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Metadata for text 39
No. words in textN/A
Title An Aghaidh Choimheach
Author Moireach, Iain
Editor N/A
Date Of Edition 1973
Date Of Language 1950-1999
Publisher Gairm
Place Published Glasgow
Volume N/A
Location National, academic, and local libraries
Geographical Origins Lewis
Register Literature, Prose
Alternative Author Name John Murray
Manuscript Or Edition Ed.
Size And Condition 18.4cm x 12.2cm
Short Title An Aghaidh Choimheach
Reference Details EUL: .891633 MUR
Number Of Pages [6], 122
Gaelic Text By N/A
Illustrator N/A
Social Context Iain Moireach was born in Barvas, Lewis in 1938. His first short stories and poems were published in Gairm, and in 1973 this volume was published to high acclaim. As well as poetry and short stories, Moireach has also written plays. In his working-life, he has been involved in various jobs relating to Gaelic, including Editorial Officer of the Gaelic Books Council, Director of Bilingual Project, Assistant Director of Education at Comhairle nan Eilean, and the Head of Radio nan Gàidheal. An Aghaidh Choimheach is a collection of short stories.
Contents This text comprises twelve short stories as follows: An Aghaidh Choimheach (pp. 1-20), Am Pàrtaidh (pp. 21-30), An Gamhainn (pp. 31-38), Briseadh na Cloiche (pp. 39-44), Ignig Dannsair (p. 45-52), An Dà Latha (pp. 53-67), Seòras (pp. 68-80), Mòine Dhòmhnaill Agus Ordag ’an Bhàin (p. 81-92), A’ Chaora Chonadail (p. 93-102), Feòil a’ Gheamhraidh (pp. 103-07), Oidhche Shathurna (p. 108-14), and Gormadh an Fheòir (pp. 115-22).

The stories cover a wide range of topics and are set both in the Highlands and in the city. For example, Briseadh na Cloiche (pp. 39-44) centres around a man who is working in the garden of his house in the Highlands. He is trying to break a large stone which is in the way of the path that his wife wants him to build. While working on the stone, he reflects on his relationship with his wife, mourning the loss of the good relationship they once had.

An Dà Latha (pp. 53-67) centres around a man who left Lewis 15 years ago and settled in Glasgow. He is a heavy drinker, and he wakes one Saturday morning and is unable to remember how he got home the previous night. He spends part of Saturday thinking about quitting drinking altogether, but ends up in the pub again on Saturday night. The story follows his thoughts and feelings as he becomes more and more inebriated. At some point that night he is lifted by the police, and he later finds himself in hospital with a psychiatrist talking to him.

Feòil a’ Gheamhraidh (pp. 103-07) focuses on a young boy, and how he feels as he and his father kill and prepare a sheep to provide food for the family over the winter months.
Sources
Language This text is a good example of mid-twentieth century Lewis Gaelic. The writing is often very descriptive and uses a lot of similes, as can be seen from the following examples: ‘a’ snòtaraich mar each aig ceann sgrìob ghoirid’ (p. 42), ‘Duine braonmhor seicheach buidhe a bha ri snàmh mar ròn troimh cheò nan caféan agus a thigeadh oidhch’-eigin air tìr ann an nèamh notaichean’ (p. 71), ‘shiubhail e air feadh nan sràid, mar sgoth bheag fo sheòl am measg bhàtaichean slaodach luchdaichte’ (p. 79), and ‘B’e latha soilleir geamhraidh a bh’ann, is beanntan an iar-dheas mar-thà a’ cnàmhadh na gréine. Cha robh gaoth ann ach uspagan nach teicheadh facal no fuaim ás an rathad’ (p. 103).

