h i s mouth. Then he s l i p p e d out by t h e door as q u i c k and as q u i e t as a l e a f blown i n t h e wind. KS, 108  L i k e Rory's dream of the s u c c u l e n t b i r d t h a t w i l l h a t c h from t h e Egg,  the sudden i l l u m i n a t i o n o f the Egg tempts  him to s t e a l i t ,  f a c i l i t a t i n g the h a t c h i n g not of the t a s t y fowl he and h i s c h i l d r e n smack t h e i r l i p s i n a n t i c i p a t i o n o f , but the Swan o f E n d l e s s T a l e s . The moonlight t h e a t r i c a l l y foregrounds t h e Egg,  imbuing  i t with  an e e r i e magic and a d e s i r a b i l i t y beyond even t h a t o f magic o b j e c t s i n the f o l k t a l e . The i n e f f i c a c y o f f o l k t a l e a c t i o n i n C y c l e I I I and  the  s u b o r d i n a t i o n of human a c t i v i t y to a l a r g e r p l a n and a more powerful f o r c e demonstrate  the l i m i t a t i o n s of the m a t e r i a l i s t i c ,  m e c h a n i s t i c f o l k t a l e a c t i o n as a model f o r human encounters w i t h the s u r r o u n d i n g world. of human conduct  In C y c l e s I and I I , the moral  dimension  i n t i m a t e s .the inadequacy of the f o l k t a l e model;  here, however, Colum i n d i c a t e s a way  i n which t h e s e l i m i t a t i o n s  can be transcended when he sketches i n D e s t i n y (which, as Chapter I I I . w i l l . i show, i s s p e c i f i c a l l y an I r i s h D e s t i n y ) behind the" scenes. T h i s f o r c e , which remains end o f the Unique  i n c h o a t e , merely i m p l i e d except at the  T a l e , y e t more d e f i n i t e than the moral  tracery  u n d e r l y i n g d e f e r r a l , e f f e c t s what the human hero cannot: i t transform G i l l y ' s f a i l u r e s into success. form i s edged toward  The  inadequate  the more profound t e r r i t o r y of myth, as t h e  d e e p l y s u g g e s t i v e change in. tHe?means of r e s o l v i n g the Tale i l l u s t r a t e s .  folktale  Unique  Seven drops of " h e a r t ' s b l o o d " r e p l a c e the  seven s h i r t s of the f o l k t a l e — a n d  the o r i g i n a l p a r t of the  T a l e — a s the means o f r e s t o r i n g the b r o t h e r s .  Unique  In o t h e r words, t h e  almost m e c h a n i c a l e q u a t i o n of the f o l k t a l e , whereby a c o n d i t i o n  is f u l f i l l e d  t o o b v i a t e the magic o f t h e s p e l l ,  i s exchanged f o r  the transcendence o f e a r t h l y e v i l through t h e i n v o c a t i o n o f superhuman power.  The Communion symbolism  i n the r i t u a l  that  f r e e s t h e b r o t h e r s i d e n t i f i e s t h i s power w i t h C h r i s t i a n grace.  Then C a i n t i g e r n a r o s e and took bread t h a t the Spae-Woman had made. She moistened i t i n her mouth, and i n t o each b i t o f moistened bread she put a p i e c e o f t h e h a n d k e r c h i e f t h a t had a drop of b l o o d . She h e l d out her hand, g i v i n g each t h e moistened bread. The f i r s t that a t e i t f e l l forward on t h e f l o o r o f the Spae-Woman's house, h i s head down on t h e ground. KS, 2 61  In t h e e a r l i e r p a r t s o f the book, Colum begins t o put moral  concerns,  as evidenced i n t h e King's Son's s p i r i t u a l t r i a l s , c a u s a l l y b e f o r e the f o l k t a l e ' s mechanism; t h e symbolism  o f t h i s passage  confirms  the f u r t h e r change o f emphasis i n C y c l e I I I , from t h e m a t e r i a l , human a c t i o n o f the f o l k t a l e to t h e m y s t e r i o u s i n t e r v e n t i o n i n human a f f a i r s o f an i m m a t e r i a l , superhuman power. In s p i t e o f t h e e f f e c t i v e n e s s o f P r o v i d e n c e (Diachbha) i n o v e r s e e i n g t h e success o f t h e n a r r a t i v e , the rhythm of f a i l u r e l e a v e s an i n d e l i b l e mark on G i l l y o f t h e G o a t s k i n . how s a t i s f y i n g  No matter  t h e r e s o l u t i o n o f t h e enigma o f t h e C r y s t a l Egg  o r t h e suspended  a c t i o n o f t h e Unique T a l e , t h e hero's  actions,  which commonly o c c a s