'The quality of the artwork is outstanding' -- The Scotsman 'A monument to contemporary culture' -- The Sunday Herald 'A wonderful collection' -- Scotland on Sunday 'The Kaleidoscopic variety of An Leabhar Mor is comfortingly contained within a coherent and authoritative vision ... a sumptuous collection of images.' -- The Irish Times
Malcolm Maclean has been director of the Gaelic Arts Agency since 1987. He has worked as an artist in various forms and was curator/editor of the touring exhibition/book, As an Fhearann (From the Land). Theo Dorgan is an internationally translated poet, as well as a broadcaster, scriptwriter and editor. He is the editor of Irish Poetry Since Kavanagh and was a former Director of Poetry Ireland/Eigse Eireann..
If you are interested in modern Irish poetry this a beautiful and lyrical selection of some of the best writing from Ireland's past and present. The poetry spans all the depths meant to be explored through the medium of poetry and the artwork accompanying the poetry is equally moving. This is a unique marriage between calligraphers, artists and poets.
A book;the likes of which is rarely published.2008/3/10
The Great Book of Gaelic brings together the work of more than 200 poets,visual artists and calligraphers from Scotland and Ireland to create a major contemporary artwork in the form of a visual anthology. Leading poets and writers were selected to choose 100 Gaelic poems from almost every century from the 6th to the 21st.It includes the earliest Gaelic poetry in existance and represents the greatest Gaelic poets and their poetry about comedy,tragedy,love death,spiritual and the bawdy. Then, 100 visual artists were chosen to interpret the poems . Furthermore a team of calligraphers and a topograpgher worked with the artists to integrate the key lines of poetry and the artist's images. This book presents an outstanding collection pf poetry and art of Gaelic culture from the 6th century to the present times. It took an amazing effort coupled with much assistange to bring this collection to fruition. It was published in 2002 and while it is still available in small numbers. It is already being offered by mdealers at prices many times exceeding the origional price. If you are a lover of Gaelic poetry and art,you will be enchanted with this beautiful book as soon as you see it;and want to acquire a copy of your own ,while you can. Each poem and picture is presented on 2 facing pages. A Supplementary Text includes complete poems in Gaelic as well as English. A Biographies Section covers all the artist involved including photographs and their backgrounds. A detailed Index is also included.The paper quality,printing,and construction is excellent. It is fairly large at 8 3/4" X 10 1/4" X 1" and 321 pages.
Across the Celtic Sea: Ireland meets Scotland2008/1/5
John L Murphy
This is to clarify the contents of this elegant "Great Book of Gaelic." The previous two reviewers may be misleading-- the book is not only Irish but Scots Gaelic in its verse and illuminations-- and the other Celtic languages are not represented. It plays off of the co-editor Theo Dorgan's work with the earlier "Great Book of Ireland" in format and intent. This new Leabhar Mór commemorates 1500 years of cross-channel cultural connection between Scotland and Ireland. The 100 poems in the Irish and Scots Gaelic languages (here with translations) were nominated by poets (both as judges and contributors) and span from the 6th c CE to today. Fifty artists each from Ireland and Scotland were commissioned to use graphic media (calligraphy, typography, collage, photography, and all the varieties of ink, pen, brush, and paint) to enhance and play off the verses. The lines of the poems, in fact, are partially inscribed on each of the artworks: this alone links the hundred poems and representations to each other.
The themes lament and celebrate. The work emerges from a period of hope with the peace in the North of Ireland symbolizing a reapproachment with the warring sides, each of whom in Ulster drew on Gaelic images and rhetoric in their territorial struggle. Also, such efforts as the Colmcille Project seek to re-orient the perspective of not so much British as Celtic isles and nations in the North Atlantic: this book carries such a mission into the realms of the aesthetic and the visual. The attention devoted to English, Scots Gaelic, and Irish, therefore, balances these three living sources of the words and ideas imagined here.
Essays on the poetic traditions, the art, and capsule bios of the writers and artists enhance this handsome volume. The originals were displayed in exhibition before being bound on handmade paper. A website also shows a sample of the work; the BBC also gave radio and TV coverage to this millennial project celebrating Gaelic history and identity. The content rewards close study, often with a magnifying glass, as you'd view a medieval manuscript. The scope recalls such disparate monuments as the Apocalypse Spanish texts of Beatus of Liebana (themselves inspiration for Umberto Eco's "Name of the Rose"), the ancient portrait of a Roman matron, fashion shoots and gallery photography, iconography, and doubtless dozens more influences I lack the erudition to compare.
I'm glad to finally own a copy2015/5/8
I first saw this lovely book in Ireland several years ago; I'm glad to finally own a copy. It contains many beautiful artworks and many lovely poems, all in the original languages--mostly Irish and Scots Gaelic, as well as one or two from the other Gaelic languages. As an autodidact of the Irish language, this is a good book to have.
Christy L. Hoff
Beautiful books with classic Irish poetry translated into English. It is illustrated with beautiful works created specifically for this edition. Gave it to my American mother who focuses on her Gaelic roots!