One of the strengths of this text is the number of examples of direct speech which presents the reader with excellent examples of colloquial Gaelic and the type of language used in everyday conversation. Examples include, Có air a tha thu smaoineachadh? (p. 21), ’N e fear a th’air an dràsd? (p. 21), O an dólas (p. 21), g’eil (p. 22), Dé tha toirt ort (p. 22), Cha tug na (p. 24), ’S tu (p. 24), Tiud (p. 24), Thalla, amadain! (p. 25), fuirich dà dhiog (p. 25), mo mhionnan (p. 25), Trobhad dà dhiog (p. 26), Hull-ó, miadail! (p. 26), ’S fhada bho’n dà latha sin. Dé? (p. 26), Eisd, siuthad a dhuine, cum a’ dol e (p. 27), ciamar air domhain (p. 27), Siuthad, a Mhurchaidh (p. 28), a sheòid (p. 41), Sin thu (p. 41), dingead, cha mhór nach (p. 41), sud thu (p. 41), Gu sealladh ort, a dhuine (p. 42), Teich, a dhuine, na struc annams tuilleadh (p. 42), A, gu sealladh (p. 84), Dàimead, tha e sgiobalt, é? (p. 85), Uaill, a charaid ort (p. 92), Sin thu, bhalaich (p. 103), Thugainn, a ’raidh (p. 107). Comments directed at a sheep dog include, a mhadaidh! (p. 103), Laigh-anna-sin! (p. 103), and Mach á sin! (p. 103).

This text is also a rich source of vocabulary relating to parts of the body, bodily functions and expressions. Examples include, torman guth athar (p. 21), fallus-dannsa (p. 24), an dréin a th'ort (p. 29), Dh’fhàs maoil an duine dearg, is fliuch, is bha cuislean ri bòcadh le cabhag fala (p. 39), dhrùidh am fallus air an duine (p. 39), Bha eanchainn a’ slacadaich ’na chlaigean (p. 39), thàinig crith ’na ghàirdeanan sìos bho na h-uilinnean gu bàrr nam meuran (p. 39), shuath e fras falluis bho a mhaoil (p. 39), Chuir e uilinn air gach glùin (p. 40), bha a chridhe a’ plubadaich ri taobh a sgamhanan (p. 40), Na fiaclan geala, na bilean cruinn (p. 41), Thilg e smugaid ’na bhais (p. 42), Bha farum an ùird ’na chluasan a’ cumail caismeachd ri chridhe ’na cheann (p. 43), air a cheann-dìreach (p. 44), tachais ’na sgòrnan (p. 69), a’ salach a bhréidean (p. 71), phut i ’na craos e (p. 71), a’ priobadh a shùilean taosgach (p. 73), thigeadh cnead ann an Diana (p. 74), chaidh inntinn air bhoil (p. 76), shuathadh iad an liopan le ’m muinichilean (p. 80), le casan sgèabte (p. 103), na sùilean bòcach maoth-ghlas (p. 106), and Thréig an gamhlas na féithean, agus chaidh fhuil ’na uisge anns na cuislean (p. 106). The text also includes the following terms relating to smiling and laughter, rinn e snodha gàire rithe (p. 21), gun deanadh iad leth-ghàire ris (p. 79), lachanaich athar (p. 104), and le fiamh-gàire (p. 105).

Some terminology relating to housing also appears in the text, for example, mullaich-sglèat, uinneagan móra agus iodhlainnean beaga (p. 4), Taigh ùr, suiment, le ceithir seòmraichean, cidsin le uinneag mhór (p. 40), ‘Ruith a chuimhne mar fhear air a bharran a-steach staran fliuch, shlìog e troimh thallan le peileachan uaine is geal, agus suas do sheòmar a bha mar na leth-cheud seòmar eile anns a’ bhaile; le dreasair, being is bòrd ’nan seasamh gu cugallach air an ùrlar a bha dìreach cho rèidh ’s a dh’fhàg na casan e’ (p. 40), teine anns a’ ghéibhil (p. 40), taigh le làr rèidh is ballachan còmhnard, is staidhre ’na mheadhon (p. 41), and eadar tòin an taighe agus an gàradh (p. 103).