i o n t h e g r e a t e s t i n t e r e s t and sense o f immediacy i n the f o l k t a l e ' s audience, a r e d i s a p p o i n t i n g . o f t h e hero's a c t i o n to a n y t h i n g i s unheard  The s u b o r d i n a t i o n  of i n the f o l k t a l e ,  and remains d i s c o n c e r t i n g here, e s p e c i a l l y s i n c e G i l l y w i t h an a c t i o n t h a t proceeds i n f i t s and s t a r t s ,  i s left  i n which e f f o r t  i s followed to i n a c t i o n ,  by d e l a y , and  d e l a y or d e f e r r a l  inaction  g i v e s way  hero, l i k e the King of I r e l a n d ' s  w i t h a more permanent F a l l . replaced  to d e f e a t .  Son,  r e s t o r e d more s e c u r e l y at the end  s t r e t c h e s through i n a c t i v i t y  of h i s a c t i o n , G i l l y i s faced  Symbolically,  the r e t u r n to Eden i s  form of the n a r r a t i v e l e a v e s the f o l k t a l e ' s  forest given  idyll  Still,  the d a r k e r and  heads  l o n e l i e r p a r t of the kingdom t o govern,  of h i s rhythm of f a i l u r e .  r e a l i t y , which from time to time world i n h a b i t e d  essential  p e r i m e t e r s and  the  i t i s d e b a t a b l e whether G i l l y ' s  the book, G i l l y i s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h n i g h t  As we  same time that  i s r e a l l y transcended or whether, when he i s e v e n t u a l l y  i s r e a l l y divested  Son.  folktale  l o s e s Eden o n l y to have i t  by a redemption through Grace, at the  towards r e l i g i o u s myth.  I f the  intrudes  f o r most of C y c l e s  s h a l l see  and  I and  realism, his refusal,  Even i n the end  of  the d a r k e r aspect  of  i n the sunny, d a y l i g h t  I I by the K i n g of  i n the next chapter,  he  .  Ireland's  G i l l y expresses Colum's  as L o f t u s n o t e s , to  present  13 heroism without Finally,  qualification. i t may  be t h a t i n a r r a n g i n g  w i t h i t s many p o t h o l e s , quoting the  blind  alleys,  and  the  s u r f a c e of C y c l e I I I ,  dead ends, Colum i s  a shadow t r a d i t i o n of the f o l k t a l e , the t r a d i t i o n  i m p e r f e c t l y passed-down t a l e .  Even the b e s t - t o l d t a l e s  prone to s m a l l e r r o r s or i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s , l i k e the 14 postman i n one t h i s aspect  of Kennedy's t a l e s .  of o r a l t r a d i t i o n ,  of h i s grandmother's house was  of  anachronistic  Colum seems t o have  f o r he remarks t h a t the "fragmented," and  are  tradition  he c a l l s  s t o r y i n h i s poem, "Downal Baun," "based on a s t o r y h i s  considered  the  grandmother t o l d him, a "broken s t o r y . it imperfect  and f u l l  15  Folktales are often  of loose e n d s — f o r g o t t e n  actions, disappearing  motivations,  unmotivated  characters.  "Mediocre s t o r y t e l l e r s , " Colum w r i t e s , "confused the p a t t e r n [of a t a l e ] by p u t t i n g i n c i d e n t s i n t h e wrong p l a c e , by u s i n g u n f i t t i n g metaphors, by making a h u r r i e d beginning o r a h u r r i e d end, by being unable t o use t h e chiming words t h a t made s p e c i a l — o r , as we would say now, f e a t u r e d some passage"16  In a d d i t i o n , James Delargy has noted that t h e q u a l i t y o f long t a l e s diminishes of o r a l t r a d i t i o n preserve tradition  as t h e s t o r y t e l l e r  tires.  17  Since the nature  i s perhaps as much t o l o s e connections  as t o  them, t h e s e malformed t a l e s a r e as l e g i t i m a t e a part o f as t h e unflawed ones.  t r a d i t i o n owe t h e i r  Indeed, t h e forms that  invention to the perception  human memory may f a i l  conserve  o f how e a s i l y  and important elements may be l o s t .  roughness o f a sequence l i k e t h e C r y s t a l Egg episodes,  The  with the  t h r e e c o n f l i c t i n g accounts o f i t s d i s p a t c h , conveys something of t h i s motley u n d e r s i d e of t h e f o l k t a l e serves The  to remind t h e reader  i n o r a l t r a d i t i o n and  that not a l l f o l k t a l e s  g a r b l i n g of Cycle~ni., i n f a c t ,  are c r y s t a l l i n e .  