This image, coupled with the young man having lost his head at sea, is a wonderfully confusing image where the nostalgic sensibility of the old is placed on the dead body of the young that can't carry it to any future other than the grave.
Perhaps this is why all the stories end with absolutely no point because life is, to them, pointless. Life is hard, the women wear out in childbirth before they're even 20, the men drink and fight and die at sea for a pittance of a catch, or the lucky ones move to America and never come back, their story unfinished. People have often said to me that they find Synge's account of his time spent honing his Irish and collecting folklore on the Aran Islands to be one of the slowest and most boring reads they've ever encountered.
I must heartily disagree. While the work doesn't exactly "swing like the pendulum do", the rhythms of his narration are very much like that of the changing tide and the rolling of the waves to which the islanders have grown accustomed. Synge's narration-- like time on Inishmaan-- moves slowly and steadily, washing over the reader if one will let it. Remember above all that this work is essentially a series of journal entries, meant to document the people Synge met, the conversations he had, the stories he heard, etc.
Perhaps the book's greatest contribution to the world is as a document of a way of life no longer in existence. This book is also a document of the the Irish Literary Renaissance, and-- for its occassional pretensions-- should be! This text might also help to give greater understanding to any reading of Synge's plays, as he alleged that the story for such works as "Playboy of the Western World" were derived from tales he heard in the Arans.
The Aran Islands are a chain of islands, composed of three principal ones, which are just off the western Irish coast, from Galway bay. Robinson published his accounts in , based on his life on the islands, commencing in In both of Robinson's books, he references Synge's account of life on Aran around the turn of the century nowadays, we need to specify that is the beginning of the 20th century. I made that proverbial mental note to read Synge, which I was finally able to fulfill, stumbling on this version in a used book store in nearby Santa Fe.
Synge was enjoying "La Belle Epoque" in Paris, determined to be an authority on contemporary French literature when he met William Butler Yeats, who was from Ireland's west coast, near Sligo. Yeats urged him, essentially, to "get back to your roots," with the ultimate Gallic experience being available as far away from Britain as possible. And these islands fit that specification. At the time, Britain was directly ruling Ireland.
Robinson lived on the largest island in the chain, Aranmor.
Synge sought out life on the middle island, Inishmann, under the idea that life there would be less "corrupted" by modern influences. There was no "steamer" service to this lesser island; transport was by a small rowboat, called a curagh.
Picturesque in calm seas, but often perilous, as Synge recounts, in the stormy Atlantic. Synge states that life on Inishmann was the most primitive in Europe, and underscores that with a startling fact: Synge has an ethnographer's ear for native folk tales which he faithfully records, but does not particularly analyze. One of the longest concerns the killing of giants in order to win the hand of the daughter of the King. Synge also carefully describes the clothing of these "natives.
He also has a memorable section concerning when the landlords, via the police, evict various residents from their hovels for non-payment of the rents. The descriptions of the natural world are sparser, but he can wax lyrical at times: But Synge's account rings authentic; he also is a keen observer of the islands, more than 70 years before Robinson's arrival. Fortunately I've now been able to read both accounts; would recommend them both. Now all I have to do is get to Aran.
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I read this book while looking out of my hotel window at The Aran Islands! I was fortunate to be staying in Doolin, Ireland! The author's descriptions of the island. THE ARAN ISLANDS AND OTHER WORKS ILLUSTRATED KINDLE EDITION - In this site isn`t the same as a solution manual you buy in a book store or.
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Please try again later. I read this book while looking out of my hotel window at The Aran Islands!
I was fortunate to be staying in Doolin, Ireland! The author's descriptions of the island, its people and its stories were magical. He allowed himself to become one with the residents and lived, laughed and prayed among them.
Unfortunately, that precious time of the islands being sparsely inhabited is gone, along with some of its serenity, but a day trip to Inishmore, the big island ,proved to be very enjoyable. My thoughts were with Mr. Synge the entire day. Thanks to him for being one of the first to tell the Island's stories. Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers.
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