Sunday, June 26, 2005

I felt the overwhelming need for pretentious prog rock so I went to the masters of this field, Dream Theater. Definitely what I needed right now. Some epic music for an epic undertaking. Now that my father is gone, I am going to undertake a large part of my PhD in the next few months. It is the dialog between Cormac mac Airt, High King of Ireland, and his judge, Fí­thal. I have done some transcriptions before but now I am going to do the whole thing as an edition, which will then be a chapter in my PhD.

What is required for this? Well, I have to take the four versions of the poem (one version is a scrap of velum at Oxford University) then subject them to critical analysis to see the differences in the language and layout. With all the differences marked and cataloged, I translate each with attention to the difference between the four versions. If there is enough similarity between them, I make what is called a stemma, which shows how each version of the poem is related linguistically. Then I try to get them to align (this is much like trying to get planets to align than getting words to align) so that I can point backwards in time to the exemplar text. This maybe impossible with this text but I will definitely try. There are enough versions of the poem in the manuscripts to allow for it but it depends on if the scribe tried to modify his text (I have some evidence for this). After that, I then take language notes (mainly on grammar problems and spelling variations found in the text).

I then package all this in a clean written chapter, with background notes on the literary and legal value of the text. This is not going to be easy but I am looking forward to getting back to my studies.

posted by Chris  #3:22 PM | 0 comments |