i s another way f o r Colum t o  intrude r e a l i t y into the well-balanced  a r t i f i c e of f o l k t a l e  form.  3.  'One important  Gathering  e f f e c t o f t h e rhythm o f d e f e r r a l and f a i l u r e  i s the d i s r u p t i o n o f t h e t i g h t n a r r a t i v e o r d e r o f t h e f o l k t a l e , with which t h e book b e g i n s .  By the time t h a t G i l l y , having  both  l o c a t e d t h e Swan o f E n d l e s s T a l e s and r e c e i v e d a name from t h e Old Woman o f Beare,  r e j o i n s h i s comrade at t h e Town of the Red C a s t l e ,  the elements o f The King o f I r e l a n d ' s Son have been spread a vast narrative t e r r a i n .  The sheer l e n g t h of t h e book, a l r e a d y  s e v e r a l times l o n g e r than the average of t h i s d i f f u s i o n .  over  f o l k t a l e , accounts  f o r part  In a d d i t i o n , t h e m u l t i p l i c i t y of heroes,  c h a r a c t e r s , and s t o r i e s , a l o n g w i t h t h e use of t h e d e v i c e s o f d e f e r r a l and f a i l u r e , e x e r t s an outward p r e s s u r e on t h e forms that all  i n t h e f o l k t a l e c o n t a i n t h e a c t i o n . Colum, however, has along, been p r e p a r i n g f o r t h e u l t i m a t e u n i f i c a t i o n o f t h e  n a r r a t i v e , by c o n t r i v i n g t h e hidden c o n n e c t i o n s between c h a r a c t e r s and p l o t o u t l i n e d  i n Chapter  I above.  Now, Colum responds  to t h e  problem o f p u t t i n g t h e n a r r a t i v e back t o g e t h e r a g a i n by r e v e a l i n g more and more o f t h e s e c o n n e c t i o n s at t h e same time that he moves the v a r i o u s p l o t s towards t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l r e s o l u t i o n s .  The  n a r r a t i v e s l o w l y c o n s t r i c t s i n t o a s i n g l e n a r r a t i v e , and ends with a single celebration of resolution.  Colum's p a r t i c u l a r  methods f o r a c h i e v i n g t h i s , t h e forms t h a t t h i s movement t a k e s , and t h e v i s i o n  i n h e r e n t i n them make up what I c a l l t h e g a t h e r i n g  rhythm.  s i m i l a r i n some ways t o t h e n a r r a t i v e p r o g r e s s i o n  While  t h a t b r i n g s f o l k t a l e s to t h e i r c o n c l u s i o n s , and  i n the end  quoting  the f o l k t a l e ' s f i n a l wedding f e a s t , Colum's g a t h e r i n g rhythm, his  like  n a r r a t i v e , i s f a r more complex than i t s f o l k t a l e model. The  reunion  of the two  heroes, the f i r s t m a n i f e s t a t i o n  of  t h i s movement towards u n i t y , i n t r o d u c e s the f a i r at the Town of the Red The  Castle.  The m o t i f of the I r i s h country  King of I r e l a n d ' s Son  f a i r , which i n  becomes the most complete  expression  of the g a t h e r i n g rhythm, i s a standby of I r i s h accounts o f life,  such as Maurice 0 ' S u l l i v a n ' s Twenty Years A-Growin',  Thomas 0 Crohan's The Fool.  Islandman, and  These w r i t e r s use  d i v e r s e panoply of l i f e , t y p e s , and The  rural  P a t r i c k Kavanagh's The  the f a i r to convey a sense of the to s a t i r i z e d i v e r t i n g c o u n t r y  great,  character  to comment on the g e n e r a l v a n i t y of the human comedy.  c h a o t i c world  Colum's work.  of the f a i r , not  In The  s u r p r i s i n g l y , i s a s t a p l e of  F i d d l e r ' s House, o l d Conn Hourican  of renewing h i s fame among the j o y o u s , goers;  Green  dreams  i n e b r i a t e d crowds of  fair-  M a e l s h a u g h l i n n , i n Castle.Conquer, goes f u r t h e r and  a c t u a l l y t e s t s h i s l u c k at the f a i r , r e t u r n i n g w i t h the humorous 19 advice,  "'"Never go  There a r e f a i r s  i n t o the f a i r where you  i n A Boy  have no  business.""'  i n E i r i n n , The White Sparrow, and  S t o r y of Lowry Maen as w e l l .  In Colum's p o e t r y , t h e f a i r  backdrop f o r a sad e x p r e s s i o n  of human greed  and in  i n &q