The Illusive Window: Insights into an Irish Tale

Written by Deana Davis. The extent to which written sources can be relied upon has constantly plagued historians in their attempt to recreate and “see” the past. In Ireland’s case, its unique plethora of cycles, or tales, contain pseudo-historical stories that have been fertile ground for such recreation. One such collection of tales, the Ulster Cycle, has famously been called a ‘window on the Iron … Continue reading The Illusive Window: Insights into an Irish Tale

Wicked Women: The Stepmother as a Figure of Evil in the Grimms' Fairy Tales

Wicked Women: The Stepmother as a Figure of Evil in the Grimms’ Fairy Tales

Written by Anahit Behrooz. The recent scholarly resurgence of fairy tales and folklore, and the litany of rewrites, spin offs and adaptations, prompts a reexamination of many of the genre’s characteristics and tropes. The character of the wicked stepmother has gained notoriety as one of the most evil villains to be found in fairy tales, frequently set up as a foil to the innocent and virtuous … Continue reading Wicked Women: The Stepmother as a Figure of Evil in the Grimms’ Fairy Tales

From Oral to Written Folklore: The Evolution and Reception of the Icelandic Saga

The Icelandic Sagas are more than stories about a heroic age of kings, of trolls and witches, and magical phenomenon unseen by our modern eyes. They offer a complex resource of what early settlers of the island deemed important to their heritage. Since the thirteenth century, scholars have attempted to understand the departure from the oral tradition of storytelling to the more advanced written tradition, … Continue reading From Oral to Written Folklore: The Evolution and Reception of the Icelandic Saga

Theatre Review: Waiting for Godot

The Edinburgh Royal Lyceum Theatre’s production of Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot is a triumph, and a fitting celebration of two anniversaries: 60 years since the play’s original production, and 50 years since the Lyceum’s own debut. Beckett’s existentialist tragicomedy, set against the evening backdrop of only a country road and a tree, follows Estragon (Bill Paterson) and Vladimir (Brian Cox) as they contemplate life … Continue reading Theatre Review: Waiting for Godot

Book Review: All Quite on the Western Front

The centenary of the First World War hangs over the next few years. This anniversary is prompting new academic writing, literature, television and radio, which reflect on the war and the impact it has on us today. Whilst all these mediums shed light on the events of those dreadful four years and their aftermath, it is important to revisit the sources of the time to … Continue reading Book Review: All Quite on the Western Front