The text also contains much other terminology of interest, including Dé ’n deifir (p. 21), cho aon-fhillte (p. 22), na leth-fhacail aice (p. 23), Bha e anns an ribe (p. 23), a’ toirt leis leud na h-oidhche (p. 23), mar shradagan ás an teine shìorruidh (p. 24), le searragan móra (p. 24), ’Na do dheise-cheart (p. 24), air carabhaidh (p. 24), chan eil mo chuimhne-sa ach cearbach (p. 24), dhearc e air Murchadh (p. 26), cana leann ’na dhòrn (p. 26), Thug e stalag ás a chana (p. 26), cuis-mhagaidh (p. 26) and ’na chuis-bhùirt (p. 73), a’ brunndail ris fhéin (p. 26), Fóghnaidh na dh’fhóghnas (p. 27), Bailcean daoraich (p. 27), a’ braonadh le misg is a ghuth cho sgùrrach briste ri a dhùthaich (p. 28), ’S ioma rud sin (p. 28), ’ga earalachadh (p. 29), Ghabh e dhan ulbhaig leis an òrd-mhór (p. 39), ann am fàrdaich (p. 40), Bha esan air ùr thàrsainn ás a’ Chogadh (p. 40), Amadan creutair (p. 41), air suirighe fhasanta (p. 41), Mànran (p. 41), màlach bho mhàlach (p. 42), a dh’aona-bhàgh dhaibhsan a bha a’ fàgail (p. 68), cuibhrionn de’n Fhìrinn (p. 68), a’ dol air sgéith (p. 69), a’ leigeil air (p. 69), cha robh abhsadh air (p. 70), air sgàth néimh agus truacantais (p. 71), air sgàth seann sgnoig de chaillich charaich (p. 71), a theachd-an-tìr (p. 71), sheargadh Seoras ás (p. 71), na briathran guineach (p. 71), air co-latha a bhreith (p. 72), ola-còcaireachd (p 73), cnip-àrd Dhiana a’ snagadaich as a dhéidh ’nan cabhaig (p. 73), nan sàbhaladh e gu dian (p. 75), fo ghealladh-pòsaidh (p. 76), saoghal-bràth de dhaoine (p. 79), air ùr-fhàgail (p. 80), a’ miannachadh (p. 103), glugadaich na caora a’ ruith (p. 103), agus am beathach ’ga dhraghadh (p. 103), a’ sprùillich air an talamh (p. 104), Lùig e (p. 103), a bhalgair (p. 104), ann am bucas faileasach (p. 104), ’s math an airidh (p. 105), Cha do leig an t-òrd brag idir (p. 106), Cha bu dùraig dha (p. 106), crògan móra neartmhor (p. 106), ri deanamh cagair fheadalaich gun fhonn (p. 106), and faobhar na sgine (p. 106). The text also contains a number of compounds such as Lath’-eigin (p. 75), and duin’-eigin (p. 79).

A number of Gaelicised English words are also included in the text, many of which are in common usage today. Examples include reacord (p. 21), réidio (p. 21), mar na cupail eile (p. 29), a’ togail an fhorc (p. 29), suiment (p. 40), cidsin (p. 40), Tapaichean (p. 40), coimpiutaran (pp. 69), a’ déiligeadh ris a’ chunntair (p. 70), dh’iarr Seoras oirre as spot (p. 76), gu pàirce (p. 80), a’ làiridh (p. 85), muncaidh (p. 92), and an t-sagaret (p. 92).
Orthography The Lewis dialect may be reflected in words and phrases such as fearasd (p. 22), a’ smocaigeadh (p. 23), Bha i air a moilghean a tharraing ri chéile (p. 23), Bha gu dearbha (p. 24), nach dìoch’naicheadh (p. 29), Amhran (p. 21), na ghabh rather than an do ghabh (p. 57), air losd (p. 70), a dhéidheadh (p. 71), Gar bith (p. 73), a dh’ithe chaoiteagan (p. 77), dha-rìreabh (p. 77), Man muc (p. 89), gu-ta (p. 105), and cha bhi fios aic air càil (p. 105). Also of interest are the forms gu leòir (p. 24), sud (p. 27), a nasgaidh (p. 71), air-a-neo (p. 72), seachduinn (p. 75), ag ìnnse (p. 75), thubhairt (p. 76), an darna h-uair (p. 78), Di-Haoine agus Di-Sathurn (p. 78).

The orthography is generally that of the early 1970s. Both grave and accute accents are used throughout the text.
Edition First Edition.
Other Sources
Further Reading Thomson, Derick S., The Companion to Gaelic Scotland (Glasgow, 1994: Gairm).
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