Aisling (vision)

Parsons, G. (2017) Aisling (vision). In: Echard, S. and Rouse, R. (eds.) The Encyclopedia of Medieval Literature in Britain. Wiley Blackwell. ISBN 9781118396988 (doi: 10.1002/9781118396957.wbemlb067)

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Aisling, from Old Irish aislinge ‘vision, dream’ is a category within the taxonomy of medieval Gaelic literature. It denotes an encounter with the supernatural that is initiated when a protagonist, invariably male, is dreaming or in a comparable state of altered consciousness. The supernatural element can be personified by a beautiful woman, an angel, or reside merely in the fact that the protagonist accesses knowledge that would normally be unavailable to him, such as glimpses of future events. The vision motif aside, the aisling narratives are diverse in terms of date of composition, setting, theme and tone. The medieval aisling is not to be confused with the modern Irish aisling, a type of political poem. Examples of aisling narratives include Aislinge Óengusso ‘The Vision of Óengus’, Aislinge Meic Con Glinne ‘The Vision of Mac Con Glinne’, and Aisling Tundail ‘The Vision of Tundal’.

Item Type:Book Sections (Encyclopaedia entry)
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Parsons, Dr Geraldine
Authors: Parsons, G.
Subjects:P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages > PB1201 Irish Language
P Language and Literature > PB Modern European Languages > PB1501 Scottish Gaelic Language
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0441 Literary History
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > Celtic and Gaelic
Publisher:Wiley Blackwell

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