Now here's the stuff that explains all this, for those who are curious. I've been pondering the stories of Bran the Blessed for only a few weeks. What attracted me to the story? I don't know, for sure. I read it in The White Goddess just two weeks ago and thought it was intriguing. That Robert Graves equated him with a Druidic dying god and then backtracked a bit on his thoughts was, to me, weird. Reading further I was dismayed to see there wasn't much more information. This would, if nothing else, I thought, make a really good story, although apparently no one else has thought much of it. I wonder if this is how the Arthurian tales gained so many treatises over the centuries.
Anyway, there he was, poor thing, doomed to the end. So I started thinking about the story (obsessing?) and searching and it led to this bit of public thinking. All I can say now, is this looks to be the beginning of a very long search. But I think... for me, given the two stories: The Romance of Branwen and The Voyage of Bran, that the latter is much more interesting. As to the Mabinogion story, just one glance at it told me the current thoughts about King Bran are totally skewed. It always confuses me, or intrigues me, I guess, when theorists, writers, readers focus solely on a character's (god? king?) demise than the life he lived beforehand; yet when it comes to real life, as a culture, we always pay more homage to the life of the deceased. Curious...
Oh, well.. That was just my first in a recent flood of thoughts on the Irish and Welsh myths/stories of the figure of Bran the Blessed.
Circa June 9, 2003.
Thanks, Shaz, for this lovely set!