A friend of mine emailed me the other day, asking about what topic I had picked for my PhD. I guess I should come out and say it. I have had a really hard time picking a topic because I became discouraged during the search through the manuscript catalogs. It just seemed like everyone had done everything. Everywhere I turned, I found Thurneysen or Hull or some other important scholar, which made things untouchable. I also just started to lose interest in my subject. I felt like the green fields that I had been promised were just not there. That and it just seems to me that I am not very good at Old Irish (honestly, Old Irish is just hard and without the tools that other languages have, it becomes much harder).
So on Thursday, I had a meeting with my supervisors. We talked about all the problems that I have been having. We decided that it would be best if I researched an Irish mythical judge/lawyer named "Fíthal", which is the brother of a prominent druid in the stories named "Cithruad", who was the druid to Cormac mac Airt. Fíthal is also connected to the Fianna and Finn mac Camhal (amh is oo sound in Donegal Irish). I am not so interested in the Fianna as I am in Early Irish Law but I am interested how Early Irish Law was seen by the Early Irish themselves and using Fíthal might be an interesting way to do that. It is much like using the TV show Law and Order to figure out how modern US citizens see the US legal system.
In any case, I am still not sure if I even want to do my Ph D anymore. I am going to continue for now and see if Fíthal can bolster my interest. If it cannot, I may be back home before you know it.
posted by Chris #1:12 PM | 0 comments |