Bri Fidelity's Reviews > The Mabinogion

The Mabinogion by Unknown
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's review
Jun 07, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: folklore, fairy-tales, arthuriana, read-in-2012-overall, read-in-2012-female
Read from January 05 to 14, 2012


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Quotes Bri Liked

“Since thou wilt not remain here, chieftain, thou shalt receive the boon whatsoever thy tongue may name, as far as the wind dries, and the rain moistens, and the sun revolves, and the sea encircles, and the earth extends; save only my ship; and my mantle; and Caledvwlch, my sword; and Rhongomyant, my lance; and Wynebgwrthucher, my shield; and Carnwenhau, my dagger; and Gwenhwyvar, my wife”
Anonymous, The Mabinogion, from the Welsh of the Llyfr coch o Hergest, tr., with notes ...

Reading Progress

01/05/2012 page 0
0.0% "This time I'll alternate short sections with other, easy reads, so I don't get frustrated. And read them all in order without skipping ahead to the King Arthur stories."
01/07/2012 page 25
7.0% "'I will give you a cauldron, and the property of the cauldron is that if you throw into it one of your men who is killed today, then by tomorrow he will be as good as ever except that he will not be able to speak.' This must be why the guards on the Glass Fortress in the Historia Brittonum are silent sentinels. Arthur's disastrous raid there in The Spoils of Annwfn is for a magic cauldron, too."
01/07/2012 page 29
9.0% "'"What is the forest they saw on the sea?" they said. / "Masts of ships and yardarms," she said. / "Oh!" they said. "What was the mountain they saw alongside the ships?" / "That was Bendigeidfran my brother, wading across," she said. "There was no ship big enough for him."'"
01/09/2012 page 33
10.0% "Another 'Spoils of Annwfn' parallel: only seven men survive the raid to rescue Branwen from the King of Ireland. (Branwen herself survives the battle, but obligingly dies of a broken heart shortly thereafter, to keep the number of survivors respectably low.)"
01/09/2012 page 39
12.0% "Pryderi's hunting dogs chase a spectral boar into a spectral castle, and don't come out again: '"God knows," replied Manawydan, "it's not a good idea for you to go into the fort. We have never seen it before; if you take my advice, you will not enter. For whoever cast a spell on the land has caused the fort to appear." / "God knows," said Pryderi, "I will not abandon my dogs."' Aww!"
01/09/2012 page 46
14.0% "Okay, so far 'The Third Branch' is my favourite. The eerie curse that makes everyone in the country vanish, 'Quiet Earth' style; the mysteriously appearing and vanishing castle with the golden bowl for a honey trap; the way Cigfa fixes everything (and hopefully restores those poor lost dogs) by threatening to hang a very fat little mouse - the only one of the swarm he could catch - for stealing his grain. Magic."
01/09/2012 page 51
15.0% "They killed Pryderi! Those bastards!"
01/09/2012 page 53
16.0% "For the rape of Lord Math's virginal servant girl, brothers Gwydion and Gilfaethwy - AKA Those Bastards - are punished by being repeatedly transformed into animals: a stag and a hind; a wild boar and a sow; a wolf and a she-wolf. Taking turns as the female - Gilfaethwy lucks out, comparatively speaking, by being female just the once - they beget one another's incestuous animal children year after year." 1 comment
01/09/2012 page 63
19.0% "'When Blodeuedd heard they were coming, she took her maidens with her and made for the mountain; and having crossed the river Cynfael they made for a court that was on the mountain. And they were so afraid that they could only travel with their faces looking backwards. And they knew nothing until they fell into the lake and were drowned, all except Blodeuedd.'"
01/10/2012 page 88
26.0% "Peredur comes to the court of the Sons of the King of Suffering, who - Prometheus-like - are killed once each day by a lake monster. The narrative cleverly has Our Hero arrive partway through this cycle: he's greeted by the forlorn local maidens; they're interrupted by the horses coming home, with corpses in their saddles; the maidens bathe the dead men's wounds in a tub of warm water that restores them to life." 2 comments
01/12/2012 page 125
37.0% "'"She is my mistress, known as the Lady of the Well, the wife of the man you killed yesterday." / "God knows," said Owain, "she is the woman I love best." / "God knows," said the maiden, "there is no way she loves you, not in the very slightest."' Hee!"
01/12/2012 page 126
38.0% "'The Lady of the Well' has a surprising amount of actual characterisation in it compared to the other tales in here (my actual first reaction was 'but I thought characterisation hadn't been invented yet!', which is hardly fair). Luned's and the Lady's relationship is marvellous; Luned herself is marvellous; even Arthur is given some idiosyncratic traits. Is the de Troyes original like this, too?"
01/14/2012 page 180
54.0% "The matter-of-factness of this amuses me: '"I know of a woman who would suit you well. She is the wife of King Doged." They decided to seek her out. And they killed the king and brought his wife back home with them, together with her only daughter.' The abducted bride, for her part, isn't bothered about any of this - just sad that her new husband apparently has no son of his own that she can foist her daughter on."
01/14/2012 page 191
57.0% "Cai here uses 'love' as a synonym for 'hug', the way my mother and my aunt used to do when I was a kid. I now suspect them to be retired Table Knights."

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