Sgeulachdan an Dà Shaogail
Sgeulachdan an Dà Shaogail draws liberally from a variety of narrative structures, plot devices, idioms, and folkloric motifs in Gaelic oral tradition, and makes many allusions to a cultural inheritance that was once well known to generations of Gaelic speakers.
The novella highlights the delicious texture of the Gaelic language itself, revisits traditional prose styles, and explores the psychological depths of fairytales, the genre of oral tradition that might seem to have the least relevance to the modern reader, not only reviewing these ancient wellsprings but renewing them with post-modern plot twists.
The story is written as a series of letters from an unnamed source to his foster-brother Roibeart. Each letter recounts an interview with increasingly elderly neighbors who have had memorable encounters with denizens of the Otherworld.
These narratives, based on Scottish tales of the supernatural, contain something inexorably compelling about the symbolic Other that allows us to express what is otherwise inexpressible about ourselves and the human condition.