Friday, March 23, 2007
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Later Patrick comes back, competes with the druids in contests of magic, and lights his fire on the Hill of Slane to trump the traditional druidic fire on the Hill of Tara. (It seems the Irish government is planning to build a highway near/over Tara soon. There’s presently a campaign to stop it, which any right-thinking person should support.)
James Joyce writes about the Archdruid Berkeley’s religious disputations with Patrick in Finnegans Wake. Peter D. Fitz-Hugh examines this section in an interesting article:
Why then should King Leary as the Archdruid’s chosen example of his way of ‘seeing’ the world appear all green? Because the fundamental point about Leary is his Irishness, a true native Irish king, the embodiment of Ireland free and unoppressed, who must therefore be seen as green, Ireland’s national colour, through and through to the Archdruids ‘throughsighty’ (FW611.32). Joyce is also saying that the Wake is a thoroughly Irish work.
Many also point out that on another level Christianity was eventually accepted into Ireland with a striking lack of violence or force, with a lot of tolerance for the earlier belief, even subsuming some of it and molding itself to pre-existing customs (though rejecting many others). St. Patrick therefore has a strange double meaning for Ireland.