J. G. O’Keefe

Life
[var. O’Keeffe]; edited Buile Suibhne as The Adventures of Suibhne Geilt (1913), bilingual trans. with introduction. and notes, for Irish Texts Soc. IF

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Notes
Ciaran Carson, ‘Sweeney Astray: Escaping from Limbo’, in Tony Curtis, ed. & intro., The Art of Seamus Heaney [1982] (Mid Glamorgan, Brigend: Poetry Wales Press; Chester Springs: Dufour Edns. 1985), pp.139-48, quotes O’Keefe’s translation: ‘and darkness, and fury, and giddiness, and frenzy, and flight, unsteadiness, restlessness and unquiet filled him, likewise disgust with every place in which he used to be and desire for every place which he had not reached. His fingers were palsied, his feet trembled, his heart beat quick, his senses were overcome, his sight was distorted, his weapons fell naked from his hands, so that through Ronan's curse he went, like any bird of the air, in madness and imbecility [ … rolion nemhain & dobhar & dasacht & faoinnel & fualang & folumain & udmhaille, anbsaidhe & anflhaoistine, miosgais gach ionaidh ina mbiodh & searc gach ionaidh noco roichedh; romheirblighset a meoir, rocriothnaighsiot a chosa, roluathadh a chroidhe, roclodhadh a chedfadha, rosaobadh a radharc, rotuitset a airm urnocht asa lamhuibh co ndeachaidh la breithir Ronain ar gealtacht & ar geinidecht amail gach n-ethaid n-aerdha.]’ (Carson, op. cit., p.146; note also comparisons with the version by Flann O’Brien, ‘nearly a parody which nevertheless reflects the implicit playfulness of the original’ as compared with Heaney’s emphasis on the ‘psychological seriousness’.)

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